Ancestral Family Topic 3314

 3314   William Clarke (c.1634-1713)
Pedigree Chart 06

William Clarke, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, William Clarke might describe his life as follows.

I was born about 1634 according to some testimony I made in Henrico County.  Since most records in that county before about 1677 are lost, I cannot say much about my youth. I can tell you I lived south of the James in present-day Chesterfield County where Martin Elam sold me 124 acres in 1672 and where I added 81 acres in 1691.
In 1679 the Virginia General Assembly passed “An act for the defence of the country against the incursions of the Indian Enemy,” which directed every 40 tithables to fund one soldier. They charged me for three tithables, meaning I had three men of taxable age under my roof.  In fact, one of those individuals was an Indian. At least he was a servant until 1683 the General Assembly classified Indian servants as slaves, meaning Robin’s employment contract never expired. By 1704 I was paying tax on 333 acres. 
A planter, I was nearly 80 and “sick in weak in body” when I made my will 17 January 1712/13 remembering my wife, Mary, and “her four children” William Clarke, Allenson Clarke, Jane Goode, and Mary Clarke, giving them each a bed. I left “my daughter Ann Pride” only 1 shilling because I had provided for her when she married James Hill. She was then the mother of my eight Hill grandchildren and married to a second husband William Pride I was dead by 5 October 1713.

We do not know whether Mary was the widow of William Womack or another woman.
On 20 April 1685 William Clarke secured a patent for 124 acres in Henrico (now Chesterfield) County, which the governor had previously granted to Gilbert Deacon. Womack’s original patent described the land as next to Thomas Sheppey and the Elams. 

William in court
In the June Court 1683 the justices judged Robin, an Indian boy belonging to William Clarke, to be 10 years of age,  and two years later they judged Richard Brown, his servant, to be 11. 
In Henrico County Feb. Court 1682/3 Clarke sued Timothy Allen who was to have roofed a house 7 years earlier in return for a lease to some land. The court dismissed the suit because Clarke had no written lease and waited too long to bring his charges. 
About the early part of 1689, Robert Evans, an Henrico County inhabitant died at Clarke’s home. By Aug. of that year, when no one had come forward to express any interest in his effects, the court ordered Clarke to come to the courthouse to report what he knew about Evans’ estate.  After Clarke showed the justices a bill of sale for a bridle and saddle that he believed was Evans’ only property, they dismissed him. 
In Oct. 1689 Henrico County court ordered Clarke and Abraham Womack to resolve a dispute about the location of the boundary between their lands, and the two agreed to the boundary 30 May 1690. 
At the 1 Dec. 1690 session, the Henrico County court certified that William Clarke was due 200 acres for importing John Ballard, Richard Brown (his servant boy), and himself twice.  Brown was undoubtedly Clarke’s servant boy mentioned above and who was in the Colony before Feb. 1684/5. In 1691 Clarke obtained a patent for 81 acres in Varina Parish for having twice paid for his own travel costs to Virginia.  Either he or his son made another visit to England for John Pleasants paid his passage according to a 1715 land patent.  Another John Pleasants headright was Allenson Clarke. 
In his 1697 will, Gilbert Elam mentioned land “marked and laid out by Robert Hancock and William Clerke,” suggesting William may have been an Henrico County surveyor.

The will of William Clarke
John Worsham, Robert Elam, and Elizabeth Elam witnessed Clarke’s will and Abraham Womack, Robert Elam, and William Ligon inventoried his personal property. 

A posthumous patent
The governor issued a posthumous patent in the name of William Clarke Sr. 16 June 1714 for 229 acres on the south side of the James River. The land was described as next to Thomas Sheppey and Gilbert Elam. Evidently the land had been surveyed many years before since the last Thomas Sheppey in Virginia died before 1689. The tract included 124 acres of Clarke’s 1685 patent, which he had purchased from Martin Elam 2 Nov. 1672, and an additional 105 acres for importing 3 individuals. 
This patent was mentioned 39 years later when Henry Randolph got a patent for 120 acres 5 July 1753.  Part of Clarke’s patent was by then in the hands of Mary Jones, Catherine Jones, and John O’Neal who had failed to pay the quit rents on the land and cultivate it. We do not know how they came to own the land or whether they were Clarke descendants. They may have been descendants of Richard Jones of Essex County who bought 155 acres from Allenson Clark in Oct. 1735. 

Who was Allenson Clarke (c1665-1710)?
As William Clark named a son Allenson, he was likely related to one Allenson Clark who was born about 1665 as he swore he was 30 years of age in Aug. 1693 and again in Aug. 1697,  and who was in the colony by 9 Oct. 1689 when Henrico County certified Capt. William Randolph was due 1,800 acres for the importation of Allenson Clark, among others. 
Allenson Clark served at least 3 terms as an Henrico County undersheriff. Sheriff Thomas Cocke presented Clarke’s name in June 1689 and William Farrar in June 1690. 
In late 1690 Clarke sued Peter Rowlett for £4 he won in a game of Putt, a card game for two to 4 players. Although undersheriff Clarke simply arrested Rowlett for his own account, defense attorney, Edward Chilton, convinced the court that such action was illegal. 
Clarke brought his complaint against Rowlett again. As he could not arrest Rowlett, the responsibility fell to the county sheriff, William Farrar, to make the arrest. The typical Colonial sheriff was a man of prominence who deferred most of the daily work to his undersheriffs, or deputy sheriffs, that he appointed. Perhaps not anxious to make an arrest himself, Farrar failed to get Rowlett to court. Consequently, the Henrico County justices granted Clarke a judgement against Farrar, which they would repeal if the sheriff brought Rowlett to court.
The judgement evidently grabbed Farrar’s attention and the next month Allenson Clarke and Peter Rowlett faced each other before the justices. Some Colonial courts refused to hear suits where gambling was concerned. Others would render decisions if the gamble was of a contractual nature and not dangerous. Rowlett’s attorney argued that the players had neither staked money nor drawn up an agreement. To strengthen his argument, he quoted legal precedents from a legal publication of the time, “Sheppard’s Accons of ye Case.” After Clarke mentioned that Rowlett had not promised to pay him until after the game was over, the court concluded Clarke and Rowlett did not have a legally binding contract and dismissed the case. 
Perhaps expecting not to be reappointed an undersheriff, Allenson prepared a “Publiq Claim” for 470 pounds of tobacco and submitted it to the justices in 1692. Presumably he was due certain amounts according to law for allied services he rendered as an undersheriff. The court approved only 160 pounds as the other claims were over a year old. They gave Clarke a certificate he could submit to the Assembly for payment. 
Clarke married Ann Blancheville, the widow of Charles Blancheville, in Henrico County 20 Jan. 1693/4,  and on 1 June 1694 Allenson presented an appraisement of Blancheville’s estate prepared 27 Feb. 1693/4 by Francis Cholmly, Charles Stewart, Richard Newcomb, and Thomas Ellett. 
Richard Hurstly patented land in Elizabeth City County in 1681 next to Charles Blangevile who succeeded Benjamin Hatcher as Henrico County constable in 1686.  Charles Blanchevile owned 400 acres in Charles City County and as Charles Blanchevill petitioned the Council in 1692.  When he died without heirs, Clarke secured a patent to the escheat land 28 Oct. 1697.  The latter Charles was undoubtedly Ann’s late husband and she was evidently the widow of Henry Moore.
In 1693 James Cocke of Henrico County, “for love and affection to my friend” gave 5 acres to Allenson Clarke for life. 
Allenson bought 200 acres on the north side of the James River from Francis Reeve 1 Aug. 1695 and 404 acres from William Soane 2 March 1701/2.  These transactions account for the 604 acres upon which Clarke was paying quit rents in 1704.  He was perhaps the Allenson Clarke who with Charles Russell had a patent in 1705 for 945 acres called “Windsor Forrest,” which was later in the hands of Richard Randolph who secured his ownership with a patent in July 1746. 
In Aug. 1705 the court ordered Allenson to account for property he had that belonged to the orphans of Gilbert Elam
Allenson Clarke’s will left 100 acres to Joseph, his servant boy, with the peculiar requirement that he marry a white woman, and the remainder of his property to Col. William Randolph and William Randolph Jr., whom he appointed executors, although they refused to serve (will dated 14 Oct. 1710  and proved Jan. 1710/1). Thomas Harris, Thomas Howlett, Matthew Branch, and René Laforce inventoried Clarke’s estate 27/28 June 1711, for £21. 
On 6 Dec. 1714, Isham Epes and John Archer delivered the estate accounts of “Mr. Allenson Clarke” to Henrico County court. 

Charles Blancheville
The name Charles Blancheville, Blanchell, Blanchevile, Blancheveil, Blanchernell, Blangevile, Blankevile, etc. appeared in several land patent and court records. The name was so unique in Virginia that one could conclude they were all the same man. Yet he appeared in several different counties. Charles Blanchernell was a headright when Moses Lynton obtained a patent for land in Lower Norfolk County in 1655.  Charles Blankevile patented 8 May 1673 440 acres in Warwick County near the James River, next to land belonging to “Mr. Stratton,” and was “formerly in possession of Henry Moore, whose relict he married.” 
An adherent of Bacon, Blancheville was pardoned “upon his knees with a Rope around his neck” in the Elizabeth City court 17 March 1676/7. 

The elder William Clarke of Henrico County
William’s father was likely not the William Clarke who had a patent for land in Henrico County Sept. 1636 that included 450 acres in the Appomattox River at Swift Creek, apparently an island and marshes just north of present-day Petersburg. On 10 July 1637 Clarke assigned his right to this property to William Hatcher
The second part of Clarke’s 1636 patent was 1,100 acres north of the island tract, which had been owned by Edward Garner. His rights vested in his widow, Dorothy Garner, who married 2nd William Clarke who renewed the 1,100-acre portion in May 1638. 
The elder William Clarke died before 16 July 1639 when “Dorothy Clarke, Widdow,” secured a patent for 800 acres in Henrico County. A 550-acre portion was by assignment from Roger Davis and the remainder was in consideration of headrights belonging to her late husband, William Clarke.  On 25 March 1640 Dorothy endorsed an assignment of a 100-acre portion of the 1,100-acre tract to Seth Ward. “Mrs. Dorothy Clerk, widow” was living 15 Feb. 1652/3 when George Worsham and William Worsham patented land southwest of her. 
Available records mention no Clarke orphans and Dorothy Clarke’s assignment of land suggests William Clarke had no heirs. Consequently, the two William Clarkes were more likely not father and son.

Other Clarkes of Henrico County
Henrico County listed “Robt Clerke” head of a household in 1679 whom some believe could have been another son of William Clarke of the 1636 patent. Robert Clarke witnessed the will of John Leed the same year and was married to Ann Wells by 1 Feb. 1683/4 when they deeded 161 acres in Varina Parish to Robert Woodson.  Thomas Wells gave 100 acres in Bristol Parish to his sister Ann Clarke, her husband Robert Clarke, and her son Samuel Clarke 20 Nov. 1686, which they deeded to Bartholomew Stovall
Four other Clarkes died in Henrico County before 1745: Richard Clarke before 1677,  John Clarke (will dated 5 April 1678 and proved 7 Aug. 1678 ), Thomas Clarke whose estate inventory was presented in 1736,  and Edward Clarke whose estate inventory Hannah Clarke presented the same year. 
No relationships among these men are apparent other than that William Clarke, perhaps William Clarke, presented the inventory of the Thomas Clarke estate.

Descendants of William Clarke
Information about the children of William Clarke, their descendants, and allied families previously found at Virginians.com is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Ann (Clarke) Hill Pride,  
James Hill,   
William Pride,   
 William Clarke,  
 Allenson Clarke (-1769),  
Richard Jones,  
Philip Turpin,   
Martha (—) Clarke,  
Allenson Clarke,  John Farguson Sr.,  
Blanch (—) Clarke,  
Robert Haskins,   James Akin,  
Ellison Clarke,  Thomas Rudd,  Ann Lester,   
Jeremiah Baugh,  
Jeremiah Clarke,  Martha Lester,   
Phoebe Clarke,  Thomas Talbott,  Haley Talbott,  Thomas Rudd,  
Shadrach Clarke,  Cally Akin,  James Akin,  
Tabitha Clarke,  John Baker Jr.,  
Allison Clarke,  Elizabeth Coates,  John Coates,  
Field Clarke,  Mary Lester,   
Edward Jordan,  
Thomas Cheatham,   Mary Rowlett,   
Peter Clarke,  Francis Lockett,  Edmund Logwood Jr.,   
Field Clarke,  
Hatcher Clarke,  Phoebe Farmer Newby,  William Newby,  Elizabeth Ferguson,  Moses Ferguson,  
Shadrach Clarke,  Rebecca Crymes,  Polly Johnson,  
John Gardner,  
Field Clarke,  Nancy Keaton,  Sarah C. (—) Clarke,  
Thomas Crymes Clarke,  Susanna Jordan,  
Amelia Clarke,  John Gardner,  
Ellison Clarke,  Elizabeth W.M. Crymes,  
Peter Clarke,  
Nancy G. Clarke,  Joel Dodson,  
Mary Clarke,  Benjamin Doggett,  
Amelia Clarke,  Josiah Lester,   
Josiah Cheatham,   
Millicent Lester,  
Jacob Lester,  
Frances Clarke,  
James Clarke,  
Sarah (—) Clarke,  
John Clarke,  
George Clarke,  
Charles Clarke,  
Sarah Clarke,  
Francis Clarke,  James Akin,  
William Clarke,  
Edward Goode,   William Rowlett,   Thomas Hare,  
William Clarke,  
Joseph Clarke,  
Isham Clarke,  
John Clarke,  Phoebe (—) Clarke,  James Clarke,  Gardner Fowler,  
John Clarke,  Obedience Bowman,   
Mary Clarke,  William Cooke,  
William Rowlett,   
George Markham,   
John Pride,   
Hannah Cooke,  Hunt,  
Mary Hill,  
Mary Cooke,  Bowman,  John Bowman,  Joseph Bowman,   
Joseph Cooke,  
William Cooke,  John Cooke,  
Peter Rowlett,  Mary Lester,  Sarah Stringer,  
William Rowlett,  
Mary Rowlett,  Thomas Cheatham,   
John Rowlett,  Rhoda —,  
Zachariah Rowlett,  Mary B. —,  
Lucy Rowlett,  James Deaton,  
Phoebe Rowlett,  Lee Roy Hall,  
Hannah Rowlett,  James C. Stringer,  
Leonard Rowlett,  Obedience Wilkinson,  Samuel Wilkinson,  Susan Beasley,  
Susan W. Rowlett,  John Barr,  
Sarah A. Rowlett,  Archibald Totty,  John Totty Jr.,  
James Daniel Rowlett,  Susan Q. Hobbs,  John Hobbs,  Sarah L. (—) Rowlett,  
Catherine Rowlett,  Edward J. Robinson,  
Sarah Clarke,  Gardner Fowler,  
Dinah Cook,  
Abraham Fowler,  
Gardner Fowler,  
Edith Clarke,  Godfrey Hill,   
Henry Hatcher,   
Martha Clarke,  
Jesse Clarke,  
George Clarke,  Thomas Worsham,  
 Jane (Clarke) Goode,  
Joseph Goode,   Joseph Ligon,   
Edward Stratton,  John Wooldridge,   Richard Eppes,  William Pleasants,  
Sarah Goode,  Joseph Pleasants,   
Joseph Pleasants,  Mary Aiken,  
Sarah Pleasants,  James Aiken,  
Joseph Pleasants,  Frances Price,  
William Pleasants,  
William Pleasants,  
Elizabeth Folkes,  Edward Folkes Sr.,  William Norris,  
Sarah Pleasants,  
William Pleasants,  Mary Frances Flournoy,  
Edward Pleasants,  
Elizabeth R. Pleasants,  Arthur Akin,  Mary (Lockett) Cheatham,   Henry Cheatham,   Nancy (—) Akin,  
Pleasant Akin,  
William Akin,  
Sarah Akin,  Abijah Cheatham,   
John Pleasants,  Polly Price Cox,   Elizabeth Forsee,   
Joseph Pleasants,  
Josiah Pleasants,  
Catherine Pleasants,  
Baxter Pleasants,  
Robert Pleasants,  
Mary Goode,  Aaron Haskins,   
John Redford,  Aaron Haskins,   Robert Haskins,   
Elizabeth Goode,  Thomas Akin,  
Margaret Akin,  
Sarah Akin,  Nicholas Formby,  Joseph Akin,  Henry Going,  
Robert Akin,  
 Mary Clarke,  


Notables
This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
 
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
Jeremiah Clarke - War of 1812 Shadrach Clarke - War of 1812
Allison Clarke - War of 1812 Field Clarke - Revolutionary War
Field Clarke - War of 1812 Hatcher Clarke - War of 1812
Shadrach Clarke - Revolutionary War Thomas C. Clarke - War of 1812
Charles Clarke - War of 1812 Zachariah Rowlett - War of 1812
Gardner Fowler - War of 1812  

Notes
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