- Nathaniel Pope's Profile
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The Pope family
Nathaniel Pope is first mentioned as one of the twenty-four freeman of the "Grand Inquest" in Maryland in 1637 and in the Assembly afterward. He affixed a mark to his writings, and so was probably illiterate. In 1643 Pope and his nine menial servants were exempted from military service. Governor Leonard Calvert sent Pope as his agent to Kent Island in 1647, where he attempted, to persuade the rebels against the Proprietary there to come and live at Mattox Neck until they should become strong enough to seize the land again. After removing from Maryland, Nathaniel Pope, in 1651, patented 1,050 acres (4.2 km2) in Old Northumberland between two large creeks; one would bear his name. At Mattox Creek he built dwellings, warehouses, and docks for the merchant trade with England including the port of Bristol. He shipped beaver, tobacco with caske, and raw materials; and he imported English manufactured goods. He settled the argument between John Washington and shipping partner Edward Prescott by paying off the senior officer in Beaver skins at eight shillings per pound. In 1655 Pope was made Lieutenant-Colonel in the militia. His wife was named Luce and they had: 1, Anne, who married John Washington; 2, Margaret, who married William Hardwich; 3, Thomas; 4, Nathaniel. The elder Nathaniel was among the county's wealthiest residents at his death in 1660, when he left The Clifts tract to his son Thomas. The Pope and Washington families were bound by more than blood--county documents are filled with their business and legal ties. The will of John Washington bequeaths 1000 pounds sterling to his brother-in-law Thomas Pope.
Thomas Pope, a "planter of Westmoreland" and "merchant of Bristol," died in Bristol, leaving a wife, Joanna, and sons, Thomas, Richard, Charles, John, and Nathaniel. Later, Westmoreland Justice of the Peace Lawrence Washington “refused to give his Judgment” on this estate (Will dated September 3, 1684) because he and his father John were trustees of “said Estate.” On February 28, 1710, Joanna Pope, of Bristol, authorized Thomas Wills, merchant, and Nathaniel Pope, mariner, to dispose of the plantation known as "the Clifts". The letter of attorney describes her son as "Nathanial Pope of Pope's Creek." This Nathaniel, appeared in the county's records for the first time in 1704 when he married the daughter of a Westmoreland Justice of the Peace, William Peirce (pronounced purse). In 1716, Joanna and son Richard Pope sold the Clifts, including what was referred to in the deed as “the manner house erected on the second”; to Thomas Lee. Even as the Popes and Washingtons had circulated among the members of Westmoreland County's political gentry, Lee's family had made their name known throughout the colony of Virginia for two generations. In the year 1729, Lee lived at his father's plantation on Lower Machodoc Creek, when the dwelling burned down. After that he erected the brick mansion, now known as Stratford Hall, on the Clifts tract about a quarter mile from the original site. Thomas Lee became a member of the Governor's Council and served as acting governor of the colony in 1749 when William Gooch returned to England.
Wine bottle seal, Popes Creek artifact (1715)
Mary (Sisson) Pope, alias Bridges, gave a calf to her son Nathaniel Pope, alias Bridges, in 1675. As Mary Nicholas, widow of Lewis Nicholas, she made presents in 1677 to her son Nathaniel Pope, alias Bridges, and to her son Lewis Nicholas. She married again, Daniel Whitley, who promised to keep her children "so farre at school as to write and reade". Mary Nicholas refers to her brother and sister, Captain Daniel Sisson and Jane, his wife. The will of John Rosier (will, September–October,1705) leaves land to Nathaniel Pope, clerk of Stafford and practitioner at law; and the rest of the estate is given to his wife, Mary Rosier, who was Mary Pope, alias Bridges.
Two Nathaniel Popes lived in the same area around the year 1700, both grandsons of the original patentee. Nathaniel alias Bridges (through the early death of Nathaniel II) became an established Westmoreland attorney by 1705, and served as guardian of Nathaniel Washington in 1708. The mariner Nathaniel was first recorded as married in 1704. Furthermore, Nathaniel alias Bridges’ son John married his cousin Elizabeth (Peirce) Pope, daughter of the mariner/merchant Nathaniel, making the identification by alias significant. A Pope family artifact unearthed at George Washington’s birthplace, a wine bottle seal marked "N. Pope 1715," probably belonged to Nathaniel alias Bridges. Jane Brooks (Higdon) Brown was the sister of Lydia Abbington. Her daughter Jane married Nathaniel Pope alias Bridges about 1690. The son of Nathaniel and Jane (Brown) Pope is listed as John Pope, “Planter” in 1728 when Augustine Washington purchased his mill “for 60 Pounds current Virginia money two acres with the appurtenances together with the mill thereon erected & built scituate [several miles upstream] at the head of Popes Creek.” Augustine added to the property the road called "Lord’s rolling road" (the name alludes to rolling hogsheads of tobacco down to the Potomac). The mill remained in the Washington family until after the Civil War.
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On December 18, 2014 at 02:44GMT Darlene Athey Hill wrote: