Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

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Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry, Sr., and Jr.,February 10, 1721

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, Sr., and his grandson, February 10, 1721, to ask their assistance in pressing Colonel William Cage, trustee under the will of Lady Fairfax, and the underage heir, the current Lord Fairfax, concerning his procedure in granting lands in the Northern Neck proprietary, for which Carter has taken a lease as agent. He also is concerned about the Brent Town grant and its unsurveyed borders and wants the properitors' instructions concerning a survey because the lack of one scares Virginians from settling in the area. He is also concerned about a 14,000-acre grant that he presumes if owned by Sir Jeffrey Jeffreys, MP. Carter informs the Perrys that he has written details of these matters to his son John in London and directed John to pursure thesematters.

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry,Sr., and Jr., February 10, 1721

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Rappahannock, [LancasterCounty, Virginia]
Febr. 10th.1720/21
Messrs. Perry

-- --

     The foregoing was designd by a Ship which passd by my house
without calling Its necessary to press You a little further upon the Northern
Neck affair
besides the full power of Atturney I have already mentioned to you
I want direcs. from my Lord Culpeper Fairfax and Collo. Cage in whose name I am to
pass the Lands that I shall give deeds for whether in my Lords alone as
the heir or whether Collo. Cage who is the Exer. and the other Trustee of my
Ladys will must be joind with him these things are very necessary to be
known that I may not commit an Error.

      There is another thing that the Proprietors Should Exert
themselves about which will conduce much to their Interest aswell as
mine, The Lord Culpeper in the Year 1686 makes a Grant of Thirty Thousd.
Acres of Land in the upper partsof his Territory wth very uncertain
bounds unto George BrentAlderman Bristow Richd Foote &Nicholas
Hayward Reserving a rent of twenty Shills. for a Thd Acres &
a Provisoe is in theDeed That the said Lord Culpeper might Survey the
Said Lands andgive bounds Thereto in 1688 My Lord makes a deed
of Release to the aforesd. Gents. of the Reserv'd Rent only a Beaver
Skin to be paid Yearly as an acknowledgementBrent in his life
time makes a Settlement upon some of theseLands wch has bin long
Since deserted and not a Foot of theseLands any otherways Im=
=prov'd to this Day by any of theafforenamed Gent., To sett this matter
in a clear light I send You Copys ofthe Deeds, This Grantscares
people very much from taking up back Lands, nowso of which there
is a great Quantity lying between theabove mentioned Settlement and
the Mountains, Now who must bearthe Charge of this Survey is the
Question and if the Proprietorsdos It without the Consent of the
Persons concern'd, whetherthey will be bound by It is another
Question and yett highly reasonable Itis the bounds of thisGrant
Should be known and I Should think the Doing of It withall
possible Expedition dos as muchConcern the Grantees as the
Proprietors, for if other men bymistake Should Sett Down upon
theseLands that lye thus unculltivated and make Improvemts.
Thereon It will be very hard hereafter for them to be amoved
by this Sleeping Grant, Mr. Bristow ofLondon I take to be
heir to the Alderman who has the Right ofHayward and
Foot I cant Say BrentsHeirs are here these thingsare well
worth the Consideration of the Proprietors and I wouldwillingly
have their Opinion what they will instruct me todo methods I shall take in this

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     Esq. Jeoffrys of London with whomI suppose You are well
Accquainted owns 14000 & odd Acres of Land in the upperparts of
Stafford which nobody hath [sic] Ever paid any Quitt [sic] Rents for and
lyes under as uncertain boundsas the Brenton Grant as I take
It his Father had theseLands made over to him by Collo. Jones for a debt, my
Son hath afull Account of all thesethings and has my orders to ease
You of the greatest part of thetrouble he will apply to You for
the Copy's I now Send and takenYor. advice in Everything I Shall
not give You further troubleat present but am --

Yor. most humble Servt.


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1720 July-1721 July, BR 227, Hntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Printed: Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . pp. 64-66.

Robert Carter generally used a return address of "Rappahannock" for the river on which he lived rather than"Corotoman," the name of his home, on his correspondence, especially to merchants abroad. The county and colony have been added for clarity.

[1] Written on the page at this point are several words -- "then" and "Mr. Perry C and so," and at the beginning of the next line, "the" -- in the clerk's hand.

[2] The complicated affairs of the Brent Town grant may be reviewed in the section "Brent Town Within the Proprietary" linked from the opening screen of this web site.

[3] Quit rent was the term used for the payment due from the holder of land to the "lord of the manor," in this case, to the proprietors of the Northern Neck. Carter as the proprietor's agent, collected these payments. No services were required of the landholder as had been true in mediaeval times.

[4] The 14,000-acre grant was originally made to Cadwallader Jones and later taken over by John Jeffreys (1614-1688), master of the Grocers Company and London alderman in 1661, to whom Jones was in debt. Jeffreys was in business with his nephew, Sir Jeffrey Jeffreys, MP, who was his heir, and it is to him that Carterrefers. ( J. R. Woodhead, The Rulers of London. London: London and Middlesex Archaelogical Society, 1965. pp. 97-98. ; Harrison. Landmarks. . . . p. 607-612. ; and various references in Davis, William Fitzhugh. . . . )

[5] Written on the page prior to the word "Sirs" in the complimentary close is the word "thee."

This text revised March 19, 2009.