About Robert Adams, of Wales & Martin's Hundred
(1) Robert Adams, from Island of Anglesea, North Wales. Member of the First House of Burgesses 1620, Colonial Virginia. Register says he was Burgess 1623-24
He came to America on the "Bona Nova" in 1620. Was Burgess from Martin's Hundred, (21V55) his wife applied to the Court January 21, 1628, for permission to administer his Estate, (30V273). His Nuncupative Will proved at James City Court, April 9, 1629 by Oath of John Lyford, Minister (31V214.
The (21V55), (30V273) (31V214 refers to Swenn's Index. There are also references in Records of the London Company, who colonized Virginia.
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Martin's Hundred was one of the subsidiary "particular" plantations of the joint-stock Virginia Company of London. It was owned by a group of investors known as The Society of Martin's Hundred, named for Richard Martin, recorder of the City of London, (not to be confused with his near-contemporary Richard Martin who was the father of Jamestown councilor John Martin). Sir John Wolstenholme was among its investors. William Harwood was governor of Martin's Hundred settlement. The administrative center of Martin's Hundred (hundred defined a subdivision of an English county) was Wolstenholme Towne, a fortified settlement of rough cabins.
The Society of Martin's Hundred obtained a grant for 80,000 acres from its parent company in 1618. In October of that year, about 250 settlers departed for the plantation, arriving in Virginia about January or March, 1619.
Like all of the land the English claimed along the river, the plantation's 21,500 acres (87 km2) had been part of the domain of the Powhatans, an association of Native American Tidewater tribes formed at the end of the 16th century by the Indian Chief Powhatan. On March 22, 1622, the Powhatans rose to kill as many English as they could surprise in their homes and fields. From near modern Richmond to Newport News, the Powhatans burned and looted dwellings and desecrated corpses. Death counts vary, but about 400 English died. Martin's Hundred, the plantation hardest hit, lost more than 50, perhaps as many as 70. Wolstenholme Towne's death toll was not separated in the death rolls.
The Indian Massacre of 1622 nearly accomplished its purpose. The English withdrew from their scattered settlements to the safety of Jamestown. Wolstenholme Towne was resettled a year or more later but abandoned sometime after 1645.
Martin's Hundred was represented in the Virginia legislature from 1619 until 1634, when Virginia's counties were formed
This plantation was allocated to the London-based Society of Martin’s Hundred by 1618 and was later assigned 21,500 acres. It was initially settled in 1620 around Wolstenholme Town, its administrative center, located near the James River. Archaeologists discovered the town site in 1977. They also located the graves of several people who died during the 22 March 1622 Indian attacks on English settlements coordinated by Chief Opechancanough, when 78 colonists here – half the plantation’s population – were reported killed. These attacks were in response to English expansion into Indian lands. The area was soon resettled but the Society of Matrin’s Hundred’s town was never rebuilt.
Fort at Wolstenholme Towne In 1622, a massacre of 78 colonists occurred at the plantation of Martin’s Hundred by the Powhatan Indians (Klingelhofer and Henry, 98). This was known as the Powhatan Uprising of March 22, 1622. In total, the Powhatan tribe had killed 347 colonists all throughout Virginia, along the James River. In addition to this, twenty women were taken as captives from the Martin’s Hundred plantation and held by the Powhatan Indians (Fausz).
Artist's rendering of Wolstenholme Towne Site in 1620
The colonists had launched attacks of their own in retaliation throughout the summer and the fall of that year. The attacks were so strong that the Powhatan Indians requested negotiations, while using the captured women as their bargaining tool. To show that this was serious, the wife of the late Thomas Boyse, who represented Martin’s Hundred at Virginia’s first legislature, was sent back to the hands of the colonists (Fausz).
"The Archaeology of Martin's Hundred" book
Evidence of the location of Martin’s Hundred came in 1977, when archaeologists tested the ground around a 17th century tombstone in James City County. The tombstone was made for Samuel Pond, buried in 1694 at the age of 48 ( Klingelhofer and Henry, 98-100). Other archaeological finds that confirm the location of Martin’s Hundred Parish come from trace amounts of window glass in the topsoil, corroded nail fragments, and bottles with the dimensions of “Squat bottles” ( Klingelhofer and Henry, 103).
Replica of Wolstenholme Town Fort After the Powhatan’s effort towards good will, the colonists continued to focus on the destruction of the Indians. They were still considered to be hostile. In May of 1623, the leaders of both the Powhatans and the colonists met to discuss a truce. Upon the closing remarks after speeches from both parties, the colonists attempted to poison the leaders and the 200 other Indians who accompanied the leaders to the meeting. Many Indians fell sick, while 50 others were just shot by the colonists. Opechancanough, their leader, had managed to escape however. The women were then held for a bit longer, ranging from being returned in 1624 as seven of the women had been returned, or 1630, where one of the women had been returned. Those who did not arrive were considered to have been killed in 1622 during either the raids or other causes (Fausz).
Brown, Alexander. The Genesis of the United States: A Narrative of the Movement in England, 1605-1616. Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin, 1890.
Fausz, J. Frederick. “Powhatan Uprising of 1622.” American History. http://www.historynet.com/powhatan-uprising-of-1622.htm (Accessed March 14, 2012).
Klingelhofer, Eric and Henry, William. “Excavations at Martin’s Hundred Church, James City County, Virginia: Techniques for Testing a 17th Century Church Site.” Historical Archaeology 19 no. 1 (1985): 98-103.
Robert Adams, of Wales & Martin's Hundred's Timeline
Island of Anglesea, North Wales
Martin's Hundred, James City, Virginia