Ninth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619, meeting of the first representative governmental body in American at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island
Cheney Boyce was elected as a Burgess to represent Shirley Hundred in 1629. Who was this man?
Cheney Boyce, born in 1586 in England, first came to the Virginia Colony before 1616 and survived the Indian massacre of 1622. Some authorities suggest that Cheney's first wife, Sarah, was captured during the Indian raid; others, however, disregard this idea. Cheney is found in John Throgmorton’s Muster of the inhabitants of West and Shirley Hundred taken on 22 January 1624. Cheney is listed as a single man, aged 26 years, who arrived on the George.
Cheney served as Burgess for Shirley Hundred Island in 1629, 1630, and 1632. He married a woman whose first name was Joyce about 1635; their one known child was Thomas Boyce whose testimony stating that he is the only son of Cheney Boyce appeared in the Charles City County Court Order of 1655-1665, p. 355.
Cheney was designated as an "Ancient Planter" in the land grant he received for 1550 acres including the 100-acre bequest for being a settler before the time of Sir Thomas Dale. Boyce was responsible for importing 29 persons, according to Nell Nugent's Cavaliers and Pioneers p. 24.
In August 1637, Boyce received another grant on Merchants' Hope Creek in Charles City County. The final land patent was dated 1 September 1643, when he received an additional 1,198 acres of land. The date of Cheney's death was after 1643 and well before 26 Oct 1649, when Cheney’s widow, Joyce, was described as being the widow of Richard Tye, her second husband.
Thomas Boyce's records from the court primarily deal with property due him from his father's estate. Thomas petitioned the court to gain control of his father’s land, which, at Cheney’s death, had become the property of his mother, Joyce, and her second husband, Richard Tye. Joyce Boyce Tye apparently married a third time Dr. John Cogan. Several records establish a relationship between Cheney and Joyce Boyce and their daughter-in-law Emelia Boyce, wife of son Thomas. Emelia Boyce also obtained property from her grandfather, Richard Craven, another qualifying ancestor of the Jamestowne Society.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of Cheney Boyce: Azalia Smith Francis Moore and Steven Merril Smith
Eighth in a series of biographical sketches on Burgesses whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company; in honor of the 400th anniversary of the July 30, 1619 meeting of the first representative governmental body in America at the 1617 Church on Jamestown Island
Isle of Wight County, VA
Edward Bennett served as a Burgess from Isle of Wight County, VA. He was born 2 Feb 1577 in Wiveliscombe, Somerset, England, the fifteenth child of Robert and Elizabeth Bennett. In 1621 he ]established a plantation in Isle of Wight County on the Warrosquoake River and named it after the river. Bennett was a Puritan, as were several of his Virginia neighbors. His patent for Virginia land was contingent upon his settling 200 people in the colony, and the first settlers he transported arrived on the Sea Flower in 1622. Within a month of their arrival in Virginia, the Indian Massacre of 1622 occurred, and 53 settlers out of the 347 colonists killed died at Bennett’s plantation.
He returned to England and married Mary Bourne, daughter of a prominent Somerset merchant in late 1622. Mary was 28 years younger than Edward, and they had six children together. The first two children were born in England: Mary, born in 1623; and Elizabeth, born in 1626.
Bennett was a wealthy London merchant and the owner of a large fleet of ships which traded with Virginia, largely importing tobacco. He was also Commissioner of Virginia at the Court of England and an investor in the Virginia Company of London, which settled over 600 people in Isle of Wight County.
About 1627 Bennett fled to Amsterdam, Holland during the Puritan migrations, where, because of his wealth, he became an elder of the Ancient Church. By 1631, Bennett had left Holland and moved to Bennett’s Plantation in Isle of Wight.
Colonists from 80 plantations banded together in eight plantations near Jamestowne for safety, and Bennett’s plantation was abandoned until a fort was built there and Governor George Yeardly drove the Warraskoyak and Nansemond Indians out of their villages in reprisals. The census of 1623 showed that Bennett’s plantation, which he renamed Bennett’s Welcome, was reestablished with 33 settlers, “including 4 negroes.” In 1624 the total population was 31. Because of the 1622 massacre, the settlement in the Isle of Wight County is dated from that year.
Four of Edward and Mary’s children were born in Virginia: Sylvestra, born in 1630 in Isle of Wight; John, born in 1632 on Hogg Island; Ann, born in 1633 on Hogg Island but died as a baby; and Jasper, born in 1635 on Hogg Island.
Edward Bennett represented Isle of Wight County in the Virginia General Assembly in 1628 and then left with his family for England. He left the management of Bennett’s Welcome to his Puritan nephew, Richard Bennett, who served as Governor of the Commonwealth of VA from 1652-1655. Isle of Wight County was a Puritan stronghold in Anglican Virginia for many years. Bennett never returned to Virginia and died before 3 Jun 1651 in England.
First Mississippi Company descendants of Edward Bennett: Dell Dickens Scoper
To Our Contributors
We welcome properly researched contributions of ancestor profiles, vignettes and comments from members that focus on their ancestors’ roles in Jamestown’s history, plus other aspects of their lives, events and experiences in the colony. PLEASE NOTE that all information must be documented and backed up by primary source documents, and not unverifiable information and family and urban legends. Submissions without this backup may be rejected. Please limit contributions and blog entries solely to the ancestors themselves, and do not include subsequent lineage information. Entries should be no more than 400 words.