Author: Peter V. Bergstrom


Miles Cary (d. 1709)

Miles Cary was a commander of the militia, justice of the peace, and member of the House of Burgesses, serving intermittently from 1682 until 1706. Born in Warwick County and educated in England, he was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1682 and 1684. Reelected in 1688, he served until 1706 with the exception of several assemblies. He became one of the most influential members of the General Assembly through service on important committees. Cary held other important administrative posts including clerk of the General Court, register of the Virginia Court of Vice Admiralty, and surveyor general of Virginia. A founding trustee of the College of William and Mary, he served on its board probably until his death and was rector for a pair of one-year terms beginning in 1695 and in 1704. He controlled nearly 2,000 acres of land in Warwick County, where he was one of the wealthiest and most influential citizens. He died in 1709, probably at his plantation in Warwick County.


Nathaniel Bacon (bap. 1620–1692)

Nathaniel Bacon, a member of the governor’s Council, was often referred to as Nathaniel Bacon (the elder) in order to distinguish him from his namesake cousin, known as Nathaniel Bacon (the rebel) (1647–1676). Little is known about his early life. By 1653 Bacon had moved to Virginia. He settled in Isle of Wight County before moving to York County. In March 1656 Bacon represented York County in the House of Burgesses, and by December of that year he had become a member of the governor’s Council, where he served for three years. After another term as a burgess in 1659, he had once again been named to the Council by August 1660. As the senior member of the Council by January 1682, on three separate occasions in the 1680s and early in 1690 he served as president and acting governor of the colony. Bacon had no children, and when he died on March 16, 1692, his niece Abigail Smith Burwell inherited his vast estate.


Richard Ambler (1690–ca. 1766)

Richard Ambler was a tobacco merchant in Yorktown. Born in York, England, he came to Virginia in 1716 with his merchant uncle and prospered. Through marriage, inheritance, and purchase he acquired land, including property in Hanover, James City, Louisa, and Warwick counties and all of Jamestown Island. Ambler also served as a justice of the peace, a vestryman, and collector of the customs in Yorktown. He died in 1766.