The following study is one of three English men who traveled to Virginia’s Eastern
Shore between 1620 and 1640. They were William Berriman,
Henry Carsley, and William Bibby. It
is this researcher’s belief that these men, once studied, can provide the foundation for
typical life and community interaction within the first settlements on the Shore. Among
this group they had no great wealth, no incredulous social standing nor did they leave a
legacy of their surnames with their descendents of today. Notwithstanding, Berriman, Carsley,
and Bibby were a fundamental part of the establishment of Eastern Shore society in the
seventeenth century. Through their lives, as they have been portrayed in the written
documents, they demonstrated how average people endured new life and constant change
and challenge in the New World of Virginia. It is through these men that what may appear ordinary is in fact a remarkable accomplishment. They share many similarities yet each experienced Virginia and the formation of its community in a unique way. This study will chronicle the lives of these men on an individual basis to give a complete representation of each one of them as he stood in society.
c.1602 – c. 1644
William Berriman was born in approximately 1602 in England. His mother, Alice Berriman,
was more commonly known in the documents as Alice Wilson, from her marriage to Henry Wilson in
Virginia. Henry Wilson became the stepfather to Alice’s children. Berriman also had two
sisters named Jane, and Mary Berriman. Jane, due to her marriages, came to be more commonly
known as Jane Jackson, Jane Lemon, or Jane Johnson – wife of Robert Jackson, later Richard
Lemon, and then Thomas Johnson. She was also known as the mother of Jonas Jackson.
In comparison, not much else exists in the records on Berriman’s other sister, Mary.
In many cases one must rely on family details for information, but in this
case, primary documents provide sufficient evidence about William Berriman and his particular
experience as a member of the Northampton-Accomack community.
There is some confusion in the documents as to when William Berriman actually
arrived as a settler to Virginia’s Eastern Shore. In the Passenger Lists, Berriman
is listed as having arrived in both 1638 and 1648. Additionally, neither entry date
corresponds with his initial appearance in the Northampton-Accomack County Court records.
This is not since many times people’s names were used repeatedly as passengers in order
to acquire land. In this time period a “headright” system had been put into effect by
the colonial government to encourage people to come to the colonies. The headright system
made it possible for both wealthy people and people without money to make the journey to
the New World. In general, the person transported by the wealthier individual became
indebted to that individual as an indentured servant for a certain duration of time –
approximately seven years. The wealthy person benefited yet again because with each
person transported, an additional fifty acres of land were allotted to the transporter
for having brought more people to the colony.
For example, an illustration of this concept occurred on April 9, 1648, when
Berriman supposedly entered the colony. John Ellis, James Jones, and John Taylor claimed
together to have transported him along with nine others for which they shared a total of
500 acres. The most probable explanation to this apparent contradiction in the documents
is that people wanted land and many times they were listed as having transported people,
who in reality were already living and fairly well-established in the colony. Berriman
was not an indentured servant to the aforementioned Ellis, Jones, and Taylor, nor did he arrive in 1648. His first appearance in the court records predates this by sixteen years.
Berriman, at about thirty years of age, appears for the first time in surviving
court records as a witness in the Northampton-Accomack Court proceedings on April 7,
1632. He served as a witness to an economic transaction between the
well-known wealthy and highly-respected Captain Edmund Scarborough, and John Wilkins.
Scarborough sold Wilkins, “one Browne Cow with a whit patch upon her rumpe and two white
hinder leggs...with her black Cow calfe about a mounthe old, and one blacke Cow with a
broade head, and a broken horne...." On 10 November of that same year he witnessed
two more transactions between Scarborough and Wilkins.
In 1633, Berriman’s presence in court shifted slightly to begin a series of
appearances based around his increasing debt. A warrant was sent “By the Governor and Capt.
generall of virginia” to “arrest the bodies of William Berriman, and Daniel Cugley...for
their appearance befor me and the Counsell of Stat at James City...to answere at the suite
of Capt. Henry Fleet in an action of debt for eight thousand pounds weight of Tobacco.”
Berriman acknowledged owing “our soveraigne lord king Charles five hundred pounds
Corrent monies” but if he did not appear before the court in “James Citty to answer
to such matters as shalbe objected to him...then this present recognicence shalbe
voyde and of none effect...". Although there is no record of this suit being settled,
Berriman apparently settled his debt; because, on August 26, 1663, he filed a complaint
against two individuals who owed him money and who were arrested in the same way he had been.
Berriman slowly continued to gain power in society. As early as 1632, he was declared churchwarden and therefore had permission to collect the payments in tobacco and corn due to the minister “as church dutys.” His higher position may have also granted him the ability to petition against Daniel Cugley for “miscalling of him,” and “upon due examination it is thought fitting that the said Cugley shall acknowledge his fault.” His integrity as churchwarden was called into question two years later in 1634 as the minister, William Cotton, claimed that he and the church were not receiving all of the tobacco that was being collected from the community. Berriman was ordered to pay Cotton five hundred pounds of tobacco. His debts continued to increase that year because he later “confessed...to owe unto Mr. Obedyence Robins 500 lbs of tobacco.” He also became indebted to another man, but was required to pay that amount in beaver.
Berriman then entered a time in his life where his debts and his better
standing in society fluctuated on a regular basis. This showed that indebtedness was
not looked down upon, but was in fact extremely common in Virginia society. It was the
way people survived: they borrowed money and when they were ordered to do so they paid
it back. Everything was recorded in the court records because most interactions between
people were considered legal contracts and agreements; the court system was a necessity
in the early seventeenth century. It encouraged honest behavior in an environment that
was both harsh and difficult in which to succeed. Berriman managed fairly well. For
example, in early 1634 he sold “Thomas Hunt One black cow to have and to hold," and then
he petitioned the “court for 250 acres of land upon the Old Plantation Creek bounding
upon the land of Henry Carsleys By the name of The Fishing Point Neck.” His stepfather,
Henry Wilson, also petitioned for land, but only 50 acres “upon the Old Plantation Creek”
on the same day, and it was “confirme[ed] unto him as free land.” It can be assumed
that Berriman received his portion of land along with Wilson because another 150 acres
which he later requested “granted unto him” on April 13, 1635, were, in fact, “due unto him.”
For a short time, Berriman continued to have good fortune in his social status.
At a court session held September 14, 1635, “Wmll Cotton Minister presented an order of
court from James City for the building of a Parsonage House...to be ordered by the Vestry,
and because there have been tofore been no formal Vestry, nor Vestrymen appointed We have
from this present day appointed to be Vestry men these whose names are underwritten.”
Berriman was listed along with eleven other names and he was listed as “Mr. Wmll Berriman,”
which is an indicator of his increased social standing. Every man in the colony was not
referred to as a “Mr.” It was an earned title based on reputation and social standing.
Berriman seemed to be achieving just that; he was even “by the Comander and Comissioners chosen to be sent to James City up to the Governor and council to pick a Sheriff,” but things soon changed.
The “first meeting of the said Vestry men shall be upon the Feast Day of St.
Mychaell the Arch Angel being the 29th day of September.” On this day in September, Berriman,
along with the rest of the vestry, decided the dimensions and different chambers of the
parsonage house. They also determined the duties of the churchwardens with regard to the
workmen and the building supplies. At the very next vestry meeting he was not present
and it may be that he lost his position as a vestryman altogether because he was no longer
mentioned thereafter. In fact, in May 1636, it appears Mr. John Neale took his place. One of the things the vestrymen decided in the following meeting of May 1636 was how to “take into consideration the remote living of the members of this parish from the Church” and so it was “agreed that all such persons as liveth at the Old Plantation...unto the head of the said Old Plantation Creek” may be buried “on the part of the land of Wmll Blower, where Wmll Berriman liveth” as long as they give notice unto the Minister and “provide covenant means for his coming there to bury the dead.”
It was at this point that Berriman seemed to enter a time of serious money
problems that far surpassed his debts of the previous years and which in one way or another
continued in the years after his death. He even had to sell his “full right title
and interest of [his] two men Servants, that is to say Thomas Clyfton and Edward Prince” to his sister-in-law along with various personal possessions: “2 iron pots, 7 pewter platters, 3 puter plates, 5 saucers, 1 bason and were, 1 other bason, 1 stew pan, 1 pewter Candelstick, 1 cawder cup, 1 salt, 1 quart pot, 1 pint pot, 1 feather bed with the appurtences, 2 cushions of unhindered work, 3 chests and 1 trunk, 1 chair, 1 frying pan, 1 spit.” He did win one court case, however, in which he was granted “a sum of 1639 lbs. of tobacco...and a quantity of beaver” from Daniel Cugley, but it was not enough to keep him from his impending money problems. He also managed to pay 150 pounds tobacco to William Smyth and was given “equal possession” of Smyth’s plantation. It is unknown under what circumstances this agreement was made, but it appears that Berriman was able to increase his landholdings somewhat.
Although he had some good fortune in his court cases, it was short-lived; on
seven different occasions he was called to pay other people in the community a total of
727 pounds of tobacco and 54 ¾ pounds of beaver. In this total number he had been
lucky because in this case a charge of 1,800 pounds to Thomas Savage had been reduced to
340 pounds. He was not so fortunate, however, in the case of the well-established merchant,
Cornelius Lloyd. He was indebted to Lloyd 5,262 pounds of tobacco and eight pounds of
beaver and due to his inability to pay him, on the “last day of February 1638” Berriman
stated, “I Wm Berryman do acknowledge and resign all of my right and title and have given
full possession unto Cornelius Lloyd to him and to his heirs forever of all my plantation
housing and all furniture there in with the appurtences there unto belonging all so with
all Servants, cattle and whatsoever I do now possess untill I Wm. Berryman do satisfy and
pay Cornelius Lloyd the full debt...." In this court record of February 1638 he continued
on to say, “I the said Wm. Berryman do bind myself, my heirs, exec’rs [executors] and
assignes in the sum of five hundred pounds sterling that the aforesaid Cornelius Lloyd
shall truly and really promise my said plantation...without the least hinderance or
molestation of any man whatsoever.” Berriman was forced to convey his entire plantation
and all of his belongings in it to Lloyd. The case dealt with such a large amount of
money that Lloyd, who was wealthy was able to hire an attorney to regulate the process.
On December 28, 1638, Lloyd chose his “well beloved friend Wm. Jones as my true
and lawfull attorney to levy, recover, sue and arrest...any person for and concerning
any debt to me” and despite Berriman’s payment to Jones in March 1639 of approximately
4,000 pounds of tobacco, “for the use of Cornelius Lloyd,” on July 30, 1639, Jones was officially named Lloyd’s “sole agent and lawfull attorney” concerning Berriman’s “plantation with all the housing there upon with all and singular his goods, cattle, cattles and estate.” This was named Lloyd’s “letter of attorney” concerning Berriman’s “special conveniance.” It appears to have remained in Lloyd’s possession despite Berriman’s efforts.
Perhaps amidst all of this debt and confusion Berriman felt desperate
for money and made bargains and promises that he could not or did not intend to keep.
A man by the name of Farmer Jones claimed that Berriman sold him “one half of his whole
plantation for the value and consideration of 2000 pounds of tobacco to be paid for
the same by said [Farmer] Jones unto the said Berriman [by] the next crop...without fraud.”
According to Farmer Jones, and also according to the deposition of Nicholas Harwood, they
were in the home of Berriman’s mother, Alice Wilson, when “Farmer Jones called this depondent
to bear witness of a bargain between the said Jones and Willyam Berryman that there was
absolute made and determined.” Berriman was not in agreement with the claim of
Farmer Jones, but it is unknown as to whether or not Berriman won his case. It is not
even known if the Jones case referred to the same plantation of which Cornelius Lloyd
came to be the owner.
It was apparent that Berriman was in need of money. He was losing his land
and consequently his wealth so he decided that the best way to acquire more land was
through the established headright system. He used the same technique that previous
people had used with him; he prepared a list of legitimate and illegitimate “transported”
people. For example, he listed “the transportation of four Servants,” including Thomas
Clifton. Clifton was already in the colony because Berriman had sold him
to his sister-in-law in previous times of money trouble. Berriman needed some form of wealth in order to survive and land acquisition in this way was a common and apparently legal way to get the court to distribute land: “It was therefore ordered that the said Berryman shall have two hundred acres of land.” It was here in the beginning of the 1640s that he began to stabilize his position in the community once again.
Berriman was a witness to his mother’s final will and testament when it was recorded
September 7, 1640. It cannot be deciphered exactly what was left to him by his mother
due to the poor existing condition of the original document, but he was one of the three
witnesses when it was written. His sister, Mary, was the executrix of the mother’s will,
and Jane was given the house and the land if she were to promise to remain a widow.
Jane (as mentioned above) went on to marry at least two more times in Berriman’s lifetime.
Actually her husband, Richard Lemon, became Berriman’s attorney in the year 1644, very near
to when Berriman himself was approaching death.
These last years leading up to his final days were eventful. At one point
he actually barged into a gathering and according to Roberte Wyard’s deposition
in court, Berriman:
...suddenlye Brake out into a most violent passion exclaymeinge
against [George] Dawe in a very reproachfull manner and often
reitereated and spoke to the said Dawes disparagement that hee
was an idle pratinge [preaching] and lyeing knave and went up
and downe pratinge and lyinge from house to house And that what he
the said Berryman had done concerninge writinge busines for Jamestown
was and had been better liked by the Governor etc. and more punctually done then ever anie
that hee did although hee was a Clerke....
The deposition given by William Evans was very similar to Wyard’s but he claimed that
Berriman entered “sweareinge.” Wyard and Evans went on to detail Dawe’s response to
Berriman’s ardent exclamations, “William Berryman why art thou in such a passion god be
thanked I am in good temper, what alyeth thee, For what I said formerly I saye to they face.”
It is not exactly clear what spurred the argument between these two men, but it
seems to have been about the writing of a certain will because in Dawe’s response he
states that it was either Berriman’s “simplicity or knavery in makeing such a Will...”
that had caused him problems, not Dawe's “profession of Clerkship.” Due to Berriman’s “most unjustly and without anie cause at all...disgrace...of the said Dawe...the said Berryman shall pay and satisfie and without anie contradiction shall defray the whole charges as well the Fees of the Sheriff as Clerkes Fees and the Witnessess with the whole cost and charges of the suyte without demurre.”
Despite this display of social uproar Berriman was called to settle a
dispute between Thomas Hunt and “hes mayd servant,” testified on behalf of Christopher Kirke,
and was called upon to be a witness to a bargain between John Severne and John Browne.
On April 26, 1642, he was listed as an “able and sufficient” man to be one of “Five Arbitrators” of the court in response to a court request “by the Governor and Counsell from James City” and also asked to “arbitrate and put a period [a stop] to a difference between Thomas Hunt Plaintiff and Thomas Stratton Defendant Concerning a boate.”
Berriman then received a certificate for transporting ten people. The certificate
guaranteed him 500 acres of land, but three of the ten people were relatives of his already
in the colony: his sister Jane, her son, Jonas, and her then husband, Robert. Once
again he had used his knowledge of the headright system to increase his wealth. In this
same year Berriman was appointed as a juryman of the court, but this did not keep him from
being an active participator in the lawsuits of the court system as he previously had
been. For example, even as a recognized member of the jury he was still sued and
ordered to pay, along with Thomas Hunt, “seaven pounds Twelve shillings and two pence
sterling monie...unto Mr. William Burdett.”
He also became involved in a court case with Robert West over a problem in
their supposed “agreed” method of payment. On April 28, 1643, West was ordered to pay
Berriman, “two able men servants Fower [four] yeares to serve a peece att the least
with sufficient bedding shoes stockings cloathes and shirts...eight pounds shillings in
goods as they cost the first penny in England.” Berriman was not satisfied with
this arrangement and “sayde [to West]...give mee Two Thousand pounds of tobacco and
Caske Twenty Five hundred pounds of tobacco and caske to be paid this yeare and
monthes worke and Five hundred the next yeare with a yeareling heifer....” Berriman made
it clear that “until hee was all pay’d the case would not be settled.” He showed that
he would not be satisfied until he received his money. To make his point even clearer,
he entered the house of Robert West, “the said West being sicke and layde upon a
Couch...and demaunded goods and servaunts which were due unto him....” One of the first
payments to Berriman was recorded in 1644.
The final events in Berriman’s life just prior to his death in 1644 included
serving as a witness to the transfer of property by his sister, Jane, to her son, Jonas
Jackson. On September 20, 1644, he hosted a transfer of property between William Burdett
and John Johnson at his home and he himself transferred his own personal property to
other people. In May 1643, Berriman sold 300 acres of his total 800-acre tract
“upon a Branch of Nuswattockes Creeke” the following August he sold 100 acres to
Thomas Clifton (his former servant) and finally, in March 1644, Berriman sold another 100 acres to Robert Berry and Thomas Bell. He was left with 300 acres when he died, but he had no wife and no children to whom to will the land. This land was still considered his as late as 1665 when it appeared as the “Land of William Berryman” in a deed of gift.
There were not only references to Berriman’s land after his death, but also to
the man himself, in particular, to his estate, and these references give us some final clues
about this interesting individual. If Berriman wrote a will, it has not survived as public
record, but the Berriman “account” has survived, and it appears to be a combination of an
account and a death inventory. The appraisers to his estate were appointed at the request
of the administrators to the Berriman estate, Thomas Johnson and Berriman’s brother-in-law,
Richard Lemon. The appraisers were four: John Stringer, Francis Pettett, William Munns
and John Webster. Found in his estate were a number of things that tell us about William
Berriman. He left behind a servant man, 1,800 pounds of tobacco, four cows and several
dishes and pans of iron, brass and pewter. Most of the items were described as
“old...melted” or “wth hole in the bottom.” Unique items he had were “a pcell
[parcell] of bookes 5 in number.” This shows that Berriman was literate. Another clue
to his literacy was that he signed his own name on all of his official papers; he did not
leave only his “marke.” It is actually believed by the author of Ye Kingdome of
Accawmacke that his were some of the books that have survived to be a relic of what the
libraries of seventeenth-century Virginia were like.
The remainder of his account lists the people to whom he still owed money.
Most of these individuals collected their debts through the court system by legally
taking the money from his estate while others seem to have never received their payments
and then there were others who were not on the account itself yet who received money from
the Berriman estate as if he had owed them money as well. For example, Berriman listed
nine individuals as people to whom he was indebted to yet his estate actually paid nineteen
people claiming to be owed money from Berriman. The amount his estate paid –
17,400 pounds – far exceeded what Berriman believed he owed which was 4,120 pounds of
tobacco. His constant indebtedness followed him to his grave.
According to the “biographical facts” found in the public records, William
Berriman seems to have been a fairly typical individual for this period of history,
in regard to his fluctuating economic status and in his continuous struggle to survive
and advance. His apparent efforts to pay back debts over time may be one thing that
sets him apart in that it was probably a not-so-typical character trait.
2 Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. Compiled by William Filby and Mary K. Meyer. 1981. Detroit: Gale Research Company.
3 According to p. 21 of the Northampton-Accomacke Orders, Deeds and Wills in
1634 Berriman is estimated to be about 32 years old. This means he was probably born in
England around 1602. Northampton County Virginia: Orders, Deeds, and Wills 1651-1654.
Transcribed by Frank V. Walczyk. 2003. Book I. Coram: Peter’s Row.
4 County Court Records of Accomacke-Northampton, Virginia 1632-1640. Transcribed
by Susie M. Ames. 1973. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. p. 3.
5 Ibid. p. 3.
6 Ibid. p.5.
7 Ibid p. 7
8 Northampton County Virginia: Orders, Deeds, and Wills 1651-1654.
Transcribed by Frank V. Walczyk. 2003. Book I. Coram: Peter’s Row. p. 7
9 Ibid. p. 12 On 12 March 1633 Berriman also was witness to another transaction of
Scarborough’s, but this time with “Garret Andrewes, Planter” of “one black heifer with a
round head, about three years old and one brown bulchyn about a year old being wild cattle.”
10 In this year Berriman was also called to testify in court along with a Mr. Adams
on the John Howe/John Angood case concerning “the hire of a boat for 200 lbs of tobacco.”
Due to Berriman’s and Adam’s depostitions, “It is ordered that the said Mr. Howe shall
pay 200 lbs or tobacco by the last of October next ensuing also 30 lbs of tobacco for the
forebearance and the said Angood to pay all charges in this suit.” Northampton County
Virginia: Orders, Deeds, and Wills 1651-1654. Transcribed by Frank V. Walczyk. 2003.
Book I. Coram: Peter’s Row. p. 14. Berriman and Cotton dispute p. 20.
11 Northampton County Virginia: Orders, Deeds, and Wills 1651-1654. Transcribed
by Frank V. Walczyk. 2003. Book I. Coram: Peter’s Row. p. 21. Despite his debts he
also testified on behalf of Captain Scarborough that a debt Scarborough owed to John
Major, of 528 lbs of tobacco, was paid. Obedience Robins was another wealthy and
well-known man in the Virginia colony.
12 Ibid. p. 22. The beaver payment came from an accusation against Berriman by
William Stone, Armstrong Foster and Henry Johnson all claiming that Berriman failed
to deliver a note of payment concerning 610 lbs of tobacco which he had promised to
deliver within three days.
13 Ibid p. 26 In December 1634 his step-father, Henry Wilson, bought “one brindle
heifer about two years old” from William Melling. A witness to this transaction was
William Bibby. Later as a memorandum it was stated in the court records on September
10, 1638 “that the will of Henry Wilson was proved in court by deposition of Wm.
Berryman.” Ibid. p. 92.
14 Ibid p. 29.
15 The names of the other vestrymen as they appeared were: Wmll Cotton Minister,
Capt. Thomas Graves, Mr. Obedyence Robins, Mr. John Howe, Mr. Wmll Stonne, Mr. Wmll
Burdett, Mr. Wmll Andrewes, Mr. John Wilkins, Mr. Alexander Mountney, Mr. Edward Drew
and Mr. Stephen Charlton. Ibid. p. 31.
16 Berriman was chosen to pick a sheriff along with Mr. Neale and Mr. Henry Bagwell.
p. 113. He was also called upon to settle a dispute between John Howe and Thomas Peake,
his “Covenant Servant.” He ended up sending the servant back to work for Howe. Ibid. p. 55.
17 Northampton County Virginia: Orders, Deeds, and Wills 1651-1654. Transcribed
by Frank V. Walczyk. 2003. Book I. Coram: Peter’s Row. p. 34.
18 The only thing Berriman did with relation to the church after this date was around
September 1638, “Alexander Bradborne did agree with and pay unto Wm. Berryman certain
tobacco for his tythes of corn then due unto to Minister.” Ibid. p. 72
19 It is unknown if Berriman knew of this decision before it was made or if it was
made as a kind of punishment to him since he was no longer a vestryman for whatever reason.
20 Ibid. p. 50. This occurred 26 November 1635 and his sister-in-law was Elizabeth
Carsley, wife of Henry Carsley, who was a step brother to Berriman.
21 Ibid. p. 62.
22 Ibid. p. 68. During this time Berriman was also called upon to appraise
“the estate of John Hayes deceased” along with Henry Bagwell. p. 86.
23 To see these seven different Berriman debts see Northampton County Virginia:
Orders, Deeds, and Wills 1651-1654. Transcribed by Frank V. Walczyk. 2003. Book I.
Coram: Peter’s Row: p. 36 with Wm Stonne, p. 39 with James Knott, p. 75 with Anthony
Wells, p. 101 with Thomas Mathewes, p. 121 with John Major, p. 106 with Thomas Savage
and of course the detailed above description of Cornelius Lloyd p. 115 and 124.
24 Lloyd names himself as a merchant in Northampton County Virginia: Orders,
Deeds, and Wills 1651-1654. Transcribed by Frank V. Walczyk. 2003. Book I.
Coram: Peter’s Row. p. 124.
25 Ibid. p. 124-125.
26 About this same time Berriman served as the witness to his mother’s payment of
“one hundred pounds of tobacco and a cow calf...being paid by Alice Wilson widow” on
the “twenty eight day of December 1638.” Ibid. p. 112. An aside, Farmer Jones was
listed as being a woman in Beverly Fleet’s Colonial Abstracts, but he was in fact a
man as can be seen in these court records. Virginia Colonial Abstracts. Compiled by
Beverly Fleet. 1988. Vol 1, 3. Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Co.
27 Ibid p. 105-106, 109.
28 Northampton County Virginia: Orders, Deeds, and Wills 1651-1654. Transcribed
by Frank V. Walczyk. 2003. Book I. Coram: Peter’s Row. p. 98.
29 County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia 1640-1645. Transcribed by
Susie M. Ames. 1973. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. It was not recorded until August 31, 1643, but on May 3, 1641 Berriman sold Thomas Hunt 290 acres in an indenture. It apparently happened soon after his mother’s death. p. 306-307.
30 County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia 1640-1645. Transcribed by
Susie M. Ames. 1973. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. p. 28-29.
31 Ibid. p. 44, 102 and 163. For more on the Thomas Hunt case, see County Court
Records of Accomacke-Northampton, Virginia 1632-1640. Transcribed by Susie M.
Ames. 1973. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. p. 154. The other four
arbitrators were Mr. John Rosier, Mr. Luke Stubbins, Mr. Edmund Scarborough, and Mr.
32 It may even be that he changed the name of one of his former servants from Edward
Prince to Edmund Prince to have him pass as another transported person. Ibid. p 238.
33 Ibid. p. 241, 288 and 326.
34 Ibid. p. 159.
35 Ibid. p. 264 and 268.
36 Ibid. 271. Berriman was involved in another slightly unusual case where on
February 23, 1643 (44,) he had to pay David Spillar 1166 pounds of tobacco and “alsoe
two payre of new shoes tow payre of stockings and one lockrum shirt.” p. 351.
Interestingly enough, John Walthome “promised to save harmless Mr. William Berryman
from an execution of David Spillar... beareing the date the 23th day of February 1643.”
p. 366-367. On February 10, 1644, it was “thought Fitt by this Court...that the said
John Waltham shall satisfye and pay the said debt...unto...David Spillar.” p. 406. But
Spiller still eventually got “two paire of Irish stockings 1 shirt and 4 barrells of
Indian Corne out of the estate of William Berryman” after he was deceased even though
Walthome had supposedly taken care of Berriman’s debt. County Court Records
of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia 1640-1645. Transcribed by Susie M. Ames. 1973.
Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. p. 440.
37 Ibid. Jane’s deed of gift included her two horses, “Starr” and “Meallie Mouth.”
p. 367. The Burdett to Johnson transaction consisted of two cows in exchange for tobacco.
38 Ibid. p. 87-88, 120-121.
39 Northampton County Virginia Record Book: Deeds, Wills &c: 1657-1666. Volume 7.
Transcribed by Howard Mackey and Candy McMahan Perry. 1999. Rockport: Picton Press. p.
223. The same occurred in 1653 when Thomas Bell chose to sell his portion of the land he
bought from Berriman. He referred to it as “the land from Mr. Berryman.” Northampton
County Virginia: Orders, Deeds & Wills, 1651-1654. Book IV. 2003. Transcribed by
Frank V. Walczyk. Coram: Peter’s Row. p. 148.
40 Cropper Wise, Jennings. 1911. Ye Kingdome of Accawmacke. Richmond: Bell
Book and Stationery.
41 To see list of people on the account see Northampton County Virginia Record Book:
Deeds, Wills &c: 1657-1666. Volume 7. Transcribed by Howard Mackey and Candy
McMahan Perry. 1999. Rockport: Picton Press. Vol 3. p. 276-277 and for people who were
not on Berriman’s account see Vol 3. p. 1, 2, 13, 18, 70, 277 and . County Court
Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia 1640-1645. Transcribed by Susie M. Ames.
1973. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. p. 430, 437, 442, 444, 445.
42 This does not include the amount of beaver (11 pounds) and arms of roanoke (6) that
his estate paid out as well. About 4,000 pounds actually went to his sister Jane.
43 A final and most unusual debt that the deceased Berriman was said to have owed is
surrounded in mystery. His estate was ordered to “pay unto Henry Bagwell or his
Assignes one hundred and fiftie pounds of tobacco being for and in consideration of
three weeks tyme spent...upon the Cure of a lame boy belonging unto the sd Berryman.”
According to the primary records books, Berriman had neither biological children nor
any orphans under his care so the “lame boy” could have been a servant of his since
no other mention is made of a his relationship to this boy.
*All Sources were found in the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture.* *Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland*
County Court Records of Accomacke-Northampton, Virginia 1632-1640, 1640-1645.
Transcribed by Susie M. Ames. 1973. Charlottesville: University Press of
Jennings, Cropper Wise. Ye Kingdome of Accawmacke. 1911. Richmond: Bell Book and
Northampton County Virginia Record Book: Orders, Deeds, Wills &c. Transcribed by
Mackey, Howard and Marlene Alma Hinkley Groves. 1999. Volumes 5, 6, 8.
Rockport: Picton Press.
Northampton County Virginia Record Book: Deeds, Wills &c: 1657-1666. Transcribed
by Howard Mackey and Candy McMahan Perry. 1999. Volume 7. Rockport:
Northampton County Virginia: Orders, Deeds, and Wills. Transcribed by
Frank V. Walczyk 2003. Book I and IV. Coram: Peter’s Row.
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. Compiled by William Filby and Mary K.
Meyer. 1981. Detroit: Gale Research Company.
Perry, James. R. 1990. The Formation of A Society on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1615-
1655. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Virginia Colonial Abstracts. Compiled by Beverly Fleet. 1988. Volumes 1, 3.
Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Co.