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Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This is a guess:

Henry Chicheley was born 1614/5 to Sir Thomas Chicheley and Dorothy Kempe Chicheley, of Wimpole, Cambridgeshire.

Descended from an ancient, well-to-do family and assured of a privileged upbringing, he matriculated at University College, Oxford, at 17 on April 27, 1632, and received a B.A. 3 years later.

A Royalist during the English Civil Wars, Chicheley became a lieutenant colonel before King Charles I knighted him about 1644.

Complicity in a plot against Parliament landed him in the Tower, but in 1650 the Council of State paroled him and allowed him to sail to Virginia on condition he “do nothing prejudicial to the State and present government thereof.”

Sir Henry Chicheley found safe haven in the household of Ralph Wormeley (d. 1651), where he befriended other Royalist refugees, one of whom introduced him to Gov. Sir William Berkeley.
Sometime after May 31, 1652, Chicheley married Wormeley’s widow, Agatha Eltonhead Stubbins Wormeley, whose sister Eleanor Eltonhead married first William Brocas (a member of the governor’s Council), and then John Carter (1613–1670), also a member of the Council, and whose sister Alice Eltonhead Burnham married Henry Corbyn, another Council member.

The marriage put Chicheley at the top of Virginia society and gave him control of Wormeley’s properties.
Chicheley resided at Wormeley’s estate, Rosegill, in the part of Lancaster County that in 1669 became Middlesex County.

Chicheley represented Lancaster County in the House of Burgesses in 1656 and not long thereafter, in violation of his parole, returned to England, where he made contact with supporters of Charles II who paved the way for the return of Charles II in 1660.

Chicheley was still in London when Berkeley arrived in 1661 on a mission to extract royal blessings for his economic diversification plans and worked tirelessly in the lobbying campaign that won much of what Berkeley sought.

Chicheley stayed behind when the governor left for Virginia in the autumn of 1662 and, with other Virginians, pressed the Privy Council for curbs on tobacco production.

The failure of the negotiations sent him back to America, where a grateful Berkeley heaped generous rewards on him.

An early convert to Berkeley’s schemes for diversifying the colony’s economy, Chicheley experimented with sericulture. His success ranked him in a group of great planters who established mulberry orchards, tended silkworms, and made silk in profitable quantities that found ready markets in England.
Chicheley also followed Berkeley’s lead by advocating restrictions on tobacco cultivation to raise its price and as a means of diversification.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Gov. Berkeley appointed him to the Council in April 1670, made him a lieutenant general of the militia in July 1672, and arranged for Charles II to name him lieutenant governor in 1674.

Chicheley’s influence with the Master General of Ordnance, his brother Sir Thomas Chicheley MP [https://www.historyofparliamenton… ] resulted in the dispatch of some much-needed great guns and ammunition during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674).

During the frontier unrest that preceded Bacon’s Rebellion, Berkeley gave Chicheley command of a force that was supposed to attack marauding Indians. Chicheley never took the field because Berkeley countermanded the order.
Berkeley’s change of heart was one in a series of missteps that inspired Nathaniel Bacon (1647–1676) to revolt.
Chicheley and others unsuccessfully tried to settle the disagreements between Gov. Berkeley and Bacon, but when the rebellion began, Chicheley stood by Berkeley.
The Baconians considered him a traitor and held him hostage until the insurgency failed.

On December 30, 1678, Chicheley succeeded Herbert Jeffreys as acting governor.

Chicheley was alarmed by the Crown’s aggressive attempt to regain control of the colony, although few shared his cautious disposition as he awaited the coming of Berkeley’s replacement, Thomas, 2nd baron Culpeper of Thoresway [https://encyclopediavirginia.org/… ], who finally arrived and took up his duties on May 10, 1680, only to depart on August 11.

It fell to Chicheley to steer the colony through a troubled period of political and economic readjustment.
Commandments from Charles II prevented him from using the General Assembly in the spring of 1682 to improve tobacco prices by limiting crop size.
In response to falling prices, gangs of frustrated planters cut down tobacco seedlings on more than 200 plantations. Prompt action by local officials prevented the plant-cutting riots from spreading.
Unlike Gov. Culpeper, who returned for another administration from December 1682 to May 1683, Chicheley saw the plant cuttings as fairly insignificant, and most of the offenders were only lightly punished.
His instinct for circumspection kept the riots from turning into an insurrection and spared the colony from more intervention from London.

Quelling the plant cutters was Chicheley’s last important act as deputy governor.
Gov. Culpeper erred with his characterization of Chicheley as “that Lumpe, that Masse of Dulnesse, that worse then nothing.”

Sir Henry Chicheley died on February 5, 1683, probably at Rosegill, several weeks after Culpeper’s second arrival.
He was buried “neare the Comunion Table” in the chancel of Christ Church, in Middlesex County, VA.
Excerpted from https://encyclopediavirginia.org/…

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