William CLAIBORNE was born in 1587 in Westmoreland County, England.
He died in King William County, Virginia. Occupation: Secretary
of State for Virginia.
BIOGRAPHY: Research and source notes: Deborah Sweet <DeborahSweet@msn.com>
- 10th Great-Grandparents
1) A bit of early Maryland history: In 1608, Capt. John Smith explored the Chesapeake
Bay. Charles I granted a royal charter for Maryland to Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore,
in 1632, and English settlers, many of whom were Roman Catholic, landed on St.
Clement's (now Blakistone) Island in 1634, into a predominantly Protestant and
Puritan population. Religious freedom, granted all Christians in the Toleration
Act passed by the Maryland assembly in 1649, was ended by a Puritan revolt, 1654-1658.
2) From a referral by Bill Huitt: www.homepages.rootsweb.com/~tmetrvlr/claiborne.html
"William....came as surveyor for the Virginia Company of London with Gov.
Francis Wyatt in 1621; Member of the Governor's council from 1625 to 1660; Secretary
1625 and Treasurer of the Virginia Colony; had one grant of 24,000 acres of land
in King William County; established a trading post at Kent Island in 1631; was
appointed one of the three commissioners to rule Virginia under Cromwell. Claiborne
was Colonel of a command against the Indians and in 1653 was Deputy Governor.
Seated at "Romancoke", King William Co., Virginia."
3) This next, gives a slightly different slant on our William's notoriety. It
is from: http://mem bers.tripod.com/~jweaver300/md/hemd.htm#4
If that URL is broken, I found it at the Maryland Genweb. It was taken from "History
of Early Maryland," by Rev. Theodore C. Gambrall, A. M., D.D.; Pub.: Thomas
Whittaker, New York, 1893. I have excerpted the portions relevant to William,
from various of the "Lectures."
"When Lord Baltimore's colony came into Maryland they had the misfortune
to find that Kent Island, lying along the eastern shore of the bay, was already
occupied by a number of persons-how many it is not known-who had settled there
for convenience of trading with the Indians, with whom they were frequent intercourse[sic].
This little community had come out from Virginia and held themselves to be of
that colony. At the head of them was William Claiborne, a man of enterprise,
intelligence and great pertinacity of character, who, deeming that his right
had been invaded by the Maryland charter, and that Kent Island belonged to Virginia,
of which he was a councillor refused in every way to acknowledge the jurisdiction
of Lord Baltimore. This was the beginning of a strife that lasted for twenty
First of all, there was some reason for believing that he had tampered with the
Indians, because instead of continuing in their former friendly mind, they held
aloof, refused to bring in provisions, and in other ways acted so suspiciously
that the people stood in dread and felt compelled, for the sake of security,
to build a block-house. Next, in the year 1635, matters came to an open rupture,
and a naval battle was fought in the Pocomoke river, in which the small vessel
belonging to Claiborne and manned with thirty men, which was out on a pirating
expedition, was taken. A little while later another conflict took place, in which
again Claiborne's force met with disaster. In the year 1644, however, he was
more successful; for, having allied himself with Richard Ingle, who had formerly
given some trouble in the province, he had the ability to drive Governor Calvert
to take refuge in Virginia, and to hold the province for two years. This time
he claimed to have the king's commission for his acts, but later, in 1652, when
the royal power in England had been entirely overthrown, he received a commission
from Parliament, under which he was able to reduce Maryland and deprive the proprietary
of all control. These troubles, gratifying the spirit of revenge which he so
strongly fostered, lasted still for several years, after which Claiborne disappeared
..... Another class of people [as opposed to indentured servants, specific religions,
etc.] was found in the colony at the start, that is, emigrants from Virginia
who had settled a few years before on Kent Jsland in the Chesapeake. These were
Englishmen, of course, but because the Virginians had objected to the grant to
Lord Baltimore of the territory which up to this time had belonged to them, these
colonists were from the start hostile to Lord Baltimore and gave him what trouble
they could. This is the settlement that had been made by Claiborne, and for whose
privileges, as independent of Maryland, he waged such warfare.....But what was
at the bottom of this difficulty, and why were Claiborne and Ingle able so easily
to overturn the government and retain so long possession of the province? It
was, doubtless, because they reached some point in the people's minds in which
they were antagonistic to the ruling' powers, and that point was in the matter
of religion. Even of the first company that came over in the Ark and the Dove,
the pronounced majority was of the Protestant faith. Even among the "genileman
adventurers" there were some of this faith, as is indicated by the "Instructions"
sent out with the colony; for by these Lord Baltimore provided for the sending
of deputies to the Governor of Virginia as well as to Claiborne, to placate them,
and he also provided that such deputies should be of the Church of England. As
none but a "gentleman" was fitted for that office, there must Ilave
been some of the Protestant faith even among the chosen few. Thomas Cornwaleys,
the most influential and capable man of the province, has been said by some to
have been a Protestant, and certainly he was of good Church of England stock,
and his descendants were of that faith. But of himself not enough is known to
lift the question out of the realm of doubt.
......But what was at the bottom of this difficulty, and why were Claiborne and
Ingle able so easily to overturn the government and retain so long possession
of the province? It was, doubtless, because they reached some point in the people's
minds in which they were antagonistic to the ruling' powers, and that point was
in the matter of religion. Even of the first company that came over in the Ark
and the Dove, the pronounced majority was of the Protestant faith. Even among
the "genileman adventurers" there were some of this faith, as is indicated
by the "Instructions" sent out with the colony; for by these Lord Baltimore
provided for the sending of deputies to the Governor of Virginia as well as to
Claiborne, to placate them, and he also provided that such deputies should be
of the Church of England. As none but a "gentleman" was fitted for
that office, there must Ilave been some of the Protestant faith even among the
chosen few. Thomas Cornwaleys, the most influential and capable man of the province,
has been said by some to have been a Protestant, and certainly he was of good
Church of England stock, and his descendants were of that faith. But of himself
not enough is known to lift the question out of the realm of doubt.
......We are not, however, left in doubt as to the religious views of the first
colorusts. The majority of them from the start were not of his lordship's faith,
as we learn from the Jesuit fathers themselves, who commanded all the information;
for the provincial of the order in England, writing to Rome in 1642, declared
that the affair was surrounded with many and great difficulties, for in leading
the colony to Maryland by far the greater part were heretics. Father White, it
is true, wrote, soon after coming into the colony, that they had been able to
make various converts."
4) From http://www.mdgenweb.org/feudal.htm (again, the Maryland Genweb)
"The Calverts ruled with the force of kings as Lords Baltimore (there were
six). From 1637, when the English King granted Cecilius Calvert dominion over
Maryland (which early on included some of VA and all of DE) until 1775, all the
land was owned by the Calverts and 'granted,' which meant in effect leased, by
their authority as owners to individual (lesser) proprietended derived its name
from the Manor of Cleburne, or Cliborne, in Westmoreland, near the river Eden.
The Manor is named in Doomsday Book and the family was for many generations lords
of this place, and of Bampton, Candale, and Kyne. The first of the line appearing
in the pedigrees is Herve, to whom Henry II granted a moiety of the Manor of
Cliborne, and who was father of Alanus de Cliborne (A.D.1216).
BIOGRAPHY: Cleburne Hall, Westmoreland, parts of which still remain, was built
by Richard Cleburne in 1567, on the site of the old Castle, or "peel,"
of Cleburne. An inscription over the entrance still gives the name of the builder
and the date. Views of the part of the house still standing, and of Cleburne
Church, are given in the Magazine of American History, X, 83, &c. In the
church are now memorial tablets to William Claiborne, the emigrant to Virginia,
and of General Patrick R. Cleburne, Confederate States of America, who was of
the Irish branch.
BIOGRAPHY: William Claiborne was born about 1587, and is first noticed in June,
1621, when the Virginia Company engaged him to go to Virginia as a (or rather
the) surveyor, with a salary of 30 pounds a year, and a house. He probably was
also to receive fees. He came to Virginia with Governor Wyatt in the same year
(1621). In 1625 Gov. Yeardley appointed him Secretary of State for the Colony
and member of the Council; and he held the latter place in 1627, 1629, 1631,
1632, 1633, 1644-5, 1652, 1655, 1658, 1659, and 1660. Richard Kemp was appointed
Secretary in 1637, and after him Richard Lee; but in April 1652, the House of
Burgesses restored Claiborne to the place, which he held until the Restoration.
On April 6th, 1642, the King appointed him Treasurer of Virginia for life - how
long he held this office does not appear.
BIOGRAPHY: In 1629 he commanded an expedition against the Indians, which defeated
them, under their King Candiack, near the present West Point, and he led another
force against them in 1644, as in a grant to him in --- for 5,000 acres on the
north side of Pamunkey river, the land is described as "running westerly
to a point of Land where the said Coll. Claybourne landed the Army under his
command, Anno 1644."There is also a grant to Richard Lee in 1648, in which
the land, "about six or seven miles up the narrows of Chickahominy river
als. York or Pamunkey," is stated to be a neck "where the foot Company
met w'th the Boats when they went Pamunkey march under ye Comand of Capt. William
BIOGRAPHY: He was appointed a justice and of the quorum of Accomac county February,
1631-2, was a justice of York 1633, and of Northumberland in 1653. He probably
lived much in the latter county during his contest with Maryland.
BIOGRAPHY: In 1631 Claiborne made a trading settlement on Kent Island in the
Chesapeake, and was associated in business with various persons in London; but
as the proprietors of Maryland claimed that the island was included in their
grant, a long struggle followed, in which force was used on both sides. Several
of Claiborne's men were killed and captured, two of his vessels were taken, and
he was expelled from the island, incurring a heavy loss.
BIOGRAPHY: But on September 26, 1651, he was appointed one of the parliamentary
commissioners to subdue Virginia and Maryland, and in the next year expelled
Lord Baltimore's Governor, and obtained control after a dispute of twenty years.
In 1654 the Claiborne party totally defeated the Baltimore party, led by Governor
Stone (who had again resisted) and remained in undisputed control until Baltimore
had made his peace with Parliament in 1658, when Claiborne disappears from active
participation in Maryland affairs.
BIOGRAPHY: As late as 1675, he petitioned the King for redress for the many losses
and injuries he had received from the Calverts, but without avail. In the Northampton
records, April 1653, is an order referring to the "Worshipful Coll. Wm.
Claiborne, Esq., Deputy Governor" - an office which has not been elsewhere
noticed; but to which he must have been appointed in Bennett's administration.
In the English State Paper office are many documents relating to the long controversy
over Kent Island. William Claiborne is said to have died about 1677. Modern investigation
has removed the stigma of "rebel," "evil genius of Maryland,"
&c., &c., and shows that his long and active career was instead worthy
BIOGRAPHY: William Claiborne has been the subject of several biographical sketches.
Rev. S.F. Streeter left a MMS "Life and Colonial Times of William Claiborne,"
which has been the basis of a paper on the subject by Mr. J.M. Allen, in New
Eng. Hist. and Gen. Reg. xxvii, 125-135. And in the Magazine of American History
x, 83-100, is an article on Claiborne, and the Claiborne family, by the late
John Esten Cooke, which contains a number of interesting portraits, views, engravings
of seals, arms, &c.
BIOGRAPHY: It has been several times stated in print that William Claiborne married
in London (in 1638 some are even particular enough to state) Jane Buller, but
this may also be considered doubtful. In November 1647, a grant of 700 acres
in the corporation of Elizabeth City, was made to "Elizabeth Claiborne,
the wife of Captain William Claiborne, Esqr., his Majesties Treasurer of this
Colony of Virginia," for the transportation of fourteen persons, whose rights
had been assigned to her by her husband in nature of a dower, according to an
order of court June 11, 1644.
BIOGRAPHY: It is, of course, possible that Col. William Claiborne married twice.
If he married Elizabeth about the time that the dower was given, in 1644, she
could hardly have been the mother of the eldest son, who as "Captain William
Claiborne" received a grant in 1657. Contrary to what has been frequently
stated, infants could, and frequently did receive grants, but they were not captains
of militia in boyhood.
BIOGRAPHY: The tradition that Col. Claiborne married a Buller can perhaps be
accounted for by a statement in a letter from Governor Leonard Calvert to his
brother, Lord Baltimore, written in 1638 (to W.H. Browne's "George and Cecilius
Calvert," p. 68, &c.) in which he says that on Kent Island John Boteler,
or Butler (he writes the name in each way), William Claiborne's brother-in-law,
was at first disposed to resist the Maryland authorities, but afterwards submitted.
Mr. Browne says that Boteler was appointed by Calvert commander of the militia
of Kent Island, and held various offices of trust in the colony until his death
BIOGRAPHY: It appears from Hotten's "Emigrants," that in 1626 William
Claiborne owned 200 acres at Archer's Hope, 500 at Blunt Point, and 150 at Elizabeth
BIOGRAPHY: The following grants to him appear in the Virginia Land Records: (1)
Coll. William Claiborne, Esqr., 5,000 acres between the Great and Little Wicomico
rivers, Northumberland county, Jan. 5, 1652;
BIOGRAPHY: (2) Coll. Wm. Claiborne, 5,000 acres on the north side of Pamunkey
at a creek called Tanks Madoquine "running westerly to a point of Land where
the said Coll. Claiborne landed the army under his command in Anno 1644,"
and bounded on the west by Cohoake Creek;
BIOGRAPHY: (3) Coll. William Claiborne, Secretary of State, 750 acres in Northumberland
BIOGRAPHY: (4) Col. William Claiborne, 1,600 acres adjoining his plantation of
Romangock, on the south side of York river; over against the land of Francis
Burwell (and others) - 500 acres of this is march land, commonly called Cohoke;
Dec. 24, 1657.
BIOGRAPHY: 1. William Claiborne had issue;
BIOGRAPHY: 2. William;
BIOGRAPHY: 3. Thomas;
BIOGRAPHY: 4. Leonord, who settled in Jamaica, W.I., and died there in 1694.
He married Martha ---, and left two daughters (a) Katherine, who died in 1715,
aged 34 years, wife of Hon. John Campbell, of Inverary, Argyleshire (of the family
of Auchenbrack), and (b) Elizabeth. Mr. Leonard Claiborne had a grant of 3,000
acres on the Mattopony, April 1st, 1672 granted; 5. Jane, who, on February 10,
1657, as "Mrs. Jane Claiborne, Spinster," received a grant of 1400
acres in Northumberland county - 750 of which had been granted in 1653, to her
father, Col. Wm. Claiborne. She married Col. Thomas Brereton, of Northumberland
county, and died before May 20, 1671 (Northumberland Records).
BIOGRAPHY: - - - - - - - - -
BIOGRAPHY: 2. Lieutenant-Colonel William Claiborne, of King William county, received
the following grants: 5,000 acres between Mattopany and Rappahannock rivers,
and on both sides of Piantetank Swamp, December 24, 1657; 1,000 acres in New
Kent, June 12, 1658; 4,000 acres on the Piantetank river, March 26, 1661; 1,400
acres in New Kent, 1672; and 1,000 acres in New Kent, February 24, 1674-5. Each
of these grants is to Captain Wm. Claiborne.
BIOGRAPHY: It was more probably he (instead of his father) who was a member of
the House of Burgesses from New Kent, 1663-66. He is stated to have distinguished
himself in service against the Indians, and there was formerly on record at King
William Court-House, a certificate of his valor, dated March 29, 1677, and attested
by Nathaniel Bacon, Philip Ludwell, Ralph Wormeley and Richard Lee. In 1676 he
was appointed (with Major George Lyddall) to command the fort at Indiantown in
New Kent, and in the same year (January, 1676) he sat on the court-martial to
try the rebels. His wife was probably named Elizabeth, as in 1665 there is a
grant to Mrs. Elizabeth Claiborne, Junior, 1,000 acres in the freshes of York
BIOGRAPHY: Children: (a) William; (b) Ursula, named in her brother's will, 1705,
married William Gooch, and had at least one child, Claiborne Gooch; (c) Mary,
named in her brother's will, 1705.
BIOGRAPHY: 3. Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Claiborne, of King William, was born
August 17, 1647, died October 7, 1683. In 1665 he received a grant of 500 acres
New Kent county, and in 1677, 1,500 acres on the "upper fors of York river."
He also served against the Indians, and is said to have been kelled by an arrow
(Campbell's History of Virginia, p. 324.) He was buried at Romancoke, King William,
where his tomb remains bearing the arms: Arg Cheverons interlaced in base, a
chief of the last; and the following inscription:
BIOGRAPHY: "Here Lyeth Interred ye body of Lt. Col
Son of Col. Wm Claybourne
He departed this life ye 7th day of October Anno Domi
Aetatis Suae 36
1 Mo : & 21 D."
BIOGRAPHY: He married Sarah (Fenn), and after his death she married secondly
Thomas Bray. There is recorded in York county, 1681, a deed from Thomas Claiborne
and Sarah his wife, and in the same year Mr. Thomas Bray, of New Kent, is plaintiff
in a suit in York. There was a suit in Essex 1701, by Sarah Bray, executrix of
Lt. Col. Thomas Claiborne. Mrs. Bray, widow of Capt. Thomas Bray, of New Kent,
founded a scholarship at William and Mary College. She was, doubtless, this Mrs.
BIOGRAPHY: Children: (Claiborne): (a) Thomas; ((b) Elizabeth.)
BIOGRAPHY: (Source: Virginia Land Records, From The Virginia Magazine of History
and Biography, the William and Mary College Quarterly, and Tyler's Quarterly,
published in 1982.) Col William CLAIBORNE and Jane BULLER/ BUTLER were married
about 1638 in London, England.
BULLER/ BUTLER.Children were: