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Thomas Dew/Due

Member From: 1652 - 1655

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  • Birth Date: Unknown Birth Place:
  • Death Date: ca. 1681
  • Gender: Male Race: Caucasian
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  • Bio: THOMAS DEW was Speaker of the House of Burgesses at the assembly which began 25 November 1652. Speaker Dew had represented Upper Norfolk County in the assembly, but was not a burgess again until April 1652, 1653, and 1654-1655, but after March 1655 session he left the House of Burgesses to take a seat on the Council of State, where he served until October 1660.
    Speaker Dew had come to the vicinity of the Nansemond River s early as January 1634, when he witnessed a deed for Francis Houfgh, a neighbor of Richard Bennett. In 1638 Dew patented 850 acres, in 1640 another 250 acres, and finally in 1681 another 450 acres on the Nansemond River. In all, Dew owned about 2,000 acres across Nansemond County.
    Dew was named in the 1640 list of persons appointed to regulate the quality of tobacco, and he was present at the assembly of 1642, where he signed the assembly's declaration against the attempt to revive the Virginia Company of London. Dew was not reelected to the House of Burgesses until 1652. In 1646 he led an expedition by water against the "Southern Indians." Possibly, like Speaker Edward Major, Dew aided Richard Bennett in the attempt to established colony at Providance, Maryland, in the late 1640s. In 1656 the assembly authorized Dew "to make a discoverie of the navigable rivers o the southward between Cape Hattereas and Cape Feare."
    Speaker Dew appear to have shared the puritan outlook of his neighbors Richard Bennet, Robert Bennett, and Speaker Edward Major. In 1672 he became a Quaker. William Edmunson, an associate of Quaker George Fox, visited Nansemond in 1672 and at meetings that included "several officers and magistrates, who were much taken with the declaration of truth," both Dew and Richard Bennett were "reached by the witness of God." Enforcement of religious orthodoxy in post restoration Virginia may have caused Dew's apparent retirement from political activity during the 1660s and 1670s. Although the year of his death is unknown, Speaker Dew lived in Nansemond County until 1681 or later.
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Speaker of the House of Burgesses: 1652
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1652 Apr Nansemond
1652 Nov Nansemond Speaker of the House
1653 Nansemond
1654-1655 Nansemond Private Causes

*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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