William Perry

William Perry immigrated to Virginia in 1611 and therefore was an ancient planter.  In April 1622 Perry, who was a captain, was identified as one of four people who had cleared acreage at Hog Island.  In early 1624 he and four others went to England to ask the Virginia Company for relief from taxes because of the losses they had sustained as a result of the March 1622 Indian uprising. Perry, who took an Indian boy with him to England, asked for funds that could be used for rearing the child in the Christian faith.  In May 1625, when a list of patented land was compiled,William Perry was credited with 100 acres in the corporation of Henrico, below the falls of the James River.Perry, like his friends Richard and Isabell Pace, probably withdrew to Jamestown Island right after the 1622 Indian uprising.  He married the widowed Isabell Pace in 1623 and eventually took up residence at her plantation, Paces Paines. William and Isabell Smyth Pace Perry together produced a son,Henry Perry.  In February 1624 Mrs.Perry and her son were living on Jamestown Island in the New Towne.  Sometime prior to 1629 William Perry was placed in command of the settlers living in the vicinity of Paces Paines and Smith’s Mount (formerly known as Burrows Hill).  He served as that area’s burgess in the assemblies of 1628, 1629, 1630, and 1632.  In 1632 the territory Perry represented extended from Paces Paines downstream to Hog Island.

Around 1628, when Johannes Vingboons ([ca. 1628]) made a map of the part of the James River, he identified as the “trucking point” the promontory that later became known as Swann’s Point.  Thus, it appears that Swann’s Point was a focal point of trade between some of the Native peoples living on the lower side of the James River, and the colonists at Jamestown (Figure 1).

Lieutenant William Perry was named to the Governor’s Council in 1632 and served until 1637.  On September 19, 1633, he was granted some land within the corporation of Charles City, acreage upon which he established a plantation called Buckland.  It may have been around that time that he lost interest in Paces Paines, which in 1635 was patented by William Swann.  Captain William Perry made his will on August 5, 1637, and died the following day.  In that document he mentioned his wife, Isabell, and their son, Henry, who was his primary heir.  William Perry was interred in the graveyard at Westover Church in Charles City.  In 1641 son Henry Perry filed a claim on behalf of his late father’s estate, noting that the decedent had reared a Tappahannah Indian boy as a Christian and therefore was entitled to compensation.  After the death of Captain William Perry in 1637, Isabell Smyth Pace Perry married Jamestown merchant George Menefie (McCartney 2000:III:277-278; Nugent 1969-1979:I:120; Patent Book I Part II:702; Meyer and Dorman 1987:486-487).