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March 1, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Colonial Buckingham: A New Courthouse

Virginia Gazette_masthead

To be LET at Buckingham courthouse….

It is likely that Buckingham County’s first courthouse was a wooden structure. In 1777, sixteen years after the founding of the county, Buckingham took a step forward when it elected to build a brick courthouse. Trustees John Bernard and John Cox sought a builder, announcing the county’s plan on May 9, 1777 in Williamsburg’s Virginia Gazette.

To be LET at Buckingham courthouse, the second Monday in June next, being court day, The Building of a brick courthouse, 50 feet in length, and 32 feet from the front to the back of the building, the court room to be 20 feet by 15 the wall to the water table to be three bricks thick and 3 feet high, and from the water table to the top two bricks thick and 12 feet high, a chimney with a fireplace to each of the small rooms, the roof to be hipt, and covered with plank and shingles of heart pine, a medallion cornice to the eaves, the inner walls to be plastered and whitewashed, the bench, bar, and other inside work, to be finished in a genteel manner, the particulars of which will be agreed on at the time of letting the work. One third of the money to be paid when the sufficient number of bricks for the building are made and barat [?], one other third when the walls shall be raised, and the remainder when the whole shall be completely finished; for the performance of when, by the last day of October 1778, bond and security will be required of the undertaker, by


JOHN COX, trustees

John Bernard (1736-1799) was, at one time, Sheriff of Buckingham County and a Church Warden of Tillotson Parish.  John Cox was among the earliest tavern keepers at Buckingham’s courthouse.  During the American Revolution, Cox’s tavern was used to hold prisoners of war.

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