Randolph, William (DNB00)

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RANDOLPH, WILLIAM (1650–1711), colonist, son of Richard Randolph, who was half-brother of the poet, Thomas Randolph [q. v.], was born in 1650 at Morton Morrell in Warwickshire. In 1674 he emigrated to Virginia, acquired a large plantation on the James river, and devoted himself to planting with much success, for he left seven or more estates at his death. He lived latterly at Turkey Island, below Richmond, Virginia, where he had built himself a splendid mansion. He was also a shipowner, and his ships plied regularly to Bristol.

Randolph rose to the rank of colonel in the colonial militia. He was member of the house of assembly in 1684, and later a member of council. He is said to have been a man of high character, with wide influence. He was a founder and trustee of the William and Mary College, Virginia; but his chief work was directed to the civilisation of the Indians. He died on 11 April 1711 at Turkey Island.

He married Mary Isham, and had seven sons and three daughters. Six of the sons became prominent colonists; one of them, Sir John Randolph of Tazewell Hall, was knighted in 1730 when on a visit to England.

[Virginian Historical Collections; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biogr.]

C. A. H.