Categories: Notables | Ancient Planter of Virginia | Jamestown, Virginia Colony | Kent Island, Virginia Colony | New Kent County, Virginia | Famous People of the 17th Century | Providence, Province of Maryland | Questionable Gateway Ancestors.
There may be two William Claibornes, one born in 1587 and the other in 1600. This William's parents are Thomas and Sarah and his wife is Elizabeth Butler. There is proof that Edmond Claiborne and Grace Bellingham are not the parents of this William.
Prior to the 20th century, William was commonly thought to be the son of Edward "Edmund" Cleburne and Grace Bellingham - both from Westmoreland. That narrative was challenged by Dr. William G. Stanard in 1925.
English pioneer, surveyor, and an early settler in the colonies/provinces of Virginia and Maryland and around the Chesapeake Bay. Claiborne became a wealthy planter, a trader, and a major figure in the politics of the colonies. He was a central figure in the disputes between the colonists of Virginia and the later settling of Maryland, partly because of his earlier trading post on Kent Island in the mid-way of the Chesapeake Bay, which provoked the first naval military battles in North American waters. Claiborne repeatedly attempted and failed to regain Kent Island from the Maryland Calverts, sometimes by force of arms, after its inclusion in the lands that were granted by a 1632 Royal Charter to the Calvert family (to Sir George Calvert, first Baron and Lord Baltimore, (1579-1632), by the reigning King of England, Charles I, (1600-1649, reigned 1625-to execution, 1649), thus becoming Maryland territory.
William Claiborne (c. 1600 – c. 1677) Also spelled "William Cleyburne") 
Contemporaries wrote Claiborne's surname with a variety of phonetic variants, and during his first decades in Virginia he sometimes spelled his name Claybourne, but in later years he signed as Claiborne. 
Claiborne was born probably in Crayford Parish, in Kent, England, where he was baptized on August 10, 1600. 
Hon./Capt. William Claiborne, born ca 1600, baptized 10 August 1600 in Crayford, son of Thomas & Sara Smyth-James Claiborne. 
He was the son of Sara Smyth James Cleyborne and her second husband, Thomas Cleyborne, a merchant and former mayor of King's Lynn in the county of Norfolk; Sir Roger James, a shareholder in the Virginia Company of London, may have been his elder half brother. 
Though his life in Virginia is fairly well documented; his biographers rarely agree on his early life in England.
Nineteenth century genealogists were quick to associate Col. Claiborne with the Claiborne's of Westmoreland County, England. The Westmoreland branch were members of the landed gentry, holding the title of Baron in this Mid-lands county, known for its political instability. Cleburne Hall stood for many years in ruin, though like the English family, disappeared in modern times. This association with the Westmoreland family is confirmed by William Claiborne's use of the Westmoreland family arms; however, 20th century genealogists have not been able to prove descent from that family. Claiborne's association with the Westmoreland branch is assumed to be very distant. It is thought that his grandfather or great grandfather may have been younger sons of the family.
Modern genealogists identify William Claiborne as the son of Thomas and Sarah (Smith) Claiborne of King Lynn and later of Crayford, Kent. Lissell and Torrence also concur with the identity of his parentage. The main source for this identification is a baptism record, which roughly corresponds with William's age, as given by him in a deposition found in English court records. However, I have seen no additional records that tie him to Thomas Claiborne directly to the Virginian by the same name. His mother, Sara Smythe was a wealthy widow and her son by Roger James inherited a title and it is assumed considerable property. Within these estate record may lie the proof that Claiborne was her son. Other earlier records such as his matriculation at Cambridge also cannot be positively attributed to him based on published research. However, his position in Virginia and wealth suggest the link is reasonable and the further indicated connection of his mother’s cousin-in-law, Elizabeth James, as the wife of Rev. Henry Brereton and parents to Claiborne’s son-in-law Col. Thomas Brereton further increases the likelihood of Claibornes connection to the Smyth-James family.
Claiborne was born in county/shire Kent, England, in 1600 to Thomas Clayborn, an alderman and lord mayor from King's Lynn, Norfolk, who made his living as a small-scale businessman involved in a variety of industries, including the salt and fish trades, and Sarah Smith, the daughter of a London brewer. The family name was spelled alternately as Cleburn, Cleyborne, or Claiborne. William Claiborne, who was baptized on 10 August 1587, was the younger of two sons. The family's business was not profitable enough to make it rich, and so Claiborne's older brother was apprenticed in London, becoming a merchant involved in hosiery and, eventually, the tobacco trade.
Col. William was admitted to Pembroke College, 31 May 1616, age 16. 
1617 May 31 - Admitted to Pembroke College, Cambridge, England
He entered Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, on May 31, 1617. 
William matriculated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, 31 May 1617 at age 16.
On 13 June 1621 he was chosen by the Virginia Company to undertake the task of Surveyor of the Colony, compensated with 200 acres of land in the colony. 
In 1621, he was appointed Surveyor General at the solicitation of his cousin Ann, Countess of Pembroke.
His appointment as Surveyor of Jamestown in 1621, at the age of 21, indicates that he had the confidence of men in high places and that his family connections were probably an important factor in obtaining the position.
Claiborne was offered a position as a land surveyor in the new colony of Virginia, and arrived at Jamestown, on the north shore of the James River in 1621. The position carried a 200 acre (80 hectare) land grant, a salary of £30 per year, and the promise of fees paid by settlers who needed to have their land grants surveyed. 
Arrived in Virginia Oct 1621 as Surveyor for the Virginia Company of London; 
He arrived at Jamestown in October, 1621 on the ship the George. 
He laid out the area on Jamestown Island known as New Towne. 
Col. William Claiborne arrived in Virginia in 1621 with Sir Francis Wyatt, the newly appointed Governor of the colony.
Four years later, perhaps on his half brother's recommendation, the Virginia Company appointed Claiborne surveyor of the colony at a salary of £30 per annum and also offered him an assistant, 200 acres of land, and a convenient house, presumably in Jamestown.
Claiborne traveled to Virginia in the retinue of Governor Sir Francis Wyatt and arrived in October 1621. His first task was to survey the New Town section of Jamestown, but he was soon involved in Virginia's politics and was one of the company's officers who in 1622, following the deadly Powhatan Uprising, requested that the king take over management of the colony. By the spring of 1623 Claiborne was a member of the governor's Council, in which office James I confirmed him in August 1624 when appointing Wyatt the first royal governor of Virginia. 
Surveying allowed Claiborne to accumulate a considerable amount of land, including property in Elizabeth City County. After 1640 he lived at Romancoke, near the confluence of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers, in the part of York County that in 1654 became New Kent County and in 1701 King William County. 
1621 - Perhaps at the recommendation of Claiborne's half brother, the Virginia Company of London appoints William Claiborne surveyor of the colony at a salary of £30 per annum and also offers him an assistant, 200 acres of land, and a convenient house, presumably in Jamestown.
October 1621 - William Claiborne arrives in Virginia in the retinue of Governor Sir Francis Wyatt.
The Province of Virginia was still a frontier settlement in March 1622 when William Claiborne, (c.1600-c.1677), survived attacks by native Indian Powhatans that killed more than 300 Virginia colonists.
He also managed to survive the March 1622 attacks by native/Indian Powhatans on the Virginia settlers that killed more than 300 colonists. 
Quoting from Nathaniel C. Hale in his Roots in Virginia, Lolita Bissell summarizes William Claiborne's career, "As a captain of Colonial troops, he was a successful commander in early Indian campaigns.
Autumn 1622 - Following a deadly attack by Virginia Indians, William Capps, William Claiborne, and other Virginia Company officers request that the king take over management of the colony.
In 1623 he was appointed to the council, and would serve as the first Secretary of the Colony 1625-35, 1652-60, and Treasurer – appointed for life in this position. 
His political acumen quickly made him one of the most successful Virginia colonists, and within four years of his arrival he had secured grants for 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of land and a retroactive salary of £60 a year from the Virginia Colony's council. 
His financial success was followed by political success, and he gained appointment as Councilor in 1624 and Secretary of State for the Colony in 1626. 
Spring 1623 - William Claiborne is a member of the governor's Council.
August 1624 - James I confirms William Claiborne's position on the governor's Council when appointing Sir Francis Wyatt the first royal governor of Virginia.
1624 Jan 12, pg-7, Capt.John Harvy 6 1/2 acres within the precints of James City. Ground laid out by Willi. Clayborne
1624 Feb. 4, pg-6, Georg Menefy land surveyed by William Clayborne. 1624 June 3, pg-41, William Clayborne, Gent., of James City,
1624 Aug.11, pg-8 John Pott, Esq. 3 acres laid out by Wm. Clayborne
1624 Aug. 14, pg-9,William Spencer, yeoman and ancient planter, 12 acres, James City. Land measured by Wm. Clayborne.
Aug. 14, pg-10, John Lytefoote, 12 acres measured by Wm.Clayborne
August 14, pg-10, Thomas Passmore, carpenter, 12 acres within James City. Ground measured by Willi. Clayborne
Aug. 14, pg-11, Mary Holland, 12 acres measured by Wm. Clayborne.
Aug 14, pg-5, Ralph Hamor, Esq. 1 1/2 acres for house in James City. This ground was laid out by mee William Clayborne it lacketh about 14 po. of one acre and a halfe.
1624 Dec. 1, pg-17, John Bainham,300 acres in Eliz. City Corp., as his first devident. About 3 miles up the main creek between Haxoms Gaole and Blunt Point, adj. Capt. Samuel Mathews and William Clayborne. 100 acres due for the transportation of John Bainham, his son, deceased, who came in the Charles in 1621.
1624 Dec. 4, pg-12, I measured for Mr. Georg Sandys at his plantation over the water 650 acres (vizt.) 200 acres for Mr. Bainhams devdt. the above named 300 acres for said Mr. Sandys and 150 acres more for devident of Edward Grindon by the water side in a right line it conteyneth 320 pole which is just 1 mile and soe it runneth up into the woods on all sides square 1 mile. Willi. Clayborne
Secretary of the Colony of Virginia, 1625-1637, 1652-1660, 
Governor's Councillor, 1625-1660, 
1626 - William Claiborne becomes secretary of the Virginia colony, an office that ranks second only to the governor in political weight. He and Samuel Mathews lead a dominant faction of Council members whose quest for land and influence produces clashes with Governor Sir John Harvey.
He accumulated large tracts of land, including 250 acres at Archer’s Hope (James City); 500 acres at Blount Point (Warwick), 150 acres at Elizabeth City; 5000 acres in Northumerland County; 5000 acres on the Pamunkey; and 1,500 acres on the north wide of the York the River. His plantation in Virginia- was called “Romancoke.” By 1626 he had accumulated a total of 17,500 acres in 7 different locales. 
He was Secretary of State of Virginia 1625-1638, again held that post throughout the duration of the Cromwellian Commonwealth from 1652-1658 and after the restoration was honored by Charles I with the same position.
1626-1634: In office as Secretary of State for the Virginia Colony. 
1627-8 - With the Governor`s license he was active in Indian trade along the shores of the Chesapeake.
Around 1627, he began to trade for furs with the native Susquehannock Indians from further north on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and two of its largest tributaries, the Potomac and Susquehanna Rivers. To facilitate this trade, Claiborne wanted to establish a trading post on Kent Island in the mid-way of the Chesapeake Bay, which he intended to make the center of a vast mercantile empire along the Atlantic Coast. Claiborne found both financial and political support for the Kent Island venture from London merchants Maurice Thomson, William Cloberry, John de la Barre, and Simon Turgis.
Claiborne made several voyages across the Atlantic to advance his commercial interests and protect his political connections. Growing wealth and influence made him a leader of Virginia's emerging political elite. In 1626 Claiborne became secretary of the colony, an office that ranked second only to the governor in political weight. 
In 1627, William Claiborne set out to locate the source of the great Chesapeake Bay. In August 1631, he landed upon the Isle of Kent and established the first English settlement in Maryland. This settlement was one of the first in the nation, predated only by Jamestown, Plymouth, and the Massachusetts Colony. Established on the southeastern side of the island, the settlement stood approximately 2 miles northeast of Kent Point on the shore of what is now known as Eastern Bay. The island was already inhabited by several Native American tribes including the Matapeakes who occupied the southern banks of the Chester River and the Monoponsons who lived on the southern end of the island. The early settlers were often subject to attack from neighboring mainland tribes, the Wicomese and the Susquehannas.
Records indicate that Claiborne built a fort, a church, dwellings and boats. He also built the first boat in Maryland, a small sailboat called a pinnace, which Claiborne named the `Long Tayle.` In addition to planting gardens and orchards, Claiborne stocked farms with cattle and planted tobacco, starting Maryland’s famous tobacco economy that sustained the colonists and dominated colonial life until the 1800s when corn and wheat replaced it as Maryland’s main crops. Unfortunately, due to 350 years of erosion, today the remains of the settlement are most likely underwater.
William Claiborne established a trading post on the island in Chesapeake he called Kent Island, thus we find William Claiborne giving to the island the name of Kent, the county in England of his birth, while we find repeated reference in the archives of Maryland to Claiborne`s personal plantation on the island as `Crayford` which was the name of the Parish in Kent in which William Claiborne appears to have been born and baptized.
The next 25 years were turbulent ones as Claiborne struggled with Lord Baltimore for control of the island. It is reported that the first naval battle of the new world was fought between the forces of Claiborne and Lord Baltimore over possession of the island. Claiborne eventually lost his fight and was forced to relinquish control of the island.
Settled Kent Island, Maryland, 1631, as factor for Clobery & Co., London; Captain and Colonel in militia activities against the Indians; later, 
1629 - Led an expedition against the Indians.
William may have returned to England 24 Mar 1629/30 where he met Elizabeth Butler and married about 1631. Another source has two marriages - one to Jane Butler and another to Elizabeth Butler. Another source has his marriage 1635 in VA but this does not seem to fit birth dates of children.
In 1629, George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, arrived in Virginia, having traveled south from Avalon, his failed colony on Newfoundland. Calvert was not welcomed by the Virginians, both because his Catholicism offended them as Protestants, and because it was no secret that Calvert desired a charter for a portion of the land that the Virginians considered their own. After a brief stay, Calvert returned to England to press for just such a charter, and Claiborne, in his capacity as Secretary of State of Virginia colony, was sent to England to argue the Virginians' case. This happened to be to Claiborne's private advantage, as he was also trying to complete the arrangements for the trading post on Kent Island.
Calvert, a former high official in the government of King James I, asked the Privy Council for permission to build a colony, to be called Carolina, on land south of the Virginia settlements in area of the modern-day North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Claiborne arrived soon afterwards and expressed the concerns of Virginia that its territorial integrity was being threatened. He was joined in his protests by a group of London merchants who planned to build a sugar colony in the same area. Claiborne, still intent on his own project, received a royal trading commission through one of his London supporters in 1631, one which granted him the right to trade with the natives on all lands in the mid-Atlantic where there was not already a patent in effect.
Late in the 1620s Claiborne explored trading opportunities in the upper part of the Chesapeake Bay and for much of the 1630s operated a lucrative trading post on Kent Island, which put him in conflict with successive Lords Baltimore, who maintained that the island was within the charter boundaries of Maryland. Eventually expelled from the island and losing perhaps as much as £10,000, Claiborne harbored a long and intense animosity toward Maryland and the Calvert family. 
Beginning with tobacco and fur, Claiborne built a profitable and influential commercial network that connected the Chesapeake Bay with London. His closest Virginia associates included Samuel Mathews (d. 1657), another merchant, land magnate, and member of the governor's Council, and his initial London associates were William Cloberry and Maurice Thompson, two of the most successful merchants in that city. 
Claiborne sailed for Kent Island on 28 May 1631 with indentured servants recruited in London and money for his trading post, likely believing Calvert's hopes defeated. He was able to gain the support of the Virginia Council for his project and, as a reward for London merchant Maurice Thomson's financial support, helped Thomson and two associates get a contract from Virginia guaranteeing a monopoly on tobacco. 
Claiborne's Kent Island settlers established a small plantation on the island and appointed a clergyman. 
In 1631 he settled the Isle of Kent in the Chesapeake Bay and named his plantation there Crayford, becoming the 1st White Settler in what is now known as the State of Maryland 
He would subsequently lose his land on the Isle of Kent due to political machinations of the Royal Governor. 
While the settlement on Kent Island was progressing, the Privy Council had proposed to Sir George Calvert, former Secretary of State for the King that he be granted a charter for lands north of the Virginia colony, in replacement for the unsuccessful settlements of his earlier colony of Avalon in Newfoundland (eastern modern Canada), in order to create pressure on the Dutch settlements further north along the Delaware and Hudson Rivers (modern states of Delaware, New Jersey and New York). 
Calvert accepted, though he died in 1632 before the charter could be formally signed by King Charles I, and the Royal Grant and Charter for the new colony of Maryland was instead granted to his son, Cecilius Calvert, on 20 June 1632. 
This turn of events was unfortunate for Claiborne, since the Maryland charter included all lands on either side of the Chesapeake Bay north of the mouth of the Potomac River, a region which included Claiborne's proposed trading post on Kent Island, mid-way on the Bay. The Virginia Assembly, still in support of Claiborne and now including representatives of the Kent Island settlers, issued a series of proclamations and protests both before and after when the news of the granting of the Maryland charter reached across the ocean, claiming the lands for Virginia and protesting the charter's legality.
Claiborne's first appeal to royal authority in the dispute, which complained both that the lands in the Maryland charter were not really unsettled, as the charter claimed, and that the charter gave so much power to Calvert that it undermined the rights of the settlers, was rejected by the Lords of Foreign Plantations in July 1633. 
The following year, the main body of Calvert's settlers arrived in the Chesapeake and established a permanent settlement on Yaocomico lands at St. Mary's City. 
With the support of the Virginia establishment, Claiborne made clear to Calvert that his allegiance was to Virginia and royal authority, and not to the proprietary authority in Maryland. Some historical reports claim that Claiborne tried to incite the natives against the Maryland colonists by telling them that the settlers at St. Mary's were actually Spanish and enemies of the English, although this claim has never been proven. 
1634 - William Claiborne yields the office of secretary of the Virginia colony to his rival Richard Kemp, who arrives in Virginia with a royal appointment.
Claiborne yielded the secretary's lucrative office to his rival Richard Kemp, who in 1634 arrived with a royal appointment, and when Harvey returned to Virginia for a second term as governor in 1637 Claiborne lost his seat on the Council. In 1640 he scored a victory over Kemp by obtaining royal permission to found a signet office for the purpose of validating public records, providing the Council consented, which it did. The new office reduced Kemp's influence and income because the great seal of Virginia and its attendant fees were transferred from him to Claiborne. Not long thereafter Wyatt relinquished the office of governor to Sir William Berkeley. Claiborne acted as an intermediary, and in 1642 the new governor reappointed Claiborne to the Council and named him treasurer of the colony.
In the mid-1630s he married Elizabeth Boteler, or Butler. They had four sons and two daughters.
William married ca 1635 Elizabeth Butler, born ca 1610 in Roxwell, Essex, England. “She was the daughter of John Butler (1585 - ?) and Jane Elliott (abt. 1582 - ?) of Little Burche Hall, Roxwell, Essex, England. Elizabeth's siblings were John Butler of Kent Island, Sara Butler, ? Butler (female), and Thomas Butler, married Joan Mountsteven Butler wife of Nicholas Mountsteven, haberdasher of St. Marins at Ludgate. Elizabeth's uncle was Capt. Nathaniel Butler, Governor of Bermuda.” 
1629-1638 - Married Elizabeth Butler (the exact date and place is uncertain). It is said he married in London, 1638, but a grant of land in Elizabeth City County was made to Elizabeth Claiborne, the wife of Capt. William Claiborne, Esq., his Majestie`s Treasure of this Colony of Virginia. (Was she Jane Elizabeth Buller?) 1637 - Appointed to serve as Secretary of State and continued until 1637
In 1635, a Maryland commissioner named Thomas Cornwallis swept the Chesapeake for illegal traders and captured one of Claiborne's pinnaces in the Pocomoke Sound. Claiborne tried to recover it by force, but was defeated; although he retained his settlement on Kent Island. These were the first naval battles in North American waters, on 23 April and 10 May 1635; three Virginians were killed.
May 1635 - While William Claiborne is at Kent Island, a faction of Council members to which he belongs decides to evict Governor Sir John Harvey from office.
He and Mathews led a dominant faction of Council members whose quest for land and influence produced clashes with Governor Sir John Harvey. In May 1635, while Claiborne was at Kent Island, the faction evicted Harvey from office. Claiborne initially emerged from that feud a much stronger politician, and when Sir Francis Wyatt returned to Virginia as governor in November 1639, he handled Claiborne gingerly.
During these events, Governor John Harvey of Virginia, who had never been well liked by the Virginian colonists, had followed royal orders to support the Maryland settlement and, just before the naval battles in the Chesapeake, removed Claiborne from office as Secretary of State. In response, Claiborne's supporters in the Virginia Assembly expelled Harvey from the colony. 
1637 - William Claiborne loses his seat on the governor's Council.
Two years later, an attorney for Cloberry and Company, who were concerned that the revenues they were receiving from fur trading had not recouped their original investment, arrived on Kent Island. The attorney took possession of the island and bade Claiborne return to England, where Cloberry and Company filed suit against him. The attorney then invited Maryland to take over the island by force, which it did in December 1637. By March 1638 the Maryland Assembly had declared that all of Claiborne's property within the colony now belonged to the proprietor. Maryland temporarily won the legal battle for Kent Island and won again when Claiborne's final appeal was rejected by the Privy Council in April 1638.
In 1638 Claiborne received a grant of an island off the coast of Honduras and may have intended to set up a trading post there.
In May 1638, fresh from his defeat over Kent Island, Claiborne received a commission from the Providence Land Company, who were advised by his old friend Maurice Thomson, to create a new colony on Ruatan Island off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea. At the time, Honduras itself was a part of Spain's Kingdom of Guatemala, and Spanish settlements dominated the mainland of Central America. Claiborne optimistically called his new colony Rich Island, but Spanish power in the area was too strong and the colony was destroyed in 1642.
November 1639 - Sir Francis Wyatt returns to Virginia as governor.
1640 - William Claiborne obtains royal permission and consent of the governor's Council to found a signet office for the purpose of validating public records. The new office reduces the power of Claiborne's rival, Richard Kemp, secretary of the colony.
In 1640 Captain John Butler petitioned to confirm title to land granted by Captain William Clayborne. 
1642 April - Appointed as treasurer of the colony by King Charles. In 1642 the English King describing him as `My well beloved servant,` appointed him Treasure of the Colony for life.
Treasurer for Life, 1642; 
A Puritan, Claiborne sided with Parliament during the English Civil War of 1642-1651 and was appointed to a commission charged with subduing and managing the Virginia and Maryland colonies. He played a role in the submission of Virginia to parliamentary rule in this period. 
1642 - Governor Sir William Berkeley reappoints William Claiborne to the governor's Council and names him treasurer of the colony.
1644–1666 - During the Anglo-Powhatan War, William Claiborne, a member of the governor's Council and treasurer of the colony, commands some of the Virginia militia.
1644 - Led an expedition against the Indians. In recognition of his services, he was granted large tracts of land.
Soon after, the chaos of the English Civil War gave Claiborne another opportunity to reclaim Kent Island. The Calverts, who had received such constant support from the King, in turn supported the monarchy during the early stages of the parliamentary crisis. Claiborne found a new ally in Richard Ingle, a pro-Parliament Puritan merchant whose ships had been seized by the Catholic authorities in Maryland in response to a royal decree against Parliament. Claiborne and Ingle saw an opportunity for revenge using the Parliamentary dispute as political cover, and in 1644 Claiborne seized Kent Island while Ingle took over St. Mary's. Both used religion as a tool to gain popular support, arguing that the Catholic Calverts could not be trusted. 
The two dominant figures in Virginia, Claiborne and Berkeley contested for leadership of the planter elite. They differed over trade policy, with Claiborne opposing Dutch traders whose presence in Virginia threatened his own connections with London. They disagreed over how to prosecute the Anglo-Powhatan War of 1644–1646, during which Claiborne commanded some of the Virginia militia and made an attempt to recover Kent Island. They also took different positions on the issues that led to the English Civil Wars. Claiborne readily accommodated himself to the Puritans and was one of the commissioners Parliament appointed to bring Virginia and Maryland under its dominion. In that capacity he helped negotiate the terms by which Berkeley surrendered Virginia to Parliament in March 1652. Claiborne and his fellow commissioner Richard Bennett, who succeeded Berkeley as governor of Virginia, appointed a new Council in Maryland, action that precipitated two years of intermittent warfare between competing factions in that colony.
Richard Ingle (1609–1653) was an English colonial seaman and tobacco trader in the American colonies who took over the government of the colony of Maryland in 1645. 
Most of the Ingle's background is unknown. He was born in England, possibly in London, around 1609 into a Protestant family that schooled him. He became a trader and ship captain. Ingle transported goods of Maryland traders from England and back and became a prominent tobacco trader. 
When the English Civil War broke out, Ingle sided with the Puritans. He fell out with the Catholic leaders of Maryland, and when the royalist governor Leonard Calvert seized his ship, he escaped. 
Ingle returned in February 1645 with the ship Reformation and attacked the Maryland colony in the name of Parliament. He attacked the settlement of St. Mary's and imprisoned leaders of the colony. Calvert, the royalist proprietary governor, fled to Virginia. 
Ingle took control of the Maryland government. Under Ingle's leadership, his men looted property of wealthy Roman Catholic settlers. Ingle claimed that he had a letter of marque to cruise the waters of Shesapeake (Chesapeake Bay) and the permission of a new government in England. Local settlers regarded him as a pirate. He put two Jesuit priests to chains and transported them back to England. The events are known as the "Claiborne and Ingle's rebellion". 
He was a Colonel, commanding all Colonial forces in the campaign against the Indians 1644-45.
He served courageously as Captain of the colonial troops in their struggles with the Indians. 
In 1645, he was appointed by Charles I, as Treasurer of Virginia for life, which to some extent compensated Clayborne's loss of Kent Island.
By 1646, however, Governor Leonard Calvert had retaken both St. Mary's and Kent Island with support from Governor Berkeley of Virginia, and, after Leonard Calvert died in 1648, Cecil Calvert appointed a pro-Parliament Protestant to take over as governor. The rebellion and its religious overtones was one of the factors that led to passage of the landmark Maryland Toleration Act of 1649, which declared religious tolerance for Catholics and Protestants in Maryland.
In 1648 a group of merchants in London applied to Parliament for revocation of the Maryland charter from the Calverts. This was rejected, but Claiborne received a final opportunity to reclaim Kent Island when he was appointed by the Puritan-controlled Parliament to a commission which was charged with suppressing Anglican disquiet in Virginia; Virginia in this case defined as "all the plantations in the Bay of the Chesapeake." 
Claiborne and fellow commissioner Richard Bennett secured the peaceful submission of Virginia to Parliamentary rule, and the new Virginia Assembly appointed Claiborne as Secretary of the colony. It also proposed to Parliament new acts which would give Virginia more autonomy from England, which would benefit Claiborne as he pressed his claims on Kent Island. He and Bennett then turned their attention to Maryland and, arguing again that the Catholic Calverts could not be trusted and that the charter gave the Calverts too much power, demanded that the colony submit to the Commonwealth. Governor Stone briefly refused but gave in to Claiborne and the Commission, and submitted Maryland to Parliamentary rule.
Claiborne made no overt legal attempts to re-assert control over Kent Island during the commission's rule of Maryland, although a treaty concluded during that time with the Susquehannocks claimed that Claiborne owned both Kent and Palmer Islands. 
1648-1660 In office as Parliamentary Commissioner and Secretary of the Virginia Colony.
1652 to 1660 - Served as Secretary of State. Engaged in trade as a member of the firm of `Clobery and Company of London`,
Deputy-Governor of Virginia sometime between 1652-1655; 
March 12, 1652 - Supported by a Parliamentary fleet, Richard Bennett, William Claiborne, and Edmund Curtis accept Virginia's bloodless capitulation at Jamestown. Two weeks later they obtain the surrender of Maryland's leaders as well.
Spring 1652 - The House of Burgesses elects William Claiborne senior member of the governor's Council and secretary of the colony.
In the spring of 1652 the House of Burgesses elected Claiborne senior member of the Council and secretary of the colony. He and Berkeley remained on civil terms, despite their differences, and Claiborne eased Berkeley's return to the governorship in March 1660. Berkeley retained him in office for a few months, but Claiborne was too deeply implicated in the parliamentary cause to continue as a Council member and secretary after Charles II returned to England as king. 
In 1652, William Clayborne served as Parliamentary Commissioner with Richard Bennett, he governed Maryland wisely, without vengeance and without taking advantage of his position to regain control of Kent Island.
In 1653 Colonel Clayborne acted as Deputy Governor of Virginia. From 1625 to 1660 he was a member of Council and as late as 1666 served in the Virginia Assembly." [ref: Bissell, pg. 65; Roots in Virginia pg. 108]
Claiborne's legal designs on Maryland were once again defeated when Oliver Cromwell returned Calvert to power in 1653, after the Rump Parliament ended. In 1654, Governor Stone of Maryland tried to reclaim authority for the proprietor and declared that Claiborne's property and his life could be taken at the Governor's pleasure. Stone's declaration was ignored and Claiborne and Bennett again overthrew him, creating a new assembly in which Catholics were not allowed to serve. Calvert, now angry at Stone for what he perceived as weakness, demanded that Stone do something, and in 1655 Stone reclaimed control in St. Mary's and led a group of soldiers to Providence (modern Annapolis). Stone was captured and his force defeated by local Puritan settlers, who took control of the colony in what became known as the Battle of the Severn. 
Given the new situation, Claiborne and Bennett went to England in hopes of convincing Cromwell to change his mind but, to their dismay, no decision was made and, lacking royal authority, the Puritans gave power over to a new governor appointed by Calvert. 
Going behind Claiborne's back, Bennett and another commissioner reached an agreement with Calvert that virtually guaranteed his continued control over Maryland through the remainder of the Protectorate.
New Kent County was established in 1654 from York County and was organized and settled by William Claiborne. The county's name originated because several prominent inhabitants, including William Claiborne, recently had been forced from their settlement at Kent Island, Maryland by Lord Baltimore upon the formation of Maryland. Claiborne had named the island for his birthplace in Kent, England. Part of New Kent County, St. Paul's Parish, became Hanover County in 1719. Its county seat is New Kent. New Kent County is included in the Richmond, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
He maintained a firm hand in the affairs of Maryland until late in 1657 when [Lord] Baltimore conformed and made his peace with Parliament.
Following the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, he retired from involvement in the politics of the Virginia colony. 
March 1660 - William Claiborne, despite being a supporter of Parliament and the Puritans, helps ease the return to the governorship of Sir William Berkeley just prior to Charles II's return.
March 1661 - William Claiborne, a supporter of Parliament and the Puritans, retires from public life not long after Charles II returns to England as king.
With no authority left in Maryland, Claiborne turned to his political offices in Virginia. However, he was a Puritan and an ally of Parliament during the English Civil War, and upon the restoration of the British monarchy in 1660, he had few friends left in government. Claiborne therefore retired from political affairs in 1660 and spent the remainder of his life managing his 5,000 acre (2,023 hectare) estate, "Romancoke", near West Point on the Pamunkey River, dying there in about 1677.
Claiborne retired from public life in March 1661 and lived quietly and in relative obscurity at Romancoke. Berkeley threw a few crumbs in his direction by appointing two of his sons to the county court, and one of Claiborne's sons sat in the House of Burgesses. 
1664, chosen Chief Commander against the Indians
Claiborne remained loyal to the governor during Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, suffered significant property losses in the process, and may have sat on some of the courts-martial that sentenced several rebels to death, although it is possible that Claiborne's namesake son took on that responsibility. 
On March 13, 1677, Claiborne petitioned the Crown to recoup financial losses he had incurred when he was expelled from Kent Island forty years earlier. The following July 16 a Colonel Claiborne, who may have been the father, the son, or an unrelated person, boarded the royal naval ship Bristol to collect eight barrels of shot for use by the county militia.
He died around 1677 at his plantation, "Romancoke", on Virginia's Pamunkey River. According to historian Robert Brenner, "William Claiborne may have been the most consistently influential politician in Virginia throughout the whole of the pre-Restoration period".
Torrence states that there is no positive evidence of the date or place of William’s death, but it was about 1677 or 1678. There is no existing evidence of a will or probate.
1677 March - Died in or after March 1677, when he was praised for his loyalty after Bacon's Rebellion. He probably died at his plantation, 'Romancoke,' New Kent Co., VA, although there is no record of the exact date.
The date and place of Claiborne's death are not known, nor is the place of his burial. He died on an unrecorded date before August 25, 1679, when his son Thomas Claiborne was identified in a York County record as executor of the estate of "Coll William Clayborne Decd."
July 16, 1678 - A Colonel Claiborne, who may be William Claiborne, his son, or an unrelated person, boards the royal naval ship Bristol to collect eight barrels of shot for use by the county militia.
August 25, 1679 - Thomas Claiborne, the son of William Claiborne, is identified in a York County record as executor of his father's estate. His father died sometime before this date.
They had 4 sons (William; John; Thomas; & Leonard) and 2 daughters (including Jane, wife of (Col.) Thomas Brereton).
William & Elizabeth’s children were 1) Jane, 2) John, 3) THOMAS, 4) William, Jr. “the younger”, and 5) Leonard. 
Dates below not yet verified.
With the heavy loss of county records, the children of Col. William Claiborne are less easy to document. The family held on to much of the King William County land, until the mid-eighteenth century. Stanard and Clayton concur on the identification of Col. William Claiborne’s children.
The appearance of an Elizabeth Claiborne Jr. by evidence of a New Kent patent dated about 1668, has led most researchers to assume this second daughter was this Elizabeth [ref: Patent Book 6, pg. 204]. Some confusion arises from the title of “Mistress” (Mrs.) given to her, which at that time could have denoted her station rather than her marital status. Subsequent patents suggest Col. Edward Hill took up the same patent in 1699, perhaps being her heir, though the document is too imprecise to determine this as fact [ref: Dorman/Smith, “Claiborne of Virginia” (1995), pg. 6]. None of these records bode well for the identification for the wife of Edward Rice being Mary Claiborne.
In the midst of the political turmoil of the conflict over Kent Island, Claiborne married Elizabeth Butler of Essex, who would remain his wife at least through 1668. 
Claiborne was also the forebear of a number of lines of American Claibornes, and among his descendants are William C. C. Claiborne, first governor of Louisiana, fashion designer Liz Claiborne, Daniel Sullivan (LtCol USMC), the late minister Jerry Falwell, and a number of political figures from Tennessee and Virginia. Descendants of the Claiborne family have formed a society to advance the genealogical study of Claiborne's lineage. Also some descendants of Claiborne are the families of Wood, Rice, McFarland, Harris and Estes.
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On 19 Jun 2017 at 22:45 GMT Nancy (Stevens) Page wrote:
On 23 May 2016 at 19:03 GMT Bree Ogle wrote:
On 16 Sep 2015 at 01:32 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:
On 5 Feb 2015 at 02:14 GMT James Mahar wrote:
On 16 Dec 2014 at 13:19 GMT Jack Day wrote:
On 20 Jul 2014 at 03:58 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:
New Kent County, was named either for the English county of Kent or for Kent Island, in the upper waters of the Chesapeake Bay. William Claiborne, a native of Kent who had been driven from Kent Island by Lord Baltimore, was a prominent resident of the New Kent area when the county was formed. (Source: "The Hornbook of Virginia History")
On 1 Dec 2013 at 01:34 GMT Vic Watt wrote:
William is 18 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 14 degrees from Mel Lambert, 15 degrees from John Lejeune and 16 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.