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  • Full Name: Robert Beverley Jr.
  • Served: 1703 - 1703
  • Bio Information: ROBERT BEVERLEY, JR., was born in Middlesex County about 1673. His father had been clerk of the House of Burgesses during the 1670s and 1680s. Beverley may have been schooled at Beverly Grammar School, Yorkshire. He had returned to Virginia by April 1688, and on 3 March 1693 he petitioned the House of Burgesses for employment as a committee clerk; five days later he was appointed clerk to the committee for public claims. In May Beverley was named temporary clerk of the General Court during the absence of his older brother Peter, and apparently in 1693 he began to serve as clerk to the secretary of the colony, Ralph Wormeley. Three years later, when illness denied James Sherlock the use of his hands, Beverley was sworn clerk “extraordinary” of the Council on 12 August 1696 and clerk of the General Assembly on 25 September 1696. Sherlock resumed his duties in 1697, and Beverley continued as a clerk in the secretary’s office until 1698.

    In June 1697 Beverley was appointed register of the court of admiralty; his first tenure as register appears to have been brief, but on 27 December 1700 Miles Cary (who presumably had succeeded Beverley) resigned, and Beverley was reappointed. It appears that he held office until 1704. After the third statehouse burned on 21 October 1698, Governor Sir Edmund Andros and the Council employed Beverley and his brother Peter, who had served as clerk of the House and later was elected Speaker, to arrange and catalog the “Records and papers of this Countrey[,] both those belonging to the Assembly [and] those belonging to the Generall Court and Secretaryes office” –records that had been saved from destruction but that were “altogether disordered and mixed one with the other.”

    Beverley served as clerk of the King and Queen County Court from 1699 to 1704; a cryptic note in the Council journal says that Beverley was removed from the King and Queen County bench in December 1705 because he was not a resident of the county. Beverley lived at Jamestown from the mid-1690s and represented Jamestown in the assemblies of 1699, 1700-1702, and 1705-1706. He was appointed a justice of the peace for Elizabeth City County (now the city of Hampton) on 27 December 1700. On 19 March 1703, when William Randolph I resigned, Beverley was appointed clerk of the House of Burgesses. He served as clerk at the first session of the assembly of 1703-1705, but in July 1703 he requested a leave of absence from the Council so that he could sail for England to press a lawsuit on appear before the Privy Council. His request was denied. The Council ordered Beverley “discharged of the said office,” directed him to surrender the keys to his office, and called him to affirm under oath that the records and papers entrusted to his custody were present and in good order.

    While in England for some eighteen months in 1703 and 1704, Beverley wrote his classic History and Present State of Virginia (London, 1705). In 1722 a second edition was published in London; the same publisher also issued his Abridgement of the Publick Laws of Virginia in 1722. After the assembly of 1705-1706, Beverley retired from provincial politics to his plantation, Beverley Park, in King and Queen County. In 1714 Governor Alexander Spotswood appointed him a tobacco agent for Essex County, and in 1716 the Council named Beverley, John Holloway, and Attorney General John Clayton to regulate the admission of attorneys to the bar. On 21 May 1718 Beverley had been appointed “first in the said Commission” of the peace for King and Queen County, and in 1720 the county elected him to the House of Burgesses. Beverley died on 21 April 1722 and was buried at Beverley Park.

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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