Sir Henry Chicheley after Bacon’s Rebellion

In Swem Library’s Special Collections Bound Manuscript Collection, there is a handwritten transcription of some documents from the 1677-1686 Entry Warrant Book of Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland. The transcriptions were probably made by Sir William Betham (1779–1853), who was an English herald and antiquarian and held the office of Ulster King of Arms from 1820 until his death in 1853. A typed label on the inside cover states “from the collection of Sir W. Betham, Ulster King at Arms, half russia.” He is known for creating pedigree charts from all the “prerogative wills” of Ireland from 1536-1800.

Most of the documents deal with Ireland, but a few are about Virginia. Of particular note is an April 4, 1677 appointment of Henry Chicheley to “command all the forces in Virginia against the Indians,” signed by William Berkeley. The date is important because Bacon’s Rebellion was in 1676 and the “Treaty of 1677” or “Treaty of Middle Plantation” was signed in May 1677 by representatives of Charles II and various Virginia Native American tribes. During the rebellion, Sir Henry Chicheley supported Governor Berkeley, was branded a traitor, and held hostage. In 1678, he became acting Governor of Virginia.

To learn more, see the Encyclopedia of Virginia, which has an in depth biography of Henry Chicheley, including the period surrounding Bacon’s Rebellion.

Sir Henry Chicheley's Appointment, page 1 (MsV Lee1)

Sir Henry Chicheley’s Appointment, page 1 (MsV Lee1)

Sir Henry Chicheley's Appointment, page 2 (MsV Lee1)

Sir Henry Chicheley’s Appointment, page 2 (MsV Lee1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *