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Matthew Bentley (1650 - 1684)

Matthew Bentley
Born [location unknown]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 6 Feb 1670 in Middlesex, Virginiamap
[children unknown]
Died in Middlesex, Virginiamap
Profile manager: Bob Carson private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 29 Jul 2011
This page has been accessed 507 times.
The Birth Date is a rough estimate. See the text for details.


The records recorded in the Tithables of Lancaster County provides the following information about Matthew Bentley:[1]

Matthew and Mary Willis where married in Middlesex (formerly a part of Lancaster) on February 6, 1670 (it is estimated he was born approximately 20 years earlier in 1650). Mary Willis is listed as widow, and Matthew Bentley a shoemaker. The marriage contract also makes provision in favor of her children, Richard, John and Eleanor Willis. This Mary Willis was doubtless the widow of Thomas Willis. Her second husband, Matthew Bentley, was one of the leaders of the adherents of Nathaniel Bacon in Middlesex and vicinity"

In February, 1677, Matthew Bentley was summoned to a Middlesex Court to answer the charge that "during the late rebellion, when in command of forty or fifty men-in-arms at Major Lewis' plantation, in New Kent county, he killed three hogs and four sheep, used a great deal of corn, and took meal for the whole rebel army at Major Pate's. Bentley took an appeal to the General Court regarding this case.

On May 3, 1677 William Ball and Walter Whitaker made a statement, "that one Bentley, a shoemaker of Middlesex County, played a great part in the late rebellion but though first imprisoned, he was freed, by order of Major Beverly and not brought before court".[2]

On July 23d, Colonel Christopher Wormeley, of Middlesex, sued Matthew Bentley and others for trespass and for taking from him in October, 1676, twelve beeves, forty sheep, twelve bushels of salt, etc. He obtained judgment for 435 pounds.

March, 1677, Mr. William Gordon and Mr. Alexander Smith, of Middlesex, became securities for the good behavior of Matthew Bentley.

The will of Matthew Bentley, dated January, 1685-6, was proved in Middlesex February, 1685-6.

He left Mary Allden a young mare; Robert Allden "a cloth serge suit I now have and my great cloth coat; " John Willis his broadcloth suit with gold buttons on it; son, Richard Willis, executor, and to have the remainder of his estate.

Matthew Bentley died January 8, I685, and Mrs. Mary Bentley September 27, 1684.

See also "The records of Henrico County contain sundry charges of depredations committed by Bacon's soldiers, showing that the people's cause was strong in that section. Major John Lewis, of Middlesex, laid claim of damages at the hands of "one [Captain] Matt Bentley," with "forty or fifty men-of- arms," in the time of the late rebellion." Major Lewis's inventory of his losses includes "400 meals" (which he declares were eaten at his house by Bacon's men during their two days encampment on his plantation), the killing of some of his stock, and carrying off of meal "for the whole rebel army," at Major Pate's house, at whose house Bacon died in October 1676 ." [3]also see [4]

Another source states: "Two Baconians, Matthew Bentley and Robert Boodle, married wealthy widows and were not given the social position in the county as the prior husbands maintained. Riding with Nathaniel Bacon could be a substitute position they never held. The two native Middlesex sons had been cut from their family inheritances by circumstances out of their control". [5]

Research Notes

More information is needed to document Matthew's date of birth and early life.


  1. Tithables of Lancaster County, Va., 1654, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Jan., 1898), pp. 249-260 Published by: Virginia Historical Society Stable URL: online here
  2. Letters and Papers concerning American Plantations. 20 April 1677 - 22 June 1677. DONE BY JTK, 5 JUNE 1991 Andrews Guide, p. 112. Lists & Indexes XXXVI, p. 1. Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies, 1677-1680 (London 1896), pp. 50-109. Page 7 available here
  3. Story of Bacon's Rebellion, section XIV [Story of Bacon's Rebellion, section XIV]
  4. The William and Mary Quarterly from 1879 [available on google books here]
  5. A Place in Time: Middlesex County 1650-1750, by Darrett B Rutman and Anita H. Rutman, p.5[Bacon's Rebellion -available here]
  • WikiTree profile Bentley-349 created through the import of 2010-09-14.ged on Jul 28, 2011 by Bob Carson. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Bob and others.
  • Source: S-2050775272 Title: Ancestry Family Trees Publication: Name: Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.;; Note: Ancestry Family Trees (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.), This information comes from 1 or more individual Ancestry Family Tree files. This source citation points you to a current version of those files. Note: The owners of these tree files may have removed or changed information since this source citation was created.

Source: #S-2050775272 Page: Ancestry Family Trees Data: Text:

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Comments: 1

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Hi, I have started a Bentley Name Study and would like to include Matthew in it. I believe Matthew was involved in Bacon's Rebellion at Jamestown in 1676. I recently ran across some information about him while searching for my Bentley relative that was also at Jamestown. I will add the info I found so I don't lose the sources.
posted by John Bentley

Matthew is 18 degrees from Alicia Taylor, 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England and 28 degrees from Rembrandt van Rijn on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.