Friday, November 30, 2012

William Fitzhugh

William Fitzhugh wrote such glowing letters of his Virginia estate to his friends that it made them want to emigrate to the colony. Fitzhugh was a grandson of Sir Samuel Luke of Woodend in Bedfordshire (who was famous in English literature by the pen of Butler as the hero of the great satire Hudibras. Fitzhugh was a son of practising lawyer in Bedford. His brother was Henry Fitzhugh. William enjoyed a great many shipments from his friends in England of claret and showed his appreciation of the gift by shipping in return a quantity of cider, which had been expressed from the apples of his own orchards. At times, the gift was a cardinal red bird (the nightingale of Virginia). Today we call this the mocking bird.  When he first came to the colony, Fitzhugh built a wooden home (as did the other colonists) which was considerable in size, gradually spreading out by the erection of wing after wing until the house contained as many as twelve or thirteen apartments. He invested large sums in silver plate of different kinds and ultimately became one of the wealthiest planters in the colony during the 17th century.

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