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Re: Hercules Calcote's petition
Posted by: David Asprey Date: November 20, 2001 at 02:23:34
In Reply to: Hercules Calcote's petition by Marcie Masterson of 272

The petition in the name of citizens of Isle of Wight County VA was addressed to the King's Commissioner in Virginia seeking clemency for William West, who had been involved in the Bacon Rebellion, surrendered though still condemned to death by the Governor, Sir William Berkeley, but had absconded. Reference to it is in the published "Calendar of State Papers (Colonial)" of March 1677. The original petition is in the Public Record Office - there seem to be 86 names (though the Calendar says "about 70 persons") of which only 27 could sign their names - including our Hercules Calcott. My transcription is below.

It would seem that the petition got nowhere initially. Later on 21 Nov that year the Privy Council in London heard another petition for William West's pardon, this time from his brother Henry, who had been forcefully transported back to England. I do not know the outcome - William's case was referred back to the new Governor, Lord Culpepper and Henry's by the Privy Council after further examination.

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Calendar of State Papers (Colonial) Vol 10 ƒ132 of March 1677:

“Petition of his Majesty’s most loyal and obedient subjects of the Isle of Wight County in Virginia to his Majesty’s Commissioner. In behalf of William West “a rebel absconding”, who took up arms against the Indians by whom his father was barbarously murdered, was taken prisoner, carried aboard a ship, from hence to prison and condemned to death, but has made his escape and, as yet, cannot be heard of. Pray for his life and the restitution of his estate to his wife and children. Signed by about 70 persons, mostly with their mark.”

CO 1/39 ƒ85:

To the honrll herbert Jeffreys Esqr: Sr Jno Corey Kt and Coll Francis Merrson esqr his most Sacred maistys Commisonr for Virgina

The Humble pete of his matis most loyall and obedint subirts of ye County of ye Isle of Waight in Virgina one ye behalf of william weest

Most humbly presenteth that by An Actt of Asembly made and confermed in this his most Sacred maties Collony a warr was confermed against ye most Bloody & barbrous Indans who had murdred destroyed and ruined many ifhis most loyall subiects and thought Fit by ye sd actt in every county According to ye number of there tithables to rays men p’poshonall in every county to make upp one thousand soulders with Armes Amuintion and privions Accordingly for ye first two months thay were outt one ye sd warr and two month mour of privions to be provided if ye kernul required it After wch nathanell bacon Junior was confermed by ye said Actt to be Genll of ye force so raised and to appoint all offecers under him by a Commishon granted as he thought Fit: now so it is that noe man ever Immagned or thought but that the warr was woelly intended aganst the Indans, never thinking yt a warr so really Intended Against them would returne and looke bake one our selves to yr taking a way of life and estate and ye utter ruine of mens posteritie and Family as it so manifestly Appeereth and where as Will’ Weest above named was as willwisher to ye destroying of ye sd Indans, whose Father was most barbrously murthred by them: whome to our knowlidge was A loyall Subict to our most dred soveraine Lord the King: who hath proved himself soe to be and all other his mates Subt as ever no herd of by reason that in all the time that he was in Armey nither himselfie or any other woh Accompannied him ever tooke molested trubled or Imprisoned any prson while he was in Army nither in plundring our goods or taking or taking what wee had: yeatt never ye less thoug ye sd Weest after he herd of yr govt actt of indemnity was willing to lay down his armes and submitt himselfe thereto was taken prisonr ferried aboord a ship from thence to prison and by a counsell of warr condemned to dye - After which sentence so pased: to preserve lfe ye sd weest mad an escape and as yeat cannot be heard of: leaving a weakly wooman to his wife and 7 or 8 children all soe small that ye one cannot help the other: all his estat lesed and a gard plased at his house to hir great greef and unspeekable charg.

The prissinor therefore most honrll gentelmen being by your honre tenderly considered yor poor petns mjost humbly begg and besecheth yor honrl: for ye life of ye said Weest and that his estate be Freed leses may be restored the gard discharged wch wille a great help to his poor destressed wife and many small children with Feaver granted yor poor petr as duty bindeth them Shall ever pray for your honr health and happines long to remaine.

Tho Gayndy Robin Gladell        *John Simond
*John Rookty       John Richards        *Nicholas Hedgebarn
Rich Brasenose       John Whitley        *Mickall fulyham
Will Lane       Agust manriend        *Thomas williamson
John hood       *John Forrest        *Edm Prime
philip Thomas       Tho honrelle        hopkin howell
John More       Walter morgan        Rogger Daves
Edmond Windom       George webster        Ed haild
John Williames       Willi Askon        Walter harris
*John Nevill       Keney horne        John Storenson
Ambros hadley       Jo Sharpe        *John walefeild
hodges Cornwell       Rich Jeanes        *John Bathe
*thos Yorke       *robart cabidge        *Edward Spinkson
John Mershall       Will Camer        *Thomas Davis
nick Boone       Gilbart Adames        James Bryan
Will fly       *Hercules Calcott       John froeset
Tho fosythe       Rob Barkley              *James Cagnall
*Robert Morgan       *Edward goodson              John Lonsil
John Afkon       *William Bateman       Soloned Davis
*Tho Joyner Junior Tho Blake              Rogger Arsker
Will Feller       henry maddin              Edward davis
Owen Griffin       Rob Edwards              *George Snigers       
*Roger Jones       Rich Jackson              *Antho Fulgham
Rob meures       John fransis              *Timothy …..
Rob Sturdy       *B… Sheild              John myrlo
bridyman Joyner       John william              John Henry
Will Cooke       An mathews
peeter greeves       henry dafon
Stephen horsfeild       *John Marshall
mickold osborne              *Jn Joiner

[many of these names are indistinct; those with an * were signed, the rest with a mark]


Privy Council (Colonial) in London: Dated Whitehall 21 Nov 1677:

“Upon reading this day at the Board the humble Petition of Henry West Planter a Native of his Majestys Colony of Virginia (now in England) in behalf of himself and Brother, Setting forth, That his Brother William West having been seduced to accept of a Commission against the Indians under the late Rebell Nathaniel Bacon, and being sent by Colonel Bridger with Promise of free Pardon to lay downe his commission, disband his men, and submit himself to the Governor, He way prevayled upon by the Petitioner so to do, upon the Petitioners Promise to go with him to the Governor, But so soon as they had surrendred themselves to Colonel Bridger, He contrary to his Promise sent them bound to the Governor Sir William Berkeley, who tryed them both by a Councill of Warr, and sentenced to Death the Petitioners Brother, who never acted to the prejudice of any one Person or Estate, and the Petitioner who was alwaies loyall, and against whom nothing could be proved, was after long Imprisonment sentenced to be transported hither, and forced to give Bond to his Majestys use to depart by a day prefixed; which, to indemnify his Security, he did to utter ruine of himself and Wife, and severall small Children . . . And therefore Praying to be discharged of the said Bond, with Liberty to return to Virginia, And that his Majesty of his abundant Goodnes would extend his Pardon to his said Brother, who hath since made his Escape out of Prison, He taking the Oath of Obedience and giving Security for his future good Behaviour. [The petition regarding William West is referred to Lord Culpepper’s decision on his arrival in Virginia: the part regarding the petitioner himself Lord Culpepper is to examine in England and report his opinion thereon to his Majesty in Council.]”

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