Joseph Prentis

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Joseph Prentis
Joseph Prentis
Judge of the General Court
In office
January 4, 1788 – June 18th, 1809
6th Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
In office
October 16, 1786 – January 8, 1788
Preceded byBenjamin Harrison Jr.
Succeeded byThomas Matthews
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from York County
In office
1777–1778
In office
1782–1788
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from James City County
In office
1781–1782
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from Williamsburg
In office
1776–1778
Personal details
Born(1754-01-24)January 24, 1754
Williamsburg, Colony of Virginia, British America
DiedJune 18, 1809(1809-06-18) (aged 55)
Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)
Margaret Bowdoin
(m. 1778; died 1801)
Children8
  • Joseph Jr. (1783-1851)
  • John Brookes (1789-1848)
  • Elizabeth (1791-1864)
  • Mary Anne (1796-?)
ParentsWilliam Prentis
Mary Brooke
RelativesJohn Prentis (brother)
EducationCollege of William & Mary

Joseph Prentis (January 24, 1754 – June 18, 1809) was a Virginia politician. He represented Williamsburg in the Virginia House of Delegates, and served as that body's Speaker from 1786 until 1788. From 1788 until his death, Prentis was a judge in the General Court of Virginia.

Biography[edit]

Joseph Prentis was the youngest son of Williamsburg merchant William Prentis and his wife, Mary Brooke. He attended the College of William and Mary and became a lawyer (see read law). He was a member of the Virginia Convention of 1775 in Richmond where Patrick Henry delivered the famous words, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Later, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, serving from 1776 to 1788 and representing Williamsburg, James City County, and York County.

From 1786 to 1788, Prentis served as the 6th Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. On January 4, 1788, he was appointed to the General Court of Virginia, where he served as a judge until his death.

Personal life[edit]

Prentis was known to enjoy gardening and his papers, correspondence and even the naming of his home demonstrate that interest. He married Margaret Bowdoin 16 December 1778. The couple had eight children but only four survived infancy or childhood. In 1782 he acquired Green Hill where they lived for the rest of their lives. He died on the 18th of June in 1809 at the age of 55.

References[edit]

  • Jamerson, Bruce F., Clerk of the House of Delegates, supervising (2007). Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1776-2007. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia House of Delegates.
  • Winter, Kari J. (2011). The American Dreams of John B. Prentis Slave Trader. The University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0-8203-3837-0
  • Richter, Caroline Julia, "The Prentis Family and their Library" (1985). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1539625287. doi:10.21220/s2-42by-1r17
  • Virginia House of Delegates Clerk's Office. "Joseph Prentis". House History. Virginia House of Delegates Clerk's Office. Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2021.

External links[edit]