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Title: The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia - An Archeological and Historical Investigation of the Port - Town for Stafford County and the Plantation of John Mercer, - Including Data Supplied by Frank M. Setzler and Oscar H. - Darter
Author: Watkins, C. Malcolm
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia - An Archeological and Historical Investigation of the Port - Town for Stafford County and the Plantation of John Mercer, - Including Data Supplied by Frank M. Setzler and Oscar H. - Darter" ***

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  The Cultural History
  of Marlborough, Virginia

  An Archeological and Historical Investigation
  of the
  Port Town for Stafford County and the
  Plantation of John Mercer, Including Data
  Supplied by Frank M. Setzler and Oscar H. Darter





_Publications of the United States National Museum_

The scholarly and scientific publications of the United States National
Museum include two series, _Proceedings of the United States National
Museum_ and _United States National Museum Bulletin_.

In these series, the Museum publishes original articles and monographs
dealing with the collections and work of its constituent museums--The
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Technology--setting forth newly acquired facts in the fields of
anthropology, biology, history, geology, and technology. Copies of each
publication are distributed to libraries, to cultural and scientific
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The _Proceedings_, begun in 1878, are intended for the publication, in
separate form, of shorter papers from the Museum of Natural History.
These are gathered in volumes, octavo in size, with the publication date
of each paper recorded in the table of contents of the volume.

In the _Bulletin_ series, the first of which was issued in 1875, appear
longer, separate publications consisting of monographs (occasionally in
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subjects. _Bulletins_ are either octavo or quarto in size, depending on
the needs of the presentation. Since 1902 papers relating to the
botanical collections of the Museum of Natural History have been
published in the _Bulletin_ series under the heading _Contributions from
the United States National Herbarium_, and since 1959, in _Bulletins_
titled "Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology," have
been gathered shorter papers relating to the collections and research of
that Museum.

This work forms volume 253 of the _Bulletin_ series.

  _Director, United States National Museum_

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing

Washington, D.C. 20402--Price $3.75



    Preface                                                         vii

  HISTORY                                                             3

        I. Official port towns in Virginia and origins of
           Marlborough                                                5
       II. John Mercer's occupation of Marlborough, 1726-1730        15
      III. Mercer's consolidation of Marlborough, 1730-1740          21
       IV. Marlborough at its ascendancy, 1741-1750                  27
        V. Mercer and Marlborough, from zenith to decline,
           1751-1768                                                 49
       VI. Dissolution of Marlborough                                61

  ARCHEOLOGY AND ARCHITECTURE                                        65

      VII. The site, its problem, and preliminary tests              67
     VIII. Archeological techniques                                  70
       IX. Wall system                                               71
        X. Mansion foundation (Structure B)                          85
       XI. Kitchen foundation (Structure E)                         101
      XII. Supposed smokehouse foundation (Structure F)             107
     XIII. Pits and other structures                                111
      XIV. Stafford courthouse south of Potomac Creek               115

  ARTIFACTS                                                         123

       XV. Ceramics                                                 125
      XVI. Glass                                                    145
     XVII. Objects of personal use                                  155
    XVIII. Metalwork                                                159
      XIX. Conclusion                                               173

  GENERAL CONCLUSIONS                                               175

       XX. Summary of findings                                      177

    Appendixes                                                      181

      A. Inventory of George Andrews, Ordinary Keeper               183
      B. Inventory of Peter Beach                                   184
      C. Charges to account of Mosley Battaley                      185
      D. "Domestick Expenses," 1725                                 186
      E. John Mercer's reading, 1726-1732                           191
      F. Credit side of John Mercer's account with Nathaniel
         Chapman                                                    193
      G. Overwharton Parish account                                 194
      H. Colonists identified by John Mercer according to
         occupation                                                 195
      I. Materials listed in accounts with Hunter and Dick,
         Fredericksburg                                             196
      J. George Mercer's expenses while attending college           197
      K. John Mercer's library                                      198
      L. Botanical record and prevailing temperatures, 17           209
      M. Inventory of Marlborough, 1771                             211

    Index                                                           213

List of Illustrations

     John Mercer's Bookplate                                          1
     Survey plates of Marlborough                                     2
     Portrait of John Mercer                                          3
     The Neighborhood of John Mercer                                  4
     King William Courthouse                                          5
     Mother-of-pearl counters                                         6
     John Mercer's Tobacco-cask symbols                               7
     Wine-bottle seal                                                 8
     French horn                                                      9
     Hornbook                                                        10
     Fireplace mantels                                               11
     Doorways                                                        12
     Table-desk                                                      13
     Archeological survey plan                                       14
     Portrait of Ann Roy Mercer                                      15
     Advertisement of the services of Mercer's stallion Ranter       16
     Page from Maria Sibylla Merian's _Metamorphosis Insectorum
       Surinamensium efte Veranderung Surinaamsche Insecten_         17
     Aerial Photograph of Marlborough                                18
     Highway 621                                                     19
     Excavation plan of Marlborough                                  20
     Excavation plan of wall system                                  21
     Looking north                                                   22
     Outcropping of stone wall                                       23
     Junction of stone Wall A                                        24
     Looking north in line with Walls A and A-II                     25
     Wall A-II                                                       26
     Junction of Wall A-I                                            27
     Wall E                                                          28
     Detail of Gateway in Wall E                                     29
     Wall B-II                                                       30
     Wall D                                                          31
     Excavation plan of Structure B                                  32
     Site of Structure B                                             33
     Southwest corner of Structure B                                 34
     Southwest corner of Structure B                                 35
     South wall of Structure B                                       36
     Cellar of Structure B                                           37
     Section of red-sandstone arch                                   38
     Helically contoured red-sandstone                               39
     Cast-concrete block                                             40
     Dressed red-sandstone block                                     41
     Fossil-embedded black sedimentary stone                         42
     Foundation of porch at north end of Structure B                 43
     Plan of mansion house                                           44
     The Villa of "the magnificent Lord Leonardo Emo"                45
     Excavation plan of Structure E                                  46
     Foundation of Structure E                                       47
     Paved floor of Room X, Structure E                              48
     North wall of Structure E                                       49
     Wrought-iron slab                                               50
     Excavation plan of structures north of Wall D                   51
     Structure F                                                     52
     Virginia brick from Structure B                                 53
     Structure D                                                     54
     Refuse found at exterior corner of Wall A-II and Wall D         55
     Excavation plan of Structure H                                  56
     Structure H                                                     57
     1743 drawing showing location of Stafford courthouse            58
     Enlarged detail from figure 58                                  59
     Excavation plan of Stafford courthouse foundation               60
     Hanover courthouse                                              61
     Plan of King William courthouse                                 62
     Tidewater-type pottery                                          63
     Miscellaneous common earthenware types                          64
     Buckley-type high-fired ware                                    65
     Westerwald stoneware                                            66
     Fine English stoneware                                          67
     English Delftware                                               68
     Delft plate                                                     69
     Delft plate                                                     70
     Whieldon-type tortoiseshell ware                                71
     Queensware                                                      72
     Fragment of Queensware                                          73
     English white earthenwares                                      74
     Polychrome Chinese porcelain                                    75
     Blue-and-white Chinese porcelain                                76
     Blue-and-white Chinese porcelain                                77
     Wine bottle                                                     78
     Bottle seals                                                    79
     Octagonal spirits bottle                                        80
     Snuff bottle                                                    81
     Glassware                                                       82
     Small metalwork                                                 83
     Personal miscellany                                             84
     Cutlery                                                         85
     Metalwork                                                       86
     Ironware                                                        87
     Iron door and chest hardware                                    88
     Tools                                                           89
     Scythe                                                          90
     Farm gear                                                       91

     Front and back cast-concrete block                         1 and 2
     Iron tie bar                                                     3
     Cross section of plaster cornice molding from
       Structure B                                                    4
     Reconstructed wine bottle                                        5
     Fragment of molded white salt-glazed platter                     6
     Iron bolt                                                        7
     Stone scraping tool                                              8
     Indian celt                                                      9
     Milk pan                                                        10
     Milk pan                                                        11
     Ale mug                                                         12
     Cover of jar                                                    13
     Base of bowl                                                    14
     Handle of pot lid or oven door                                  15
     Buff-earthenware cup                                            16
     High-fired earthenware pan rim                                  17
     High-fired earthenware jar rim                                  18
     Rim and base profiles of high-fired earthenware jars            19
     Base sherd from unglazed red-earthenware water cooler           20
     Rim of an earthenware flowerpot                                 21
     Base of gray-brown, salt-glazed-stoneware ale mug               22
     Stoneware jug fragment                                          23
     Gray-salt-glazed-stoneware jar profile                          24
     Drab-stoneware mug fragment                                     25
     Wheel-turned cover of white, salt-glazed teapot                 26
     Body sherds of molded, white salt-glaze-ware pitcher            27
     English delftware washbowl sherd                                28
     English delftware plate                                         29
     English delftware plate                                         30
     Delftware ointment pot                                          31
     Sherds of black basaltes ware                                   32
     Blue-and-white Chinese porcelain saucer                         33
     Blue-and-white Chinese porcelain plate                          34
     Beverage bottle                                                 35
     Beverage-bottle seal                                            36
     Complete beverage bottle                                        37
     Cylindrical beverage bottle                                     38
     Cylindrical beverage bottle                                     39
     Octagonal, pint-size beverage bottle                            40
     Square gin bottle                                               41
     Square snuff bottle                                             42
     Wineglass, reconstructed                                        43
     Cordial glass                                                   44
     Sherds of engraved-glass wine and cordial glasses               45
     Clear-glass tumbler                                             46
     Octagonal cut-glass trencher salt                               47
     Brass buckle                                                    48
     Brass knee buckle                                               49
     Brass thimble                                                   50
     Chalk bullet mold                                               51
     Fragments of tobacco-pipe bowl                                  52
     White-kaolin tobacco pipe                                       53
     Slate pencil                                                    54
     Fragment of long-tined fork                                     55
     Fragment of long-tined fork                                     56
     Fork with two-part handle                                       57
     Trifid-handle pewter spoon                                      58
     Wavy-end pewter spoon                                           59
     Pewter teapot lid                                               60
     Steel scissors                                                  61
     Iron candle snuffers                                            62
     Iron butt hinge                                                 63
     End of strap hinge                                              64
     Catch for door latch                                            65
     Wrought-iron hasp                                               66
     Brass drop handle                                               67
     Wrought-iron catch or striker                                   68
     Iron slide bolt                                                 69
     Series of wrought-iron nails                                    70
     Series of wrought-iron flooring nails and brads                 71
     Fragment of clouting nail                                       72
     Hand-forged spike                                               73
     Blacksmith's hammer                                             74
     Iron wrench                                                     75
     Iron scraping tool                                              76
     Bit or gouge chisel                                             77
     Jeweler's hammer                                                78
     Wrought-iron colter from plow                                   79
     Hook used with wagon                                            80
     Bolt with wingnut                                               81
     Lashing hook from cart                                          82
     Hilling hoe                                                     83
     Iron reinforcement strip from back of shovel handle             84
     Half of sheep shears                                            85
     Animal trap                                                     86
     Iron bridle bit                                                 87
     Fishhook                                                        88
     Brass strap handle                                              89


A number of people participated in the preparation of this study. The
inspiration for the archeological and historical investigations came
from Professor Oscar H. Darter, who until 1960 was chairman of the
Department of Historical and Social Sciences at Mary Washington College,
the women's branch of the University of Virginia. The actual excavations
were made under the direction of Frank M. Setzler, formerly the head
curator of anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution. None of the
investigation would have been possible had not the owners of the
property permitted the excavations to be made, sometimes at considerable
inconvenience to themselves. I am indebted to W. Biscoe, Ralph
Whitticar, Jr., and Thomas Ashby, all of whom owned the excavated areas
at Marlborough; and T. Ben Williams, whose cornfield includes the site
of the 18th-century Stafford County courthouse, south of Potomac Creek.

For many years Dr. Darter has been a resident of Fredericksburg and, in
the summers, of Marlborough Point on the Potomac River. During these
years, he has devoted himself to the history of the Stafford County area
which lies between these two locations in northeastern Virginia.
Marlborough Point has interested Dr. Darter especially since it is the
site of one of the Virginia colonial port towns designated by Act of
Assembly in 1691. During the town's brief existence, it was the location
of the Stafford County courthouse and the place where the colonial
planter and lawyer John Mercer established his home in 1726. Tangible
evidence of colonial activities at Marlborough Point--in the form of
brickbats and potsherds still can be seen after each plowing, while John
Mercer's "Land Book," examined anew by Dr. Darter, has revealed the
original survey plats of the port town.

In this same period and as early as 1938, Dr. T. Dale Stewart (then
curator of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution) had
commenced excavations at the Indian village site of Patawomecke, a few
hundred yards west of the Marlborough Town site. The aboriginal
backgrounds of the area including Marlborough Point already had been
investigated. As the result of his historical research connected with
this project, Dr. Stewart has contributed fundamentally to the present
undertaking by foreseeing the excavations of Marlborough Town as a
logical step beyond his own investigation.

Motivated by this combination of interests, circumstances, and
historical clues, Dr. Darter invited the Smithsonian Institution to
participate in an archeological investigation of Marlborough.
Preliminary tests made in August 1954 were sufficiently rewarding to
justify such a project. Consequently, an application for funds was
prepared jointly and was submitted by Dr. Darter through the University
of Virginia to the American Philosophical Society. In January 1956 grant
number 159, Johnson Fund (1955), for $1500 was assigned to the program.
In addition, the Smithsonian Institution contributed the professional
services necessary for field research and directed the purchase of
microfilms and photostats, the drawing of maps and illustrations, and
the preparation and publication of this report. Dr. Darter hospitably
provided the use of his Marlborough Point cottage during the period of
excavation, and Mary Washington College administered the grant. Frank
Setzler directed the excavations during a six-week period in April and
May 1956, while interpretation of cultural material and the searches of
historical data related to it were carried out by C. Malcolm Watkins.

At the commencement of archeological work it was expected that traces of
the 17th- and early 18th-century town would be found, including,
perhaps, the foundations of the courthouse. This expectation was not
realized, although what was found from the Mercer period proved to be
of greater importance. After completion, a report was made in the 1956
_Year Book_ of the American Philosophical Society (pp. 304-308).

After the 1956 excavations, the question remained whether the principal
foundation (Structure B) might not have been that of the courthouse.
Therefore, in August 1957 a week-long effort was made to find
comparative evidence by digging the site of the succeeding 18th-century
Stafford County courthouse at the head of Potomac Creek. This disclosed
a foundation sufficiently different from Structure B to rule out any
analogy between the two.

It should be made clear that--because of the limited size of the
grant--the archeological phase of the investigation was necessarily a
limited survey. Only the more obvious features could be examined within
the means at the project's disposal. No final conclusions relative to
Structure B, for example, are warranted until the section of foundation
beneath the highway which crosses it can be excavated. Further
excavations need to be made south and southeast of Structure B and
elsewhere in search of outbuildings and evidence of 17th-century

Despite such limitations, this study is a detailed examination of a
segment of colonial Virginia's plantation culture. It has been prepared
with the hope that it will provide Dr. Darter with essential material
for his area studies and, also, with the wider objective of increasing
the knowledge of the material culture of colonial America. Appropriate
to the function of a museum such as the Smithsonian, this study is
concerned principally with what is concrete--objects and artifacts and
the meanings that are to be derived from them. It has relied upon the
mutually dependent techniques of archeologist and cultural historian and
will serve, it is hoped, as a guide to further investigations of this
sort by historical museums and organizations.

Among the many individuals contributing to this study, I am especially
indebted to Dr. Darter; to the members of the American Philosophical
Society who made the excavations possible; to Dr. Stewart, who reviewed
the archeological sections at each step as they were written; to Mrs.
Sigrid Hull who drew the line-and-stipple illustrations which embellish
the report; Edward G. Schumacher of the Bureau of American Ethnology,
who made the archeological maps and drawings; Jack Scott of the
Smithsonian photographic laboratory, who photographed the artifacts; and
George Harrison Sanford King of Fredericksburg, from whom the necessary
documentation for the 18th-century courthouse site was obtained.

I am grateful also to Dr. Anthony N. B. Garvan, professor of American
civilization at the University of Pennsylvania and former head curator
of the Smithsonian Institution's department of civil history, for
invaluable encouragement and advice; and to Worth Bailey formerly with
the Historic American Buildings Survey, for many ideas, suggestions, and
important identifications of craftsmen listed in Mercer's ledgers.

I am equally indebted to Ivor Noël Hume, director of archeology at
Colonial Williamsburg and an honorary research associate of the
Smithsonian Institution, for his assistance in the identification of
artifacts; to Mrs. Mabel Niemeyer, librarian of the Bucks County
Historical Society, for her cooperation in making the Mercer ledgers
available for this report; to Donald E. Roy, librarian of the Darlington
Library, University of Pittsburgh, for providing the invaluable clue
that directed me to the ledgers; to the staffs of the Virginia State
Library and the Alexandria Library for repeated courtesies and
cooperation; and to Miss Rodris Roth, associate curator of cultural
history at the Smithsonian, for detecting Thomas Oliver's inventory of
Marlborough in a least suspected source.

I greatly appreciate receiving generous permissions from the University
of Pittsburgh Press to quote extensively from the _George Mercer Papers
Relating to the Ohio Company of Virginia_, and from Russell & Russell to
copy Thomas Oliver's inventory of Marlborough.

To all of these people and to the countless others who contributed in
one way or another to the completion of this study, I offer my grateful


  Washington, D.C.

The Cultural History


Marlborough, Virginia

[Illustration: Figure 1.--JOHN MERCER'S BOOKPLATE.]



_Official Port Towns in Virginia and Origins of Marlborough_


The dependence of 17th-century Virginia upon the single
crop--tobacco--was a chronic problem. A bad crop year or a depressed
English market could plunge the whole colony into debt, creating a chain
reaction of overextended credits and failures to meet obligations.
Tobacco exhausted the soil, and soil exhaustion led to an ever-widening
search for new land. This in turn brought about population dispersal and
extreme decentralization.

After the Restoration in 1660 the Virginia colonial government was faced
not only with these economic hazards but also with the resulting
administrative difficulties. It was awkward to govern a scattered
population and almost impossible to collect customs duties on imports
landed at the planters' own wharves along hundreds of miles of inland
waterways. The royal governors and responsible persons in the Assembly
reacted therefore with a succession of plans to establish towns that
would be the sole ports of entry for the areas they served, thus making
theoretically simple the task of securing customs revenues. The towns
also would be centers of business and manufacture, diversifying the
colony's economic supports and lessening its dependence on tobacco. To
men of English origin this establishment of port communities must have
seemed natural and logical.

The first such proposal became law in 1662, establishing a port town
for each of the major river valleys and for the Eastern Shore. But the
law's sponsors were doomed to disappointment, for the towns were not
built.[1] After a considerable lapse, a new act was passed in 1680, this
one better implemented and further reaching. It provided for a port town
in each county, where ships were to deliver their goods and pick up
tobacco and other exports from town warehouses for their return
voyages.[2] One of its most influential supporters was William Fitzhugh
of Stafford County, a wealthy planter and distinguished leader in the
colony.[3] "We have now resolved a cessation of making Tob^o next year,"
he wrote to his London agent, Captain Partis, in 1680. "We are also
going to make Towns, if you can meet with any tradesmen that will come
and live at the Town, they may have privileges and immunitys."[4]

[Illustration: Potomack River]

[Illustration: Figure 2.--Survey plats of Marlborough as copied in John
Mercer's Land Book showing at bottom, John Savage's, 1731; and top,
William Buckner's and Theodorick Bland's, 1691. (The courthouse probably
stood in the vicinity of lot 21.)]

Some of these towns actually were laid out, each on a 50-acre tract of
half-acre lots, but only 9 tracts were built upon. The Act soon lagged
and collapsed. It was unpopular with the colonists, who were obliged to
transport their tobacco to distant warehouses and to pay storage fees;
it was ignored by shipmasters, who were in the habit of dealing directly
with planters at their wharves and who were not interested in making it
any easier for His Majesty's customs collectors.[5]

Nevertheless, efforts to come up with a third act began in 1688.[6]
William Fitzhugh, especially, was articulate in his alarm over
Virginia's one-crop economy, the effects of which the towns were
supposed to mitigate. At this time he referred to tobacco as "our most
despicable commodity." A year later, he remarked, "it is more uncertain
for a Planter to get money by consigned Tob^o then to get a prize in a
lottery, there being twenty chances for one chance."[7]

In April 1691 the Act for Ports was passed, the House, significantly,
recording only one dissenting vote.[8] Unlike its predecessor, which
encouraged trades and crafts, this Act was justified purely on the basis
of overcoming the "great opportunity ... given to such as attempt to
import or export goods and merchandises, without entering or paying the
duties and customs due thereupon, much practised by greedy and covetous
persons." It provided that all exports and imports should be taken up or
set down at the specified ports and nowhere else, under penalty of
forfeiting ship, gear, and cargo, and that the law should become
effective October 1, 1692. The towns again were to be surveyed and laid
out in 50-acre tracts. Feoffees, to be appointed, would grant half-acre
lots on a pro rata first-cost basis. Grantees "shall within the space of
four months next ensueing such grant begin and without delay proceed to
build and finish on each half acre one good house, to containe twenty
foot square at the least, wherein if he fails to performe them such
grant to be void in law, and the lands therein granted lyable to the
choyce and purchase of any other person." Justices of the county courts
were to fill vacancies among the feoffees and to appoint customs


    [1] WILLIAM WALLER HENING, _The Statutes at Large Being a
    Collection of All the Laws of Virginia_ (New York, 1823),
    vol. 2, pp. 172-176.

    [2] Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 471-478.

    [3] William Fitzhugh was founder of the renowned Virginia
    family that bear his name. As chief justice of the Stafford
    County court, burgess, merchant, and wealthy planter, he
    epitomized the landed aristocrat in 17th-century Virginia.
    See "Letters of William Fitzhugh," _Virginia Magazine of
    History & Biography_ (Richmond, 1894), vol. 1, p. 17
    (hereinafter designated _VHM_), and _William Fitzhugh and His
    Chesapeake World_ (1676-1701), edit. Richard Beale Davis
    (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, for the
    Virginia Historical Society, 1963).

    [4] _VHM_, op. cit., p. 30.

    [5] ROBERT BEVERLEY, _The History and Present State of
    Virginia_, edit. Louis B. Wright (Chapel Hill: The University
    of North Carolina Press, 1947), p. 88; PHILIP ALEXANDER
    BRUCE, _Economic History of Virginia_, 2nd ed. (New York: P.
    Smith, 1935), vol. 2, pp. 553-554.

    [6] _Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia_
    (hereinafter designated _JHB_) 1659/60-1693, edit. H. R.
    McIlwaine (Richmond, Virginia: Virginia State Library, 1914),
    pp. 303, 305, 308, 315.

    [7] "Letters of William Fitzhugh," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1895),
    vol. 2, pp. 374-375.

    [8] _JHB 1659/60-1693_, op. cit. (footnote 6), p. 351.

    [9] HENING, op. cit. (footnote 1), vol. 3, pp. 53-69.


The difficulties confronting the central and local governing bodies in
putting the Acts into effect are illustrated by the attempts to
establish a port town for Stafford County. Under the act of 1680 a town
was to be built at "Peace Point," where the Catholic refugee Giles Brent
had settled nearly forty years before, but there is no evidence that
even so much as a survey was made there. The 1691 Act for Ports located
the town at Potomac Neck, where Accokeek Creek and Potomac Creek
converge on the Potomac River. Situated about three miles below the
previously designated site, it was again on Brent property, lying within
a tract leased for life to Captain Malachi Peale, former high sheriff of
Stafford. On October 9, 1691, the Stafford Court "ordered that Mr.
William Buckner deputy Surveyor of this County shall on Thursday next
... repair to the Malachy Peale neck being the place allotted by act of
assembly for this Town and Port of this County and shall then and there
Survey and Lay Out the said Towne or Port ... to the Interest that all
the gentlemen of and all other of the Inhabitants may take up such Lot
and Lots as be and they desire...." On the same day John Withers and
Matthew Thompson, both justices of the peace, were appointed "Feoffees
in Trust." Young Giles Brent, "son and heir of Giles Brent Gent. late of
this county dec^{ed}" and not yet 21, selected Francis Hammersley as his

Hammersley in this capacity became the administrator of Brent's
affairs, and accordingly it was agreed that 13,000 pounds of tobacco
should be paid to him in exchange for the 50 acres of town land owned by

Actually, 52 acres were surveyed, "two of the said acres being the Land
belonging to and laid out for the Court House according to a former Act
of Assembly and the other fifty acres pursuant to the late Act for
Ports." The "former Act of Assembly" which had been passed in 1667 had
stipulated the allotment of two-acre tracts for churches and court
houses, which in case the lots "be deserted y^e land shall revert to y^e
1st proprietor...."[11] For the extra two acres Hammersley was given 800
pounds of tobacco in addition. Of the total of 13,800 pounds, 3450 were
set aside to compensate Malachi Peale for the loss of his leasehold.

The order for the survey to be made was a formality, since the plat had
actually been drawn ahead of time by Buckner on August 16, nearly two
months before; clearly the Staffordians were eager to begin their town.
Buckner's plat was copied by his superior, Theodorick Bland, and entered
in the now-missing Stafford Survey Book. John Savage, a later surveyor,
in 1731 provided John Mercer with a duplicate of Bland's copy, which has
survived in John Mercer's Land Book (fig. 2).[12]

On February 11, 1692, the feoffees granted 27 lots to 15 applicants.
John Mercer's later review of the town's history in this period states
that "many" of the lots were "built on and improved."[13] Two ordinaries
were licensed, one in 1691 and one in 1693, but no business activity
other than the Potomac Creek ferry seems to have been conducted.[14] Any
future the town might have had was erased by the same adverse reactions
that had killed the previous port acts. The merchants and shippers used
their negative influence and on March 22, 1693, a "bill for suspension
of y^e act for Ports &c till their Maj^{ts} pleasure shall be known
therein or till y^e next assembly" passed the house. In due course the
act was reviewed and returned unsigned for further consideration.
William Fitzhugh, on October 17, 1693, dutifully read the
recommendation of the Committee of Grievances and Properties "That the
appointment of Ports & injoyneing the Landing and Shipping of all goods
imported or to be exported at & from the same will (considering the
present circumstances of the Country) be very injurious & burthensome to
the Inhabitants thereof and traders thereunto."[15] Doubtless dictated
by the Board of Trade in London, the recommendation was a defeat for
those who, like Fitzhugh, sought by the establishment of towns to break
tobacco's strangle-hold on Virginia.


    [10] Stafford County Order Book, 1689-1694 (MS bound with
    order book for 1664-1688, but paginated separately), pp. 175,
    177, 180, 189.

    [11] "Mills," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1903), vol. 10, pp. 147-148.

    [12] John Mercer's Land Book (MS., Virginia State Library).

    [13] _JHB, 1742-1747; 1748-1749_ (Richmond, 1909), pp.

    [14] Stafford County Order Book, 1689-1694, pp. 184, 357.

    [15] HENING, op. cit. (footnote 1), vol. 3, pp. 108-109.


Nevertheless, the town idea was hard to kill. In 1705 Stafford's port
town, along with those in the other counties, was given a new lease on
life when still another Act for Ports, introduced by Robert Beverley,
was passed. This Act repeated in substance the provisions of its
immediate forerunner, but provided in addition extravagant inducements
to settlement. Those who inhabited the towns were exempted from
three-quarters of the customs duties paid by others; they were freed of
poll taxes for 15 years; they were relieved from military mustering
outside the towns and from marching outside, excepting the "exigency" of
war (and then only for a distance of no more than 50 miles). Goods and
"dead provision" were not to be sold outside within a 5-mile radius, and
ordinaries (other than those within the towns) were not permitted closer
than 10 miles to the towns' boundaries, except at courthouses and ferry
landings. Each town was to be a free "burgh," and, when it had grown to
30 families "besides ordinary keepers," "eight principal inhabitants"
were to be chosen by vote of the "freeholders and inhabitants of the
town of twenty-one years of age and upwards, not being servants or
apprentices," to be called "benchers of the guild-hall." These eight
"benchers" would govern the town for life or until removal, selecting a
"director" from among themselves. When 60 families had settled,
"brethren assistants of the guild hall" were to be elected similarly to
serve as a common council. Each town was to have two market days a week
and an annual five-day fair. The towns listed under the Act were
virtually the same as before, but this time each was given an official
name, the hitherto anonymous town for Stafford being called Marlborough
in honor of the hero of the recent victory at Blenheim.[16]

The elaborate vision of the Act's sponsors never was realized in the
newly christened town, but there was in due course a slight resumption
of activity in it. George Mason and William Fitzhugh, Jr. (the son of
William Fitzhugh of Stafford County) were appointed feoffees in 1707,
and a new survey was made by Thomas Gregg. The following year seven more
lots were granted, and for an interval of two years Marlborough
functioned technically as an official port.[17]

Inevitably, perhaps, history repeated itself. In 1710 the Act for Ports,
like its predecessors, was rescinded. The reasons given in London were
brief and straightforward; the Act, it was explained, was "designed to
Encourage by great Priviledges the settling in Townships." These
settlements would encourage manufactures, which, in turn, would promote
"further Improvement of the said manufactures, And take them off from
the Planting of Tobacco, which would be of Very Ill consequence," thus
lessening the colony's dependence on the Kingdom, affecting the import
of tobacco, and prejudicing shipping.[18] Clearly, the Crown did not
want the towns to succeed, nor would it tolerate anything which might
stimulate colonial self-dependence. The Virginia colonists' dream of
corporate communities was not to be realized.

Most of the towns either died entirely or struggled on as crossroads
villages. A meager few have survived to the present, notably Norfolk,
Hampton, Yorktown, and Tappahannock. Marlborough lasted as a town until
about 1720, but in about 1718 the courthouse and several dwellings were
destroyed by fire and "A new Court House being built at another Place,
all or most of the Houses that had been built in the said Town, were
either burnt or suffered to go to ruin."[19]

The towns were artificial entities, created by acts of assembly, not by
economic or social necessity. In the few places where they filled a
need, notably in the populous areas of the lower James and York Rivers,
they flourished without regard to official status. In other places, by
contrast, no law or edict sufficed to make them live when conditions did
not warrant them. In sparsely settled Stafford especially there was
little to nurture a town. It was easier, and perhaps more exciting, to
grow tobacco and gamble on a successful crop, to go in debt when things
were bad or lend to the less fortunate when things were better. In the
latter case land became an acceptable medium for the payment of debts.
Land was wealth and power, its enlargement the means of greater
production of tobacco--tobacco again the great gamble by which one would
always hope to rise and not to fall. When one could own an empire, why
should one worry about a town?


    [16] Ibid., pp. 404-419.

    [17] "Petition of John Mercer" (1748), (Ludwell papers,
    Virginia Historical Society), _VHM_ (Richmond, 1898), vol. 5,
    pp. 137-138.

    [18] _Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other
    Manuscdit. William P. Palmer, M.D.
    (Richmond, 1875), vol. 1, pp. 137-138.

    [19] _JHB, 1742-1747; 1748-1749_ (Richmond, 1909), pp.


The administrative problems that contributed to the establishment of the
port towns also called for the erection of courthouses. As early as 1624
lower courts had been authorized for Charles City and Elizabeth City in
recognition of the colony's expansion, and ten years later the colony
had been divided into eight counties, with a monthly court established
in each. By the Restoration the county courts possessed broadly expanded
powers and were the administrative as well as the judicial sources of
local government. In practice they were largely self-appointive and were
responsible for filling most local offices. Since the courts were the
vehicles of royal authority, it followed that the physical symbols of
this authority should be emphasized by building proper houses of
government. At Jamestown orders were given in 1663 to build a statehouse
in lieu of the alehouses and ordinaries where laws had been made

In the same year, four courthouses annually were ordered for the
counties, the burgesses having been empowered to "make and Signe
agreements w^{th} any that will undertake them to build, who are to give
good Caution for the effecting thereof with good sufficient bricks,
Lime, and Timber, and that the same be well wrought and after they are
finished to be approved by an able surveyor, before order be given them
for their pay."[21] Such buildings were to take the place of private
dwellings and ordinaries in the same way as did the statehouse at
Jamestown. It was no accident that legislation for houses of government
coincided with that for establishing port towns. Each reflected the need
for administering the far-flung reaches of the colony and for
maintaining order and respect for the crown in remote places.


    [20] HENING, op. cit. (footnote 1), vol. 2, pp. 204-205.

    [21] _JHB, (1659/60-1693)_, op. cit. (footnote 6), p. 28.


Stafford County, which had been set off from Westmoreland in 1664, was
provided with a courthouse within a year of its establishment. Ralph
Happel in _Stafford and King George Courthouses and the Fate of
Marlborough, Port of Entry_, has given us a detailed chronicle of the
Stafford courthouses, showing that the first structure was situated
south of Potomac Creek until 1690, when it presumably burned.[22] The
court, in any event, began to meet in a private house on November 12,
1690, while on November 14 one Sampson Darrell was appointed chief
undertaker and Ambrose Bayley builder of a new courthouse. A contract
was signed between them and the justices of the court to finish the
building by June 10, 1692, at a cost of 40,000 pounds of tobacco and
cash, half to be paid in 1691 and the remainder upon completion.[23]

With William Fitzhugh the presiding magistrate of the Stafford County
court as well as cosponsor of the Act for Ports, it was foreordained
that the new courthouse should be tied in with plans for the port town.
The Act for Ports, however, was still in the making, and it was not
possible to begin the courthouse until after its passage in the spring.
On June 10, 1691, it was "Ordered by this Court that Capt. George Mason
and Mr. Blande the Surveyor shall immediately goe and run over the
ground where the Town is to Stand and that they shall then advise and
direct M^r Samson Darrell the Cheife undertaker of the Court house for
this County where he shall Erect and build the same."[24]

The court's order was followed by a hectic sequence that reflects, in
general, the irresponsibilities, the lack of respect for law and order,
and the frontier weaknesses which made it necessary to strengthen
authority. It begins with Sampson Darrell himself, whose moral
shortcomings seem to have been legion (hog-stealing, cheating a widow,
and refusing to give indentured servants their freedom after they had
earned it, to name a few). Darrell undoubtedly had the fastidious
Fitzhugh's confidence, for certainly without that he would not have been
appointed undertaker at all. In his position in the court, Fitzhugh
would have been instrumental in selecting both architect and
architecture for the courthouse, and Darrell seems to have met his
requirements. Fitzhugh, in fact, had sufficient confidence in Darrell to
entrust him with personal business in London in 1688.[25]

Although several months elapsed before a site was chosen, enough of the
new building was erected by October to shelter the court for its monthly
assembly. In the course of this session, there occurred a "most
mischievous and dangerous Riot,"[26] which rather violently inaugurated
the new building. During this disturbance, the pastor of Potomac Parish,
Parson John Waugh,[27] upbraided the court while it was "seated" and
took occasion to call Fitzhugh a Papist. The court, taking cognizance of
"disorders, misrules and Riots" and "the Fatal consequences of such
unhappy malignant and Tumultuous proceeding," thereupon restricted the
sale of liquor on court days (thus revealing what was at least accessory
to the disturbance).[28] Fitzhugh's letter to the court concerning this
episode mentions the "Court House" and the "Court house yard," adding to
Happel's ample documentation that the new building was by now in use.

During the November session, James Mussen was ordered into custody for
having "dangerously wounded M^r. Sampson Darrell."[29] This suggests
that the sequence of disturbances may have been associated with the
unfinished state of the courthouse, which, like the town, symbolized the
purposes of Fitzhugh and the property-owning aristocracy. Certain it is
that Darrell, publicly identified with Fitzhugh, was violently assaulted
and that "a complaint was made to this Court that Sampson Darrell the
chief undertaker of the building and Erecting of a Court house for this
county had not performed the same according to articles of agreement."
He and Bayley accordingly were put under bond to finish the building by
June 10, 1692. By February Bayley was complaining that he had not been
paid for his work, "notwithstanding your pet^r as is well known to the
whole County hath done all the carpenters work thereof and is ready to
perform what is yet wanting." On May 12, less than a month from the
deadline for completion, Darrell was ordered to pay Bayley the money
owing, and Bayley was instructed to go on with the work. Nearly six
months later, on November 10, Darrell again was directed to pay Bayley
the full balance of his wages, but only "after the said Ambrose Bayley
shall have finished and Compleatly ended the Court house."[30]

No description of the courthouse has been found. The Act of 1663 seems
to have required a brick building, although its wording is ambiguous.
Even if it did stipulate brick, the law was 28 years old in 1691, and
its requirements probably were ignored. Although Bayley, the builder,
was a carpenter, this would not preclude the possibility that he
supervised bricklayers and other artisans. Brick courthouses were not
unknown; one was standing in Warwick when the Act for Ports was passed
in 1691. Yet, the York courthouse, built in 1692, was a simple building,
probably of wood.[31] In any case, the Stafford courthouse was a
structure large enough to have required more than a year and a half to
build, but not so elaborate as to have cost more than 40,000 pounds of


    [22] RALPH HAPPEL, "Stafford and King George Courthouses and
    the Fate of Marlborough, Port of Entry," _VHM_ (Richmond,
    1958), vol. 66, pp. 183-194.

    [23] Stafford County Order Book, 1689-1694, p. 187.

    [24] Ibid., p. 122.

    [25] _William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World (1676-1701)_,
    op. cit. (footnote 3), p. 241.

    [26] Stafford County Order Book, 1689-1694, p. 194.

    [27] Ibid., p. 182.

    [28] In Virginia recurrent English fears of Catholic
    domination were reflected at this time in hysterical rumors
    that the Roman Catholics of Maryland were plotting to stir up
    the Indians against Virginia. In Stafford County these
    suspicions were inflamed by the harangues of Parson John
    Waugh, minister of Stafford Parish church and Chotank church.
    Waugh, who seems to have been a rabble rouser, appealed to
    the same small landholders and malcontents as those who, a
    generation earlier, had followed Nathaniel Bacon's
    leadership. So seriously did the authorities at Jamestown
    regard the disturbance at Stafford courthouse that they sent
    three councillors to investigate. See "Notes," _William &
    Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine_ (Richmond, 1907),
    1st ser., vol. 15, pp. 189-190 (hereinafter designated _WMQ_)
    [1]; and Richard Beale Davis' introduction to _William
    Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World_, op. cit. (footnote 3),
    pp. 35-39, and p. 251.

    [29] Stafford County Order Book, 1689-1694, p. 167.

    [30] Ibid., pp. 194, 267, 313.

    [31] HENING, op. cit. (footnote 1), vol. 3, p. 60; EDWARD M.
    RILEY, "The Colonial Courthouses of York County, Virginia,"
    _William & Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine_
    (Williamsburg, 1942), 2nd ser., vol. 22, pp. 399-404
    (hereinafter designated _WMQ_ [2]).


The location of the building is indicated by a notation on Buckner's
plat of the port town: "The fourth course (runs) down along by the Gutt
between Geo: Andrew's & the Court house to Potomack Creek." A glance at
the plat (fig. 2) will disclose that the longitudinal boundaries of all
the lots south of a line between George Andrews' "Gutt" run parallel to
this fourth course. Plainly, the courthouse was situated near the head
of the gutt, where the westerly boundary course changed, near the end of
"The Broad Street Across the Town." It may be significant that the
foundation (Structure B) on which John Mercer's mansion was later built
is located in this vicinity.

In or about the year 1718 the courthouse "burnt Down,"[32] while it was
reported as "being become ruinous" in 1720, with its "Situation very
inconvenient for the greater part of the Inhabitants." It was then
agreed to build a new courthouse "at the head of Ocqua Creek."[33] Aquia
Creek was probably meant, but this must have been an error and the "head
of Potomac Creek" intended instead. Happel shows that it was built on
the south side of Potomac Creek. Thus, the burning of the Marlborough
courthouse in 1718 merely speeded up the forces that led to the end of
the town's career.


    [32] Petition of John Mercer, loc. cit. (footnote 17).

    [33] _Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia_
    (Richmond, 1930), vol. 2, p. 527.


Not only was Marlborough foredoomed by external decrees and adverse
official decisions, but much of its failure was rooted in the local
elements by which it was constituted. The great majority of lot holders
were the "gentlemen" who were so carefully distinguished from "all other
of the Inhabitants" in the order to survey the town in 1691. Most were
leading personages in Stafford, and we may assume that their purchases
of lots were made in the interests of investment gains, not in
establishing homes or businesses. Only three or four yeomen and ordinary
keepers seem to have settled in the town.

Sampson Darrell, for example, held two lots, but he lived at Aquia
Creek.[34] Francis Hammersley was a planter who married Giles Brent's
widow and lived at "The Retirement," one of the Brent estates.[35]
George Brent, nephew of the original Giles Brent, was law partner of
William Fitzhugh, and had been appointed Receiver General of the
Northern Neck in 1690. His brother Robert also was a lot holder. Both
lived at Woodstock, and presumably they did not maintain residences at
the port town.[36] Other leading citizens were Robert Alexander, Samuel
Hayward, and Martin Scarlett, but again there is little likelihood that
they were ever residents of the town. John Waugh, the uproarious pastor
of Potomac Parish, also was a lot holder, but he lived on the south side
of Potomac Creek in a house which belonged to Mrs. Anne Meese of London.
His failure to pay for that house after 11 years' occupancy of it, which
led to a suit in which Fitzhugh was the prosecutor, does not suggest
that he ever arrived at building a house in the port town.[37]

Captain George Mason was a distinguished individual who lived at
"Accokeek," about a mile and a half from Marlborough. He certainly built
in the town, for in 1691 he petitioned for a license to "keep an
ordinary at the Town or Port for this county." The petition was granted
on condition that he "find a good and Sufficient maintenance and
reception both for man and horse." Captain Mason was grandfather of
George Mason of Gunston Hall, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, and
was, at one time or another, sheriff, lieutenant colonel and commander
in chief of the Stafford Rangers, and a burgess. He participated in
putting down the uprising of Nanticoke Indians in 1692, bringing in
captives for trial at the unfinished courthouse in March of that
year.[38] Despite his interest in the town, however, it is unlikely that
he ever lived there.

Another lot owner was Captain Malachi Peale, whose lease of the town
land from the Brents had been purchased when the site was selected. He
also was an important figure, having been sheriff. He may well have
lived on one of his three lots, since he was a resident of the Neck to
begin with. John Withers, one of the first feoffees and a justice of the
peace, was a lot holder also. George Andrews and Peter Beach, somewhat
less distinguished, were perhaps the only full-time residents from among
the first grantees. After 1708 Thomas Ballard and possibly William
Barber were also householders.

Thus, few of the ingredients of an active community were to be found at
Marlborough, the skilled craftsmen or ship's chandlers or merchants who
might have provided the vitality of commerce and trade not having at any
time been present.


    [34] Stafford County Order Book, 1689-1694, p. 251.

    [35] John Mercer's Land Book, loc. cit. (footnote 12);
    _William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World_, op. cit.
    (footnote 3), p. 209.

    [36] Ibid., pp. 76, 93, 162, 367.

    [37] Stafford County Order Book, 1689-1694, p. 203; _William
    Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World_, op. cit. (footnote 3),
    pp. 209, 211.

    [38] Ibid., pp. 184, 230; John Mercer's Land Book, op. cit.
    (footnote 12); _William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World_,
    op. cit. (footnote 3), p. 38.


It is likely that most of the houses in the town conformed to the
minimum requirements of 20 by 20 feet. They were probably all of wood, a
story and a half high with a chimney built against one end. Forman
describes a 20-foot-square house foundation at Jamestown, known as the
"House on Isaac Watson's Land." This had a brick floor and a fireplace
large enough to take an 8-foot log as well as a setting for a brew
copper. The ground floor consisted of one room, and there was probably a
loft overhead providing extra sleeping and storage space.[39] The
original portion of the Digges house at Yorktown, built following the
Port Act of 1705 and still standing, is a brick house, also 20 feet
square and a story and a half high. Yet, brick houses certainly were not
the rule. In remote Stafford County, shortly before the port town was
built, the houses of even well-placed individuals were sometimes
extremely primitive. William Fitzhugh wrote in 1687 to his lawyer and
merchant friend Nicholas Hayward in London, "Your brother Joseph's
building that Shell, of a house without Chimney or partition, & not one
tittle of workmanship about it more than a Tobacco house work, carry'd
him into those Arrears with your self & his other Employees, as you
found by his Accots. at his death."[40] Ancient English puncheon-type
construction, with studs and posts set three feet into the ground, was
still in use at Marlborough in 1691, as we know from the contract for
building a prison quoted by Happel.[41] No doubt the houses there
varied in quality, but we may be sure that most were crude, inexpertly
built, of frame or puncheon-type construction, and subject to
deterioration by rot and insects.


    [39] HENRY CHANDLEE FORMAN, _Jamestown and St. Mary's_
    (Baltimore, 1938), pp. 135-137.

    [40] _William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World_, op. cit.
    (footnote 3), p. 203.

    [41] HAPPEL, op. cit. (footnote 22), p. 186; Stafford County
    Order Book, 1689-1694, pp. 210-211.


Like George Mason, George Andrews ran an ordinary at the port town,
having been licensed in 1693, and he also kept the ferry across Potomac
Creek.[42] He died in 1698, leaving the property to his grandson John
Cave. From the inventory of his estate recorded in the Stafford County
records (Appendix A) we obtain a picture not only of the furnishings of
a house in the port town, but also of what constituted an ordinary.[43]
We are left with no doubt that as a hostelry Andrews' house left much to
be desired. There were no bedsteads, although six small feather beds
with bolsters and one old and small flock bed are listed. (Flock
consisted of tufted and fragmentary pieces of wool and cotton, while
"Bed" referred not to a bedframe or bedstead but to the tick or
mattress.) There were two pairs of curtains and valances. In the 17th
century a valance was "A border of drapery hanging around the canopy of
a bed."[44] Curtains customarily were suspended from within the valance
from bone or brass curtain rings on a rod or wire, and were drawn around
the bed for privacy or warmth. Where high post bedsteads were used, the
curtains and valances were supported on the rectangular frame of the
canopy or tester. Since George Andrews did not list any bedsteads, it is
possible that his curtains and valances were hung from bracketed frames
above low wooden frames that held the bedding. Six of his beds were
covered with "rugs," one of which was "Turkey work." There is no
indication of sheets or other refinements for sleeping.

Andrews' furniture was old, but apparently of good quality. Four "old"
cane chairs, which may have dated back as far as 1660, were probably
English, of carved walnut. The "old" table may have had a turned or a
joined frame, or possibly may have been a homemade trestle table. An
elegant touch was the "carpet," which undoubtedly covered it. Chests of
drawers were rare in the 17th century, so it is surprising to find one
described here as "old." A "cupboard" was probably a press or court
cupboard for the display of plates and dishes and perhaps the pair of
"Tankards" listed in the inventory. The latter may have been pewter or
German stoneware with pewter mounts. The "couch" was a combination bed
and settee. As in every house there were chests, but of what sort or
quality we can only surmise. A "great trunk" provided storage.

Andrews' hospitality as host is symbolized by his _lignum vitae_
punchbowl. Punch itself was something of an innovation and had first
made its appearance in England aboard ships arriving from India early in
the 1600's. It remained a sailor's drink throughout most of the century,
but had begun to gain in general popularity before 1700 in the colonies.
What is more remarkable here, however, is the container. Edward M. Pinto
states that such _lignum vitae_ "wassail" bowls were sometimes large
enough to hold five gallons of punch and were kept in one place on the
table, where all present took part in the mixing. They were lathe-turned
and usually stood on pedestals.[45] George Andrews' nutmeg graters,
silver spoons, and silver dram cup for tasting the spirits that were
poured into the punch were all elegant accessories.

Another resident whose estate was inventoried was Peter Beach.[46] One
of his executors was Daniel Beach, who was paid 300 pounds of tobacco
annually from 1700 to 1703 for "sweeping" and "cleaning" the courthouse
(Appendix B). Beach's furnishings were scarcely more elaborate than
Andrews'. Unlike Andrews, he owned four bedsteads, which with their
curtains and fittings (here called "furniture") varied in worth from 100
to 1500 pounds of tobacco. Here again was a cupboard, while there were
nine chairs with "flag" seats and "boarded" backs (rush-seated chairs,
probably of the "slat-back" or "ladder-back" variety). Eight more chairs
and five stools were not described. A "parcel of old tables" was listed,
but only one table appears to have been in use. There were pewter and
earthenware, but a relatively few cooking utensils. An "old" pewter
tankard was probably the most elegant drinking vessel, while one
candlestick was a grudging concession to the need for artificial light.
The only books were two Bibles; the list mentions a single indentured


    [42] Stafford County Order Book, 1689-1694, p. 195.

    [43] Stafford County Will Book, Liber Z, pp. 168-169.

    [44] _A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles_
    (Oxford, 1928), vol. 10, pt. 2, p. 18.

    [45] EDWARD H. PINTO, _Treen, or Small Woodware Throughout
    the Ages_ (London, 1949), p. 20.

    [46] Stafford County Will Book, Liber Z, pp. 158-159.


In 1707, after the revival of the Port Act, the new county surveyor,
Thomas Gregg, made another survey of the town. This was done apparently
without regard to Buckner's original survey. Since Gregg adopted an
entirely new system of numbering, and since his survey was lost at an
early date, it is impossible to locate by their description the sites of
the lots granted in 1708 and after.

Forty years later John Mercer wrote:

     It is certain that Thomas Gregg (being the Surveyor of Stafford
     County) did Sep 2^d 1707 make a new Survey of the Town.... it is as
     certain that Gregg had no regard either to the bounds or numbers of
     the former Survey since he begins his Numbers the reverse way
     making his number 1 in the corner at Buckner's 19 & as his Survey
     is not to be found its impossible to tell how he continued his
     Numbers. No scheme I have tried will answer, & the Records differ
     as much, the streets according to Buckner's Survey running thro the
     House I lived in built by Ballard tho his whole lot was ditched in
     according to the Bounds made by Gregg.[47]

Whatever the intent may have been in laying out formal street and lot
plans, Marlborough was essentially a rustic village. If Gregg's plat ran
streets through the positions of houses on the Buckner survey, and vice
versa, it is clear that not much attention was paid to theoretical
property lines or streets. Ballard apparently dug a boundary ditch
around his lot, according to Virginia practice in the 17th century, but
the fact that this must have encroached on property assigned to somebody
else on the basis of the Buckner survey seems not to have been noted at
the time. Rude houses placed informally and connected by lanes and
footpaths, the courthouse attempting to dominate them like a village
schoolmaster in a class of country bumpkins, a few outbuildings, a boat
landing or two, some cultivated land, and a road leading away from the
courthouse to the north with another running in the opposite direction
to the creek--this is the way Marlborough must have looked even in its
best days in 1708.


    [47] John Mercer's Land Book, loc. cit. (footnote 12).


Could this poor village have survived had the courthouse not burned? It
was an unhappy contrast to the vision of a town governed by "benchers of
the guild hall," bustling with mercantile activity, swarming on busy
market days with ordinaries filled with people. This fantasy may have
pulsated briefly through the minds of a few. But, after the abrogation
of the Port Act in 1710, there was little left to justify the town's
existence other than the courthouse. So long as court kept, there was
need for ordinaries and ferries and for independent jacks-of-all-trades
like Andrews. But with neither courthouse nor port activity nor
manufacture, the town became a paradox in an economy and society of

Remote and inaccessible, uninhabited by individuals whose skills could
have given it vigor, Marlborough no longer had any reason for being. It
lingered on for a short time, but when John Mercer came to transform the
abandoned village into a flourishing plantation, "Most of the other
Buildings were suffered to go to Ruin, so that in the year 1726, when
your Petitioner [i.e., Mercer] went to live there, but one House
twenty-feet square was standing."[48]


    [48] Petition of John Mercer, loc. cit. (footnote 17).


_John Mercer's Occupation of Marlborough, 1726-1730_


By 1723 Marlborough lay abandoned. George Mason (III), son of the late
sheriff and ordinary keeper in the port town, held the now-empty title
of feoffee, together with Rice Hooe. In that year Mason and Hooe
petitioned the General Court "that Leave may be given to bring in a Bill
to enable them to sell the said Land [of the town] the same not being
built upon or Inhabited." The petition was put aside for consideration,"
but within a week--on May 21, 1723--it was "ordered That Rice Hooe &
George Mason be at liberty to withdraw their petition ... and that the
Committee to whom it was referred be discharged from proceeding

This curious sequence remains unexplained. Had the committee informally
advised the feoffees that their cause would be rejected, suggesting,
therefore, that they withdraw their petition? Or had something
unexpected occurred to provide an alternative solution to the problem of

Possibly it was the latter, and the unexpected occurrence may have been
the arrival in Stafford County of young John Mercer. There is no direct
evidence that Mercer was in the vicinity as early as 1723; but we know
that he appeared before 1725, that he had by then become well acquainted
with George Mason, and that he settled in Marlborough in 1726.

Mercer's remarkable career began with his arrival in Virginia at the
age of 16. Born in Dublin in 1704, the son of a Church Street merchant
of English descent--also named John Mercer--and of Grace Fenton Mercer,
John was educated at Trinity College, and then sailed for the New World
in 1720.[50] How Mercer arrived in Virginia or what means he brought
with him are lost to the record. From his own words written toward the
end of his life we know that he was not overburdened with wealth:

    "Except my education I never got a shilling of my fathers or
    any other relations estate, every penny I ever got has been
    by my own industry & with as much fatigue as most people have

From his second ledger (the first, covering the years 1720-1724, having
been lost) we learn that he was engaged in miscellaneous trading,
sailing up and down the rivers in his sloop and exchanging goods along
the way. Where his home was in these early years we do not know, but it
would appear that he had been active in the Stafford County region for
some time, judging from the fact that by 1725 he had accumulated £322
4s. 5-1/2d. worth of tobacco in a warehouse at the falls of the
Rappahannock.[52] He certainly had encountered George Mason before then,
and probably Mason's uncles, John, David, and James Waugh, the sons of
Parson John Waugh, all of whom owned idle Marlborough properties.

Mercer's friendship with the Masons was sufficiently well established by
1725 that on June 10 of that year he married George's sister Catherine.
This marriage, most advantageous to an aspiring young man, was
celebrated at Mrs. Ann Fitzhugh's in King George County with the
Reverend Alexander Scott of Overwharton Parish in Stafford County
officiating.[53] Thus, allied to an established family that was "old" by
standards of the time and sponsored socially by a representative of the
Fitzhughs, Mercer was admitted at the age of 21 to Virginia's growing

In this animated and energetic youth, the Masons and Waughs probably saw
the means of bringing Marlborough back to life. Mercer, for his part, no
doubt recognized the advantages that Marlborough offered, with its
sheltered harbor and landing, its fertile, flat fields, and airy
situation. That it could be acquired piecemeal at a minimum of
investment through the provisions of the Act for Ports was an added


    [49] _JHB, 1712-1726_ (Richmond, 1912), pp. 336, 373.

    [50] "Journals of the Council of Virginia in Executive
    Session 1737-1763," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1907), vol. 14, pp.

    [51] _George Mercer Papers Relating to the Ohio Company of
    Virginia_, comp. and edit. by Lois Mulkearn (Pittsburgh:
    University of Pittsburgh Press, 1954), p. 204.

    [52] John Mercer's Ledger B is the principal source of
    information for this chapter. It was begun in 1725 and ended
    in 1732. The original copy is in the library of the Bucks
    County Historical Society, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a
    photostatic copy being in the Virginia State Library. Further
    footnoted references to the ledger are omitted, since the
    source in each case is recognizable.

    [53] JAMES MERCER GARNET, "James Mercer," _WMQ_ [1]
    (Richmond, 1909), vol. 17, pp. 85-98. Mrs. Ann Fitzhugh was
    the widow of William Fitzhugh III, who died in 1713/14. She
    was the daughter of Richard Lee and lived at "Eagle's Nest"
    in King George County (see "The Fitzhugh Family," VHM
    [Richmond, 1900], vol. 7, pp. 317-318).


During 1725 Mercer pressed ahead with his trading enterprises. From his
ledger we learn that he sold Richard Ambler of Yorktown 710 pounds of
"raw Deerskins" for £35 10s. and bought £200 worth of "sundry goods"
from him. Between October 1725 and February 1726 he sold a variety of
furnishings and equipment to Richard Johnson, ranging from a "horsewhip"
and a "silk Rugg" to "1/2 doz. Shoemaker's knives" and an "Ivory Comb."
In return he received two hogsheads of tobacco, "a Gallon of syder
Laceground," and raw and dressed deerskins. He maintained a similar
long account with Mosley Battaley (Battaille) (Appendix C). From William
Rogers of Yorktown[54] he bought £12 3s. 6d. worth of earthenware,
presumably for resale. The tobacco which he had accumulated at the falls
of the Rappahannock he sold for cash to the Gloucester firm of Whiting &
Montague, paying Peter Kemp two pounds "for the extraordinary trouble of
y^r coming up so far for it."

[Illustration: Figure 3.--PORTRAIT OF JOHN MERCER, artist unknown. About
1750. (_Courtesy of Mrs. Thomas B. Payne._)]

His sloop was the principal means by which Mercer conducted his
business. Occasionally he rented it for hire, once sharing the proceeds
of a load of oystershells with George Mason and one Edgeley, who had
sailed the sloop to obtain the shells. Only one item shows that Mercer
extended his mercantile activities to slaves: on February 18, 1726, he
sold a mulatto woman named Sarah to Philemon Cavanaugh "to be paid in
heavy tobacco each hhd to weigh 300 Neat."

That Mercer was turning in the direction of a legal career is revealed
in his first account of "Domestick Expenses" for the fall of 1725
(Appendix D). We find that he was attending court sessions far and wide:
"Cash for Exp^s at Stafford & Spotsylvania," "Cash for Exp^s Urbanna,"
the same for "Court Ferrage at Keys." He already was reading in the law,
and lent "March's Actions of Slander," "Washington's Abridgm^t of y^e
Statutes," and "an Exposition of the Law Terms" to Mosley Battaley.


    [54] William Rogers, who died in 1739, made earthenware and
    stoneware at Yorktown after 1711. See C. MALCOLM WATKINS and
    IVOR NOËL HUME, "The 'Poor Potter' of Yorktown" (paper 54 in
    _Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology_,
    U.S. National Museum Bulletin 249, by various authors;
    Washington: Smithsonian Institution), 1967.


Mercer's domestic-expense account is full of evidence that he was
preparing to set up housekeeping. He bought "1 China punch bowl," 10s.;
"6 glasses," 3s.; "1 box Iron & heaters," 2s. 6d.; "1 p^r fine
blankets," 1s. 13d.; "Earthen ware," 10s.; "5 Candlesticks," 17s. 6d.;
"1 Bed Cord," 2s.; "3 maple knives & forks," 2s.; "1 yew haft knife &
fork & 1 p^r Stilds [steelyards?]," 1s. 10-1/2d.; "1 p^r Salisbury
Scissors," 2s. 6d.; and "1 speckled knife & fork," 5d.

In addition, he accepted as payment for various cloth and materials sold
to Mrs. Elizabeth Russell the following furniture and furnishings:

                                      Ster.   £   s.   d.
  By a writing desk                    D^o    5
  By a glass & Cover                   D^o        7    6
  By 18^l Pewter at 1/4                D^o    1   4
  By 6 tea Cups & Sawcers 2/           D^o       12
  By 2 Chocolate Cups 1/               D^o        2
  By 2 Custard Cups 9^d                D^o        1    6
  By 1 Tea Table painted with fruit    D^o       14
  By 6 leather Chairs @ 7/                    2   2
  By a small walnut eating table                  8
  By 1/2 doz. Candlemoulds                       10
  By a Tea table                                 18
  By a brass Chafing dish                         5
  By 6 copper tart pans                           6

At the time of this purchase, the only house standing at Marlborough was
that built by Thomas Ballard in 1708. It was inherited by his godson
David Waugh,[55] who now apparently offered to let his niece Catherine
and her new husband occupy it. Mercer later referred to it as "the
House I lived in built by Ballard."[56] From his own records we know
that he moved to Marlborough in 1726. He did so probably in the summer,
since on June 11 he settled with Charles McClelland for "cleaning out
y^e house." Unoccupied for years and small in size, it was a humble
place in which to set up housekeeping, and indeed must have needed
"cleaning out." It also must have needed extensive repairs, since Mercer
purchased 1500 tenpenny nails "used about it."

Throughout 1726 Mercer acquired household furnishings, made repairs and
improvements, and obtained the necessities of a plantation. On February
1 he acquired "3 Ironbacks" (cast-iron firebacks for fireplaces) for £8
4s. 2d., as well as "2 p^r hand Irons" for 15s. 5d., from Edmund Bagge.
From George Rust he bought "3 Cows & Calves" for £7 10s., a featherbed
for £3 10s., and an "Iron pot" for 5s.

His reckoning with John Dogge opens with a poignant note, "By a Child's
Coffin": Mercer's first-born child had died. On the same account was "an
Oven," bought for 17 shillings. Dogge also was credited with "bringing
over 10 sheep from Sumners" (a plantation at Passapatanzy, south of
Potomac Creek). Rawleigh Chinn was paid for "plowing up & fencing in my
yard" and for "fetching 3 horses over the Creek." Also credited to Chinn
was an item revealing Mercer's sporting enthusiasm: "went on y^e main
race ... 15/."

From Alexander Buncle, Mercer acquired one dozen table knives, three
chamber-door locks, two pairs of candle snuffers, and two broad axes.
His account with Alexander McFarlane in 1726, the credit side of which
is quoted here in part, is a further illustration of the variety of
hardware and consumable goods that he required:

                                     £   s.   d.
  2 p^r men's Shooes                     9
  1 Razor & penknife                     2    6
  2-1/4 gall Rum                         6    9
  9 gals. molasses                      13
  12^1 brown Sugar                       6
  6-1/4 double refined D^o 20^d         10    5
  1 felt hat                             2    4
  1 q^t Limejuice                        1
  2 doz. Claret                      1  10
  2 lanthorns                            6
  1 funnell                                   7-1/2
  1 quart & 1 pint tin pot               1    10-1/2

  * * *

  By 2 doz & 8 bottles Claret        2   8
  By a woman's horsewhip                 3
  By 1^{oz} Gunpowder
  By 10^l Shot
  By 1 wom^s bound felt [hat]

Mercer's comments, added three years later to this record, signify the
complexities of credit accounting in the plantation economy: "In July
1729 I settled Accounts w^{th} M^r M^cFarlane & paid him off & at the
same time having Ed Barry's note on him for 1412^l Tob^o (his goods
being extravagantly dear) I paid him 1450^l Tob^o to M^r Thos Smith to
ball^{ns} accts."

Another of Mercer's accounts was with Edward Simm. From Simm, Mercer
acquired the following in 1726:

                                     £   s.   d.
  1 horsewhip                            4
  1 fine hat                            12
  9 y^{ds} bedtick 3/4                 1  10
  1 p^r Spurs                                 8
  1 Curry Comb & brush                   2    9
  2 p^r mens Shooes 5/                  10
  1 p^r Chelloes                     1  10
  2 p^r wom^s gloves 2/                  4
  2 p^r D^o thread hose                  9
  2 p^r mens worsted d^o                 8
  2 p^r ch^{kr} yarn                     3    4
  1 Sifter                               2
  1 frying pan                           4    6
  7 quire of paper 1-1/4                 9    8
  6 silk Laces 4^d                       2


    [55] John Mercer's Land Book, loc. cit. (footnote 12).

    [56] Petition of John Mercer, loc. cit. (footnote 17).


Mercer's first actual ownership of property came as a result of his
marriage. In 1725 he purchased from his wife Catherine 885 acres of land
near Potomac Church for £221 5s. and another tract of 1610 acres on
Potomac Run for £322.[57] His occupancy of the Ballard house, meanwhile,
was arranged on a most informal basis, three years having been allowed
to pass before he paid his first and only rent--a total of 12
shillings--to his uncle-in-law David Waugh.

In January 1730 the following appears under "Domestick Expenses": "To
bringing the frame of my house from Jervers to Marlbro ... 40/."
Associated with this are items for 2000 tenpenny nails, 2000 eightpenny
nails, and 1000 sixpenny nails, together with "To Chandler Fowke for
plank," "To J^{no} Chambers &c bring board from Landing," and "To John
Chambers & Robt Collins for bringing Bricks & Oyster Shells."

In the same month the account of Anthony Linton and Henry Suddath
includes the following:

  By building a house at Marlborough when finished
    by agreement                                       £10.0.0
  By covering my house & building a Chimney              3.0.0

Clearly, the Mercers had outgrown the temporary shelter which the little
Ballard house had given them. Now a new house was under construction,
with the steps plainly indicated. To obtain timber of sufficient size to
frame the house it was necessary to go where the trees grew. The nearest
thickly forested area was north of Potomac Creek and Potomac Run. The
appropriate timbers apparently grew on property owned by Mercer but
occupied by the widow of James Jervis (or "Jervers"). Not only did the
trees grow there, but we may be sure that there they were also felled,
hewn, and cut, and the finished members fitted together on the ground to
form the frame of the new house. It was a time-honored English building
practice to prepare the timbers where they were felled, shaping them,
drilling holes for "trunnels" (wooden pegs or "tree nails"), inscribing
coded numbers with lumber markers, and then knocking the prefabricated
members apart and transporting them to the building site.[58]

Oystershells and bricks for the chimney were brought from Cedar Point
and Boyd's Hole, south of Marlborough, by Chambers and Collins. Shells
were probably burned at the house site to make lime for mortar. Chambers
was paid 12 pence a day for 32-1/2 days' work spread over a period from
October 1730 to February 1731. Hugh French had been paid for 1000 bricks
on August 24, 1730, while James Jones, on October 3, 1730, was
recompensed three shillings for "9 days of work your Man plaistering my
House & making 2 brick backs."

[Illustration: Figure 4.--THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF JOHN MERCER. Detail from
J. Dalrymple's revision (1755) of the map of Virginia by Joseph Fry and
Peter Jefferson. Marlborough is incorrectly designated "New Marleboro."
(_Courtesy of the Library of Congress._)]

The new house was thus brought to completion early in 1731. That it was
a plain and simple house is apparent from the small amount of labor and
the relatively few quantities of material. It appears to have had two
fireplaces only and one chimney. Although the house was wooden, there is
no evidence that it had any paint whatsoever, inside or out.


    [57] John Mercer's Land Book, loc. cit. (footnote 12).

    [58] CHARLES F. INNOCENT, _The Development of English
    Building Construction_ (Cambridge, England: Cambridge
    University Press, 1916), pp. 23-61.


Other than a child's chair and a bedstead costing 10 shillings,
purchased from Enoch Innes in 1729, little furniture was acquired before
1730. Listed in "Domestick Expenses" for 1729-1730 are minor accessories
for the new house, such as HL hinges, closet locks, a "scimmer," a pair
of brass candlesticks, milk pans, pestle and mortar, "1/2 doz plates," a
"Cullender," a candlebox, earthenware, and a pepperbox, together with
several handtools.


The agricultural aspects of a plantation were increasingly in evidence.
In 1729 Rawleigh Chinn was paid for "helping to kill the Hogs,"
"pasturage of my cattle," and "making a gate." Edward Floyd was credited
with £4 6s. 7-1/2d. for "Wintering Cattle, taking care of my horse &
Sheep to Aug. 1729." John Chinn seems to have been Mercer's jockey, for
as early as 1729 he was entering the races which abounded in Virginia,
and "went on y^e race w^{th} Colt 1729."

In this early period we find considerable evidence of a typical young
Virginian's fondness for gaming and sport. One finds scattered through
Mercer's account with Robert Spotswood such items as "To won at the Race
... 8.9" and "To won at Liew at Col^o Mason's ... 7.3." (Loo was an
elegant 18th-century game played with Chinese-carved mother-of-pearl
counters.) Mercer participated in several sporting events at Stafford
courthouse, for court sessions continued, as in the previous century,
to be social as well as legal and political occasions. This is
illustrated in a credit to Joseph Waugh: "By won at a horse race at
Stafford Court and Attorney's fee ... £1."; on the debit side of Enoch
Innes's account: "To won at Quoits & running with you ... 1/3"; and in
Thomas Hudson's account, where four shillings were marked up "To won
pitching at Stafford Court."

Mercer's diversions were few enough, nevertheless, and it is apparent
that he devoted more time to reading than to gaming. In 1726 he borrowed
from John Graham (or Graeme) a library of 56 volumes belonging to the
"Hon^{ble} Col^o Spotswood"[59] (Appendix E). Ranging from the Greek
classics to English history, and including Milton, Congreve, Dryden,
Cole's Dictionary, "Williams' Mathematical Works," and "Present State of
Russia," they were the basis for a solid education. That they included
no lawbooks at a time when Mercer was preparing for the law is an
indication of his broad taste for literature and learning.

Marlborough, we can see, was occupied by a young man of talent, energy,
and creativity. He alone, of the many men who had envisioned a center of
enterprise on Potomac Neck, was possessed of the drive and the simple
directness to make it succeed. For George Mason and the Waughs, Mercer
was the ideal solution for their Marlborough difficulties.


    [59] Col. Alexander Spotswood, Governor of Virginia and a
    resident of Spotsylvania County, was at this time living in
    London. He authorized John Graham (or Graeme) of St. James,
    Clerkenwell, Middlesex, to "take possession of his iron works
    in Virginia, with plantations, negroes, stocks, and manage
    the same." By 1732 Spotswood regretted that he had "committed
    his affairs to the care of a mathematician, whose thoughts
    were always among the stars." In 1737 Graham became professor
    of natural philosophy and mathematics in the College of
    William and Mary. See "Historical & Genealogical Notes," WMQ
    [1] (Richmond, 1909), vol. 17, p. 301 (quoting Basset,
    _Writings of William Byrd_, p. 378).


_Mercer's Consolidation of Marlborough, 1730-1740_


The 1730's opened a golden age in the Virginia colony. There was an
interval of peace in which trade might flourish; there were new laws
which favored the tobacco planter and led to the building of resplendent
mansions along Virginia's shores. John Mercer wasted no time in grasping
the opportunities that lay about him. With shrewd foresight he made law
his major objective, thus raising himself above most of his
contemporaries. At the same time he began an extensive purchasing of
property, so that within a decade he was to become one of the major
landed proprietors in the colony. Planting and legal practice each
augmented the other in Mercer's prosperity, which was assured by a
classic combination of energy, ability, and outgoing personality. As
with many successful men, Mercer had an eye for meticulous detail; the
documents he left behind were a treasury of methodically kept records.

His Ledger B reveals that as early as 1730 his legal career was becoming
firmly established. It records fee accounts, charges for drawing deeds,
writing bonds, and representing clients in various courts. In that year
he "subscribed to Laws of Virginia" through William Parks, the
Williamsburg printer and stationer, and began to build up a substantial
law library, which was augmented by the purchase of 40 lawbooks from
Robert Beverley.


On October 13, 1730, Mercer obtained title from David Waugh to the
Ballard house and lots on the basis of the "Statute for transforming
uses into possessions." At the same time he acquired the three lots
originally granted to John Waugh, while nine months later he was given
the release of the three lots inherited by George Mason from his
father.[60] Mercer's foothold in Marlborough was now secure.

Following these developments, he "employed the County Surveyor to lay
off the several Lots he had purchased," which led to the discovery of
the previously mentioned disparities and conflicts between the Buckner
survey of 1691 and the missing Gregg survey of 1707. For some reason the
town now lacked feoffees, so Mercer "applied to the County Court of
Stafford on the tenth day of June one thousand seven hundred and
thirty-one and the said Court then appointed Henry Fitzhugh Esquire and
James Markham Gent. Feofees of the said Town." Mercer stated that he
"proposed making great Improvements ... and wanted to take up several
other Lots to build on." The court thereupon ordered John Savage, the
county surveyor, to make a new survey, "having regard to the Buildings
and Improvements then standing"--a significant instruction, intended no
doubt to permit the reconciling of conflicting titles with respect to
what actually was built.[61]

The new survey was laid out July 23, 1731, "in the presence of the said
Feoffees," and drawn with the same plan and numbering as Buckner's,
except that an additional row of lots was applied along the western
border of the town, compressing slightly the former lots as planned by
Buckner and pushing them eastward (fig. 2). This extra row, we have
reason to believe, was added with "regard to the Buildings and
Improvements then standing."

At the time of the survey, the feoffees told Mercer "that he might
proceed in his Buildings and Improvements on any the said Lots not
before granted," promising that they would at any time make him "any
Title they could lawfully pass." A proposal by Fitzhugh to give title to
any lots already purchased or any which Mercer might take up under terms
of the Port Act of 1705 was discouraged by Mercer's lawyer, Mr. Hopkins,
who took the view that, since the three surveys conflicted, the deeds
would not be good. Accordingly, Fitzhugh and Mercer applied for an
"amicable Bill," or suit in chancery, in the General Court, in order "to
have Savage's or any particular Survey established." The request was
shelved, however, and still was unanswered in 1748.

The extra row of lots and the court's instructions to Savage to make his
survey with "Regard to the Buildings and Improvements then Standing"
seem to be correlated. Savage made a significant notation on his survey
plat: "The lots marked 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, & 21 joining to the Creek are
in possession of Mr. John Mercer who claims them under Robinson,
Berryman, Pope & Parry, & under Ballard & under John Waugh dec^{ed}, all
w^{ch} he says have been built on and saved." On the Buckner plat the
lots bearing these numbers comprise a block of six in the southwest
corner of the town, extending up from the creek in two 3-tiered rows
(fig. 2). The plat included the lots near the head of the "gutt" where
the courthouse appears to have stood, as well as the land on which
Structure B (the foundation of Mercer's mansion) was excavated. The lots
appear in the same relationship on Savage's survey, except that the new
row bounds them on the west.

We know that the Robinson-Berryman-Pope-Parry lot was the same lot
originally granted to Robert Alexander in 1691, numbered 19 on
Buckner's plat. It was granted to its later owners according to the
Gregg survey in 1707, and was then described as "being the first Lott
known in the Survey Platt by number 1." From Mercer we have learned
already that Gregg made "his number 1 in the corner at Buckner's 19."
The other five lots were claimed under Ballard and John Waugh. Waugh was
granted one lot in 1691--Buckner's number 20--and acquired two more in
1707. All three appear to have been in the corner block of six lots. In
any case, these six lots equal the number of lots known to have been
granted the above-listed lot holders. Both of Ballard's lots were
granted in 1707. His lot number 19 (Gregg survey), where Mercer first
lived, is described as "bounding Easterly with a lott surveyed for Mr.
John Waugh Westerly with a Narrow street Northerly with a lott not yet
surveyed, Southerly with the first main Street which is parallel with
Potomac Creek." We do not know which of Waugh's lots is meant, nor do we
know Gregg's street plan, except that it was at odds with Buckner's. But
it is probable that Ballard's lot (Gregg's number 19) was the same as
Buckner's number 21, that the crosstown street on Gregg's plat lay to
the south of the lot rather than to the north of it, as on Buckner's
plat, and that one of Waugh's lots lay to the east of it.[62]

Assuming that the two acres for the courthouse were located near the
head of the "gutt" and that Ballard's lot 19 was approximately the same
as Buckner's 21, it is apparent that Ballard's lot must have overlapped
the courthouse lots in the confusion between the two surveys. Since
Mercer was living on Ballard's lot, he probably infringed on the
courthouse property. Even though the courthouse had been burned and
abandoned, the two acres assigned to it were required to revert to the
original owner, as provided in the Act of 1667, concerning church and
courthouse lands. In this case, the courthouse land, having been
"deserted," had reverted to the heir of Giles Brent.

Mercer's embarrassment at this state of affairs must have been great.
However, the addition by Savage of a whole new row of lots along the
westerly border of the town created new acreage, sufficient both to
reconcile the conflict and to provide compensatory land to satisfy the
Brents. Unfortunately, the Savage survey, as we have noted, was not made
official, and Mercer was forced to continue his questionable occupancy
of properties whose titles were in doubt.

[Illustration: Figure 5.--KING WILLIAM COURTHOUSE, about 1725. Mercer
often pleaded cases here. (From a Civil War period negative.) (_Courtesy
of Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress._)]

What is most significant to us in all this is the inference that the
courthouse, the Ballard house which Mercer occupied, and the Structure B
foundation were all in close proximity.


    [60] John Mercer's Land Book, loc. cit. (footnote 12).

    [61] Petition of John Mercer, loc. cit. (footnote 17).

    [62] Stafford County Will Book, Liber Z, pp. 407, 431, 497.


Mercer's next purchase of Marlborough property was on July 28, 1737,
when he bought the three lots granted in 1691 to George Andrews from
Andrews' grandson, John Cave. Meanwhile, he began large-scale
acquisitions of lands elsewhere. By 1733 he had acquired an aggregate of
8096 acres in Prince William County. In addition, he obtained a "Lease
for three Lives" on three large tracts belonging to William Brent,
adjoining Marlborough, so that he controlled virtually all of Potomac

Thus, after 1730 we find Mercer's fortune already well established and
increasing. No longer a youthful trader plying the Potomac in his sloop,
he was now a gentleman planter and influential lawyer. He lived in a new
house, owned some parts of Marlborough, and was building "improvements"
on others. Almost overnight he had become a landed proprietor.


    [63] John Mercer's Land Book, loc. cit. (footnote 12).


The source of Mercer's newly made wealth is easily discovered. His
ledger shows an income from legal fees in 1730 amounting to £291 10s.
10-1/2d. In 1731 the figure climbed to £643 18s. 2d., then leveled off
to £639 11s. 2-1/2d. the following year. For a young man still in his
twenties and self-trained in the law, this was a remarkable achievement.
His success perhaps is attributable to a single event that stemmed from
youthful brashness and vigorous outspokenness. Early in 1730, in a
daring gesture on behalf of property owners and taxpayers, he protested
against privileges granted in an act passed by the Assembly the previous
year "for encouraging Adventurers in Iron Works." Presented in the form
of a proposition, the protest was read before the Stafford court by
Peter Hedgman. The reaction to it in Williamsburg, once it had reached
the ears of the Assembly, was immediate and angry. The House of

     _Resolv'd_ That the Proposition from _Stafford_ County in relation
     to the Act past in the last Session of this Assembly for
     encouraging Adventurers in Iron Works is a scandalous and Seditious
     Libel Containing false and scandalous Reflections upon the
     Legislature and the Justices of the General Court and other Courts
     of this Colony.

     _Resolv'd_ That _John Mercer_ the Author and Writer of that paper
     and _Peter Hedgman_ one of the Subscribers who presented the same
     to the Court of Stafford County to be certified to the General
     Assembly are guilty of a high Misdemeanour.

     _Order'd_ That the said _John Mercer_ and _Peter Hedgman_ be sent
     for in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House to
     answer their said Offence at the Bar of this House.[64]

Mercer and Hedgman made their apologies to the House, received their
reprimands, and paid their fines. But this protest, so offensive to the
dignity of the lawmakers, had its effect in forcing amendments to the
act, particularly in removing the requirement for building public roads
leading from the ironworks to the ore supplies and shipping points. To
those living in Stafford, particularly in the neighborhood of the
proposed Accokeek Ironworks, near Marlborough, this concession must have
elevated Mercer to the level of a hero.[65]

Mercer's frank disposition led him into other difficulties during the
first years of his practice. His insistence on the prompt payment of
debts and his opposition to stays of execution following suits had won
him enemies at Prince William court. Charges of improper legal
activities were brought against him; these were investigated at
Williamsburg, with the result that on June 13, 1734, he was suspended
from practicing law in Virginia for a period of six months.[66]


    [64] _JHB, 1727-1734; 1736-1740_ (Richmond, 1910), p. 66.

    [65] Ibid., p. xxi.

    [66] _Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia_
    (Richmond, Virginia: D. Bottom, superintendent of public
    printing, 1925), vol. 4, p. 328.


Deprived temporarily of his principal livelihood, Mercer set out to
write an _Abridgment of the Laws of Virginia_. The task completed, he
petitioned the General Court on April 23, 1735, for "leave to Print an
Abridgment compil'd by him of all the Laws of this Colony & to have the
benefit of the Sale thereof." On the same day he petitioned for a
renewal of his license, which was granted with the exception of the
right to practice in Prince William, where he was to remain _persona non
grata_ generally thereafter.[67]

Soon after these events his brother-in-law and old acquaintance, George
Mason, drowned. Mercer was designated co-guardian of 10-year-old George
Mason IV, who came to live at Marlborough. Young George later grew up to
be the master of Gunston Hall and, as the author of the Virginia Bill of
Rights, to stand among the intellectuals whose ideas influenced the
Revolution and the framing of the Constitution. In these formative
years, young George Mason surely must have been affected by the strong
legal mind and cultivated tastes of his uncle.[68]

On October 14, 1737, the _Virginia Gazette_ carried the following

     _This Day is Published_

     An Exact Abridgment of the Laws of VIRGINIA, in Force and Use, to
     this present time. By

     John Mercer.

At long last, after innumerable delays, the _Abridgment_ was in print.
From a financial point of view it was a conspicuous failure. Too few
Virginians, apparently, were sufficiently interested to buy it.


    [67] Ibid., p. 348.

    [68] KATE MASON ROWLAND, _The Life of George Mason_ (New York
    and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1892), vol. 1, p. 49.


During this eventful decade of the 1730's Mercer acquired the things
needed for the proper maintenance of his house and properties. One
requisite was Negro servants. From Pat Reyant he bought "a Girl named
Margaret" for 43 pounds of tobacco in 1730. In 1731 he bought Deborah,
Phillis, Peter, Nan, and Bob. The following year he obtained Lucy, Will,
and George, and, in 1733, Nero. His purchases increased as his
landholdings increased. In 1736 he bought five slaves, three of whom he
aptly named Dublin, Marlborough, and Stafford.

To help feed his slaves during this early period, Mercer apparently
depended in part upon Stafford's wealth of natural resources. At least
we find a record of wild game entered on the same page and under the
same heading as his "Negroes" account in the ledger. There it is noted
that he purchased 42 ducks from Natt Hedgman on November 19, 1730, and
20 ducks from Rawleigh Chinn the same day, paying for them in powder and
shot. Two swans and a goose, as well as venison, appear on the list.
Payment for these was made in powder, shot, and wool.

He continued, meanwhile, to equip his house. From John Foward (or
Foard), a London merchant, he bought a "frying pan" and "2 doz.
bottles," "1 tomahawk," "2 stock-locks," "1 padlock," "2 best padlocks,"
"1 drawingknife," "9 p^r hinges," "3 clasp knives," and "1 gall.
Maderas." In April 1731, he bought from Captain Foward:

                                          £   s.   d.
  1 bellmettle skillet 4-1/2^{oz} at 2/       9
  1 copper Sausepan                           7
  1 Small D^o                                 5    4
  1 hunting whip                              5
  1 halfcheck bridle                          7
  1 fine hat                                 12
  1 wig Comb                                  6

Also in 1731 he bought "6 rush bottom Chairs" for 17 shillings and a
spinning wheel for 10 shillings from William Hamitt. The "writing desk"
which he had bought in 1725 apparently needed extensive and expensive
repairs, for in March 1731 there appears an item under "Domestick
Expenses," "To W^m Walker for mending Scoutore £1." (_Scoutore_ was one
of many corrupt spellings of _escritoire_, a slant-top desk.) William
Walker was a Stafford County cabinetmaker and builder, about whom we
shall hear much more.

One of the most active accounts was that of Nathaniel Chapman,[69] who
directed the newly established Accokeek Ironworks. In 1731 he sold
Mercer several hundred nails of different descriptions, a variety of
hoes, ploughs, wedges, door latches, and heaters for smoothing irons.
One item is "By putting a leg in an old Iron Pott"; another is "By Col
Mason p^d for mending a snuff box. 2.6" (Appendix F).

In 1732 he paid Thomas Staines £1 for "a Cradle," "two Bedsteads," and
"a weekes work." From John Blane, during the same year, he purchased
2500 tenpenny nails and the same quantity of eightpenny nails. He also
bought from Blane 4 "basons," a porringer, 100 needles, 2 penknives, a
gross of "thread buttons," and a pair of large "Scissars." Again, in
1732 he obtained from William Nisbett a quantity of miscellaneous goods,
including 10 parcels of earthenware and a pewter dish weighing 4 to 5
ounces. He also settled with Samuel Stevens for "your share in making a


    [69] Nathaniel Chapman headed the Accokeek Ironworks,
    referred to by Mercer in Ledger G as "Chapman's Works at Head
    of Bay." Although Mercer had opposed the act, which gave
    privileges to the ironworks, he was a lifelong friend of
    Chapman, who testified in his behalf in 1734 and served with
    him on the Ohio Company Committee in the 1750's and 1760's.
    Chapman was executor for the estates of Lawrence and
    Augustine Washington.


The Tobacco Act of 1730 provided for the erection of public tobacco
warehouses, and Marlborough was selected as one of the sites.[70] In
1731 Mercer's account with John Waugh included "Timber for 2500 boards
@25/.£3.2.6" and "Posts & Ceils for two Warehouses, 12 shillings." In
April 1732 he settled accounts with Captain Henry Fitzhugh for "building
a Warehouse & Wharf & 6 prizes" at 3000 pounds of tobacco, or £15. The
prizes probably were "incentive awards" for the workmen. Included in
Fitzhugh's account were "3 days work of Caesar & Will," ten shillings,
and "4319 very bad Clapboards at 1/2^d y^e board." On March 25 he paid
Anthony Linton for 1820 clapboards, allowing him eight shillings for
"sawing of Boards." The warehouses were in operation in 1732, as we
learn from Mercer's "Account of Inspectors," but they suffered the fate
of all official enterprises at Marlborough, for in 1734 "the same were
put down, as being found very inconvenient."[71] The actual date of
their termination was November 16, 1735, when a new warehouse was
scheduled for completion at the mouth of Aquia Creek.[72] The expression
"put down" does not seem to mean that the warehouses were torn down, but
that they were officially discontinued. He apparently, however,
continued to use them for his own purposes.


    [70] HENING, op. cit. (footnote 1), vol. 4, p. 268.

    [71] Petition of John Mercer, loc. cit. (footnote 17).

    [72] _JHB, 1727-1734; 1736-1740_, op. cit. (footnote 6), p.


During the 1730's Mercer recorded a minimum of recreational activities.
Those that he did list are representative of the society of which he was
a part. Making wagers was a favorite amusement. For example, he was owed
£7 16s. by "Col^o George Braxton To a Wager you laid me at Cap^t Rob^t
Brooke's house before M^r James Reid, Will^m Brooke &c Six Guineas to
one that Col^o Spotswood would not during the Reign of K. George that
now is, procure a Commission as Chief or Lieu^t Gov^r of Virginia." In
1731 he paid William Brent "By a pistole won of me about Hedgman's
wrestling with and throwing Fra^s Dade. £1.1.12." He also paid £2 10s.
to James Markham "By [my] part on the Race on Stotham's horse." There
are other scattered references to wagers on horseraces.

Mercer had become a vestryman in Overwharton Parish as early as 1730,
and appears to have been made responsible for all legal matters
pertaining to that church. His account, shown in detail in Appendix G,
is of interest in showing that violations of moral law were held
accountable to the church and that fines for convictions were paid to
the church. Mercer, representing the parish, collected a portion of each
fine as his fee.

Most of his energies now seem to have been divided between the law and
the substantial responsibilities for managing his plantations. The
increasing extent of tobacco cultivation is revealed in the tobacco
account with "M^r Jonathan Foward, Merchant in London" (presumably John
Foward, mentioned earlier), extending from 1733 to 1743. This account
lists shipments of 129 hogsheads of tobacco, totaling £643 1s. 11d. (if
we include a few extraneous items, such as "To an over charge in Lemons"
and "To a Still charg'd never sent"). Several similar accounts involve
proceeds from tobacco. In 1734 and 1738, for example, he shipped 54
hogsheads to William Stevenson, another London merchant, for £207 7d. on
the ships _Triton_, _Snake_, _Brooks_, and _Elizabeth_.

[Illustration: Figure 6.--MOTHER-OF-PEARL COUNTERS, or "fish," used in
playing 18th-century games, including Loo, at which Mercer once won 7s.
3d. from Col. George Mason (III). These examples, collected in
Massachusetts, are probably late 18th century. (USNM 61.399.)]

Marlborough's full transition to a seat of tobacco-planting empire is
now clearly discernible. In so becoming, it was typical of the
consolidation of wealth, property, and power in Virginia as the
mid-century approached. Land had become both a substitute for tobacco in
lean years and the means for paying off debts. The same land in better
years yielded crops to its new owners, so that a relatively few dynamic
men were able to amass great wealth and form a ruling aristocracy. The
varieties of talents in men like Mercer--who, besides being a planter,
was an accomplished lawyer and able administrator--placed them in the
ascendancy over their less able fellows. The vigor and ability with
which such men were endowed fostered the remarkable class of leaders of
the succeeding generation, who had so much to do with founding the


_Marlborough at its Ascendancy, 1741-1750_


On April 12, 1741, Mercer was admitted to practice at the General Court
in Williamsburg.[73] His trip there on that occasion was typical of the
journeys which took him at least twice yearly to the capital. On the
first day of this Williamsburg trip he rode "To Col^o Taliaferro's," a
distance of 19 miles. The following day "To Caroline Court" (18 miles),
the next "To M^r Hubbard's" (30 miles), then as far as "M^r J^{no}
Powers" (24 miles), and finally "To Furneas & Williamsburg" (30 miles).
The route was usually to West Point, or Brick House on the opposite
shore in New Kent County, and thence either directly to Williamsburg, or
by way of New Kent courthouse. Stopovers were made either at ordinaries
or at the houses of friends.[74]

Mercer's travels, summarized in the journal that he kept in the back of
Ledger B from 1730 until his death in 1768, were prodigious. In 1735,
for example, he journeyed a total of 4202 miles and was home only 119
days. This pace had slackened considerably in the period we are now
considering, but, nevertheless, he was not at home more than 218 days
out of any one year of the decade 1741-1750. This energetic and restless
moving about was common among the leading planters, but in Mercer's case
it seems to have reached its ultimate. Practicing law, playing politics,
acquiring property, and becoming acquainted with people led him all over

A representative sample from the journal covers the period of September
and October 1745. It will be noted that the days of the week are
indicated alphabetically, a through g, as in the calendar of the Book of
Common Prayer. The mileage traveled each day is entered at the right.

   1  F  to Potomack Church & home                       10
   2  g  at home
   3  a  to Tylers & Spotsylvania Court                  14
   4  b  to M^r Daniels[75] & home                       14
   5  c  to M^r Moncure's,[76] my Survey & home          20
   6  d  to King George Court & W^m Walkers'[77]         24
   7  e  to M^{rs}. Spoore's[78] my Survey & home        20
   8  F  at home
   9  g  M^r Moncure's my Survey & home                  20
  10  a  to Stafford Court & home                        20
  11  b  at home
  12  c  to M^{rs} Mason's[79] Survey                    18
  13  d  at D^o                                          10
  14  e  at D^o                                          15
  15  F  to Potomack Church & M^r Moncure's              18
  16  g  home                                             6
  17  a  at home
  18  b  D^o
  19  c  to M^{rs} Spoore & M^{rs} Taliaferro's          17
  20  d  at M^r Taliaferro's                             14
  21  e  To Fredericksburg & M^{rs} Taliaferro's
  22  F  To Doctor Potter's[80] & M^{rs} Taliaferro's.
            Lost my horses                                2
  23  g  To M^r Moncure's                                 9
  24  a  home                                            10
  25  b  at home
  26  c  D^o
  27  d  D^o
  28  e  to M^r Moncure's, Vestry & home                 16
  29  F  at home
  30  g  D^o


   1  a  at home
   2  b  to M^r Moncure's & Fredericksburg Fair          15
   3  c  at the Fair
   4  d  to M^r Moncure's & home                         15
   5  e  at home
   6  F  to M^{rs} Taliaferro's                          17
   7  g  to Caroline Court h^o & George Hoomes's[81]     20
   8  a  to Newcastle                                    50
   9  b  to M^r Anderson's & M^r Gray's [82]             14
  10  c  to New Kent Courth^s & M^r Gray's               14
  11 d  to Furnau's & Williamsburg                       17
  12 e  at Williamsburg

[He remained at Williamsburg until November 6.]

Such itineraries were punctuated by periods of staying at Marlborough,
but even then there were day-long journeys to Stafford courthouse, to
church, or to a survey. The courthouse, which succeeded that at
Marlborough, was situated on the south side of Potomac Creek, about
three miles upstream from the old site. Mercer almost invariably took
the 10-mile-long land route through the site of the present village of
Brook, along the Fredericksburg road past Potomac Church, then along the
headwaters of Potomac Run on a now-disused road leading to Belle Plains.
Just before reaching the courthouse, which stood on a rise of land some
distance back from the creek, he passed "Salvington," the mansion of
Joseph Selden.[83] Near the water, and in sight of the courthouse, stood
the house of John Cave, whose grandfather in 1707 had bought his land
from Sampson Darrell, undertaker of the Marlborough courthouse.[84] Near
it, on a foundation still visible, Cave built the warehouse that bore
his name, and through him passed much of the tobacco that Mercer raised
locally. Occasionally, when he had business to do at Cave's, Mercer
would return home by water, as he did on August 14, 1746:

  to Stafford Court & M^r Cave's         11
  home by water                           5


    [73] John Mercer's journal, kept in the back of Ledger B.

    [74] Col. John Taliaferro was a justice of Spotsylvania
    County court and one of the original trustees of
    Fredericksburg. He lived at the "Manor Plantation," Snow
    Creek, Spotsylvania County, and died in 1744 ("Virginia
    Council Journals, 1726-1753," _VHM_ [Richmond, 1927], vol.
    35, p. 415). Benjamin Hubbard lived in Caroline County ("The
    Lovelace Family and its Connections," _VHM_ [Richmond, 1921],
    vol. 29, p. 367); John Powers was apparently a resident of
    King William County (Ida J. Lee, "Abstracts from King William
    County Records," WMQ [2] [Williamsburg, 1926], vol. 6, p.
    72); "Furnea's" seems to have been an ordinary between
    Williamsburg and New Kent.

    [75] Peter Daniel was a burgess and leading citizen of
    Stafford County, who, as vestryman, signed the advertisement
    for bids to build a new Aquia Church in 1751. _Virginia
    Gazette_, June 6, 1751.

    [76] The Reverend Mr. John Moncure was minister of
    Overwharton Parish.

    [77] See pp. 25, 35-36, 46-47 and footnote 95 for further
    references to William Walker. Mercer's visit on this occasion
    probably relates to Walker's tentative appointment to rebuild
    Aquia Church.

    [78] Mrs. Ann Spoore of Stafford County.

    [79] Probably Mercer's sister-in-law, Mrs. Ann Mason, mother
    of George Mason of Gunston Hall.

    [80] Dr. Henry Potter lived in Spotsylvania County. His
    estate was advertised for sale the following April 17 in the
    _Virginia Gazette_.

    [81] George Hoomes was a justice of Caroline County court. He
    was appointed in 1735, the same year in which John Mercer
    qualified to practice law at the same court. "Extracts from
    the Records of Caroline County," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1912), vol.
    20, p. 203.

    [82] Probably Thomas Anderson (see p. 35 and footnote 93);
    William Gray was justice of New Kent County.

    [83] Joseph Selden's estate passed to his son Samuel, who
    married Mercer's eldest daughter, Sarah Ann Mason Mercer. See
    John Melville Jennings, ed., "Letters of James Mercer to John
    Francis Mercer," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1951), vol. 59, pp. 89-91.

    [84] Fredericksburg district-court papers, file 571, bundle
    F, nos. 36-43 (through George F. S. King, Fredericksburg);
    Stafford County Will Book, Liber Z, p. 383 (August 5, 1707).


During the 1740's Mercer's travels were often by chaise or chariot. We
learn from Ledger G that he bought "a fourwheel Chaise" from Charles
Carter[85] in September 1744, a significant step in emulating the
manners and ways of Virginia's established aristocrats. Three years
later he purchased "a Sett of Chaisewheels" from Francis Hogans, a
Caroline County wheelwright, and in June 1748 he discounted as an
overcharge the cost of "a Chaise worth nothing" in his account with the
English mercantile firm of Sydenham & Hodgson.[86] A "chaise" could have
been one of several types of vehicles, but it was probably "a carriage
for traveling, having a closed body and seated for one to three
persons," according to Murray's _A New Oxford Dictionary_.

[Illustration: Figure 7.--JOHN MERCER'S TOBACCO-CASK SYMBOLS, drawn in
his Ledger G. The "home plantation" (Marlborough) is symbolized by the
initial C, probably in honor of his wife Catherine. Sumner's quarters at
Passapatanzy is indicated by S, and Bull Run quarters by B. (_Courtesy
of Bucks County Historical Society._)]

In 1749 Mercer bought a "chariot" from James Mills of Tappahannock for
£80. Doubtless an elegant piece of equipage, this was, we learn from
Murray, "a light four-wheeled carriage with only back seats, and
differing from the post-chaise in having a coach-box." In November 1750
he paid John Simpson, a Fredericksburg wheelwright, 10 shillings for
"wedging & hooping the Chariotwheels" and 9 shillings for "mending 3
fillys & 3 Spokes in D^o."[87]

At the same time he bought a "p^r Cartwheels" for £2 and a "Tumbling
Cart" for £1 6s. from Simpson. Murray tells us that a "tumble cart" or a
"tumbril cart" was a dung cart, designed to dump the load.


    [85] Ledger G (original at Bucks County Historical Society)
    covers the period 1744-1750, with some entries in 1751 and a
    few summary accounts covering Mercer's career. Further
    footnoted references to this ledger will be omitted. Charles
    Carter lived at "Cleve" in King George County, near Port
    Royal, fronting on the Rappahannock. See FAIRFAX HARRISON,
    "The Will of Charles Carter of Cleve," _VHM_ (Richmond,
    1923), vol. 31, pp. 42-43.

    [86] Sydenham & Hodgson was a London mercantile firm,
    represented in Virginia by Jonathan Sydenham. Mercer
    identified the firm in Ledger G as "Merchants King George"
    and noted in his journal on January 20, 1745, that he visited
    at "Mr. Sydenham's." In 1757 the two men were referred to
    elsewhere as "Messrs. Sydenham & Hodgson of London." See
    "Proceedings of the Virginia Committee of Correspondence,
    1759-67," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1905), vol. 12, pp. 2-4.

    [87] Extensive research has been conducted by Colonial
    Williamsburg, Inc., on the forms of vehicles used by such
    Virginians as Mercer and his contemporaries.


Hogsheads and casks of tobacco were branded with the symbols or initials
of the original owners. Many of the brands are recorded explicitly in
the ledger. Mercer, at the beginning of his career, used a symbol M. As
his plantations multiplied, however, three symbols were adopted, based
on his own two initials. Tobacco casks from Bull Run were marked
I^[B.]M. Those from Sumner's Quarters bore the brand I^[S.]M, while the
"Home Plantation" at Marlborough had casks marked I^[C.]M (fig. 8).

The interpretation of these symbols warrants some digression. In the
17th century, and indeed in the 18th century also, the triangular cipher
to indicate the initials of man and wife was commonly used to mark
silver, pewter, china, delftware, linens, and other objects needing
owners' identifications. The common surname initial was placed at the
top, the husband's first-name initial at the lower left, and the wife's
at the lower right. This arrangement was used consistently in the 17th
century. In the 18th century, however, variations began to appear in the
colonies, although not, apparently, in England. Silver made in New York
and Philadelphia during the 1700's presents the initials reading from
left to right, with the husband's at the lower left, the wife's at top
center, and the surname initial at the lower right. The large keystone
of the Carlyle house in Alexandria, built in 1751, bears a triangular
arrangement of John and Sarah Carlyle's initials: J^[S.]C.[88]

Like Carlyle, Mercer used initials in this fashion, but also, as we have
seen, in two other combinations in which "J. M." remains constant, the
upper center initial having a subordinate significance. "S" signifies
Sumner's Quarters, and "B," Bull Run Quarters. "C" on seals and brands
having to do with Marlborough apparently refers to Catherine, honoring
her as Mercer's wife and mistress of the home plantation. The
possibility that "C" stands for Cave's warehouse may be dismissed as
being inconsistent with the other two marks, the tobacco from Sumner's
Quarters having also been shipped through Cave's, and that from Bull Run
Quarters having been stored at the Occaquan warehouse.[89]

John Withers also used the left-to-right arrangement, I^[H.]W, although
Henry Tyler, a planter whose account is mentioned in Mercer's Ledger,
used the conventional three-letter cipher, H^[T.]M. These marks occurred
on casks transmitted to Mercer as payments, and are recorded in Ledger G
(fig. 7).


    [88] GAY MONTAGUE MOORE, _Seaport in Virginia_ (Richmond,
    1949), p. 62.

    [89] C. MALCOLM WATKINS, "The Three-initial Cipher:
    Exceptions to the Rule," _Antiques_ (June 1958), vol. 73, no.
    6, pp. 564-565.


Tobacco, before being transferred to another owner, was examined by
official inspectors. Mercer kept a special "Inspector's Notes" account
where he kept track of fees due the inspectors. Direct payments of
tobacco were made in transactions with William Hunter and Charles Dick,
the Fredericksburg merchants from whom Mercer bought most of his goods
and supplies. To others, however, payments were made in a complexity of
tobacco notes, legal-fee payments, and plain barter. Tobacco shipped
overseas was usually handled by Sydenham & Hodgson. Also involved with
tobacco transactions in England were two Virginia merchants, Major John
Champe, a distinguished resident of King George County who lived at
Lamb's Creek plantation, and William Jordan, of Richmond County, both of
whom arranged for purchases of books, furniture, and other English
imports for Mercer.

The following are excerpts from Sydenham & Hodgson's account in Ledger

  1745                                       £   s.   d.
  June       To 8 hhds. tob^o consigned     63   5    5
               you by the
               Pri[n]ce of Denmark
  November   To 6 hhds by the               29  15    9
  May        To 5 hhds by Cap^n
               Lee    LOST
  Feb        To 10 hhds by Cap^t            51  14    8
  Septemb^r  To 10 hhds by Cap^t            35   9    8
  June       To 10 hhds by Cap^n
               Donaldson    LOST
  Septemb^r  To 24 hhds tob^o sold         162  17   14
               Mr. Jordan

Revealed in this account are the hazards of shipping goods overseas in
the 18th century. A partnership apparently figured in the second loss at
sea, however, as the following entry in Ledger G shows:

  June 1747   By Profit & Loss for the half    £75.15.3-3/4
                of 20 hhds by Donaldson
                in the Cumberland & Lost
              By William Jordan for the
                other half.

Between 1747 and 1750 Mercer lost a total of 107 hogsheads of tobacco.
Over and above this, however, he shipped overseas tobacco to the amount
of £385 11s. 7d., during the same period.


Mercer's success was gained despite the failures of a great many persons
to pay the fees they owed him. In 1745 he listed 303 "Insolvents, bad &
doubtful debts." That matters were no worse may be attributed to a high
average of responsible clients. Among them were such well-known
Virginians as Daniel Dulaney, William and Henry Fitzhugh, William
Randolph, Augustine, John, and Lawrence Washington, Gerard Fowke,
Richard Taliaferro, John and Daniel Parke Custis, Andrew and Thomas
Monroe, George Tayloe, George Lee, George Wythe, and William Ramsay.

[Illustration: Figure 8.--WINE-BOTTLE SEAL on bottle excavated at
Marlborough, with same arrangement of initials used in the Marlborough
tobacco seal.]


By the early 1740's Mercer was in a position to surround himself with
symbols of wealth and prestige. Clothes, a traditional measure of
affluence, were now a growing concern for himself and his family.
Between 1741 and 1744, the ledger reveals, he purchased from William
Hunter a greatcoat, women's stockings, women's calf shoes, morocco
pumps, a "fine hat," three felt hats, two dozen "plaid hose," two pairs
of men's shoes, one pair of "Women's Spanish Shoes," and "2 p^r Calf
D^o." In 1744 and 1745 he bought from Charles Dick two pairs of "women's
coll'^d lamb gloves," two pairs of silk stockings, "1 velvet laced
hood," a "laced hat," a "Castor" (i.e., beaver) hat, "fine thread
stockings," silk handkerchiefs, a "flower'd pettycoat," worsted
stockings, and buckskin gloves. From Hugh MacLane, a Stafford tailor, he
obtained a suit in 1745.

The rise in Mercer's wealth and prestige is reflected in his
patronizing Williamsburg tailors, beginning in 1745 when he settled with
George Charleston for a tailor's bill of £6 10s. In 1748 he paid
Charleston four shillings for "Collar lining a Velvet Waistcoat." In
1749 he purchased a "full trimm'd velvet Suit" from Charles Jones, the
work and materials totaling £7 7s. 4-1/4d., while in 1750 he spent £11
2s. 1-1/2d. on unitemized purchases from the same tailor. In that year
he bought also from Robert Crichton, a Williamsburg merchant, "a
flower'd Velvet Waistcoat, £5." As the decade advanced, Mercer played
with increasing consciousness the role of wealthy gentleman, as his
choice of tailors shows.


Textile materials, as seen under "General Expenses" and in the accounts
of Hunter and Dick, ran the gamut of the usual imported fabrics, as well
as rare, expensive elegancies. An alphabetical list of the materials
mentioned in these accounts, with definitions, is given in Appendix I.

From this list we gain an impression of great diversity and refinement
in the materials used for clothing and interior decoration, as well as
of a tremendous amount of sewing, embroidering, and making of clothes at
home, probably typical of most of the great plantations in the middle of
the century.


In addition to fine imported materials, there were needed blankets, work
clothes for slaves, and fabrics for other practical purposes. To these
ends Mercer employed several weavers in various parts of Virginia. In
1747 William Threlkeld wove 109 yards of woolen cloth at fourpence a
yard. During that year and the next, John Booth of King George County
wove an indeterminate amount for a total of £2 4d. In 1748 John
Fitzpatrick wove 480 yards of cotton at fourpence a yard, and William
Mills wove 30 yards of "cloath." Much of the work appears to have been
done in payment for legal services.

Weaving and spinning evidently were done at Marlborough, as they were at
most plantations. In 1744 Mercer recorded under "General Charges" that
he had sold a loom to Joseph Foxhall. In 1746 he bought a spinning wheel
from Captain Wilson of Whitehaven, England, purchasing three more from
him in 1748. Wool cards also appear in the accounts. In January 1748
Mercer charged William Mills with "3 months Hire of Thuanus the Weaver,
£3," which suggests that Thuanus was an indentured white servant (his
name does not occur on the list of slaves) employed at Marlborough and
hired out to Mills, a Stafford County weaver.


In contrast to the elegancies of dress materials and clothing, Mercer
left little evidence of jewelry, toilet articles, or other personal
objects. In Ledger G we find "2 horn combs" bought for fivepence, an
ivory comb for tenpence, two razors, two strops, snuff-boxes, bottles of
snuff, "a smelling bottle," and "buck-handled" and silver-handled
penknives. From John Hyndman, a Williamsburg merchant, Mercer acquired a
set of silver buckles for £1 10s., and from William Woodford he bought
"a gold watch, Chain & Swivel" for the not-trifling sum of £64 6s. 3d.

Like most successful men, Mercer had his portrait painted. During the
General Court sessions held in the spring and fall of 1748 in
Williamsburg, he lodged with William Dering, the dancing master and
portrait painter. Dering lived in the house still standing on the
capitol green, now known as the Brush-Everard house. In Dering's account
we find: "by drawing my picture, £9.2.9."[90]


    [90] See J. HALL PLEASANTS, "William Dering, a
    mid-eighteenth-century Williamsburg Portrait Painter," _VHM_
    (Richmond, 1952), vol. 60, pp. 53-63.


Good food and drink played an important part in Mercer's life, as it did
in the lives of most Virginia planters. In the ledger accounts are found
both double-refined and single-refined sugar, bohea tea, coffee,
nutmegs, cinnamon, mace, and chocolate. Most meats were provided by the
plantation and thus are not mentioned, while fish were caught from the
plantation sloop or by fixed nets. However, Thomas Tyler of the Eastern
Shore sold Mercer a barrel of drumfish and four and one-half bushels of
oysters, while Thomas Jones, also of the Eastern Shore, provided a
barrel of pork for 47s. 6d. in 1749. Earlier there appeared a ledger
item under "General Charges" for 1775 pounds of pork.

Molasses was an important staple, and Mercer bought a 31-gallon barrel
of it from one "Captain Fitz of the Eastern Shore of Maryland" in 1746
and 30 gallons the next year, charging both purchases to his wife. In
1750 he received 88 gallons of molasses and 255 pounds of "muscovy
sugar" from Robert Todd. Muscovy sugar was the same as "muscavado"
sugar, the unrefined brown sugar of the West Indies, known in Spanish as

[Illustration: Figure 9.--FRENCH HORN dated 1729. Mercer purchased a
"french horn" like this from Charles Dick in 1743. (USNM 95.269.)]

Beverages and the fruits to go with them were bought in astonishing
quantities between 1744 and 1750. Major Robert Tucker, a Norfolk
merchant, exchanged a "Pipe of Wine" worth £26 and a 107-1/2-gallon
hogshead of rum valued at £22 in return for Mercer's legal services.
Again as a legal fee, Mercer received 55 gallons of "Syder" from Janet
Holbrook of Stafford and bought 11 limes from John Mitchelson of York
for 12 shillings. From William Black he purchased "11 dozen and 11
bottles of Ale" at 13 shillings, and from John Harvey "5-1/12 dozen of
Claret" for £11 6d. "Mark Talbott of the Kingdom of Ireland E^{sq}" sold
Mercer a pipe of wine for £3 3s.


During the 1740's Mercer's first four surviving children, George, John
Fenton, James, and Sarah Ann Mason Mercer,[91] were growing up, and the
accounts are scattered through with items pertaining to their care and
upbringing. There are delightful little hints of Mercer's role as the
affectionate father. On May 17, 1743, "By Sundry Toys" appears in
Hunter's account; an item of "1 horses 1^d" in Dick's account for 1745
was undoubtedly a toy. Most charming of all the entries in the latter
account is "1 Coach in a box 6^d. 4 Toys. 8^d, 2 Singing birds." The
birds may have occupied a birdcage and stand bought from George Rock,
the account for which was settled a year later.

[Illustration: Figure 10.--MERCER LISTED A HORNBOOK in his General
Account in 1743. It probably resembled this typical hornbook in the
collection of Mrs. Arthur M. Greenwood.]

"1 french horn" and "3 trumpets" are listed in the Dick account. The
horn was probably used in hunting; the three trumpets were bought
perhaps for the three boys. Mercer's library contained one book of music
entitled _The Musical Miscellany_, which may have furnished the scores
for a boyish trio of trumpets. Music and dancing were a part of the life
at Marlborough, and in 1745 an entry under "General Charges" reads "To
DeKeyser for a years dancing four children £16," while in the following
year ninepence was paid William Allan "for his Fidler." In 1747 "Fiddle
strings" were bought from Fielding Lewis in Fredericksburg for 2s.

From the ledger we also learn much about the children's clothing:
child's mittens and child's shoes, boy's pumps, boy's shoes, girl's
shoes, boy's collared lamb gloves, two pairs of "girl's clock'd
Stocking," "2 p^r large boys Shoes 6^l 2 p^r smaller 5/ ... 1 p^r girls
22^d, 1 p^r smaller 20^d," boy's gloves, and "Making a vest and breeches
for George" in October 1745. In 1748 Captain Wilson brought from England
"a Wig for George," worth 12 shillings. George then had reached the age
of 15 and young manhood. Hugh MacLane, the Stafford tailor, was employed
to make clothes for the three boys--a suit for George, and a suit, vest,
coat, and breeches each for James and John.

That the children were educated according to time-honored methods is
revealed in the "General Expenses" account for May 1743, where "1
hornbook 3^d" is entered. The hornbook was an ancient instructional
device consisting of a paddle-shaped piece of wood with the alphabet and
the Lord's Prayer printed or otherwise lettered on paper that was glued
to the wood and covered for protection with thin sheets of transparent
horn. Elaborate examples sometimes were covered with tooled leather, or
were made of ivory, silver, or pewter. The mention of hornbooks in
colonial records is a great rarity, although they were commonplace in
England until about 1800.

The Mercer children were taught by private tutors. One, evidently
engaged in England, was the Reverend John Phipps, who was paid a salary
of £100 annually and, presumably, his board and lodging. Mercer noted in
his journal on November 18, 1746, that "Mr Phipps came to Virginia."
That Mr. Phipps left something to be desired was revealed years later in
the letter written in 1768 by John to George Mercer, who was then in
England, asking him to find a tutor for his younger children: "... the
person you engage may not pretend, as M^r Phipps did that tho' he
undertook to instruct my children he intended boys only, & I or my wife
might teach the girls. As I have mentioned M^r Phipps, it must remind
you that a tutor's good nature & agreeable temper are absolutely
necessary both for his own ease & that of the whole family."[92]

In 1750 George entered the College of William and Mary. He had a room at
William Dering's house, and the account of "Son's Maintenance at
Williamsburg" provides an interesting picture of a well-to-do
college-boy's expenses, chargeable to his father. Such items as "To Cash
p^d for Lottery Tickets" (£7 10s. 6d.), "To Covington the Dancing Master
... 2.3," "To W^m Thomson for Taylor's work" (£1 9s. 6d.), "To p^d for
Washing" (£1 1s.), and "To Books for sundrys" (£22 4s. 7-1/2d.) show a
variety of obligations comparable to those sometimes encountered on a
modern campus. The entire account appears in Appendix J.


    [91] Born 1733, 1735, 1736, and 1738, respectively.

    [92] _George Mercer Papers_, op. cit. (footnote 51), p. 202.


As early as 1742 the ledger shows that Mercer was building steadily,
although the nature of what he built is rarely indicated. Hunter's
account for 1742 lists 2500 tenpenny nails and 1000 twenty-penny nails,
while in the following year the same account shows a total of 4200
eightpenny nails, 5000 tenpenny, 2000 fourpenny, and 1000 threepenny
nails. The following tools were bought from Hunter in 1744: paring
chisel, 1-1/2-inch auger, 3/4-inch auger, socket gouge, broad axe, adze,
drawing knife, mortice chisel, a "square Rabbit plane," and "plough Iron
& plains." In Charles Dick's account we find purchases in 1745 of 16,000
flooring brads, 4000 twenty-penny nails, 2000 each of fourpenny,
sixpenny, eightpenny, and tenpenny brads, and 60,000 fourpenny nails.

Beginning in 1744 Mercer made great purchases of lumber. Thomas Tyler of
the Eastern Shore sold him 2463 feet of plank in that year, and in 1745
made several transactions totaling 5598 feet of 1-, 1-1/2-, and 2-inch
plank, as well as 23,170 shingles. In 1746 Charles Waller of Stafford
sold Mercer 5193 feet of 1-, 1-1/4-, and 1-1/2-inch plank. In the same
year James Waughhop of Maryland provided "4000 foot of Plank of
different thicknesses for £12," and in May 1749, "2300 foot of 1-1/2
Inch Plank at 7/." Mercer made several similar purchases, including
14,700 shingles, from Robert Taylor of the Eastern Shore.

Where all these materials were used is a matter for conjecture. We know
that Mercer made "Improvements" to the extent of "saving" 40 lots under
the terms of the Act for Ports and Towns, and that a great deal of
construction work, therefore, was going on. One building was probably a
replacement for a warehouse, for a laconic entry in his journal on New
Year's day of 1746 notes that "My warehouses burnt." These were
doubtless the buildings erected in 1732 and officially vacated in 1735.
That at least one eventually was rebuilt for Mercer's own use is known
from an overseer's report of 1771 (Appendix M).

The windmill, the foundations of which still remain in part near the
Potomac shore, was probably built in 1746. Mercer's cash account for
that year includes an item of 2s. 6d. for "Setting up Mill," which
apparently meant adjusting the millstones for proper operation. In
August he paid Nathaniel Chapman £22 19s. 8-3/4d. "in full for Smith's
work." A windmill, with its bearings, levers, lifts, and shafts, would
seem to have been the only structure requiring such a costly amount of

The most elaborate project of all, however, is clearly discernible in
the ledger. In 1746 Thomas Anderson,[93] in consideration of cash and
legal services, charged for "making & burning 40^m Stock bricks" at 4
pounds 6 pence per 1000. In the same year David Minitree, described by
Mercer as a "Bricklayer," came to Marlborough from Williamsburg.
Minitree was more than an ordinary bricklayer, however, for he had
worked on the Mattaponi church, and later, between 1750 and 1753, was to
build Carter's Grove for Carter Burwell.[94]

The credit side of Minitree's account in Ledger G is as follows:

                                         £   s.   d.
  Decemb^r 5 By making & burning         9   5    7-1/2
               41,255 Bricks at 4/6

  Septemb^r  By stacking & burning          16    9-1/2
               11,200 D^o at 1/6
             By making & burning        14   2   10
               62,849 D^o at 4/6
             By making & burning             4    6
               1000 D^o at 4/6
             By short paid of my                  9-1/2
               Order on Maj^r
             By building part of                 10-1/2
               my House

The last item, in particular, is clear indication that an architectural
project of importance was underway and that Mercer had set about to make
Marlborough the equal of Virginia's great plantations. Only "part of my
house" was built by Minitree, yet his bill was more than five times the
total cost of Mercer's previous house, completed in 1730!

Since it was customary in Virginia to make bricks on the site of a new
house, utilizing the underlying clay excavated from the foundation,
Minitree, as well as Anderson, made his bricks at Marlborough before
using them. Mortar for laying bricks was made of lime from oystershells.
In 1747 and 1748, we learn from the ledger, 61-1/2 hogsheads of
oystershells were bought from Abraham Basnett, an "Oysterman," payment
having been made in cash, meat, and brandy. "Flagstones &c" were
obtained in 1747 through Major John Champe at a cost of £36 4s. 6d.
These may have been the same stones brought up as "a load of stone" by
"Boatswain Davis" of Boyd's Hole in Passapatanzy in October 1747 for £4
5s. 5d.

Early in 1748 a new set of developments concerning the house took place.
Major William Walker of Stafford, revealed in the journal and the
ledgers as an old acquaintance of Mercer's, then became the
"undertaker," or contractor, for the house. Walker was a talented man
who had started out as a cabinetmaker, a craft in which his brother
Robert still continued. Whiffen (_The Public Buildings of Williamsburg_)
shows that he both designed and built a glebe house for St. Paul's
Parish, Hanover County, in 1739-1740, and the steeple for St. Peter's
Church in New Kent the latter year. Also in 1740 he built a bridge
across the Pamunkey for Hanover County. At the same time that he was
engaged on Mercer's mansion, he undertook in March 1749 to rebuild the
burned capitol at Williamsburg. He died 11 months later before bringing
either of these major projects to completion.[95]

Walker's carpenter was William Monday. Mercer settled with Monday in
March 1748 for a total bill of £126 16s. 2-1/2d., but with a protest
addressed to himself in the ledger: "By work done about my House which
is not near the value as by Maj^r Walker's Estimate below, yet to avoid
Disputes & as he is worth nothing I give him Credit to make a full

Meanwhile, William Bromley, a joiner, had gone to work on the interior
finish. Like Minitree and Walker, Bromley represented the highest
caliber of artisanship in the colony. Eighteen years later Mercer
referred to Bromley, "who," he said, "I believe was the best architect
that ever was in America."[96] Bromley employed several apprentices,
among them an Irishman named Patterson.[97] For the interval from July
9, 1748, to December 25, 1750, Bromley was paid £140 1s. 1/2d., almost
entirely for wages. The payment included "3 p^r hollows & rounds / 6
plane irons / 1 gallon Brandy." For the same period Andrew Beaty, also a
joiner, received £113 5s. 1-1/2d. On June 19, 1749, Mercer noted in his
journal, "Beaty's apprentice came to work." These men were specialists
in framing woodwork and in making paneling, doors, wainscoting, and
exterior architectural elements of wood.

The opulence of the building's finish is indicated by a charge on
Walker's account for "his Carver's work 69 days at 5/, £17. 15...."
Previously, while Minitree was still working on the house, an item had
been entered in August 1747, "To Cash paid for cutting the Chimneypiece
... 6.3." A chimneypiece was usually the ornamental trim or facing
around a fireplace opening, although in this instance the overpanel may
have been meant.

Jacob Williams, a plasterer, worked 142-1/2 days for a total of £22 4s.
4d., while his helper Joseph Burges was employed 43 days for £5 7s. 6d.
Walker charged £3 8s. 11d. for "his Painters work about my house," and
a purchase of "42 gallons of Linseed Oyl" was recorded in the general
charges account. Three books of goldleaf, which Mercer had obtained from
George Gilmer, the Williamsburg apothecary, were charged, together with
paint, to Walker.

In May 1750, a charge by George Elliot, "Turner, Stafford," was
recorded, "By turning 162 Ballusters at 6^d, £4.1...." Another item, for
supplying "341-1/2 feet Walnut Plank at 2^d," settled in October, may
have been for the wood of which the balusters were made.

Thomas Barry, "Bricklayer," carried on the work that Minitree had not
completed. His account for 1749 follows:

                                            £    s.   d.

  By Building the Addition to my House      26
  22 Arches at 6/                            6   12
  900 Coins & Returns at 6/                  2   14
  A Frontispiece                             3   10
  Underpinning & altering the Cellar         2
  raising a Chimney                          1    5
  building an Oven                               15
  building a Kiln                            1
  building a Kitchen                         9   10
  3 Arches at 6/                                 18
  2 Plain D^o at 2/6                              5
  500 Coins & returns at 6/                  1   10
                                            --   --   --
                                            55   19    0

Expensive stone was imported for the house by Captain Roger Lyndon,
master of the _Marigold_, whose account occurs in the ledger:

                                                 £    s.  d.

  1749  April By 630 Bricks at 20/ p^r m.            10

        Dec^r By Gen'l Charges for hewn
              Stone from M^r Nicholson[98]      65   16   4

  1750  June  By Gen'l Charges for
              sundrys by the Marigold

              By Do for freight of
              Stones to my House                 5

It is interesting to note that bricks, probably carried from England as
ballast, were brought by Captain Lyndon.

[Illustration: Figure 11.--FIREPLACE MANTELS illustrated in William
Salmon's _Palladio Londonensis_.

(_Courtesy of the Library of Congress._)]

Not all the hewn stone was fashioned in England. William Copein, a
Prince William County mason, and Job Wigley were employed together in
1749 to the amount of £2 8s. In 1750 Copein was paid by Mercer for 64
days of work at 3s. 1d. per day, totaling £9 17s. 4d. Copein was another
accomplished craftsman, the marks of whose skill still are to be seen in
the carved stone doorways of Aquia Church in Stafford County and in the
baptismal font at Pohick Church in Fairfax.

The design of the house will be considered in more detail later in the
light of both archeological and documentary evidence. It is already
quite clear, however, that the new mansion was remarkably elaborate,
reflecting the workmanship of some of Virginia's best craftsmen. The
most significant clues to its inspiration are found in the titles of
four books which Mercer purchased in 1747. These are listed in the
inventory of his books in Ledger G as follows:

     "Hoppne's Architecture." This was probably _The Gentlemans and
     Builders Repository on Architecture Displayed. Designs Regulated
     and Drawn by E. Hoppus, and engraved by B. Cole. Containing useful
     and requisite problems in geometry ... etc_, (1738). Edward Hoppus
     was "Surveyor to the Corporation of the London Assurance." He also
     edited Salmon's _Palladio Londonensis_. We find no writer on
     architecture named Hoppne and assume this was a mistake.

     "Salmon's Palladio Londonensis." _Palladio Londonensis: or the
     London Art of Building_, by William Salmon, which appeared in at
     least two editions, in 1734 and in 1738, had a profound influence
     on the formal architecture of the colonies during the mid-century.

     "Palladio's Architecture." The Italian Andrea Palladio was the
     underlying source of English architectural thought from Christopher
     Wren down to Robert Adam. Under the patronage of Lord Burlington,
     this book was brought out in London in an English translation by
     Giacomo Leoni under the title _The Architecture of A. Palladio; in
     Four Books_. It had appeared in three editions prior to this
     inventory, in 1715, 1721, and 1742, according to Fiske Kimball
     (_Domestic Architecture of the American Colonies and of the Early
     Republic_; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1924, p. 58). Mercer
     probably owned one of these.

     "Langley's City & Country Builder." _City and Country Builder's and
     Workman's Treasury of Design_ by Battey Langley, 1740, 1745. This
     was another copybook much used by builders and provincial

_Palladio Londonensis_ (the London Art of Building), one of the books
used by William Bromley, the chief joiner who worked on Mercer's
mansion. (_Courtesy of the Library of Congress._)]

All four of these books were listed in succession in the ledger and
bracketed together. Next to the bracket are the initials "WB," to
indicate that the books had been lent to someone who bore those
initials. In this case it is virtually certain that the initials are
those of William Bromley, to whom the books would have been of utmost
importance in designing the woodwork of the house.

Door hardware was purchased from William Jordan in June 1749, according
to an item for "Locks & Hinges" that amounted to the large sum of £13
8s. 8d.


    [93] Probably the same Thomas Anderson whose appointment as
    tobacco inspector at Page's warehouse, Hanover County, was
    unsuccessfully protested on the basis that the job required
    "a person skilled in writing and expert in accounts"
    (_Calendar of Virginia State Papers_, op. cit. (footnote 18),
    vol. 1, pp. 233-234). A letter to Thomas Anderson of Hanover
    County was listed as uncalled for at the Williamsburg Post
    Office in August, 1752 (_Virginia Gazette_; all references to
    the _Gazettes_ result from use of LESTER J. CAPPON and STELLA
    F. DUFF, _Virginia Gazette Index 1736-1780_ [Williamsburg,
    1950], and microfilm published by The Institute of Early
    American History and Culture [Williamsburg, 1950]).

    [94] See THOMAS TILESTON WATERMAN, _The Mansions of Virginia,
    1706-1776_ (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina
    Press, 1946), pp. 183-184, and MARCUS WHIFFEN, _The Public
    Buildings of Williamsburg_ (Williamsburg, Virginia: Colonial
    Williamsburg, Inc., 1958), pp. 84, 133, 218.

    [95] WHIFFEN, ibid., pp. 134-137, 217; _JHB, 1742-1747;
    1748-1749_ op. cit. (footnote 6), p. 312; _JHB, 1752-1755;
    1756-1758_ (Richmond, 1909), p. 28.

    [96] Purdie & Dixon's _Virginia Gazette_, September 26, 1766.
    Mercer spelled the name _Brownley_ in Ledger G, but in the
    _Gazette_ article it is printed consistently as _Bromley_. As
    published in the _George Mercer Papers_ it is spelled, and
    perhaps miscopied, _Bramley_. We have chosen _Bromley_ as the
    most likely spelling, in the absence of other references to

    [97] _George Mercer Papers_, op. cit. (footnote 51), p. 204.

    [98] Captain Timothy Nicholson was a London merchant and
    shipmaster engaged in the Virginia trade with whom Mercer
    arranged several transactions.


As the mansion progressed, so did the acquisition of furnishings
suitable to its elegance. As early as 1742, doubtless in anticipation of
the new house, Mercer had bought from Hunter a "lanthorn," three
porringers, two cotton counterpanes at 27s., a plate warmer for 7s. 6d.,
a half-dozen plates for 3s. 6d., a half-dozen deep plates for 6s., a
dozen "Stone Coffee cups" for 18d., a dozen knives and forks for 3s.,
two tin saucepans at 4d. each, and "4 Dishes, 19-1/2 lib." (obviously
large pewter chargers). In 1743 he bought "5 gallon Basons 4/7" and "2
pottle Basons at 2/4" (for toilet use), "1 Soop Spoon 1/," and "1 Copper
Chocolate pot 7/6 & mull Stick 6^d," "2 blew & W^t Jugs 2/" (probably
Westerwald stoneware), and "1 Flanders Bed Bunt, 25" (colored cotton or
linen used for bedcovers).

In 1744 Mercer acquired from Charles Dick 4 candlesticks for a penny
each, 2 pairs of large hinges, a "hair sifter," "2 kitchen buck hand
knives," 12 cups and saucers for 2s., "1 milkmaid 2^d" (probably a
shoulder yoke), and "1 bucket 1/2^d." In 1745 a 5-gallon "Stone bottle"
for 3s. 6d., "1 doz. butcher knives," a hearthbroom, six spoons for a
shilling, a pair of scissors, "8 Chamberdoor Locks w^{th} brass knobs
£2," and "1 Sett finest China 35/, 2 punch bowls ... 2.7" were

The following year Mercer paid a total of £23 for a silver sugar dish,
weighing 8 oz., 5 dwt.; one dozen teaspoons and tray, 8 oz., 7 dwt.; a
teapot and frame, 26 oz., 8 dwt. This lot of silver probably was bought
at second hand, having been referred to as "Pugh's Plate p^d Edw^d
Wright as by Rec^t." He paid John Coke, a Williamsburg silversmith, £1
6s. for engraving and cleaning it. In the meanwhile, in 1745, he had
sold Coke £6 worth of old silver. He also sold a quantity of "old Plate"
for £15 17s. 3d. to Richard Langton in England through Sydenham &
Hodgson. In 1747 he made a large purchase of silver from the silversmith
William King[99] of Williamsburg:

                                      oz.  dwt.           £   s.   d.

  May 1747
    By Bernard Moore for 1 Cup        51   1             30   8    3

    By James Power for 1 Waiter        8   7-1/2          4  14    2-1/2

    By a pair of Sauceboats           25   8

    By a large Waiter                 29   3             48  11    3-1/2

    By a smaller D^o                  23   8

    By a small D^o                     8   8
                                     148  15-1/2 @ 11/3  84  13    9

In March 1748, Mercer settled with Captain Lyndon for the following:

                                                  £   s.  d.

  1 superfine large gilt Sconce glass             6  16
  1 D^o                                           5   5
  1 Walnut & gold D^o                             2  10
  1 Marble Sideboard 32/6 Bragolo [sic] 32/6      3   5

The following June he bought a marble table from William Jordan and in
October "4 looking Glasses," which Jordan obtained from Sydenham &

Meanwhile, William Walker's brother Robert made 14 chairs for Mercer, on
which William's carver spent 54 days. The total cost was £30 8s. The
quality of Mercer's furniture is illustrated further by a purchase in
1750 from Lyonel Lyde,[100] a London merchant, of £43 13s. worth of
"Cabinet Ware from Belchier." Belchier was a leading London furniture
maker, whose shop in 1750 was located on the "south side of St. Paul's,
right against the clock." Sir Ambrose Heal, in _The London Furniture
Makers_, illustrates a superb japanned writing cabinet in green and gold
chinoiserie made by Belchier in 1730.[101] Belchier also supplied
Shalstone Manor, the Buckinghamshire estate of Henry Purefoy, with a
table-desk in 1749 (fig. 13).[102]

The ledger notes other occasional purchases of furniture during this
period. In 1746 Mercer paid cash "for oysters & a bedsteed," in the
amount of 10s. 6d. In September 1748, he bought "an Escritoire" from
tutor John Phipps, for which he paid £5.


    [99] Probably William King, who married Elizabeth Edwards in
    Stafford in 1738. He was the son of Alfred King, whose
    parents were William King (d. 1702) and Judith Brent of
    Stafford. His account with Mercer seems to indicate that he
    was a silversmith. "Notes and Queries," _The King Family,
    VHM_ (Richmond, 1916), vol. 24, p. 203.

    [100] The _Virginia Gazette_ on January 27, 1738, announced
    that Major Cornelius Lyde, "Son of Mr. _Lionel Lyde_, an
    eminent merchant in Bristol, died at his House in _King
    William_ County." Later it referred to "Capt. Lyonel Lyde of
    Bristol, [master of] the _Gooch_." Mercer's account with Lyde
    in Ledger G is headed "M^r Lyonel Lyde, Merch^t in London."
    Lyde died in 1749 before Mercer settled his account.
    Elsewhere in the ledger is an account with "Mess^{rs} Cooper,
    Macartney, Powel, & Lyde. E^{xrs} of Lyonel Lyde." Another
    Lyonel Lyde, who became "Sir Lyonel" by 1773, was evidently
    heir to the business.

    [101] SIR AMBROSE HEAL, _The London Furniture Makers from the
    Restoration to the Victorian Era, 1660-1840_ (London:
    Batsford, 1953), pp. 6, 13, 236, 237.

    [102] GEORGE E. ELAND, _The Purefoy Letters_ (London:
    Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd., 1931), vol. 1, pp. 98, 107, 111,
    177, and pl. 11.


Artificial lighting for the manor house receives sparse mention. The
four candlesticks bought in 1744 for a penny each were probably of iron
or tin for kitchen use. Candlesticks purchased earlier probably remained
in use, sufficing for most illumination. It is a modern misconception
that colonial houses were ablaze at night with lamplight and
candlelight. Candles were expensive to buy and time-consuming to make,
while lamps rarely were used before the end of the century in the more
refined areas of households. The principal use of candles was in guiding
one's way to bed or in providing the minimum necessary light to carry on
an evening's conversation. During cold weather, fireplaces were a
satisfactory supplement. In general, early to bed and early to rise was
the rule, as William Byrd has shown us, and artificial light was only a
minor necessity.

[Illustration: Figure 13.--TABLE-DESK made in 1749 for Henry Purefoy of
Shalstone Manor in Buckinghamshire by John Belchier of London. In the
following year, John Mercer received £43 13s. worth of "Cabinet Ware"
from that noted cabinetmaker. (_Reproduced from_ Purefoy Letters,
1735-1753, _G. Bland, ed., Sidgwick and Jackson, Ltd., London, 1931, by
courteous permission of the publisher_.)]

Nevertheless, some illumination was needed in the halls and great rooms
of colonial plantation houses, especially when guests were present--as
they usually were. The three sconce glasses which Captain Lyndon
delivered to Mercer in 1748 were doubtless elegant answers to this
requirement. These glasses were mirrors with one or more candle
branches, arranged so that the light would be reflected and multiplied.
On special occasions, these, and perhaps some candelabra and a
scattering of candlesticks to supplement them, provided concentrations
of light; for such affairs the use of ordinary tallow candles, with
their drippings and smoke, was out of the question. A pleasant
alternative is indicated by the purchase in April 1749 of "11-1/2 lib.
Myrtle Wax att 5d ... 14.4-1/2" and "4 lib Beeswax 6/" from Thomas Jones
of the Eastern Shore. Similar purchases also are recorded. Myrtle wax
came from what the Virginians called the myrtle bush, better known today
as the bayberry bush. Its gray berries yielded a fragrant aromatic wax
much favored in the colonies. In making candles it was usually mixed
with beeswax, as was evidently the case here. A clean-burning, superior
light source, it was nonetheless an expensive one. Burning in the
brackets of the sconce glasses at Marlborough, heightening the shadows
of the Palladian woodwork and, when snuffed, emitting its faint but
delicious fragrance, it must have been a delight to the eyes and the
nostrils alike.


Negroes played an increasingly important part in the life of
Marlborough, particularly after the manor house was built. Between 1731
and 1750 Mercer purchased 89 Negroes. Most of these are listed by name
in the ledger accounts. Forty-six died in this period, while 25 were
born, leaving a total of 66 Negroes on his staff in 1750. In 1746 he
bought 6 men and 14 women at £21 10s. from Harmer & King in
Williamsburg. The new house and the expanded needs for service were
perhaps the reasons for this largest single purchase of slaves.

There is no indication that Mercer treated his slaves other than well,
or that they caused him any serious difficulties. On the other hand, his
frequent reference to them by name, the recording of their children's
names and birth dates in his ledger, and the mention in his journal of
new births among his slave population all attest to an essentially
paternalistic attitude that was characteristic of most Virginia planters
during the 18th century. Good physical care of the Negroes was motivated
perhaps as much by self-interest in protecting an investment as by
humane considerations, but, nonetheless, we find such items in the
ledger as "To Cash p^d Doctor Lynn for delivering Deborah."

That discipline served for the Negroes as it usually did for all
colonials, whether the lawbreaker were slave, bondsman, or free citizen,
is indicated by an entry in the Dick account: "2 thongs w^{th} Silk
lashes 1/3." One must bear in mind that corporal punishment was accepted
universally in the 18th century. Its application to slaves, however,
usually was left to the discretion of the slave owner, so that the
restraint with which it was administered depended largely upon the
humanity and wisdom of the master.

The use of the lash was more often than not delegated to the overseer,
who was hired to run, or help run, the plantation. It was the overseer
who had a direct interest in eliciting production from the field hands;
a sadistic overseer, therefore, might create a hell for the slaves under
him. It is clear from Mercer's records that some of his overseers caused
problems for him and that at least one was a brutal man. For October
1747 a chilling entry appears in the account of William Graham, an
overseer at Bull Run Quarters: "To Negroes for one you made hang
himself. £35." Entered in the "Negroes" account, it reappears, somewhat
differently: "To William Graham for Frank (Hanged) £35 Sterling. £50.
15." This is one of several instances on record of Negroes driven to
suicide as the only alternative to enduring cruelties.[103] In this
case, Graham was fined 50 shillings and 1293 pounds of tobacco.

We do not know, of course, whether other Negroes listed as dead in
Mercer's account died of natural causes or whether cruel treatment
contributed to their deaths. In the case of a homesick Negro named Joe,
who ran away for the third time in 1745, Mercer seems reluctantly to
have resorted to an offer of reward and an appeal to the law. Even so,
he declined to place all the blame on Joe. Joe had been "Coachman to
Mr. Belfield of Richmond County" and in the reward offer Mercer states
that Joe

     ... was for some time after he first ran away lurking about the
     Widow Belfield's Plantation.... He is a short, well-set Fellow,
     about 26 Years of Age, and took with him several cloaths, among the
     rest a Suit of Blue, lined and faced with Red, with White Metal
     Buttons, Whoever will secure and bring home the said Negroe, shall
     receive Two Pistoles Reward, besides what the Law allows: And as I
     have a great Reason to believe, that he is privately encouraged to
     run away, and then harboured and concealed, so that the Person or
     Persons so harbouring him may be thereof convicted, I will pay to
     such Discoverer Ten Pistoles upon Conviction. This being the third
     Trip he has made since I bought him in _January_ last, I desire he
     may receive such Correction in his Way home as the Law directs,
     when apprehended.[104]

Whether Joe received the harsh punishment his offense called for is not
recorded. However, in 1748 Mercer accounted for cash paid for "Joe's
Lodging & burial £3. 10.," suggesting that Joe enjoyed death-bed care
and a decent burial, even though he may have succumbed to "such
correction ... as the law directs."

As has already been suggested, his overseers seem to have given Mercer
more trouble than his slaves. One was Booth Jones of Stafford, about
whom Mercer confided in his ledger, "By allowed him as Overseer tho he
ran away about 5 weeks before his time was out by w^{ch} I suffered more
damage than his whole wages. £3. 11." Meanwhile, in 1746 William
Wheeland, an overseer at Bull Run Quarters, "imbezilled" 40 barrels of

James Savage was one of the principal overseers and seems to have been
in charge first at Sumner's Quarters and then at Bull Run Quarters. John
Ferguson succeeded him at the former place. William Torbutt was also at
Bull Run, while Mark Canton and Nicholas Seward were overseers at

The outfitting of slaves with proper clothes, blankets, and coats was an
important matter. It called for such purchases as 121 ells of
"ozenbrigs" from Hunter in 1742. "Ozenbrigs" was a coarse cloth of a
type made originally in Oznabruck, Germany,[105] and was traditionally
the Negro field hand's raiment. Many purchases of indigo point to the
dying of "Virginia" cloth, woven either on the plantation or by the
weavers mentioned earlier. Presumably, shoes for the Negroes were made
at Marlborough, judging from a purchase from Dick of 3-1/4 pounds of
shoe thread. The domestic servants were liveried, at least after the
mansion was occupied. William Thomson, a Fredericksburg tailor, made "a
Coat & Breeches [for] Bob, 11/." Bob was apparently Mercer's personal
manservant, who had served him since 1732. Thomson also was paid £4 16s.
2d. for "Making Liveries." The listing of such materials as "scarlet
duffel" and "scarlet buttons" points to colorful outfitting of slaves.


    [103] _Virginia Gazette_, July 10, 1752; BRUCE, op. cit.
    (footnote 5), vol. 2, pp. 107-108; ULRICH BONNELL PHILLIPS,
    _American Negro Slavery_ (New York & London: D. Appleton,
    1918), pp. 271, 272, 381.

    [104] _Virginia Gazette_, September 12, 1745.

    [105] GEORGE FRANCIS DOW, _Everyday Life in the Massachusetts
    Bay Colony_ (Boston: The Society for the Preservation of New
    England Antiquities, 1935), p. 78.


Water transportation was essential to all the planters, most of whom
owned sloops. We have seen that Mercer used a sloop for his earliest
trading activities before he settled at Marlborough, and it is apparent
that in the 1740's either this same sloop or another which may have
replaced it still was operated by him. Hauling tobacco to Cave's
warehouse, picking up a barrel of rum in Norfolk or a load of lumber on
the Eastern Shore were vital to the success of the plantation. To equip
the sloop, 14 yards of topsail, ship's twine, and a barrel of tar were
purchased in 1747. Mercer had two Negroes named "Captain" and
"Boatswain," and we may suppose that they had charge of the vessel. Such
an arrangement would not have been unique, for many years after this, in
1768, Mercer wrote that "a sloop of M^r Ritchie's that came around from
Rapp^a for a load of tobacco stopped at my landing; his negro skipper
brought me a letter from M^r Mills...."[106]

That there was considerable hunting at Marlborough is borne out by
repeated references to powder, shot, gunpowder, and gunflints. Fishing
may have been carried on from the sloop and also in trap-nets of the
same sort still used in Potomac Creek off the Marlborough Point shore.
In 1742 purchases were made of a 40-fathom seine and 3 perch lines, and
in 1744 of 75 fishhooks and 2 drumlines.


    [106] _George Mercer Papers_, op. cit. (footnote 51), p. 208.


In Ledger G, Mercer listed all the books of his library before 1746. He
then listed additions as they occurred through 1750 (Appendix K). This
astonishing catalog, disclosing one of the largest libraries in Virginia
at that time, reveals the catholicity of Mercer's tastes and the
inquiring mind that lay behind them. Included in the catalog are the
titles of perhaps the most important law library in the colony.

The names of all sorts of books on husbandry and agriculture are to be
found in the list: "Practice of farming," "Houghton's Husbandry,"
"Monarchy of the Bees," "Flax," "Grass," and Evelyn's "A Discourse of
Sallets." Mercer's interest in brewing, which later was to launch a
full-scale, if abortive, commercial enterprise is reflected in "London
Brewer," "Scott's Distilling and Fermentation," "Hops," and the "Hop
Gardin," while "The Craftsman," "Woollen Manufacture," and "New
Improvements" indicate his concern with the efficiency of other
plantation activities.

He displayed an interest in nature and science typical of an
18th-century man: "Bacon's Natural History," "Gordon's Cosmography,"
"Gordon's Geography," "Atkinson's Epitome of Navigation," "Ozamun's
Mathematical Recreations," "Keill's Astronomy," and "Newton's Opticks."
Two others were "Baker's Microscope" and "Description of the Microscope
&c." It may be significant that in 1747 Mercer bought three microscopes
from one "Doctor Spencer" of Fredericksburg, the books on the subject
and the instruments themselves possibly having been intended for the
education of the three boys.

"150 Prints of Ovid's Metamorphosis" appears, in addition to "Ovid's
Metamorphosis and 25 Sins," for which Mercer paid £8 6s. to William
Parks in 1746. "Catalog of Plants" and "Merian of Insects" are other
titles related to natural science.

Many books on history and biography are listed--for example, "Life of
Oliver Cromwell," "Lives of the Popes," "Life of the Duke of Argyle,"
"Hughes History of Barbadoes," "Catholick History," "History of
Virginia," "Dr. Holde's History of China," "The English Acquisitions in
Guinea," "Purchas's Pilgrimage."

There are 25 titles under "Physick & Surgery," reflecting the planter's
need to know the rudiments of medical care for his slaves and family.
Art, architecture, and travel interested him also, and we find such
titles as "Noblemen's Seats by Kip," "Willis's Survey of the
Cathedrals," "8 Views of Scotland," "Perrier's Statues," "Pozzo's
Perspective," "100 Views of Brabant & Flanders," "History of
Amphitheatres." There was but one title on music--"The Musical
Miscellany," mentioned previously. "Report about Silver Coins" was
probably an English report on the exchange rate of silver coinage in the
various British colonies.

Mercer kept abreast of English literature of his own and preceding
generations: "Swift's Sermons," the "Spectator" and the "Tatler,"
"Pope's Works," "Turkish Spy," "Tom Brown's Letters from the Dead to the
Living," "Pamela," "David Simple," "Joseph Andrews," "Shakespeare's
Plays," "Ben Jonson's Works," "Wycherley's Plays," "Prior's Works,"
"Savage's Poems," "Cowley's Works," and "Select Plays" (in 16 volumes),
to mention but a few. The classics are well represented--"Lauderdale's
Virgil," "Ovid's Art of Love," "Martial" (in Greek), as well as a Greek
grammar and a Greek testament. There were the usual sermons and
religious books, along with such diverse subjects as "Alian's Tacticks
of War," "Weston's Treatise of Shorthand" and "Weston's Shorthand
Copybook," and "Greave's Origin of Weights, &c." He subscribed to the
_London Magazine_ and the _Gentleman's Magazine_, and received regularly
the _Virginia Gazette_.

While most of Mercer's books were for intellectual edification or
factual reference, a few must have served the purpose of sheer visual
pleasure. Such was Merian's magnificent quarto volume of hand-colored
engraved plates of Surinam insects, with descriptive texts in Dutch. The
18th-century gentleman's taste for the elegant, the "curious," and the
aesthetically delightful were all satisfied in this luxurious book,
which would have been placed appropriately on a table for the pleasure
of Mercer's guests.[107]


    [107] MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN, _Metamorphosis Insectorum
    Surinamensium efte Veranderung Surinaamsche Insecten_
    (Antwerp, 1705).


Although overseeing the construction of his mansion, buying the
furniture for it, and assembling a splendid library would have been
sufficient to keep lesser men busy, Mercer was absorbed in other
activities as well. On May 10, 1748, for example, he recorded in his
journal that he went "to Raceground by James Taylor's & Wid^o
Taliaferro's,"[108] traveling 50 miles to do so. On December 13, 1748,
he went "to Stafford Court & home. Swore to the Commission of the
Peace," thus becoming a justice of the peace for Stafford County.

[Illustration: Figure 14.--ARCHEOLOGICAL SURVEY PLAN superimposed over
detail of 1691 plat, showing southwest corner of town developed by
Mercer. It can be seen that the mansion foundation was in the area near
the change of course "by the Gutt between Geo. Andrew's & the Court
house," hence in the vicinity of the courthouse site.]

In the meanwhile, years had gone by, and no action had been taken on the
suit in chancery brought in the 1730's to establish Savage's survey of
Marlborough as the official one. During this time, Mercer had continued
to build on various lots other than those he owned, "relying on the
Lease and Consent of [the feoffees], at the Expense of above Fifteen
Hundred Pounds, which Improvements would have saved forty lots."
Finally, "judging the only effectual way to secure his Title would be to
procure an Act of General Assembly for that purpose,"[109] Mercer
applied to the Stafford court to purchase the county's interest in the
town, to which the court agreed on August 11, 1747, the price to be
10,000 pounds of tobacco. Since this transaction required legislative
approval, Mercer filed with the House of Burgesses the petition which
has served so often in these pages to tell the history of Marlborough.

Mercer argued in the petition that the county had nothing to lose--that
it "had received satisfaction" for at least 30 lots, some of which he
might be obliged to buy over again; that, considering the history of the
town, no one but himself would be likely to take up any other lots, the
last having been subscribed to in 1708; and that his purchase of the
town would be not to the county's disadvantage but rather to his own
great expense. He was willing to accept an appraisal from "any one
impartial person of Credit" who would say the town was worth more, and
to pay "any Consideration this worshipful House shall think just."

He pointed out that the two acres set aside for the courthouse were
excluded and that they "must revert to the Heir of the former
Proprietor, (who is now an Infant)." He did not indicate in the petition
that he himself was the guardian of William Brent, infant heir to the
courthouse property. It is most significant, therefore, that in asking
for favorable action he added, "except the two acres thereof, which were
taken in for a Courthouse, as aforesaid and which he is willing to lay
of as this worshipful House may think most for the Benefit of Mr.
William Brent, the Infant, to whom the same belongs, _or to pay him
double or treble the worth of the said two acres, if the same is also
vested in your Petitioner_." (Italics supplied.) Plainly, Mercer had
much at stake in obtaining title to the courthouse land. This supports
the hypothesis that the Gregg survey of 1707 infringed on the courthouse
land, that Ballard's lot 19 on the Gregg survey overlapped it, and that
Mercer's first two houses, and now his mansion, were partly on land that
rightfully belonged to his ward, William Brent. Mercer apparently had so
built over all the lower part of Marlborough without regard to title of
ownership, and had so committed himself to occupancy of the courthouse
site, that he was now in the embarrassing position of having to look
after William Brent's interests when they were in conflict with his own.
Likely it is that he had depended too much on acceptance of the
still-unauthorized Savage survey to correct the previous discrepancies
by means of its extra row of lots.

Still further indication that the courthouse land was at issue is found
in the proceedings that followed the petition. In these, there are
repeated references to Mercer's having been called upon to testify "as
the Guardian of William Brent." Clearly, the legislators were concerned
with the effect the acceptance of the petition would have on Brent's
interests. If Mercer, as seems likely, was building his mansion on the
courthouse land, the burgesses had reason to question him. In any case,
the House resolved in the affirmative "That the said Petition be

This setback was only temporary, however. The wider problems of
Marlborough had at least been brought to light, so that by the time the
next fall session was held Mercer's 18-year-old suit to have Savage's
designated the official survey finally was acted upon:

"At a General Court held at the Court House in Williamsburg the 12th
October 1749" the John Savage survey of 1731 was "Decreed & Ordered" to
be "the only Survey" of Marlborough. The problem of overlapping
boundaries occasioned by the conflicts between the first two surveys was
solved neatly. Mercer agreed to accept lots 1 through 9, 22 and 25, and
33, 34, 42, and 43, "instead of the s^d 17 lots so purchased." The new
lots extended up the Potomac River shore, while the "s^d 17 lots" were
those which he had originally purchased and had built upon. Since he had
"saved" these 17 lots by building on them, according to the old laws for
the town, "it is further decreed & ordered that the said Town of
Marlborough grant & convey unto the s^d John Mercer in fee such & so
many other Lotts in the said Town as shall include the Houses &
Improvm^{ts} made by the said John Mercer according to the Rate of 400
square feet of Housing for each Lot so as the Lots to be granted for any
House of greater Dimensions be contiguous & are not separated from the
said House by any of the Streets of the said Town."[111]

Thus, Mercer's original titles to 17 lots were made secure by
substituting new lots for the disputed ones he had occupied. This device
enabled the feoffees to sell back the original lots--at £182 per
lot--with new deeds drawn on the basis of the Savage survey. The final
provision that lots be contiguous when a house larger than the minimum
400 square feet was built on them, and that the house and lots should
not be separated by streets from each other, guaranteed the integrity of
the mansion and its surrounding land. No mention was made here, or in
subsequent transfers, of the courthouse land. Presumably it was
conveniently forgotten, Mercer perhaps having duly recompensed his ward.


    [108] James Taylor lived in Caroline County; the "Wid^o
    Taliaferro" was probably Mrs. John Taliaferro of

    [109] Petition of John Mercer, loc. cit. (footnote 17).

    [110] _JHB, 1742-1747; 1748-1749_, op. cit. (footnote 6), pp.

    [111] John Mercer's Land Book, loc. cit. (footnote 12).


Three weeks before his petition was read in the House, Mercer became
ill. On October 26, 1748, he noted in his journal, "Very ill obliged to
keep my bed." This was almost his first sickness after years of
apparently robust health. Such indispositions as he occasionally
suffered had occurred, like this one, at Williamsburg, where
conviviality and rich food caused many another colonial worthy to
founder. In this case, anxiety over the outcome of his petition may have
brought on or aggravated his ailment. In any event, he stayed throughout
the court session at the home of Dr. Kenneth McKenzie, who treated him.
On November 3 he noted that he was "On Recovery," and two days later
"went out to take the air." The following appears in his account with
Dr. McKenzie:

  October 1748: By Medicines & Attendance myself & Ice     £7.19.11
                By Lodging &c 7 weeks                       6. 6. 7

From William Parks, on another occasion, he bought "Rattlesnake root,"
which was promoted in 18th-century Virginia as a specific against the
gout, smallpox, and "Pleuritick and Peripneumonic Fevers."[112] Twice he
bought "British oyl," a favorite popular nostrum sold in tall, square
bottles, and on another occasion "2 bottles of Daffy's Elixir."[113] In
1749 he settled his account with George Gilmer, apothecary of
Williamsburg, for such things as oil of cinnamon, Holloways' Citrate,
"Aqua Linnaean," rhubarb, sago, "Sal. Volat.," spirits of lavender, and
gum fragac. The final item in the account was for April 22, 1750, for "a
Vomit." The induced vomit, usually by a tartar emetic, was an accepted
cure for overindulgence and a host of supposed ailments. That inveterate
valetudinarian and amateur physician, William Byrd, was in the habit of
"giving" vomits to his sick slaves.[114]

In November and December 1749 Mercer sustained his first long illness,
during which he was attended by "Doctor Amson." "Taken sick" at home on
November 13, he evidently did not begin to recover until December 11.
Whatever improvement he may have made must have received a setback on
the last day of the year, when he recorded in his journal: "Took about
60 grains of Opium & 60 grains of Euphorbium by mistake instead of a
dose of rhubarb."


    [112] Ten years earlier a vogue for rattlesnake root had been
    established, apparently by those interested in promoting it.
    On June 16, 1738, Benjamin Waller wrote to the editor of the
    _Virginia Gazette_ extolling the virtues of rattlesnake root
    in a testimonial. He claimed it cured him quickly of the
    gout, and, he wrote, "I am also fully convinced this Medicine
    has saved the Lives of many of my Negroes, and others in that
    Disease, which rages here, and is by many called a
    _Pleurisy_; And that it is a sure Cure in a Quartan Ague."
    Two weeks later the _Gazette_ carried "Proposals for Printing
    by Subscription a _Treatise_ on the DISEASES of _Virginia_
    and the Neighbouring Colonies ... To which is annexed, An
    Appendix, showing the strongest Reasons, _a priori_, that the
    Seneca Rattle-Snake Root must be of more use than any
    Medicine in the _Materia Medica_."

    English Patent Medicines in America," (paper 10 in
    _Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology:
    Papers 1-11_, U.S. National Museum Bulletin 218, by various
    authors; Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1959).

    [114] _The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover,
    1709-1712_, edit. Louis B. Wright and Marian Tingling.
    (Richmond, Virginia: The Dietz Press, 1941), p. 188 (for


Mercer's religious observances were irregular, although usually when he
was home he attended Potomac Church. At the same time he continued as a
vestryman in Overwharton Parish (which included Potomac and Aquia
churches). On September 28, 1745, the vestry met to decide whether to
build a new Aquia church or to repair the old one. They "then proceeded
to agree with one _William Walker_, an Undertaker to build a new brick
Church, Sixty Feet Square in the Clear, for One Hundred and Fifty Three
Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty Pounds of Transfer Tobacco."[115] In
October Mercer entered in Ledger G, under the Overwharton Parish
account, "To drawing articles with Walker." In December he charged the
parish with "2 bottles claret" and "To Robert Jackson for mending the
Church Plate." Jackson was a Fredericksburg silversmith.[116]

The following March, the proprietors of the Accokeek Ironworks
petitioned the Committee on Propositions and Grievances with an
objection to the vestry's decision to rebuild, claiming that "as the
said Iron-Works lie in the Parish aforesaid, and employ many Tithables
in carrying on the same, they will labour under great Hardships
thereby...."[117] The petition was rejected, but nothing seems to have
been done on the new church until three months after Walker's death in
February 1750, when Mourning Richards was appointed undertaker.[118]

Mercer's charities in this decade form a short list. His only outright
gift was his "Subscription to Protestant working-Schools in Ireland. To
my annual Subscription for Sterling £5.5." In 1749 he did £12 3s. worth
of legal work for the College of William and Mary, which he converted
into "Subscriptions to Schools" of equal value; in other words, he
donated his services.


    [115] Op. cit. (footnote 19), p. 203.

    [116] _Virginia Gazette_, October 20, 1752; RALPH BARTON
    CUTTEN, _The Silversmiths of Virginia_ (Richmond, 1953), pp.

    [117] Op. cit. (footnote 19), p. 199.

    [118] WHIFFEN, op. cit. (footnote 94), p. 142.


On April 1, 1750, Mercer went to Williamsburg for the spring session and
stopped en route to visit his friend Dr. Mungo Roy at Port Royal in
Caroline County. He remained at Williamsburg until the seventh, except
for going on the previous day to "Greenspring" to be entertained by
Philip Ludwell in the Jacobean mansion built a century earlier by
Governor Berkeley. Again stopping off at Port Royal, he returned home on
May 10. He remained there until June 15, when he made the laconic entry
in his journal: "My wife died between 3 & 4 at noon." What time this
denotes is unclear.

Following this loss--Catherine Mercer was only 43--Mercer remained at
home for five days, then visited his sister-in-law Mrs. Ann Mason. The
next night he stayed with the pastor of Aquia Church, Mr. Moncure, then
returned to Marlborough and remained there for nearly a month.
Meanwhile, he purchased from Fielding Lewis, at a cost of £3 18s.
7-1/2d., "sundrys for mourning." William Thomson, the Stafford tailor,
made his mourning clothes. The preparations for the funeral must have
been elaborate; it was not held until July 13.

[Illustration: Figure 15.--PORTRAIT OF ANN ROY MERCER, John Mercer's
second wife and the daughter of Dr. Mungo Roy of Port Royal, painted in
1750 or shortly thereafter. (_Courtesy of Mrs. Thomas B. Payne._)]

At the end of July Mercer went to Williamsburg, thence to Yorktown, and
from there to Hampton and Norfolk by water on an "Antigua Ship,"
returning to Hampton on August 5 on a "Negro Ship," evidently having
caught passage on oceangoing traders. The younger children remained in
Williamsburg with George and a nurse. On September 8 he went to Port
Royal and stayed "at Dr. Roy's." He returned home on the 10th, then went
back to Port Royal on the 14th, staying at Dr. Roy's until the 20th,
attending Sunday church services during his visit. He returned home
again on the 23rd, only to visit Dr. Roy once more on the 28th. The
October court session drew him to Williamsburg, where he remained until
November 7. While there, he purchased the following from James
Craig,[119] a jeweler:

                                                £   s.   d.

  By a pair of Earrings                         2  12
  By a pair of Buttons                          2  12
  By a plain Ring                               1   1    6

On November 8 he returned to Dr. Roy's. On the 10th he added a
characteristically sparse note to his chronicle, "Married to Ann Roy."

The period for mourning poor Catherine was short indeed. But the mansion
at Marlborough needed a mistress, and Mercer's children, a mother. A new
chapter was about to open as the decade closed. From the meticulous
records that Mercer kept, it has been possible to see Mercer as a
dynamic cosmopolite, accomplishing an incredible amount in a few short
years. His constant physical movement from place to place, his reading
of the law and of even a fraction of his hundreds of books in science,
literature, and the arts, his managing of four plantations, attending
two monthly court sessions a year at Williamsburg, looking after the
legal affairs of hundreds of clients, concerning himself with the design
and construction of a remarkable house and selecting the furnishings for
it--all this illustrates a personality of enormous capacity.

Marlborough was now a full-fledged plantation. Although the legacy of an
earlier age still nagged at Mercer and prevented him from holding title
to much of the old town, he had, nevertheless, transformed it, gracing
it with the outspread grandeur of a Palladian great house.


    [119] "James CRAIG, _Jeweller_, from LONDON Makes all sorts
    Jeweller's Work, in the best Manner at his Shop in _Francis_
    Street (facing the Main Street) opposite to Mr. Hall's new
    Store." _Virginia Gazette_, September 25, 1746.


_Mercer and Marlborough, from Zenith to Decline, 1751-1768_


The long last period of Mercer's life and of the plantation he created
began at a time of growing concern about the western frontier and the
wilderness beyond it. In 1747 this concern had been expressed in the
founding of the Ohio Company of Virginia by a group of notable colonial
leaders: Thomas Cresap, Augustine Washington, George Fairfax, Lawrence
Washington, Francis Thornton, and Nathaniel Chapman. George Mason was an
early member, and so, not surprisingly, was John Mercer, whose prestige
as a lawyer was the primary reason for his introduction to the company.
We learn from the minutes of the meeting on December 3, 1750.

     "[Resolved] That it is absolutely necessary to have proper Articles
     to bind the Company that Mason ..., Scott & Chapman or any two of
     them, apply to John Mercer to consider and draw such Articles and
     desire him attend the next general meeting of the Company at
     Stafford Courthouse...."[120]

At the meeting in May 1751, Mercer presented the Articles and was
"admitted as a Partner on advancing his twentieth part of the whole
Expence."[121] From then on he was virtually secretary of the company,
as well as its chief driving force. He was made a committee member with
Lawrence Washington, Nathaniel Chapman, James Scott, and George Mason,
who was treasurer. The "Committee" was the central or executive board.

With the leading members living in Stafford County or nearby, most of
the meetings of both the company and the committee were held at Stafford
courthouse, and occasionally in private houses of the members. We can
imagine with what pride Mercer noted in his journal for February 5-7,
1753, "Ohio Committee met at my house." The important role played by the
Ohio Company in the Mercers' lives--and by them in the Company--is fully
recounted in the _George Mercer Papers Relating to the Ohio Company of


    [120] _The George Mercer Papers_, op. cit. (footnote 51), p.

    [121] Ibid.


Mercer doubtless threw himself into the Ohio Company's affairs with
characteristic drive and enthusiasm. We may surmise that there was heady
talk at Marlborough about the frontier and of dangerous exploits against
the Indians and the French--enough, at least, to have stirred youthful
cravings for adventure among the Mercer boys. Certain it is that George
and John Fenton, aged 19 and 18, respectively, joined the frontier
regiment of their neighbor Colonel Fry as young officers "upon the first
incursions of the French."[122]

James, aged 16 and too young for soldiering, exhibited an unusual
aptitude for architecture. His talent was noticed by William Bromley,
the master joiner on the mansion house, who told Mercer that James "had
a most extraordinary turn to mechanicks." On the strength of this,
Mercer decided that James should become a master carpenter or joiner,
then synonymous with "architect." In America in 1753 professional
architects, as we know them, did not exist; gentlemen, some very
talented, designed and drafted, while skilled joiners or carpenters
followed general directions, executing, engineering, and inventing as
they went along.

Mercer's decision was as unconventional as it was prescient, being made
at a time when gentlemen were not expected to learn a trade, yet at a
moment when the respected place the professional architect was later to
have could be envisioned. Indeed, he explained his feeling that those
who possessed architectural skills "were more beneficial members of
society, and more likely to make a fortune, with credit, than the young
Gentlemen of those times, who wore laced jackets attended for
improvement at ordinaries, horse races, cock matches, and gaming
tables." Motivated by this honest sense of values, forged in the
experience of a self-made man, Mercer proceeded to bind James
"apprentice to Mr. Waite, a master carpenter and undertaker (of
Alexandria), who covenanted to instruct him in all the different
branches of that business. At the same time I bound four young Negro
fellows (which I had given him) to Mr. Waite, who covenanted to instruct
each of them in a particular branch. These, I expected, when they were
out of their time, would place him in such a situation as might enable
him to provide for himself, if I should not be able to do any more for
him. It is notorious that I received the compliments of the Governour,
several of the Council, and many of the best Gentlemen in the country,
for having set such an example, which, they said, they hoped would
banish that false pride that too many of their countrymen were actuated

On June 25, 1753, Mercer noted in his journal, "At home. Bound son James
& Peter & Essex to W^m Waite for 5 y^{rs}." However commendable this
effort to banish "false pride" may have been, it was probably not a
realistic solution for James' career. James, as we shall see, was to
make his own choice later and was to follow with great distinction in
his father's footsteps as a lawyer.


    [122] All the foregoing quotations in this section are from
    Purdie & Dixon's _Virginia Gazette_, September 26, 1766.


Meanwhile, Mercer had announced his intention to publish a new edition
of the _Abridgment_. In doing so, he adopted a hostile, testy approach
that was unusual even in 18th-century advertising. Implying that he was
doing a favor to an ungrateful populace, he stated in the Virginia
_Gazette_ on August 16, 1751, "I have been prevail'd upon to print it,
if I have a prospect of saving myself, though the Treatment I met from
the Subscribers to the last had determined me never to be again
concerned in an Undertaking of this Kind." On the following February 20,
he announced in the _Gazette_ that if there were 600 subscribers by the
last of the next General Court he would send the copy to press. If not,
he would return the money to those who had subscribed, "which I should
not have troubled myself with, if I could have thought of any other
Expedient to secure myself against the base Usage I met with from the
Subscribers to my former _Abridgment_, who left above 1200 of them on my
Hands." This kind of advertising had its predictable response:
publication of the new _Abridgment_ was postponed indefinitely.

The first suggestion that all was not well in Mercer's financial affairs
was given in an advertisement in the _Gazette_ on April 10, 1752. In
this he noted that he had agreed to pay the debts of one Francis
Wroughton, a London merchant, out of Wroughton's effects. However,
although Wroughton's effects had not materialized, he promised to make
payment anyway, "notwithstanding a large Ballance due to myself." He
concluded, "Besides Mr. _Wroughton's_ Debts, I have some of my own (and
not inconsiderable) to pay, therefore I hope that such Gentlemen as are
indebted to me will, without putting me to the Blush which a Dunn will
occasion, discharge their Debts...."

Perhaps to alleviate these difficulties, he had advertised in the
Gazette on the previous March 15 that he would lease "3,000 Acres of
extraordinary good fresh Land, in Fairfax and Prince William," but there
is no evidence that he was successful.

Signs of irritability became increasingly noticeable. In 1753 he
outraged his fellow justices at Stafford court--so much so that they
brought charges against him before the Executive Council "for
misbehavior as a Justice."[123] It was decided that, although "his
Conduct had been in some Respects blameable, particularly by his
Intemperance, opprobrious Language on the Bench, and indecent Treatment
of the other Justices, ... that in Consideration of his having been a
principal Instrument in a due Administration of Justice, and expediting
the Business of the County, it has been thought proper to continue him
Judge of the Court."[124]

A growing burden of debt, in contrast to the prosperity of the preceding
decade, clearly affected Mercer's attitude, as we can see in a Gazette
advertisement on November 7, 1754: "I will not undertake any new, or
finish any old Cause, 'til I receive my Fee, or Security for it to my
liking: And I hope such Gentlemen as for above these seven years past
have put me off with Promises every succeeding General Court will think
it reasonable now to discharge their accounts." Concurrent with
indebtedness was an almost annual increase in the size of his family. In
1752 Grace Fenton Mercer was born, the next year Mungo Roy, and in 1754

At the same time, he still pursued the restless activity that
characterized his earlier years. On July 24, 1753, Mercer went "to
Balthrop's, Smith's Ordin^{ry} & Vaulx's,"[125] a distance of 27 miles,
during which he "Overset." On the 25th he went on eight miles farther
"to Col^o Phil Lee's"[126] for a three-day meeting of the Ohio Company,
then went the whole 35 miles home on the 28th. On September 6 he was
called eight miles away "to Boyd's hole on Inquest as Coroner & home by
4 in the morn^g," while the next day he was "at home. Son Mungo Roy born
ab^t 2 in the morning." On the 19th Mungo Roy was christened. Four days
later he went 15 miles to Fredericksburg for the christening of William
Dick's son Alexander, returning home the next day. The following day
Mercer journeyed 14 miles and back to "Holdbrook's Survey" by way of
Mountjoy's, and repeated the trip the next day, stopping at Major
Hedgman's[127] coming and going. On October 5 he made a three-day trip
to Williamsburg, covering the distance in stretches of 16, 52, and 42
miles per day, respectively. He went by way of Port Royal, where he "Met
M^r Wroughton," presumably the London merchant whose creditors he had
agreed to pay. The second day took him by way of King William
courthouse. On the return on November 4-6, he came via Chiswell's
Ordinary[128] and New Kent courthouse (which he noted had "Burnt"),
covering a total of 110 miles.

On June 3, 1754, his clerk reported to duty, according to a journal
entry: "Rogers came here at £50 p^r annum." Rogers remained in Mercer's
employ until 1768.

Mercer seems to have been driving himself to the limit, not to achieve
success as in the prior decades, but rather to hold secure what he
already had. The specter of debt now hung over him, as it did over
nearly every planter, under the increasing burdens of the French and
Indian War. The 17th-century wisdom of William Fitzhugh and Robert
Beverley in seeking to lead the colony away from complete dependence
upon tobacco was apparent to those who would remember. Marlborough,
although still technically a town, was now in reality a tobacco
plantation, and Mercer, despite his status as a lawyer, was as
irretrievably committed to the success or failure of tobacco as was
Fitzhugh 70 years earlier. The hard years were now upon all, and, like
his equally hard-pressed debtors, Mercer was suffering from them.


    [123] _Executive Journals of the Council_, op. cit. (footnote
    66), vol. 5, p. 410.

    [124] Ibid., p. 434.

    [125] The Balthrop family lived in King George County;
    Smith's ordinary has not been identified; "Vaulx's" probably
    refers to the home of Robert Vaulx of Pope's Creek,
    Westmoreland County. Vaulx was father-in-law of Lawrence
    Washington and died in 1755.

    [126] Philip Ludwell Lee, proprietor of "Stratford,"
    Westmoreland County, 1751-1775, grandfather of General Robert
    E. Lee. "Old Stratford and the Lees who Lived There,"
    _Magazine of the Society of Lees of Virginia_ (Richmond, May
    1925), vol. 3, no. 1, p. 15.

    [127] Peter Hedgman was another Stafford County leader. He
    was burgess from 1742 to 1755. "Members of the House of
    Burgesses," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1901), vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 249.

    [128] George Fisher visited Chiswell's ordinary: "On Monday
    May the 12th 1755, at Day Break, about half an hour after
    Four in the morning, I left Williamsburg to proceed to
    Philadelphia.... About Eight o'clock, by a slow Pace, I
    arrived at Chiswell's Ordinary. Two Planters in the Room, I
    went into, were at Cards (all Fours) but on my arrival,
    returned into an inner Room." "Narrative of George Fisher,"
    _WMQ_ [1] (Richmond, 1909), vol. 17, pp. 164-165.


On March 11, 1755, after nearly 30 years of uncertainty about his titles
to Marlborough, Mercer at last was granted the entire 52-acre town in a
release from the feoffees, Peter Daniel and Gerard Fowke. This was made
with the provision that he should be "Eased from making improvements on
the other twenty-six Lots (those not built upon), to prevent their
forfeiture and the County will be wholly reimbursed, which it is not
probable it ever will be otherwise as only one Lot has been taken up in
forty-seven years last past and there is not one House in the said town
which has not been built by the said Mercer."[129]

While the day-to-day events of Marlborough went on much as ever, the
conflict between the British and the French spread from Canada southward
along the western ridge of the Appalachians. This expansion, inevitably,
was reflected in the Mercers' activities in many ways, both great and
small. As the struggle approached its climax, Braddock's troops came to
Virginia in March 1755, and were quartered in Alexandria. Among them was
John Mercer's brother, Captain James Mercer, who was a professional
soldier. On March 25 John left Marlborough for Alexandria, probably to
greet James and to have him billeted at William Waite's house where
young son James already was living as Waite's apprentice. This bringing
together of two far-flung members of the Mercer family had unanticipated
results. Captain James was a British gentlemen-officer, untouched by the
leveling influences of colonial life and therefore untempted to banish
"false pride" by any such radical means as John had employed with young
James. Indeed, the sight of his nephew learning a mechanical trade must
have been a rude shock, for we learn from John Mercer that Captain James
"found means to make his nephew uneasy under his choice; and I was from
that time incessantly teazed, by those who well knew their interest over
me, until I was brought to consent very reluctantly that he should quit
the plumb and square" and become a lawyer.[130]

Mercer returned to Marlborough by way of George Mason's, near the place
where a few months later William Buckland was to begin work on "Gunston
Hall." He remained there all day on April 1--"at M^r Mason's wind
bound," he wrote in his journal. The next day he went "home through a
very great gust."

The problems of managing a plantation went on through peace and through
war. Besides a multitude of Negroes, there were also indentured white
servants at Marlborough. One of these ran away and was advertised in the
_Virginia Gazette_ on May 2, 1755:

     ... a Servant Man named _John Clark_, he pretends sometimes to be a
     Ship-Carpenter by Trade, at other Times a Sawyer or a Founder ...
     he is about 5 feet 7 inches high, round Shoulders, a dark
     Complexion, grey eyes, a large Nose and thick Lips, an _Englishman_
     by birth; had on when he went away, a blue Duffil Frock with flat
     white Metal Buttons and round Cuffs, red corded Plush Breeches, old
     grey Worsted Stockings, old Shoes, and broad Pewter Buckles, brown
     Linen wide Trousers, some check'd Shirts, and a Muslin Neckcloth;
     had also an old Beaver Hat bound round with Linen.

On October 24, the _Gazette_ carried another advertisement related to
Mercer's problems of personnel:

     A Miller that understands the Management of a Wind-mill, and can
     procure a proper Recommendation, may have good Wages, on applying
     to the Subscriber during the General Court, at _Williamsburg_, or
     afterwards, at his House in _Stafford_ County, before the last Day
     of November, or if any such Person will enclose his Recommendation,
     and let me know his Terms by the Post from _Williamsburg_, he may
     depend on meeting an Answer at the Post-Office there, without
     Charge, the first Post after his Letter comes to my Hands. _John

In the meanwhile, the war had broken out in full scale, and the disaster
at Fort Duquesne had taken place. Mercer apparently learned the bad news
at a Stafford court session, for he noted in his journal on July 9,
after observing his attendance at court, "General Braddock defeated." We
can imagine his concern, for both George and John Fenton were
participants in the campaign.

On April 18, 1756, John Fenton was killed in action while fighting under
Washington.[131] Curiously, his death was not mentioned in the journal.
Instead, we learn of the death of John Mercer's horse on the way to
Williamsburg in April and of the fact that, on his return in May, Mercer
lost his way and traveled 46 miles in a day. He tells us that he went
"to M^r Moncure's by water" on May 26, a distance of 15 miles, and that
he made a round trip from Mr. Moncure's to Aquia Church for a total of
12 miles. On July 14, he noted that he went "to Maj^r Hedgman's &
returning thrown out of the chaise & very much bruised."

The demands of the war are revealed in journal entries made in June
1757. On the 20th he wrote, "to Court to prick Soldiers & home," and on
the 27th, "to Court to draft Soldiers & home." As at other times in the
journal, birth and death, in their tragic immediacy and repetitiveness,
were juxtaposed in September: on the 24th, "Son John born"; on the 27th,
"Brother James died at Albany"; on the 28th, "Son John died."

In 1758 George Mason ran for the office of burgess from both Stafford
and Fairfax. On July 11, Mercer went to the Stafford elections, where
"Lee & Mason" were chosen. On the 15th, he went "to M^r Selden's & home
by water to see M^r Mason," who evidently had come to Marlborough for a
visit. Four days later, he traveled to Alexandria for the elections
there and saw "Johnston & Mason" elected.

In the fall of 1758 he went, as usual, to Williamsburg. His route this
time was long and devious, taking him to both Caroline and King William
County courthouses on the way, for a total of 121 miles in five days. We
learn of one of the hazards of protracted journeys in the 18th century
from a notation repeated daily in his journal for four days following
his arrival: "at Williamsburg Confined to Bed with the Piles."

On November 15, soon after his return to Marlborough, Mercer was sworn
to the new commission of Stafford justices. Five days previously his son
Catesby had been buried, but, as usually happened, new life came to take
the place of that which had survived so briefly. On May 17, 1759, Mercer
recorded, "Son John Francis born at 7 in the Evening." John Francis
evidently was given an auspicious start in life by a christening of more
than ordinary formality: "May 28. to Col^o Harrison's with the Gov^r Son

During 1759 the second edition of the _Abridgment_ was published in
Glasgow, Scotland, this time with neither public notice nor
recrimination.[132] On November 25, Mercer met the growing problem of
his indebtedness by deeding equal shares of some of his properties, as
well as whole amounts of others, to George and James Mercer, Marlborough
and a few other small holdings excepted. Fifty Negroes were included in
the transaction. This action was followed immediately by the release of
the properties under their new titles to Colonel John Tayloe and Colonel
Presley Thornton for a year, thus providing cash by which George and
James could pay £3000 of John Mercer's debts.[133]

The Ohio Company was experiencing its difficulties also. Mercer's
importance in it was demonstrated by his appointment to "draw up a full
State of the Company's Case setting forth the Hardships We labour under
and the Reasons why the Lands have not been settled and the Fort
finished according to Royal Instructions...."[134] This was his most
responsible assignment during his activity in the company.

Indebtedness throughout these years lurked constantly in the background,
now and then breaking through acutely. In 1760, for example, William
Tooke, a London merchant, brought suit to collect £331 1s. 6d. which
Mercer owed him. Two years later Capel Hanbury sued Mercer for £31

In 1761 George Washington and George Mercer ran for burgesses from
Frederick County in the Shenandoah Valley, and both were elected. John
Mercer, evidently anxious to be present for the election, undertook the
arduous journey to Winchester, leaving Marlborough on May 15. His
itinerary was as follows:

  May 15 to Fredericksburg                                  15
      16 to Nevill's Ordinary                               37
      17 to Ashby's Combe's & Winchester                    32
      18 at Winchester (Frederick Election)
           (Geo Washington and Geo Mercer elected)
      19 to M^r Dick's Quarter                              18
      20 to Pike's M^r Wormley's Quarter                    12
      21 to Snickers's Little River Quarters & Nevill's     60
      22 to Fallmouth & home                                50

In the previous year Anna had been born, and now, on December 14, 1761,
Maria arrived. Between the 8th and the 20th of August, 1762, entries
were made that suggest that there was an epidemic of sorts at
Marlborough: "Cupid died // Tom (Poll's) died // Daughter Elinor died //
Miss B. Roy died." In his long letter to George, written in 1768, he
reflected on the fact that, although through the years 98 Negroes had
been born at Marlborough, he, at that time, had fewer than the total of
all he had ever bought. "Your sister Selden," he wrote "attributes it to
the unhealthiness of Patomack Neck, which there may be something in....
I thank God, however, that my own family has been generally as healthy
as other people's."[136]


    [129] John Mercer's Land Book, loc. cit. (footnote 12).

    [130] Purdie & Dixon's _Virginia Gazette_, September 26,

    [131] John Clement Fitzpatrick, ed., _The Writings of George
    Washington_ (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office,
    1931), vol. 1, p. 318.

    [132] "Journals of the Council of Virginia in Executive
    Sessions, 1737-1763," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1907), vol. 14, p. 232

    [133] _The George Mercer Papers_, op. cit. (footnote 51), p.

    [134] Ibid., p. 179.

    [135] "Proceedings of the Virginia Committee of
    Correspondence 1759-67," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1905), vol. 12, p.

    [136] _The George Mercer Papers_, op. cit. (footnote 51), p.


The year 1763 marked the end of the war. It also signaled a turning
point in the colonies' relations with England. In a royal proclamation
the King prohibited the colonies from expanding westward past the
Appalachian ridge, in effect nullifying the Ohio Company's claims and
objectives. George Mercer was appointed agent of the company and was
dispatched to England to plead its cause.

By this time Britain was beginning to apply the other allegedly
oppressive measures which preceded the Revolution. Antismuggling laws
were enforced, implemented by "writs of assistance," thus increasing
colonial burdens which had been avoided previously by widespread
smuggling. The South was particularly hard hit by parliamentary orders
forbidding the colonies the use of paper money as legal tender for
payment of debts. In a part of the world where a credit economy and
chronic indebtedness made a flexible currency essential, this measure
was a disastrous matter.

Despite the ominousness of the times, Mercer continued with the daily
routine, the minutiae of which filled his journal. He noted on January
9, 1763, that he went to Potomac Church--"Neither Minister or clerk
there." On February 21 he went a mile--probably up Potomac Creek--to
watch "John Waugh's halling the Saine & home." On March 1 his merchant
friend John Champe was buried. After the funeral Mercer went directly to
Selden's for an Ohio Company meeting.

From December 10 until March 1765, Mercer was sick. Of this interval, he
wrote George in 1768 that "My business had latterly so much encreased,
together with my slowness in writing, & Rogers, tho a tolerable good
clerk, was so incapable of assisting me out of the common road, that
when you saw me at Williamsburg, I was reduced by my fatigue, to a very
valetudinary state."[137] Indebtedness, overwork, advancing age, and the
reverses of the times had evidently caused a crisis.

Passage of the Stamp Act in 1765, to raise revenues to support an army
of occupation in the colonies, struck close to John Mercer, for George,
while in England, had been designated stamp officer for Virginia. George
returned to Williamsburg, little expecting the hostile greeting he was
to receive from a crowd of angry planters. Quickly disavowing his new
office, he returned the stamps the following day.

Many made the most of George's tactical blunder in accepting the
stamp-officer appointment. Indeed, the Mercers seem to have been made
the scapegoats for the frustrations and turmoil into which the mother
country's actions had plunged the colony. George Mercer was hanged in
effigy at Westmoreland courthouse, and James Mercer took to the
_Gazettes_ to defend him. There were counterattacks on James while he
was absent in Frederick County, and Mercer himself rushed in with a
lengthy satirical diatribe entitled "Prophecy from the East." Occupying
all the space normally devoted to foreign news in Purdie & Dixon's
_Virginia Gazette_ for September 26, 1766, this struck out at anonymous
attackers whom Mercer scathingly nicknamed Gibbet, Scandal, Pillory, and
Clysterpipe. He later explained to George that James' "antagonist was
backed by so many anonymous scoundrels, that I was drawn in during his
abscence at the springs in Frederick to answer I did not know whom tho
it since appears D^r Arthur Lee was the principal, if not the only
assassin under different vizors, & he was so regardless of truth that he
invented & published the most infamous lies as indisputable facts: on
your brother's return I got out of the scrape but from a paper war it
turned to a challenge, which produced a skirmish, in which your bro.
without receiving any damage broke the Doctors head, & closed his eyes
in such a manner as obliged him to keep his house sometime...."[138]

Of John Mercer's own attitude towards the Stamp Act there can be no
question. On November 1, 1765, he noted in his journal, "The damned
Stamp Act was to have taken place this day but was proved initially
disappointed." He is said to have written a tract against the Stamp Act,
although no copy has survived.


    [137] Ibid., p. 187.

    [138] Ibid.


The elements of tragedy mark Mercer's final years--the tragedy of John
Mercer and Marlborough interwoven with the epic failures of the colonial
experiment. Prompted by his illness, he quit his legal practice in the
courts in 1765. In the same year he "gave notice to the members of the
Ohio Company, that my health & business would not longer allow me to
concern myself in their affairs which they had entirely flung upon my
hands." He also "on account of my deafness, refused to act as a justice,
which I should not have done otherwise, as I have the satisfaction to
know that I have done my country some service in this station."

Heavily in debt, disillusioned and embittered by the dwindling results
of his struggles, he wrote that "I have attended the bar thirty-six
years, through a perpetual hurry and uneasiness, and have been more
truly a slave than any one I am, or ever was, master of; yet have not
been able, since the first day of last January, to command ten pounds,
out of near ten thousand due me." Recoiling from his situation, he
desperately sought a way out and a means to recover his losses. With
self-deceptive optimism he seized upon the idea of establishing a
brewery at Marlborough, since "our Ordinaries abound & daily increase
(for drinking will continue longer than anything but eating)."
Accordingly, he built a brewhouse and a malthouse, each 100 feet long,
of brick and stone, together with "Cellars, Cooper's house & all the
buildings, copper & utensils whatever, used about the brewery." He
depended at first on his windmill for grinding the malt, but to avoid
delays on windless days, "I have now a hand-mill fixed in my brewhouse
loft that will grind 50 bushels of malt (my coppers complement) every
morning they brew."

To get his project under way, Mercer plunged further into the depths of
debt by buying 40 Negroes "to enable me to make Grain sufficient to
carry on my brewery with my own hands." These cost £8000, "a large part
of which was unpaid, for payment of which I depended on the Brewery
itself & the great number of Debts due to me." But the external fate
which was driving him closer and closer to destruction now struck with
the death of John Robinson, treasurer of the colony, who, having lent
public funds promiscuously to debtor friends, had left a deficiency of
£100,000 in the colonial treasury. A chain reaction of suits developed,
threatening James Hunter of Fredericksburg, Mercer's security for
purchase of the slaves.

The brewery lumbered and stumbled. Mercer's first brewer, a young Scot
named Wales, prevailed upon him to spend £100 to alter the new
malthouse. On September 16, 1765, William King, evidently a master
brewer, arrived. He immediately found fault with Wales' changes in the
malthouse. Within three weeks, however, King died. King's nephew, named
Bailey, then came unannounced with a high recommendation as a brewer
from a man he had served only as a gardener. Mercer was impressed: "You
may readily believe I did not hesitate to employ Bailey on such a
recommendation, more especially as he agreed with King in blaming the
alteration of the malt house & besides found great fault with Wales's
malting." Faced with rival claims as to which could brew better beer,
Mercer allowed each to brew separately. "Yet though Bailey found as much
fault with Wales's brewing as he did with his malting, that brewed by
Wales was the only beer I had that Season fit to drink." Wales, however,
brewed only £40 worth of beer, barely enough to pay his wages, let alone
maintenance for himself and his wife. Although Bailey brewed enough to
send a schooner load of it to Norfolk, it was of such "bad character"
that only two casks were sold, the remainder having been stored with
charges for two months, then brought back to Marlborough, where an
effort to distill it failed.

In 1766 there was a similar tale. Five hundred fifty bushels of malt
were produced, but much of the beer and ale was bad. In January 1766,
Andrew Monroe[140] was employed as overseer. "Wales complains of my
Overseer & says that he is obliged to wait for barley, coals & other
things that are wanted which, if timely supplied with he could with six
men & a boy manufacture 250 bushels a week which would clear £200.... My
Overseer is a very good one & I believe as a planter equal to any in
Virginia but you are sensible few planters are good farmers and barley
is a farmer's article," Mercer wrote to George. Besides the overhead of
slaves and nonproductive brewers, the establishment required the
services of two coopers at £20 per year.

Purdie & Dixon's _Virginia Gazette_ for April 10, 1766, carried the
advertisement of Mercer's brewery:


     STRONG BEER AND PORTER at 18d. and ALE at 1s. the gallon,
     _Virginia_ currency, in cask, equal in goodness to any that can be
     imported from any part of the world, as nothing but the genuine
     best MALT and HOPS will be used, without any mixture or substitute
     whatsoever; which, if the many treaties of brewing published in
     _Great Britain_ did not mention to be frequently used there, the
     experience of those who have drunk those liquors imported from
     thence would point out to be the case, from their pernicious

     The severe treatment we have lately received from our Mother
     Country, would, I should think, be sufficient to recommend my
     undertaking (though I should not be able to come up to the English
     standard, which I do not question constantly to do) yet, as I am
     satisfied that the goodness of every commodity is its best
     recommendation, I principally rely upon that for my success; and my
     own interest, having expended near 8000 l. to bring my brewery to
     its present state, is the best security I can give the publick to
     assure them of the best usage, without which such an undertaking
     cannot be supported with credit.

     The casks to be paid for at the rate of 4s. for barrels, 5s. for
     those between 40 and 50 gallons, and a penny the gallon for all
     above 50 gallons; but if they are returned in good order, and
     sweet, by having been well scalded as soon as emptied, the price of
     them shall be returned or discounted.

     Any person who sends bottles and corks may have them carefully
     filled and corked with beer or porter at 6s. or with ale at 4s. the
     dozen. I expect, in a little time, to have constant supply of
     bottles and corks; and if I meet the encouragement I hope for,
     propose setting up a glasshouse for making bottles, and to provide
     proper vessels to deliver to such customers as favour me with their
     orders such liquors as they direct, at the several landings they
     desire, being determined to give all the satisfaction in the power

     Their most humble servant,

Foolhardy though the brewery was, a glass factory would have been the
pinnacle of folly. Yet it was seriously on Mercer's mind. In his letter
to George he wrote:

     A Glass house to be built here must I am satisfied turn to great
     profit, they have some in New England & New York or the Jerseys &
     find by some resolves the New England men are determined to
     increase their number.

Despite his manifest failure, Mercer confidently attempted to persuade
George of the possibilities of the brewery and even the glasshouse.
Shifting from one proposal to another, he suggested that he could "rent
out all my houses and conveniences at a reasonable rate," or take in a
partner, although "I have so great a dislike for all partnerships,
nothing but my inability to carry it on my self could induce me to enter
into one."

In spite of these desperate thrashings about in a struggle to survive,
Mercer's empire was collapsing. When Monroe arrived as overseer, he

     found [according to Mercer] but 8 barrels of corn upon my
     plantation, not enough at any of my quarters to maintain my people,
     a great part of my Stock dead (among them some of my English colts
     & horses in the 2 last years to the am^t of £ 375. 10. --) & the
     rest of them dying, which would have infallibly have been their
     fate if it had not been for the straw of 1000 bushels of barley &
     the grains from the brewhouse.... Convinced of his [Monroe's]
     integrity, I have been forced to submit the entire management of
     all the plantation to him.

The following passage from the letter summarizes Mercer's financial

     "I reced in 1764 £1548 ... 4 ... 3-1/2 & in 1765 £961 ... 5 ...
     4-1/2 but since I quitted my practice I reced in 1766 no more than
     £108 ... 16 ... 1 of which I borrowed £24.10.--& 7 ... 1 ... 6 was
     re'ced for the Governor's fees. £20 ... 8 ... 4 I got for Opinions
     &c and from the brewery £28 ... 3 ... the remaining £28 ... 16 is
     all I received out of several thousands due for all my old & new
     debts. In 1767 I reced £159 ... 9 ... 3 of which borrowed £5 ... 15
     ...--the governor's fees £10 ... 7 ... 6 reced for opinions &c £49
     ... 6 ...--from the brewhouse £66 ... 14 ... of which £94 ... 14
     ... 3 was from the brewery & 9 in 1766 I gave a collector £20
     besides his board ferrage & expences & finding him horses & his
     whole collection during the year turned out to be £27 ... 2 ... 10.
     In the two years my taxes levied and quitrents amounted to £199 ...
     8 ... 1 which would have left a ballance of £1 . 13 . 3 in my
     favour in that time from the brewery & my practice (if it could be
     so called) & all my debts, in great part of which you and your
     brother are jointly & equally interested. What then remained to
     support me & a family consisting of about 26 white people & 122
     negroes? Nothing but my crops, after that I had expended above
     £100, for corn only to support them, besides rice & pork to near
     that value & the impending charge of £125 for rent, of £140 to
     overseers yearly, remained, & £94 ... 14 ... 3 out of those crops,
     as I have already mentioned, proceeding from the brewery, was
     swallowed up in taxes (tho the people in England say we pay none,
     but I can fatally prove that my estate from which I did not receive
     sixpence has, since the commencement of the war, paid near a
     thousand pounds in taxes only)."

On December 25, 1766, Mercer made public his situation in Rind's
_Virginia Gazette_:

     The great Number of Debts due to me for the last seven Years of my
     Practice, and the Backwardness of my Clients (in attending whose
     Business, I unhappily neglected my own) to make me Satisfaction,
     would of itself, if I had had no other Reason, have obliged me to
     quit my Practice. And when I found that by such partial Payments as
     I chanced to receive I was able to keep up my Credit, I can appeal
     to the Public, whether any Person, who had so many outstanding
     Debts, was less importunate, or troublesome, to his Debtors, But
     when I found, upon my quitting the Bar, all Payments cease, and
     that I would not personally wait upon my Clients, I could not
     approve of the Method of Demand, by the Sheriff, too commonly in
     Practice, without Necessity. I therefore employed a Receiver, who,
     ever since the first day of _January_ last, has been riding through
     the _Northern Neck_, and even as far as _Williamsburg_, and who to
     this Time has not been able, out of near ten thousand Pounds, to
     collect as much as will pay his own Wages, and discharge my public
     taxes (for Proof of which I will produce my Books to any Gentleman
     concerned or desirous to see them). This too, at a Time when my own
     Debts contracted by the large Expences I have been at for some
     Years past for establishing a Brewery, has disabled me by any other
     Means from discharging them, (except when they would take lands,
     Assignments of Debts, or any thing I can spare, without Detriment
     to my Plantations or Brewery). Selling Lands avail nothing, I have
     bonds for some sold four or five Years ago but I can't get the
     Money for them. I therefore cannot be thought too unreasonable to
     give this public Notice (which the Circumstances of the Country
     make most disagreeable to me) that I shall be against my
     inclination obliged to bring Suits, immediately after next _April_
     General Court, against all persons indebted to me who do not before
     that Time, discharge their Debts to me or my Son _James Mercer_,
     who will have my Books during the said Court to settle with every
     Person applying to him. And as some Persons have since my quitting
     the Practice, sent to me for Opinions and to settle Accounts
     without sending my Fees, to prevent any more Applications of that
     Sort, I give this Public Notice, that tho' I shall always be ready
     to do any Thing of that Kind (which can be done at my own House)
     upon receiving an adequate Satisfaction for it, it will be in vain
     to expect it be any Messenger they may send without they send the
     Money. There are some Gentlemen who must know that nothing in this
     Advertisement can relate to them but that any of their Commands
     will at any Time, be readily complied with by their

     and the Public's
     humble Servant
     Dec. 8, 1766

[Illustration: Figure 16.--ADVERTISEMENT of the services of Mercer's
stallion Ranter. Andrew Monroe, grandfather of the President, was
Mercer's overseer. (Purdie's _Virginia Gazette_, April 18, 1766.)]

Andrew Monroe, as manager of the plantation, advertised over his own
name in Purdie & Dixon's _Virginia Gazette_, of April 18, 1766, the
services of "The well known Horse RANTER," an English stallion imported
by Mercer in 1762 (fig. 16). One senses that without Monroe, Marlborough
would have collapsed completely. In spite of his ministrations,
however, there were difficulties with the staff. Purdie & Dixon's
_Gazette_ carried the following on June 6, 1766:

     MARLBOROUGH, STAFFORD county, May 26, 1766.

     Run away from the subscriber, some time last _February_, a Negro
     man named TEMPLE, about 35 years old, well set, about 5 feet 6
     inches high, has a high forehead, and thick bush beard; he took a
     gun with him, and wore a blue double breasted jacket with horn
     buttons. I suspect he is harboured about _Bull Run_, in _Fauquier_
     county, where he formerly lived. I bought him, with his mother and
     sister, from Mr. _Barradall's_ executors in _Williamsburg_ above 20
     years ago, and expected he would have returned home; but as he has
     been so long gone, I am doubtful he may endeavour to get out of the
     country by water, of which he may understand something, as he was
     two years on board the _Wolf_ sloop of war in the _West Indies_,
     and carries the marks of the discipline he underwent on board.

     Likewise run away last Whitsun holydays two indented servants,
     imported from LONDON last September, viz. JOSEPH WAIN of Bucknell,
     in the county of Oxford, aged 22 years, about 5 feet 4 inches high,
     round shouldered, stoops pretty much in his walk, has a down look,
     and understands ploughing. WILLIAM CANTRELL of Warwickshire, aged
     19, about the same height, and stoops a little, but not so much as
     WAIN, has a scar under one of his eyes, but which is uncertain, has
     some marks of the smallpox, his hair is of a dark brown and short,
     but Wain's is cut off, he pretends to understand ploughing and
     country business, and has drove a waggon since he has been in my
     service; they both have fresh look. The clothes they left home in
     were jackets of red plaids, brown linen shirts, _Russia_ drill
     breeches with white metal buttons, and thread stockings; _Cantrell_
     with an old hat and new shoes, and _Wain_ with a new hat and old
     shoes; But as it is supposed that they were persuaded to elope with
     four _Scotch_ servants belonging to the widow _Strother_, on
     _Potowmack_ run in this county, whom they went to see, and who went
     off at the same time, it is probable that they may exchange their
     clothes, or have provided some other. It is supposed that they will
     make for _Carolina_, where it is said an uncle of one of Mr.
     _Strother's_ servants lives; and as several horses are missing
     about the same time in these parts, it is very probable they did
     not choose to make such a journey on foot. Whoever secures my
     servants and Negro, or any of them shall, besides the reward
     allowed by law, be paid any reasonable satisfaction, in proportion
     to the distance and extraordinary trouble they may be put to.


Mercer seems to have been concerned principally with his brewers and
with the wasteful scheme they furthered with their incompetencies. Even
they seem to have been beyond his strength, for he became ill in January
1766, and suffered recurrently the rest of the year. From his journal we
can detect a once-strong man's struggle against the first warnings of
approaching death:

  August 26 Rode 6 m. & home had a fever              12
         27 sick
         28 Rode 5 m. & home                          10
         29      2 m. & D^o had an Ague                4
         30             D^o
         31             D^o
  Sept    1             Had an Ague
          2 Rode 5 m. & home                          10

                     * * *

  Sept   22 to M^r Selden's & ret'^d abo^t a mile
            but went back                             12
         23 home by 12 and went to bed                10
         24 Confined to my bed
              (remained so rest of month)
  Oct     1 Confined to my bed and very ill
          5 D^o Sat up a little
          6 D^o          Better
          7 D^o          D^o
          8 Drove out 3 m & home                       6

He informed George that after his return from Mr. Selden's on September
23 he was for "several days under strong delerium and had the rattles."
By the beginning of 1768, however, he was able to boast that "I think I
may safely aver that I have not been in a better [state of health] any
time these twenty years past, & tho' I am not so young, my youngest
daughter ... was born the 20th day of last January."

On April 22, 1766, he noted in the journal that the "Kitchen roof
catched fire" and on May 15 that he "Took Possion [sic] of my summer
house." The latter was probably located in the garden, where, during his
convalescence in the spring, he was able to make a meticulous record of
the blooming of each plant, flower, tree, and shrub, constituting a most
interesting catalog of the wild and cultivated flora of 18th-century
Marlborough. The catalog is indicative of Mercer's ranging interests and
his knowledge of botanical terms (see Appendix L). That the garden was
perhaps as interesting as the house is borne out by the fact that in
1750, as the house was reaching completion, Mercer had brought from
England a gardener named William Blacke, paying Captain Timothy
Nicholson for his passage.

Mercer's close attention to the natural phenomena around him began with
his illness in 1766. On January 4, only a few days after he had become
ill, he installed a thermometer in his room, and eight days later moved
it to his office. Regularly, from then until the close of his journal,
except when he was absent from Marlborough, he recorded the minimum and
maximum readings. One has only to look at the figures for the winter
months to realize that "heated" rooms, as we understand them, were
little known in the 18th century. Only on Christmas Eve in 1767 did the
temperature range from a low of 41° to as high as 63°, because, as
Mercer noted, "A good fire raised the Thermometer so high."

Although Mercer apparently found surcease from his cares in the peaceful
surroundings at Marlborough, his responsibilities went on nevertheless.
The cost of keeping slaves remained an enormous and wasteful one: "Every
negroes cloaths, bedding, corn, tools, levies & taxes will stand yearly
at least in £5," he wrote to George. In his letter he placed an order
through George for clothing, which included 25 welted jackets "for my
tradesmen & white servants," indicating the large number of white
workmen on his staff. It also included 20 common jackets, 45 pair of
woolen breeches, 1 dozen greatcoats, 5 dozen stockings, 1-1/2 dozen for
boys and girls, 4 dozen "strong felt hats & 600 Ells of ozenbrigs. We
shall make Virg^a cloth enough to cloath the women and children, but
shall want 50 warm blankets & 2 doz of the Russia drab breeches."
Against the advice of his merchant friend Jordan, he declined to order a
superior grade of jacket for his Negroes that would last two years,
since "most negroes are so careless of their cloathes & rely so much on
a yearly support that I think such jackets as I had are cheapest & last
the year very well."

He ordered George to buy new sheeting for family use, including "84 yds
of such as is fit for comp^a," inasmuch as "my wife is ashamed of her
old sheets when any strangers come to the house." He also placed an
order for windmill sails, which, he observed, were costly in the colony,
and could be made only at Norfolk.

     My millwrights directions were
       The Drivers 3 foot 6 inches broad  }
                                          } 23 feet long.
       The leaders 3      3               }

     A Suit I had made at Norfolk by those dimensions proved too long,
     something, they should be of Duck N^o. 2.

In addition, he ordered nails, 50 yards of haircloth, a yard wide, for
the malt kiln, a "drill plow with brass seed boxes for wheat, turnips,
lucarn pease &c," and a considerable number of books, particularly for
his children. "Bob. Newbery at the Bible & Sun in S^t. Paul's
churchyard can best furnish you at the cheapest rate with books best
adapted to the real instruction as well as amusement of children from
two to six feet high."

The long letter was finally finished on January 28, 1768, its great
length partly dictated by the fact that the river had frozen,
immobilizing the posts. He noted in his journal that on February 16 he
was in Fredericksburg and "dined at my Sons being my birthday and 63
y^{rs} old." On the 24th he attended a meeting of the Ohio Company at
Stafford courthouse and on March 14 returned there for a court session.
The next day he went home to Marlborough, perhaps never to leave again.
The journal ended at the close of the month. The next that we hear of
him appeared in Rind's _Virginia Gazette_ on October 27:

     On Friday, the 14th instant, died at his house in Stafford County,
     John Mercer, Esq., who had practiced the law with great success in
     this colony upwards of forty years. He was a Gentleman of great
     natural abilities inspired by an extensive knowledge, not only in
     his profession, but in several other branches of polite literature.
     He was of a humane, generous and chearful disposition, a facetious
     companion, a warm friend, an affectionate husband, a tender parent,
     and an indulgent master.

[Illustration: Figure 17.--PLATE FROM MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN'S
_Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium efte Veranderung Surinaamsche
Insecten_ (Antwerp, 1705), an elegant work in Mercer's Library.]


    [139] All quotations and sources not otherwise identified in
    this section are from John Mercer's letter to George,
    December 22, 1767-January 28, 1768. _The George Mercer
    Papers_, op. cit. (footnote 51), pp. 186-220.

    [140] Grandfather of President James Monroe.
    "Tyler-Monroe-Grayson-Botts," _Tyler's Quarterly Historical
    Genealogical Magazine_ (Richmond, 1924), vol. 5, p. 252.


_Dissolution of Marlborough_


James Mercer was now "manager" of John Mercer's estate. George, heavily
in debt, remained in England never returning to Virginia. The staggering
task of rescuing the estate from bankruptcy was left to James. The
immediate necessity was to reduce wasteful overhead at Marlborough and
to liquidate non-essential capital investment. On December 15, 1768,
James advertised in Rind's _Virginia Gazette_:

     A large and well chosen collection of BOOKS, being all the library
     of the late _John Mercer_, Esq., deceased, except such as are
     reserved for the use of his children. Those to be sold consist of
     more than 1200 volumes now at home, with which it is hoped may be
     reckoned upwards of 400 volumes which appear to be missing by the
     said _Mercer's_ catalogue.... The borrowers are hereby requested to
     return them before the 19th of _December_ next, the day appointed
     for the appraising of the estate....

     Also to be sold, about 20 mares and colts, and 40 pair of cows and
     calves. The colts are the breed of the beautiful _horse Ranter_,
     who is for sale; his pedigree has been formerly published in this
     Gazette, by which it will appear he is as well related as any horse
     on the continent. He cost 330 l. currency at his last sale, about 4
     years ago, and is nothing worse except in age, and that can be but
     little in a horse kept for the sole use of covering....

Except for attempting to dispose of the library and the horses and
livestock, no significant changes were undertaken until after September
7, 1770, when John Mercer's widow, Ann Roy Mercer, died. Reduction of
the plantation to simpler terms then began in earnest. Purdie & Dixon's
_Virginia Gazette_ published the following advertisement on October 25,

     _To be SOLD on MONDAY the 19th of NOVEMBER, if fair, otherwise next
     fair day, at MARLBOROUGH, the seat of the late JOHN MERCER Esq:

     The greatest part of his personal estate (except slaves) consisting
     of a variety of household furniture too tedious to mention; a
     number of well chosen books, in good condition; a very large and
     choice flock of horses, brood mares, and colts, all blooded, and
     mostly from that very beautiful and high bred horse _Ranter_ a
     great number of black cattle, esteemed the best in the colony,
     equal in size to any beyond the Ridge, but superiour to them,
     because they will thrive in shorter pastures; also 700 ounces of
     fashionable plate, and a genteel family coach, not more than seven
     years old, seldom used, with harness for six horses. Those articles
     were appraised, in December 1768, to 1738 l. The horses and black
     cattle are since increased, and now are in very good order; so that
     any person inclinable to purchase may depend on having enough to
     choose out of.

     Also will then be sold several articles belonging to a BREWERY,
     _viz._ a copper that boils 500 gallons, several iron bound buts
     that contain a whole brewing each, coolers, &c. &c. and a quantity
     of new iron hoops and rivets for casks of different forms, lately

     Purchasers above 6 l. will have credit until the _Fredericksburg
     September_ fair, on giving bond with security, with interest from
     the day of sale; but if the money is paid when due, the interest
     will be abated.

     Proper vessels will attend at _Pasbytansy_, for the conveyance of
     such as come from that side of _Potomack_ Creek.

It is clear that Ranter and his colts, as well as the cattle, had not
been disposed of at the former sale. Further, it is obvious that there
was an end to brewing at Marlborough, a result which James must have
been all too glad to bring about.

This sale, however, was also unsuccessful. In the May 9, 1771, issue of
Purdie & Dixon's _Virginia Gazette_ we learn that "The wet Weather last
_November_ having stopped the Sale of the personal Estate of the late
_John Merser_, Esquire, the Remainder ... will be sold at _Marlborough_,
on Monday, the 27th of this Month, if fair...." We learn that the family
beds, apparently alone of the furniture, had been sold, and that the
chariot had been added to the sales list. Apparently the library still
remained largely intact, as "a great Collection of well chosen Books"
was included. Ranter was still for sale, now at a five percent discount
"allowed for ready money."

But again--so an advertisement of June 13 reads in the same paper--the
sale was "prevented by bad Weather." June 20 was appointed the day for
the postponed sale. This time an additional item consisted of 200 copies
of Mercer's "old Abridgment" (doubtless the 1737 edition), to be sold at
five shillings each.

In the meanwhile, James had employed one Thomas Oliver, apparently of
King George County, as overseer for the four plantations which were in
his custody--Aquia, Accokeek, Belvedere, and Marlborough. On May 31,
1771, Oliver made a detailed report to Mercer on "the true state &
Condition of the whole Estate and its Contents as they appear'd when
this return was fill'd up".[141] Included in it was an inventory of
every tool, outbuilding, vehicle, and servant. The Marlborough portion
of this is given in Appendix M. Oliver added an N.B. summarizing the
condition of the animals and the physical properties. The following of
his remarks are applicable to Marlborough:

     ... The work of the Mill going on as well as Can be Expected till
     M^r. Drains is better, the Schoo and Boat unfit for any Sarvice
     whatsoever till repair'd. if Capable of it. the foundation of the
     Malt house wants repairing. the Manor house wants lead lights in
     some of the windows. the East Green House wants repairing. the west
     d^o wants buttments as a security to the wall on the south side.
     The barn, tobacco houses at Marlbrough & Acquia must be repaired as
     soon as possible.... five stables at Marlbrough plantation must be
     repair'd before winter. we have sustai'd no damage from Tempest or
     Floods. it will Expedient to hyer a Carpinder for the woork wanted
     can not be accomplish'd in time, seeing the Carpenders must be
     taken of for harvest which is Like to be heavy. I will advertise
     the sale at Stafford Court and the two parish Churches to begin on
     the 20th of June 1771.... P.S. The Syder presses at Each plantation
     & Syder Mill at Marlborough totally expended.... Negro Sampson
     Marlbro Company Sick of the Gravel.... Negro Jas Pemberton at
     Marlb^h Sick Worme Fever.

The sale as advertised and, presumably, as posted by Oliver was again a
failure. Apparently no one attended. The situation must have been
regarded then as desperate, for James advertised on August 29, 1771, in
Purdie & Dixon's _Virginia Gazette_ substantially the same material as
before. This time, however, it was "To be SOLD, at the Townhouse in
_Fredericksburg_, on the 24th day of _September_ next (being the second
Day of the Fair)." Added to the former list were "About two Hundred
Weight of HOPS of last Crop," "About four hundred Weight of
extraordinary good WOOL with a variety of Woollen and Linen Wheels,
Reels, &c.," as well as "A Number of GARDEN FLOWER POTS of different
forms. Some ORANGE, LEMON and other EVERGREENS, in Boxes and Pots." The
valuable but unwanted Ranter was again put up.

But once more bad luck and an apathetic (and probably impecunious)
populace brought failure to the sale. On October 24, 1771, Purdie &
Dixon's _Virginia Gazette_ printed the following advertisement and James
Mercer's final public effort to convert some of his father's estate into

     _To be SOLD to the highest Bidders, some Time Next Week, before the
     RALEIGH Tavern in Williamsburg,_

     The beautiful Horse RANTER, a genteel FAMILY COACH, with Harness
     for six Horses, also several Pieces of FASHIONABLE PLATE, yet
     remaining of the Estate of the late John Mercer, Esquire, deceased.
     Credit will be allowed until the 25th of April next, the Purchasers
     giving Bond and Security, with Interest from the Sale; but if the
     Money is paid when due, the Interest will be abated.

     Any Person inclinable to purchase RUSHWORTH'S COLLECTION may see
     them at the Printing Office, and know the Terms. At the same Place
     are lodged several Copies of the old Abridgment of the VIRGINIA
     LAWS, containing so many Precedents for Magistrates that they are
     esteemed well worth five Shillings, the Price asked for them.


     _Williamsburg, October 24._

     N.B. The Plate is lodged with Mr. Craig, and may be seen by any
     inclinable to purchase.

James did not attempt to sell the plantation itself or the slaves, but
evidently sought to reestablish Marlborough on an efficient and
profitable basis. That he failed to do so is brought out in a letter
that George Mason wrote to George Washington on December 21, 1773. In it
is expressed the whole tragic sequence of debt compounding debt in the
plantation economy and the insurmountable burden of inherited

     The embarrass'd Situation of my Friend Mr. Jas. Mercer's Affairs
     gives Me much more Concern than Surprize. I always feared that his
     Aversion to selling the Lands & Slaves, in Expectation of paying
     the Debts with the Crops & Profits of the Estate, whilst a heavy
     Interest was still accumulating, wou'd be attended with bad
     Consequences, independent of his Brother's Difficulties in England;
     having never, in a single Instance, seen these sort of Delays
     answer the Hopes of the Debtor. When Colo. [George] Mercer was
     first married, & thought in affluent circumstances by his Friends
     here, considerable purchases of Slaves were made for Him, at high
     prices (& I believe mostly upon Credit) which must now be sold at
     much less than the cost: He was originally burthened with a
     proportionable part of his Father's Debts: most of which, as well
     as the old Gentleman's other Debts, are not only still unpaid, but
     must be greatly increased by Interest; so that even if Colo. Mercer
     had not incurr'd a large Debt in England, He wou'd have found his
     Affairs here in a disagreeable Situation. I have Bye me Mr. James
     Mercer's Title-Papers for his Lands on Pohick Run & on Four-mile
     Run, in this County; which I have hitherto endeavoured to sell for
     Him in Vain: for as he Left the Price entirely to Me, I cou'd not
     take less for them than if they had been my own.[142]


    [141] _A Documentary History of American Industrial Society_,
    edit. John P. Commons (New York: Russell & Russell, 1958),
    vol. 1, facsimile opp. p. 236.

    [142] _Letters to Washington_, and _Accompanying Papers_,
    edit. S. M. Hamilton (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin,
    1901), vol. 4, p. 286.


Despite the seeming unwisdom of doing so, James Mercer held on to
Marlborough until his death. He was an active patriot in the Revolution,
serving as a member of the Virginia Committee of Safety. Marlborough,
too, seems to have been a participant in the war, when Lord Dunmore, on
a last desperate foray, sailed his ships up the Potomac and attacked
several plantations. That Marlborough was a target we learn from the
widow of Major George Thornton of the Virginia militia, who "was at the
bombardment of Marlborough, the seat of Judge Mercer, on the
Potomac...."[143] In Purdie's _Virginia Gazette_ of August 2, 1776, we

     Lord Dunmore, with his motley band of pirates and renegradoes, have
     burnt the elegant brick house of William Brent, esq., at the mouth
     of Acquia Creek, in Stafford county, as also two other houses lower
     down the Potowmack River, both the property of widow ladies.

Marlborough was no longer the property of a "widow lady," but accurate
reporting even today is not universal, and Marlborough may have been
meant. In any case, the mansion was not destroyed, although we do not
know whether any other buildings at Marlborough were damaged or not.

John Francis Mercer, James' half brother, appears to have lived at
Marlborough after his return from the Revolution. He served with
distinction, becoming aide-de-camp to the eccentric and difficult
General Charles Lee in 1778. When Lee was court-martialed after the
Battle of Monmouth, John Francis resigned, but reentered the war in
1780.[144] He apparently settled at Marlborough after the surrender at
Yorktown, at which he was present. In 1782 he was elected to both the
Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress. General Lee
died the same year, stipulating in his will:

     To my friend John [Francis] Mercer, Esq., of Marlborough, in
     Virginia, I give and bequeath the choice of two brood mares, of all
     my swords and pistols and ten guineas to buy a ring. I would give
     him more, but, as he has a good estate and a better genius, he has
     sufficient, if he knows how to make good use of them.[145]

It is not probable that John Francis' "genius" was sufficient to make
profitable use of Marlborough. He moved to Maryland in 1785, and later
became its Governor.[146]

James Mercer died on May 23, 1791. In 1799 the Potomac Neck properties
were advertised for sale or rent by John Francis Mercer in _The
Examiner_ for September 6. We learn from it that there were overseer's
houses, Negro quarters and cornhouses, and that "the fertility of the
soil is equal to any in the United States, besides which the fields all
lay convenient to banks (apparently inexhaustible) of the richest marle,
which by repeated experiments made there, is found to be superiour to
any other manure whatever." "30 or 40 Virginia born slaves, in families,
who are resident on the lands" were made "available."


    [143] GEORGE BROWN GOODE, _Virginia Cousins_ (Richmond,
    1887), p. 213.

    [144] Ibid.

    [145] "Berkeley County, West Virginia," _Tyler's Quarterly
    Historical and Genealogical Magazine_ (Richmond, 1921), vol.
    3, p. 46.

    [146] Ibid.


The plantation was bought by John Cooke of Stafford County. Cooke took
out an insurance policy on the mansion house on June 9, 1806, with the
Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia.[147] From this important document
(fig. 43) we learn that the house had a replacement value of $9000, and,
after deducting $3000, was "actually worth six thousand Dollars in ready
money." The policy shows a plan with a description: "Brick Dwelling
House one Story high covered with wood, 108 feet 8 Inches long by 28-1/2
feet wide, a Cellar under about half the House." Running the length of
the house was a "Portico 108 feet 8 Inches by 8 feet 4 Inches." A
"Porch 10 by 5 f." stood in front of the "portico," and another was
located at the northeast corner of the building, "8 by 6 feet." The
policy informs us that the house was occupied not by Cooke, but by John
W. Bronaugh, a tenant or overseer.

The records do not reveal how long the mansion survived. That by the
beginning of the century it had already lost the dignity with which
Mercer had endowed it and was heading toward decay is quite evident.
After John Cooke's death Marlborough was again put up for sale in 1819,
but this time nothing was said of any buildings, only that the land was
adapted to the growth of red clover, that the winter and spring
fisheries produced $2500 per annum, and that "Wild Fowl is in

Undoubtedly as the buildings disintegrated, their sites were leveled.
There remained only level acres of grass, clover, and grain where once a
poor village had been erected and where John Mercer's splendid estate
had risen with its Palladian mansion, its gardens, warehouses, and
tobacco fields. Even in the early 19th century the tobacco plantation,
especially in northern Virginia, had become largely a thing of the past.
Within the memory of men still alive, the one structure still standing
from Mercer's time was the windmill. Except for the present-day fringe
of modern houses, Marlborough must look today much as it did after its
abandonment and disintegration.


    [147] Policy no. 1134. On microfilm, Virginia State Library.

    [148] _Virginia Herald_, December 15, 1819.




[Illustration: Figure 18.--AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH OF MARLBOROUGH. The
outlines of the excavated wall system and Structure B foundation can be
seen where Highway 621 curves to the east.]


_The Site, its Problem, and Preliminary Tests_

The preceding chapters have presented written evidence of Marlborough's
history and of the human elements that gave it life and motivation.
Assembled mostly during the years following the excavations, this
information was not, for the most part, available in 1956 to guide the
archeological survey recounted here. Neither was there immediate
evidence on the surface of the planted fields to indicate the importance
and splendor of Marlborough as it existed in the 18th century.

In 1954, when Dr. Darter proposed that the Smithsonian Institution
participate in making excavations, he presented a general picture of
colonial events at Marlborough. He also provided photostats of the two
colonial survey plats so frequently mentioned in Part I (fig. 2). From
information inscribed on the 1691 plat, it was clear that a town had
been laid out in that year, that it had consisted of 52 acres divided
into half-acre lots, and that two undesignated acres had been set aside
for a courthouse near its western boundary. It was known also that John
Mercer had occupied the town in the 18th century, that he had built a
mansion there, that a circular ruin of dressed lime-sandstone was the
base of his windmill, and that erosion along the Potomac River bank had
radically changed the shoreline since the town's founding 263 years
earlier. But nobody in 1954 could point out with any certainty the
foundation of Mercer's mansion, nor was anyone aware of the brick and
the stone wall system, the two-room kitchen foundation, or the trash
pits and other structures that lay beneath the surface, along with many
18th-century household artifacts. It remained for the archeologist to
recover such nonperishable data from the ground.

In August 1954 Messrs. Setzler, Darter, and Watkins spent three days at
Marlborough examining the site, making tests, and, in general,
determining whether there was sufficient evidence to justify extended
excavations. The site is located in the southeastern portion of what was
known in the 17th century as Potowmack Neck (now Marlborough Point),
with the Potomac River on the east and Potomac Creek on the south (map,
front endpaper). It is approached from the northeast on Highway 621,
which branches from Highway 608 about 2-1/2 miles from the site. Highway
608 runs from Aquia Creek westward to the village of Brooke, situated on
the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad about four miles east
of the present Stafford courthouse on U.S. Route 1. Highway 621 takes a
hilly, winding course through the woods until it debouches onto the
flat, open peninsula of the point. The river is visible to the east, as
the road travels slightly east of due south, passing an intersecting
secondary road that runs west and south and then west again. The latter
road ends at the southwestern extremity of the Neck, where Accokeek
Creek, which meanders along the western edge of the Neck, feeds into
Potomac Creek. At the point near the Potomac Creek shore where this road
takes its second westerly course lies the site of the Indian village of
Patawomecke, excavated between 1938 and 1940 by T. D. Stewart.

[Illustration: Figure 19.--HIGHWAY 621, looking north from the curve in
the road, with site of Structure B at right.]

Beyond this secondary road, Highway 621 continues southward to a small
thicket and clump of trees where it curves sharply to the east, its
southerly course stopped by fenced-in lots of generous size (with modern
houses built on them) that slope down to Potomac Creek. After the
highway makes its turn, several driveways extend from it toward the
creek. One of these driveways, obviously more ancient than the others,
leaves the highway about 200 feet east of the clump of trees, cutting
deeply through high sloping banks, where vestiges of a stone wall crop
out from its western boundary (fig. 22), and ending abruptly at the
water's edge. Highway 621 continues to a dead end near the confluence of
creek and river.

Some 200 feet west of the turn in the highway around the clump of trees,
is a deep gully (or "gutt" in 17th-century terminology) that extends
northward from Potomac Creek almost as far as the intersecting road that
passes the site of the Indian village. This gully is overgrown with
trees and brush, and it forms a natural barrier that divides the lower
portion of the point into two parts. A few well-spaced modern houses
fringe the shores of the point, while the flat land behind the houses is
given over almost entirely to cultivation.

Since the two colonial land surveys were not drawn to scale, some
confusion arose in 1954 as to their orientation to the surviving
topographic features. However, the perimeter measurements given on the
1691 plat make it clear that the town was laid out in the southeastern
section of the point, and that the "gutt" so indicated on the plat is
the tree-lined gully west of the turn in the highway.

Bordering the clump of trees at this turn could be seen in 1954 a short
outcropping of brick masonry. A few yards to the north, on the opposite
side of the road, crumbled bits of sandstone, both red and gray, were
concentrated in the ditch cut by a highway grader. In the fields at
either side of the highway, plow furrows disclosed a considerable
quantity of brick chips, 18th-century ceramics, and glass sherds.

In the field east of the clump of trees and north of the highway,
opposite the steep-banked side road leading down to Potomac Creek, could
be seen in a row the tops of two or three large pieces of gray stone.
These stones were of the characteristic lime-sandstone once obtained
from the Aquia quarries some four miles north, as well as from a
long-abandoned quarry above the head of Potomac Creek. It was decided to
start work at this point by investigating these stones, in preference to
exploring the more obvious evidence of a house foundation at the clump
of trees. This was done in the hope of finding clues to lot boundaries
and the possible orientation of the survey plats. Excavation around
these vertically placed stones disclosed that they rested on a
foundation layer of thick slabs laid horizontally at the undisturbed
soil level. Enough of this wall remained _in situ_ to permit sighting
along it toward Potomac Creek. The sight line, jumping the highway,
picked up the partly overgrown stone wall that extends along the western
edge of the old roadway to the creek, indicating that a continuous wall
had existed prior to the present layout of the fields and before the
construction of the modern highway.

The excavation along the stone wall was extended northward. At a
distance of 18.5 feet from the highway the stone wall ended at a
junction of two brick wall foundations, one running north in line with
the stone wall and the other west at a 90° angle. These walls, each a
brick and a half thick, were bonded in oystershell lime mortar. Test
trenches were dug to the north and west to determine whether they were
enclosure walls or house foundations. Since it was soon evident that
they were the former, the next question was whether they were lot
boundaries matching those on the plat. If so, it was reasoned, then a
street must have run along the east side of the north-south coursing
wall. Accordingly, tests were made, but no supporting evidence for this
inference was found.

Nevertheless, the indications of an elaborate wall system, a probable
house foundation, and a wealth of artifacts in the soil were enough to
support a full-scale archeological project, the results of which would
have considerable historical and architectural significance. Determining
the meaning of the walls and whether they were related to the town
layout or to Mercer's plantation, learning the relationship of the
plantation to the town, discovering the sites of the 1691 courthouse and
Mercer's mansion, and finding other house foundations and significant
artifacts--all these were to be the objectives of the project. The
problem, broadly considered, was to investigate in depth a specific
locality where a 17th-century town and an 18th-century plantation had
successively risen and fallen and to evaluate the evidence in the light
of colonial Virginia's evolving culture and economy. Accordingly, plans
were made, a grant was obtained from the American Philosophical Society,
as recounted in the introduction, and intensive work on the site was
begun in 1956.


_Archeological Techniques_

The archeologist must adopt and, if necessary, invent the method of
excavation best calculated to produce the results he desires, given the
conditions of a particular site. The Marlborough site required other
techniques than those conventionally employed, for instance, in
excavating prehistoric American Indian sites. Moreover, because the
Marlborough excavations constituted a limited exploratory survey, the
grid system used customarily in colonial-site archeology was not
appropriate here, and a different system had to be substituted. It was
decided in 1956 to begin, as in 1954, at obvious points of visible
evidence and to follow to their limits the footings of walls and
buildings as they were encountered, rather than to remove all of the
disturbed soil within a limited area. By itself this was a simple
process, but to record accurately what was found by this method and
relate the features to each other required the use mainly of an alidade
and a stadia rod. Only to a limited extent were some exploratory
trenches dug and careful observations made of the color and density of
soil, so as to detect features such as wooden house foundations,
postholes, and trash pits. Once located, such evidence had to be
approached meticulously with a shaving or slicing technique, again
taking careful note of soil changes in profile.

All this required the establishment of an accurate baseline and a number
of control points by means of alidade and stadia-rod measurements. Then
eight points for triangulation purposes in the form of iron pipes were
established at intervals along the south side of the highway, east of
its turn at the clump of trees, on the basis of which the accompanying
maps were plotted. The full extent of the excavations is not shown in
detail on these maps, particularly in connection with the walls and
structures. The walls, for example, were exposed in trenches 5 feet
wide. Similar trenches were dug around the house foundations as evidence
of them was revealed.


_Wall System_


On April 2, 1956, the junction point of the three walls found in the
1954 test was reexcavated. The bottom layer of horizontally placed
stones 1.8-1.9 feet wide was found _in situ_, while most of the vertical
stones from the second course had been broken or knocked off by repeated
plowing. Construction of the highway had completely removed a section of
the wall. The corner of the two brick walls was revealed to have been
superimposed on the northernmost foundation block of the stone wall,
thus indicating that the stone wall preceded the building of the brick
ones. The upper stone block that had been removed to make room for this
brick corner still lay a few feet to the east where it had been cast
aside in the 18th century. This part of the stone wall, together with
its continuation beyond the highway to the creek, was designated Wall A
(figs. 21 and 24).

Exposure of the brick wall running westward from Wall A (designated Wall
A-I) disclosed broken gaps in the brickwork, the gaps ranging from 1.8
to 3 feet in length, and the intervening stretches of intact wall, from
7.33 to 8 feet. Eight-foot spacings are normal for the settings of
modern wooden fence posts, as such a fence south of the highway
illustrated. It is assumed, therefore, that, following the destruction
of the exposed part of the brick wall, a wooden fence was built along
the same line, requiring the removal of bricks to permit the setting of
fence posts (fig. 26).

Wall A-I intersected the modern highway at an acute angle, disappeared
thereunder and reappeared beyond. South of the clump of trees it abutted
another wall of different construction which ran continuously in the
same direction for 28 feet. Because of their manner of construction, the
two walls at their point of juncture were not integrated and, hence,
probably were constructed at different times. The 28-foot section later
proved to be the south wall of the mansion, designated as B. (This wall
will be considered when that structure is described, as will another
section that continued for less than 4 feet to the point where a 12-foot
modern driveway crossed over it.)

To the west of the driveway another wall (B-I), still in line with Wall
A-I, extended toward the "gutt." Of this only one brick course remained,
a brick and a half thick. About midway in its length were slight
indications that the wall footings had been expanded for a short
distance, as though for a gate; however, the crumbled condition of the
brick and mortar fragments made this inference uncertain.

Near the edge of the "gutt," 146 feet from the southwest corner of the
Structure B main foundation, Wall B-I terminated in an oblique-angled
corner, the other side of which was designated Wall B-II. This wall ran
384 feet in a southwesterly direction under trees and beneath a
boathouse along the "gutt," ending at the back of Potomac Creek. It was
constructed of rough blocks of the fossil-imbedded marl that underlies
Marlborough and crops out along the Potomac shore. Walls A, A-I, B-I,
and B-II, together with the creek bank, form an enclosure measuring a
little over two acres.

Returning to the point of beginning excavation, the brick wall which is
extended north from stone wall A (designated as Wall A-II) was followed
for a distance of 175 feet. Like Wall A-I, it was a brick and a half
thick (a row of headers lying beside a row of stretchers), and was
represented for a distance of 36 feet by two courses. Beyond this point
for another 30 feet, a shift in the contour of the land, allowing deeper
plowing in relation to the original height of the wall, had caused the
second course of bricks to be knocked off. From there on, only
occasional clusters of bricks remained, the evidence of the wall
consisting otherwise of a thin layer of mortar and brick.

Wall A-II terminated in a corner. The other side of the corner was of
the same construction and ran westerly at right angles for a total
distance of 264.5 feet, passing beneath the highway (north of the turn)
and stopping against the southeast corner of a structure designated E.
Extending south from Structure E was an 84-foot wall (Wall E) a brick
and a half thick, laid this time in Flemish bond (header-stretcher-header)
in several courses.

Another east-west wall, of which only remnants were found, joined Wall
E and its southern terminus. Six feet west of Wall E this fragmentary
wall widened from three to four bricks in thickness in what appeared to
be the foundation of a wide gate, with a heavy iron hinge-pintle _in
situ_; beyond this it disappeared in a jumble of brickbats.

Upon completion of the wall excavations, a return was made to Wall A,
where a visible feature had been observed, although not investigated.
This feature was a three-sided, westward projection from Wall A,
similarly built of Aquia-type stone, forming with Wall A a long, narrow
enclosure. The southern east-west course of this structure meets Wall A
approximately 62 feet north of the creek-side terminus of Wall A and
extends 59 feet to the west. The north-south course runs 100 feet to its
junction with the northern east-west segment. The latter segment is only
55 feet long, so the enclosure is not quite symmetrical. No excavations
were made here. However, in line with the north cross wall of the
enclosure, trenches were dug at four intervals in a futile effort to
locate evidence of a boundary wall in the present orchard lying to the
east of the road to the creek.


          _Artifact_                _of Manufacture_      _Provenience_

  Wine-bottle base. Diameter,           1735-1750      Adjacent to junction
   5-1/8 inches.                                        of Walls A, A-I,
   (USNM 59.1717 fig. 29; ill. 35)                      A-II, 13 inches
                                                        above wall base and
                                                        undisturbed soil.

  Wine-bottle base. Diameter,           1750-1770      Surface
   4-5/8 inches.
   (USNM 60.117)

  Polychrome Chinese-porcelain          1730-1770      In disturbed soil
   teacup base.                                         between junction of
  Blue-and-white porcelain sherds.                      Walls A, A-I, A-II,
   (USNM 60.118; 60.121)                                and modern Highway

  Buckley coarse earthenware. (USNM                    Surface
   60.80; 60.108; 60.136; 60.140)

  Staffordshire white salt-glazed        ca. 1760      Surface
   (USNM 60.106)

  Brass knee buckle. (USNM 60.139;       ca. 1760      Surface
    fig. 83e; ill. 49)

  Hand-forged nails.                                   Surface

  Scraping tool. (USNM 60.133; fig.                    Surface
   89b; ill. 76)

  Fragment of bung extractor. (USNM                    Surface
   60.134; fig. 89d)

  Sherds of heavy lead-glass decanter    ca. 1720      Trenches beside Wall
   and knop of large wineglass or                       B-2.
   pedestal-bowlstem. (USNM 60.149)

  Westerwald stoneware.                before 1750     Surface
   (USNM 60.104; 60.121)

  Tidewater-type earthenware. (USNM
   60.141; 60.154)

  Iron gate pintle. (USNM 60.90; figs.                 Wall E gateway, 6
    29 and 88)                                          inches from west
                                                        end, south side,
                                                        13 inches above
                                                        undisturbed soil,
                                                        in bricks in
                                                        second course.

  Brass harness ring. (USNM 60.53;                     2 inches west of
   figs. 29 and 83i)                                    Wall E gateway, on
                                                        top of third course
                                                        of bricks, 7 inches
                                                        above undisturbed

  Bridle bit. (USNM 60.67; figs. 29                    5 inches west of
    and 91c)                                            Wall E gateway,
                                                        first course, 4
                                                        inches above
                                                        undisturbed soil.

  Bottle seal, marked with "I^[C.]M"    (See matching    Underneath bridle
   and first three digits of date     seal dated 1737   bit (see above).
   "173...." (USNM 60.68)             on wine bottle,
                                       USNM 59.1688;
                                     fig. 78; ill. 37)

  Fragment of iron potlid (USNM 60.69;                 Southwest corner of
   fig. 87a)                                            Wall E gateway, 7
                                                        inches above
                                                        undisturbed soil,
                                                        at lowest brick

  Indian celt, with hole drilled for                   16 inches east of
    use as pendant. (USNM 60.87)                        southwest corner of
                                                        Wall E gateway, at
                                                        undisturbed soil,
                                                        7 inches below wall

  Iron loop from swingletree. (USNM                    30 inches east of
   60.86)                                               southwest corner of
                                                        Wall E gateway, at
                                                        undisturbed soil,
                                                        7 inches below wall

  Wine-bottle base. Diameter 4-1/2      1735-1750      Wall E gateway. Top
   inches (USNM 60.83)                                  course of bricks,
                                                        16 inches north of
                                                        pintle (see above).

  Iron plow colter. (USNM 60.88,                       Wall E gateway. Top
    ill. 79)                                            course of bricks,
                                                        5.5 feet east of
                                                        pintle (see above).

In addition to the artifacts listed above numerous others were excavated
from the trenches, although few of these have archeological value for
purposes of analyzing the structures. Only the finds accompanied by
depth and provenience data are significant in evaluating these
structures, and in the case of the gateway few are helpful to any
degree. The fragmentary bottle seal found there matches exactly a whole
seal that occurs on a wine bottle described in a subsequent section.
That seal is dated 1737, and thus this seal must have been similarly
dated. Its presence near the lowest level suggests that the wall was in
construction at the time the seal was deposited. Bottles were used for
a long time, however, so the seal may have reached its final resting
place years later than 1737. The Indian celt no doubt fell from the
topsoil while the trench in which the wall was built was being
excavated. The swingletree gear next to it probably was left there
during the construction. The colter, although it appears to be of early
18th-century origin, may have been in use late in the 18th century after
the wall had been removed. Since the colter is badly bent, it may have
struck the top of the underground wall foundation, and, having been
torn off from the plow, perhaps was left on the bricks where it fell.

[Illustration: Figure 20.--EXCAVATION PLAN of Marlborough.]

[Illustration: Figure 21.--EXCAVATION PLAN of wall system.]

[Illustration: Figure 22.--LOOKING NORTH up the old road leading to the
creek side.]

[Illustration: Figure 23.--OUTCROPPING OF STONE WALL along old road from
creek side.]

[Illustration: Figure 24.--JUNCTION OF STONE WALL A, running from creek
side to this point, with brick Wall A-I at top left, Wall A-II at

[Illustration: Figure 25.--LOOKING NORTH in line with Walls A and A-II,
Wall A-I joining at right angles.]

[Illustration: Figure 26.--WALL A-II. Breaks in wall date from
subsequent placement of fence posts.]

[Illustration: Figure 27.--JUNCTION OF WALL A-I with southeast corner of
Structure B.]

[Illustration: Figure 28.--WALL E, south of kitchen, showing gateway

[Illustration: Figure 29.--DETAIL OF GATEWAY in Wall E, showing iron
pintle for gate hinge in place; also bridle bit (see fig. 91c), harness
ring, and bottle base (see ill. 35).]

[Illustration: Figure 30.--WALL B-II looking toward Potomac Creek, with
"Gutt," shown in 1691 survey, at right.]

[Illustration: Figure 31.--WALL D, looking east toward Potomac River
from Structure E (kitchen).]


John Mercer commented with exasperation in his Land Book about the
unresolved discrepancies between the Buckner survey of 1691 and the
missing Gregg survey of 1707 (p. 14). There are as many disparities
between Buckner's plat and the plat resulting from the Savage survey of
1731. In the latter a new row of lots is added along the western
boundary, pushing the Buckner lots eastward. Where in the Buckner plat
the lots and streets in the lower part of the town west of George
Andrews' lots turn westerly 1° from the indicated main axis of the town,
paralleling the 30-pole fourth course of the town bounds which runs to
the creek's edge, the Savage map shows no such change. Yet Savage, in
describing the courses of the survey in a written note on the plat,
shows that he followed the original bounds. He does note a 4°, 10-pole
error in the course along Potomac Creek, "which difference gives several
Lots more than was in the old survey making one Row of Lots more than
was contained therein each containing two thirds of an Acre." This was
doubtless a contrivance designed to reconcile the Gregg and Buckner
surveys and also to benefit John Mercer.

In any case, it is clear that the plats themselves are both unreliable
and inaccurate. What was actual was shown in the archeological survey of
1956 with its record of boundary walls and at least one street. An
attempt has been made in figure 14 to give scale to the Buckner survey
by superimposing the archeological map over it. There, Wall B-II, if
extended north for 111 feet beyond its length of 384 feet to equal the
30 poles (495 feet) of the fourth course, would exactly touch the
southwest corner of lot 21 where the fourth course began. But, in spite
of this congruence, the other features of the plat are distorted and
disagree with the slightly northwest-southeast basic orientation of the
street and wall system. The simplest explanation might be that the
layout was made on the basis of the 1707 Gregg survey. Since it was
following the second Act for Ports of 1705 that the town achieved what
little growth it made prior to Mercer's occupancy, it is probable that
the town's orientation was made according to this survey.

Whether or not this is the case, the road to the creek side was
fundamental to the town, and probably was built early in its history and
maintained after the town itself was abandoned. We know from
archeological evidence that Wall A antedates the brick walls that were
connected with it. Further evaluation of the wall system in relation to
the entire site will be made later. It may be concluded for now that
Wall A and the road beside it represent the main axis of the town as it
was laid out before Mercer's arrival, that the stone walls were built
before that event, that Wall B-II follows the fourth course somewhat
according to Buckner's plat, and that the brick walls may date as late
as 1750, as some of the associated artifacts suggest.

[Illustration: Figure 32.--EXCAVATION PLAN of Structure B.]


_Mansion Foundation_

(_Structure B_)


With the exception of Wall A, the protruding bit of brickwork near the
clump of trees (where Highway 621 makes its turn to the southeast) was
the only evidence remaining above ground in 1956 of Marlborough's past
grandeur. Designated Structure B, it was plainly the remains of a cellar
foundation, which the tangled thicket of vines and trees adjacent to it
tended to confirm. Since its location corresponded with the initially
estimated position of the courthouse, it seemed possible that the
foundation might have survived from that structure.

Excavation of Structure B began accidentally when the excavators began
following the westward course of Wall A-I, as described in the preceding
section on the "Wall System." Wall A-I abutted, but did not mesh with,
the corner of two foundation walls, one of which ran northward and the
other continued on for 28 feet in the same direction as Wall A-I. The
brickwork in the 28-foot stretch of Wall A-I was laid in a step-back,
buttress-type construction. At the bottom course the wall was 2.65 feet
thick, diminishing upward for five successive courses to a minimum of
1.5 feet. A wall running northward--the east foundation wall--was
exposed for 16 feet from the point of its junction with Wall A-I until
it disappeared under the highway. It was found to have the same
buttress-type construction. There was no evidence of a cellar within the
area enclosed by the foundation walls south of the highway.

Excavation of the east foundation wall was resumed north of the
highway, but here no buttressing was found, with evidence of a cellar
visible instead. This evidence consisted of a curious complex of
features, comprising remnants of two parallel cross walls only 4.5 feet
apart with a brick pavement between 4.8 feet below the surface. The east
wall and the cross walls had flush surfaces. The northerly cross wall
was tied into the brickwork of the east wall, showing that it was built
integrally with the foundation. The northerly cross wall had been
knocked down, however, to within five courses on the floor level. The
pavement was fitted against it.

The southerly cross wall was not tied into the brickwork of the east
wall, and the pavement had been torn up next to it. Thus it was evident
that this wall had been erected subsequent to the building of the
foundation, that it had shortened the cellar by 4.5 feet, and that the
cellar extended southward to a point beneath the highway where it was
impossible to excavate. Documentary evidence to confirm this alteration
will be shown below (p. 91).

Extending 12.5 feet north of the original cross wall was another
cellarless section, with step-back buttressing again featuring the
foundation wall. Another paved cellar was in evidence north of this,
extending for 26 feet, with a final 14.25-foot cellarless portion as far
as the north wall of the structure. The interior of the cellar, to the
extent that inviolate trees and shrubs made it possible to determine,
was filled with brickbats and debris, large portions of which were
removed. Evidence, however, of construction of cross walls and of floor
treatment remained concealed.

[Illustration: Figure 33.--SITE OF STRUCTURE B before excavating,
looking northeast.]

The entire length of this extraordinary foundation totaled 108 feet.

The northwest corner of Structure B was not excavated because it was
hidden beneath a group of cedar trees which could not be disturbed.
South of the trees, however, the section of the west-wall foundation was
exposed to a length of 15.5 feet. This section was situated partly in,
and partly north of, the north cellar area. The cross measurement, from
outer edge to outer edge, was 28 feet, the same as the length of the
south foundation wall. Another short section of the west foundation wall
also was exposed from the southwest corner as far as a private driveway
which limited the excavation.

Abutting the exterior of the north wall of the foundation a flagstone
pavement was found, extending 8.45 feet northward and 16 feet westward
from the northeast corner. Against the foundation, within this space,
was a U-shaped brick wall, forming a hollow rectangle 5 feet by 3.6 feet
(inside). The space was filled with ashes, loose bricks, and other
refuse. This brickwork was the foundation for a small porch, the
lime-sandstone slabs surrounding it having been an apron or a small

Extending westward from the cedar trees, beyond the projected 28-foot
length of the north wall, was a short section of brick wall foundation,
the outer surface of which was faced with slabs of red sandstone and
dressed on the top with a cyma-reversa molding. The tops of the slabs
were rough, but each had slots and channels for receiving iron tie bars
(ill. 3) that were still in place. This wall was inset four inches to
the south of the alignment of the main north foundation wall.

[Illustration: Figure 34.--SOUTHWEST CORNER OF STRUCTURE B. Piazza
foundation extends to left, with red sandstone block at junction of
piazza with main foundation. To the left of top of sign, molded
red-sandstone trim can be seen which apparently surrounded the piazza.
Bricks in front of trim appear to have been added later as step
foundation. Brick buttressing of main-foundation footing appears at

The northwest corner of this additional structure was hidden under the
highway. Even now, however, the discerning eye can pick up the contour
of a wall running parallel with the west foundation wall under the
blacktop pavement. For a brief distance, between the point where the
road swings eastward from it and the private driveway covers it again,
excavation exposed this wall. Designated Wall C, it was 22 inches thick,
entirely of brick, with no evidence remaining of red sandstone on the
outside. The exterior surface was 9.5 feet beyond the west foundation

At the southwest corner of the foundation, evidence matching that at the
northwest corner was found. Here, again inset 4 inches from the line of
the main south foundation wall, were to be seen the tops of
red-sandstone slabs like those found at the north end (fig. 36), in this
case with one tie rod still in place. The driveway obscured the point to
which the corner of this extending structure could presumably be
projected. Subsequent construction against the sandstone slabs had
covered their surfaces with a rubble of brick and mortar that appeared
to be the foundation for masonry steps (fig. 35). Projecting out from
the southwest corner of the foundation was a rectangular red-sandstone
block which appeared to be the corner of these superimposed steps.
Although situated under the driveway, it was apparent by projection that
Wall B-I joined the southwest corner of Wall C. It will be demonstrated
from surviving records that Wall C, with its connecting sections, was
the foundation of a full-length veranda.

The belief which persisted for a time that Structure B might have been
the courthouse was dispelled by documentary evidence showing that it was
John Mercer's mansion.

[Illustration: Figure 35.--SOUTHWEST CORNER OF STRUCTURE B, showing
molded-sandstone trim with added brickwork in front. Bricks also covered
red-sandstone block, lower right. (Diagonally placed bricks at left are
not part of structure.)]


    _Artifact_               of Manufacture_      _Provenience_

  2 rim sherds from              ca. 1730       Beneath flagstone in
   brown-banded;                                 porch apron north
   "drab," stoneware                             of Structure B.
   mug (USNM
   59.1754; fig. 67b)

  Iron candle-snuffer           1730-1750       Debris at south end
   (USNM 59.1825; ill. 62)                       of Structure B.

  Small crescent-shaped                         Debris at south end
   chopping knife                                of Structure B.
   (USNM 59.1837; fig. 85a)

  Silver teaspoon             ca. 1730-1750     Wall debris near
   (USNM 59.1827; fig. 86d)                      north end.

In addition, there was the usual variety of 18th-century delftware,
Nottingham and white salt-glazed stoneware, pieces of a Westerwald
stoneware chamber pot, and much miscellaneous iron, of which only a
hinge fragment and a supposed shutter fastener probably were associated
with the house. None of this material has provenience data, nearly all
of it having turned up in the process of trenching. Little of it,
therefore, throws much light on the history of the structure. The most
important artifacts found in and around Structure B are those of an
architectural nature, and these will be considered primarily in the
following section.


That the "manor house," as Thomas Oliver called it in 1771, was an
extraordinary building is both revealed in the Structure B foundation
and confirmed by the insurance-policy sketch of 1806. Long, low, and
narrow, fronted by a full-length veranda and adorned with stone trim for
which we can find no exact parallel in 18th-century America, it was as
individualistic as John Mercer himself. Yet, far from being a vernacular
anachronism or a mere eccentricity, it was apparently rich with the
Georgian mannerisms that made it very much an expression of its age.

[Illustration: Figure 36.--SOUTH WALL OF STRUCTURE B, looking east. Base
of veranda extends to bottom of picture at left. Molded-sandstone trim
appears through brick rubble that has been attached to it, evidently as
base for steps.]

The measurements made of the foundation when excavated, as we have seen,
show a length of 108 feet and a width of 28 feet for the main structure,
with an overall width, including the projecting Wall C, of 37 feet 6
inches. The insurance policy states a length of 108 feet 8 inches and a
width of 29 feet 6 inches for the main foundation, plus a separate width
for the "portico" (as the structure above Wall C was called) of 8 feet
4 inches. These small discrepancies probably lie in the differences
between measuring a standing house and a foundation.

Despite the fact that the foundation was far from fully excavated
because of the presence of trees and highway, it is clear, nevertheless,
that two cellars of unequal size were situated within the main
foundation, separated by sections where there were no cellars. These
findings correspond with the notation on the insurance-policy plan, "a
Cellar under about half the House."

[Illustration: Figure 37.--CELLAR OF STRUCTURE B, showing remains of
original cross wall at left and added cross wall at right. Mercer
probably referred to the latter in 1749 in his account with Thomas
Barry: "Underpinning and altering the cellar."]

The partly destroyed cross wall extends about midway across the
foundation, acting as a retaining wall. As described above, this cross
wall was found to be tied into the brick pavement that abutted it on the
south side.

The bricks in the main foundation walls and in the partly destroyed
cross wall and pavement, on the basis of sample measurements, show a
usual dimension of about 8-1/2 by 2-3/4 by 4 inches. An occasional
9-inch brick occurs--about 10 percent of the sample.

In contrast, the bricks in the second cross wall are all 9 inches long,
except two that are 8-1/2 inches and one that is 8-3/4 inches. Similar
sizes prevail in the bricks exposed in the "portico" foundation (Wall
C) at the south end. The significance of these brick sizes will be
discussed later.

It is clear that Wall C was the foundation of the "portico," and that by
"portico" the writer of the insurance policy meant veranda or loggia.
The policy also shows a "Porch 10 by 5 f." extending from the middle of
the veranda. The highway now covers this spot.

In the space between the two parallel cross walls within the main
foundation, the debris yielded a large section of a heavy, red-sandstone
arch, 14 inches wide, 9 inches thick, and 3 feet 2 inches long. This
arch was roughhewn on the flat surfaces and on about half of the outer
curved surface, or extrados. The inner surface, or intrados, and the
remainder of the extrados are smoothly dressed (fig. 38). At the south
end of the main foundation another curved red-sandstone piece was
recovered. This piece curves laterally and has a helically sloped top
surface. It is 25 inches long, 14-1/2 inches high at the highest point,
and 9 inches thick. Presumably, it was part of a flanker for a formal
outdoor stair or steps (fig. 39). Also at the south end was found a
cast-mortar block with grooves on the back for metal or wooden
fastenings (USNM 59.1823; fig. 40). This was perhaps part of a simulated
ashlar doorframe. A few gauged or "rubbed" bricks occur that are
slightly wedge shaped.

[Illustration: Figure 38.--SECTION OF RED-SANDSTONE ARCH found in
cellar, presumably from an arcade surrounding the veranda.]

Turning to the documentary evidence, one may recall that an item dated
September 1747, "By building part of my House," appeared in David
Minitree's account in Ledger G. Two years later, in 1749, several items
related to the house appeared in the account of Thomas Barry, "By
Building the Addition to my House/ By 22 Arches/ By 900 Coins & Returns/
By a Frontispiece/ By Underpinning & altering the Cellar." In 1749 and
1750 William Copein was paid for mason's work.

[Illustration: Figure 39.--HELICALLY CONTOURED red sandstone, possibly a
flanker for the steps at the south end of the veranda, near which it was

[Illustration: Figure 40.--CAST-CONCRETE BLOCK, probably part of a
rusticated door enframement. Found at south end of Structure B. (See
ills. 1 and 2.)]

[Illustration: Figure 41.--DRESSED RED-SANDSTONE SLAB (originally in one
piece), molded on both edges. Although last used as a doorstep in
Structure E, this slab was probably designed as trim for the sides of
steps connected with the main house (Structure B).]

[Illustration: Illustrations 1 and 2.--Front and back of cast-concrete
block, probably part of a rusticated door enframement (fig. 40).
One-fourth. (USNM 59.1823.)]

[Illustration: Figure 42.--FOSSIL-EMBEDDED black sedimentary stone, used
for hearths and fireplace surrounds in the mansion.]

There is a clear sequence here. "Building part of my house" referred to
the basic brick structure built in 1747 by Minitree on the main
foundation. The work of William Monday, the carpenter, followed in 1748.
This doubtless included building the roof, setting beams, laying floors,
and building partitions. Then in 1749 Barry built the "Addition to my
House"--almost certainly the veranda. The item for 22 arches is
difficult to understand unless one relates it to the veranda and divides
the figure in two. The veranda was probably an arcade having 11 arched
openings, with arched facings of rubbed brick both inside and outside
the arcade. Thus, for the bricklayer, each actual arch would have
required two arches of brick. The intrados, or undersurfaces, of the
arches were probably red sandstone, like the fragmentary arch found in
the site; the basic element of the arch was then faced on each side with
bricks also arranged in an arch formation. The arcade at Hanover
courthouse seems to have been built in a somewhat similar fashion,
except that there the brick facing appears on the exterior of the arch
only. The "900 Coins and Returns" probably are gauged bricks, that is,
bricks ground smooth on a grindstone to provide a different texture and
richer red color to contrast with the ordinary wall brick. They were
widely used in Virginia mansions of the 18th century for corner and arch
decoration. At Marlborough over 600 rubbed bricks would have been
required to trim the piers of 11 arches, while the remainder may have
decorated the porch. The porch, we may be sure, was the "Frontispiece."

[Illustration: Illustration 3.--Iron tie bar used to secure dressed
red-sandstone slabs to each other. One-fourth. (USNM 59.1833.)]

[Illustration: Figure 43.--FOUNDATION OF PORCH at north end of Structure
B, surrounded by flagstone pavement.]

The item for "Underpinning & altering the cellar" probably refers to the
knocked-out original cross wall and the added parallel cross wall,
although the reasons for the change will always remain a mystery. As has
been noted, the average brick sizes in the main foundation, on the one
hand, and those of bricks in the new cellar cross wall and in the
veranda were mostly different. Probably the distinctions represent the
differences between Minitree's and Barry's bricks.

[Illustration: Figure 44.--PLAN OF MANSION HOUSE drawn on a Mutual
Assurancy Society of Virginia policy of 1806 after the house was
acquired by John Cooke. (_Courtesy of Virginia State Library._)]

The detailed sequence of joiners', plasterers', and painters' work
during the 1748-1750 period has already been given attention in the
historical section, enough to indicate that the mansion was one of
luxurious appointments. The insurance policy describes it as a "Brick
Dwelling House one Story high covered with wood." In modern parlance
this would be called a story-and-a-half house with a wood-shingled roof.
The veranda, probably in the form of an arcade, was trimmed with dressed
red sandstone and perhaps paved with the squares and oblongs of this
material found scattered around the site. The small projecting porch
mentioned in the insurance policy provided a central pavilion. The
appearance of the house from here on must be left wholly to speculation
with only hints to guide us. We know, for instance, that a considerable
amount--three books--of gold leaf was employed. Was there, perhaps, a
small gilded cupola to break the long expanse of roof line? Were the 162
ballusters, purchased from George Elliott towards the time of
completion, made for staircases indoors or for a balustrade along the
roof? Or did they border the roof of the veranda? To these questions
there can be no answer. Another question is whether the house, described
as one story high, was built over a high basement or near ground level.
Here we have evidence pointing to the latter, since the foundation had
two separate cellars, equalling "a Cellar under about half the House." A
high or English basement, by contrast, would have been continuous.
Furthermore, the veranda was at, or near, the ground level. The ground
floor thus might have been as much as 3 feet higher, reached by steps
from the veranda--but not a whole story higher. The depth of the
cellars, ranging from about 4 to 5 feet below ground level, implies that
the first floor was not more than 3 feet above ground level.

Suggestions as to details of trim and finish are made here and there,
again in fragmentary hints. Several broken pieces of a dark-gray,
fossil-embedded marble survive from the "chimney-pieces" and hearths of
fireplaces (fig. 42). They may be the "hewn stone from Mr. Nicholson"
paid for in 1749. A piece of plaster cyma-recta cornice molding shows
that some rooms, at least, had plaster rather than wooden ceiling trim
(USNM 59.1829, ill. 4). Thomas Oliver's statement that "the Manor house
wants lead lights in some of the windows" suggests an unparalleled
anachronism, since the term "lead light" is an ancient one referring to
casement sashes of leaded glass. But it is inconceivable, in the context
of colonial architectural history, that this house should have had
leaded-casement windows, and it is very probable, therefore, that the
semiliterate Oliver was indulging in a rural archaism to which he had
transferred the meaning of "sash lights." The latter term was used
commonly to denote double-hung, wooden-sash windows, such as Georgian
houses still feature. In support of this inference is the complete lack
of archeological evidence of leaded-glass windows.

[Illustration: Illustration 4.--Cross section of plaster cornice molding
from Structure B. Same size. (USNM 59.1829.)]

The cellarless areas of the foundation may have provided the footings
for chimneys. These probably stood several feet from the ends, perhaps
serving clusters of four corner fireplaces each, for each floor. One may
surmise that there was a hip roof, with a chimney rising through each
hip. A porch at the north end had a rectangular brick base 4 by 6 feet,
surrounded by a flagstone area 16 feet wide and 8 feet 5 inches in
extent from the house. This evidence, however, differs from the figures
given in the insurance plan which shows a "Porch 8 by 6 feet."

The mansion embodied some characteristics which are traditional in
Virginia house design and others which are without parallel. The
elongated plan indicated by the foundation was more frequently
encountered in Virginia dwellings of the late 17th and early 18th
centuries than in the "high Georgian" mansions of the 1740's and 1750's.
Turkey Island, for example, built in Henrico County in the 17th century,
was 103 feet long, 5 feet less than Marlborough.[149] The additions to
Governor Berkeley's Green Spring Plantation, built during the late 17th
century, consisted of an informal series of rooms, one room in depth for
the most part. Waterman is of the opinion that Green Spring was "in a
sense an overgrown cottage without the real attributes of a
mansion."[150] The excavations conducted in 1954 by Caywood have altered
the basis for this opinion somewhat, but, with its 150-foot length,
Green Spring remains an early example of the elongated plan.[151]

Aside from being elongated, Marlborough derives from the ubiquitous
informal brick cottage of Virginia. So indigenous is this vernacular
form that it is often found in houses of considerable pretension, even
in the 18th century. Such are the Abingdon glebe house in Gloucester
County, Gunston Hall in Fairfax, and the Chiswell Plantation, known as
"Scotchtown," in Hanover. Robert Beverley noted the Virginians' fondness
for this style, commenting that they built many rooms on a floor because
frequent high winds would "incommode a towering Fabrick"--an explanation
as delightful as it is absurd.[152]

That these one-story houses could be completely formal is demonstrated
in the unique early 18th-century addition to Fairfield (Carter's Creek
Plantation) in Gloucester County, which burned in 1897. This dwelling
had a full hip roof, with dormers to light the attic rooms, and a high
basement. Its classical cornice was bracketed with heavy modillions,
while a massive chimney protruded from the slope of the hip.[153]
Gunston Hall, on the other hand, reverted to the gable-end form.
Although essentially a Virginia cottage, it is richly adorned with
Georgian architectural detail. Completed in 1758, only eight years after
Marlborough, and owned by Mercer's nephew George Mason, this building
may be more closely related to Marlborough than any other existing

[Illustration: Figure 45.--THE VILLA of "the magnificent Lord Leonardo
Emo" at "_Fanzolo_, in the _Trevigian_;" illustrated in _The
Architecture of A. Palladio_ (Giacomo Leoni, ed., 3rd edition,
corrected, London, 1742). Palladio's was one of the works owned by
Mercer and probably used by Bromley. The arcaded loggias of the
one-story wings of this building may have contributed to the inspiration
of Marlborough. (_Courtesy of the Library of Congress._)]

Of all the one-story Virginia houses that have come to our attention,
only Marlborough has a full-length veranda. To be sure, there are
multiple-story houses with full-length verandas, the most notable being
Mount Vernon. Elmwood, built just before the Revolution in Essex County,
is another, having a foundation plan similar to Marlborough's.[155] The
Mount Vernon veranda is part of the remodeling of 1784, so that neither
house reached its finished state until a quarter of a century after
Marlborough's completion. Marlborough may thus at the outset have been
unique among Virginia dwellings in having such a veranda. However,
full-length verandas on buildings other than dwellings were not unknown
in Virginia prior to the construction of Marlborough, for they occurred
in an almost standard design in the form of arcaded loggias in county
courthouses. Typical were King William and Hanover County courthouses,
both built about 1734 (figs. 5 and 61).

The arcaded loggia is Italian in origin and is traceable here to
Palladio, whose influence was diffused to England and the colonies in a
variety of ways. We know that _The Architecture of A. Palladio_ was one
of four architectural works acquired by Mercer in 1748 and apparently
lent to his "architect," joiner William Bromley. The direct influence of
this work on the overall plan of Marlborough probably was negligible.
However, Palladio illustrates the villa of "the magnificent Lord
Leonardo Emo" at "_Fanzolo_, in the _Trevigian_" (fig. 45), which may
have caught Mercer's eye. This building had a central, raised pavilion
with two one-story wings, each approximately 100 feet long. Each wing
had a full-length, arcaded veranda. The wings were intended for stables,
granaries, and so forth. Palladio commented:

    "People may go under shelter every where about this House, which is
    one of the most considerable conveniences that ought to be desir'd
    in a Country-house."[156]

Mercer may have been impressed by this argument and by the arcade in the
design. He was already familiar with arcades at the capitol at
Williamsburg and at the College of William and Mary, as well as at
outlying courthouses where he practiced, the courthouse at Stafford
probably included. In any case, he did not have the veranda built until
1748 or 1749, after the main structure had been completed. It is
significant, in this regard, that it was not until March 1748 that he
settled accounts with Sydenham & Hodgson for the four architectural
books (including Palladio).

A formal garden apparently was laid out in the nearly square, walled
enclosure behind the mansion. It is perhaps wholly a coincidence that
Palladio, writing about the villa at Fanzolo, commented, "On the back of
this Building there is a square Garden."

[Illustration: Figure 46.--EXCAVATION PLAN of Structure E, looking


    [149] HENRY CHANDLEE FORMAN, _The Architecture of the Old
    South_ (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1948), pp.

    [150] Op. cit. (footnote 94), p. 21.

    [151] LOUIS CAYWOOD, _Excavations at Green Spring Plantation_
    (Yorktown, 1955), pp. 11, 12, maps nos. 3 and 4.

    [152] ROBERT BEVERLEY, op. cit. (footnote 5), p. 289.

    [153] WATERMAN, op. cit. (footnote 94), pp. 23-26; FISKE
    KIMBALL, _Domestic Architecture of the American Colonies and
    of the Early Republic_ (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,
    1927), p. 42.

    Buckland, 1734-1774; Architect of Virginia and Maryland_
    (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1958).

    [155] WATERMAN, op. cit. (footnote 94), p. 298.

    [156] ANTONIO PALLADIO, _The Architecture of A. Palladio ...
    Revis'd, Design'd, and Publish'd By Giacomo Leoni ... The
    Third Edition, Corrected ..._ (London, 1742), p. 61, pl. 40.


_Kitchen Foundation_ (_Structure E_)


Structure E was a brick foundation, 17 feet by 32 feet, situated at the
northwest corner of the enclosure-wall system. Its south wall was
continuous with Wall D, which joined it, and was at right angles to Wall
E. The latter abutted it in line with an interior foundation wall which
bisected the structure into two room areas, designated X and Y. Thus it
once stood like a bastion extending outside the enclosure walls, but
remaining integral with them and affording a controlled entrance to the
enclosure (fig. 46).

The east end of Structure E extended under a modern boundary fence to
the present edge of the highway. Ditching of the highway had cut into
the foundation and exposed the debris and slabs of stone in place, which
indeed had provided the first clues to the existence of the structure.
Clearance of the easterly area, Room X, revealed a pavement of roughly
rectangular slabs of mixed Aquia-type lime-sandstone and red sandstone.
These slabs were flaked, eroded, and discolored, as though they had been
exposed to great heat. The pavement was not complete, some stones having
apparently been removed. The scattered locations of the stones remaining
_in situ_ implied that the entire room was originally paved.

Between the northwest corner of Room X and a brick abutment 5 feet to
the south was a rectangular area where the clay underlying the room had
been baked to a hard, red, bricklike mass (fig. 49). Wood ash was
admixed with the clay. This was clearly the site of a large fireplace,
where constant heat from a now-removed hearth had penetrated the clay.
Extending north 3.8 feet beyond the bounds of the room at this point was
a U-shaped brick foundation 4.75 feet wide. Near the southeast corner of
the room, just outside of the foundation, which it abutted, was a
well-worn red-sandstone doorstep, which located the site of the door
communicating between Structure E and the interior of the
enclosure--and, of course, between Structure E and Structure B, the
distance between which was 100 feet.

Room Y, extending west beyond the corner of the enclosure walls was
perhaps an addition to the original structure. The disturbed condition
of the bricks where this area joined Room X, however, obscured any
evidence in this respect. In the northeast corner, against the opposite
side of the fireplace wall in Room X, was another area of red-burned
clay. Lying across this was a long, narrow slab of wrought iron, 34.5 by
6 inches (fig. 50), which may have served in some fashion as part of a
stove or fire frame. In any case, a small fireplace seems to have been
located here. Approximately midway in the west wall of Room Y, against
the exterior, lay a broken slab of red sandstone, which obviously also
served as a doorstone. That it had been designed originally for a more
sophisticated purpose is evident in the architectural treatment of the
stone, which is smoothly dressed with a torus molding along each edge
and a diagonal cut across one end (fig. 41). No evidence of floor
remained in this room, except for a smooth surface of yellow clay which
became sticky when exposed to rain.

[Illustration: Figure 47.--FOUNDATION of Structure E (kitchen).]

The north half of Room Y was filled with broken bricks, mortar, plaster,
nails, and--significantly--small bits of charred wood and burned
hornets' nests. The concentration of debris here could be explained by
the collapse of the chimney as well as the interior wall into the room.
The crumbly condition of the southwest portion of the exterior-wall
foundation also may indicate a wall collapse. Few artifacts were
recovered in this area.

North of Room X lay a large amount of rubble and artifacts, suggesting
that the north wall had fallen away from the building, perhaps carrying
with it shelves of dishes and utensils. Both rooms contained ample
evidence in the form of ash, charcoal, burned hornets' nests, and
scorched flagstones to demonstrate that a fire of great heat had
destroyed the building.


John Mercer's account with Thomas Barry (Ledger G) itemizes for 1749,
"building a Kitchen/ raising a Chimney/ building an oven." It is clear
from the features of Structure E, its relation to Structure B, and the
custom prevalent in colonial Virginia of building separate dependencies
for the preparation of food, that Structure E was the kitchen referred
to in Barry's account. Like this building, kitchens elsewhere were
almost invariably two rooms in plan--a cooking room and a pantry or
storage room. One of the earliest--at Green Spring--had a large
fireplace for the kitchen proper, and in the second room a smaller
fireplace, both served by a central chimney. An oven stood inside the
building between the larger fireplace and the wall.[157] At Stratford
(ca. 1725) the kitchen is similarly planned, as it is at Mannsfield
(Spotsylvania County).[158] Mount Vernon has an end chimney in its
kitchen, and only one fireplace. The floor of the kitchen proper is
paved with square bricks, while the second room has a clay floor. The
Stratford kitchen is paved with ordinary bricks. Such examples can be
multiplied several times.

[Illustration: Figure 48.--PAVED FLOOR OF ROOM X, Structure E, showing
HL door hinge in foreground. (See fig. 88a.)]

The physical relationship of the kitchen to the main house in Virginia
plantations was dictated in part by convenience and in part by the
Palladian plans that governed the architecture of colonial mansions.
Structure E's relationship to Structure B is representative of that
existing between most kitchens and their main buildings. Mount Vernon,
Stratford, Blandfield, Nomini Hall, Rosewell, and many other plantations
have, or had, kitchens located at points diagonal to the house and on
axes at right angles to them. Usually each was balanced by a dependency
placed in a similar relationship to the opposite corner of the house.
Sometimes covered walkways connected the pairs of dependencies, curved
as at Mount Vernon, Mount Airy, and Mannsfield, or straight as at
Blandfield in Essex County (1771). Marlborough, as we shall see, was not
typical in its layout, but the relationship between kitchen and house
was the customary one.

The thickness of the foundations in Structure E was the width of four
bricks--approximately 17 inches. As usual in the case of the lower
courses of a foundation, the bricks were laid in a somewhat random
fashion. The intact portions of the south and west walls revealed
corners of bricks laid end to end so as to expose headers on both sides.
The east wall showed pairs of bricks placed at right angles to each
other, so that headers and stretchers appeared alternately. On the north
wall of Room X bricks were laid as headers on the outside and as
stretchers, one behind the other, on the inside. These variations
probably are due to different bricklayers having worked on the
building simultaneously. Since oddly assorted courses would have been
below ground level, care for their appearance was minimal. Finished
exterior brickwork was required only above the lowest point visible to
the eye.

[Illustration: Figure 49.--NORTH WALL of Structure E, looking east. Sign
stands on partition wall between Rooms X and Y and in front of
rectangular section of burnt red clay, upon which fireplace hearth
stood. Projecting foundation at left may have supported an oven. Iron
slab (see fig. 50) lies _in situ_ with trowel on top.]

Brick sizes ran from 9 to 9-1/2 inches long, 4 to 4-1/2 inches wide, and
2-1/4 to 2-3/4 inches thick. These measurements are similar to those of
bricks in the veranda foundation and the added cellar cross wall of
Structure B. It is apparent from Ledger G that the elements in Structure
B, as well as the kitchen, were all built by Thomas Barry. Barry
probably used bricks that he himself made, according to the custom of
Virginia bricklayers, so that the archeological and documentary
evidences of the extent of his work in the two buildings reinforce each

The protruding rectangle of bricks at the north end of Structure E
resembles the foundation for steps in Structure B. However, its position
directly adjacent to what must be assumed to have been the fireplace
precludes the possibility of its having been the location for a step.
Moreover, the pavement and doorstones at the west and south demonstrate
that the floor of the kitchen was at ground level, so that a raised
step at the north side would have been not only unnecessary, but

[Illustration: Figure 50.--WROUGHT-IRON SLAB, found in Room Y, Structure
E, behind fireplace. Purpose unknown. Size, 6 by 35 inches.]

We know from the ledger that Barry built an oven and raised a chimney.
That the latter was a central chimney may be assumed on the basis of the
evidence of the two fireplaces placed back to back. There is, however,
no archeological evidence that there was an oven within the structure,
and every negative indication that there was not. The rectangular
protrusion, exactly in line with the end of the fireplace thus was
apparently the foundation for a brick oven, the domed top of which
extended outside the building, with its opening made into the north end
of the fireplace. Protruding ovens are known in New York and New
England, but none in Virginia has come to the writer's attention. On the
other hand, protruding foundations like the one here are also unknown
in Virginia kitchens, except where slanting ground, as at Mount Vernon,
has made steps necessary.

It may be concluded that Structure E was the plantation kitchen, that it
was built in 1749, that it had two rooms (a cookroom with fireplace
paving and a large fireplace, and a second room with a smaller
fireplace), that an oven built against the exterior of the building
opened into the north end of the fireplace, and that the first, and
probably the only, floor was at ground level. Archeological evidence
points to final destruction of the building by fire. (Mercer indicated
that fire had threatened it previously in the entry in his journal for
April 22, 1765, which noted "kitchen roof catch'd fire.") In the form of
datable artifacts, it also shows that the structure was destroyed in the
early 19th century, since the latest ceramic artifacts date from about

[Illustration: Figure 51.--EXCAVATION PLAN of structures north of Wall


    [157] CAYWOOD, loc. cit. (footnote 151).

    [158] WATERMAN, loc. cit. (footnote 94).


_Supposed Smokehouse Foundation_ (_Structure F_)


A nearly square foundation, measuring 18.3 feet by 18.6 feet, with a
narrow extended brick structure protruding from it, was situated some 45
feet north of Wall D, about midway in the wall's length. It was oriented
on a north-northwest--south-southeast axis, quite without reference to
the wall system. The foundation walls and the narrow extension were
exposed by excavation, but the interior area within the walls was not
excavated, except for 2-foot-wide trenches along the edges of the walls.

The foundation itself, about 2 feet thick, consisted of brick
rubble--tumbled and broken bricks, not laid in mortar and for the most
part matching bricks found elsewhere in Marlborough structures.
Scattered among the typical Virginia bricks and brickbats were several
distinctively smaller and harder dark-red bricks measuring 7-1/4 inches
by 3-1/2 inches (fig. 53).

The most interesting feature of the structure was its narrow extension.
This had survived in the form of two parallel walls laid in three brick
courses without mortar, the whole projecting from the southeasterly
wall. The interior measurement between the walls was 1.75 feet and the
exterior overall width was 4 feet. Its southern extremity had an opening
narrowed to 1 foot in width by bricks placed at right angles to the
walls. Approximately 5 feet to the north the passage formed by the walls
was narrowed to 1 foot by three tiers of one brick, each tier laid
parallel to the passage on each side. At 8.7 feet from its southern
terminus the extension intersected the main foundation. Just north of
this intersection, bricks laid within the passage were stepped up to
form a platform two courses high and one course lower than the top of
the foundation. A fluelike opening was formed by two rows of brick laid
on top of the platform, narrowing the passage to a width of 5 inches.
North of the southeast foundation wall there remained a strip of four
bricks in two courses at the level of the opening, forming a thin
continuation of the platform for 3.25 feet.


The narrow extension contained several bushels of unburned oystershells
and some coals. There was limited evidence of burning, although the
shells were not affected by fire. A small variety of artifacts was
found, few of which dated later than the mid-18th century. The flue or
fire chamber yielded the following artifacts:

     59.1717 Wine-bottle basal fragments, 5-5-1/2 inches,
     mid-18th-century form

     59.1721 Stem of a taper-stem, teardrop wineglass, misshapen from
     having been melted, ca. 1730-1740

     59.1723 Green window glass, one sherd with rolled edge of crown

     59.1724 Blue-and-white Chinese porcelain

     59.1725 "Yellowware" sherd, probably made before 1750

     59.1727 Westerwald gray-and-blue salt-glazed stoneware

     59.1728 Buckley black-glazed ware

     59.1730 Miscellaneous late 17th- and early 18th-century delftware

     59.1731 Staffordshire salt-glazed white stoneware, some with molded
     rims, ca. 1760

     59.1734 Half of sheep shears (ill. 85)

     59.1735 Convex copper escutcheon plate (fig. 83g)

     59.1736 Brass-hinged handle or pull for strap (fig. 83j, ill. 89)

[Illustration: Figure 52.--STRUCTURE F (supposed smokehouse foundation).
Firing chamber in foreground.]

Elsewhere, in the trenches next to the foundation walls, artifacts
typical of those occurring in other parts of the site were found. Worth
mentioning are pieces of yellow-streaked, red earthen "agate" ware,
sometimes attributed to Astbury or Whieldon, and sherds of
cord-impressed Indian pottery.


Since the interior of this structure was not excavated, many
uncertainties remain as to its identity. The peculiar fluelike
structure passing through its foundation, the rubble of bricks used to
form the foundation, the huge quantities of oystershells in the flue,
with partly burnt coals underneath, give rise to various speculations.
So does the orientation of the structure, which is off both the true and
polar axes and is also unrelated to the mansion or the wall system.

The most likely explanation seems to be that Structure F was the
foundation of a smokehouse. A recently excavated foundation in what was
known as Brunswick Town, North Carolina, is almost identical (except for
the use of ballast stone in the fire chamber and the building
foundation). This also is believed to be a smokehouse foundation, since
similar structures are still remembered from the days of their

[Illustration: Figure 53.--VIRGINIA BRICK from Structure B (left) 9 by 4
by 2-3/4 inches. Right, small brick from Structure F, probably imported,
7-1/4 by 3-1/2 by 1-3/4 inches. Perhaps one of the 630 bricks brought on
the _Marigold_ by Captain Roger Lyndon and purchased by John Mercer.]

The position of the Marlborough structure, outside of the enclosure wall
but not far from the kitchen, the relative crudeness of its
construction, and its off-axis orientation, support the likelihood of
its being a utilitarian structure. The firing chamber and the flue show
unquestionably that it was a building requiring heat or smoke.
Marlborough had two greenhouses, according to Thomas Oliver's inventory,
and these would have required heating equipment. But the small size of
this structure and the absence of any indication of tile flooring or
other elaboration suggested by contemporary descriptions of greenhouses
seem to rule out this possibility.

[Illustration: Figure 54.--STRUCTURE D, an unidentified structure with
debris-filled refuse pit at left.]


    [159] STANLEY SOUTH, "An Unusual Smokehouse is Discovered at
    Brunswick Town," _Newsletter_, Brunswick County Historical
    Society (Charlotte, N.C., August 1962), vol. 2, no. 3.


_Pits and Other Structures_


An exploratory trench was dug northward several yards from a point on
Wall D, on axis with Structure B. An irregularly shaped remnant of
unmortared-brick structure, varying between two and three bricks wide
and one course high was discovered at the undisturbed level. This
measured 8.5 feet by 6 feet. Adjacent to it, extending 5.8 feet and
having a width varying from 6.5 to 7 feet, was a pit 2 feet 8 inches
deep, dug 2 feet below the undisturbed clay level, and filled with a
heavy deposit of artifacts, oystershells, and animal bones. The artifact
remains were the richest in the entire site. Some of the most
significant of these are the following:

     59.1656 Key (fig. 88)

     59.1942 Iron bolt (ill. 69)

     59.2029} Two-tined forks (ill. 55-57)

     59.1664 Jeweler's hammer (ill. 78)

     59.1665 Fragments of a penknife (fig. 85c)

     59.1668 Knife blade and Sheffield handle (fig. 86b)

     59.1670} Pewter trifid-handle spoons (fig. 86f and g, ill. 58)

     59.1672 Pewter "wavy-end" spoon (fig. 86e, ill. 59)

     59.1675 Fragments of reeded-edge pewter plate (fig. 86a)

     59.1676 Pewter teapot lid (fig. 86c, ill. 60)

     59.1678 Brass rings (fig. 83i)

     59.1680 Steel scissors (ill. 61)

     59.1681 Large fishhook (ill. 88)

     59.1682 Chalk bullet mold (fig. 84b, ill. 51)

     59.1685 Slate pencil (fig. 85d, ill. 54)

     59.1687 Octagonal spirits bottle (fig. 80)

     59.1688 Wine bottle: seal "I^[C.]M 1737" (fig. 78, ill. 37)

     59.1679 Handle sherd of North Devon gravel-tempered earthenware
     (ill. 15)

     59.1698 Buckley high-fired, black-glazed earthenware (fig. 65)

     59.1699 Buckley high-fired, amber-glazed earthenware pan sherds
     (fig. 65, ills. 17 and 18)

     59.1700 Brown-decorated yellowware cup or posset-pot sherds (fig.
     64c, ill. 16)

     59.1701 Nottingham-type brown-glazed fine stoneware sherds (fig.

     59.1762 Sherd of Westerwald blue-and-gray stoneware, with part of
     "GR" medallion showing (fig. 66d)

     59.1704 Large sherds of brown-glazed Tidewater-type earthenware pan
     (fig. 63a, ill. 11)

     59.1706 Blue-and-white delft plate, Lambeth, ca. 1720 (fig. 69)

     59.1707 Blue-and-white delft plate, [?]Bristol, ca. 1750 (fig. 70)

     59.1714 Kaolin tobacco-pipe bowls, and one wholly reconstructed
     pipe (fig. 84f, ill. 53)

     59.1715 Steel springtrap for small animals (ill. 86)

     (Also numerous sherds of Staffordshire white salt-glazed ware and
     creamware. A single disparate sherd of pink, transfer-printed
     Staffordshire ware, dating from about 1835, is the only intrusive
     artifact in the deposit.)

The bones were virtually all pork refuse, except for a few rabbit bones.
The oystershells, found in every refuse deposit, reflect the universal
taste for the then-abundant oyster.

[Illustration: Figure 55.--REFUSE FOUND AT EXTERIOR CORNER of Wall A-II
and Wall D.]

The significance of the structure is not clear. It was probably the
site of a privy, the remaining bricks having been part of a brick floor
in front of the pit.


A few feet southeast of Structure D, another much smaller pit was found,
surrounded on two sides by a partial-U-shaped single row and single
course of bricks. This brickwork measured 5 feet in length, with a
4-foot appendage at one end and a 7-foot appendage at the other. The pit
was small and shallow. Typical ceramic artifacts were found, as well as
fragments of black basaltes ware (ill. 32) and some early 19th-century
whiteware. The function of this pit is unknown.


Just north of the northeast corner of the wall system a small trash pit
was uncovered. It contained a scattering of wine- and gin-bottle
sherds, a few miscellaneous, small, ceramic-tableware fragments, and
about one-third of a blue-and-white Chinese porcelain plate (figs. 55
and 77).


About 60 feet from the shore of Potomac Creek, at the southeast corner
of the old road that runs from the highway to the creek, bordered by
Wall A, were indications of a brick foundation. This structure was
explored to the extent of its width (about 15 feet) for a distance
northward of 17 feet, then the east wall was traced 22 feet farther
north until it disappeared into the bankside and a thicket. The
excavated area disclosed quantities of brickbats, a layer of soil, a
number of burnt bricks, a layer of black charcoal ash, and a 6-inch
deposit of clay. The brick walls were 1.5 feet thick. The structure
had been built into the hillside, so that the north end was presumably a
deep basement.

[Illustration: Figure 56.--EXCAVATION PLAN of Structure H.]

[Illustration: Figure 57.--STRUCTURE H, from Potomac Creek shore,
looking northeast.]

Artifacts were few. A complete scythe (fig. 90) was found embedded in
the clay above the brickwork on the east side of the structure, and next
to it a large body sherd of black-glazed Buckley ware. A few small
ceramic sherds occurred--pieces of redware with trailed slip (fig. 64),
and small bits of delft, salt glaze, and Chinese porcelain.

The location and implied shape of the building suggest that it had a
utilitarian purpose. Near the waterfront, it would conveniently have
served as a warehouse, or possibly as either the brewhouse or malthouse,
each described by Mercer as having been 100 feet long, of brick and
stone. Whether one was of brick and the other of stone, or both were
brick and stone in combination, is not clear. There was no evidence of
stonework in Structure H. On the other hand, the 100-foot-long
rectangular stone enclosure, of which Wall A formed a part, shows no
evidence of brickwork. The purposes of both these structures must, for
now, remain unexplained, but association with the brewery seems


_Stafford Courthouse South of Potomac Creek_


The chief archeological problem of Marlborough at the time of excavation
was whether or not Structure B had served as the foundation for both the
courthouse and for John Mercer's mansion. Although the possibility still
remains that the sites of the two buildings overlapped, preceding
chapters have demonstrated that the foundation was constructed by Mercer
for his house, and that it did not stand beneath the courthouse.

However, in 1957 it was thought that exploration of the
late-18th-century courthouse site, located upstream on the south side of
Potomac Creek, might reveal a structure of similar dimensions which
would help to confirm the possibility that Structure B had originated
with the Marlborough courthouse. Furthermore, the Potomac Creek site was
of interest by itself and was closely related to John Mercer's legal and
judicial career.

The location of the site is depicted in surveys included with suit
papers of 1743 and 1805.[160] These papers were brought to our attention
by George H. S. King of Fredericksburg, and were mentioned in Happel's
carefully documented history of the Stafford and King George
courthouses.[161] Previously, we had been led to the site by a former
sheriff of Stafford County, who recalled listening as a boy to
descriptions of the old courthouse building by an ancient whose memory
went back to the early years of the 19th century. The old man's
recollections, in turn, were reinforced by similar recountings of elders
in his own youth. Unscientific though the value of such information may
be, it emerges from folk memories that often remain sharp and clear in
rural areas, spanning in the minds of two or three individuals the
periods of several conventional generations. As clues, at least, they
are never to be ignored. In this case we were taken to a rubble-strewn
site on an eminence that overlooks Potomac Creek. At the foot of a
declivity below, on the old Belle Plains road, we were shown another
obvious evidence of structure, which we were told had been the jail.
Just to the east of this where a road leads away to the site of Cave's
tobacco warehouse (now the "Stone Landing"), we were informed that the
stocks had once stood.

Of the latter two sites we have no confirming evidence, although both
claims are plausible enough. No archeological effort was made to
investigate them, since funds were limited. The surveys of 1743 and 1805
are sufficient to confirm with accuracy the courthouse site.
Accordingly, an archeological exploration was made between August 19 and
August 23, 1957, revealing unmistakably the footings of a courthouse. As
will be shown, these footings in no way bore a resemblance to the
Structure B foundation.


    [160] Fredericksburg Suit Papers, 1745-1805 (MS.,
    Fredericksburg, Virginia, courthouse).

    [161] HAPPEL, op. cit. (footnote 22), pp. 183-194.


The history of the Potomac Creek courthouse site has been presented
thoroughly by Happel, but a brief review is in order here. Happel shows
that a courthouse was ordered built in 1665, a year after the
establishment of Stafford as a county. He quotes a court reference in
1667 to the road along the south shore of Potomac Creek, running from
the "said Ferry," near the head of the Creek, "to the Court house to the
horse Bridge," which he identifies as having spanned Passapatanzy Gut.
In his opinion, this courthouse was near the mouth of the Creek, but he
fails to show that it equally well may have been near the site of the
later 18th-century structures.

[Illustration: Figure 58.--DRAWING MADE IN 1743, showing location of
Stafford courthouse south of Potomac Creek (orientation to south).
(Fredericksburg Suit Papers.)]

[Illustration: Figure 59.--ENLARGED DETAIL from lower right portion of
figure 58, showing location of Stafford courthouse south of Potomac

We have seen that in 1690 court was first held in Thomas Elzey's house,
seemingly located near the 18th-century courthouse site, and that orders
were given that it continue to meet there until the new courthouse was
ready. The history of the new courthouse at Marlborough has already been
recounted, its final demise occurring about 1718. The court's official
removal from Marlborough was agreed upon July 20, 1720, and, as already
noted, "the head of Ocqua Creek" was designated for the new site,
although obviously by error, since Potomac Creek plainly was intended.

Happel tells us that the Potomac Creek building burned in 1730 or early
1731 and that the justices were ordered on April 27, 1731, to rebuild at
the same place. It is this next building that was depicted on the 1743
survey plat (see fig. 58). In 1744 a bill was presented in the Assembly
to relieve persons who had suffered or "may suffer" from the loss of
Stafford County records "lately consumed by Fire";[162] apparently the
courthouse had again burned. There seems to have been a delay of about
five years in rebuilding it this time. Pressures to relocate it were
exerted in the meanwhile and hearings were held by the Governor's
Council on a petition to "remove the Court House lower down."[163] The
Council listened, then "Ordered, that the new Court House be built where
the old one stood."[164]

[Illustration: Figure 60.--EXCAVATION PLAN of Stafford courthouse

This settled, Nathaniel Harrison and Hugh Adie contracted in 1749 with
the justices of Stafford court to build a "Brick Courthouse, for the
Consideration of 44500 lb. of Tobacco, to be furnished by the last of
October, 1750."[165] Harrison was a distinguished member of the colony
who, as a widower, had moved to Stafford County the previous year and
had married Lucy, the daughter of Robert ("King") Carter of "Corotoman"
and widow of Henry Fitzhugh of "Eagle's Nest."[166] Harrison, who later
built "Brandon" for himself in King George County, probably provided the
capital and the materials, and perhaps the design, of the courthouse.
Adie, of whom nothing is known, was doubtless the carpenter or
bricklayer who actually did the work.

[Illustration: Figure 61.--HANOVER COURTHOUSE, whose plan dimensions
correspond closely to the Stafford foundation.]

The construction was delayed by "many Disappointments, and the Badness
of the Weather." Finally, in the spring of 1751, it was about to be
brought to completion, "when it was feloniously burnt to the
Ground."[167] In April 1752 a special act was passed in order to permit
a levy to be made which would allow the Stafford court to reimburse
Harrison and Adie for the amount of work which they had accomplished on
the courthouse and the value of the materials they had provided.[168]

No record exists of the contract for the next--and last--courthouse
building on the Potomac Creek site. Quite possibly Harrison and Adie
again did the work. This building was used until removal of the court to
a new building completed between 1780 and 1783 on a site near the
present Stafford courthouse. It remained standing throughout most of the
19th century, according to local memory. In surveys of 1804 and 1805 the
structure was identified as the "old court house."


    [162] _JHB_, 1742-1749 (Richmond, 1909), p. 127.

    [163] Ibid.

    [164] _Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial
    Virginia_ [November 1, 1739-May 7, 1754], (Richmond, 1945),
    p. 282.

    [165] _JHB, 1752-1755; 1756-1758_ (Richmond, 1939), p. 55.

    [166] "Harrison of James River," _VHM_ (Richmond, 1924), vol.
    32, p. 200.

    [167] See footnote 165.

    [168] HENING, op. cit. (footnote 1), vol. 6, pp. 280-281.


Excavations were conducted in the simplest manner possible, in order to
arrive at the objective of determining the dimensions of the courthouse
without exceeding available funds. An exploratory trench soon exposed a
line of rubble and disturbed soil. This line was followed until the
entire outline of the building was revealed. At several points bricks in
mortar still remained _in situ_, especially at the south end. Two brick
piers extended 4 feet 5 inches into the structure, midway along the
south wall at a distance of 5 feet 9 inches apart.

[Illustration: Illustration 5.--Above, left, reconstructed wine bottle
from Potomac Creek courthouse site. One-fourth.]

[Illustration: Illustration 6.--Top, right, fragment of molded white
salt-glazed-ware platter from Potomac Creek courthouse site. One-half.]

[Illustration: Illustration 7.--Lower, right, iron bolt from Potomac
Creek courthouse site. One-half.]

The emerging evidence indicated that the structure was rectangular,
approximately 52 feet long and 26 feet wide, with a T-shaped projection
25 feet wide extending out a distance of 14 feet 5 inches from the
center of the east wall of the building.


Few artifacts occurred in the small area excavated at the courthouse
site. Those which did, significantly, related either to the structure
itself or to the eating and drinking that probably occurred either
alfresco or within the courthouse building. We know that the Ohio
Company Committee met there for many years, beginning in 1750, and
doubtless lunches and refreshments were served to the members during the
day, before they returned to the tavern or to neighboring plantations to
dine and spend the night.

Portions of wine bottles (of the same dimensions as the Mercer "1737"
bottle from Marlborough) were found (ill. 5), along with small
fragments of late 18th-century types. A section of the rim of a large,
octagonal, white, salt-glazed-ware platter with a wreath and lattice
design was recovered from the north-wall footings (ill. 86), and
fragments of a salt-glazed-ware dinner plate occurred in the south
trench. An oystershell found nearby suggests how the platter may have
been used. Two pieces of a white salt-glazed-ware posset pot round out a
picture of elegant eating and drinking in the 1760's, as do the
fragments of polished, agate octagonal-handled knives and forks. The
latter were badly damaged by fire.

[Illustration: Illustration 8.--Above, left, stone scraping tool.

[Illustration: Illustration 9.--Above, right, Indian celt. Found near
gate in Wall E. One-half.]

Pieces of blue-and-white delft punch bowls were found, as well as a
sherd of polychrome delft which dated apparently from 1740 to 1760. Two
sherds of creamware plates with wavy edges in the "Catherine" shape
reflect the last years of official use of the courthouse. A tantalizing
find is a small fragment of cobalt-blue glass, blown in a mold to make
panels or oval indentations. This piece may have come from a large bowl
or sweetmeat dish.

Three sherds of black-glazed red earthenware are the only evidence of
utilitarian equipment. Pipe-stems belong to the mid- and
late-18th-century category. A George II copper penny is dated 1746. A
large mass of pewter, melted beyond recognition, was found near the
south end of the structure. Bits of charcoal are held within it. The
pewter originally may have been in the form of mugs or tankards.

[Illustration: Figure 62.--PLAN OF KING WILLIAM COURTHOUSE, whose plan
dimensions correspond closely to the Stafford foundation. (_Courtesy of
Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress._)]

Evidence of the structure is found in a large number of hand-forged
nails, in quantities of window glass melted and distorted, and in pieces
of plaster. The last is the typical hard, coarse oystershell plaster of
the area, having a smooth surface coat, except for fine lines left by
the trowel. There is no evidence of paint. A small slide bolt of wrought
iron probably fitted on a cupboard door, or possibly the gate in the bar
(ill. 87). Another iron fixture is not identified.

Two kinds of window glass occurred. One, the earliest type, is a thin,
yellowish glass which is coated with irridescent scale caused by the
breakdown of the glass surface. None of this glass shows signs of fire
or, at least, of melting. The remainder is a grayish-blue aquamarine,
much of it melted and distorted, and some of it accumulated in thick
masses where tremendous heat caused the panes literally to fold up. A
fragment of yellowish-green glass pane, related to the early type and
again coated with scale, varies in thickness and was apparently from a
bullseye. No evidence exists of diamond-shaped panes, but, as should be
expected, there is indication of square-cornered panes in both types of


The plan of the footings (fig. 60) shows a T-shaped foundation. This was
an immediate clue to the nature of the structure, for the T-shaped
courthouse was virtually a standard 18th-century form in Virginia. This
foundation, in fact, is almost a replica of the plans of both King
William and Hanover County courthouses, each built about 1734[169]
(figs. 5, 61, and 62).

The King William courthouse measures 50 feet 4-1/4 inches long and 26
feet 4 inches wide in the main structure. Its T section extends 14 feet
9 inches to the original end (to which an extension has been added) and
has a width of 23 feet 10-1/4 inches. The Stafford foundation is 52 feet
long and 26 feet wide in the main structure. The T-section is 14 feet 5
inches long and 25 feet wide. A closer comparison could scarcely be

Hanover's length is 52 feet 4-1/2 inches, the width of the main section
27 feet 10 inches, while the T-section is 15 feet 2-1/2 inches long (in
its original part) and 26 feet 7 inches wide.

A third example, completed in 1736, is the Charles City County
courthouse.[170] The measurements of this building are not available to
us, but close examination of photographs discloses a building of about
the same size.

The earliest of these T-shaped buildings thus far recorded was the York
County courthouse, completed in 1733. Destroyed in 1814, its site has
been excavated by the National Park Service. Its foundation, measuring
59 feet 10 inches in length and 52 feet in full depth, including the T,
was somewhat larger than the others known to us. The records show that
it was rather elaborate, with imported-stone floors and compass-head

All these buildings had arcaded verandas. Marcus Whiffen raises the
question as to which of them, if any, was the prototype, then concludes
by speculating that none was, and that all four may have derived from
the 1715 courthouse at Williamsburg, the dimensions of which, however,
remain unknown. The introduction of the loggia first at the College of
William and Mary and then at the capitol led him to postulate that its
use in a courthouse also would have originated in Williamsburg.[172] The
Stafford foundation showed no trace of stone paving where an arcade
might have been, but, since virtually all the bricks had been taken
away, it is likely that such a valuable commodity as flagstones also
would have been removed as soon as the building was destroyed or
dismantled. Two brick piers at the west end of the structure (fig. 36)
remain a mystery. They are equidistant from the longitudinal walls, and
may have been the foundations for a chimney. However, their positions do
not relate to the floor or chimney plans at Hanover or King William
courthouses, the other features of which are so nearly comparable. One
would suppose every basic characteristic of the Stafford building would
have been the same as in these buildings. The piers were perhaps late
additions or modifications.

The roof was apparently of wood; there were no evidences of slate
shingles. The bricks were approximately 8-1/2 inches by 4 inches by
2-3/4 inches, and were probably laid in a patterned Flemish bond, as at
Hanover or King William, since some of the bricks were glazed. No lead
or other signs of "calmes" used in leaded sash were found, so we must
assume that the 1665 courthouse was built elsewhere.


    [169] MARCUS WHIFFEN, "The Early County Courthouses of
    Virginia," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
    (Amherst, Mass., 1959), vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 2-10.

    [170] Ibid.

    [171] RILEY, op. cit. (footnote 31), pp. 402 ff.

    [172] WHIFFEN, op. cit. (footnote 169), p. 4.


It may be assumed that the Potomac Creek courthouse, which was built of
brick, resembled the courthouses of Hanover, King William, and Charles
City, and that its architecture, symbolizing the authority of Virginia's
government, reflected the official style expressed in the government
buildings at Williamsburg. All the successive Stafford courthouses from
1722 on probably were built on the old foundations; if so, the Stafford
building was the earliest T-form courthouse yet known in Virginia. Its
similarity to the three structures built in the 1730's shows that an
accepted form had developed, possibly, as Whiffen suggests, deriving
from a prototype in Williamsburg.

The courthouse bears no resemblance, either in its shape or the absence
of a basement, to the Structure B foundation at Marlborough. The site,
reached more easily than Marlborough from any direction, dictated the
removal to it of the courthouse in 1722, thus contributing to the demise
of Marlborough as a town. The last structure, especially, was
historically important because of the meetings of the Ohio Company held
in it. It is of particular interest to the story of Marlborough because
John Mercer was, for most of its existence, the senior justice of the
Stafford court.


[Illustration: Figure 63.--TIDEWATER-TYPE POTTERY: a, milk pan (ill.
11); b, base of bowl (ill. 14); c, pan-rim sherds; d, base of ale mug
(ill. 12).]



Most of the ceramic artifacts found at Marlborough can be dated within
John Mercer's period of occupancy (1726-1768). A meager scattering of
late 18th- and early 19th-century whitewares and stonewares reflects the
John Francis Mercer and Cooke ownerships (1768-1819).


TIDEWATER TYPE.--Mercer's purchase in 1725 of £12 3s. 6d. worth of
earthenware from William Rogers (p. 16, footnote 54) probably was made
for trading purposes, judging from the sizable cost. Rogers operated a
stoneware and earthenware pottery in Yorktown, which evidently was
continued for a considerable time after his death in 1739.[173] An
abundance of waster sherds (unglazed, underfired, overfired, or
misshapen fragments cast aside by the potter), supposedly from Rogers'
output, has been found as street ballast and fill in Yorktown and its
environs. Microscopic and stylistic comparison with these sherds relates
numerous Marlborough sherds to them in varying degrees. For purposes of
tentative identification, the ware will be designated "Tidewater type."
Some of the ware may have been produced in Rogers' shop, while other
articles resembling the Yorktown products may have been made of similar
clay and fired under conditions comparable to those at Yorktown.

A Marlborough milk pan (USNM 59.1961, ill. 11, and USNM 59.1580) has a
salmon-colored body and a lustrous mahogany glaze with fine manganese
streaking. Another milk pan (USNM 59.2039, ill. 2, fig. 63a) has a buff
body and a glaze of uneven thickness that ranges in color from thin
brown with black flecking to a glutinous dark brown approaching black.
The most typical glaze color, influenced by the underlying predominant
pinkish-buff body, is a light mahogany with black specks or blotches. It
occurs at Marlborough on a small sherd (USNM 60.201). A variant glaze
occurring on pottery found in Yorktown appears here in a yellowish-buff
sherd flecked with black (USNM 60.154). The flecking is only in part
applied with manganese; it is also the effect of ocherous and
ferruginous particles which protrude through the surface of the body,
assuming a dark color. Occasionally the manganese is spread liberally,
so that the natural body color shows through only as flecks in a reverse
effect (USNM 59.1855); now and then the vessel is uniformly black (USNM

Tidewater-type forms found at Marlborough include milk pans 15 inches in
diameter and about 4-1/4 inches deep (in 1729 Mercer bought "2 milk
pans" for 5d. and 5 "gallon basons" for 4s. 7d.), a black-glazed jar
cover with indicated diameter of 6-1/2 inches (USNM 59.2013), and
fragments of other pans and bowls of indeterminate sizes. A portion of
an ale mug has a tooled base and black glaze (USNM 59.2043, fig. 63d,
ill. 12). Its diameter is 3-5/8 inches.

MOLDED-RIM TYPE.--This is a type of redware with a light-red body and
transparent, ginger-brown lead glaze. It is characterized by a rolled
rim and a tooled platform or channel above the junction of rim and side.
A small number of pan and bowl rims was found at Marlborough. The ware
is usually associated with early 18th-century materials from such sites
as Jamestown, Kecoughtan, Williamsburg, and Rosewell. It may have
originated in England.

NORTH DEVON GRAVEL-TEMPERED WARE.--The coarse kitchenware made in
Bideford and Barnstaple and in the surrounding English villages of North
Devon is represented by only two sherds. This ware is characterized by a
dull, reddish-pink body, usually dark-gray at the core, and by a gross
waterworn gravel temper. It occurs in contexts as early as 1650 at
Jamestown and as late as 1740-1760 at Williamsburg. One of the
Marlborough sherds is part of a large pan. It is glazed with a
characteristic amber lead glaze (USNM 60.202). The other sherd is a
portion of an unglazed handle, probably from a potlid (USNM 59.1679,
ill. 15).[174]

SLIP-LINED REDWARE.--Numerous 18th-century sites from Philadelphia to
Williamsburg have yielded a series of bowls and porringers characterized
by interior linings of slip that is streaked and mottled with manganese.
These are glazed on both surfaces, the outer surface and a border above
the slip on the inner surface usually ginger-brown in color. Comparative
examples are a bowl from the Russell site at Lewes, Delaware, dating
from the first half of the 18th century, and several pieces from
pre-Revolutionary contexts at Williamsburg. A deposit excavated by H.
Geiger Omwake near the south end of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal in
Delaware included sherds from a context dated late 17th- to mid-18th
centuries.[175] Several fragments of bowls occur in the Marlborough
material (USNM 59.1613, 59.1856, fig. 64g).

ENGLISH YELLOWWARE.--The few sherds of so-called combed ware occurring
at Marlborough, although only the base fragments connect, all seem to
have come from a single cup or posset pot having a buff body and
characteristically decorated with spiraled bands of dark-brown slip that
were created by combing through an outer coating of white slip,
revealing an underlayer of red slip. The vessel was glazed with a clear
lead glaze (USNM 59.1700, fig. 64c, ill. 16). Comparative dated
examples of this ware include a posset pot dated 1735.[176] A chamber
pot bearing the same kind of striping was excavated by the National Park
Service at Fort Frederica, Georgia (1736-ca. 1750). A piece similar to
that from Marlborough was found in the Rosewell deposit, and another in
the Lewis Morris house site, Morrisania, New York.[177] Although this
type of ware was introduced in England about 1680, its principal use in
America seems to have occurred largely between 1725 and 1775.
Archeological evidence is corroborated by newspaper advertisements. In
1733 the _Boston Gazette_ advertised "yellow ware Hollow and Flat by the
Crate" and again in 1737 "yellow and Brown Earthenware." In 1763 the
_Gazette_ mentioned "Crates of Yellow Liverpool Ware," Liverpool being
the chief place of export for pottery made in Staffordshire, the
principal source for the combed wares.[178]

BUCKLEY WARE.--I. Noël Hume has identified a class of high-fired,
black-glazed earthenware found in many 18th-century sites in Virginia.
He has done so by reference to _The Buckley Potteries_, by K. J.
Barton,[179] and to waster sherds in his possession from the Buckley
kiln sites in Flintshire, North Wales. The ware probably was made in
other potteries of the region also. This durable pottery, more like
stoneware than earthenware, is represented by a large number of jar and
pan fragments. Two body types occur, each characterized by a mixture of
red and buff clay. In the more usual type the red clay dominates, with
laminations and striations of buff clay running through it in the manner
of a coarse sort of agateware. The other is usually grayish buff with
red streaks, although sometimes the body is almost entirely buff, still
showing signs of lamination. The glaze is treacly black, often applied
unevenly and sometimes pitted with air bubbles. The body surfaces have
conspicuous turning ridges. Rims are usually heavy and flat, sometimes
as wide as 1-1/2 inches. A variant of the ware is represented in a milk
pan with a dominantly red body which has a clear-amber, rather than
black, glaze. (USNM 59.1887, ills. 17, 18, and 19 and fig. 65).

[Illustration: Illustration 10.--Milk pan. Salmon-red earthenware.
Lustrous black lead glaze. Tidewater type. One-fourth. (USNM 59.1961.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 11.--Milk pan. Salmon-red earthenware.
Dull-brown glaze. Tidewater type. See figure 63a. One-fourth. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 12.--Ale mug. Salmon-red earthenware.
Lustrous black lead glaze. Tidewater type. See figure 63d. One-half.
(USNM 59.2043.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 13.--Cover of jar (profile). Salmon-red
earthenware. Brownish-black lead glaze. Tidewater type. Same size. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 14.--Base of bowl. Salmon-red earthenware.
Light reddish-brown glaze speckled with black. Virginia type. One-half.
See figure 63b. (USNM 59.2025.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 15.--Handle of pot lid or oven door. North
Devon gravel-tempered ware. One-half. (USNM 59.1679.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 16.--Buff-earthenware cup with combed
decoration in brown slip. Lead glaze. (Conjectural reconstruction.)
One-fourth. See figure 64c. (USNM 59.1700.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 17.--High-fired earthenware pan rim. Buff
paste laminated with red. Red slip on exterior. Black glaze inside. Type
made in Buckley, Flintshire, North Wales. One-half.]

probably all imported from England: a, "molded-rim" types of redware; b,
handle of large redware storage jar, probably English; c, base of
brown-striped Staffordshire yellowware cup; d, sherd of black-glazed
ware; e and f, two slip-decorated sherds; g, redware crimped-edge baking
pan, coated with slip; and h, slip-lined manganese-streaked sherds.]

MISCELLANEOUS.--Several unique specimens and groups of sherds are

1. A large, outstanding, horizontal, loop handle survives from a storage
jar with a rich red body. Two thumb-impressed reinforcements, splayed at
each end, secure the handle to the body wall. The top of the handle has
four finger impressions for gripping; the lead glaze appears in a finely
speckled ginger color (USNM 59.2049, fig. 64b).

2. A single fragment remains from a slip-decorated bowl or open vessel.
The body is hard and dark red, the glaze dark olive-brown. The fragment
is glazed and slipped on both sides (USNM 59.1614, fig. 64e). Other
small sherds of a similar ware are redder in color and without slip.
Another, with lighter red body and olive-amber glaze, is slip decorated
(USNM 60.161, fig. 64f).

[Illustration: Illustration 19.--Rim and base profiles of
high-fired-earthenware jars. Buff paste, laminated with red. Black
glaze. Buckley type, Flintshire, North Wales. One-half. (USNM 59.2032,
59.1611, and 59.1782.)]

3. A unique sherd has a gray-buff body and shiny black glaze on both
surfaces (USNM 59.1815).

4. A group of pale-red unglazed fragments is from the bottom of a water
cooler. A sherd which preserves parts of the base and lower body wall
has a hole in which a spigot could be inserted (USNM 59.2061, ill. 20).

5. Fragments of a flowerpot have a body similar to the foregoing, but
are lined with slip under a lead glaze. A rim fragment has an ear handle
with thumb-impressed indentations attached to it (USNM 60.203, ill. 21).

6. Two sherds of a redware pie plate, notched on the edge and lined with
overglazed slip decorated with brown manganese dots, imitate
Staffordshire yellowware, but are probably of American origin (USNM
59.1612, fig. 64g).

[Illustration: Illustration 18.--High-fired-earthenware jar rim. Red
paste, laminated with buff. Black glaze. Buckley type. One-half. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 20.--Base sherd from unglazed
red-earthenware water cooler, with spigot hole. One-half. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 21.--Rim of an earthenware flowerpot, handle
with thumb impressions attached. Slip-decorated, olive-amber lead glaze.
One-fourth. (USNM 60.203.)]


    [173] WATKINS and NOËL HUME, op. cit. (footnote 54).

    [174] C. MALCOLM WATKINS, "North Devon Pottery and Its Export
    to America in the 17th Century," (paper 13 in _Contributions
    from the Museum of History and Technology: Papers 12-18_,
    U.S. National Museum Bulletin 225, by various authors;
    Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1963), 1960.

    [175] The Russell site was excavated by members of the Sussex
    Archeological Society of Lewes, Delaware. Artifacts from the
    site are now in the Smithsonian Institution, as are those
    found by H. Geiger Omwake at the end of the Lewes and
    Rehoboth Canal.

    _Examples of Early English Pottery, Named, Dated, and
    Inscribed_ (London, 1897), p. 57, fig. 128.

    [177] J. E. MESSHAM, B.A., and K. J. BARTON, "The Buckley
    Potteries," _Flintshire Historical Society Publications_,
    vol. 16, pp. 31-87.

    [178] GEORGE FRANCIS DOW, _The Arts and Crafts in New
    England, 1764-1775_ (Topsfield, Mass., 1927), pp. 84, 85, 92.

    [179] MESSHAM and BARTON, loc. cit. (footnote 177).


RHENISH STONEWARES.--The stoneware potters who worked in the vicinity of
Grenzhausen in the Westerwald in a tributary of the Rhine Valley held a
far-flung market until the mid-18th century. It was not until the
Staffordshire potters brought out their own salt-glazed whitewares that
the colorful blue-and-gray German products suffered a decline. Before
that, Rhenish stonewares were widely used in England and the colonies;
those for the British market frequently were decorated with medallions
in which the reigning English monarch's initial appeared. Elaborate
incising and blue-cobalt coloring gave a highly decorative character to
the ware, while salt thrown into the kiln during the firing combined
with the clay to provide a hard, clean surface matched only by

[Illustration: Figure 65.--BUCKLEY-TYPE HIGH-FIRED WARE with laminated
body. Four pieces at top have predominantly red body, streaked with
buff. All have black glaze, except two at lower right, which have amber

John Mercer, like so many of his fellow colonials, owned Westerwald
stoneware. From Ledger G, we know that in 1743 he bought "2 blew & W^t
Jugs 2/." From the artifacts it is clear that he not only had large
globose jugs, but also numerous cylindrical mugs and chamber pots. A
small group of sherds has a gray-buff paste, more intricately incised
than most. Internally the paste surface is a light-pinkish buff. These
sherds are probably of the late 17th century, or at least earlier than
the predominantly gray wares of the 18th century, which have hastily
executed designs.[180] Only two "GR" emblems (_Guglielmus_ or _Georgius
Rex_), both from mugs, were recovered (fig. 66d).

[Illustration: Illustration 22.--Base of gray-brown,
salt-glazed-stoneware ale mug. Rust-brown slip inside. Same size. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 23.--Stoneware jug fragment. Dull red with
black dots. Same size. (USNM 59.1840.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 24.--Gray, salt-glazed-stoneware jar
profile. Probably first quarter, 19th century. Same size. (USNM

Rogers apparently made stoneware of fine quality in the style of the
London stoneware produced in the Thames-side potteries.[181] Wasters
from Yorktown streets and foundations indicate many varieties of colors
and glaze textures, some of which are matched in the Marlborough sherds.
Admittedly, it is not possible to distinguish with certainty the
fragments of Yorktown stoneware from their English counterparts. Sherds
of a pint mug, externally gray in the lower half and mottled-brown in
the upper, may be a Yorktown product (USNM 59.1780, ill. 22). The
interior is a rusty brown. Fragments of the shoulder of a very large
jug, mottled-brown externally and lined in a dull red like that often
found on Yorktown wasters, also have body resemblances. (Mercer bought a
five-gallon "stone bottle" from Charles Dick in 1745.)

[Illustration: Figure 66.--WESTERWALD STONEWARE: a, chamber-pot sherds
and handle fragments; b, sherds having yellowish body, probably late
17th or early 18th century; c, sherds of curve-sided flagon; d, sherds
of cylindrical mugs including one with "GR" seal.]

There are numerous other types of coarse stoneware of unknown origins,
including one sherd with a dull-red glaze and black decorative spots
(USNM 59.1840, ill. 23).

NOTTINGHAM-TYPE STONEWARE.--Several sherds of stoneware of the type
usually ascribed to Nottingham appeared at Marlborough. This ware is
characterized by a smooth, lustrous, metallic-brown glaze. The fragments
are apparently from different vessels. One is a foot rim of a posset pot
or jug. Several body sherds have fluting or paneling formed by molding,
with turning lines on the interior showing that the molding was executed
after the forms were shaped. One sherd is decorated with shredded clay
applied before firing when the clay was wet. It appears to come from the
globose portion of a small drinking jug with a vertical collar. A
handle section comes from a pitcher or posset pot. Interior colors range
from a brownish mustard to a reddish brown. Nottingham stoneware was
made throughout the 18th century,[182] but these sherds correspond to
middle-of-the-century forms (fig. 67a).

[Illustration: Figure 67.--FINE ENGLISH STONEWARE: a, Nottingham type;
b, "drab" stoneware covered with white slip--brown-bordered mug sherds
in _upper left_ came from beneath flagstone north of mansion-house
porch, about 1725, "scratch-blue" stoneware, _below_, is about 1750; c,
"degenerate scratch-blue" stoneware is about 1790; d, "white salt-glaze"
ware _at bottom_ is hand-thrown; _upper right_ is molded, about 1760; e,
plate and platter fragments.]

DRAB STONEWARE.--The dominant position attained by the Staffordshire
potters in the 18th century is due to unremitting efforts to achieve the
whiteness of porcelain in their native products. Improvements in
stoneware were mostly in this direction, with the first steps plainly
evidencing what they failed to achieve. One of the earlier attempts has
a gray body coated with white pipe-clay slip obtained at Bideford in
North Devon. This slip created the superficial appearance of porcelain,
as did tin enamel on the surface of delftware. Although some Burslem
potters were making "dipped white stoneware" by 1710,[183] it does not
seem to have occurred generally until about 1725. Salt glaze was applied
in the same manner as on the earlier and coarser stonewares. Mugs in
this ware were banded with an iron-oxide slip, presumably to cover up
defects around the rims.

[Illustration: Figure 68.--ENGLISH DELFTWARE: a, 17th- and early
18th-century sherds; b, blue-and-white sherd of the first half of the
18th century; c, polychrome fragments, third quarter of the 18th
century; d, ointment pots with pink body, 18th century.]

Several sherds of this drab stoneware were found at Marlborough,
including the base of a jug with curving sides and pieces of tall mugs
with brown rims (USNM 59.1893, fig. 67b, ill. 25). The body is
characteristically gray, while the slip, although sometimes dull white,
is usually a pleasant cream tone. Two sherds were found beneath the
flagstones around the north porch of Structure B, where they probably
fell before 1746 (USNM 59.1754).

One of the Burslem stoneware potters between 1710 and 1715 made what he
called "freckled ware."[184] Possibly this describes a sherd of a
thin-walled mug from Marlborough (USNM 59.1636) which is coated with
white slip inside and is finely speckled, or "freckled," in brown on the
outside. Its body is the gray of the drab stoneware, but with a high
content of micaceous and siliceous sand. Simeon Shaw, the early
19th-century historian of the Staffordshire potteries, asserted that
what he called "Crouch" ware was first made of brick clay and fine sand
in 1690, and by 1702 of dark-gray clay and sand.[185] Although his dates
are questioned by modern authorities, his order of the progressive
degrees of refinement in the paste are acceptable as he suggests them.
In respect to the Marlborough sherd, although it is coarser than the
white-coated fragments described above, it answers very well Shaw's
description of sandy-gray "Crouch" ware.

[Illustration: Illustration 25.--Drab-stoneware mug fragment, rim coated
with iron oxide. Staffordshire, 1720-30. Same size. (USNM 59.1893.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 26.--Wheel-turned cover of white,
salt-glazed teapot. Staffordshire. Same size. (USNM 59.1622.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 27.--Body sherds of molded, white
salt-glazed-ware pitcher or milk jug. Staffordshire. Same size. (USNM

WHITE SALT-GLAZED WARE.--About 1720 calcined flints were added to the
body of the Staffordshire stoneware, thus making possible a homogeneous
white body that did not require a coating of slip between the body and
the glazed surface.[186] With this ware the Staffordshire potters came
closer to their goal of emulating porcelain.

At Marlborough the earliest examples of this improved ware are found in
two sherds with incised decorations that were scratched into the wet
clay (USNM 59.1819, Fig. 67b); the incised lines next were filled with
powdered cobalt before firing. This technique is known as "scratch
blue," dated examples of which, existing elsewhere, range from 1724 to
1767. The body in the Marlborough specimens is still rather drab, the
whiteness of the later ware not yet having been achieved. No slip was
used, however, so that the surface color is a pleasant pale gray. One
sherd is from a cup with a slightly flaring rim. The exterior decoration
is in the form of floral sprigs, while the inside has a row of
double-scalloped lines below the rim. The other fragment is from a
saucer. Possibly the cup is part of Mercer's purchase in 1742 of a dozen
"Stone Coffee cups," for which he paid 18d. In Boston "White stone
Tea-Cups and Saucers" were advertised in 1745, and "blue and white ...
Stone Ware" in 1751.[187]

A later variant on the "scratch blue" is a class of salt-glazed ware
that resembles Westerwald stoneware. Here loops, sworls, and horizontal
grooves are scratched into the paste. The cobalt is smeared more or less
at random, some of it lying on the surface, some running into the
incised channels. This style of decoration was applied mostly to chamber
pots but also to small bowls and cups. Fragments of all these forms
occurred at Marlborough (fig. 67c).

After 1740 the body was greatly improved, resulting in an attractive
whiteware. Many wheel-turned forms were produced, and these were
liberally represented at Marlborough in fragments of pitchers, mugs,
teapots, teacups, bowls, posset pots, and casters (fig. 67d).

[Illustration: Figure 69.--DELFT PLATE. Lambeth, about 1720. (See ill.

In the middle of the 18th century a process was developed for making
multiple plaster-of-paris molds from brass or alabaster matrices[188]
and then casting plates and other vessels in them by pouring in the
stoneware clay, diluted in the form of slip. The slip was allowed to
dry, and the formed utensil was removed for firing. This molded
salt-glazed ware occurs in quantity in the Marlborough finds, suggesting
that there were large sets of it. One design predominates in plates,
platters, and soup dishes: wavy edges, borders consisting of panels of
diagonal lattices--with stars or dots within the lattices framed in
rococo scrolls, and areas of basket-weave designs between the panels. On
a large platter rim the lattice-work is plain, somewhat reminiscent of
so-called Chinese Chippendale design. The pattern is presumably the
design referred to in the _Boston News Letter_ for May 29, 1764: "To be
sold very cheap. Two or three Crates of white Stone Ware, consisting
chiefly of the new fashioned basket Plates and Oblong Dishes."[189] One
fragment comes from a cake plate with this border design and a heavily
decorated center (fig. 67e).

[Illustration: Figure 70.--DELFT PLATE. Probably Lambeth, about 1730 to
1740. (See ill. 30.)]

Other molded patterns include gadrooning combined with scalloping on a
plate-rim sherd. A rim section with molded rococo-scrolled edge is from
a "basket weave" sauceboat. Considerably earlier are pieces of a pitcher
or milk jug with a shell design (USNM 59.1894, ill. 27). One rare sherd
appears to come from a rectangular teapot or tray. All the white
salt-glazed ware from Marlborough represents the serviceable but
decorative tableware of everyday use. It must have been purchased during
the last 10 years of Mercer's life.

TIN-ENAMELED EARTHENWARE.--The art of glazing earthenware with opaque
tin oxide and decorating it with colorful designs was an Islamic
innovation which spread throughout the Mediterranean and northward to
Holland and England. Practiced in England before the close of the 16th
century, it became in the 17th and the first half of the 18th centuries
a significant source of English tableware, both at home and in America.
Because of its close similarity to the Dutch majolica of Delft, the
English version was popularly called "delftware," even though made in
London, Bristol, or Liverpool.

[Illustration: Illustration 28.--English-delftware washbowl sherd.
Blue-dash decoration inside. See figure 68b. Same size. (USNM 60.75.)]

Surprisingly, a minimum of tin-enameled wares was found at Marlborough,
with several sherds reflecting the Port Town period. One of the latter
shows the lower portion of a heavy, dark-blue floral spray, growing up,
apparently, from a flowerpot. A section of foot rim and the contour of
the sherd show that this was a 17th-century charger, probably dating
from about 1680 (USNM 60.177, fig. 68a). The leaves are painted in the
same manner as on a Lambeth fuddling cup.[190] A section of a plate with
no foot rim includes an inner border which encircles the central panel
design. It consists of two parallel lines with flattened spirals joined
in a series between the lines. The glaze is crackled. This probably
dates from the same period as the preceding sherd (USNM 60.99, fig.
68a). Sherds from a larger specimen, without decoration, have the same
crackled enamel (USNM 59.2059). There is also a fragment decorated with
small, blue, fernlike fronds, again suggesting late 17th-century origin
(USNM 59.1756, fig. 68a). A small handle, the glaze of which has a
pinkish cast, is decorated with blue dashes, and probably was part of a
late 17th-century cup (USNM 59.1730, fig. 68a).

[Illustration: Illustration 29.--English delftware plate. One-half. See
figure 69. (USNM 59.1707.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 30.--English delftware plate. One-half. See
figure 70. (USNM 59.1706.)]

Several fragments of narrow rims from plates with blue bands probably
date from the first quarter of the 18th century. A reconstructed plate
with the simplest of stylized decoration was made at Lambeth about 1720
(USNM 59.1707, fig. 69). This plate has a wavy vine motif around its
upward-flaring rim, in which blossoms are suggested by stylized pyramids
of three to four blocks formed by brush strokes about 1/4-inch wide,
alternating with single blocks. The central motif consists of two
crossed stems with a pyramid at each end and two diagonal, block brush
strokes intersecting the crossed stems. A large fragment of a washstand
bowl also has similar plain, block brush strokes along a border defined
by horizontal lines--in this case a triplet of three strokes, one above
two, alternating with a single block. Edges of similar brush strokes on
the lower portion of the bowl remain on the fragment. Garner shows a
Lambeth mug embodying this style of decoration combined with a
suggestion of Chinoiserie around the waist. He ascribes to it a date of
"about 1700," although the block-brush-stroke device, with variations,
was practiced until the 1760's at Lambeth.[191] The Marlborough bowl
fragment may be from one of the "2 pottle Basons" bought by Mercer in
1744 (fig. 68b, ill. 28).

[Illustration: Illustration 31.--Delftware ointment pot. Bluish-white
tin-enamel glaze. One-half. (USNM 59.1842.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 32.--Sherds of black basaltes ware. Same
size. (USNM 59.2021.)]

Another reconstructed plate, probably a Lambeth piece, has blue
decoration in the Chinese manner. It dates from about 1730 to 1740 (USNM
59.1706, fig. 70). Several small bowl sherds seem to range from the
early to the middle 18th century. Polychrome delft is represented by
only three sherds, all apparently from bowls, and none well enough
defined to permit identification.

There are several fragments of ointment pots, all 18th-century in shape.
Three sherds of tin-enameled redware are probably continental European.
Two of these have counterparts from early 17th-century contexts at
Jamestown. A blue-decorated handle sherd from a large jug or posset pot
is also 17th century.

The predominance of early dating of tin-enamel sherds and the relatively
few examples of it from any period suggest that much of what was found
either was used in the Port Town or was inherited by the Mercers,
probably by Catherine, and used when they were first married. It also
points up the fact that delftware early went out of fashion among
well-to-do families.

ENGLISH FINE EARTHENWARES.--The fine earthen tablewares introduced in
Staffordshire early in the 18th century, largely in response to the new
tea-drinking customs, are less well represented in the Marlborough
artifacts than are those made later in the century. Apparently, the
contemporary white salt-glazed ware was preferred.

[Illustration: Figure 71.--WHIELDON-TYPE tortoiseshell ware, about

MARBLED WARE.--The Staffordshire factories of Thomas Astbury and Thomas
Whieldon were responsible for numerous innovations, including fine
"marbled" wares in which clays of different colors were mixed together
so as to form a veined surface. The technique itself was an old one, but
its application in delicate tablewares was a novelty. Although Astbury
was the earlier, it was Whieldon who exploited the technique after
starting his potworks at Little Fenton about 1740.[192] From Marlborough
come three meager sherds of marbled ware, probably from three
different vessels (USNM 59.1625, 59.1748, 59.1851). They are brownish
red with white veining under an amber lead glaze. A posset pot of these
colors in the Victoria and Albert Museum is supposed, by Rackham, to
date from about 1740.[193]

[Illustration: Figure 72.--QUEENSWARE, about 1800.]

BLACK-GLAZED FINE REDWARE.--Whieldon made a black-glazed, fine redware,
as did Maurice Thursfield at Jackfield in Shropshire.[194] A fragment of
a black-glazed teapot handle was found at Marlborough, although the
body is more nearly a hard grayish brown than red (USNM 59.1638).

TORTOISESHELL WARE.--Cream-colored earthenware was introduced as early
as 1725, supposedly by Thomas Astbury, Jr. It was not until the middle
of the century, however, that Whieldon began the use of clouded glaze
colors over a cream-colored body. After 1756 Josiah Wedgwood became his
partner and helped to perfect the coloring of glazes. In 1759 Wedgwood
established his own factory, and both firms made tortoiseshell ware in
the same molds used for making salt-glazed whiteware.[195] From
Marlborough there are several sherds of gadroon-edge plates and
basket-weave-and-lattice plates, as well as a piece of a teapot cover.
Tortoiseshell ware was advertised in Boston newspapers from 1754 to 1772
(fig. 71).[196]

QUEENSWARE.--Josiah Wedgwood brought to perfection the creamware body
about 1765, naming it "Queensware" after receiving Queen Charlotte's
patronage. Wedgwood took out no patents, so that a great many factories
followed suit, notably Humble, Green & Company at Leeds in Yorkshire
(later Hartley, Green & Company).[197]

[Illustration: Figure 73.--FRAGMENT OF QUEENSWARE PLATTER with portion
of Wedgwood mark.]

[Illustration: Figure 74.--ENGLISH WHITE EARTHENWARES: a, "pearlware"
with blue-and-white chinoiserie decoration, late 18th century; b, two
whiteware sherds, one "sponged" in blue and touched with yellow, the
other "sponged" in gray; c, shell-edge and polychrome wares, early 19th
century; and d, polychrome Chinese porcelain.]

[Illustration: Figure 75.--POLYCHROME Chinese porcelain.]

The Marlborough creamware sherds are all plain (with one exception),
consisting of fragments of wavy-edge plates, bowls, and platters in
Wedgwood's "Catherine shape," introduced about 1770, as well as mugs and
pitchers (fig. 72). A piece of a large platter has impressed in it the
letters WEDG, running up to the fracture. Below this is the number 1
(USNM 59.1997, fig. 73).

WHITEWARES USED IN THE FEDERAL PERIOD.--During the late 1770's Wedgwood
introduced his "pearlware,"[198] in which the yellow cast of the cream
body was offset by a touch of blue. With the use of a nearly colorless
glaze that was still slightly bluish, it was now possible to make a
successful underglaze-blue decoration. These whitewares were made in
three principal styles by Wedgwood's many imitators, as well as by
Wedgwood himself. The most familiar of these styles is the molded
shell-edge ware, which was used in virtually every place to which
Staffordshire wares penetrated after 1800. In a plain creamware version,
this was another Wedgwood innovation of about 1765.[199] After 1780, the
ware was white, with blue or green borders. The Wedgwood shell-edge
design has a slightly wavy edge, and the shell ridges vary in depth and
length. At least one Leeds version has a regular scalloped edge, like
those found on several other Marlborough sherds. In the 19th century the
ware became coarser and heavier, as well as whiter, and in some cases
the shell edge was no longer actually molded but simply suggested by a
painted border. Some variants were introduced that were not intended to
be shell edge in design, but merely blue or green molded patterns. A
Marlborough sherd from one of these has a gadrooned edge and molded
swags and palmettes. Except for two late rims, painted but not molded,
the shell-edge wares from Marlborough probably date from John Francis
Mercer's period in the late 1700's and from John Bronaugh's occupancy of
the mansion during the Cooke period in the first decade of the 19th
century (fig. 74c).

[Illustration: Figure 76.--BLUE-AND-WHITE Chinese porcelain.]

The success of the new whiteware in permitting the use of underglaze
blue resulted in a second class that is decorated in the Chinese
manner, after the style of English delft and porcelain. This type was
popular between 1780 and 1790, especially in the United States, where
many whole specimens have survived above ground. Several sherds are
among the Marlborough artifacts and appear to have come entirely from
hollow forms, such as bowls and pitchers.[200] Sherds from a
blue-and-white mug with molded designs, including the shell motif around
the handle, have been found also.

[Illustration: Figure 77.--BLUE-AND-WHITE Chinese porcelain.]

The third class of whiteware, which was heavily favored in the export
trade, consisted of a gay, hand-decorated product, popular at the end of
the 18th, and well into the 19th, century. It had pleasing variety, with
floral designs in soft orange, green, brown, and blue, often with brown
or green borders. A few examples of this later whiteware occur among the
Marlborough artifacts (fig. 74b). One sherd from a small bowl is mottled
in blue and touched with yellow (USNM 59.1805, fig. 74b). Another is
also mottled, but in gray and blue. Such wares as the latter were made
by Hartley, Green & Company at Leeds before the factory's demise in 1820
(USNM 59.1950, fig. 74b).[201]

The transfer-printed wares that were so popular in America after 1820
are represented by a mere eight sherds, which is in accord with evidence
that the mansion house was unoccupied or destroyed after 1819. Of these
sherds, only five can be dated before 1830. Two are pink,
transfer-printed sherds of about 1835-45, and one is gray-blue, dating
from about 1840-1850.

BLACK BASALTES WARE.--Another late 18th-century innovation by Wedgwood,
imitated by his competitors, was a fine stoneware with a black body,
called black basaltes because of its resemblance to that mineral. A few
sherds of this were found at Marlborough. Typically, they are glazed on
the insides only. They postdate John Mercer by twenty or thirty years.

[Illustration: Illustration 33.--Blue-and-white Chinese-porcelain saucer
(fig. 76, top left). One-half.]

[Illustration: Illustration 34.--Blue-and-white Chinese-porcelain plate
(fig. 77, top left). One-fourth. (USNM 60.122.)]

CHINESE PORCELAIN.--Oriental porcelain was introduced to the English
colonies at a very early date, as we know from 17th-century contexts at
Jamestown. As early as 1725 John Mercer acquired "1 China Punch bowl."
Presumably the "6 tea cups & Sawcers," "2 chocolate cups," and "2
custard cups" obtained by him the same year were also porcelain. Even
before 1740, porcelain was occurring with increasing frequency in
America. We are told that in 1734, for example, it can be calculated
that about one million pieces of it left Canton for Europe.[202]
Doubtless a large proportion was reexported to the colonists. William
Walker, Mercer's undertaker for the mansion, left at his death in 1750:
"1 Crack'd China bowl," "1 Quart Bowl 6/, 1 large D^o 12.6," "6 China
cups & Sawcers 5/," and "12 China plates 15/."

It is not surprising, therefore, that 18th-century China-trade porcelain
sherds occurred with high incidence at Marlborough. Mercer's accounts
show that he acquired from Charles Dick in 1745 "1 Sett finest China"
and "2 punch bowls." From the archeological evidence it would appear
that he had supplemented this several times over, perhaps after 1750 in
the period for which we have no ledgers.

Most of the porcelain is blue and white. One group has cloudy, blurred
houses and trees, impressionistic landscapes, and flying birds. This
pattern occurs in fragments of teacups, small bowls, and a coffee cup.
Another type has a border of diamonds within diamonds, elaborate floral
designs delicately drawn, and a fine thin body. Similar sherds were
found at Rosewell. At Marlborough the design survived in teacups, coffee
cups, and saucers. There are several additional border designs, some
associated with Chinese landscape subjects or human figures (figs. 76,
ill. 24, and fig. 77, ill. 25). A coarse type with a crudely designed
border hastily filled in with solid blue is represented in a partly
reconstructed plate (USNM 60.122, fig. 77).

Polychrome porcelain is found in lesser amounts, although in almost as
much variety. Three sherds of a very large punchbowl are decorated in
red and blue. Fragments of a small bowl have delicate red medallions
with small red and black human figures in their centers. Fine borders
occur in red and black. Gold, yellow, and green floral patterns
constitute another class (fig. 75).

Almost all the porcelain is of high quality, probably reaching a peak
during Mercer's middle and prosperous years between 1740 and 1760. We
cannot expect to find any porcelain purchased after his death in 1768,
and certainly none appears to be connected with the Federal period or
with the so-called "Lowestoft" imported in the American China trade
after the Revolution.


    [180] See BERNARD RACKHAM, _Catalogue of the Glaisher
    Collection of Pottery & Porcelain in the Fitzwilliam Museum,
    Cambridge_ [England] Cambridge, England: (Cambridge
    University Press, 1935), vol. 2, pl. 150 B no. 2053; and vol.
    1, p. 264.

    [181] I. NOËL HUME, "Excavations at Rosewell, Gloucester
    County, Virginia, 1957-1959," (paper 18 in _Contributions
    from the Museum of History and Technology: Papers 12-18_,
    U.S. National Museum Bulletin 225, by various authors;
    Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1963), 1962. J. PAUL
    HUDSON, "Earliest Yorktown Pottery," _Antiques_ (New York,
    May 1958), vol. 73, no. 5, pp. 472-473; WATKINS and NOËL
    HUME, loc. cit. (footnote 173).

    [182] RACKHAM, op. cit. (footnote 180), vol. 1, p. 158.

    [183] W. B. HONEY, "English Salt Glazed Stoneware,"
    [abstract] _English Ceramic Circle Transactions_ (London,
    1933), no. 1, p. 14.

    [184] Ibid.

    [185] Ibid.; BERNARD RACKHAM, _Early Staffordshire Pottery_
    (London, n.d.), p. 20.

    [186] BERNARD RACKHAM and HERBERT READ, _English Pottery_
    (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1924), p. 88.

    [187] DOW, op. cit. (footnote 178), pp. 86-87.

    [188] RACKHAM, op. cit. (footnote 185), p. 92.

    [189] DOW, op. cit. (footnote 178), p. 92.

    [190] A. M. GARNER, _English Delftware_ (New York: D. Van
    Nostrand and Co., Inc., 1948), fig. 23B.

    [191] Ibid., fig. 37.

    [192] RACKHAM, op. cit. (footnote 185), p. 28.

    [193] Ibid., pl. 57.

    [194] RACKHAM and READ, op. cit. (footnote 186), p. 96.

    [195] Ibid., p. 97.

    [196] DOW, op. cit. (footnote 178), pp. 85-95.

    [197] RACKHAM, op. cit. (footnote 185), p. 29; RACKHAM and
    READ, op. cit. (footnote 186), pp. 107-109.

    [198] W. B. HONEY, _English Pottery and Porcelain_ (London:
    1947), p. 89. [F99] _Wedgwood Catalogue of Bodies, Glazes and
    Shapes Current for 1940-1960_ (Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent:
    Warwick Savage, n.d.), pp. M1, M2.

    [200] "The Editor's Attic" and cover: _Antiques_ (New York,
    June 1928), vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 474-475.

    [201] RACKHAM and READ, op. cit. (footnote 186), p. 110.

    [202] J. A. LLOYD HYDE, _Oriental Lowestoft_ (New York:
    Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936), p. 23.




ROUND BEVERAGE BOTTLES.--Bottles of dark-green glass were used in the
colonial period for wine, beer, rum, and other potables. Although some
wines and liquors were shipped in the bottle, they were distributed for
the most part in casks, hogsheads, and "pipes" before 1750. John Mercer
recorded the purchases of several pipes of wine--kinds unspecified--a
pipe being a large or even double-size hogshead. He purchased rum by the
gallon, in quantities that ranged from 2 quarts in 1744 to "5 galls
Barbadoes Spirits" in 1745 and a "hhd 107-1/2 gall Rum" in 1748.

Bottles were used largely for household storage and for the serving of
liquors. They were kept filled in the buttery as a convenience against
going to the cellar each time a drink was wanted. Bottles usually were
brought directly to the table,[203] although the clear-glass decanter
was apparently regarded as a more genteel dispenser. Mercer, like his
contemporaries, bought his own bottles, as when he purchased "2 doz
bottles" from John Foward in 1730. The previous year he had acquired a
gross of corks, which would customarily have been inserted in his
bottles and secured by covering with cloth, tying around the lips or
string rings with packthread, and sealing with warm resin and pitch.

Some wines were purchased in the bottle. In 1726 Mercer bought "2 doz &
8 bottles Claret" and "1 doz Canary" from Alexander McFarlane. In 1745
he charged Overwharton Parish for "2 bottles Claret to Acquia,"
apparently for communion wine. Whether all this was shipped from the
vineyards in bottles, or whether Mercer brought his own bottles to be
filled from the storekeepers' casks is not revealed.

An insight into the kinds of alcoholic drinks consumed in Virginia in
Mercer's early period is given in the official price-list for the sale
of alcoholic beverages set forth in the York County Court Orders in

This Court do Sett the Rate Liquors as followeth:

                               £    s.    d.

  Each diet                         1

  Lodging for each person                 7-1/2

  Stable Room & Fodder
    for each horse p^r night             11-1/4

  Each Gallon corn                        7-1/2

  Wine of Virg^a produce
    p Quart                         5

  French Brandy p Quart             4

  Sherry & Canary Wine
    p Quart                         4     4-1/2

  Red & white Lisbon p^r
    Quart & Claret                  3     1-1/2

  Madera Wine p Quart               1    10-1/2

  Fyall wine p Quart                1     3

  French Brandy Punch
    p Quart                         2

  Rum & Virg^a Brandy
    p^r Quart                             3-3/4

  Rum punch & flip p^r
    Quart 7-1/2^d made with
    white sugar                           9

  Virg^a midling beer &
    Syder p^r Quart                       3-3/4

  Fine bottled Syder p^r
    Quart                           1     3

  Bristoll Beer Bottles             1

  Arrack p^r Quart                 10

[Illustration: Figure 78.--WINE BOTTLE, sealed with initials of John and
Catherine Mercer, dated 1737 (see p. 148). Found in Structure D refuse
pit. Height, 8 inches. (See also ill. 37.)]

It will be noted that Bristol beer was sold by the bottle, probably just
as it was shipped, and "Fine bottled Syder" apparently came in quart
bottles. Probably the wines were dispensed from casks in wine measures.
Mercer bought Citron water in bottles, a half dozen at a time, as he did
"Mint, Orange flower & Tansey D^o," in 1744.

Round beverage bottles ranged in shape from, roughly, the form of a
squat onion at the beginning of the 18th century to narrow cylindrical
bottles towards the end of the century. The earliest bottles were
free-blown without the constraint of a mold, hence there were many
variations in shape. After about 1730 bottles were blown into crude clay
molds which imparted a roughly cylindrical or taper-sided contour below
sloping shoulders and necks. These marked the first recognition of
binning as a way of storing wines in bottles laid on their sides. About
1750 the Bristol glasshouses introduced cylindrical brass molds.[205]
From then on the problem of stacking bottles in bins was solved and
virtually all round beverage bottles thenceforward were cylindrical with
long necks.

[Illustration: Illustration 35.--Beverage bottle. First quarter, 18th
century. Reconstruction based on whole bottle found at Rosewell.
One-half. (USNM 59.1717.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 36.--Above, beverage-bottle seal, with
initials of John and Catherine Mercer, matching the tobacco-cask mark
used for tobacco grown at the "home plantation" (Marlborough). See
figures 8 and 79. Same size. (USNM 59.1689.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 37.--At right, complete beverage bottle,
dated 1737, with initials of John and Catherine Mercer (fig. 78). Same
size. (USNM 59.1688.)]

At Marlborough the earliest form of wine bottle is represented by a
squat neck and a base fragment (USNM 59.1717, ill. 35), both matching
onion-shaped bottles of the turn of the century, such as one excavated
at Rosewell (USNM 60.660). Except for these fragments, the oldest form
from Marlborough may be seen in the complete bottle found in refuse pit
D (USNM 59.1688; fig. 78, ill. 37). This bottle is typical of the
transitional form, sealed examples of which regularly occur bearing
dates in the 1730's. Its sides are straight for about three inches above
the curve of the base, tapering slightly to the irregular shoulder that
curves in and up to a neck with wedge-shaped string ring. Two inches
above the base is a seal, bearing the initials I^[C.]M above a
decorative device and the date 1737. The arrangement of initials exactly
matches that found on Mercer's tobacco-cask seals (p. 30 and footnote
89) indicating the "home plantation" at Marlborough.

[Illustration: Figure 79.--BOTTLE SEALS. (See ill. 36.)]

Seals were applied by dropping a gather of glass on the hot surface of a
newly blown bottle, then pressing into this deposit of glass a brass
stamp bearing a design, initials, date, etc. Three similar seals from
broken bottles also were found. The same arrangement of initials, but
with no date or device of any kind, occurs on seven different seals
(fig. 79, ills. 36 and 37).

The diameter of the base of the sealed beverage bottle is 5-1/2 inches,
the widest diameter occurring on any bottle fragments from Marlborough,
excepting the early specimen mentioned above. Bases in gradually
decreasing dimensions vary from this size to 2-3/4 inches. Six bases run
from 5 inches to 5-1/2 inches; 11 are over 4-1/2 inches and up to 5
inches; 4 are over 4 inches and up to 4-1/2 inches; 3 are over 3-1/2
inches and up to 4 inches; none, except the smallest of 2-3/4 inches,
found in a mid-19th-century deposit, is less than 3-3/4 inches.


    [203] LADY SHEELAH RUGGLES-BRISE, _Sealed Bottles_ (London:
    Country Life, Ltd.; New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1949),
    p. 18.

    [204] _York County (Virginia) Orders & Wills 1716-1726_ (in
    York County courthouse, Yorktown, Va.), no. 15, p. 571.

    [205] "Old English Wine Bottles," _The Wine and Spirit Trade
    Record_ (London, December 17, 1951), pp. 1570-1571.


  _USNM_   _Inches in_
   _No._    _Diameter_       _Provenience_

  59.1688     5-1/2     Refuse pit D
  59.1717     6         Structure F, firing chamber
  59.1717     4-1/2     Structure F, firing chamber
  59.1717     4-3/4     Structure F, firing chamber
  59.1717     4-7/8     Structure F, firing chamber
  59.1717     5         Structure F, firing chamber
  59.1717     5-1/8     Structure F, firing chamber
  59.1793     2-3/4     S.W. corner, Structure B
  59.1870     5-1/4     Wall D, trench
  59.1918     4         Structure E, N. side, Room X
  59.1921     3-3/4     Debris area, N.E. corner, Structure E
  59.1957     5         Structure F, N.E. corner of pavement
  59.1957     5         Structure F, N.E. corner of pavement
  59.1998     4-3/4     Structure E, N. of fireplace, Room X
  59.1998     4-3/4     Structure E, N. of fireplace, Room X
  59.2007     3-7/8     North of Structure E, lowest level
  59.2007     4-1/4     North of Structure E, lowest level
  60.83       4-1/2     Wall E, gateway
  60.103      4-3/4     Trench along Wall E
  60.117      5-1/8     Junction of Walls A-I and A-II
  60.117      4-5/8     Junction of Walls A-I and A-II
  60.120      5-1/2     Trash pit no. 2
  60.123      5-1/2     Trash pit no. 2

Since beverage-bottle diameters diminished from about 5 inches in the
1750's and 1760's to about 4 inches in the 1770's and 1780's and to
3-1/2 inches in the 1790's and early 1800's, the peak of their incidence
at Marlborough occurs between 1750 and 1770, the period of greatest
opulence in the Mercer household.

[Illustration: Illustration 38.--Upper left, cylindrical beverage
bottle, about 1760. One-fourth. (USNM 59.1998.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 39.--Upper right, cylindrical beverage
bottle, late 18th or early 19th century. One-fourth. (USNM 59.1976,

OCTAGONAL BEVERAGE BOTTLES.--A rarely seen variation from the round
beverage bottle is a club-shaped, octagonal, molded type with long neck,
perhaps so shaped in order to permit packing in cases. Cider is said to
have been put up in such bottles, and it is also possible that brandies
and liqueurs were delivered in them. A quart-size bottle of this shape
at Colonial Williamsburg bears the seal "I. Greenhow WmsBgh. 1769."
Another, purchased in England, in the G. H. Kernodle collection at the
Smithsonian Institution, also has a seal with the name "Jn^o Collings,
1736" (USNM 59.2170). A pint-size example, 9 inches high and dated 1736,
is illustrated in plate 95e in the Wine Trade Loan Exhibition
catalog.[206] A restored bottle of this form from Marlborough (USNM
59.1687, fig. 80, ill. 40) is 8 inches high, but bears no seal. Among
the glass found at Marlborough are also three bases and other fragments
of similar bottles.

[Illustration: Illustration 40.--Octagonal, pint-size beverage bottle.
See figure 80. Half size. (USNM 59.1687.)]

SQUARE "GIN" BOTTLES.--Square bottles, usually called "gin" bottles,
occur in the Marlborough material. Two base sections and lower pieces of
the flat sides have been partly restored (USNM 59.1685, 59.1686, ill.
41), and a neck and shoulder have survived. The bases are 4 inches
square, and the whole bottles were probably about 10 inches high. They
did not taper but maintained a continuous dimension from shoulder to
base. The bases, which are rounded on the corners, have a slightly domed
kick-up with a ring-shaped pontil mark. The glass is olive green. The
necks are squat--barely 7/8 inch--and have wide string rings midway in
their length.

[Illustration: Figure 80.--OCTAGONAL SPIRITS BOTTLE.]

[Illustration: Illustration 41.--Square gin bottle. One-fourth. (USNM
59.1686, base; 59.1685, top.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 42.--Square snuff bottle. One-half. See
figure 81. (USNM 59.1680.)]

[Illustration: Figure 81.--SNUFF BOTTLE. (See ill. 42.)]

Square "gin" bottles were designed for shipment in wooden boxes with
compartments in which the bottles fit snugly. Although Dutch gin
customarily was shipped in bottles of this shape, indications are that
the square bottles may have been used for other purposes than holding
gin. For one thing, Mercer's ledgers mention no purchases of gin. There
is, in fact, almost no evidence of the sale of gin in Virginia; a single
announcement of Holland gin available in Williamsburg in 1752 is the
exception until 1773, when gin was again advertised in the _Virginia
Gazette_.[207] Its sale had been prohibited in England in 1736.[208] For
another thing, square bottles were both imported and manufactured in
America for sale new. In 1760 the Germantown glassworks in Braintree,
Massachusetts, made "Round and square Bottles, from one to four Quarts;
also Cases of Bottles of all Sizes ...,"[209], while George Ball, of New
York, in 1775 advertised that he imported "Green glass Gallon square
bottles, Two quart ditto, Pint ditto."[210]

[Illustration: Illustration 43.--Upper left, wineglass, reconstructed
from base fragment having enamel twist for stem. One-half. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 44.--Upper right, cordial glass. One-fourth.
(USNM 59.1607.)]

A smaller base (USNM 59.1642) has a high kick-up, the dome of which
intersects the sides of the base so that the bottle rests on four points
separated by arcs. This fragment measures 3 inches square. An even
smaller version (USNM 59.1977) is 2-3/4 inches.

SNUFF BOTTLES.--Several items in Mercer's ledgers record the purchase of
snuff, such as one for a "bottle of snuff" in 1731 for 15d., another in
1743 for 3s., and a third in 1744 for 1s. 6d. Among the artifacts is a
partly restored bottle of olive-green glass, shaped like a gin bottle
but of smaller dimensions, with a 2-1/4-inch-wide mouth (USNM 59.1686,
fig. 81). The bottle is 3-3/4 inches square and 7 inches tall. It has a
low kick-up and a smooth pontil mark. Also among the artifacts are a
matching base and several sherds of similar bottles.

[Illustration: Illustration 45.--Sherds of engraved-glass wine and
cordial glasses (fig. 82c). Same size. (USNM 59.1634, 59.1864.)]

MEDICINE BOTTLES.--Only a few fragments of medicine bottles occurred in
the Marlborough artifacts. This is surprising, in view of Mercer's many
ailments and his statements that he had purchased "British Oyl,"
"Holloway's Citrate," and other patent nostrums of his day. A round base
from a greenish, cylindrical bottle (USNM 59.2056) seems to represent an
Opadeldoc bottle. Another base is rectangular with notched corners. The
last, as well as the base of a molded, basket-pattern scent bottle (USNM
59.2093) may be early 19th century in date. Other medicine-bottle
fragments are all 19th century, some quite late (fig. 82).


    [206] _Wine Trade Loan Exhibition of Drinking Vessels_
    [catalog] (London, 1933), no. 226, p. 26, pl. 95.

    [207] CAPPON & DUFF, _Virginia Gazette Index 1736-1780_, op.
    cit. (footnote 93), vol. 1, p. 451.

    [208] ANDRE SIMON, _Drink_ (New York: Horizon Press, Inc.,
    1953), pp. 139-140.

    [209] DOW, op. cit. (footnote 178), p. 104.

    [210] RITA SUSSWEIN, _The Arts & Crafts in New York,
    1726-1776_ (New York: J. J. Little and Ives Co., 1938), p.
    99. (Printed for the New-York Historical Society.)


A minimum of table-glass sherds was recovered, and these were
fragmentary. Glass is scarcely mentioned in Mercer's accounts, although
there is no reason to suppose that Marlborough was any less well
furnished with fine crystal than with other elegant objects that we know
about. Three sherds of heavy lead glass have the thickness and contours
of early 18th-century English decanters, matching more complete
fragments from Rosewell and a specimen illustrated in plate 98a in
the Wine Trade Loan Exhibition catalog.[211] Two fragments are body
sherds; the third is from a lip and neck.

[Illustration: Illustration 46.--Clear-glass tumbler blown in a ribbed
mold (fig. 82b). Same size. (USNM 59.1864.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 47.--Octagonal cut-glass trencher salt (fig.
82a). Same size. (USNM 59.1830.)]

[Illustration: Figure 82.--GLASSWARE: a, cut-glass salt (ill. 47); b,
tumbler base (ill. 46); c, engraved sherds (ill. 45); d, tumbler and
wineglass sherds; e, part of candle arm (see p. 154); f, mirror
fragment; g, window glass; and h, medicine-bottle sherds.]

Several forms of drinking glasses are indicated. A fragment of a foot
from a long-stemmed cordial glass shows the termini of white-enamel
threads that were comprised in a double enamel-twist stem. The twists
consisted of a spiral ribbon of fine threads near the surface of the
stem, with a heavy single spiral at the core. The indicated diameter of
the foot is 3-1/4 inches (USNM 59.1761, ill. 43).

Fragments of large knops are probably from heavy baluster wineglasses
dating from Mercer's early period before 1750. A teardrop stem from a
trumpet-bowl wineglass has been melted past recognition in a fire. The
stem of a bucket-bowl cordial glass has suffered in the same manner
(USNM 59.1607). Still with their shapes intact are two stems and base
sections of bucket-bowl wineglass. Two engraved bowl sherds from
similar-shaped cordial glasses and a rim sherd from another engraved
piece are the only fragments with surface decoration (USNM 59.1634,
59.1864, ill. 45). Several sherds of foot rims, varying in diameter,
were found, including one with a folded or "welted" edge.

Tumblers, depending on their sizes, were used for strong spirits, toddy,
flip, and water. The base and body sherds of a molded tumbler from
Marlborough are fluted in quadruple ribs that are separated by panels
1/4-inch wide (USNM 59.1864, fig. 82c, ill. 46). Plain, blown tumbler
bases have indicated diameters of 3 inches.

A few unusual, as well as more typical, forms are indicated by the
Marlborough glass sherds. One small fragment comes from a large flanged
cover, probably from a sweetmeat bowl or a posset pot. A specimen of
more than usual interest is a pressed or cast cut-glass octagonal
trencher salt (USNM 59.1830, fig. 82a, ill. 47). This artifact reflects
silver and pewter salt forms of about 1725. A curved section of a heavy
glass rod is apparently from a chandelier, candelabrum, or sconce glass
(USNM 59.1696, fig. 82e). We have seen that Mercer, in 1748, bought "1
superfine large gilt Sconce glass."

Although precise dates cannot be ascribed to any of this glass, it all
derives without much question from the period of Mercer's occupancy of


    [211] Op. cit. (footnote 206), no. 244, p. 66, pl. 68.


We know from the ledgers that there were sconce and looking glasses at
Marlborough. Archeological refuse supplies us with confirmation in
pieces of clear lead glass with slight surviving evidence of the tinfoil
and mercury with which the backs originally were coated. One piece (USNM
59.1693) has a beveled edge 7/8 inch wide, characteristic of plate-glass
wall mirrors of the colonial period. A curved groove on this piece,
along which the fracture occurred, is probable evidence of engraved

Window glass is of two principal types. One has a pale-olive cast. A few
fragments of this type have finished edges, indicating that they are
from the perimeters of sheets of crown glass and that Mercer purchased
whole crown sheets and had them cut up. It may be assumed that this
greenish glass is the oldest, perhaps surviving from Mercer's early

The other type is the more familiar aquamarine window glass still to be
found in 18th-century houses. A large corner of a rectangular pane has
the slightly bent contour of crown glass, which is the English type of
window glass made by blowing great bubbles of glass which were spun to
form huge discs. The discs sometimes were cut up into panes of stock
sizes and then shipped to America, or else were sent in whole sheets, to
be cut up by storekeepers here or to be sold directly to planters and
other users of window glass in quantity.

The centers of these sheets increased in thickness and bore large scars
where the massive pontil rods which had held the sheets during their
manipulation were broken off. The center portions also were cut into
panes, which were used in transom lights and windows where light was
needed but a view was not. Hence they served not only to utilize an
otherwise useless part of the crown-glass sheets, but also to impart a
decorative quality to the window. They are still known to us as
"bullseyes." A piece of a bullseye pane of aquamarine glass occurs in
the Marlborough finds. The pontil scar itself is missing, but the thick
curving section leaves little doubt as to its original appearance. A
similar fragment was found at Rosewell.


_Objects of Personal Use_

Costume accessories recovered at Marlborough are extremely few. There
are six metal buttons, all of them apparently 18th century. One of flat
brass (USNM 59.2004) has traces of gilt adhering to the surface; another
of similar form (USNM 60.85) is silver; a third (USNM 59.2004) is
copper. The silver button, 7/8 inch in diameter, could be one of two
dozen vest buttons bought by Mercer for 18 pence each in 1741. A brass
button with silver surface was roll-plated in the Sheffield manner (USNM
59.2004), thus placing its date at some time after 1762. "White
metal"--a white brass--was commonly used for buttons in the 18th
century, and is seen here in a fragmentary specimen (USNM 59.2004). One
hollow button of sheet brass shows the remains of gilding (USNM 60.73).
Only one example was found--a dark-gray shell button--that was used on
under-garments (USNM 59.1819).

Among the personal articles are two brass buckles, one a simple half
buckle (USNM 70.72, fig. 83d, ill. 48), the other a knee buckle (USNM
60.139, fig. 83e, ill. 49). Except possibly for a pair of scissors to be
mentioned later, a brass thimble is the only artifactual evidence of
sewing (USNM 60.74, fig. 83b, ill. 50). Four thimbles, mentioned in
Ledger B, were purchased in 1729, and four in 1731.)

Parts of a penknife that were found consist of ivory-casing fragments,
steel frame, knife blade, single-tined fork, and other pieces (USNM
50.1665, fig. 85). Two chalk marbles attest to the early appeal of that
traditional game, as well as to the ingenuity that went into making the
marbles of this material (USNM 59.1682). Chalk also was used to make a
bullet mold, half of which, bearing an M on the side, has survived (USNM
59.1682, fig. 84b, ill. 51). A musket ball (USNM 59.1682) from the site
could have been made in it. Two gun flints (USNM 59.1629 and 59.1647,
fig. 84a) are of white chert.

[Illustration: Illustration 48.--Left, brass buckle (see fig. 83d). Same
size. (USNM 60.72.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 49.--Center, brass knee buckle (fig. 83e).
Same size. (USNM 60.139.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 50.--Right, brass thimble (fig. 83b). Same
size. (USNM 60.74.)]

An English halfpenny, dated 1787, was found near the surface in the
kitchen debris of Structure E (USNM 59.2041, fig. 83c). Considerably
worn, it may have been dropped after the destruction of the building.
Two fragments of flat slate were found (USNM 60.95 and 60.113), as well
as a hexagonal slate pencil (USNM 59.1685, fig. 85, ill. 54). It is
clear that slates were used at Marlborough, probably when Mercer's
children were receiving their education from the plantation tutors.

[Illustration: Illustration 51.--Chalk bullet mold with initial "M"
(fig. 84b). Same size. (USNM 59.1682.)]

[Illustration: Figure 83.--SMALL METALWORK: a, copper and white metal
buttons; b, brass thimble; c, English halfpenny, 1787; d, brass buckle;
e, brass knee buckle; f, brass harness ornament; g, escutcheon plates
for drawer pulls and keyholes; h, drop handle; i, curtain and harness
rings; and j, brass strap handle.]

[Illustration: Illustration 52.--Left, fragments of tobacco-pipe bowl
with decoration molded in relief. Same size. (USNM 59.2003.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 53.--Above, white-kaolin tobacco pipe (fig.
84f). One-half. (USNM 59.1714.)]

[Illustration: Figure 84.--PERSONAL MISCELLANY: a, chert gun "flint;" b,
chalk bullet mold and bullet; c, bullet; d, marble; e, piece of chalk;
and f, white clay pipes and fragment of terra-cotta pipestem.]

[Illustration: Figure 85.--CUTLERY: a, chopping knife; b, table-knife
blades; c, parts of penknife; and d, pieces of slate and slate pencil.]

[Illustration: Illustration 54.--Slate pencil (see fig. 85d). Same size.
(USNM 59.1685.)]

As usual in colonial sites, quantities of pipestem and bowl fragments
were recovered. Virtually all the bowls reflect the typical
Georgian-period white-clay pipe form, with only minor variations. Most
of the stems have bores ranging from 4/64 inch (1750-1800) to 6/64 inch
(1650-1750). A single stem fragment from a terra cotta pipe of a kind
found at Jamestown and Kecoughtan, probably dropped by an Indian or
early white trader, is early 17th century (fig. 84f), while two
white-clay stem fragments have bores of 1/8 inch (1620-1650). A fragment
of a pipe bowl has molded decoration in relief, with what appear to be
masonic emblems framed on a vine wreath (USNM 59.2003, ill. 52).




[Illustration: Illustration 55.--Left, fragment of long-tined fork.
Second-half (?), 17th century. One-half. (USNM 59.1663.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 56.--Center, fragment of long-tined fork.
Early 18th century. One-half. (USNM 59.2029.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 57.--Right, fork which had two-part handle
of wood, bone, or silver. One-half. (USNM 59.1939.)]

Mercer, as we have seen, had a lavish supply of plate. Little of this,
understandably, was likely to have been thrown away or lost, except for
an occasional piece of flatware. One such exception is a teaspoon from
the Structure B foundation (USNM 59.1827, fig. 86). It has a typical
early Georgian form--ribbed handle, elliptical bowl, and leaf-drop
handle attachment on back of the bowl. As in the case of small objects
worked after the marks were applied, this has evidence of two distorted
marks. Corrosion has obliterated such details as may have been visible
originally, although there are fairly clear indications of the leopard's
head crowned and lion passant found on London silver.

TABLE CUTLERY.--Fragmentary knives and forks from the site date mostly
from before 1750. Forks are all of the long, double-tine variety. One,
which may date back to the second half of the 17th century, has a
delicate shank, widening to a tooled, decorative band, with shaft
extending downward which was originally enclosed in a handle of horn,
bone, or wood (USNM 59.1663, ill. 55). A fragment of a narrow-bladed
knife (USNM 59.1882, fig. 85) may be of the same period as the fork. Two
forks, each with one long tine intact, show evidence of having had flat
cores for wood or silver handles (USNM 59.2029, 59.1939, ills. 56 and
57). The shanks, differing in length from each other, are turned in an
ogee shape. Three blades, varying in completeness, are of the curved
type used with "pistol-grip" handles (USNM 59.1667-1668, 59.1939). A
straight blade fragment (USNM 59.1999) is probably contemporary with
them. Only two knife fragments (USNM 59.1799 and 59.2082) appear to be
19th century (fig. 85).

One of the most unusual artifacts is a half section of a hollow
Sheffield-plated pistol-grip knife handle. Sheffield plate was
introduced in 1742 by a process that fused sheets of silver to sheets of
copper under heat and pressure.[212] The metal, as here, was sometimes
stamped (USNM 59.1668, fig. 86b).

[Illustration: Figure 86.--METALWORK: a, rim of pewter dish; b, table
knife with Sheffield-plated handle; c, lid of pewter teapot (ill. 60);
d, silver teaspoon; e, wavy-end pewter spoon, early 18th-century shape;
f and g, two trifid-end pewter spoons, late 17th-century shape (holes in
g were probably drilled to hold cord for suspension from neck).]


    [212] SEYMOUR B. WYLER, _The Book of Sheffield Plate_ (New
    York: Crown Publishers, 1949), pp. 4-5.


Three, whole pewter spoons, as well as several fragments of spoons, were
salvaged from the large trash pit (Structure D). Two whole specimens and
a fragment of a third are trifid-handle spoons cast in a mold that was
probably made about 1690. One of these (USNM 59.1669, fig. 86g, ill. 58)
has had two holes bored at the top of the handle, probably to enable the
user to secure it by a cord to his person or to hang it from a loop.
This circumstance, plus the presence of such an early type of spoon in
an 18th-century context, suggests that the spoons were made during the
Mercer period for kitchen or slave use from a mold dating back to the
Port Town period. The spoons themselves may, of course, have survived
from the Port Town time and have been relegated to humble use on the

A somewhat later spoon, with "wavy-end" handle, comes from a mold of
about 1710. It has the initial N scratched on the handle (USNM 59.1672,
fig. 86e, ill. 59). Another fragmentary example has a late type of
wavy-end handle, dating perhaps ten years later (USNM 59.1672).

[Illustration: Illustration 58.--Trifid-handle pewter spoon (fig. 86g).
One-half. (USNM 59.1669.)]

A pewter teapot lid with tooled rim and the remains of a finial may be
as early as 1740 (USNM 59.1676, fig. 86c, ill. 60). Two rim fragments of
a pewter plate also were found (USNM 59.1675, fig. 86a).


CUTLER'S WORK.--In 1725 Mercer bought a pair of "Salisbury Scissors";
there is no clue as to what is meant by the adjectival place name. He
purchased another pair of scissors in 1744. In any case, a pair of
embroidery scissors, with turned decoration that one would expect to
find on early 18th-century scissors, was found in the site (USNM
59.1680, ill. 61).

[Illustration: Illustration 59.--Wavy-end pewter spoon (fig. 86e).
One-half. (USNM 59.1672.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 60.--Pewter teapot lid (fig. 86c). Same
size. (USNM 59.1676.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 61.--Steel scissors. One-half. (USNM

[Illustration: Figure 87.--IRONWARE: a, lid for iron pot; b, cooking-pot
fragments; c, andiron leg; d, iron ladle; and e, two beaters for

IRONWARE.--Pieces of two types of iron pot were found. One type is a
large-capacity version, holding possibly five gallons. It has horizontal
ribbing and vertical mold seams (USNM 59.1645, 59.1845, 59.60.147,
fig. 87). Such, perhaps, was the "gr[ea]t pot" weighing 36 pounds which
Mercer bought from Nathaniel Chapman of the Accokeek Iron Works in 1731.
Two other fragments are from a smaller pot. The inventory taken in 1771
(Appendix M) lists five "Iron Potts for Negroes," that were probably
smaller than those used in the plantation kitchen.

Two heaters for box irons were found in the kitchen debris. A heavy
layer of mortar adhered to one, suggesting that it may have been built
into the brickwork--whether by accident or design there is no way of
telling. In that case, however, the specimen would antedate 1749 (USNM
59.2024, 59.2026, fig. 87). Box irons were hollow flatirons into which
pre-heated cast-iron slugs or "heaters" were inserted. Two or more
heaters were rotated in the fire, one always being ready to replace the
other as it cooled. In 1725 Mercer bought a "box Iron & heaters," and
in 1731, from Chapman, "2 heaters."

Other kitchen iron includes the fragmentary bowl and stem of a
long-handled iron stirring spoon (USNM 59.1812), an iron kettle cover
(USNM 60.69), and the leg of a large, heavy pair of andirons (USNM
59.1826, fig. 87). A small, semicircular chopping knife has a thin steel
blade and an iron shank that originally was inserted in a wooden handle.
Lettering, now almost obliterated, was impressed in the metal of the
blade: "SHEFFIELD WORKS 6 ENGLISH...." (USNM 59.1834, fig. 85a).

[Illustration: Illustration 62.--Iron candle snuffers. One-fourth. (USNM

FURNITURE HARDWARE.--A few metal furniture fittings were recovered. Six
curtain rings, cut from sheet brass and trimmed with a file, vary from
7/8 inches to 1-1/4 inches. On tubular ring (USNM 60.53, fig. 83) may
have been used as a curtain ring, although signs of wear suggest that
it perhaps may have been a drawer pull. A small, brass, circular
escutcheon (USNM 59.1735, fig. 83) comes from a teardrop-handle fixture
of the William and Mary style. A round keyhole escutcheon has tooled
grooves and holes for four nails (USNM 59.1630, fig. 83), and dates from
about 1750. The handsomest specimen of furniture trim found is an
escutcheon plate with engraved linear decoration dating from about 1720
(USNM 60.71, fig. 83). An iron bale handle was probably on a trunk
or chest (USNM 60.130, fig. 88e). A small strap hinge (USNM 59.1657,
fig. 88) is like those found on the lids of 18th-century wooden chests,
while a butt hinge may have served on the lid of the escritoire which
Mercer owned in 1731 (ill. 63).

[Illustration: Figure 88.--IRON DOOR AND CHEST HARDWARE: a, large HL
hinge; b, plate from box lock; c, small H hinge for cupboard; d, part of
H door hinge; e, bale handle from trunk; f, latch bar or striker; g,
small hinges; h, keys; i, latch catch; j, staples; k, part of latch
handle; and l, pintles for strap hinges.]

[Illustration: Illustration 63.--Iron butt hinge of type used on
escritoire lids and other similar items. Same size.]

[Illustration: Illustration 64.--End of strap hinge. One-half. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 65.--Catch for door latch. Same size. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 66.--Wrought-iron hasp. One-half. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 67.--Brass drop handle. Same size. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 68.--Wrought-iron catch or striker from door
latch. One-half. (USNM 59.1768.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 69.--Iron slide bolt. One-half. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 70.--Series of wrought-iron nails.


Iron was a fundamental material in the construction of any 18th-century
building. Mercer's ledgers make repeated references to the purchase of
hinges, locks, latches, and other related iron equipment. Most of this
material was obtained from local merchants and was probably English in
origin. However, the ledger records numerous purchases from Nathaniel
Chapman of iron that was undoubtedly made at his ironworks. It is
probable also that many simple appliances were made at Marlborough by
slaves or indentured servants trained as blacksmiths.

HINGES.--Hand-forged strap hinges were employed throughout the colonies
from the first period of settlement to the middle of the 19th century.
In addition to the many fragments that probably came from such hinges,
one artifact is a typical spearhead strap-hinge terminal with a square
hole for nailing (USNM 60.146, ill. 64). Three pintles--L-shaped pivots
on which strap hinges swung--were recovered. One was found at the site
of a gate or door in the wall south of the kitchen (USNM 60.59, fig.

[Illustration: Illustration 71.--Series of wrought-iron flooring nails
and brads. One-half.]

[Illustration: Illustration 72.--Fragment of clouting nail. Same size.]

[Illustration: Illustration 73.--Hand-forged spike. One-half. (USNM

Fragments from at least four different H and HL hinges occur. Several
entries in the ledgers refer to the purchase of such hinges. A nearly
complete HL hinge, probably used on a large door, recalls an item in the
account with Charles Dick for June 14, 1744, "2 p^r large hinges 9/"
(USNM 59.1945, fig. 88). A piece of a smaller H or HL hinge is of the
type used on interior doors (USNM 59.1767, fig. 88), while a still
smaller section of an H hinge was perhaps used on a cupboard door. H
hinges were more properly known as "side hinges," and we find Mercer
using that term in 1729 when he bought a pair of "Sidehinges" for 9d.
"Cross-garnet" hinges, where a sharply tapering, spear-headed strap
section is pivoted by a pin inserted in a stationary, rectangular butt
section, are represented by three imperfect specimens (USNM 59.1657 and
59.1881, fig. 88). Both these types are named, described, and
illustrated by Moxon.[213]

[Illustration: Figure 89.--TOOLS: a, block-plane blade; b, scraping tool
(ill. 76); c, gouge chisel (ill. 77); d, part of bung extractor; e,
fragment of ax; f, three dogs or hooks; g, pothook; and h, shim or pin.]

LOCKS, LATCHES, AND KEYS.--Only one remnant of the ubiquitous
18th-century "Suffolk" thumb-press door latch was found at Marlborough.
This fragment comprises the handle but not the cusps at the ends, by
which the age might be determined (USNM 60.137, fig. 88). Mercer
purchased an "Iron door latch" from Nathaniel Chapman for ninepence in
1731. In a complete assemblage for these latches, a thumb press lifts a
latch bar on the reverse side of the door, disengaging it from a catch
driven into the edge of the jamb. One large latch bar was recovered
(USNM 59.1972, fig. 88f), as well as two catches (USNM 59.1644, fig.
88i, and 59.1801, ill. 65). Sliding bolts were the usual locking devices
when simple thumb latches were used. A survival of one of these is seen
in a short iron rod with a shorter segment of rod attached to it at
right angles (USNM 59.1942, ill. 69).

Purchases of padlocks are recorded, but there is no archeological
evidence for them. However, a well-made hasp (USNM 59.1655, ill. 66) has
survived, and also three staples (USNM 59.1644, 59.1659, 59.2027, fig.
88j). Mercer bought six staples in 1742 at a penny each.

Apparently the principal doors of both the 1730 house and the mansion
were fitted with box locks, or "stock-locks," in which wood and iron
were usually combined. A heavy iron plate comes from such a lock (USNM
59.1943, fig. 88). Two stock-locks were bought from John Foward in 1731.
Another was purchased from William Hunter in 1741. In the same year
Mercer acquired from Charles Dick "8 Chamberdoor Locks w^{th} brass
knobs." If by knob was meant a drop handle, then a fine brass specimen
may be one of these (USNM 59.1944, fig. 83h, ill. 67). Fragments of
three iron keys have survived, the smallest of which may have been used
with a furniture lock (USNM 59.1644 and 59.1656, fig. 88h).

[Illustration: Illustration 74.--Left, blacksmith's hammer. One-half.
(USNM 59.2081.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 75.--Center, iron wrench. One-half. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 76.--Right, iron scraping tool (fig. 89b).
One-half. (USNM 60.133.)]

NAILS AND SPIKES.--The ledgers point to a constant purchasing of nails
which is reflected in the great quantity recovered from the excavations.
A 1731 purchase from Chapman comprised 2-, 3-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and
20-penny nails, while in the 1740's not only nails but 4-, 6-, 8-, and
10-penny brads were purchased, as well as 20-penny flooring brads.
Excepting the last, nearly all these sizes occur in the artifacts. There
is also a variety of heavy spikes, ranging from 3 inches to 7 inches in
length (see ills. 70-73).

[Illustration: Illustration 77.--Left, bit or gouge chisel (see fig.
89c). One-half. (USNM 59.1644.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 78.--Right, jeweler's hammer. Same size.
(USNM 59.1664.)]


    [213] ALBERT H. SONN, _Early American Wrought Iron_ (New
    York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928), vol. 2, p. 9.


Marlborough, like most 18th-century plantations, was to a large extent
self-sufficient, and therefore it is not surprising to find handtools of
several kinds. A blacksmith's hammer (USNM 59.2081, ill. 74), for
example, strengthens the view that there may have been blacksmiths at
Marlborough. Other tools include a smoothing-plane blade of iron with a
1-inch steel tip (USNM 59.1897, fig. 89a); a set wrench for a 3/4-inch
square nut or bolt (possibly for bed bolts), equipped originally with a
wooden handle (USNM 60.91, ill. 75); a steel scraping tool or chisel
with handle set at an angle (USNM 60.133, fig. 89b, ill. 76); a small
half-round bit or gouge chisel (USNM 59.1644, fig. 89c, ill. 77). Three
crude lengths of iron with stubby L-shaped ends appear to be work-bench
dogs (fig. 89f).

One fine tool is from the equipment of a jeweler or a clockmaker (USNM
59.1664, ill. 78). It is a very small hammer with a turned, bell-shaped
striking head. Originally balanced by a sharp wing-shaped peen, which
was, however, badly rusted and which disintegrated soon after being
found, the tool has a tubular, tinned, sheet-iron shaft handle which is
secured by a brass ferrule to the head and brazed together with brass.
The lower end is plugged with brass, where a longer handle perhaps was
attached. In 1748 Sydenham & Hodgson, through William Jordan, imported
for Mercer "A Sett Clockmakers tools." This entry is annotated,
"Return'd to M^r Jordan." Although the hammer cannot be related to this
particular set of tools, the ledger item suggests that fine work like
clockmaking may have been conducted at Marlborough. This tool may have
been used in the process.

[Illustration: Figure 90.--SCYTHE found against outside of east wall,
Structure H.]


The 1771 inventory is in some ways a more significant summary of
18th-century plantation equipment than are the artifacts found at
Marlborough, since its list of tools is longer than the list of tool
artifacts and is pin-pointed in time. However, artifacts define
themselves concretely and imply far more of such matters as workmanship,
suitability to purpose, source of origin, or design and form, than do
mere names. The Marlborough tools and equipment, moreover, correspond,
as far as they go, very closely with the items in the inventory, thus
becoming actualities experienced by us tactually and visually.

[Illustration: Illustration 79.--Wrought-iron colter from plow.
One-fourth. (USNM 60.88.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 80.--Hook used with wagon or oxcart gear.
One-half. (USNM 60.9.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 81.--Left, bolt with wingnut. One-half.
(USNM 60.145.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 82.--Right, lashing hook from cart or
agricultural equipment. One-half. (USNM 59.2030.)]

For instance, the inventory lists 22 plows at Marlborough. Among the
finds is an iron colter from a colonial plow in which the colter was
suspended from the beam and locked into the top of the share (USNM
60.88, ill. 79). The colter is bent and torn from exhaustive use
(Chapman, in 1731, fitted a plow "w^{th} Iron" for Mercer). From it we
learn a good deal about the size of the plow on which it was used and
the shallow depth of the furrows it made.

[Illustration: Figure 91.--FARM GEAR: a, part of collapsible-top fitting
from carriage; b, chain, probably from whiffletree; c, part of bridle
bit; d, iron stiffener from a saddle; e, worn chain link; f, base of
handle of a currycomb; g, rivet and washer; h, piece of iron harness
gear; i and j, two horseshoes; and k, chain to which a strap was
attached--probably harness gear.]

Four chain traces were on the list, one of which is represented by a
length of flat links attached to a triangular loop to which the leather
portion of the traces was fastened (USNM 60.64, fig. 91b). The halves
of two snaffle bits (USNM 59.2078, 60.67, fig. 91c; ill. 87) correspond
to an item for eight "Bridle Bitts." (A "snafflebit" costing 1s. 8d. was
among Mercer's purchases for 1743.) A third bit, crudely made of twisted
wire attached to odd-sized rings, is a makeshift device probably dating
from the 19th century. Three ox chains listed in the inventory are not
distinctly in evidence in the artifacts, although a heavy hook, broken
at the shank, is of the type used to fasten an ox chain to the yoke
(USNM 60.9, ill. 80).

Archeological evidence of the two oxcarts and one wagon listed in the
inventory is confined to nuts and bolts that might have been used on
such vehicles. A long axle bolt (USNM 59.1802) measures 23 inches. A
small bolt or staple, split at one end and threaded at the other, has a
wingnut (USNM 60.145, ill. 81). A hook with a heavy, diamond-shaped
backplate and a bolt hole was perhaps used on a wagon to secure lashing
(USNM 59.2030, ill. 82). A heavy, curved piece of iron with a large
hole, probably for a clevice pin, appears to be from the end of a wagon
tongue, while a carefully made bolt with hand-hammered head (USNM
59.1821) and a short rivet with washer (USNM 59.1881, fig. 91g) in place
seem also to be vehicle parts.

[Illustration: Illustration 83.--Hilling hoe. One-fourth. (USNM

[Illustration: Illustration 84.--Iron reinforcement strip from back of
shovel handle. One-half. (USNM 59.1847.)]

The inventory listed four complete harnesses, the remains of which are
probably to be found in four square iron buckles (USNM 59.1644, 59.1901,
60.131, fig. 91h), a brass ring (USNM 59.1678, fig. 83), and an
ornamental brass boss (USNM 59.1878, fig. 83j).

Twelve "Swingle trees" (whippletree, whiffletree, singletree) are listed
in the inventory. The artifacts include three iron loops or straps
designed to be secured to the swingletrees. One (USNM 59.2042, fig. 91b)
still has two large round links attached. (In 1731 Chapman fitted
ironwork to a swingletree.)

Ten "Hillinghows," 17 "Weeding hows," and 8 "Grubbing hows" are listed.
In the long Chapman account for 1731 we see that Mercer then purchased
"5 narrow hoes" and "2 grubbing hoes." The only archeological evidence
of hoes is a fragmentary broad hoe (probably a hilling hoe) (USNM
59.1848, ill. 83) and the collar of another.

[Illustration: Illustration 85.--Half of sheep shears. One-half. (USNM

Thirteen axes are listed in the inventory. Again we find Nathaniel
Chapman providing a "new axe" in 1731 for five shillings, while William
Hunter sold Mercer "2 narrow axes" and "4 Axes" in 1743. One broken ax
head occurs among the artifacts, worn back from repeated grinding and
split at the eye (USNM 59.1740, fig. 89e).

There were four spades and an iron shovel at Marlborough in 1771. An
iron reinforcement from a shovel handle occurred in the site (USNM
59.1847, ill. 84), while a slightly less curved strip of iron may have
been attached to a spade handle (USNM 59.1662). Once more in Chapman's
account we find evidence of local workmanship in an item for "1 Spade."

[Illustration: Illustration 86.--Animal trap. One-third. (USNM

Thirteen scythes were listed in 1771; perhaps the one excavated from the
foundation of Structure H on Potomac Creek may have been among these
(USNM 59.2400, fig. 90). There were eight sheep shears; half of a sheep
shears was found in Structure G (USNM 59.1734, ill. 85). Of the other
items on the list, a few, such as stock locks and hammers, have already
been mentioned, while the remainder of the list is not matched by
artifacts. An item for a chalk-line is supported by a piece of chalk
(USNM 59.1683, fig. 84).

[Illustration: Illustration 87.--Iron bridle bit (see fig. 91c). Same

[Illustration: Illustration 88.--Fishhook. One-half. (USNM 59.1681.)]

[Illustration: Illustration 89.--Brass strap handle (see fig. 83j). Same
size. (USNM 59.1736.)]

A few specimens are not matched in the inventory. One is a springtrap of
hand-forged, hand-riveted iron (USNM 59.1715, ill. 86) for catching
animals. Another is a fishhook (USNM 59.1681, ill. 88), possibly one of
95 bought in 1744. An iron stiffener for the framework of a saddle is
fitted with 10 rivets for securing the leather and upholstery (USNM
59.1847, fig. 91d). The third artifact is an elegantly designed brass
fitting for a leather curtain or strap (USNM 59.1736, fig. 83j, ill.
89). It is fitted with a copper rivet at the stationary end for securing
leather or cloth; just below the rivet is a recessed groove and shelf,
perhaps to receive a reinforced edge; to the lower part of this is
hinged a long handle cut in a leaf design. An iron hinge bar is part of
the equipment for folding back the top of a chaise (USNM 60.178, fig.
91a). There are several horseshoes, two whole shoes and numerous
fragments (fig. 91i and j). Finally, the handle shaft and decorative
attachment of an iron currycomb (USNM 59.2077, fig. 91f) recalls
Mercer's purchase of "1 curry comb and brush" in 1726.



Almost no exclusively 17th century artifacts were found at Marlborough;
at least, there were very few sherds or objects that could not have
originated equally well in the 18th century. The exceptions are the
following: Westerwald blue-and-white stoneware with gray-buff paste;
several sherds of delft and other tin-enameled ware, late 17th century
in type, and an early 17th-century terra cotta pipestem. Otherwise, we
find a scattering of things belonging to types that occurred in both
centuries: North Devon gravel-tempered ware, which was imported both in
the late 17th and early 18th centuries; yellow-and-brown "combed" ware,
which elsewhere occurs most commonly in 18th century contexts; pewter
trifid-handle spoons, the form of which dates from about 1690 but which
may have been cast at a later date in an old mold (a wavy-end spoon in
the style of 1710 may also have been cast later). Fragments of an
onion-shaped wine bottle may date from the first decade of the 18th
century, but the presence of such bottles in the Rosewell trash pit
shows that bottles, being too precious to throw away, were kept around
until they were broken--in the case of Rosewell for 60 or 70 years. Thus
the Marlborough sherds cannot be excluded from the Mercer period. The
same may be said of a late 17th-century type of fork. Thus, there is
virtually no evidence of the Port Town occupation, especially as the few
17th-century artifacts that were found may well have belonged to the
Mercers rather than to Marlborough's previous occupants.

The ceramics and glass are the most readily datable artifacts, and
these coincide almost altogether with the period of John Mercer's
lifetime. Common earthenwares are predominantly Tidewater and Buckley
types, with a scattering of others, most of which are recurrent among
other Virginia and Maryland historic-site artifacts. No distinct type
emerges to suggest that there may have been a local Stafford potter.
Common stonewares occur in such a variety of types that no source or
date can be attributed, although there is some evidence of the work of
William Rogers' shop in Yorktown. Westerwald stonewares are
predominantly of the blue-and-gray varieties commonest in the second
quarter of the 18th century.

There is only a small quantity of delftware, but a great deal of Chinese
porcelain. Evidences are that the first kinds of English refined wares,
such as drab stoneware, Nottingham stoneware, and agateware, were used
at Marlborough, thus pointing to an awareness of current tastes and
innovations. The large quantity of white salt-glazed ware suggests that,
although it was a cheap commercial product, it was regarded as handsome
and congenial to the environment of a plantation house that was
maintained in formal style.

Except for the white salt-glazed ware, which was probably acquired in
the 1760's, most of the table ceramics date from about 1740 to 1760.
Bottles and the few datable table-glass fragments are also primarily
from this period. Creamwares and late 18th- and early 19th-century
whitewares diminish sharply in numbers, reflecting a more austere life
at Marlborough in its descent to an overseer's quarters. Later
19th-century wares are insignificant in quantity or in their relation to
the history of Marlborough. Tool and hardware forms are less diagnostic.
Most of them correspond to ledger entries and to the 1771 inventory, so,
without contradictory evidence, they may be assumed to date from John
Mercer's period.

In general, the artifacts illustrate the best of household equipment
available in 18th-century Virginia, and the tools and hardware indicate
the extensiveness of the plantation's activities and its heavy reliance
on blacksmith work.



_Summary of Findings_

Marlborough's beginnings as a town in 1691 cast the shape that has
endured in a few vestiges even until today. The original survey of Bland
and Buckner remains as evidence, and by it we are led to believe that
the courthouse was located near the "Gutt" to the west of the town, near
a change of course that affected the western boundary and all the
north-south streets west of George Andrews' lots. Archeological
excavation in the area disclosed Structure B, which subsequent evidence
proved to be the foundation of Mercer's mansion, built at the pinnacle
of his career between 1746 and 1750. No evidence exists that this
foundation was associated earlier with the courthouse.

Two years after the second Act for Ports was passed in 1705, the second
survey was made and was lost soon thereafter. There is evidence that the
house built by William Ballard in 1708, on a lot "ditched in" according
to this plat, was also in the vicinity of the courthouse. After Mercer
moved into this house in 1726, it became clear that the two surveys were
at odds, and a new survey was ordered and made in 1731. The maneuvers
which followed make it fairly clear that Mercer's residence was
encroaching upon the two acres that had been set aside for the
courthouse, which by Act of Assembly had reverted to the heirs of Giles
Brent after the courthouse had burned and been abandoned about 1718. The
1731 plat provided a whole new row of lots along the western boundary of
the town, while pushing the original lots slightly to the east. This
device would have assured the integrity of the courthouse land, while
relieving Mercer of the uncertainty of his title. When Mercer's
petition to acquire Marlborough was submitted in 1747 (the 1731 plat
still remained unaccepted), he offered to buy the courthouse land for
three times its worth. Since Mercer was guardian of the heir, "Mr.
William Brent, the Infant," he was called upon to testify in this
capacity at the hearings on his petition. Thus the courthouse, Ballard's
house, and Mercer's mansion all appear to have been involved in a
boundary difficulty, and we may assume, therefore, that the courthouse
during its brief career stood close to the spot where Mercer later built
his mansion.

This difficulty, in particular, was influential in determining the shape
of the town, the manner in which Mercer developed the property and the
peculiarities that made Marlborough unique. It was not until 1755 that
he was permitted to acquire all the town and by that time Marlborough's
character had already been fixed. We have seen that its outstanding
feature, the mansion, was architecturally sophisticated, that leading
craftsmen worked on it, and that it was as highly individualistic as its
master. It was lavishly furnished not only with material elegancies but
with a library embracing more than a thousand volumes.

Aside from the mansion, the area most actively developed by Mercer lay
between it and Potomac Creek, with some construction to the north and
the east. In 1731, Mercer built two warehouses which probably stood near
the waterside at Potomac Creek where his sloop and schooner and visiting
vessels found sheltered anchorage. These burned in 1746, but must
subsequently have been rebuilt, since Thomas Oliver in his 1771 report
to James Mercer commented that the "tobacco houses" must be repaired as
soon as possible. They were probably among the buildings that Mercer had
constructed up to 1747, when he reported that he had "saved" 17 of the
town's lots by building on them. These lots comprised 8-1/2 acres in the
southwest portion of the town.

The windmill was built on land near the river shore, east of the
mansion. It was probably located a considerable distance from the shore,
although erosion in recent times has eaten back the cliff. In the fall
of 1958, half of the stone foundations collapsed, leaving a well-defined
profile of the stone construction. Fragments of mid-century-type wine
bottles found in the lower course of the stones support other evidence
that the mill was built in 1746.

Mercer mentioned his "office" in 1766. This may have been a detached
building used for a law office. Oliver in 1771 listed a barn, a cider
mill, two "grainerys," three cornhouses, five stables, and tobacco
houses. He mentioned also that "the East Green House wants repairing,
the west d^o wants buttments as a security to the wall on the south

Besides the malthouse and brewhouse built in 1765 (which may have been
situated at Structure H and the 100-foot-long stone-wall enclosure
attached to Wall A), John Mercer in his 1768 letter mentioned "Cellars,
Cooper's house and all the buildings, copper & utensil whatever used
about the brewery," as well as the "neat warm" house built for the
brewer. When the property was advertised in 1791, "Overseers houses,"
"Negroe quarters," and "Corn houses" also were mentioned.

The development of the area in the southwest portion of the plantation
probably sustained--or established for the first time--the character
originally intended for Marlborough Town. The situation of the mansion
was undoubtedly affected by this, as indeed must have been the whole
plantation plan. The archeological evidence alone shows that the plan
was abnormal in terms of the typical 18th-century Virginia plantation.
The rectangular enclosure formed by the brick walls east of the mansion
doubtless framed the formal garden over which the imported English
gardener, William Black, presided. It connected at the northwest with
the kitchen in such a way that the kitchen formed a corner of the
enclosure, becoming in effect a gatehouse, protecting the mansion's
privacy at the northwest from the utilitarian slave quarter and
agricultural precincts beyond. Walls A-I and A-II, however, related the
mansion directly to this plantation-business area and caused it to serve
also as a gate to the enclosure.

The position of the kitchen dependency northwest of the house is the
only suggestion of Palladian layout, other than the garden. The southern
aspect of the house and the rigid boundary to domestic activity imposed
by Walls A-I and A-II probably prevented construction of a balancing
unit to the southwest. Slave quarters, stables, and perhaps the barn
apparently were located to the north.

Since it was not until 1755 that Mercer came into full title to the
town, the town plan and its legal restrictions were influential in
determining the way in which the plantation was to grow. The house and
the surrounding layout were, therefore, wholly peculiar to the special
circumstances of Marlborough and probably also to the individuality of
its owner. The approach to the house from the waterside was to the south
end of the building, leading up to it by the still-existing road from
the creek and along the old "Broad Street across the Town," which
probably bordered Walls A-I and B-I. The mansion thus had a little of
the character of a feudal manor house, as well as some of the appearance
of an English townhouse that abuts the street, with the seclusion of its
yards and gardens defended by walls. In many respects it only slightly
resembled, in its relationship to surrounding structures, the more
representative plantations of its period.

The house was well oriented to view, ventilation, and dominant location.
The veranda, which afforded communication from one part to another
out-of-doors, as well as a place to sit, was exposed to the prevailing
southwesterly summer winds. In the winter it was equally well placed so
as to be in the lee of northeast storms sweeping down the Potomac. The
view, hidden today by trees, included Accokeek Creek and a lengthy vista
up Potomac Creek. Presumably, a road or driveway skirted the kitchen at
the west and perhaps ended in a driveway in front of the house. The gate
in Wall E south of the kitchen would have been a normal entrance for
horses and vehicles.

Within the garden was the summerhouse built by Mercer in 1765. From the
east windows and steps of the house and from the garden could be seen
the Potomac, curving towards the bay, and the flailing "drivers" of the
windmill near the Potomac shore.

The excavated and written records of Marlborough are a microcosm of
Virginia colonial history. They depict the emergence of central
authority in the 17th century in the establishment of the port town as
a device to diversify the economy and control the collecting of duties.
In the failure of the town, they demonstrate also the failure of
colonial government to overcome the tyranny of tobacco and the
restrictive policies of the mother country. They go on to show in great
detail the emergence in the 18th century of a familiar American
theme--the self-directed rise of an individual from obscure beginnings
to high professional rank, social leadership, personal wealth, and
cultural influence. They demonstrate in Mercer's career the inherent
defects of the tobacco economy as indebtedness mounted and economic
strains stiffened. In Mercer's concern with the Ohio Company and
westward expansion they reflect a colony-wide trend as population
increased and the need grew for more arable land and areas in which to
invest and escape from economic limitations. They show that the war with
the French inevitably ensued, with its demands on income and manpower,
while following this came the enforcement of trade laws and the
immediate irritants which led to rebellion. So Marlborough gives a sharp
reflection of Virginia's history prior to the Revolution. It was touched
by most of what was typical and significant in the period, yet in its
own details it was unique and individual. In this seeming anomaly
Marlborough is a true illustration of its age, when men like Mercer were
strong individuals but at the same time typifying and expressing the
milieu in which they lived.

Mercer's rise to wealth and leadership occurred at a time when favorable
laws held out the promise of prosperity, while boundless lands offered
unparalleled opportunities for investment. It remained for those best
able to take advantage of the situation; Mercer's self-training in the
law, his driving energy, and his ability to organize placed him among
these. The importance of his position is signified by the justice-ship
that he held for so many years in Stafford County court; the brick
courthouse on the hill overlooking the upper reaches of Potomac Creek
was the architectural symbol of this position. Although most of his
income was derived from legal practice, it was his plantation that was
the principal expression of his interests and his energies. Mercer was
in this respect typical of his peers, whose intellectual and
professional leadership, on the one hand, and agricultural and business
enterprise, on the other, formed a partnership within the individual.
The great plantation house with its sophisticated elegancies, its
outward formalities, and its rich resort for the intellect in the form
of a varied library, was the center and spirit of the society of which
men like Mercer were leaders. With the death of the system came the
death of the great house, and the rise and fall of Marlborough
symbolizes, as well as anything can, the life cycle of Virginia's
colonial plantation order.



Inventory of George Andrews, Ordinary Keeper

[Stafford County Will Book--Liber Z--1699-1709--p. 168 ff.]

     An Inventory of the Estate of George Andrews taken the (six)
     October 1698. 6 small feather beads with Bolsters 5 Ruggs 1 Turkey
     Work 1 Carpet 1 old small Flock Bed boulster Rugg 4 pair Canvis
     Shooks 2 pair Curtains and valleins 4 Chests 1 old Table 1 Couch 1
     Great Trunk 1 small ditto 1 Cupboard 2 Brass Kettles 1 pieis Dowlas
     2 spits 1 Driping pan & fender 6 Iron Pots 5 pair Pot-hooks 6
     dishes 1 bason 2 dozen of plates 4 old chairs made of kain 9 head
     horses + mares 3 Colts of 1 year old each 4 head Oxen 2 Chaine
     Staples 8 Yoaks 7 Cows + calves 1 Bull 2 barron cows 2 five year
     old stears 6 Beasts of a year old each 30 head of sheep being yews
     and lambs 4 Silver spoons 1 Silver dram cup 1 Lignum vitae punch
     Bowl 1 Chaffing Dish 1 Brass Mortar & Iron Pestle 2 ditto & 1 great
     iron pestle 1 broad ax 2 narrow D^o 1 Tennant Saw 1 Whipsaw 1
     drawing knife 2 augurs 1 Frow 1 pair Stilliards & too with Canhooks
     1 Saddle & Curb bridle 3 servants 2 Men 1 Woman 3 years + 6 months
     to serve 1 Welshman 4 years to serve the other servant named
     Garrard Moore 13 months to serve 1 old Chest drawers 1 old plow 1
     old pair Cart wheels w^{th} a Cart 2 old Course Table Cloths & 8
     Napkins 4 Towels 1 Gall^n Pott 1 Paile Pott 2 Chamber Potts 2
     tankards a parsil of old Bottles 1 old Looking Glass 1 Grid Iron 1
     Flesh fork & Skimmer 1 pair Spit hooks Iron square 3 pair Iron
     tongs 2 Nutmeg graters 3 Candlesticks 1 old Great Boat old Sails
     Hawsers Graplin 1 Box Iron 1 Warming pan 2 pair Pot racks

     Jurat in Curia

     Returned by
     John Waugh Jun^r


Inventory of Peter Beach

[Stafford County Will Book--Liber Z--1699-1709--p. 158-159.]

     Estate of Peter Beach. Inventory taken by William Downham, Edward
     Mountjoy, W^m Allen "having mett together at the house of Mr.
     Peter Beach."

  "Dan'l Beach
  Alex and Mary Waugh executors  Nov. 20, 1702"

  To 4 three year old heifers. at 350 Tob^o p                       1400

  To 1 stear 6 years old at 600 To 5 D^o 4 year old at 2000         2600

  To the 2 yr old at 2800 To 2 Bulls at 600                         3400

  To 8 Cows & Calves at 4000 To 2 Barron Cows 900                   4900

  To 1 Mare & Mare Filly at 1200 To 1 two year old horse 400        1600

  To 1 D^o 5 years old at 1000 To 1 very old D^o at 150             1150

  To 1 Feather bedd + Bedstead + furniture 1500 To 1 do at 1200     2700

  To 2 D^o at 2000 To 1 Old Flock Bed + Feather pillow at 300       2300

  To one servant Bot 9 years to serve 3000 to 4 stoolth 8 Chairs
    @ 160-                                                          3160

  To 9 old flagg & boarded Chairs 130 To 1 small old table & stool
    100                                                              230

  To 1 old Standing Cupboard 150 To Looking Glass at 30              100

  To 1 pair small Stilliards at 60 to 1 Iron Spit+Dripping pan
    at 80                                                            140

  To 1 pair old Tongs and fire shovel at 30 To 2 Ladles+Chafing
    Dish 50                                                           80

  To 1 old Narrow Ax + frow at 30 To 1 Box Iron & Heaters at 25       55

  To a passel of Glass Bottles at 40 To a Parcel of old Iron at 50    90

  To 8 old Pewter Dishes and three Basons Ditto at                   228

  To 1 small Table Cloth + 6 Napkins at 50 to 4 Tinpanns 1 Copper
    Sawspan at 150                                                   100

  To 2 2 quart Potts 1 Pewter Tankard Old                             20

  To 1 old Warming Pan 20 To 1 Brass candlestick 1 Skimmer Old 15     35

  To pasl of Earthen Ware 50 To 3 Iron Potts 2 p^r potthooks 250
    To 1 Brass Kettle at 300                                         600

  To 1 Brass kettle at 60 To 23 pewter plates old 110 To 4 old
    Chests 250                                                       420

  To 1 Frying Pan 1 Meal Sifter 15 To a parcel of old Tables and
    Cyder Cask 350                                                   365

  To 1 Pewter Sheaf[214] 50 To 1 old Gun 100 To 2 Bibles at 40       190

  To 1 Pewter Chamber Pott 10 To 3 Pewter Salts 1 Dram Cup 15         25

  To 1 pair Iron Spansils[215] at                                     50
                                                     Total [_sic_] 26010

Daniel Beach was janitor of the Court House, being paid 200 pounds
tobacco annually 1700-1703:

  1700 and 1701--"To Daniel Beach for cleaning the Court House"
  1702 and 1703--"To Daniel Beach for Sweeping the Courthouse."


    [214] A cluster or bundle of things tied up together; a
    quantity of things set thick together. [New Oxford

    [215] SPANCEL: A rope or fetter for hobbling cattle, horses,
    etc.; especially, a short, round rope used for fettering the
    hind legs of a cow during milking. [New Oxford Dictionary]


Charges to Account of Mosley Battaley for Goods Sold by Mercer

[From Ledger B, p. 1]

                                                          £   s.   d.

        12^{th} To Ball^{ns}. y^r Acco^{tt} Book
                  A for (75)                              3   10   3
             To a Sword & Belt                                14
             To 1 Snuff                                        8
             To 1 best worsted Cap                             5
             To 1 p^r Neats Leather Saddlebags                12   9
             To 2 silk Romall handkerchiefs @ 3/               6
             To 1 p^r Seersuckers                         1   13
             To 1 fine Hat N^o 7                              13   6
             To Cornelius Tacitus in fol.                      7

        13^{th} To 1 p^r mens white topt Gloves                1   6
             To 50 4^p Nails                                       2

        14^{th} To 5-1/4 y^{ds} Broadcloath at
               9/                                          2   7   3
             To 7 y^{ds} Shalloone at 2/                      14
             To 8 Sticks Mohair at 3^d                         2
             To 7 doz Coatbuttons at 7-1/2^d                   4   4-1/2
             To 4 doz. breast d^o at 3-3/4                     1   3
             To 3 hanks Silk at 9^d                            2   3
             To 1-1/4 y^{ds} Wadding at 10^d                   1   3
             To 1 p^r Stone buttons set in Silver              5

        15^{th} To 1 p^r large Scissars                            7-1/2
             To 1 p coll^d binding                             1   7-1/2
             To 1 p holland tape                               1   6
             To 6 ells broad Garlix N^o F at 2/11             17   6
             To 1 p^r womens wash gloves                       1   6

        19^{th} To 1 y^d black ribband                        10
             To 1 horn & Ivory knife & fork                    1

        21   To 1 fine hat N^o 7                              13   6
             To 1/4 y^d Persian                                1   3
             To 2 y^{ds} silk Ferritting at 5^d                   10

        22   To Cash won on the Race against Cobler            5

        29   To 1/4 y^d broadcloath                            2   3
             To 1 q^t Rum                                      1   3
             To a Sword & Belt                                14   3
             To Club in Punch                                  2
             To 1^£ sugar & 1 q^t Rum                          2

        30   To Club with Quarles                                  9

  Novb^r 20  To 1 quire best paper                             1   6

  Dec^r 13   To 1 narrow axe                                   2   3
        16   To 1200 10^d Nails                                5
        30   To 1 p^r Shooebuckles                                 7-1/2
             To 100 6^d Nails                                  9
             To y^r Stafford Clks notes
               162^£ tob^o                                1        3

  Feb    5   To Cash on Acc^t Thomas Harwood                  10
  Mar    5   To D^o                                      18    6  11-1/2
        21   To 1 q^t Rum & 1^£ Sugar                          2   3

  Ap^l   3   To 2 q^{ts} D^o & 1 y^d Muslin                        6

        26   To 1 q^t D^o to Tho^s Benson                      1   6

  Sept^r 16^{th} To 1/2 y^ Druggett                            1  10-1/2
             To 2 y^{ds} Wadding                               1   6
             To p^d for rolling down
               Thomson's hhd. tob^o                           10
                                                        £19   10   1


"Domestick Expenses"

[From Ledger B]

                                                          £   s.   d.

  Sept^r 9^{th} To Cash for Exp^s at Stafford
                  & Spotsylvania                              1    3
             To 7-1/2 y^{ds} Grown Linnen
               Sarah & Pitts                                  7    6
             To 11 fowls & 1 quarter beef                    17    6
             To 100^£ Sugar to this day expended          2  16    6
             To Cash for Exp^s Urbanna                        3    1-1/2
             To Horsehire &c                                  6
             To p^d John Marnix for bringing
               my Sloop 2^d                                  10
             To p^d his ferrage                               1    3
             To Cash for Exp^s Poplar Spring                  1    3
             To Exp^s at Bowcocks                            10
             To Exp^s at M^{rs}. Powers's                 1   5    7-1/2
             To a man to cart down Cook & barber              1    3
             To Exp^s at Gibbons's                            2
             To Exp^s at Dalton's                            15
             To given Serv^{ts} at Col^o
               Page's                                         2    6
             To 1-1/2 doz. red Port at 22/6               1  13    9
             To 1-1/2 doz. mountain at 30/
               [Note 1]                                   2   5
             To Exp^s poplar Spring                           2    3
             To 1 bar^l tar & pitch for the
               Sloop                                      1   6    6
             To 50^1 pork                                     8    4
             To 25^l bisquet                                  3    6
             To 1 China punch bowl                           10
             To 6 Glasses                                     3
             To 8^l Candles                                   6
             To given Servants at M^r Standard's              3    1-1/2
             To Ferrage & Exp^s Piscattaway
               & Hob's Hole                                   4    4-1/2
             To Exp^s Essex Court &
               Ferrage at Keys                                1    3
             To p^d William Warrell Wages                 1
             To p^d Patrick Cowan D^o                     1   2   11
             To horsehire from York                       2
             To a Trunk                                       6
             To a Saddle & Furniture self                 3  15
             To 1-1/2 y^d Cotton                              2    5-1/4
             To 1 horsewhip                                   6    9
             To 1 p^r Shooes & buckles Pitts                  6    7-1/2
  Oct^r 2    To 2 silk Romall handkerchiefs
               [Note 2]                                       6
             To 6 loaves 9^s 38-3/4^£ double
               refin'd Sugar                              2  18    7-1/2
             To 2^l Tea at 15/                            1  10
             To 6^l Chocolate                                15
             To 15-1/4^l Castile Soap at 13^d                17    1-3/4
             To 15^l Gunpowder at 9^d                        11    3
             To 1 mans worsted Cap                            3   10-1/2
             To 1 Wig Comb & Case                                  9
             To 1 purse wrought with Silver                   2    3
             To 2 p^r buttons set in Silver at 3/             6
             To 1 p^c 9^d 14-3/4 Ells bag
               holland at 7/10-1/2                        5  14    2
             To 2 p^r mens fine worsted hose at 6/           12
             To 2 p^r mens fine thread D^o at 5/             10
             To 1 p^r womens silk D^o                        12
             To 1 p^r womens fine worsted D^o                 5    6
             To 1 p^r Scissars with silver Chain             10    6
             To 1 box Iron & heaters                          9    9
             To 1 fine hat n^o 6                             12
             To 1 fine Dandriff Comb                          1    6
             To 1 ounce fine thread                                7-1/2
             To 1 fine hat N^o 7                              9
             To 30 y^{ds} fine Dutch Check at 2/6          3/15
             To 1 m^s pins                                    1    6
             To 2 p^c tape                                    2    4
             To 1 hat N^o 5 gave Sam                          2    6
             To 1 quire best paper                            1    3
             To 1 Storebook                               1   5
             To 1 p^r Seersuckers                         1  13
             To 1 hoop petticoat                          1   1
             To 1 womans side Saddle & furniture          3  11    3
             To 2 y^{ds} silver ribband at 22-1/2             3    9
             To 1 hat N^o 12                                  9
             To 1 y^d fine strip't muslin                     6
             To 1 y^d fine Kenting [Note 3]                   4
             To 4-1/2 y^{ds} white Cotton Sarah at 18^d       5    9
             To 4-1/2 y^{ds} filletting D^o at
               3^d [Note 4]                                   1    1-1/2
             To 2 skeins thread                                    2
             To 1 p^r wom^s wash gloves                       1    6
             To 1/4^l w^t bio: thread                         1    5
             To 1/2 doz: plates                               7    6
             To 2 porringers                                  2    6
             To 1 p^r fine blankets                       1  13
             To 1 y^d fine strip'd muslin                     6
             To 1 Cadow Sarah [Note 5]                        3    6
             To Earthen Ware                                 10
             To 1-1/2 bushel Wheat                            4    6
             To 2 fowls                                      10
             To Battalay's Account for
               Rum both in day                            2   1    3
             To 1-1/2 y^d red Cotton                          2    5-1/4
             To 1 p^r womens Shooes                           3    6
             To 1 p^r patterdashers [Note 6]                 14    3
             To 5 Candlesticks                               17    6
             To 1 Bed Cord                                    2
             To 3 maple knives & forks                        2
  Oct^r 22   To Cash lost at a Race                           2
             To Tho^s Watts for Ditto                        10
             To Expences there                                1    4
             To 6 y^{ds} silk ferriting at 5^d
               [Note 7]                                       2    6
        25   To 16-1/2 y^{ds} Cantaloons at 7-1/2
               for Pease [Note 8]                            10    3-3/4
             To 1 P^r mens thread hose                        5
             To 1 p^r mens silk Ditto                     1   1
             To 2-1/4 y^{ds} fine Kenting at 4/6             10    1-1/2
        26   To 1 p^r wom^s worsted hose                      3
             To 1 knife & fork                                     8
        27   To a Steer                                   1  11    9
             To 2 yew haft knives & forks                     1    3
        28   To 2 q^{ts} Rum                                  4    6
             To 1 yew haft knife & fork &
               1 p^r Studds                                   1   10-1/2
        29   To 1 p^r Salisbury Scissars                      2    6
             To 1-1/2 Gallon Rum                              4    6
             To 1 speckled knife & fork                            5
  Nov^r  4   To 1 writing Desk                            5  16    8
             To 1 Glass & Cover                               8    9
             To 18^l Pewter at                            1   8
             To 6 tea Cups & Saucers                         14
             To 2 Chocolate Cups                              2    4
             To 2 Custard Cups                                1    9
             To 1 Tea Table painted with
               fruit                                         16    4
             To 6 leather Chairs at 7/                        2    2
             To 1 sm^l walnut eating table                    8
             To 1/2 doz Candlemoulds                         10


     1. "Mountain: 5. (In full _mountain wine_). A variety of Malaga
     wine, made from grapes grown on the mountains."--_A New English
     Dictionary on Historical Principles,_ Sir James A. H. Murray, ed.,
     vol. 6 (Oxford, 1908), p. 711.

     2. "Romal: 1. A silk or cotton square or handkerchief, sometimes
     used as a head-dress; a thin silk or cotton fabric with a
     handkerchief pattern."--Ibid., vol. 8, pt. 1 (Oxford, 1910), p.

     3. "Kenting: A kind of fine linen cloth."--Ibid., vol. 5, (Oxford,
     1901), p. 673.

     4. "Filleting: 2. a. A woven material for binding; tape; a piece of
     the same; a band or bandage."--Ibid., vol. 4 (Oxford, 1901), p.

     5. "Caddow: A rough woolen covering ... 1880. _Antrim & Down
     Gloss._ (E. D. S.) _Cadda_, _Caddaw_, a quilt or coverlet, a cloak
     or cover; a small cloth which lies on a horse's back."--Ibid., vol.
     2 (Oxford, 1893), p. 13.

     6. Patterdashers. Probably the same as "spatter-dash. A legging or
     gaiter extending to the knee, worn as a protection from water and
     mud." Webster's _New International Dictionary of the English
     Language_, second ed., unabridged; Springfield, Mass., G. & C.
     Merriam Co., 1958.

     7. Ferreting. Same as "Ferret. 2. A stout tape most commonly made
     of cotton, but also of silk; then known as Italian ferret." Murray,
     _op. cit._, (no. 1) vol. 4 (Oxford, 1901), p. 165.

     8. "Cantoloon. _Obs._ A wollen stuff manufactured in the 18th c. in
     the west of England." Ibid., vol. 2: (Oxford, 1893), p. 79.

     9. "Soosy ... 1858. Simmond's _Dictionary of Trade._ Soocey, a
     mixed striped fabric of silk and cotton in India."--Ibid., vol. 9.
     pt. 1 (Oxford, 1919), p. 428.

                                                         £    s.   d.

             To 1 Tea table                                  18
             To 1 brass chaffing dish                         5
             To 6 copper tart pans                            6
  Nov^r 4^{th} To 1 p^r mens yarn hose                        2
             To 1 silk Romal                                  3
             To Expences Spotsylvania Court &C           1    7    4
             To 1 p^r bellows
             To 2 funnells
             To Coffeepot, teapots, &c                        7
             To 1 Seabed Sheets Table Linnen &c          3   10
             To Cash to Pitts to bear
               Expences at Court                              2    9
             To a pack of Cards                                    9
             To 1 pair mens Shooes                            5
        6    To 1 silk Romall handkerchief                    3
       11    To 6-1/2 y^{ds} Cantaloons @ 9^d                 4    8-1/2
       17    To 16 q^r 22 y^{ds} Scotch Cloth
               @20^d-1/4                                 1   17    1-1/2
       20    To p^d William Warrell Wages
               for this day                              1    6    8-1/2
       22    To 6-1/4^l tallow @ 6^d                          3   16
             To 3-1/2 y^{ds} Cantaloons & 40^l
               coll'd thread                                  3    4
             To 1 maple knife & fork                          1
       25    To 154^l pork at 1-1/2                          19    3
             To 91^l D^o at 1-1/2                            11    4-1/2
  Dec^r 19   To 2 p^r wom^s Shooes                           11
    X^tmas   To Cash for Lost at Cards &
               sundry Expenses                           1   18   19
             To p^d Thomas Morris for pork               6    7    5
             To p^d Pitts Wages till February            4   19    9-1/2
             To p^d Thomas Collins D^o
               till March 18                             2
             To 3 Ells y^d w^d Garlix 3/                      9
             To sundrys from M^r Crompton p^r Acc^t      1   19    1-1/2
  Feb 26     To 1 q^t rum 27 4 q^{ts} D^o                     7    6
  Mar  2     To 2 q^{ts} D^o 5. 1 q^{ts} D^o 7
                2 q^{ts} D^o 8^{th}. 5 q^{ts} D^o            15
       9     To 2 q^{ts} D^o
             To sundry Exp^s to this Day                 1
      10     To 2 q^t Rum 12th 2 q^{ts} D^o
               15th 2 q^{ts} D^o                              9
      15     To 5 p^{ts} Rum 1^l Sugar & 2
                 y^{ds} Check                                 7    6
      18     To 7 gall^s Rum & 16^l Sugar                2    9    6
             To Cash for taking up W^m Hall's horse          10
             To D^o at Stafford Court                         4
             To Sundrys to W^m Dunn                      1   17    6
  June 11    To cleaning out the house                        6    9
             To 1500 10^d Nails used about it.               11    3
             To 1 doz. Canary                            1   10
             To p^d Tho^s Collins his Wages to May 11    3
             To 2 doz & 8 bottles Claret                 2    8
             To 3 Cows & Calves & 1 featherbed          11
             To 1 [?] Chints                                 18
             To 21-1/2y^{ds} coll^d blew at 2.6          2   13    1-1/2
             To 15 y^{ds} course Check at 16^d           1
             To 12 y^{ds} best D^o                           18
             To Account Rum &c to this day               2   10
             To Wheat Corn fowls &c                      3    2    3
             To sundrys of M^c farlane as p^r Acc^t      5   11    1-1/2
             To sundrys of Alex^r Buncle as p^r D^o     15   17    9-1/2
             To 7-1/2 y^{ds} y^d w^d Check @
               2/ to W^m Dunn                                15
             To 2-1/2 y^{ds} brown linnen @
               10^d to D^o                                    2    1
             To p^d M^{rs} Bourne for sundrys            5
             To p^d for a Coffin & digging
               ye Child's grave                          1    5
             To sundry Expences for fowls &c                 17    4
             To John Chinn's Acc^t ferrages
               &c for going to W^{ms}burgh               2    5    6
             To 2 p^r Andirons 2 Trunks &c               2    7    6
             To 2 dishes & 4-3/4 y^{ds} India
               Persian                                   1   13    1-1/2
             To 1 p^r Shooes & buckles                        6
             To Cash to Bates to go for my horse              7    2
             To D^o lost at Race & gave
               Scarlett Handcock                         2   12
             To Cash for Exp^s                                3    9
             To John Barber for going to Gloucester          11    6
             To gave W^m Johnson                                   7-1/2
             To paid for Apples                               6
             To paid Eliz^a Rowsey Wages                      6    9
             To 5 gall^s Rum                             1    5
             To sundrys bought of Thomas
              Hudson as by his account                  12    6   10
             To 1 y^d princes Linnen W^m Johnson              1    3
             To Cash for 1/2 doz. Spoons &c                   4   10-1/2
             To D^o for Exp^s on a Journey
               to W^{ms}burgh                            1   19    3-1/2
             To Mosley Battaley's Acc^t for
               his fee for 1726                          2   10
             To allowed him for extraordinary
               service                                   4   15    1
             To Peter Whitings Account Palms &
               Sail Needles                                   2    6
               56^1 Cordage                              1    8    3
             To Cha^s McClelland's
               Account for sundrys
               Going to Col^o Mason's
               for Eliz Rowsey                               10
               Going to York & sundrys                   1    5    6
               Going to Nich^o Smith's                       10
             To Rob^t Spotswood's
               Account for sundrys                       1   10
             To Geo. Rust's Acc^t for 1 Ironpot               5
             To John Dagge's Acc^t of sundrys
               1 Oven                                        17    6
               Bringing over 10 Sheep from Sumn^{rs}          5
             To John Randolph's Acc^t for
               Lawyers fees                              4    2
             To Esme Stewart's D^o for Toys                   2
             To George Walker D^o for Law Charges        4   15    5
             To 2 Gall^s Rum of Simon Peirson                10
             To John Maulpus's Acc^t for
               2 bar^{ls} Corn                           1    1
             To Thomas Hudson's D^o for
               2 bar^{ls} D^o                                15
             To Joshua Davis's D^o for paid
               Thomas Jefferies for a Gun                2
             To M^r Graeme's Acc^t for sundry books      2    9    3
             To Jn^o Quarles's D^o for 1 p^r
               sm^l Stilliards                                7    6
             To Hen Woodcock's D^o for Ferrages                    9
             To Harry Beverley's D^o for
               Lawyer's fees                             4    2
             To Rob^t Wills's Acc^t for sundrys              18    8
             To Rose Dinwiddie's Acc^t for
               1 p^r mens yarn hose & 2
               bush^{ls} Wheat                                7    6
             To Peter Hedgman's D^o for sundrys          2    2    7
             To Mary Fitzhugh's D^o for 8
               bus^{ls} Wheat                                 9
             To Lazarus Pepper's D^o for Quitrent
               of 187 Acres of Land                           4    6
             To Quitrents of 2087 Acres of
               Land for the year 1725                    2    8
             To Cash Account for sundrys                11    8
             To Rawleigh Chinn's Acc^t for sundrys       0    0    0
                 Keeping my horse for a Race                 15
                 1-1/2 barr^l Corn                           15
                 1 Shoat 18 Fodder 17^d
                   5 Geese 7/6                               10    5
                 4 days hire Moll                             1    3
                 Dressing Deerskins for Will Dunn             4
                 Plowing & fencing my Garden             1    4
                 A Gun                                       18
             To Alexand^r M^cfarlane's Acc^t
                 A Caddow & 1 p^r blankets                   16
                 1 wom^s horsewhip                            6
                 1£ Gunpowder & 10^£ Shot                     5   10
                 1 womans bound felt                          4    6
             To 12^l Gunpowder & 20^l Shot               2
             To Henry Floyd's Acc^t for 5 pecks Corn          2    6
             To Ja^s Whalley's D^o for 7 fowls                3
             To Ja^s Horsenaile's D^o for sundrys        1   19    9
             To John Holdbrook's Acc^t
               for taylor's work                         2   11    6
             To John Tinsley's Acc^t for
               Fodder & tallow                               14
             To Hugh French's Acc^t for a
               Serv^t woman                             12
             To D^r Roy for a visit &
               medicines my Child                            12    6
             To Edw^d Snoxall's Acc^t for 1
               bush^l hommonybeans                            4
             To Edw^d Simm's Acc^t for sundrys           6   11   11
             To Ralph Falconer's D^o for D^o             1        10
             To Tho^s Eves for fowls                          4    6
             To 1 olives                                 5
             To 1 pair mens Shooes W^m Dunn                   5
             To 3 Ells Dowlass D^o                            5    6
             To 1-1/2 bush^l Corn                             3
             To 3-3/4 y^{ds} Check for finding
               my Saddle                                      5
             To 10 y^{ds} fustian 2/6                    1    5
             To 5-1/4 doz Coat Buttons 10^d                   4    2
             To 3 hanks silk & 2 hanks mohair                 3    2
             To 4 Soosey handkerchiefs [Note 9]              12
             To 12 yd^s Check & 1 p^r mens gloves             4
             To 2 yd^s Wadding                                1    6
             To 6-1/4 bush^{ls} Corn                         13
             To 2-3/4 bush^{ls} pease                        11
             To 2 bush^{ls} potatoes                          4
                                                      £285    2    3-1/4


Mercer's Reading 1726-1732

[From Ledger B]

            _Mr. John Graeme_

  1726  By sundry Book bo^d of him belong^s to the Hon^{ble} Col^o
          Spotswood. Viz.
            The History of England           3 vols          £4. 2
            Clarendon's History              6 vols           2. 2
            Tillotson's Works               15 vols           5.15
            Plutarch's Lives                 5 vols           1.10
            Dryden's Virgil                  3 vols             17.6
            Cowley's Works                   2 vols             13.
            Milton's Paradise Lost                               6.6
            Secret Memories                                      7.7
            Chamberlayne's State of England                      6.6
            Wilkin's Mathematical Works                          5.6
            Petronius                                            5.
            Tilly's Orations                                     5.6
         [Symbol: dagger]Bible                                   4
            Hudibras                         2 vol               5.3
            Callipoedia                                          2.
            Dunster's Horace                                     6.
            De Gennes Voyage                                     3.
            Banquet of Xenophon                                  3.
            Congreve's Plays                                     4.
            Lock's Essays                                       12.
            Evelyn's Gardening                                1.
         [Symbol: dagger]Littleton's Dictionary    }
         [Symbol: dagger]Present State of Russia   }
         [Symbol: dagger]Sedley's Works            }          1.
         [Symbol: dagger]New Voyages               }
         [Symbol: dagger]New Travels               }
         [Symbol: dagger]Cole's Dictionary         }

[All except those marked by [Symbol: dagger] are listed as returned on
the debit side]

       *       *       *       *       *

          Law Books Bought of Mat Stotham
  May 1732    Salkeld's Reports                               1.18.
              Ventris's Reports                               1.15.
              Jacob's Law Dictionary                          1. 8.
              Maxims of Equity                                  10.
              Cursus Cancellaris                                 6.
              Hearn's Pleader                                 1. 5.
              Lilly's Practical Register     2 vol              14.
              Treatise of Trespasses                             6.
              Laws of Evidence                                   8.
              Laws of Ejectments                                 8.
                  The 5 last extraordinary scarce

                        _Account of Books lent & to whom_      (1730)

            History of the Netherlands                 Jn^o Savage
  July 13   Coles's Dictionary
            History of the Royal Society               Col^o Fitzhugh
            Rochesters Works                           Andrew Forbes
            Evelyn's Sylva                             Ralph Falkner
            Woods Institutes 1^{st} Vol.               Parson Rose
            Mathesis Juvenilia           }
            Ozenam's Mathem. Recreations }             Edmund Bagge
            Cockers Arithmetick                        Robert Jones
       30   Mariners Compass rectified M^r Savage
            Travels thro' Italy &c Cap^t Hedgman
            Daltons Justice D^o

_A Catalogue of the Books bought March 1730 of Mr Rob^t Beverley_

  Coke's Reports temp Eliz^a Reg                1.10
  Dalton's Officium Vicecomitum                 1.
  Coke upon Littleton                           1.
  Cokes 2^d, 3^d & 4^{th} Institutes            2. 4
  Cooks Reports                                 1.
  Laws of Virginia fol^o printed two            1. 4
  Compleat Clerk                                  12.
  Swinburne [18th-century author]                 12.
  Laws of the Sea                                 14.
  Godolphin's Orphans Legacy                       9.
  Symboleography                                  14.
  Sheppards Grand Abridgment                    1.10.
  Three Sets of Wingates Abridgm^t of Statutes    15.
  Instructor Clericalis in 7 parts              1.15.
  Woods Institutes 2 vol 8vo                      12.
  Placita Generalia                                5.
  Tryals per pair                                  5.
  Practical Register                               6.
  Law of Obligations & Conditions                  3.6
  Reads Declarations                               4.
  Clerks Tutor                                     6.
  Prasca Cancellaria                               6.
  Fitzherberts new Naturabrevium                   6.
  Brownlows Declarations                           6.
  Clerks Guide                                     3.6
  Melloy de Jure maritime                          6.
  Grounds of the Law                               3.
  Compleat Attorney                                5.
  Terms of the Law                                 5.
  Finch's Law                                      3.
  Doctor & Student                                 3.
  Greenwood of Courts                              3.6
  Law of Conveyances                               3.
  Practice of Chancery                             5.
  English Liberties                                2.
  Reports in Chancery                              3.
  Meriton                                          3.
  Exact Constable                                  1.
  Littletons Tenures                               2.
  Written Laws of Virginia                      25.
                                               £46. 7.6
  Woodbridge of Agriculture
  The Compleat Angler
  Salmons Dispensatory
  The accomplished Cook
  History of the Royal Society

     March y^e 4th 1730, I promise to deliver the above mentioned
     books being fifty two in number to M^rJohn Mercer or his Order
     on demand.

     Witness my hand the day & year abovewritten.

     Rob^t Beverley
     Test John Chew      Copy


Credit side of Mercer's account with Nathaniel Chapman

[From Ledger B. Nathaniel Chapman was Superintendent of the Accokeek
Iron Works.]


     Sep  9   By Ball^[a.] bro^[t.] from fol 36             £  . 2.4
              By 500 2^d Nails           @ 2/5 p  m            . 2.5
              By 500 3^d D                 3/                    3.
              By 1^m 4^d D^o               4/                    4.
              By 6^m 6^d D^o               5/                   10.
              By 4^m 8^d D^o               7/9                1.11.
              By 4^m 10^d D^o              9/6                1.18.
              By 8^m 12^d D^o             12/                 1.16.
              By 2^m 20^d D^o             14/                 1. 8.
              By 1 handsaw file           5^d                     .5
              By 1 p^r mens wood
                heel shooes                6/6                   6.6
              By 1 half Curb
                bridle                     6/                    6.
              By 1 halter                  2/4                   2.4
              By 1 boys hat                2/                    2.
         25   By 1 coll^d thread           3/                    3.
     Oct 29   By 16 1-1/2 20^d          }
                Nailes                  }2000 20^d @          1. 6.
              By 27 1-1/2 24^d D^o      } 13/
              By 2^m 8^d D^o               7/                   15.6
              By 4^m 10^d D^o              9/6                1.16.
              By 5^m 12^d D^o             12/                 3.
  January 1   By 1 p^r girls Shooes
              By 4y^{ds} Cotton            2/4                   9.4
              By 1 double Girth            2/                    2.
              By 1 Garden hoe
              By 2-1/2 y^{ds} Kersey       4/1-1/2              10.3-3/4
              By 1-1/2 y^{ds} Shalloone    1/9                   2.7-1/2
              By my Ord^r in favour of W^m Holdbrook          4. 1.3-1/2
              By 2 hanks sowing Silk 9^d                         1.6
              By Cash overpaid                                   1.2
              By 1-1/2 y^d Garlix N^o 24                         2.5
         10   By 1 Iron pot g^t 36^l-1/2 at 4^d                 12.2
              By 1 bushel Salt                                   2.6
              By 1 new Axe                                       5.
              By 1 p^r pothooks & wedges 16^l-1/2 at 8^d        11.
     Feb. 7   By 1 plough & Swingle tree fitted
                of w^{th} Iron                                   9.6
              By 5 narrow hoes                                  12.6
              By 2 grubbing hoes 10^l-1/2 at 8^d                 7.
              By 1 Ironwedge 4^l-1/2 at 8^d                      3.
              By 2 new horse Collars                             8.
              By 2 p^r Hames & Ironwork                          1.6
              By 2 p^r Iron traces g^t 19^{lb} at 8^d           12.8
              By Iron door Latch                                   9
              By 1 Ironrake                                      1.6
              By 2 Heaters
              By putting a leg in an old Iron pott
     Mar      By 17-1/2 double refin'd Sugar @ 16^d           1. 3.
              By 100^l Sugar 35/& 3 gall^s Rum 7/6            2. 2.6



Overwharton Parish Account

[From Ledger B]

       Overwharton Parish      Dr.    |           Contra
  1730                                |1730
   March                              | March 15
    To a Book to keep the             |  By W^m Holdbrook's fine
      Parish Register         £1.11.  |    for Adultery           £5
    To drawing Bonds between          |  By Ebenezer Moss's for
      Blackburn & the                 |    swearing & Sabbath
      Churchwardens ab^t              |    breaking                1.15.
      building the Church      1.     |  By Edward Franklyn's for
    To fee v Moss                11.8 |    swearing when reced     3.
             Ballenger                |
             Cabnet                   |                         --------
                                      |                            £9.15.
   15                                 |
    To 1/3 W^m Holdbrooks's           |
      fine                     1.13.4 |
    To 1/3 Eliz^a Bear's D^o          |
    To fee v Franklyn          1.     |
    To paid Burr Harrison by          |
      Ord^o Vestry             2.10.  |
                             -------  |
                              £8.11   |
                              £1.4    |
                             -------  |
                              £9.15   |
  1732                                |1732
  April                               |
    To fee v Coulter          £ .15.  | March 25
                                      |  By Ball^a                  1.4
                                      |  By Eliz^a Ballengers fine
                                      |    for a bastard
                                      |  By Alice Jefferies' D^o
                                      |  By Ann Holt's D^o


Colonists Identified by Mercer According to Occupation

[From Ledger G]

  William Hunter                    Merchant           Fredericksburg
  Jonathan Foward                   Merchant           London
  William Stevenson                 Merchant           London
  Robert Rae                        Merchant           Falmouth
  Robert Tucker                     Merchant           Norfolk
  David Minitree                    Bricklayer         [Williamsburg]
  Thomas Ross                       Merchant           Alexandria
  William Monday                    Carpenter
  Abraham Basnett                   Oysterman
  John Booth                        Weaver
  John Pagan                        Merchant           Fairfax
  John Grigsby                      Smith              Stafford
  Francis Hogans                    Wheelwright        Caroline
  Doctor Spencer                    [Physician]        Fredericksburg
  William Threlkeld                 Weaver
  Elliott Benger                    Loftmaster Gen'l.
  William Brownley [Bromley]        Joiner
  Andrew Beaty                      Joiner
  George Wythe                      Attorney-at-Law    Williamsburg
  William Jackson                   Wheelwright        Stafford
  James Griffin                     Carpenter
  William Thomson                   Tailor             Fredericksburg
  Jacob Williams                    Plasterer
  Joseph Burges                     Plasterer
  Henry Threlkeld                   Merchant           Quantico
  Cavan Dulany                      Attorney-at-law    [Prince William?]
  Peter Murphy                      Sawyer
  John Fitzpatrick                  Weaver
  Cuthbert Sandys                   Merchant           Fredericksburg
  Henry Mitchell                    Merchant           Occaquan
  John Harnett                      Ship Carpenter     Nanjemoy
  John Graham                       Merchant           Essex
  Fielding Lewis                    Merchant           Fredericksburg
  Robert Duncanson                  Merchant           Fredericksburg
  John Fox                          Smith              Fredericksburg
  Robert Gilchrist                  Merchant           Port Royal
  Robert Jones                      Attorney-at-Law    Surrey
  [Jonathan] Sydenham & Hodgson     Merchants          King George
  Watson & Cairnes                  Merchants          Nansemond
  William Prentis                   Merchant           Williamsburg
  William Mills                     Weaver             Stafford
  Thomas Barry                      Bricklayer
  Edward Powers                     Shoemaker          Caroline
  Clement Rice                      Shoemaker          King George
  William Ramsay                    Merchant           Fairfax
  Andrew Sproul                     Merchant           Norfolk
  Richard Savage                    Merchant           Falmouth
  Charles Dick                      Merchant           Fredericksburg
  William Miller                    Horse Jockey       Augusta
  Charles Jones                     Tailor             Williamsburg
  Peter Scott                       Joiner             Williamsburg
  William Copen [Copein]            Mason              Prince William
  John Blacke                       Gardener           Marlborough
  Richard Gamble                    Barber             Williamsburg
  Launcelot Walker                  Merchant
  John Rider                        Waterman           Maryland
  John Proby                        Pilot              Hampton
  John Hyndman                      Merchant           Williamsburg
  James Craig                       Jeweler            Williamsburg
  Robert Crichton                   Merchant           Williamsburg
  John Simpson                      Wheelwright        Fredericksburg
  George Charleton                  Tailor             Williamsburg
  Hugh MacLane                      Tailor             Stafford
  William Kelly                     Attorney           Prince William
  Walter Darcy                      Harnessmaker
  John Carlyle                      Merchant           Fairfax
  ---- Kirby                        Mason              King George


Materials Listed in Accounts with Hunter and Dick, Fredericksburg
Alphabetical Summary of Materials listed in Ledger G in Mercer's
accounts with William Hunter and Charles Dick, merchants of
Fredericksburg. Definitions are based on information in _A New Oxford
Dictionary_, Webster's _New International Dictionary_ (second edition,
unabridged), _Every Day Life in the Massachusetts_ Bay Colony, by George
F. Dow (Boston, 1935), and a series of articles by Hazel E. Cummin in
_Antiques_: vol. 38, pp. 23-25, 111-112; vol. 39, pp. 182-184; vol. 40,
pp. 153-154, 309-312.

     ALLAPINE: A mixed stuff of wool and silk, or mohair and cotton.

     BOMBAYS: Raw cotton.

     BOMBAZINE: A twilled or corded dress material of silk and worsted,
     sometimes also of cotton and worsted, or of worsted alone. In
     black, used for mourning.

     BROADCLOTH: A fine, smooth woolen cloth of double width.

     BUCKRAM: A kind of coarse linen or cotton fabric, stiffened with
     gum or paste. Murray quotes Berkeley, _Alicphr_ ... (1832), "One of
     our ladies ... stiffened with hoops and whalebone and buckram."

     CALAMANCO: A light-weight material of wool or mohair and wool,
     sometimes figured or striped, sometimes dyed in clear, bright
     colors, and calendered to a silky gloss to resemble satin.

     CALICO: Murray defers to Chambers' _Cyclopaedia_ definition (1753):
     "An Indian stuff made of cotton, sometimes stained with gay and
     beautiful colours ... Calicoes are of divers kinds, plain, printed,
     painted, stain'd, dyed, chints, muslins, and the like." It is not
     to be confused with the modern material of the same name.

     CAMBRIC: A fine white linen or cotton fabric, much used for
     handkerchiefs and shirts, originally made at Cambray in Flanders.

     CAMLET: A class of fine-grained material of worsted or mohair and
     silk, sometimes figured, sometimes "watered." _Moreen_ is one of
     its subtypes.

     CHECK: Any checked, woven or printed, material.

     DUFFEL: A woven cloth with a thick nap, synonymous with _shag_.
     Made originally at Duffel, near Antwerp. In a passage quoted by
     Murray, Defoe (_A Tour of Great Britain_) mentions its manufacture
     at Witney, "a Yard and three quarters wide, which are carried to
     New England and Virginia."

     FRIEZE: A coarse woolen cloth with a nap on one side.

     GARLIX: Linen made in Gorlitz, Silesia, in several shades of
     blue-white and brown.

     HOLLAND: A linen material, sometimes glazed, first made in Holland.

     KERSEY (often spelled "Cresoy" by Mercer): A coarse, long-fiber
     woolen cloth, usually ribbed, used for stockings, caps, etc.

     SHALLOON: A closely woven woolen material used for linings.

     PRUNELLA: A stout, smooth material, used for clergymen's gowns, and
     later for the uppers of women's shoes.

     TAMMY: A plain-woven worsted material, with open weave. Used plain,
     it served for flour bolts, soup and milk strainers, and sieves.
     Dyed and glazed, and sometimes quilted, it was used for curtains,
     petticoat linings, and coverlets.

     TARTAN: Woolen cloth woven in Scotch plaids.

In addition to these fabrics, there are listed "China Taffety,"
"Silv^r Vellum," "worsted," "Pomerania Linnen," "Russia Bedtick,"
"Irish linnen," "1 yd. India Persian," "worsted Damask," "Mechlin lace"
(a costly Belgian pillow lace, of which Mercer purchased nine yards of
"No. 3" at five shillings, and eight yards of "N^o 4" at six
shillings), "sprig Linnen," and "6 silk laces at 4-1/2."

For trimming and finishing, one finds white thread, black thread, nun's
thread, brown thread, blue thread, red thread, colored thread (all
bought by the pound), gingham and hair buttons, "gold gimp ribband,"
"pair Womens buckles," fringe, coat buttons, vest buttons, scarlet
buttons, silver coat buttons, shirt buttons, "mettle" vest buttons,
"fine" shirt buttons, "course" shirt buttons, "Card sleeve buttons,"
silver sleeve buttons, and cording. There were several purchases of
haircloth, used principally in stiffening lapels and other parts of
men's clothing, but used also for towels, tents, and for drying malt and


Account of George Mercer's Expenses while Attending the College of
William and Mary

[From Ledger G]

    Son's Maintenance at Williamsburg, Dr.

  April 5
       To Cash                                              £ 1. 7.6
       To D^o p^d M^r. Robinson for Entranc      £4.12.
                  M^r. Graeme D^o                 4.12.
                  M^r. Preston D^o                4. 6. 8
                  M^r. Davenport D^o              1.12. 6
                  Housekeeper                     3.10.
                    for Candles                     15.10
                    for Pocket money              3. 6. 4    22.15.4
       To Cash p^d for Lottery Tickets                        7.10.6
       To D^o p^d for washing                                 1. 1.
       To M^r Dering for Board                                5.
       To Peter Scott for mending a Table                        2.6
       To Housekeeping at Williamsburg for sundrys Viz
         A Featherbed & furniture                £8.
         A Desk                                   1. 1. 6
         An oval Table                            1. 1.
         3 Chairs 7/                              1. 1.      11. 3.6
                                                ---------   --------
       To General Charges for sundrys Viz
       To Cash p^d M^r Preston as advanced for
         George                                  £2. 3
         to George                                2. 3
         to the Usher                             1.11. 3     5.17.3

       To Cash p^d the Nurse attending J^{no}
         & Ja^s                                  £2. 3.
        to John & James                           1. 1. 6     3. 4.6

       To W^m Thomson for Taylors work                        3.10.6
       To Cash to George                                      1. 1.6
       To D^o to D^o to John James & Nurse                    6. 9.
       To John Holt for sundrys                               4. 5.7-1/2
       To James Cocke for D^o                                 1.15.9
       To Covington the dancing master                        2. 3.
       To James Power for Cash to George                         2.3
       To William Prentis for sundrys                        18. 1.3-1/2
       To Rich^d Gamble for two wigs & shaving                5. 7.3
       To Books for sundrys                                  22. 4.7-1/2
       To W^m Thomson for Taylors work                        1. 9.6


John Mercer's Library

[From Ledger G]

"The prices are the first Cost in Sterling money exclusive of
Commission, Shipping or other Charges."


        Cases in Equity abridged                           £  18.
        Danvers's Abridgment 3 vol                          3.10.
        Viner's Abridgment 6 vol                            8. 8.
        Davenport's Abridgm^t of Coke on Littleton             2.
        Hughes's Abridgm^t 2 vol                              10.
        Ireland's Abridgm^t of Dyer's Reports                  2.
        Rolle's Abridgm^t interleaved 2 vol                 5.
        Salmon's Abridgm^t of the State trials              1.15.
        Statutes abridged by Cay 2 vol                      2.10.
        State trials abridged 1 vol                            5.6
        Virginia Laws Abridged                                 8.

        Ars Clericalis 1 vol                                   4.6
        Compleat Conveyancer                                   5.
        Clerk's Guide                                          5.
        Clerk & Scriveners Guide                               8.
        Herne's Law of Conveyances                             2.
        Lawyer's Library                                       3.6
        West's Symboleography                                  5.

  _Courts & Courtkeeping_
        Attorneys Practise in C B                              6.
        Attorney's Practise in B R 2 vol                      12.
        Coke's Institutes 4^{th} Part                         15.
    RK  Crown Circuit Companion                                6.
        History of the Chancery                                2.6
    AR  Practise in Chancery 2 vol                             7.
        Practick Part of the Law                               6.
    GI  Rules of Practise commonplaced                         4.
        Practise of Chancery 1672                              1.6
    AR  Harrison's Chancery Practiser                          6.

        Coke's Institutes 3rd Part                            15.
        Hale's History of the Pleas of the Crown            2.10.
          2 vol/
        Hawkins Pleas of the Crown                          1.10.
        Hale's Continuation of the Crown Laws                  2.6
        Sutton de Pace Regis                                   5.

        Consell's Interpreter                                 10.
        Jacobus's Law Dictionary                            1. 8.
        Law French Dictionary                                  6.
    RI  Students Law Dictionary                                5.
    AR  Term's de la Loy                                       5.

        Aston's                                                3.
    TA  Brown Lows' Declarations                              12.
    AR  Bohun's Declarations                                   6.
        Brown's modus intrandi, 2 vol                         12.
        Clift's                                             1.10.
        Coke's                                              1. 1.
        Lilly's                                             1. 5.
        Mallory's Quarer Impedit                              17.
        Placila generalia & specialia                          3.
        Rastallo                                            1. 1.
        Robinson's                                            10.
        Read's Declarations                                    3.
        Vidiano                                               10.
        Thompson's                                          1.
  _Justices of Peace_
        Justicio vade mecum                                    2.
        Keble's Assistant to Justices                          5.
        Manual for Justices 1641                               2.

        Doctor & Student                                       3.6
        Finch's Law                                            4.
        Francis's Maxims of Equity                             8.
        Hale's History & Analysis of the Laws                  6.
        Hale's Hereditary Descants                             1.6
        Hawks's Grounds of the Laws of England                 3.
        Perkins's Laws                                         2.6
        Treatise of Equity                                     8.6
        Woods Institutes of the Laws of England             1. 5.

        Booth's Real Actions                                   8.
    GI  Baron & ferne                                          6.
        Billinghurst of Bankrupts                              1.6
        Britton                                                5.
        Brown of fines & Recoveries                            5.
        Coke's Institutes. Comments on Littleton
          Part 2                                            3.
    GI  Cane's English Liberties                               2.
    GI  Curson's Laws of Estates tail                          4.6
        Domat's Civil Law 2 vol                             2. 0.
        Dugdale's Origine's Judiciales                      2.
        Duncomb's Trials perpais                               6.
        Ejectments, Law of                                    5.
    GI  Errors, Law of                                         6.
    GI  Everyman his own Lawyer                                5.
        Evidence, Laws of                                      6.
    GI  Jacoba's Lex Mercatoria                                5.
    GI  Jus or Law of Masters & Servants                       3.
        Landlord's Laws                                        3.
    GI  Law Quibbles                                           4.6
        Laws of Liberty & Property                             2.
        March's Actions for Slander & Arbitrations             4.
        Molloy de jura maritimi & navali                       7.
    GI  Obligations Laws of                                    5.
        Sea Laws                                              12.
    GI  Treatise of Trover & Conversion                        2.
    GI  Trespasses (Law of) Vi & armis                         6.
        Virginia Laws Purvis's                                12.
        Virginia Laws by Parks 2 Vol                        2.
        Uses & Trials (Law of)                                 6.
    GI  Usury (Law of)                                         2.6
        Freeholders Companion                                  5.
        Turnbull's System of the Civil Law 2 vol              12.
        Jacobs's Collection of Steads for commonplaces         1.6
        Chronica Iuridicialia abridged                         4.
        Naval Trade 2 vol.                                    10.
    GI  Law & Lawyers laid open                                2.6
        Freeholders Companion                                  5.
        Law of Devises & Revocations                           3.6
        Piffendorf's Law of Nature & Nations                1. 8.
        Views of Civil & Ecclesiastical Law                    2.6
        Study & Body of the Law                                3.
        Treatise of Bills of Exchange                          2.6

        Cases in Parliament                                   16.
        Hunt's Postscript                                      4.

        Alleyne's                                              9.
        Anderson's                                          1.15.
        Barnardiston's                                      1. 1.
        Bentses & Dalison's                                   10.
        Bridgman's                                            18.
        Bulstrode's                                         4. 4.
        Brownlow's & Goldenborough's                           7.
        Carter's                                               8.
        Carthero's                                          1. 2.
        Cases in Chancery 3 P^{ts}                          1.10.
        Cases in B R & B C from 2^d W^m 12 Mod              1.10.
        Cases in Law & Equity by Macclesfield 10 Mod        1. 4.
        Coke's 11 Parts                                       15.
               12 & 13 Parts                                   7.
        Comberbach's                                          17.
        Croke's 3 vol                                       2.12.6
        Cary's                                                 3.
        Clayton's                                              3.6
        Davis's                                               11.
        Dyer's                                              1.11.6
        Farraday's   7 Mod                                     9.
        FitzGibbons's                                         14.
        Gilbert's Rep^{ts} in Equity & Excheq^r               15.
        Godbolt's                                           1. 1.
        Hardres's                                           2.10.
        Hetley's                                              10.
        Hobart's                                              16.
        Holt's                                              1.10.
        Hutton's                                              13.
        Jenkins's Centuries                                   16.
        Jones's (D^r. W^m.)                                 2. 5.
        Jones's (Tho^s.)                                      15.
        Keble's 3 vol                                       1.15.
        Keilway's                                             14.
        Keylings                                               9.
        Lane's                                                16.
        Latch's                                                8.
        Leonard's                                           4. 4.
        Loving's 3 Parts 2 vol                              2.  .
        Ley's                                                  7.
        Lilly's                                                9.
        Littleton's                                           11.
        Lutneyche's 2 vol                                   4. 4.
        Modern Cases in Law & Equity 8 & 9 Mod              1. 4.
        Modern Reports 6 vol                                5. 5.
        Moore's                                               18.
        Marsh's                                                3.
        Noy's                                                 16.
        Owens                                                 16.
        Palmer's                                              12.
        Plowden's                                           2. 5.
        Pollersten's                                        2. 2.
        Popham's                                              14.
        Precedents in Chancery                              1. 5.
        Raymond's (D^r. Tho^s.)                             2.10.
        Reports in Chancery in Finch's time                   16.
        Rolles' Reports                                     2.10.
        Reports in Chancery 4 vol                             15.
        Salkeld's 3 vol                                     2.16.
        Savile's                                               6.
        Saunders's                                          1. 7.6
        Sherver's 2 vol                                     2.
        Select Cases in Can S. in Ld. King's time            . 8.
        Siderfin's                                          2.
        Skinner's                                           1.10.
        Styles's                                            1.10.
        Talbot's Cases in Equity                              15.
        Tothill's Transactions in Chancery                     1.6
        Vaughan's                                           2.10.
        Ventris's                                           1.15.
        Vernon's 2 vol                                      2. 5.
        Wynch's                                               16.
        William's 2 vol                                     2.16.
        Year Books 9 vol                                    3. 7.6
        Yelverton's                                            5.
        Zouch's Cases in the Civil Law                         2.6
        Cases in Chan & B R in Ld Hardwick's time             12.
        Special & Select Law Cases 1641                        6.

        Treatise of Replevins                                  3.

        Keble's Statutes                                    2.10.
        Statutes concerning Bankrupts                          2.6

        Index to the Reports                                  12.
        Repertorium Iuridicum                               2.

  _Tithes & Laws of the Clergy_
        Hughes's Parson's Law                                  1.6

  _Wills Ex^{rs} &c_
        Godolphin's Orphan's Legacy                           12.
        Meriton's Touchstone of Wills                          1.6
    AR  Nelson's Lex Testimentaria                             7.
    GI  Swinburne of last Wills                                6.
        Wentworth's Office of Executors                        2.

    AR  Bohun's English Lawyer                                 5.
        Fitzherbert with Hale's Notes                         16.
        Fitzherbert's Natura Brevium                           6.
        Registrum Brevium                                   1. 1.

        Laws of Maryland                                    1.
        Statutes of Excise                                     1.6


  _Arts & Sciences_
        Alian's Tacticks of War                                8.
        Smith's Distilling & Fermentation                      5.
        Weston's Treatise of Shorthand                      1. 1.
        Weston's Shorthand Copybook                            4.


       {Greek Grammar                                          2.6
    GM {Greek Testament                                        3.6
        Martial                                                2.6

        Colgrave's French Dictionary                          15.
        Salmon's Family Dict.                                  6.
        Bailey's English Diet                                  7.
    GM  Schrevelii Lexicon                                     7.6
        Echard's Gazetteer's Interpreter                       3.6
        Cole's English Dictionary                              2.6

        Tillotson's Sermons 3 vol                           2.10.
        Bibles trua                                         1.10.
        Leigh of Religion & Learning                          10.
        Stillingfleck's Origines Sacra                      1.
        Life of King David                                     6.
        Newton on Daniel                                       3.
        The Sum of Christian Religion                         10.
        Weeks Preparation                                      2.6
        Whole Duty of Man                                      2.6
        The Sacrament explained                                2.
        The Country Parson's Advice                            1.6
        Addy's Shorthand Bible                               .10.
        Atterbury Lewis's Sermons 2 vol                       10.6
        Atterbury Francis's Sermons 4 vol                   1. 2.
        South's Sermons 6 vol                               1.12.6
    AS  Warburton's divine Legation of Moses 2 vol            16.6
        Revelation examin'd with Candour 2 vol                 9.6
        Scott's Christian Life                              1.

        Universal History 4 vol                             9.11.6
        Rushworth's Collections 8 vol                       8.16.
        Rapin's History of England 2 vol                    2.10.
        Keating's History of Ireland                        1. 1.
        Burnet's History of his own Times 2 vol             2.10.
        Purchas's Pilgrimage                                1.
        Cop's History of Ireland 2 vol                      2.10.
        History of Europe 13 vol at 5/                      3. 5.
        Historical Register 26 vol at 3/                    3.18.
        Antiquitatum variarum Auctores                         2.6
        History of the Turks 4^{th} vol                        4.6
        Jeffery of Monmouth                                    4.
        Burnet's History 3 vol                                 9.
        Bladen's Caesar's Commentaries                         4.6
        History of the Fifth General Council                  12.
        Machiavel's History of Florence                        4.
        Roman History Echard's 5^{th} vol                      4.
        Lehontan's Voyages 2^d vol                             4.
        Description of the 17 Provinces                        2.
        The English Acquisitions in Guinea &c                  2.
        Burnet's Travels                                       1.6
        Heylyn's Help to English History                       3.6
        History of Spain                                       1.6
        Catholick History                                      2.
        History of Virginia                                    2.6
        DuStalde's History of China 4 vol                   1.

  _Husbandry & Gardening_
        Quintinye's Gardener                                1.
        Woodbridge of Agriculture                              8.
        Evelyn's Sylvia                                       12.
        Houghton's Husbandry 4 vol                          1. 2.
        Bradley's Husbandry 3 vol                             15.
                  Gardening 2 vol                              6.
                  new Improvements                             6.
                  ancient husbandry                            4.
                  practical Discourses                         8.
                  Farmer's Director                            2.6
                  Ladies Director                              2.6
                  Hop Garden                                   1.6
        Dictionarium Rusticum                                  6.
    CD  Monarchy of the Bees                                   1.6
        A Discourse of Sallets                                 1.
        Pocket Farrier                                         1.
        Miscellanies of the Dublin Society                     5.
       {Spectator 8 vol                                     1.
    GM {Tatler 4 vol                                          10.
       {Addison's Works 4 vol                                 10.
       {Guardian 2 vol                                         5.
        Pope's Letters 2 vol                                   5.
        Present State of Great Britain                         6.
        Persian Letters 2 vol                                  5.
        Sedley's Works 1 vol                                   5.
        Carson's Lucubrations                                  2.
        Acc^t of Society for Reformation of Manners            2.6
        Aristarchus Anti Bentlianus                            2.
        Dissertation on the Thebaan Legion                     2.6
        Secret History of Whitehall                            2.
        The Western Martyrology                                2.6
    GM  Memoria Technica                                       2.6
        Erasmus's Praise of Folly                              2.6
        Turkish Spy 5 & 6 vol                                  4.
        Tom Brown's Letters from the Dead to the Living        2.6
        The Intelligencer                                      2.6
        Rone's Lives                                           4.
        The Dublin Almanack                                    1.
        Maxims & Reflections on Plays                          2.
        Report about Silver Coins                              1.6
        Essay for Amendment of them                            2.
        Feltham's Resolves                                     4.
        The Minister of State                                  6.
        Treatise of Honour                                     5.
        Lyropadia                                              6.
        Hutchinson on Virtue                                   4.
        T. Scott on the Passions                               2.
        Lansdowne's Works 3 vol                                7.6
        Works of the Learned 13 vol                         4.11.
        Boyle's Adventures                                     3.
        Leisure Hours Amusement                                3.

  _News & Politicks_
        London Magazine 11 vol                              3.17.
        Gentlemen's Magazine 4 vol                          1. 6.
        The Britton                                            2.6
        Common Sense 2 vol                                     6.
        The Freeholder                                         2.6
        The Craftsman 6 vol                                   18.
        Pues Occurrences                                       5.
        The True Britton 2 vol                                12.

  _Philosophy & Mathematicks_
        Rarities of Gresham Colledge                          16.
        Bacon's natural History                               10.
        Physiologia                                           12.

    GF  Derham's Physico Theology                              5.
        Astro Theology                                         4.
        Sturmy's Mariners Magazine                            14.
        Gordon's Cosmography                                   5.
                 Geography                                     5.
        Ozanam's Mathematical Recreations                      5.
        Atkinson's Epitome of Navigation                       5.
        General Steads for natural History                     1.6
        Seaman's Calendar
    RI  Newton's Opticks                                       6.
        Keill's Astronomy                                      6.
        Baker's Microscope                                     5.6
        Mathew's Invenitis 3 vol                              15.

  _Physick & Surgery_

    JM  Salmon's Herbal 2 vol                               2.12.
            {Dispensatory                                      6.
         JM {Synopsis Medicina                                 8.
            {Ars Chirurgica                                    8.
            {Medicina Practica                                 6.
    JM  Beerhaave's Method of the dying Physic                 4.
    JM  Sydehamii Opuscula                                     4.
    JM  Wiseman's Surgery 2 vol                               10.
    JM  Sanctorius's Aphorisms                                 5.
        Quiney's Dispensatory                                  6.6
    JM  Strother on Sickness & Health                          3.6
    JM           on Causes & Cures                             2.6
    JM           Criticon Febrium                              2.6
        Shaw's Practises of Physick 2 vol                     10.
        Arbuthnot of Aliment                                   3.6
    JM  London Dispensatory                                    3.6
    AS  Andrey on Worms                                        4.
    JM  Friends Emmencologia                                   3.
    JM  Pitcarn's Dissertationes                               6.
    JM  Friends' Praelectioned Chymica                         2.6
    AS  Short's Dissertation on Coffee & Tea                   2.6
    JM  Robinson Consumptions                                  5.6
    JM  Drake's Anatomy 2 vol                                 10.
    JM  History of Physic 2 vol                                8.
    JM  Mead on Poysons                                        4.

  _Plays & Poetry_

        Killigrew's Plays                                     10.
        Ignoramus Latin & English                              3.6
        Shakespears Plays 8 vol                             1. 5.
        Ben Johnsons Works                                    10.
        Wycherley's Plays                                      5.
        Blackmore's Elize                                      8.
        DuBartas's Works                                      12.
        Prior's Works                                          3.
        Pope's Works 9 vol                                  1. 5.
    GM         Homers Iliad 6 vol                             15.
               Homers Odyssey 5 vol                           12.6
        Savage's Poems                                         2.6
    GM  Thomsons Seasons                                       2.6
        Rochesters Poems 2^d vol                               3.
        Caroley's Works 3 vol                                  9.
        Lauderdale's Virgil 2 vol                              5.
        Theocritus                                             1.6
        Broome's Poems                                         3.6
        Ovid's Art of Love                                     3.
        Creech's Lucretius 2 vol                               8.
        Barbers Poems                                          5.
        Wallace                                                2.
        Sandys' Paraphrase on the divine Poems                 6.

        Roberts's Map of Commerce                           1.
        Davenant on Trade & Plantations 2 vol                  8.


    GB  Annesley's Trial                                       5.6
        Speeches at Atterbury's Trial                          5.
        Ladies Physical Directory                              2.6
        Calvins Sermons                                        2.6
        Nunnery Tales                                          4.
        Wingate's Arithmetick                                  4.
        Lloyd's Consent of time                                7.6
        Memoirs of secret Service                              2.6
        Views of France                                        2.
        Account of the Treaty of Uxbridge                      2.6
        May's Cookery                                          3.
        The Triumphs of Peace                                  1.6
        S^r. Walter Raleigh of a War with Spain                2.6
        The Romish Horseleech                                  2.6
        Conjectura Cabbalistica                                2.
        Miscellanies by Swift & Pope 4 vol                     3.
        The Syren                                              4.
        The Musical Miscellany 6 vol                          18.

[The following are evidently subsequent additions to the library, which
seems thus far to have been cataloged before 1746. The following books
listed are referred to the accounts on which they were purchased.]


  April  To Maj^r. John Champe for sundrys viz.
            Viner's Abridgment 4 vol                       £5.16.
            Ld. Raymond's Reports 2 vol                     3.
            Freeman's Reports                               1.15.
            Lilly's Conveyancer                             1.15.
            Comyn's Reports                                 1.10.
            Dalton's Officium Vicic                         1. 2.
            Swinburne [18th-century author] of Wills        1.
            Herne's Pleader                                   19.
            Petyt's Ius Parliamentarium.                      18.
            Tremaine's Pleas of the Crown                     15.
            Wood's Institutes of the Civil Law                13.
            Trott's Plantation Laws                           12.
            Reports B R 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 Ann                   12.
            Duke's Law of Charitable Uses                     10.
         GI Abridg^t State Tryals 9 vol                     1.16.
         AR Practising Attorney 2 vol                          9.
         GI Naval Trade 2 vol                                  9.
         AR Attorney & Pleaders' Treasury 2 vol               10.
            Compleat Sheriff                                   5.6
            Orders of the Court of Chancery                    5.6
         GI Law of Testaments & Last Wills                     5.6
            Ex^{rs}. & Adm^{rs}                                5.
            Trespasses                                         5.
            Merchants                                          5.
         GI Awards                                             4.6
            Ejectments                                         4.6
         GI Actions upon the Cse                               4.6
            Tenures                                            4.6
            Errors                                             4.
            Trials in high Treason                             4.
            Mortgages                                          4.
            Covenants                                          4.
         GI Executions                                         4.
            Estates Tail                                       3.6
         GI Securities                                         3.6
            Infants                                            3.6
            Last Wills                                         3.6
            Obligations                                        3.
            Master & Servant                                   3.
         GI Landlords                                          2.8
            Actions                                            2.6
            Inheritances                                       2.6
            Pledges                                            2.6
            Bastardy                                           1.6
            Non compos                                         1.6
            Trover & Conversion                                1.6
            Appeals                                            2.
         GI Select Trials at the Old Baily 4 vol              11.
            New Retorna Brevium                                4.6
            Bacon's Law Tracts                                 4.6
            History & Practise of Common Pleas                 4.
            Doctrina placitandi                                4.
         AR Wentworth's Office of Ex^{rs}                      4.
            Notes of Cses in C B in points of Practise         4.
            Treasures of Ireland                               3.6
            English Liberties                                  3.6
            Treatise of Frauds                                 2.6
            Book of Oaths                                      2.6
            Blunt's Fragments Antiquitatis                     2.6
            Woman's Lawyer                                     2.
            Judgments in C B & B R                             2.
            Essay for regulating the Laws                      2.
            Philips's Grandeur of the Laws                     2.
            Special Law Cases                                  1.6
            Bellew's Cases from Statham                        1.6
            Lawyer's Light                                     1.6
            Ius Tratrum                                        1.
            Critica Iuris Genissa                              1.
            Bibliotheca Legum                                  1.
               Chambers's Dictionary 2 vol                  4. 4.
               Milton's Works 2 vol                         2. 2.
               Universal History 5^{th}. 39/ 6^{th} 44
                 7^{th} 57                                  6. 7.6
               Arbuthnot's Tables                             16.
               History of Europe 5 vol                        15.
               Grays Hudibras 2 vol                           13.
                      History of Peter the Great 3 vol        13.
                      Nature displayed 4 vol                  12.
                      Treatise of Money & Exchanges           10.6
                      English Compendium 2 vol                10.6
                      Irish & Scotch each 7.6                 15.
                      London Magazine for 1743 & 1744         13.2
                      Present State of Great Britain           5.6
                   GF Dycke's Dictionary                       5.6
                      Blandy's Tables                          4.6
                      Geography reformed                       3.6
                      Hewit's Tables                           1.8
                        Trunk Matt & Cord                     14.

                                                  Sterling   Curr^t
    Entry 2/ Cartage 1/
      Searchers 1/
      Shipping & Warfage 2/6
      Waterage 2/6 Gill Lad 6^d        . 9.6
    Commission at 2 pr Cent           1. 1.10
    Freight & Primage
      2-1/2 p^r Cent                  1. 7.7-1/4
    Insurance Policy &
      1/2 p^r Cent
    Commission to pay 98
      in case of Loss                11. 6.6-3/4   67.18.

    To M^r William Jordan for Sundrys Viz
           Broughton's Dictionary 2 vol fol
                                     £1. 5.
    WW  Grey's Hudibras           2
                                        11. 6
        Modern Husbandman         3
    GM  Rollins Belles Lettres    2 sets 4
                                      1. 1.
        Pamela                    4
                                         8. 8
        David Simple              1
                                         2. 2
        Joseph Andrews                   2. 2
        {Harskey's Virgil                2. 8-1/2
    GM  {          Terence               2. 8-1/2
        {          Horace                2. 8-1/2
        Epistle on drinking                 5-1/2
        Pleasures of Imagination           11
        Swift's Sermons                     5-l/2
        Bulingbroke's Remarks            2. 4
    GM  Rollins Ancient History 13 vol   2. 5. 6
        Irish Historical Library            3.   7. 4.3-1/2  9.11.
    To Cash pd for 2 of Stith's
      Histories of Virg^a             1. 1. 8
      Debates in Parliament 21        3.18.
      A Common prayer book              10.                  5. 9. 8
    GM  To William Parks for
          Ainsworth's Dictionary      2.10.
           Memoirs of Pope's Life &c    12. 6                3. 2. 6
        To Doctor McKenzie for the
          History of London           3.14. 3
       CD Lives of the Admirals
           4 vol 2. 2. 3              5.16. 6
    IP To M^r Jordan for 20 vol
         Universal History                                   7.14.

    IS To Doctor McKenzie for
         Costlogon's 2 vol D^o                               8. 1. 4
      {To Cash paid for Bustorf's
         Herbron Lexicon               .13.
    GM{  Heereboord's Burgersdicius      4.

    To Mrs. Grace Mercer for sundrys Viz
       {Clark's Romer 2 vol            .13.
       {Murphy's Leucian. Lucian      3. 6
       {Robertson's Lexicon           1.
       {Passons Lexicon               3. 6
    GM {Trapp's Virgil 3 vol          9.
       {Kennet's Antiquities        . 5.
       {Potter's Antiquities 2 vol   10.10
       {Salust Minellii               2. 6
       {Rowe's Salust                 2. 2
       {Brown's Roman History         2. 2
       Ainsworth's Dictionary      1. 7.
       {Geographia Classica        4. 6
       {Button's Introduction         2. 8-1/2
    GM {Erhard's Terence              2. 6
       {Plutarch's Lives 8 vol     2.
       {Francis's Horace 4 vol       13.
       Gay's Tables                   2. 2
    GB Tom Brown's Works 4 vol       13.
    PS Delaney's Sermons              3. 3
       Subscription to Shakespear    10.10      9.10. 7-1/2
    To D^o for Residue of
      Subscription to Shakespear               10.10
    To Sydenham & Hdgson for sundrys Viz
    AM Conduct of the Dutchess
        of Marlborough                4.
       The other side of the
         Question                     5.
       Practise of the Ecclesiastical
         Courts                       3. 6
    IR Motts Geography 2 vol. fol. maps
         bound                        4.14.
       Continuation of Rapin 3 vol
         fol                          5.10.
       Salmon's modern History 3 vol
         4^o                          3. 3.
       {Hoppnes Architecture 4^o        10.
       {Salmon's Palladio Londonensis
          4^o                            7.
    WB {Palladio's Architecture 4^o      4.
       {Langley's City & Country
          Builder                       14.
       London Magazine 1745, 6, 7       19. 6
       Winer's Abridgment 3 vol fol   4.10.
       Milton's Political Works 2 vol
         fol                          2. 6.
                            A Box        2. 6
                                    £23.11. 6

       Commission Insurance &c
         26 pc^t                      6. 2. 7
         Exchange at 40 pc^t         11.17. 7-1/2           41.11. 8-1/2

    To William Jordan for sundrys Viz
         {London Magazine
            1745, 6. 7. 8             1.12. 6
     not {Salmon's Gazetteer             3. 6
     [?] {         Chronology           10.
    recd {A large Map of the World       2. 6
    To Nath Walthoe for the Harleian
      Miscellany 8 vol                        6. 6.
    To D^o for Guthrie's History of
      England in Sheets                       4. 4.
    To Cash for Popple's Maps                                1.11. 3

    To W^m Parks for sundrys                                    7.19
    To Lyonel Lyde for sundrys
      £49.8 sterl^g 26 pC^t                  49. 8
                                            439. 7. 9       91.13.11-1/2
                               25 pC^t      109.16.11-1/4  549. 4. 8-1/4
                                                           640.18. 7-3/4

  1746                                        [Currency]
    By Gabriel Jones for sundrys marked GJ     13.19. 8

    By W^m Walker for Grey's Hudibras             16. 1

    By John Sutherland for Coeltagon's
      Dictionary                                8. 1. 4
    By George Mason for Rollins belles
      Letters                                     15.          23.12. 1
                                                          £617. 6. 6-3/4

    To W^m Parks for sundrys Viz
       Noblemens Seats by Kip (38)             £1. 2. 6
       Johnson's Lives of Highwaymen &c         1. 2. 6
       Willis's Survey of the Cathedrals
         3 vol                                  1.19.
       Select Plays 16 vol                      3. 3.
       8 Views of Scotland                        12.

    To Lyonel Lyde for sundrys bo^t of Osborn Viz
       Universal History 20 vol gilt           £9. 8. 6
       Merian of Insects                        2.10. 9
       Gallia et Helvatia Urbes                 1.16. 3
       Theatrum Urbium Germanis 2 vol           4.11. 4
       Noblemen's Seats by Kip (80)             1.16. 3
       Churches Palaces & Gardens in
         France                                 5. 1. 6
       Pozzo's Perspective                      1.16. 3
       Perrier's Statues                        2. 5. 8
       100 Views of Brabant & Flanders          1.10. 6
       150 Prints of Ovid's Metamorphosis       1.10. 6
       Cases in Parliament 8 vol               18. 5. 5
       Father Paul's History                   15. 3        51. 8. 2

    To D^o for sundrys bo^t of George Strahan
    AR Ld Raymond's Reports 2 vol               4. 7
       Barnardiston's Reports in BA 2 vol       2.18
    IP Freeman's Reports                        2.12. 2
    AR Comyns's Reports                         2. 3. 6
        Viners Abridgment 14^{th} vol           2. 3. 6
    AR Barnardiston's Reports in Canc^[Symbol]  1.12.
       Fortescues Reports                       1. 9.
    AR Talbot's Reports                         1. 1. 9
    AR Shoner's Cases in Parliament               18.10
       Goldesborough's Reports                     5.
       Catalogue of Law Books                   2. 2        19.12.11
    To M^{rs} Grace Mercer for sundrys Viz
    GM Preceptor 2 vol                         £ .13.
       County of Waterford                         8. 3
       County of Devon                             7. 3
       Life of King David                          7.
       Lives of the Popes 1^{st} vol               5. 3
       Delany's Sermons                            4. 9
       Practise of Farming                         3. 9
       Practical farmer 2 parts                    2.
       Dublin Societies Letters                    3. 3
    AM Hervey's Meditations                        3. 3
       London Brewer                               1. 8
       Hops                                           8
       Bees                                           8
       Grass Seeds                                    8
       Flax                                           5
       Saffron                                        4
       Woollen Manufacture                            4      3. 2. 7
    To Cash as paid for sundrys Viz
       Catalogue of Plants                    £   10. 6
       Political View                              2.
       History of Amphitheatres                    4.
       Northern Memoirs                            2. 6
       Life of Oliver Cromwell                     3.
       The Fool                                    6.
       The Citizen                                 2.
       Greaves's Origin of Weights &c              2. 6
       Steele's Romish History                     1. 3
       D^r Henry Wooten's Pieces                   1. 3
       Account of Naval Victories                  1. 3
       Tennent's Physical Enquiries                1.
       D^r Ratcliffe's Life                           6
       Extract of Cheyney's Life & Writings        1. 3
       History of Nadir Cha                        1. 3
       Court Register                              1. 6
       Description of the microscope Ec               6
       Richmond Rarities                           1. 3      2. 3. 6

    To John Mitchelson for sundrys Viz
       Life of the Duke of Argyle                  7. 6
       Parnell's Poems                             4. 6
       Young's Night Thoughts                      5. 3
       Farquhar's Works 2 vol                     10. 6
       Fenton's Poems                              4. 6
       Devil on Crutches 2 vol                     7. 6
       History of the Royal Family                 4. 6
    GM 2 Fer's Geography                           9.
       Hughes's History of Barbadoes            1.15.        4. 8. 3
                                                           706.  .11-3/4

1750   By Sons for the following Books
          Thomson's Travels        4 vol          15.
          Thomson's Seasons                        3. 1-1/2
          Pope's Homer             6 vol          18. 9
          Rollins Ancient History 13 vol        2.17.
          Trap's Virgil            3 vol          11. 3
          Echard's Terence                         3. 1-1/2
          Ainsworth's Dictionary                2.10.
          Spectator                8            1. 5.
          Tatler                   4              12. 6
          Addison's Works          4              12. 6
          Guardian                 2               6. 3
          Rollins Belles Lettres   4              13. 1-1/2
          Hankey's Virgil                          3. 4
                   Terence                         3. 4
                   Horace                          3. 4
          Buxtorp's Hebrew Lexicon                13.
          Heerebord's Burgersdicius                4.
          Clark's Homer            2 vol          16. 3
          Murphy's Lucian                          4. 4-1/2
          Robertson's Lexicon                   1. 5.
          Passor's Lexicon                         4. 4-1/2
          Kennet's Antiquities                     6. 3
          Potter's Antiquities     2 vol          13. 6
          Salust Minellii                          3. 1-1/2
          Rowe's Salust                            2. 8-1/2
          Brown's Roman History                    2. 8-1/2
          Geographica Classica                     5. 7-1/2
          Button's Introduction                    3. 4
          Plutarch's Lives         8 vol        2.10.
          Francis's Horace         4              16. 3
          Greek Grammar                            3. 1-1/2
          Greek Testament                          4. 4-1/2
          Schrevelii Lexicon                       9. 4-1/2
          Memoria Technica                         3. 1-1/2 21. 8. 1-1/2
       By Gerard Fowke for Dycke's Dictionary                  11.
       By Sons for the Preceptor   2 vol          13. 6
          Fer's Geography                          3.          16. 6
       By Profit & Loss for Freeman's Reports  £2.12. 2
          Universal History       20 vol        7.14.       10. 6. 2
       By Robert Roseby by his Bro. Alexander
          Ld. Raymond's Reports    2 vol       £4.10.
          Comyns Reports                        2. 5.
          Barnardiston's Reports in Cane        1.13.
          Talbot's Reports                      1. 2. 6
          Shower's Cases in Parliament            19. 6     10.10.
                                                           662. 9. 2-1/4
                                                          £706.  .11-3/4


Botanical Record and Prevailing Temperatures

     Dates when flowers, trees, and plants bloomed in 1767, with
     temperatures, extracted from John Mercer's journal, in back of
     Ledger B

   21     46-63  Daffodil
                 Hyacinths 6
   22     60-69  Almond
   24     37-47  Plum sm^l
   30     45-48  May Cherry
                 Cucumber hotbed
   31     44-52  Beans

    1     47-48  Dwarf Iris
    2     41-52  Peach
                 Hyacinth s d 10
                 D^od 5
    3     44-50                       rain all night & morn
    6     44-46                       D^o all night  & day
    7     44-50  Cherry y & b         D^o all night
                 Plum Comm.
                 Wild currant
    9     48-32  Peach d bl
                 Crown Imperial
   12     44-54  Tulip early
   13     54-62  Pear
                 Wall flower
   15     48-53  Frittillary          rain all night
   16     46-60  Green Sagia
   17     48-55  Prickson
   18     48-60  Columbine
   20     34-60  Lilac
                 Catchfly Julia

   22    46-51  Jonquil
   24    46-62  Formantil
   26    70-78  Syringa
                Persian Lilac
                Honeysuckle Virg^a
                Hyacinth dw ... purp.
   28    60-65  Iris la^r blue
                Narcissus w.
   30    64-70  Parrot Tulip

    1    54-60  Rose
    3    53-57  Mourn^g bride         rain in the night
                Peony w^t
                Hyacinth dou. bl.
    4    55-63  Purple Stocks         D^o in the night & morn.
    5    59-66  White D^o
    6    54-67  Agerolis
                Peony red
    7    60-72  Honeysuckle
    8    59-72  Spiderwort
                Snow drop
    9    59-65  Yellow Lilly
   10    59-65  Fraxinella
   11    66-68  Yellow s Rose
                Fringe tree
   12    64-68  Grass pinks
   13    63-70  Annual stock
   14    65-72  Madeira Iris
                Sweet w^m
   15    60-76  Corn Hay              fine rain in the night
   16    60-70  Spiraea frietus
   17    56-74  Feath^r Hyacinth


   18   67-80  Corn Hay               Whitsunday
   19   70-82  White rose
   20   72-83  Poppy
               Bladder Senna
   21   75-80  Foxglove
               Swamp Laurel
               Sm^l bl. Iris
               Monthly Rose
   22   73-84  Indian Pink            a fine rain
   23   72-76  Larkspur
   24   63-68  Queen's july fl.
   25   61-70  Wing'd pea
   26   63-70  Monks hood
   27   65-72  Catch fly
   28   68-79  Apscynum
   29   71-79  Sparrow Wistle
               L. Weymouth's world
   30   75-77  Sp Broom               A fine rain
               Dorch. yell Rose
   31   73-80  Great Poppy


    1   73-70  Pinks
    2   64-73  Gumbogia
    3   64-79  W^r Lilly
               Apscinum vine


    4   74-76  Prickly pear
    5   70-64  Jessamine              A fine rain
    6   60-71  Holyock
    7   63-73  Crysanthemum
               Virg^a Spike
               Sweet Sultan
               Orange Lilly
    9   65-70  Cat Spa
   14   70-81  Flos Adonis
   15   72-82  Pleurisy root
   17   75-82  Yucca
               African Marigold
   19   70-78  Southern wood
   23   70-82  Elacampana
   24   74-82  Rock Rose
               Oriental Asmart
   29   82-92  Afr marigold y.

    3          Althaea frutea
    5      70  Coxcomb                rain all day
    7   72-84  Amaranth ordes
    8   74-80  Virg^a Saffron
    9   75-87  Partridge berr^s
   11   84-84  Passion flow^r
   16   73-76  Marvel of Peru
   18   76-84  Swamp Sweet
   20   76-86  Martagon Virg.
   23   76-85  Cardinal fl.


Inventory of Marlborough, 1771 [John Mercer's widow, Ann Roy Mercer,
died at Marlborough September 2, 1770. By the next spring, James Mercer
was operating Marlborough as one of four plantations owned by him. The
overseer was Thomas Oliver. At the end of May 1771 Oliver drew up a
statement of the conditions of the plantations and made a detailed
inventory. This document has been reproduced in facsimile in _A
Documentary History of American Industrial Society_.[216]

The following excerpts consist of the inventory, as it applied to
Marlborough only, and of Oliver's statement at the end. The "return," as
he called it, covered the period from May 1 to May 31, 1771. The
reference to advertising the "sale" is apparently concerned with one of
the unsuccessful public sales of John Mercer's personal property.]

   56  Horn Cattle
   28  Cavallrey
  128  Sheap
    .  Swine
   22  Plowes
    8  Clevices
    8  Clevispins
   11  leading lines
    4  Chaine traces
    4  Roap traces
    8  Bridle Bitts
    8  Back bands
    8  Haimes
    6  Ox Yoaks
    3  Ox Chains
    2  Ox Carts
    1  Waggons Compleat
    4  Horse Harness d^o
    4  Horse Collers
   12  Swingle trees
    .  Threshing Instruments
    4  Fanns
    2  Sieves
    1  Riddles
    1  Halfe bushel Measure
    1  Halfe Barrel Measure
    1  Harrows
   10  Hillinghows
   17  Weeding hows
    8  Grubbing hows
    1  Syder press
    1  Syder Mill
   15  Axes
    4  Wedges
    1  Iron Shovels
    4  Spades
    3  Hay forks
    .  Hay Rakes
    2  Dung forks
   13  Scythes
    4  Cradles
    .  Sickles
    8  Sheap Shears
    1  Barns
    2  Grainerys
    3  Corn Houses
    5  Stables
    4  Stock locks
    1  Padlocks
    6  Mealbags
    1  Boats
    1  Schoos
    1  Cannow
    1  Seaines
    2  Cross cutt Saws
    1  Whip Saws
    2  Hand Saws
    3  Adzes
    5  Chisels
    1  Hammers
    1  Frows
    2  Gimblets
    2  Drawing knives
    7  Broad Axes
    1  Gouges
    1  Compasses
    3  Augers
    2  2 Yard Rules
    1  Chalk lines
    3  Sawfiles
    1  Curriers knives
    1  Tanners knives
    1  Tobacco Cask Branding Irons
    5  Iron Potts for Negroes
    1  Grinding Stoans
    6  Scyth stoans
    1  Sarvants
   29  Negroes in Crop
   25  Negroes out of Crop
    9  Hyerd out
   63  Total amount of Negroes

N.B. the Casuality in sheap are 11 sold to M^r Lowery. 1 to Doct^r
Clemense. 1 held for the house. dy'd a little time after being Castrated
5 (18) as in the Collem of decress. 1 Calfe dy'd five days after Being
Cutt. the remainder of the stock in good Condition. two mares excepted.
the work of the Mill going on as well as Can be Expected till M^r.
Drains is better. the Schoo and Boat unfit for Any Sarvice whatsoever
till repair'd. if Capable of it. the foundation of the Malt house wants
repairing. the Manor house wants lead lights in some of the windows. the
East Green House wants repairing, the west d^o wants buttments as a
security to the wall on the south side. the Barn, tobacco houses at
Marlborough & Acquia must be repaired as soon as possible. The two
tobacco houses at Belvaderra are in good order. five stables on
Marlborough plantation must also be repair'd before winter. we have
sustai'd no damage from Tempests or Floods. it will Expedient to hyer a
Carpinder for the woork wanted can not be accomplish'd in time, seeing
the Carpenders must be taken of for harvest which is Like to be heavy. I
will advertise the sale at Stafford Court and the two parish Churches to
begin on the 20th of June 1771. this is all the intelligence this month
requiers. P.S. The Syder presses at each plantation & Syder Mill at
Marlbrough to tally Expended ... Negro Sampson Marlbro Company Sick of
the Gravel. Negress Deborah Sick of a Complication of dis^s. Negro
Tarter acqui Company Sick plurisy. Negress Phillis sick Accokeeck
Company Kings Evil Negro Jas Pemberton at Marlb^h Sick Worme fever.

  ThS. Oliver
  Ja^s. Mercer Esq^r


[216] Edit. John P. Commons (New York: Russell & Russell, 1958), vol. 1,
facsimile opp. p. 236. Quoted through kind permission of Russell &
Russell, publishers.


  _Abridgment of the Laws of Virginia_, 24, 62-63; second edition, 50,
  Accokeek: plantation, 12, 62; ironworks, 23, 24, 25, 47, 162, 193
  Act for Encouraging Adventurers in Ironworks, Mercer's protest
    against, 23
  Acts for Towns (1662), 5;
    (1680), 5, 7
    Act for Ports (1691), 7, 10, 34;
    suspension of, 8
    Act for Ports (1705), 8, 12, 22, 45, 83, 177;
    suspension of, 9
  Adie, Hugh, 118
  agricultural implements:
    hoe, 25, 170 (illustr.)
    plow, 25;
      drill plow, 59;
      iron for, 34;
      colter for, 73, 168-169 (illustr.)
    scythe, iron, 113, 114, 168 (illustr.), 171
    spade, 170-171
  Alexander, Robert, 12, 22
  Alexandria, 50, 52, 53
  Alexandria Library, viii
  Allan, William, 34
  Allen, William, 184
  Ambler, Richard, 16
  American Philosophical Society, vii, viii, 69; _Year Book_ of, viii
  Amson, Doctor, 46
    cards, 51
    dancing, 33, 34
    game counters, 26 (illustr.)
    horse racing, 20, 26, 43
    loo, 20, 26
    lottery, 34
    music, 33, 34; books on, 43
    pitching, 20
    quoits, 20
    racing (unspecified), 17
    wagers, 26
    wrestling, 26
  Anderson, Thomas (brickmaker,) 28, 35
  andirons, 17, 162 (illustr.)
  Andrews, George (ordinary keeper), 11, 12, 13, 23, 44, 82, 177;
    inventory of, 183
  "Antigua Ship," 47
  apothecary, 36 (_See also_ medicine)
  Aquia (plantation), 62
  Aquia Church (_See under_ church)
  Aquia Creek, 11, 12
  archeological techniques, 70
  arches, 36, 91, 94
  architect, 36 (_See also_ joiner; carpenter)
  architecture, books on, 37, 38, 43, 98
  _Architecture of A. Palladio_, 98 (illustr. from)
  art, books on, 43, 200
  Ashby, ----, 53
  Ashby, Thomas, vii
  Astbury, Thomas (Staffordshire potter), 108, 138, 139
  Astbury, Thomas, Jr. (Staffordshire potter), 139

  Bacon, Nathaniel, 10
  Bagge, Edmund, 17, 192
  Bailey, ---- (brewer), 55
  Bailey, Worth, viii
  ball, musket, 155, 157 (illustr.)
  Ballard, Thomas, 12, 14, 17, 22
  Ballard, William, 177
  Balthrop, ----, 51
  Barber, William, 12
  Barradall, Mr., 58
  Barry, Ed, 18
  Barry, Thomas (bricklayer), 36, 91, 95, 102, 104, 105
  basaltes ware (_See under_ stoneware)
  basins, 25, 39;
    earthenware, 125;
    pottle, 39, 138
  Basnett, Abraham ("oysterman"), 35
  Battaley (Battaille), Mosley, 16, 17;
    Mercer's account for, 185
  Bayley, Ambrose, 10, 11
  Beach, Daniel, 184
  Beach, Peter, 12, 13;
    inventory of, 184
  Beaty, Andrew (joiner), 36
  bed (_See under_ furniture)
  bed cord, 17
  Belchier, John (cabinetmaker), 40
  Belfield, Mr., 42
  Belle Plains, 28
  Belvedere (plantation), 62
  Bensen, Thomas, 185
  Berkeley, Governor, 47, 97
  Berryman, ----, 22
    ale, 33, 55, 56;
    arrack, 145;
    Barbadoes spirits, 145;
    beer, 55, 145, 146 (Bristol);
    bottles for, 145-152;
    brandy, 36, 145;
    chocolate, 32;
    cider, 16, 33, 62, 145, 146, 149;
    citron water, 146;
    claret, 17, 18, 33, 46, 145;
    coffee, 32;
    corn, 145;
    gin, 150-151;
    lime juice, 17;
    Lisbon, 145;
    Madeira, 25, 145;
    "Mint [water]," 146;
    "Orange flower [water]," 146;
    porter, 56;
    punch, 13 145;
    rum, 17, 33, 42, 145;
    sherry, 145;
    "Tansey,' 146;
    tea, 32;
    wine, 33, 145, 145 (Fyall)
    (_See also_ bottle; cup; glass; chocolate pot; teapot)
  Beverley, Robert, 8, 21, 51, 97, 192
  biography, books of, 43
  birds, singing, 33;
    birdcage, 33
  Biscoe, W., vii
  Black, William, 33, 178
  Blacke, William (gardener), 58
  blacksmith, 35, 167, 174 (_See also_ ironworks)
  Bland, Theodorick, 7, 8. 10, 177
  Blane, John, 25
  boat, 62;
    canoe, 25;
    "Schoo" (schooner), 62, 177;
    sloop, 15, 16, 32, 42, 177
  bones, animal, 111
  bookplate, John Mercer's, iv (illustr.)
  books, 14, 17, 20, 33, 34, 36, 42;
    Mercer's reading, 191;
    purchase of, 191-192, 198-208;
    sale of, 61-62
  Booth, John (weaver), 32
  botanical record, 209-210 (_See also_ garden)
  bottles, 25, 56, 145-152;
    canary, 145;
    cider, 149;
    closure for, 145;
    gin, 112, 150-151 (illustr.);
    medicine, 152, 153 (illustr.);
    methods of making, 146-149;
    octagonal, 149 (illustr.);
    scent, 152;
    smelling, 32;
    snuff, 32, 151 (illustr.), 152;
    spirits, 111, 150 (illustr.);
    stoneware, 39;
    wine, 72, 107, 111, 112, 119 (illustr.), 145-149 (illustr.), 173,
    wine, seal for, 31 (illustr.), 73, 111, 146-149 (illustr.)
    creamware, 141;
    delftware, 137 (illustr.);
    earthenware, 124 (illustr.), 127 (illustr.);
    porcelain, 144;
    redware, 125, 126, 128;
    stoneware, 136;
    whiteware, 143
  box iron, heaters for, 17, 162 (illustr.) (_See also_ smoothing iron)
  Boyd's Hole, 18, 35, 51
  Braddock, General, 52
  Braintree (Mass.), 151
  brands, on tobacco casks, 29-30
  brass, 17, 39, 59, 72, 73, 108, 155 (_See also_ specific forms)
  Braxton, Colonel, 26
  Brent, George, 12
  Brent, Giles, 7, 12, 22;
    widow of, 12;
    heirs of, 177
  Brent, Giles, Jr., 7
  Brent, Robert, 12
  Brent, William, 23, 26
  Brent, William (infant), 45, 177;
    house burned, 63
  brewer, 55, 58;
    house for, 178
  brewery, 55, 56-57, 61, 178;
    sale at, 56;
    sale of, 61;
    still, 26, 61
    (_See also_ Marlborough, buildings)
  brewing, books on, 43
  Brick House (village in New Kent County), 27
  bricklayers, 35, 36, 103-104, 118
  bricklaying, 94-95; 103-104, 111, 112;
    Flemish bond, 72, 121
  brickmaking, 35 (_See also_ building materials)
  bridge, 35
  bridle, 25;
    bit for, 73, 169 (illustr.), 171 (illustr.)
  Bromley, William (turner), 36, 38, 39, 50, 98
  Bronough, John W., 64
  Brook (village), 28, 67
  Brooke, William, 26
  _Brooks_ (ship), 26
  broom, hearth, 39
  Brunswick Town (North Carolina), 108
  brush, curry, 18, 172
  bucket, 39
  Buckland, William, 52
    brass, 72, 155 (illustr.), 156 (illustr.);
    iron, 170;
    pewter, 52;
    silver, 32
  Buckley ware (_See under_ earthenware)
  Bucknell (Oxford County), 58
  Buckner, William, 7, 8, 21, 22, 177 (_See also_ Marlborough, survey
  Bucks County Historical Society, viii, 28
  building materials:
    ballusters, 36, 96
    bricks, 9, 11, 18, 35, 36, 67, 68, 71, 72, 91, 94, 102, 107, 109
      (illustr.), 112;
      sizes of, 90, 95, 104, 121
    clapboards, 25
    concrete, 92 (illustr.), 93 (illustr.)
    flagstones, 35, 86, 97, 101, 102, 121
    gold leaf, 36, 95
    lime, 9, 35, 69
    linseed oil, 36
    lumber, 9, 18, 25, 34, 36
    marble, 96
    mortar, 35, 69, 102, 162
    oystershells, 16, 18, 35, 69, 107, 108, 111
    paint, 36
    plaster, 96, 97 (illustr.), 102, 121
    shingles, 34
    stone, 35, 36, 68, 71, 72, 86, 87, 89, 91 (illustr.), 92 (illustr.),
      94 (illustr.), 101
  Bull Run Quarters, 29, 30, 42;
    slaves at, 41, 58
  bullet (_See_ ball)
  Buncle, Alexander, 17
  Burges, Joseph (house painter), 36
  Burwell, Carter, 35
  buttons, 25, 42, 47, 52, 155;
    brass, 155;
    copper, 155, 156 (illustr.);
    horn, 58;
    Sheffield-plated, 155;
    shell, 155;
    silver, 155;
    white metal, 42, 58, 156 (illustr.)
  Byrd, William, 46

  cabinetmakers, 25, 35, 40
  candle, 40;
    beeswax for, 41;
    myrtle wax for, 41;
    tallow, 41
  candle box, 20
  candlemolds, 17
  candlestick, 14, 17, 20 (brass), 39, 40, 41, 153 (glass, illustr.)
    (_See also_ sconce)
  canoe, 25
  Canton, Mark, 42
  Cantrell, William (servant), 58
  Carlyle, John, 30
  Carlyle, Sarah, 30
  Caroline Courthouse, 27, 28
  carpenter, 36, 50, 62, 91, 118;
    apprentices, 50
  carpet, 13
  cart (_See under_ vehicle)
  Carter, Charles, 28
  Carter, Lucy, 118;
    marriage to Nathaniel Harrison, 118
  Carter, Robert ("King"), 118
  carver, 36, 40
  casks, 29, 30, 55, 56, 61, 145, 146;
    hogsheads, 26, 30, 31, 33, 145;
    "pipes," 33, 145
  Cavanaugh, Philemon, 17
  Cave, John, 13, 23, 28, 42
  Caywood, Louis, 97
  Cedar Point, 18
  celt, Indian, 73, 119 (illustr.)
  ceramics, 68, 105, 125-144;
    Indian, 108;
    methods of manufacture, 135-136
    (_See also_ specific forms and types)
  chair (_See under_ furniture)
  chaise (_See under_ vehicle)
  chalk, 155, 171
  chamberpots: stoneware, 88, 132 (illustr.);
    yellowware, 126
  Chambers, John, 18
  Champe, Major John (merchant), 31, 35, 54
  Chapman, Nathaniel, 25, 35, 49, 162, 166, 169, 170-171;
    Mercer's account with, 193
  charger, delftware, 137; pewter, 39
  chariot (_See under_ vehicle)
  charities, John Mercer's, 47
  Charles City Courthouse, 9
  Charleston, George (tailor), 32
  chelloes, 18
  chest (_See under_ furniture)
  Chew, John, 192
  chimney, 12, 20, 36, 97, 102, 105 (_See also_ mantel; fireplace)
  china, 39, 144 (_See also_ porcelain)
  Chinn, John, 20
  Chinn, Rawleigh, 17, 20, 25
  chinoiserie, 136, 137, 140 (illustr.), 142
  Chiswell's Ordinary, 51
  Chiswell Plantation, 97
  chocolate pot, copper, 39
  Chotank Church, 10
    Aquia, 27, 37, 46-47, 52, 145;
      undertaker for, 46, 47;
      church plate, 46 (_See also_ Overwharton Parish)
    Chotank, 10
    Hanover, 35
    Mattaponi, 35
    New Kent, 35
    Pohick (Fairfax), 37
    Potomac, 27, 28, 46, 54 (_See also_ Overwharton Parish)
    Stafford Parish, 10
  church, brick, 46
  cider press, 62 (_See also_ beverages)
  Clark, John (servant), 52
  Cleve (plantation), 28
  clothing, 31-32;
    breeches, 34, 42, 52, 58, 59;
      "Russia," 59
    children's, 34
    coat, 42;
      greatcoat, 31, 59
    gloves, 18, 31, 34;
      mittens, 34
    handkerchief, 31
    hat, 17, 18, 25, 31, 52, 58, 59;
      "Castor," 31;
      hood, 31
    hose, 18
    indentured servant apparel, 52, 59
    jacket, 58, 59
    liveries, 42
    mourning, 47
    neckcloth, 52
    petticoat, 31
    shirts, 52, 58
    shoes, 17, 18, 31, 34, 42, 52, 58
    slave apparel, 42, 58, 59
    stockings, 31, 34, 52, 58, 59
    suit, 31, 32
    trousers, 52
    vest, 34
    waistcoat, 32
    (_See also_ textiles)
  coach (_See under_ vehicle)
  coachman, 42
  coal, 56, 107, 108
  coffin, child's, 17
  coins, 119, 155-156 (illustr.)
  Coke, John (silversmith), 39
  colander, 20
  College of William and Mary, 20, 34, 47, 99, 121;
    account of George Mercer's expenses while attending, 197
  Collings, Jn^o, 149
  Collins, Robert, 18
  Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., viii, 30, 149
  comb: curry, 18, 169, 172 (and brush);
    horn, 32;
    ivory, 16, 32;
    wig, 25
  Combe, ----, 53
  combed ware (_See under_ earthenware)
  Cooke, John, 64, 96, 125
  cooper, 56;
    house for, 55
  Cooper, Macartney, Powel & Lyde, 40
  Copein, William (mason), 37, 91
  copper, 17, 55, 103, 119, 178 (_See also_ specific items)
  corks, 56, 145
  court: Spotsylvania, 27;
    Williamsburg, 27
    Caroline, 27, 28, 53
    Charles City, 9, 121, 122
    Elizabeth City, 9
    Hanover, 98, 118 (illustr.), 121, 122
    King William, 23 (illustr.), 51, 53, 98, 120 (illustr. floor plan),
      121, 122
    Marlborough, vii, 8, 11, 45;
      (1691), 28;
      cleaning, 13, 184;
      construction of, 11;
      contract to build, 10;
      destruction of, 9, 11;
      location of, 11, 44, 67;
      trial in, 12;
    New Kent, 27, 28, 51
    Potomac Creek, vii, viii, 7, 10, 11, 20, 28, 49, 99, 177;
      architectural analysis of, 121;
      artifacts from, 119-121;
      burning of, 118;
      excavations, 115-122;
      excavation plan of, 118;
      historical background, 115-118;
      map showing location of, 116, 117;
      surveys, 115
    Stafford (_See_ Potomac Creek)
    Warwick, 11
    Westmoreland, 54
    Williamsburg, 121
    York (1692), 11, 121
  courthouses, brick, 11, 118
  Covington, ---- (dancing master), 34
  cows, 17, 20, 61
  Craig, James (jeweler), 47
  creamware (_See under_ earthenware)
  Cresap, Thomas, 49
  Crichton, Robert (merchant), 32
  crops: barley, 56;
    corn, 42, 56, 57;
    hops, 56, 62;
    malt, 55, 56;
    peas, 59;
    rice, 57;
    turnips, 59;
    wheat, 59
    (_See also_ food; tobacco)

  _Cumberland_ (ship), 31
  cup, 39;
    chocolate, 17, 144;
    coffee, 39, 144;
    custard, 17, 144;
    dram, 13;
    fuddling, 137;
    handle, 137;
    tea, 17, 72, 136, 144;
    delftware, 137;
    earthenware, 127 (illustr.),
    porcelain, 72, 144;
    silver, 13, 39;
    stoneware, 39, 144;
    yellowware, 128 (illustr.)
  curry comb, 18, 169 (illustr.), 172 (and brush)
  curtains, 13;
    bed, 13;
    fittings, 172;
    rings for, 13, 156 (illustr.), 162-163
  Custis, Daniel Parke, 31
  Custis, John, 31

  Dade, Francis, 26
  dancing master, 32, 33, 34
  Daniel, Peter, 27, 52
  Darlington Library, viii
  Darrell, Sampson, 10, 11, 28
  Darter, Oscar H., vii, viii, 67
  Davis, Boatswain, 35
  Dekeyser, ---- (dancing master), 33
  delftware, 88, 107, 114, 136-137, 173;
    English, 111, 134 (illustr.), 136, 138
    (_See also_ specific forms)
  Dering, William (dancing master), 32, 34
  Dick: "Mr. Dick's Quarter," 53
  Dick, Alexander, 51
  Dick, Charles (merchant), 31, 34, 39, 132, 144, 165, 167;
    textiles listed in Mercer's accounts with, 196
  Dick, William, 51
  dish, 39;
    chafing, 17;
    oblong, 136;
    sugar, 39;
    brass, 17;
    pewter, 25, 39, 160 (illustr.);
    silver, 39;
    stoneware, 136
  doctor, 41, 46 (_See also_ medicine)
  Dogge, John, 17
  Donaldson, Captain, 31
  door knobs, 39;
    brass, 167
  doors, 37, 38 (illustr.)
  Downham, William, 184
  Drains, Mr., 62
  ducks, 25
  Dulaney, Daniel, 31
  Dunmore, Lord, 63

  earthenware, 13, 16, 17, 20, 25, 129
    "agate," 108, 173
    black-glazed, 119, 139
    Buckley, 72, 107, 111, 113, 114, 126-128, 130 (illustr.), 173
    combed ware, 126, 173
    creamware, 111, 141, 173
    marbled, 138-139
    molded-rim type, 125-126
    North Devon gravel-tempered, 111, 126, 173
    pearlware, 140 (illustr.), 141
    polychrome, 140, 143
    queensware, 139 (illustr.), 140
    redware, 114, 125-126, 128
    shell-edged, 140, 141-142
    Tidewater type, 73, 111, 124-125 (illustr.), 173
    tortoiseshell ware, 128 (illustr.), 139
    transfer-printed, 143-144
    whiteware, 112, 140 (illustr.), 173
    yellowware, 107, 111, 126, 128 (illustr.)
    (_See also_ specific forms)
  Edgeley, ----, 16
  education, 34;
    hornbook, 33, 34;
    slate, 156, 158;
    slate pencil, 111, 156, 158;
    tutor, 34
    (_See also_ College of William and Mary)
  Edwards, Elizabeth, 39
  _Elizabeth_ (ship), 26
  Elizabeth City Courthouse, 9
  Elliot, George (turner), 36, 96
  Elzey, Thomas, 117
  Emo, Lord Leonardo, 98

  Fairfax, George, 49
  Falkner, Ralph, 192
  Falmouth (Virginia), 53
  Ferguson, John (overseer), 42
  ferry, Potomac Creek, 8, 13
  fiddler, 34
  fireback, iron, 17
  fireplaces, 12, 20, 41, 94, 96, 97, 101, 102, 104, 105
    (_See also_ chimney; mantel)
  Fisher, George, 51
  fishhooks, 42, 111, 171 (illustr.)
  fishing, 32, 42, 54, 64;
    drumlines, 42;
    perch lines, 42;
    seine, 42, 54
  Fitz, Captain, 32
  Fitzhugh, Colonel, 192
  Fitzhugh, Ann, 16
  Fitzhugh, Henry, 21, 25, 31, 118;
    widow of, 118
  Fitzhugh, William, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 31, 51
  Fitzhugh, William, Jr., 9
  Fitzhugh, William III, 16
  Fitzpatrick, John (weaver), 32
  flagon, stoneware, 132 (illustr.)
  floors (_See_ pavement)
  flower pots, 62;
    earthenware, 129 (illustr.)
  Foard (Foward), John, 25
  food, 192;
    cinnamon, 32;
    fish, 32;
    lemons, 26;
    limes, 33;
    lime juice, 17;
    mace, 32;
    molasses, 17, 32-33;
    nutmegs, 32;
    oysters, 32, 40;
    pork, 32, 57;
    spices, 32;
    sugar, 17, 32, 33 (muscovy);
    venison, 25;
    wild game, 25
    (_See also_ crops)
  Forbes, Andrew, 192
  forks, 111, 159 (illustr.);
    wooden handled, 17
  Forman, Henry Chandlee, 12
  Fort Frederica (Georgia), 126
  Foward (Foard), John (merchant), 25, 26, 167
  Foward, Jonathan, 26
  Fowke, Chandler, 18
  Fowke, Gerard, 31, 52
  Foxhall, Joseph, 32
  Fredericksburg, vii, 28, 30, 31, 34, 42, 43, 46, 53, 55, 59, 62, 196
  freckled ware (_See under_ stoneware)
  French, Hugh, 18
  Fry, Colonel, 49
  funnel, 17
  Furnea's (Furnau's) Ordinary, 27, 28
    beds, 13, 20, 25, 40;
      bolsters, 13;
      covers, 39;
      feather, 13, 17;
      flock, 13;
      tick, 18
    chairs, cane, 13;
      child's, 20;
      leather, 17;
      rush seat, 13, 25
    chest, handle for, 163 (illustr.), 165;
      chest of drawers, 13
    cradle, 25
    cupboard, 13
    couch, 13
    desk, 17;
      repair of, 25
    escritoire, 25, 40, 165
    looking glass, 39
    painted, 17
    sale of, 61-62
    sconce glass, 39, 41
    sideboard, 39
    stools, 13
    table, 13, 17;
      marble, 39

  garden, 99;
    botanical record of, 209-210
  gardener, 58, 178
  Garner, A. M., 137
  Garvan, Anthony N. B., viii
  gateway, 80, 81;
    pintle for, 73, 81
  _George Mercer Papers Relating to the Ohio Company of Virginia_, viii,
    15, 59
  Gilmer, George (apothecary), 36
  glass, 17 (and cover), 68, 145-154;
    bowl, 119, 154;
    candelabrum, 153 (illustr.), 154;
    decanter, 73, 145, 152-154;
    mirror, 153 (illustr.), 154;
    posset pot, 154;
    salt, 153 (illustr.), 154;
    window, 62, 96, 107, 121, 153 (illustr.), 154
    (_See also_ bottle)
  glasses, 17;
    cordial, 152 (illustr.), 154;
    looking, 39;
    sconce, 39, 41, 154;
    tumbler, 152, 153 (illustr.), 154;
    wine, 73, 107, 152 (illustr.), 153 (illustr.), 154
  glasshouse, 56;
    Bristol, 148;
    Germantown, 151
  glassmaking techniques, 146, 148-149, 151-152, 154
  _Gooch_ (ship), 40
  goose, 25
  Graham (Graeme), John, 20, 191
  Graham, William (overseer), 41
  grater, nutmeg, 13
  Gray, William, 28
  greenhouse, 62, 109, 178
  Gregg, Thomas (surveyor), 9, 14, 21, 22
    (_See also_ Marlborough, survey 1707)
  Grenzhausen (Germany), 129
  gun flints, 42, 155, 157 (illustr.)
  gunpowder, 18, 25, 42

  Hamitt, William, 25
  Hammersley, Francis, 7, 12
  Hampton (Virginia), 9, 47
  Hanbury, Capel, 53
  hand mill, 55
  Hanover Church, 35
  Hanover County, 35
  Happel, Ralph, 10, 115
  hardware, 193
    bolt, 111, 119 (illustr.), 121, 164 (illustr.), 166, 167, 168
      (illustr.), 170
    brad, 34, 165, 167
    chain, 169;
      for door, 39
    escutcheon plate, 108, 156 (illustr.), 163
    handle or pull, 108, 156 (illustr.), 163 (illustr.), 164 (illustr.),
      165, 167, 171 (illustr.)
    hasp, 164 (illustr.), 166
    hinge, 25, 39, 163 (illustr.), 164 (illustr.), 165-166;
      butt, 164 (illustr.);
      HL, 20, 103, 163 (illustr.), 165;
      H, 163 (illustr.), 165
    hook, 166 (illustr.), 168 (illustr.), 170
    key, 111, 163 (illustr.), 167
    latches, 25, 163 (illustr.), 164 (illustr.), 166
    locks, 17, 20, 25, 39, 163 (illustr.), 166-167
    nails, 17, 18, 25, 34, 72, 102, 121, 165 (illustr.), 167
    nuts and bolts, 170
    pin, 166 (illustr.)
    pintle, gate, 73
    rivet and washer, 169 (illustr.)
    shutter fastener, 88
    slab, 105 (illustr.)
    spike, 165, 167
    staples, 163 (illustr.), 166
    swingletree loop, 73, 170;
      chain, 169
    tie bar, 87, 94 (illustr.)
  Harmer & King, 41
  harnesses, 61, 170;
    fittings for, 73, 156 (illustr.), 169 (illustr.), 170
  _Harrington_ (ship), 31
  Harrison, Colonel, 53
  Harrison, Lucy Carter, 118
  Harrison, Nathaniel, 118
  Hartley, Green & Company, 140-141, 143
  Harvey, John, 33
  Harwood, Thomas, 185
  Hayward, Joseph, 12;
    house of, 12
  Hayward, Nicholas, 12
  Hayward, Samuel, 12
  hearth (_See_ fireplace)
  Hedgman, Major Peter, 23, 24, 51, 53
  Historic American Buildings Survey, viii, 120
  history, books on, 20, 43, 191, 200
  Hogans, Francis (wheelwright), 30
  hogs, 20
  Holbrook, Janet, 33
  Holdbrook, ----, 51
  Hooe, Rice, 15
  Hoomes, George, 28
  Hopkins, Mr., 22
  Hoppus, Edward, 37
  horn, objects made from, 32, 58
    (_See also_ specific items; musical instruments)
  hornbook, 33 (illustr.), 34
  horses, 17, 20, 26, 56 (and colts), 61, 63;
    Ranter, 57, 61-62 (sale of)
  horseshoes, 169 (illustr.), 172
    Alexandria, Carlyle house, 30
    Carter's Grove, 35
    Corotoman, 118
    Eagle's Nest, 118
    Essex County--Elmwood, 98;
      Blandfield, 103
    Gloucester County--Abingdon glebe house, 97;
      Fairfield, 97
    Greenspring, 47, 97, 102
    Gunston Hall, 12, 52, 97
    Hanover, Scotchtown, 97
    Henrico County, Turkey Island, 97
    Jamestown, Isaac Watson's, 12
    Joseph Hayward's, 12
    King George County, Brandon, 118
    Marlborough, 9, 12-13, 17
    John Mercer's (1730), 18, 22, 45
    John Mercer's "Manor House," 45;
      construction of, 34-38, 62, 177, 178;
      excavation of, 84-99;
      insurance policy for, 64, 96;
      inventory of, viii, 62, 88, 96, 109, 168, 177, 211-212;
      plan of, 96 (illustr.)
    Morrisania (New York), Lewis Morris House, 126
    Mount Airy, 103
    Mount Vernon, 98, 103, 105
    Salvington, 28
    Shalstone Manor, 40
    Stratford, 51, 102, 103
    Spotsylvania County, Mannsfield, 102, 103
    Williamsburg, Brush-Everard House, 32
    Yorktown, Digges house, 12
  house, brick, 12, 63
  house, glebe, 35, 97
  house, wooden, 12, 20
  Hubbard, Benjamin, 27
  Hudson, J. Paul, 131
  Hudson, Thomas, 20
  Hull, Sigrid, viii
  Humble, Green & Co., 140-141
  Hunter, James, 55
  Hunter, William (merchant), 30-31, 33, 34, 39, 42, 167, 170;
    textiles listed in Mercer's account with, 196
  hunting, 42;
    hunting horn, 33
  husbandry, books on, 43
  Hyndman, John (merchant), 32

  indentured servants, 14, 32, 52, 53, 58;
    apparel of, 52, 58, 59;
    Thuanus (weaver), 32
  Indian, 158;
    celt, 73, 119;
    pottery, 108;
    trial of Nanticoke Indians, 12
  indigo, 42
  Innes, Enoch, 20
  insurance policy, 64, 88-89, 95, 97;
    house plan drawn on, 96 (illustr.)
  inventory: George Andrews, 183;
    Peter Beach, 184;
    Marlborough (taken by Thomas Oliver, 1771), viii, 62, 88, 96, 109,
      168, 177, 211-212
  iron, 121, 161-167;
    slab, 104, 105
    (_See also_ specific items; hardware; tools)
  ironworks: Accokeek, 23, 24, 25, 47, 162, 193;
    Mercer's protest against Act for Encouraging Adventures in, 23-24
  ivory, 16, 32

  Jackson, Robert (silversmith), 46
  Jamestown, 9, 12, 126, 158
  jar: cover, 125, 127 (illustr.);
    storage, 128 (illustr.);
    earthenware, 125, 127, 128;
    Buckley ware, 126, 129 (illustr.);
    stoneware, 131 (illustr.)
  Jervers, 18
  Jervis, James (widow of), 18
  jeweler, 47, 167-168;
    jeweler's tools, 111, 167-168
  jewelry: earrings, 47;
    ring, 47, 63
  jockey, 20
  Johnson Fund, vii
  Johnson, Richard, 16
  Johnston, ----, elected as burgess, 53
  Joiner, 36, 38, 50
  Jones, Booth (overseer), 42
  Jones, Charles, 32
  Jones, James, 18
  Jones, Robert, 192
  Jones, Thomas, 32, 41
  Jordan, William (merchant), 31, 39, 168
  jugs, 39;
    delftware, 138;
    stoneware, 131 (illustr.), 134;
    white salt-glazed, 135 (illustr.), 136

  Kecoughtan, 126, 158
  Kemp, Peter, 16
  Kernodle, G. H., 149
  kiln, 36;
    malt kiln, 59
  King, George Harrison Sanford, viii, 115
  King, William (silversmith), 39, 55
  King, William (brewer), 55
  King William Courthouse (_See under_ courthouse)
  kitchen (_See_ Marlborough, buildings)
  knife, 17, 111, 158 (illustr.), 160
    butcher, 39
    chopping, 88, 158 (illustr.), 162
    clasp, 25
    and fork, 17, 39, 159
    pen, 17, 25, 32, 111, 155, 158 (illustr.)
    shoemaker's, 16
    agate-handled, 119
    horn-handled, 39
    Sheffield-handled, 111, 160 (illustr.)
    silver-handled, 32
    wooden-handled, 17

  laces, 18
  ladle, iron, 162 (illustr.)
  Lamb's Creek (plantation), 31
  Land Book, John Mercer's, vii, 6, 8, 45, 82
  Langley, Battey, 39
  Langton, Richard, 39
  lanterns, 17, 39
  laundry irons, heaters for, 17, 25, 162
  law, books on, 17, 21, 191-192, 198-200
  ledgers, John Mercer's, 15, 16;
    Ledger B, 16, 209;
    Ledger G, 28, 29, 32, 102, 104, 105, 129;
    contents of, 185-208;
    accounts for domestic expenses, 186-190
  Lee, Captain, 31
  Lee, Dr. Arthur, 54
  Lee, General Charles, 63;
    death of, 63;
    will of, 63
  Lee, George, 31
  Lee, Colonel Philip Ludwell, 51
  Leoni, Giacomo, 98
  Lewes (Delaware), 126
  Lewis, Fielding, 34, 47
  library: Colonel Spotswood's, 20;
    John Mercer's, 21, 42-43, 61-62 (sale of), 198-208 (purchase of)
      (_See also_ books)
  lighting devices, 40, 41 (_See also_ candle; candlestick; sconce)
  _lignum vitae_, 13
  Linton, Anthony, 18, 25
  literature, English, books of, 43
  Little River Quarters, 53
  loom, 32 (_See also_ weavers)
  Ludwell, Philip, 47
  Lyde, Major Cornelius, 40
  Lyde, Lyonel (merchant), 40
  Lyndon, Captain Roger, 36, 39, 41, 109
  Lynn, Doctor, 41

  MacLane, Hugh (tailor), 31
  malt, 55, 56;
    malt kiln, 59;
    malt house, 55, 62
  mantels, 36, 37 (illustr.) (_See also_ fireplace)
  maps, 6, 19, 44, 116, 117
  marbles, chalk, 155, 157 (illustr.)
  _Marigold_ (ship), 36, 109
  Markham, James, 21, 26
    abandonment of, 14
    aerial photograph, 66
      barn, 62, 113, 178
      brewhouse, 55, 114, 178
      cider mill, 62, 178
      cooper's house, 55, 178
      corn houses, 64, 178
      grainery, 178
      greenhouse, 62, 109, 178
      houses, 9, 12-13, 17
      kitchen, 36, 58, 67, 101-105, 109, 178
      malt house, 55, 62, 114, 178
      Negro quarters, 64
      office, 178
      overseers' houses, 64, 178
      privy, 112
      prison, 12-13
      smokehouse, 106-109
      stables, 62, 178
      summer house, 58, 178
      warehouses, tobacco, 62, 113, 114, 115, 177-178
      windmill, 35, 52, 64, 67, 178
    excavation plans, 44, 74, 75, 84, 100, 106, 113, 118
    inventory, viii, 62, 88, 96, 109, 168, 177, 211-212
    maps, 6
    naming, 9
      (1691), 6, 21, 44, 67, 68, 82-83, 177
      (1707), 9, 14, 21, 22, 45, 82-83
      (1731), 6, 21, 22, 45, 82, 177
      (1743), 117
    (_See also_ houses, Marlborough; slaves)
  Mary Washington College, vii
  mason, 37, 91
  Mason, Ann, 28, 47
  Mason, Catharine, 16
  Mason, George, 9, 12, 13
  Mason, Captain George, 10, 12
  Mason, Colonel George III, 15, 16, 20, 21, 24, 26, 28
  Mason, George IV, 24, 52, 53, 63, 97;
    elected as burgess, 53
  mathematics, books on, 43
  Mattaponi church, 35
  McClelland, Charles, 17
  McFarlane, Alexander, 17, 18
  McKenzie, Doctor Kenneth, 46
  medicine, 41, 46;
    books on, 43, 201;
    bottles for, 152;
    Aqua Linnaean, 46;
    British oyl, 46, 152;
    Daffy's Elixir, 46;
    Euphorbium, 46;
    gum fragac, 46;
    Holloway's Citrate, 46, 152;
    oil of cinnamon, 46;
    Opadeldoc, 152;
    opium, 46;
    rattlesnake root, 46;
    rhubarb, 46;
    spirits of lavender, 46;
    sago, 46 (_See also_ doctors; apothecary)
  Mercer, Ann Roy, 48;
    death of, 61, 211;
    portrait of, 47 (illustr.)
  Mercer, Anna, birth of, 53
  Mercer, Catesby, death of, 53
  Mercer, Catherine, 17, 18, 146, 147;
    death of, 47
  Mercer, Elinor, 51;
    death of, 53
  Mercer, George, 33, 34, 49, 52, 53 (elected as burgess), 54, 56, 59
    (_See also George Mercer Papers ..._)
  Mercer, Grace Fenton, 15, 51
  Mercer, James, 33, 34, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 57, 61, 62, 63;
    death of, 64
  Mercer, Captain James, 52;
    death of, 53
  Mercer, John, _passim_;
    portrait of, 47 (illustr.);
    death of, 59
  Mercer, John (father of John Mercer of Marlborough), 15
  Mercer, John III, birth and death of, 53
  Mercer, John Fenton, 33, 34, 49, 52;
    death of, 52
  Mercer, John Francis, birth of, 53, 63, 64, 142
  Mercer, Maria, birth of, 53
  Mercer, Mungo Roy, 51
  Mercer, Sarah Ann Mason, 28, 33
  Meese, Anne, 12
  microscopes, 43
  mill, 35, 62;
    windmill, 35, 52;
    hand mill, 55
  Mills, James, 30
  Mills, William (weaver), 32
  Minitree, David (bricklayer), 35, 36, 91, 95
  Mitchelson, John, 33
  mold: bullet, chalk, 111, 155, 156 (illustr.), 157 (illustr.);
    candle, 17;
    tart, copper, 17
  Moncure, Reverend John, 27, 28, 47, 52
  Monday, William (carpenter), 36, 91
  Monroe, Andrew (overseer), 31, 55, 57
  Monroe, James, 55
  Monroe, Thomas, 31
  Moore, Bernard, 39
  mortar and pestle, 20
  mother-of-pearl, 26
  Mountjoy, ----, 51
  Mountjoy, Edward, 184
  mug: creamware, 141;
    delftware, 137;
    earthenware, 124 (illustr.), 125, 127 (illustr.);
    stoneware, 88, 131 (illustr.), 132 (illustr.), 134, 135 (illustr.),
  mull stick, 39
  music, book on, 33
  musical instruments: horn, French, 33 (illustr.);
    fiddle strings, 34;
    trumpet, 33
  Mussen, James, 11
  Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia, 64, 96 (_See also_ insurance

  Nanticoke Indians, 12
  National Park Service, 121, 126
  needles, 25
  Negroes, 25, 41;
    "Negro Ship," 47;
    skipper, 42 (_See also_ slaves)
  Nevill's Ordinary, 53
  Newbery, Bob (London bookseller), 59
  New Kent Church, 35
  New Kent Courthouse (_See under_ courthouse)
  Nicholson, Captain Timothy, 36, 58
  Niemeyer, Mabel, viii
  Nisbett, William, 25
  Noël Hume, Ivor, viii, 126, 131
  Norfolk, 9, 33, 47, 55, 59

  Occaquan warehouse, 30
  occupations, colonists identified by Mercer according to, 195 (_See
    also_ specific occupations)
  Ohio Company of Virginia, 25, 49, 51, 53, 54, 55, 59, 119, 122 (_See
    also George Mercer Papers...._)
  Oliver, Thomas (overseer), inventory by, viii, 62, 88, 96, 109, 168,
    177, 211-212
  Omwake, H. Geiger, 126
  ordinaries, 8, 11, 12, 13, 27, 28, 51, 53;
    inventory of ordinary keeper, 183
  oven, 17, 36, 102, 104, 105
  Overwharton Parish, 16, 26, 27, 46, 145;
    John Mercer's account for, 194 (_See also_ churches, Potomac and

  painter: house, 36;
    portrait, 16, 32
  painting, 36 (_See also_ portrait)
  Palladio, Andrea, 37, 98-99
  _Palladio Londonensis_ (book), 37, 38
  Pamunkey River, 35
  pan: baking, 128 (illustr.);
    frying, 18, 25;
    milk, 20, 124 (illustr.), 125, 127 (illustr.);
    sauce, 25, 39;
    Buckley ware, 126, 127 (illustr.);
    copper, 25;
    redware, 125 (illustr.);
    Tidewater-type earthenware, 124 (illustr.), 125;
    tin, 39
  paper, 18
  Parks, William, 21, 43
  Parry, ----, 22
  Partis, Captain, 5
  Passapatanzy, 17, 29, 35, 61
  Patterson, ----, 36
  pavement, 104, 105;
    brick, 85, 102-103;
    stone, 86, 97, 101, 121
  Peace Point, 7
  Peale, Captain Malachi, 7, 8, 12
  Pemberton, James, 62
  pepper box, 20
  Perry, Captain, 31
  Perryman, Captain, 31
  pestle, 20
  pewter, 13, 17, 52, 119, 160-161 (_See also_ specific items)
  Phipps, Reverend John (tutor), 34, 40
  Pipe, ----, 53
  pipe (_See_ tobacco pipe)
  pistols, 63
  pitcher: creamware, 141;
    stoneware, 133, 135 (illustr.), 136;
    whiteware, 143
  plasterer, 36
  plastering, 18;
    plaster cornice molding, 96, 97 (illustr.) (_See also_ building
  plates, 20, 39;
    "basket," 136;
    cake, 136;
    pie, 129;
    creamware, 119, 141;
    delftware, English, 136 (illustr.), 137;
    pewter, 111, 161;
    porcelain, 144;
    tortoiseshell ware, 140;
    white salt-glazed, 119
  plate warmer, 39
  platter: creamware, 141;
    queensware, 140 (illustr.);
    white salt-glazed, 119 (illustr.)
  Pohick Church (Fairfax), 37
  Pope, ----, 22
  porcelain, Chinese, 107, 112, 114, 140, 144, 173;
    blue and white, 142 (illustr.), 143 (illustr.);
    importation of, 144;
    Lowestoft, 144;
    polychrome, 140 (illustr.), 141 (illustr.), 144 (_See also_
      specific forms)
  porringer, 25, 39
  Port Royal (Virginia), 28, 47, 51
  port towns, 5 (_See also_ Acts for Towns)
  portrait, 32;
    of John Mercer, 16 (illustr.);
    of Ann Roy Mercer, 47 (illustr.)
  posset pot: delftware, 138;
    glass, 154;
    marbled, 139;
    stoneware, 119, 132, 133, 136;
    yellowware, 126
  pot: lid, 73, 162 (illustr.), 126, 127 (illustr.);
    ointment, 134 (illustr.), 138 (illustr.);
    repair of, 25;
    delftware, 134;
    iron, 17, 161-162 (illustr.);
    tin, 18
  Potawomake (Indian village), vii, 67
  Potomac Church (_See under_ church)
  Potomac Creek (_See_ courthouse, Potomac Creek)
  Potter, Doctor Henry, 28
  potteries: Burslem, 133, 134;
    Little Fenton, 128;
    Staffordshire, 135, 138;
    Yorktown, 125, 131, 173
  powder (_See_ gunpowder)
  Power, James, 39
  Powers, John, 27
  prison, 12
  punchbowl, 39, 119;
    delftware, 119;
    _lignum vitae_, 13;
    porcelain, 17, 144
  Purefoy, Henry, 40

  Ramsay, William, 31
  Randolph, William, 31
  razor, 17, 32;
    strop, 32
  Reid, James, 26
  "Retirement, The" (plantation), 12
  Reyant, Pat, 24
  Richards, Mourning, 47
  rings: brass, 111, 170;
    curtain, 13, 156 (illustr.), 162-163 (_See also_ jewelry)
  Ritchie, Mr., 42
  Robinson, ----, 22
  Robinson, Berryman, Pope & Parry, 22
  Robinson, John, 55
  Rock, George, 33
  Rogers, ---- (clerk), 51, 54
  Rogers, William (potter), 16, 125, 131, 173
  Rose, Parson 192
  Rosewell (plantation), 126, 131, 144, 147, 148, 152, 154, 173
  Roth, Rodris, viii
  Roy, Ann, marriage to John Mercer, 48
  Roy, Mrs. B., death of, 53-54
  Roy, Donald E., viii
  Roy, Doctor Mungo 47, 48
  rug, silk, 16; "Turkey work," 13
  Russell, Elizabeth, 17
  Russell & Russell, viii
  Russell site (Lewes, Delaware), 126
  Rust, George, 17

  saddle stiffener, 169 (illustr.), 171
  sail, 42;
    for windmill, 59
  sale, John Mercer's estate, 61-63
  Salmon, William, 37, 38
  sauceboat: silver, 39;
    stoneware, 136
  saucer, 17, 39, 144;
    Chinese porcelain, 144 (illustr.)
  Savage, James (overseer), 42
  Savage John, 7, 8, 21, 82, 116, 192 (_See also_ Marlborough, survey
    1731 and 1743)
  Scarlett, Martin, 12
  Schumacher, Edward G., viii
  science, books on, 43, 192, 200
  scissors, 25, 39, 155;
    "Salisbury," 17, 161;
    steel, 111, 161 (illustr.) (_See also_ shears)
  "sconce glass," 39, 41
  Scott, Reverend Alexander, 16
  Scott, Jack, viii
  Scott, James, 49
  seal: wine bottle, 31 (illustr.), 73, 146-149;
    "G R," 131, 132 (illustr.);
    tobacco cask, 30, 148
  seed boxes, 59
  Selden, Mr., 53, 54, 58
  Selden, Joseph, 28
  Selden, Samuel, 28
  Setzler, Frank M., vii, 67
  Seward, Nicholas (overseer), 42
  Shaw, Simeon, 135
  shears, sheep, 108, 170 (illustr.), 171
  sheep, 17, 20
  sheets, 59
  shipping, 15, 16 (_See also_ boat)
  shot, 18, 25, 42
  sifter, 18;
    hair sifter, 39
  silver, 32, 39, 159;
    church plate, 46;
    sale of, 61, 62-63;
    Sheffield, 111, 155, 159 (_See also_ specific items)
  silversmith, 39, 46
  Simm, Edward, 18
  Simpson, John (wheelwright), 30
  skillet, bell metal, 25
  skimmer, 20
  skins, deer, 16, 31 (buckskin)
  slate, 156, 158 (illustr.);
    slate pencil, 111, 156, 158 (illustr.)
  slaves, 16, 25, 41, 57;
    carpenter's apprentices, 50;
    clothing, 32, 42, 58, 59;
    expenses regarding, 59, 160, 162;
    number of Negroes born at Marlborough, 54;
    punishment of, 41;
    purchase of, 24, 53, 55, 58;
    quarters of, 64, 178;
    sale of, 16-17, 64;
    suicide of, 41;
    Bob, 24, 42;
    Boatswain, 42;
    Caesar, 25;
    Captain, 42;
    Cupid, death of, 53;
    Deborah, 24, 41;
    Dublin, 24;
    Essex, 50;
    Frank, 41;
    George, 24;
    Joe, 41-42;
    Lucy, 24;
    Margaret, 24;
    Marlborough, 24;
    Nan, 24;
    Nero, 24;
    Peter, 24, 50;
    Phillis, 24;
    Poll, 53;
    Sampson, 62;
    Sarah, 17;
    Stafford, 24;
    Temple, 58;
    Tom (death of), 53;
    Will, 24, 25

  sloop (_See under_ boat)
  Smith, Thomas, 18
  Smith's ordinary, 51
  smoothing iron, heaters, for, 25 (_See also_ box iron)
  _Snake_ (ship), 26
  Snicker's Little River Quarters, 53
  snuff: bottle, 32;
    box, 32, 25 (repair of)
  snuffers, candle, 17;
    iron, 88, 163 (illustr.)
  Spencer, Doctor, 43
  spices (_See_ food)
  spinning: reel, 62;
    wheel, 25, 32, 62
  spoons: soup, 39;
    tea, 39, 88, 160;
    iron, 162;
    pewter, 111, 160 (illustr.), 161 (illustr.), 173;
    silver, 13, 39, 88, 159, 160 (illustr.)
  Spoore, Ann, 28
  Spotswood, Colonel Alexander, 20, 26, 191
  Spotswood, Robert, 20
  spurs, 18
  stables, 62
  Stafford County, port town for, 7
  Stafford Parish Church, 10
  Stafford Rangers, 12
  Stafford Survey Book, 8
  Stamp Act, 54, 55;
    George Mercer, stamp office, 54
  steelyards, 17
  Stevens, Samuel, 25
  Stevenson, William (merchant), 26
  Stewart, T. Dale, vii, viii, 67
  still, 26
  stoneware, 39, 125, 129, 131-136;
    basaltes ware, 112, 138 (illustr.), 142;
    brown-banded, 88;
    "Crouch" ware, 135
    drab, 133
    "freckled ware," 134
    Nottingham, 88, 111, 132-133, 173
    salt-glazed, 114, 131-132
    "scratch-blue," 133 (illustr.), 135
    Westerwald, 39, 73, 88, 107, 111, 129, 131, 132, 173
    white salt-glazed, 72, 88, 108, 111, 133 (illustr.), 135-136, 173
  Stotham, Mat, 191
  Strother, Widow, 58
  Suddath, Henry, 18
  Sumner's Quarters (plantation at Passapatanzy), 17, 29, 30
  surveys (_See under_ Marlborough)
  Sussex Archeological Society, 126
  swans, 25
  swords, 63
  Sydenham & Hodgson, 30, 31, 39, 99, 168
  Sydenham, Jonathan, 30

  tailors, 31, 32-34, 42, 47
  Talbott, Mark, 33
  Taliaferro, Colonel John, 27, 28;
    wife of, 43
  Taliaferro, Richard, 31
  tankard, pewter, 13
  Tappahannock (town), 9, 30
  tar, 42
  Tayloe, George, 31
  Tayloe, Colonel John, 53
  Taylor, James, 43
  Taylor, Robert, 34
  teapot: and frame, 39;
    handle, 139;
    lid for, 111, 135 (illustr.), 140, 160 (illustr.), 161 (illustr.);
    earthenware, 139;
    pewter, 111, 160, 161;
    silver, 39;
    stoneware, 135;
    tortoiseshell ware, 140
  temperatures, 209
  textiles, 32;
    listed in accounts, 193, 196;
    blankets, 17, 42, 59;
    cotton, 32;
    counterpanes, 39;
    drill, 58;
    duffel, 42;
    haircloth, 59;
    linen, 39, 58;
    "ozenbrigs," 42, 59;
    sheets, 59;
    silk, 31;
    velvet, 32;
    wool, 25, 32, 62;
    worsted, 31 (_See also_ clothing; weaving; spinning)
  thermometer, 59
  thimble, 155 (illustr.), 156 (illustr.)
  Thompson, Matthew, 7
  Thomson, William (tailor), 34, 42, 47
  Thornton, Francis, 49
  Thornton, Major George, widow of, 63
  Thornton, Colonel Presley, 53
  Threlkeld, William (weaver), 32
  tobacco, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 25, 26, 30, 31, 41,
    42, 45, 46, 51, 118 (_See also_ warehouses)
  tobacco cask symbols, 29 (illustr.), 30
  tobacco pipe, 119, 156, 157 (illustr.);
    kaolin, 111, 157 (illustr.);
    terra-cotta, 157 (illustr.), 158, 173
  Todd, Robert, 33
  Tooke, William (merchant), 53
  tools, 193;
    adze, 34
    auger, 34
    ax, 17, 34, 166 (illustr.), 170
    bung extractor, 72, 166 (illustr.)
    chisel, gouge, 166 (illustr.), 167 (illustr.);
      mortice, 34;
      paring, 34
    hammer, blacksmith's, 167 (illustr.);
      jeweler's, 111, 167 (illustr.)
    hollows and rounds, 36
    knife, draw, 25, 34
    plane, 34, 36, 166 (illustr.), 167
    scraping, iron, 72, 166 (illustr.), 167 (illustr.);
      stone, 119 (illustr.)
    shovel, 170 (illustr.)
    socket gouge, 34
    tomahawk, 25
    wedges, 25
    wrench, 167
  Torbutt, William (overseer), 42
  toys, 33;
    marbles, 155, 157 (illustr.)
  trap, animal, 111, 171 (illustr.)
  tray, 39;
    silver, 39;
    stoneware, 136
  trees, 62
  Trinity College, 15
  _Triton_ (ship), 26
  trunk, 13;
    handle for, 163 (illustr.), 165
  Tucker, Major Robert (merchant), 33
  "Turkey work," 13
  turner, 36
  twine, ship's, 42
  Tyler, Henry, 30
  Tyler, Thomas, 32, 34
  Tylers, 27

  University of Pennsylvania, viii
  University of Pittsburgh, Darlington Library, viii
  University of Pittsburgh Press, viii
  University of Virginia, Mary Washington College, vii

  Vaulx, Robert, 51
  vehicles: carriage, fitting for, 169 (illustr.)
    cart, tumbling, 30;
      ox, 169
    chaise, 28, 30, 53;
      hinge for, 172
    chariot, 28, 30;
      sale of, 62
    coach, 61, 62
    wagon, 58, 170 (_See also_ sloop)
  veranda, 90, 91, 95, 96, 97, 178
  Victoria and Albert Museum, 139
  Virginia, map of, 19 (illustr.)
  Virginia Committee of Safety, 63
  Virginia State Library, viii

  wagon (_See under_ vehicle)
  Wain, Joseph (servant), 58
  Waite, William (carpenter), 50, 52
  waiter, (_See_ tray)
  Wales, Mr. (brewer), 55
  Walker, Robert (cabinetmaker), 40
  Walker, Major William (cabinetmaker), 25, 28, 35-36, 40, 46, 144
  Waller, Benjamin, 46
  Waller, Charles, 34
  warehouse: Occaquan, 30;
    tobacco, 25, 34, 42, 62, 113, 115, 177, 178
  Warwick Courthouse, 11
  Washington, Augustine, 25, 31, 49
  Washington, George, 53, 63
  Washington, John, 31
  Washington, Lawrence, 25, 31, 49
  watch, gold, 32
  water cooler, earthenware, 129 (illustr.)
  Watson, Isaac, 12
  Waugh, Alex, 184
  Waugh, David, 16, 17, 18, 21
  Waugh, James, 16
  Waugh, John (Parson), 10, 12, 16
  Waugh, John, Jr., 16, 21, 22, 25, 54, 183
  Waugh, Joseph, 20
  Waugh, Mary, 184
  Waughhop, James, 34
  weavers, 32, 42, 59
  Wedgwood, Josiah, 139, 140, 141, 142
  West Point (Virginia), 27
  wharf, 25
  Wheeland, William, 42
  wheels, 30
  wheelwright, 30
  Whieldon, Thomas, 108, 138, 139
  Whiffen, Marcus, 35, 121
  whip: horse, 16, 17, 18;
    hunting, 25;
    thong, 41
  Whitehaven (England), 32
  whiteware (_See under_ earthenware)
  Whiting & Montague, 16
  Whitticar, Ralph, Jr., vii
  wig, 34;
    comb for, 25
  Wigley, Job (mason), 37
  Williams, Jacob (plasterer), 36
  Williams, T. Ben, vii
  Williamsburg, 27, 32, 34, 35, 36, 39, 41, 47, 48, 52, 53, 54, 57, 58,
    capitol, 35, 99, 121;
    courthouse, 121;
    General Court, 27;
    student life in, 34, 197 (_See also_ College of William and Mary)
  Wilson, Captain, 32, 34
  Winchester (Virginia), 53
  windmill, 35, 52, 64, 67, 178;
    sails for, 59
  windows, 38 (illustr.), 62, 96-97 (_See also_ glass, window)
  wine (_See_ beverages)
  Wine Trade Loan Exhibition, 149, 154
  Withers, John, 7, 12, 30
  _Wolf_ (sloop of war), 58
  Woodford, William, 32
  Woodstock, 12
  wool cards, 32
  Wormley, Mr., 53
  Wright, Edward, 39
  Wroughton, Francis (merchant), 50, 51
  Wythe, George, 31

  yarn, 18
  yellowware (_See under_ earthenware)
  yoke, 39
  York (County), 33;
    courthouse (1692), 11
  Yorktown, 9, 16, 47, 125, 173

       *       *       *       *       *


    Missing punctuation has been added and obvious punctuation
    errors have been corrected.

    Archaic spellings and typographical errors have been retained with
    the exception of those listed below.

    Page 9: "bee" changed to "be" (to be approved by an able surveyor).

    Page 21: "thiry-one" changed to "thirty-one" (one thousand seven
    hundred and thirty-one).

    Page 39: "an" changed to "a" (he made a large purchase of silver).

    Page 55: deleted duplicate "as" (as I have the satisfaction to).

    Footnote 123: incorrectly references Footnote 115. This has
    been corrected to reference Footnote 66.

    Footnote 140: "Geneaological" changed to "Genealogical" (Tyler's
    Quarterly Historical Genealogical Magazine).

    Page 88: "18-century" changed to "18th-century" (we can find no
    exact parallel in the 18th-century America).

    Page 96: "expance" changed to "expanse" (a small gilded cupola to
    break the long expanse of the roof).

    Page 124, Illustration caption: "plan" changed to "pan" (a, milk

    Page 135: "homogenous" changed to "homogeneous" (thus making
    possible a homogeneous white body).

    Page 144: "18-century" changed to "18th-century" (that 18th-century
    China-trade porcelain sherds).

    Page 154: "chows" changed to "shows" (from a long-stemmed cordial
    glass shows the termini).

    Page 154: "somprised" changed to "comprised" (threads that were
    comprised in a double enamel-twist).

    Page 169, illustration caption: "probaby" changed to "probably" (b,
    chain, probably from whiffletree).

    Page 173: "expecially" changed to "especially" (especially as the
    few 17th-century artifacts).

    Page 178: "acitvity" changed to "activity" (the rigid boundar to
    domestic activity).

    Page 178: "apparrently" changed to "apparently" (perhaps the bar
    apparently were located to the north.)

    Page 188: "romall" changed to "Romal" for consistency (To 1 Romall

    Page 188: "handkercheif" changed to "handkerchief" (To 1 silk Romall

    Page 190: "handkercheifs" changed to "handkerchiefs" (To 4 Soosey

    Page 209: "curran" changed to "currant" (Wild currant).

    Page 217: "Fallmouth" changed to "Falmouth" (Falmouth (Virginia)).

    Page 217: "Grorge" changed to "George" (George Mercer Papers
    Relating to).

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia - An Archeological and Historical Investigation of the Port - Town for Stafford County and the Plantation of John Mercer, - Including Data Supplied by Frank M. Setzler and Oscar H. - Darter" ***

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