Thirty-fifth in a series of biographical sketches of qualifying ancestors of the Jamestowne Society whose descendants belong to the First Mississippi Company
Lewis’s father, Edward Burwell, was born and died in England; but he was interested in the Virginia settlement and was a member of the Virginia Company and a subscriber of the Second Charter. He married Dorothy Bedell; the couple had five sons and two daughters, but only one of the Burwell sons lived to have children: Lewis. After Edward died, his widow married Roger Wingate, who was also involved in the affairs of the Virginia settlement and served as a member of the Council and the Treasurer of Virginia. Dorothy and Roger Wingate sailed to Virginia to settle there with the Burwell children when Lewis was a young boy.
As an adult Lewis Burwell settled on the north side of the York River on Rosewell Creek in an area that later became Gloucester County. He named his 2350-acre plantation “Fairfield,” which later became known as “Carter’s Creek.”
Lewis’s step-father, Roger Wingate, died in VA in 1641; and in 1648 his widow Dorothy deeded all of Wingate’s rents to Lewis, an act confirmed by King James. In the deed, Dorothy refers to Lewis as “my only and wellbeloved sonn Lewis Burwell,” indicating that her other four sons had already died.
Lewis died 18 Nov 1653 at the young age of thirty-two, and the inscription on his tombstone says he was a Major of Gloucester County and states that he is a descendent of the ancient Burwell family of Bedford and Northampton Counties in England.
Lewis married Lucy Higginson, daughter of Captain Robert Higginson and his wife Joanna Tokesey. The only issue from this union was a son named Lewis, who inherited all of his father’s land and holdings. Lewis II married twice. His first wife, Abigail Smith, brought a large estate of her own into the marriage called “King’s Creek.”
By 1704 Lewis II owned 26,650 acres in Gloucester, King William, Charles City, New Kent, James City, Yok and Isle of Wight Counties. He was a member of the Council and a governor of William and Mary College. His second wife was the widow of William Cole: Martha Lear Cole.
Lewis had a total of 15 children with his two wives, all named on his tombstone. Although some of the children died young before marrying, it is Lewis II whose three sons and four daughters carried the Burwell legacy into the 18th Century.
Ancestor of First Mississippi Company member Stewart Holder Bridgforth, Jr.
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