Twenty-second 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.
John Washington, the great grandfather of George Washington, the first President of the United States, was the son of Reverend Lawrence Washington and born about 1631 in England; he came to Virginia in 1656.
John’s interest in importing tobacco from Virginia to England brought him to America, for he owned a one-half interest in a ship named the Sea Horse with a business partner, Edward Prescott. Their ship, loaded with tobacco bound for England, ran aground on a sandbar in the Potomac River and sank in 1657. Before it could be raised, repaired and readied to sail again, Washington had decided to stay in Virginia. However, Prescott said John owed money for half of the damages, and Nathaniel Pope, who had befriended Washington, offered him a bond in the form of beaver pelts, making Washington indebted to Pope.
Washington married Nathaniel Pope’s daughter, Anne, in 1658. When Pope died in 1660, his will cancelled Washington's debt. The 700 acres of land deeded to him when he married Anne gave him the start he needed in Virginia.
By 1660, he had carved out a large estate in Westmoreland County and served as vestryman of Appomattox Parish in 1661, Justice of the Peace in 1662, and Major of the militia in 1662. Eventually. he rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel and was elected to the House of Burgesses, serving first in 1666 and then in 1675-1676 for Westmoreland County.
By 1668 Colonel Washington was busy growing tobacco on holdings that exceeded 5,000 acres, and Anne had presented him with five children, of whom three would live to maturity. That same year Anne died and soon thereafter he married a second time to another Anne by whom he had no children. Late in 1675 his second wife died and he married for the third time Frances, the daughter of Dr. Thomas Gerard. She had previously been married to Colonel Thomas Speke, Captain John Appleton and Colonel Valentine Peyton.
During Bacon’s rebellion in the summer and fall of 1676, Washington’s estate was plundered and was temporarily seized by Bacon’s supporters.
The approximate date of his death can be determined by his attendance at a meeting about taxes in 1677. His will was admitted to probate on 26 September 1677. His estate consisted of more than 8,500 acres.
Colonel John and Anne (Pope) Washington left three surviving children: (1) Lawrence born 1659 who married 1st unknown and 2nd Mildred Warner; (2) Anne born ca. 1661 who married Francis Wright; and (3) John Jr. born ca. 1663 who married Anne Wickliffe.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of John Washington: Christopher Charles Rankin Arinder, Lannye Olivia Bridewell Arinder, Elizabeth Barrett Arinder Cooper
To Our Contributors
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