- Abt 1666
||James Berry  |
||1 Jan 2021 |
- James Berry, bringing with him his wife Elizabeth, his son William, his son's wife Roder Preston Berry, and possibly other children, came to Maryland from Virginia before 1650. Richard Preston, father-in-law of William, and the Berrys were Puritans who had come to Virginia to escape persecution along with many others of this turbulent sect. Their own intolerant desire to regulate affairs soon rendered them obnoxious and Virginia passed laws to exclude them from the Colony. Preston, Berrys and others, knowing of the liberty of conscience extended to all sects in Maryland, sought permission for the Puritans to enter that Colony, which was cordially granted. Preston and the Berrys were well-to-do and seem to have been lawyers. All were soon possessed of large estates in land on both sides of the Chesapeake and their activities, in writing wills and settling estates, are to be seen in the records of several counties.
James Berry held public office, being of the first appellate court that sat in the Patuxent River, 1654, at the house of Richard Preston, who was chief justice of the court. He was also member of the House of Burgesses, 1654, of which Richard Preston was speaker. He died intestate about 1657 and his wife Elizabeth seems to have died about same time. He, his son and Richard Preston, had been leaders in the Puritan Rebellion. James Berry, to his credit, was driven into the revolt, for he was fined by the Assembly 2,000 pounds of tobacco for showing loyalty to Governor Stone, but finally took a prominent part in the Puritan cause. He and Preston served on the governing Commission of the Parliament and at its order turned the government over to the Proprietary in 1657.
JAMES BERRY (?-1666). IMMIGRATED: in 1652/53 as a free adult with his wife and children from Virginia. RESIDED: in Calvert County. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: in Accomack County, Virginia, by 1636 when he received a patent for 350 acres for transporting himself, his wife, and five
MARRIED by 1636 Elizabeth.
CHILDREN. SONS: William Berry (ca. 1636-1691), who married first, Naomi (?-1663), daughter of Richard Preston (?-ca. 1669/70), and second, in 1669 Margaret (?-1688), widow of Richard Preston (?-by 1669) and daughter of Thomas Marsh (ca. 1615-1656/57); Roger. DAUGHTER: Martha.
PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Protestant, probably a Quaker. SOCIAL STATUS AND ACTIVITIES, no title on arrival in Maryland; Mr., by 1655. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE: planter.
PUBLIC CAREER. LEGISLATIVE SERVICE. Assembly, Patuxent (Calvert County), 1654. LOCAL OFFICE: justice, Patuxent (Calvert County), 1655. STANDS ON PUBLIC/PRIVATE ISSUES: fined in 1655 and probably lost his court commission for supporting the proprietary governor William
Stone against the Parliamentary Commissioners.
WEALTH DURING LIFETIME. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: probably 400 acres in Maryland and 600 acres in Virginia; sold his land in Virginia in 1655 and patented another 900 acres in Maryland in 1658.
WEALTH AT DEATH. DIED: in 1666; size of estate unknown. [A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.]
- [S373] A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, Edward C. Papenfuse, et al., (Name: Johns Hopkins University Press; Location: Baltimore, MD; Date: 1985;), p131, vol.426.