The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Continuation of Generation 1

Until March 1643 the entire Eastern Shore of Virginia was considered one territory or County and was called "Accawmacke". In 1643 the General Assembly of Virginia changed the name to Northampton County. Until 1643 the entire Eastern Shore was one parish and was given the name, "Hungars Parish" and was sometimes called "Stringers Parish" in recognition of Colonel John Stringer's devotion to the Church at Eastville. In 1643 the General Assembly divided the parish into two parishes called upper parish and lower parish. One minister and one vestry served both parishes. This changed in 1652 when Thomas Higby was relegated to tk he lower parish and Thomas Teackle was appointed to serve the upper parish. Twenty years later, in 1663, Northampton County was divided into two counties-Northampton becoming the lower county and Accomack the upper. In 1671 Accomack County was renamed "Upper Northampton" and placed under the control of the Commissioners of Northampton County. In 1673 Governor Berkeley considered a petition requesting that the name of Accomack be restored as the name for the county. The governor responded favorably to the petition and restored it to its previous eminence, making it retroactive to 1 Jan 1673. Compounding these problems of name changes and political control was that of a boundary dispute that arose over the formation of the two counties and this dispute was not resolved until 1687 when the General Court ordered the Surveyor of Accomack to survey that part that Northampton County was disputing. An even further complication was that the Crown never really recognized the Eastern Shore as a part of Virginia. During the reign of James1annual messages were addressed to "our faithful subjects of our colonie of Virginia and ye Kingdom of Accomacke". In 1673 King Charles11leases the "Dominion of Virginia and the Territory of Accomacke" to Lords Arlington and Culpeper, for a period of thirty-one years. In 1683 Lord Arlington surrendered his claim to Lord Culpeper who became sole proprietor of the Dominion of Virginia and the Territory of Accomacke. Prior to 1632 the Kingdom of Accomacke included all of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland, and the Isle of Kent. Charles Holden wa appointed "Publique Prosecutor" by the Crown in 1687 for the Territory of Accomacke and John Thomas was appointed "Collector of Customs"  by the " Crown for the Territory of Accomacke.

Between the years 1648 and 1652 the Eastern Shore had no representation in the House of Burgesses. Taxes were left unpaid because "the inhabitants were disjoined and sequestered from the rest of Virginia and the Act requiring taxes was arbitrary and illegal since the had neither summons for election of Burgesses nor voice in the Assembly," This inequity resulted in the "Northampton County Protest of 1652."

In 1676 Northampton County, upset over its division into two counties, was, extremely, agitated as it now had had no harbors for ships to birth. The citizenry, now, elected a "Committee of Ten" who drew up a petition which they called the "Northampton Grievances" and were, then, presented  to the House of Burgesses. Burgesses only gave a passing nod and never addressed the issues raised in othe "Grievances". Political power now shifed to Accomack County with its ever increasing population, adequate harbors, and relative large size.

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