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Captain Harry Beverley

Captain Harry Beverley was born 1669 in Middlesex County, Virginia and died November 30, 1730 in "Newlands", Spotsylvania, Virginia. He was Justice of Middlesex County, Virginia in 1700. He was Surveyor of King and Queen and King William counties from 1702 to 1714. He was burgess from 1705-06. Captain Harry Beverley Commanded the "Virgin" in 1716, which was captured by the Spanish man-of-war; he escaped and came to Virginia in 1717and was presiding Justice Spotsylvania County in 1720. Captain Harry Beverley married in 1700 to Elizabeth Smith. in Middlesex County, Virginia who was born 1678 in Brandon, Middlesex County, Virginia and died August 6, 1720 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Elizabeth was the only child and heiress of Robert Smith II who was born 1658 in Brandon, Middlesex County, Virginia and Elizabeth. She is the grand daughter of Major General Robert Smith and Elizabeth Wormley. Major General Robert Smith was a member of the Governor's Council and head of the King's Army in Virginia and with Major Robert Beverley, his son-in-law's father, strongly supported Governor Sir William Berkley in Bacon's Rebellion.

Captain Beverley's will is dated 11-30-1730, proved 2-12-1731. Harry Beverley, moved to Spotsylvania 1720. Captain Harry Beverly a Magistrate in Middlesex Co., 1702; Surveyor of King and Queen and King William Co. 1702-14; assisted in surveying the Virginia-North Carolina boundary line. About 1720, he removed to Spotsylvania Co., where for a number of years he was Presiding Justice of the Spotsylvania County Court. He was also Clerk of the House of Burgesses, and surveyed and laid off the Town of Tappahannock in 1706, giving the town the names of its streets: Queen, Church Lane, Water Lane, Marsh, Duke, Prince and Earl. He patented 2,700 acres known as "Portobago" in Essex County, which had been owned earlier by his wife's grandfather Major General Robert Smith of Middlesex. He also owned 1,017 acres which the Upshaw family acquired in 1699. Capt. Beverley owned land amounting to about 32,000 acres in several counties. His title of Captain derives from the fact that Governor Spotswood sent him on the sloop, "The Virgin" as it's Commander to acquire gold from Spanish ship wrecks.

"In the summer of 1716, Governor Spotswood fitted out a sloop named THE VIRGIN, which he put under the command of Harry Beverley (hence his title of Captain), with instructions to go to the Bahamas and the Isle of Providence in quest of Pirates, Spanish wrecks, etc. The Governor sent a copy of the instructions to Beverley, which were dated June 5, to the English authorities. The day after sailing 'she was surprised with a violent hurricane and drove as far eastward as Bermuda On the 5th day, the sloop was taken by a Spanish man-of-war (though the countries were at peace), rifled and the men striped, abused and made prisoners. Captain Beverley wrote from St. Domingo that he had petitioned for a trial, but had been refused, and that all he had to expect was that he and his men would be sent to the mines. He and his crew were taken to Vera Cruz, where a trial was still refused, and no subsistence was allowed him or his men, but what the Assiento factory (the English agency under the Assiento treaty) bestowed out of charity. Several men perished for want of necessities, and many of them reduced to beg about the street till they could find an opportunity of getting off. After seven months imprisonment, Beverley escaped and reached Virginia shortly before August. 1717 (Spotswood Letters II, 245, 250, 259, and Sainsbury Abstracts). Though ostensibly the chief object of this voyage was to obtain information in regard to the pirates or to attack them, yet it seems probable that 'Spanish wrecks' are mentioned in the instructions to Beverley. Mrs. Elizabeth Churchill, in her will dated November 9, 1716, provides that if Mr. Harry Beverley brings back any money or other returns from the wrecks, her share should go to certain of her grandchildren (Middlesex Records). (THE BEVERLEY FAMILY OF VIRGINA by John McGill) Capt. Harry Beverley died at his plantation "Newlands".