Ancestral Family Topic 528

 528   William Scarbrough (-1676)
Pedigree Chart 02

William Scarbrough, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, William Scarbrough might describe his life as follows.

I was residing in Surry County by 1656 when I was one of several witnesses who testified in a lawsuit of Potter v. Delke.  One of my plantations was on the northeast side of present-day Bailey Branch near Upper Chippokes Creek. 
My wife was Naomi Davis, the widow of Walter Holdsworth of Charles City County. A few Surry County tax ledgers remain and my name is in them from 1668 to 1675.  The names of our 4 sons show up later. Allow me to explain why I was dropped from the tax rolls early.
Because Gov. Berkeley did not protect us when Indians terrorized the Colony in 1676, I joined an army led by Nathaniel Bacon that defeated them. We burned Jamestown when the governor still made no reforms, but our insurrection fell apart when Bacon died in 1676. Berkeley’s retribution was severe. Ignoring the king’s proclamation of clemency, he convicted me of “divers rebellions and treasons and other misdemeanors,” hanged me and 8 others 16 March 1676/7, and seized all my property. 
When the court recorded the inventory of my estate 15 September 1679, Naomi was the wife of Thomas Tyus who helped rear our sons. 

Another witness in the Potter v. Delke trial, James Hugate, swore that Roger Potter persuaded him to run away secretly to a remote part of the bay, and take Hugate’s pregnant wife with them. If she would not cooperate, they would throw her overboard.

Bacon’s Rebellion
William was evidently deeply involved in the rebellion, for only a few were hanged.
Acts of the General Assembly reveal that Governor Berkeley ignored a royal proclamation for clemency.
A proclamation of King Charles II dated 27 Oct. 1676 pardoned all rebels who took an oath to the king. Yet when Berkeley issued his proclamation 10 Feb. 1676/7, he excepted several from the pardon, including Scarbrough. The King revoked the governor’s proclamation, writing, “in regard thereof the governors proclamation in so different from ours, and so derogatory to our princely clemency towards all our subjects who have any true sense of their loyalty can by any means be reduced to it, and for other reasons also us hereunto moving, we have thought fit to abrogate and revoke, and do hereby abrogate and revoke the said proclamation of the tenth day of February last issued by Sir William Berkeley governor of that our plantation as aforesaid.
“And we do hereby require and authorize you to acquaint our subjects there with this our royal will and pleasure hereby declared, that the governor’s said proclamation is, and shall be deemed to be null and of no validity, and that our own proclamation of the twenty-seventh of October last past shall be punctually obeyed and observed in all points, the governor’s proclamation or anything therein contained to the contrary notwithstanding, for the doing whereof this shall be your warrant, and so we bid you farewell. Given at our court at Whitehall the fifteenth day 1677, in the nine and twentieth year of our reign.” 
Nevertheless Berkeley’s “Bloody Act” not only confiscated the estate of Nathaniel Bacon, it again excepted from clemency specific individuals, including Scarbrough who, “were all legally convicted for horrid treason and rebellions against his most sacred majesty.”  The Assembly repealed the onerous portions of the Act 8 June 1680, but this time excepting only 8 from its generosity, “Gyles Bland, Anthony Arnold, Richard Turney, Richard Pomfrey, John Isles, Robert Soakes, John Whitson and William Scarborough alias Scarburgh.” 
Thomas Ludwell reported in July 1677 that a bond from Naomi Scarbrough, widow and relict of William Scarbrough had been seized—further retribution for Scarbrough’s rebelliousness. 

Genealogical notes
Ye Kingdom of Accawmacke (Wise, 1911), a history of the Virginia Eastern Shore, describes the influence of the family of Edmund Scarburgh (1617-1671). His family, and those of his two sons, Charles and Edmund, are described in detail in Adventurers of Purse and Person Ye Kingdom states that “Charles Scarburgh, son of the noted royalist partisan, joined Bacon, as did his cousin William Scarburgh, while Captain Edmund Scarburgh, younger brother of Charles remained loyal to Berkeley.” Yet it does not state to what degree of a cousin. The governor pardoned Charles Scarburgh 3 March 1767/7 but fined him £40. 

Descendants of William Scarbrough
Information about the children of William Scarbrough, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Edward Scarbrough I (c.1670-c.1716),  
 William Scarbrough (c.1672-1717),  
Ann (—) Scarbrough,  
 Thomas Scarbrough (c.1674-1697),  
Charles White,  
Charles Holdsworth,  Elizabeth (—) Scarbrough,  Elizabeth Griffith,  
Thomas Scarbrough,  
Mary Scarbrough,  
Jane Scarbrough,  
Sarah Scarbrough,  
Elizabeth Scarbrough,  
William Scarbrough,  
 Christopher Scarbrough (c.1676-1694),  

Selected sources
Boddie, John Bennett. “Scarborough of Surry, Virginia, and North Carolina.” Historical Southern Families, 3:209-216. • Family of William Scarbrough.

This topic, which represents .07% of all the family history material at, includes 27 citations and the names of 21 individuals.
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