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Monday, August 31, 2015

"A Most Notorious Actor"

Thomas Hall, Clerk of New Kent County, was hanged by the victorious Governor Berkeley after the suppression of Bacon's Rebellion. Said to be "a person of Neat Ingenious parts, but addicted to a more than ordinary prying into the Secrets of State affairs, which some years last past wrought him into the Governors displeasure." He was executed in 1677 for the crime that he "by divers writings under his own hand … a most notorious actor, aided and assisted in the rebellion."*

New Kent County was much larger at this time, covering most of the headwaters of the York River. It had been one of the flash points of the rebellion owing to its then frontier location, and the belief of the residents that the Governor had not been defending the area adequately against Indian depredations.



*Vestry book of Blisland (Blissland) Parish, New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia, 1721-1786
by Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne

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