John West (colonel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Lieutenant-Colonel John West, Jr. of West Point, Virginia (1632–1691) was commander of the New Kent Militia in the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, and a representative of the same county in the House of Burgesses.


John West was born about 1632. He was the son of Governor John West of Virginia and the grandson of both Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr and Virginia Governor George Percy.

West served in the militia from 1652 to 1673, ending with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was a supporter of Governor Berkeley during Bacon's Rebellion, and appears in the list compiled by the King's Commissioners of those who suffered grievances during the uprising:

Col. John West a person greatly impaired in his stock & goods by the Rebells, and a most constant Loyall Gentleman during the late Rebellion, and was for some time after Bacons death Imprisoned by the Rebell Partie.[1]

West served as a member of the courts-martials which tried the rebels.[2]

In 1659, West's father died, the last of the four sons of Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr who came to Virginia. In recognition of the family's contributions to the colonial enterprise, the Virginia Assembly passed the following Act:

WHEREAS the many important favours and services rendred to the countrey of Virginia by the noble family of the West, predecessors to Mr. John West, their now only survivor, claim at least that a grateful remembrance of their former merrits be still continued to their survivor, It is ordered, That the levies of the said master West and his family be remitted, and that he be exempted from payment thereof during life.[3]

In 1685 West represented New Kent in the House of Burgesses. His will dated November 15, 1689, was probated about 1691. It was destroyed along with the other County records in a fire in 1787.[4]


In 1664, West married Unity Croshaw, daughter of Major Joseph Croshaw of York, member of the House of Burgesses. The children of Colonel John and Unity Croshaw were:[5]

  • John West III; married Judith Armistead.
  • Nathaniel West, married, as her second husband, Martha Woodard, widow of Gideon Macon and grandmother of Martha Washington.
  • Anne West; married Henry Fox.
  • Ursula Unity Susanna West (24 December 1658 - 12 May 1708, Elsing Green, King William County[citation needed]); married in 1676 George Thomas Martin (b. 1656).
  • Captain Thomas Oliphant West (1670 West Point, VA - 23 December 1740, New Kent, VA); married Agnes Frances Estes Burton (1670-1720). They had five children: Nathaniel (1692-1727), Col. Francis (1702-1786), Virginia Agnes West (1705-1750; married Richard Thomas Gregory (1713-1742)), Anne (1714-1780), and Thomas (1718-1808).[citation needed]

West was said to have fathered a son with the Pamunkey leader Cockacoeske about 1656, several years before West's marriage to Unity Croshaw. The child became known as Captain John West.[6] Although there is evidence that Col. West was living apart from his wife in 1685,[7] the year before Cockacoeske's death, the reasons for their separation remain unknown.



  1. ^ "Persons who Suffered by Bacon's Rebellion. The Commissioners' Report", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Jul., 1897), pp. 64-70
  2. ^ Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, p.27
  3. ^ Hening, Statutes at Large, vol. 1, p. 547
  4. ^ New Kent County, Virginia Genealogy Project
  5. ^ Dorman, John Frederick, Adventurers of Purse and Person, 4th ed., v.3, p.490
  6. ^ The Beginning, Progress, and Conclusion of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia, In the Years 1675 and 1676 Jefferson Papers, American Memory Collections, Library of Congress
  7. ^ Appleton, Thomas H. et al, Searching for Their Places: Women in the South Across Four Centuries


  • "The Powhatan Indians of Virginia: Their Traditional Culture. Rountree, Helen C., University of Oklahoma Press, 1989.
  • "Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey: Diplomat and Suzeraine." W. Martha W. McCartney.
  • "Powhatan's Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast by Peter H. Wood.

Notes on John West's daughter Ursula Unity Susanna West:

  • "A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire" by John Burke, Esq. Fourth Edition. In Two Volumes. VOL. I. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street. 1834. Delaware, Earl Pg. 333-335 (pdf pg. 373-375)

Notes on the ancestral pedigree of the West family:

  • "A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire" by John Burke, Esq. Fourth Edition. In Two Volumes. VOL.I. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street. 1834. House of La Warr. Pg. 335-336. (pdf pg. 375-376)

Notes on the ancestral pedigree of the La Warr family: