1. Robert Bedwell1
was born on 24 Jan 1634/35 in St. Giles, Cripplegate Parish, London, England.1 He was christened on 8 Feb 1634/35
in St. Giles, Cripplegate Parish, London, England.2 He died in Jun 1686 in Kent County, Delaware.3 He was a planter and a carpenter.
Robert Bedwell, the original immigrant ancestor of the people chronicled in this
genealogy, was probably born in England in the first half of the 17th Century.
He seems to have emigrated to Virginia Colony in America by 1659, where he was
a carpenter and a planter. He married, had at least five children, then endured
the death of his wife, Ann Colly Bedwell. Remarrying, he sold his land and other
holdings in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, then moved north and resettled
in Kent County-on-the-Delaware. There, he appears to have been a leading man
in the community, serving as a delegate to the first Pennsylvania Assembly.
A common belief among Bedwell family researchers is that Robert Bedwell is the
son of Thomas Bedwell and Mary Ashton of St. Giles Cripplegate Parish, London,
England. The St. Giles Cripplegate Parish records show Thomas and Mary Bedwell
did have a son named Robert on 24 January 1634/35. However, proof is lacking
that this is the same Robert Bedwell who appears in Virginia in 1661.
Another possibility for Robert Bedwell's origins is found in Richard Norwood's
Survey of St George Island, Bermuda, completed 1662-1663 (but unknown how long
it took to compile) show John Bedwell and Robert Bedwell among those listed as
occupying the Governor's 12 shares at the east end of St George's Island. There
is also an earlier reference to Bedwells in Bermuda: "Grace Bedwell trial
(accused of witchcraft) at an assize 1655 wife of John Bedwell of town of St
George's; Charges: marks on her body, afflicting several people incl Kate, and
Indian woman servant of Robert Powell found not guilty" (from Memorials
of the Bermudas by Maj Lefroy). Bermuda was part of Virginia Colony at this
Lending support to this theory, Bruce Bendler's Colonial Delaware Records,
1681-1713, page 1, Kent County Rent Roll, 1681-1688, shows Jno Bedwell,
just the name, no other information. In the same book, Robert Bedwell is shown
as the owner of The Flowery Neck, 1050 acres, surveyed June 21, 1685; granted
June 20, 1679. Are these men, John Bedwell and Robert Bedwell, the same ones
found in earlier records on St. George's Island in Bermuda?
Robert Bedwell first appears in records on the American mainland in Old Rappahannock
County, Virginia Colony, where he received a grant of land in 1661 (Cavaliers
& Pioneers, by Nugent, page 335). Additional land was also received
for paying the passage for two non-family members. Early deed records show a
wife, Ann. (Rappahannock County, Virginia Deeds 1668-1672, page 94).
Ann is deceased in 1675. According to deed records, Robert then married Susanna
(Widow Fisher). Apparently, he adopted her son, Adam Fisher.
(Rappahannock County, Virginia Deeds, pages 105-106):
Description: 640 acres on the North side of Rappahannock River; adjoining the
land of John Williams, thence &c on the North East side of a branch of Totske
called the Beaver dams branch. P0lents. 20 February 1662. Source: Land Office
Patents No. 5, 1661-1666 (v.1 & 2 p.1-369), p. 337 (Reel 5). Part of the
index to the recorded copies of patents for land issued by the Secretary of the
Colony serving as the colonial Land Office. The collection is housed in the Archives
at the Library of Virginia.
"To all &c whereas &c now know ye that I the said William Berkeley
Knight Governor &c give and grant unto Robert Bedwell six hundred and forty
acres of land in the county of Rappahannock in the parish of Farnham on the north
side of Rappahannock River, and beginning at a marked red oak on the north east
side of the land of John Williams and _ north east three hundred and twenty poles
to a marked red oak on the north east side of a branch of Totoske called the
Beaver dams branch and thence north west over the said branch again three hundred
and twenty poles to a red oak. Again south west three hundred and twenty poles
to the land of John Williams aforesaid and finally south east three hundred and
twenty poles by a line of marked trees that divideth this land and the land of
John Williams aforesaid to the place where it began including some certain points
of land lying between this land and the aforementioned branch containing eighty
seven acres being in all seven hundred and twenty seven acres land. Six hundred
and forty acres thereof being formally granted to the said Bedwell and Richard
Powell by patent dated the tenth of September one thousand six hundred and sixty
one and is since become wholly unto the said Bedwell. And eighty seven acres
the residence being _ per transportation of two persons &C to have and to
hold &C. To be held &C yielding and bargaining to _ &C. Dated the
twentieth of February one thousand six hundred and sixty two."
Robert Bedwell appears to have been in Virginia Colony for at least two years
prior to this land grant, however, as his name appears in 1659 as "Robert
Bedwell, Virginia, Rappannock" on a bill (Deed Book 2-345 Feb. 10, 1659
R.B.) which appears to be an order by the court to pay certain expenses incurred,
perhaps by the court.
There are four references found in original documents that list Robert Bedwell
working as a carpenter in History of Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, 1656-1692,
by Thomas Hoskins Warner (Pauline Pearce Warner, Publisher, Tappahannock, VA
1965). Deed records also list him as a "planter".
In the summer of 1679, Robert Bedwell and his son-in-law, Isaac Webb, traveled
to Kent County, Delaware where they obtained a grant of land. During this time
away, daughter Elizabeth appears to have been managing the family's affairs in
Virginia, selling parts of their tobacco crop on several occasions (see Notes
for her listing). After spending the fall and winter making improvements on
the land, they returned to Virginia to complete final preparations for the move.
Robert and Susanna sold their final holdings in the state of Virginia in April,
1680. (Rappahannock County, Virginia Deeds 1672-1682, pages 105-106).
The Duke of Yorke Record...1646-1679, pages 155-156:
(213) A Pattent for a parcell of land on the West side of Delaware Bay
graunted unto Robert Bedwell. Sir Edmund Andros Knt. &c. Whereas there
is a certaine parcell of land on the W. side of Delaware Bay scituate lyeing
& being on the S. E. side of St. Jones Creek, called by the name of Folly
Neck, the which hath been layd out for Robert Bedwell, beginning at a markt black
Oake standing by the said Creeke side neare unto a branch goeing up to a Beaver
(213) Damm being at the North side of the sd Branch separating this from the
land of Joshua Barkestead and runing from the said Oake North up the sd St. Jones
Creeke, then North North West twenty foure perches up the sd Creek then North
North East four degrees Easterly to a point by said creeke, and from thence up
the sd Creeke North West and by North one hundred and sixty Perches to a marked
Black Oake standing on the South East side at the Mouth of a branch proceeding
from St. Jones Creeke, aforementioned and comonly called the Cypresse branch
and from thence runing South West and by West sixty Perches binding likewise
upon sd branch, then South south East also binding upon the sd Branch one hundred
and forty perches from the head of sd Branch, then south east fifety six Perches
to a marked red Oake standing in the woods about forty perches from the head
of the sd Branch, then south east fifety six Perches with a line of marked trees
to a bounded black oake standing in ye woods by Chaptanck road and from thence
North East to the head of the South Easter most branch of the aforesd Beaver
damm and so binding up the sd branch and sd Beaver damm unto the first bounded
black oake containing eight hundred acres of land as by the returne of the survey
and certificate from the Court at ye Whorekill that the same is already seated
by the sd Robert Bedwell doth and may appeare. Know yee &c. Quitt Rent.
8 Bushells of winter Wheate. Dated in New Yorke, the 20th day of August 1679.
From The Duke of Yorke Record...1646-1679, page 188: "A Pattent
for parcell of land on the West side of Delaware Bay. Granted unto to Joshua
Barkstead. .....being on the S. E. side of St. Jones Creeke called Caroone manor...next
to land of Robert Bedwell....being 800 acres. Quitt rent 8 bushells of wheate.
Dated in New Yorke the 20th day of August 1679."
From Deed Book B, Vol.1, page 19 in 1683, Kent County, Delaware:
Know all men by these presents, That I Christian the Indian, alias Patequoquo,
Lord and Owner of all the land between Murderkill and Duck Creek, have alienated,
bargained and sold and do by these presents bargain and sell unto Thomas Bedwell,
Henry Bedwell, Robert Bedwell Junior and Adam Fisher, sons of Robert Bedwell
Senior, plantor, to them their heirs and assigns, forever, that is to say: Eleven
hundred acres of land, together with the runs and branches bounding and adjoining
to the same, know by the name of Longneck, being situated on Isaac Webb's Branch,
as may appear by the Certificate under the hand of Richard Noble Moore, attorney
at large, and further do give and grant unto the said Robert Bedwell and Adam
Fisher, aforesaid, their heirs and assigns forever, all rights and privileges
of hunting, fishing and fowling upon the said land and branches aforesaid. To
have and to hold all and singular the premises without molestation and trouble
from me, my heirs or assigns, or any Indian whatsoever, in consideration of the
premises aforesaid, I have received of Robert Bedwell Senior the which he hath
paid me before the signing and securing hereof for and in the behalf of the aforesaid
Thomas Bedwell, Henry Bedwell, Robert Bedwell junior, and Adam Fisher, Three
overcoats, three gallons of drink, four double handfulls of powder, and four
double handfulls of shot, or the value of the aforesaid premises to my content
and satisfaction and do acknowledge to have received of him the said Robert Bedwell
and to be fully satisfied and do by these presents acquit him the said Robert
Bedwell and the aforesaid Thomas Bedwell, Henry Bedwell and Robert Bedwell Junior
and Adam Fisher, his heirs and assigns, of the same as witness my hand and seal
this Tenth dau of the Tenth Month 1683.
Was signed and sealed by
s/Christian the Indian (Seal)
In March 1682-3, Robert Bedwell was one of six delegates from Kent County-on
the-Delaware to the first regularly scheduled Pennsylvania Assembly at Philadelphia.
He went again in 1686 shortly before his death in June 1686. (History of
Delaware 1606-1888 by Scharf, Volume 1, page 86).
Calendar of Kent County, Delaware probate records, 1680-1800, De
Valinger, Leon,. Dover, Del.. Public Archives Commission, State of Delaware.
Bedwell, Robert. Admin. of, to Susannah Bedwell, widow. June 14, 1686. Penna.
Hist. Soc. Papers, vol. AM. 2013, page 66.
(daughter of Thomas Colly) was born about 1629 in probably England.4 She died in 1675 in probably Old Rappahannock County,
Name also may have been spelled Colley or Cowley. Ann may have been born in
Virginia. See notes for Thomas Colly. Robert Bedwell and Ann Colly had the
Robert Bedwell and Susannah [--?--] were
married after 1675 in Probably Old Rappahanock County, Virginia.