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January 29, 2014 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Gentleman Justices, 1777-1793

Buckingham County: Courthouse

Buckingham Courthouse, Photo by Joanne Yeck

Many of Buckingham County’s planters were asked to serve as Gentleman Justices or Magistrates.  Interestingly, as this record covering 1777- 1793 indicates, many declined or never qualified.  This list is practically a “who’s who” of Buckingham County’s earliest families. Some, however, such as Randolph Jefferson, are conspicuous by their absence.

The list below, recapitulating Buckingham County commissions, was recorded in the Virginia State Papers on July 8, 1793.

In the New Republic, how did a Justice “qualify”?  What was meant by: “don’t act.”

My ancestor, Robert Moseley, is mentioned here.  If you recognize one of yours or can correct a name, please comment.

The first commission of the Peace for the county of Buckingham, since the late Revolution, dated the 20th Day of December, 1777, directed to the following Justices, to-wit:

John Nicholas, resigned.

George Hooper, resigned.

John Cabell, 1789, Aug. court, took the oath agreeable to Act of Congress.

Jeremiah Whitney, Dead.

Charles Patteson, qualified, but not taken the oath agreable (sic) to act of congress, but don’t act.

William Cannon, Do.

Charles May, Do.

John Johns, Do.

Henry Bell, 1789, August court, took the oath agreeable to act of congress.

John Bernard, Do.

Dolphin Dren (Drew), dead.

Robert Cary, never qualified.

Hardin Perkins, never qualified.

Thomas Read, Removed to Prince Edward.

John Benning, never qualified.

Hickerson Barksdale, qualified, tho’ not taken the oath agreeable to Act of Congress, but don’t act.

John Moseley, Sheriff, took the oath agreeable to act of congress.

William Dinguid (Diuguid) , resigned.

Thomas Anderson, Qualified, tho’ not taken the oath agreeable to act of congress, but don’t act.

William Perkins, Jr., took the oath agreeable to act of congress, 1789, Aug. court.

Flamstead Ransom (Ranson), Gent, qualified, tho’ not taken the oath agreeable to act of Congress, but don’t act.

2d Commissions issued 27th March, 1781, adding the following Justices, to- wit:

Joseph Cabell, Sen’r, never qualified.

Anthony Winston, Sen’r, never qualified & since dead.

John Crouch, never qualified.

3d Commissions issued 17th June, 1783, adding the following Justices, to-wit:

James Dillard, qualified, tho’ not taken the oath agreeable to Act of Congress, but don’t act.

William Watt, Do., resigned.

Anthony Murray, never qualified.

 4th Commissions issued the 15th April, 1784, adding the following Justices, to-wit:

Edmund Wilcox, never qualified & since dead.

John Nicholas. Jr., never qualified — removed. Benjamin Mosely, Jr., never qualified — refused.

Benjamin Mosely, Jr., never qualified — refused.

Robert Mosely, never qualified — refused.

David Parrish, resigned.

Anthony Winston, Jr., 1789, Aug. Court, took oath agreeable to Act of congress.

Benjamin Morris, Do.

5th Commissions issued the 23d day of June, 1788, adding the following Justices, to-wit:

David Coupland, qualified, tho’ never took the oath agreeable to Act of congress — Don’t act.

Joseph Cabell, Jr., 1789, Aug. Court, took the oath agreeable to Act of congress.

Samuel Allen, 1789, Aug. Court, took oath agreeable to Act of congress.

Joel Watkins,   ”    ”    ”   ”

Boaz Ford, 1789, Aug. Court, took oath agreeable to Act of congress.

Thomas Blakey, never qualified— refused.

6th & Last commissions issued the first of March, 1790, adding the following Justices, to-wit:

David Bell, qualified & took agreeable to Act of congress.

Josias Jones,                      Do.

Peter Guerrant,                Do.

William Allen,                     Do.

Charles Moseley,             Do.

Edmund Glover, &           Do.

George Duiguid (Diuguid), refused to qualify.

Teste: ROLFE ELDRIDGE, CI. B. court.

Coming Next: Clerk of Court, Rolfe Eldridge, lists Buckingham County Justices in 1793

8 Comments

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  1. Mary Ailes / Feb 25 2014 4:21 pm

    I am descended from Charles Moseley (b1748) – parents were Arthur Moseley Jr (1718-1769) and Mary Lockett (1725-1791). Is this the Charles Moseley referred to in this list?

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 25 2014 4:38 pm

      Mary, I can’t say for sure. There may have been more than one Charles Moseley living in Buckingham at the time. It’s a big family! Joanne

  2. Dave George / Feb 4 2014 1:48 pm

    Hi cuz. As you may remember, my relative is George Hooper. Just making sure you’ve got him attached to me! It’s been kind of cold here but that at least helps to kill the mosquito larvae. Cheers, Marion

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 4 2014 2:13 pm

      Marion, Thanks for dropping in. Joanne

  3. Jeremy Winfrey / Jan 29 2014 11:23 am

    Rolfe Eldridge Jr succeeded his father as clerk of the Circuit Court of
    Buckingham County. He was clerk from 1806 to 1859. He had entered his
    father’s office in 1795 at the age of 15, and in 1797 qualified as deputy
    clerk. He was appointed to succeed his father and immediately moved nearer
    the court house as a convenience for attending to the business which was
    rapidly increasing. He was clerk from 1806 to 1859. He died in the spring on
    1861.

    From “Genealogical Records of
    Buckingham County, Va.”, Whitley.

    I see lots of familiar names on the list. What on earth were the requirements that forced so many to be “unqualified”. Furthermore, seems like it may have been a thankless job, seems lots of men refused the appointments.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jan 29 2014 11:44 am

      Thank you Jeremy! I will add these details about the Eldridges to the followup post. Indeed, these are familiar names to many us. I wonder if the men didn’t bother to qualify — a passive way of declining? Just a guess. Being a Justice was a big commitment and these were busy men. The status may not have been worth the work in the eyes of many.

  4. Kimberly / Jan 29 2014 10:29 am

    Any idea how long Rolfe Eldridge was Clerk of Court? I see him all over everything, up through the 1840s, I think. That’s a looooong career.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jan 29 2014 10:49 am

      Kimberly, Rolfe Eldridge was a lifer as Clerk of Court. Followed by his son, Rolfe Eldridge, Jr. It was an Eldridge dynasty! Perhaps a Slate River Ramblings reader can comment with exact dates. Joanne

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