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HENRY TYLER - DOCUMENT DOUBLE SIGNED 05/16/1776 - DOCUMENT 35969

 

HENRY TYLER
As Clerk of Stafford County, Virginia in 1776, he instructs the sheriff to detain two men for trial in a civil suit. This must be one of the last Virginia documents issued in the name of King George III!
Partly Printed Document signed twice: "Henry Tyler" as County Clerk and as Witness, 2 pages, 7½x4½ (front and verso). Stafford County, Virginia, 1776 May 16. [The date is given as the 16th year of the reign of King George III]. As County Clerk, Tyler commands the Sheriff of Stafford County to seize Will Scott and Richard Fowke, "if they be found in your Bailiwick", and to bring them before the Justices of the County Court to answer Calvert Jones' plea of debt in the amount of 21.00 pounds, with 50 shillings in damages. On verso the Sheriff (John Stuart?) appends a handwritten note that Gerald Fowke has posted bail for William Scott and Richard Fowke. A pencil note (unknown hand) dates this document from 1781, but that is certainly in error. Clerk Henry Tyler was dead by then, and Virginia had long before declared its independence. Stafford County is in northern Virginia, bordering the Potomac River; such British authority as still existed in Virginia in 1781 was confined to territory south of Richmond, as British troops withdrew to the site of General Cornwallis' final surrender to George Washington's army in October. Henry Tyler (1710-1777) was Clerk of Stafford County, Virginia from 1731 until his death. He is sometimes referred to as "Captain Tyler." We know that Henry Tyler was a slave owner, and that one of his sons, Thomas, succeeded him as Clerk. Another, his namesake Henry, served in the Continental Navy during the Revolution and was present at the siege of Yorktown. One genealogical website claims that Henry was the grandfather of President John Tyler, but this is contradicted by more persuasive evidence that President Tyler (John Tyler IV) was the grandson of Henry Tyler's brother John Tyler II, and hence Henry Tyler's grand nephew. It is interesting that in May of 1776, a Virginia court document was still issued in the name of the British monarch. That would soon change. During the very month of this document, a Virginia convention was meeting to ratify a new state Constitution; when adopted (June 29, 1776), it formally abolished Virginia's ties to Britain, in effect declaring Virginia's independence one week before the Continental Congress issued the US Declaration of Independence. A very interesting piece of Virginia and US history! Horizontal and vertical fold creases - worn and toned with pin-size holes at intersections. Edges chipped and notched. Lower right corner missing.


For more documents by these signers click the names below:

HENRY TYLER  


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HENRY TYLER
Born: Circa 1710 in Virginia
Died: Circa 1777 in Virginia





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