Whitehall: November 30, 1694.
1p., plus integral blank. Docketed on verso of the blank "Copy Duke Shrewsbury ... about the northern neck". Folio. On The Northern Neck Proprietary. Provenance: The Andros Papers, Sotheby's July 6, 1937, lot 559 (part) Item #353113
Written to Virginia colonial governor Andros, in the present letter Lord Shrewsbury grants his support to Thomas Fairfax for his 1689 claim on nearly 5,000,000 acres of land between the heads of the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers, known as the Northern Neck Proprietary. Shrewsbury writes: "... I have this further occassion of writing to you now in behalf of my Lord Fairfax who ... lays claim to a considerable tract of land in Virginia by virtue of Letters pattents granted by King Charles the Second & confirmed by the late King ... my Lord Fairfax only desires that it may be brought to a fair & speedy determination which I think so reasonable a request that I cant but joyne with him in it, & I doubt not but it will be complyed with on your side ..."
The tract had been the source of a long running dispute, originally gifted to Sir Thomas Culpeper by Charles II while in exile in 1649. Upon his death in 1689, Culpeper's estate was passed to his only legal daughter Catharine, who had married Lord Fairfax. In 1746 the disputes were eventually resolved with a line was run between the sources of the North Branch of the Potomac and the Rappahannock River to constitute the western limit of Lord Fairfax's lands.
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