Twentieth 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.
Captain Edmund Scarburgh (Scarborough) was born in 1584 in North Walsham County, Norfolk, England. The Scarborough family originated in Yorkshire in a town named Scarborough on the North Sea dating back to the Anglo-Saxon period. Captain Scarburgh was graduated from Caius College of Cambridge University, becoming a barrister and later an army captain.
In 1621 he emigrated to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, but did not bring his family to the New World until 1628. He served as the first Justice of Accomack and as a Burgess in the General Assembly in 1629, 1631, and 1632. He died in 1635.
Although Edmund Scarburgh had been well educated in England and became a leader in Virginia politics, his two sons—Charles and Edmund—were perhaps even more successful and better known.
Sir Charles Scarborough returned to England, where he became a mathematician and member of the Royal College of Physicians. He served as the court physician to King Charles II, the Duke of York (later King James II), King William III and Queen Mary II, and Prince George of Denmark.
Colonel Edmund Scarburgh, Captain Scarburgh’s other son, was a very wealthy and powerful leader in Accomack County. He owned thousands of acres of land in Virginia and Maryland, becoming known as the largest individual landholder in the colony at one time. He was called “Conjurer Scarborough,” a name attesting to his power and unscrupulousness.
The spelling of the “Scarborough” name was changed to “Scarburgh” in America.
First Mississippi Company Descendant of Edmund Scarborough: Donna Davis Lane
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