Author: Beatriz Betancourt Hardy


George Brent (ca. 1640–by 1700)

George Brent was a prominent Catholic who served as acting attorney general of Virginia. His family suffered during the English Civil Wars, and early in the 1660s Brent left for Maryland. By 1670 he had settled near relatives in Stafford County, Virginia, where he became a successful attorney, businessman, tobacco planter, and land speculator. Brent held public office despite the strictures against office holding by Catholics and was the colony’s acting attorney general from 1686 until 1688, when he was elected to the House of Burgesses. After England’s Glorious Revolution unleashed anti-Catholic sentiments in the colonies, Brent’s public career came to an end. During the 1690s he served as an agent for the Northern Neck proprietors, granting himself and his friends large tracts of land. At the time of his death by September 1700, he owned more than 15,000 acres in Virginia.