Court Life

William’s first entry at court as court recorder – June 1, 1744

Courtesy of Library of Virginia – King George County Court Order Book

After several years writing many bonds, county deeds, estate inventories, orphan accounts, and other misc court entries, and after having already begun entering ledgers for Col Thomas Turner’s dry goods store, William Longmire finally ascends to the position of court recorder this day. Or would that be “Recording Secretary”? After nearly 8 years since first writing surveys and grants for Lord Fairfax’s Northern Neck Proprietary (Book E) William has reached the pinnacle of his scrivener career. Perhaps it could be said this pinnacle was an unusual repentance of sorts as it has nearly been 20 years at this point when young William languished in the Condemn’d Hold at Newgate Prison, writing about his impending death sentence only days away. Even more intriguing to this writer is the fact that felons just didn’t come over from England and work for the court in the proven capacity as William Longmire had. His case is so unusual that I have never encountered another one like it in over 15 years researching the Colonial court records of Virginia and several other colonies. And I have yet to receive a response from any historian or researcher to prove otherwise in all my years of correspondence in trying to determine if this was indeed the case. It’s a hell of a thing …

Categories: Court Life

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