Lewis Burwell was a merchant and founder of the Burwell family in Virginia, which held great prominence in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The nephew of two colonists of the early Jamestown settlement, Burwell established himself in the colony by 1641. Within a decade he owned or co-owned at least 7,250 acres. He also held land and rent that he inherited from his stepfather, Roger Wingate, who served on the governor’s Council from 1640 to 1642. Burwell began the family practice of using advantageous marriages to increase power and property, and he established the family’s longstanding seat at Carter’s Creek in Gloucester County.