Charles II

James I (1566-1625) was King of England at the time of America’s first English settlement.  Jamestown was named for him.  It was also he who authorized the translation of the Bible into English in 1611.

Charles I (1600-1649) son of James I became King upon the death of his father.  He became involved in a dispute with parliament over a question of sovereignty.  He thought he was to rule by divine right.  Eventually he was tried for treason, found guilty by one vote, and was beheaded in 1649.

Charles II (1630-1685) from the age of twelve was involved in the civil strife.  His childhood was insecure and his life unstable.  Friends helped him escape to France.  While in exile, on September 18, 1649, he gave to Lord John Culpeper, Lord Thomas Culpeper, Lord Ralph Hopton, Earl Henry Jermyn, Lord John Berkeley, Sir William Norton, and Sir Dudley Wyatt the five million acre Northern Neck of Virginia.  Upon the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1660, he was invited to return to England as king.

Lord Thomas Culpeper, by 1688, had acquired most of the property.  His daughter Catherine married the fifth Lord Fairfax, and their son, the sixth Lord Fairfax, inherited the entire grant.  It was the sixth Lord Fairfax who arrived on upper Machodoc Creek, the western boundary of Westmoreland County, in May 1735, to look after and defend his interests in the vast tract of mostly wilderness land.  Fairfax met 16 year old George Washington in 1748 and was so impressed with the youth that he employed him to survey much of his western land.

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