Author: Christopher F. Lee


Lewis Burwell (1651 or 1652–1710)

Lewis Burwell was a planter who enlarged the already considerable estate he had inherited from his father. By 1704 he was one of the largest landowners in six counties, paying taxes on 26,650 acres. Through marriage alliances and inheritances—both of his stepfathers, his father-in-law, and a son-in-law served on the governor’s Council, and his first wife inherited her fortune from her uncle, who was a councillor—he expanded his fortune. Burwell served as a major in the militia, a trustee of the College of William and Mary, and sat for one term in the House of Burgesses. The Privy Council appointed him to the governor’s Council, but Burwell declined the position. This refusal probably sprung from his daughter‘s refusal to marry Governor Francis Nicholson, along with declining health.

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