THOMAS GLASCOCK'S MURDER.
Sammy Peachey had just become the Justice of Richmond County when all hell broke loose in his district. Fall was in the air, and the leaves of the hardwoods were in full color. Sammy was enthusiastic about beginning a career as a Justice that would span the next 25 years.
As he sat in his judge's seat in the courtroom, he only wished George Glascock, his father-figure, was there to see him. He would have been so proud of what Sammy had achieved in life. As he organized his desk, his mind went back to many of the special times George had spent with him as a teen. He knew if it hadn't been for George, he might not be sitting in this seat of justice today.
However, on November 5th, 1723, Sammy was forced to reassess his commitment to serve as Justice of Richmond County. This became the day that would shake his North Farnham Parish to the core. His family, his neighborhood, his church, his business relationships, and the Virginia militia were all visibly shaken by the turn of events of this historic day.
Thomas Glascock, the first cousin of Sammy's father-figure, allegedly stabbed a man to death. To make matters worse, the fellow he killed was not an Indian or a slave or some indentured servant. Instead, he was a respected surgeon in the Northern Neck - Dr. William Forrester. The way it was reported in the news was that Thomas Glacock "made an assault on the body of William Forrester by stabbing him with a knife by means whereof the said Forrester instantly died."
Supposedly, Dr. Forrester had gone to the Glascock home on a doctor's house call. Why the call was made or what was said and done was all left to speculation. No one ever knew the motive for the crime. Nevertheless, following the stabbing, Thomas and his son, Gregory, fled the scene. From Glascock's Landing on Farnham Creek, they left by boat to travel down the Chesapeake Bay heading south. An extensive search was made to find the men, but to no avail. However, Gregory Glascock later returned home without his father and claimed that he knew nothing about his father's whereabouts.
Judge Sammy Peachey wrestled with this dilemma he faced. He knew the Glascock family well. Thomas Glascock was married to Sarah Stone, who gave him six children, three of them now being adults. All appearances showed this was a successful happy family of Richmond County. Thomas not only was a planter with a large plantation and many slaves, but he also was a surveyor of roads.
This is the last person in the worldSammy would ever expect of commiting such a horrendous crime. It just didn't make sense to him. Not only were Thomas and Sarah good people, but their children seem to follow their example. Although Sammy struggled with why it all happened, he couldn't overlook the fact that Thomas never returned to stand trial. Whether he died on his escape route or he just stayed away because of shame and remorse, he never was to be seen again.
When it came time for the trial, the prosecutor called upon two of the sons of Thomas Glascock to testify. John, the oldest, and his brother, Thomas, swore that they had observed their brother, Gregory, help their father load the boat and leave together. Sammy Peachey charged 23-year old Gregory Glascock as an accessory to murder. However, since his father wasn't there for his conviction, he was released.
The following is a copy of the testimony at the hearing:
"Gregory Glascock being examined saith that on the 5th of November last about midnight he sat off in a boat with his father, THOMAS GLASCOCK from their Landing (on Farnham Creek) and the next morning his father put him on Shoar the other side of the River about five miles below Morattico Creek, and then he travelled to Gloucester Town, and went over the Ferrey to York Town, and from thence went to Hampton Town, and soe went over James River and Landed at one Willsons, and from thence Traveled Through Norfolk Town and went to a place Called the Northwest Landing, and then came back about Two Days before Christmas to the house of one Nehomiah Jones, and from thence the best of his way home."
According to the best source on the Glascock family, Lawrence A. Glasco, "The murder and the subsquent flight of Thomas (perhaps eventually south to the Carolinas) left his wife, Sarah, with six children on the Farnham Creek property. She probably maintained the home for a time in the best way she could manage, but Robert "King" Carter took possession of Thomas' real estate, negroes and other property which was forfeited to the government. Carter's will in 1726 states "if my son John (Carter) comes to enjoy the said Glascock's land under a good title that then he further consider the said Glascock's children in such proportion as he shall think fitt, or otherwise gratify them according to his discretion.
"The next generation of Glascocks in Thomas' line apparently had to start all over again on their own. They moved north from their old home in the Tidewater and established large families and many descendants in northern Virginia in the Piedmont area." (The Glascocks of England and America, by Lawrence A. Glasco.)
The local paper issued the following announcement of bounty for the capture and return of Thomas Glascock:
THE AMERICAN WEEKLY MERCURY.
No 216 from Tues., January 28th to Tuesday, February 4th, 1724
"By special command, the Honourable Sir William Keith, Bart, Governor of the Province, Publick Notice is hereby given: That there is come to his hands a Writ of Hue and Cry, under the Hand of the Honourable Hugh Drysdale, Esq., Governor of Virginia, and the Great Seal of the said Province, after one Thomas Glascock of Richmond County in Virginia, Planter, for having barbarously murdered William Forrester of the same County, Surgeon, by secretly stabbing him with a Knife, as he entered the House of said Glascock to which he was invited in the Business of his Profession, and of which wound would he instantly died. And that by the said Writ of Hue and Cry, under the Hand and Seal aforesaid, there is promised a Reward of Forty Pounds Sterling, to any Person or persons who shall apprehend and secure the said Thomas Glascock so as he be brought to Justice. He is a Man of middle stature, about 50 years of Age, well set, his Face bloated, of a pale Complexion, and much Wrinckled, his Hair dark coloured and almost streight, his Eyebrows large and a more than usual winking with his Eyes, his Beard growing in Patches and of a grayish hue, his Legs large and swelled with the Dropsie, his Garb uncertain, having taken several Suits of Cloths with him. Also, he carried with him his son, Gregory Glascock, about 21 Years of age, a lusty Wellset Fellow, with streight brown Hair, a swarthy Complexion and pretty much Freckled. It is also earnestly recommended to all Persons whatsoever, in any of His Majesties Colonies or Plantations, who shall see or hear of the said Glascock, that they use their utmost endeavour to apprehend and secure him, that so notorous a Criminal may be brought to Justice."
What was to happen to Sarah and her six children? Sarah died two years after the murder, as did her daughter, Elizabeth. Her son, Thomas, died four years later, at the early age of 25. After that, three of Sarah's children moved away from the Northern Neck. John Glascock moved to Prince William County, while Sarah and Peter settled in Rowan County, North Carolina.
Surprisingly, the only one who remained in Richmond County was Gregory Glascock, the accomplice to the murder. He married first Alice Elder, who gave him two children: Sarah and Col. William Glascock. She died in 1730 shortly after giving birth to her son. Gregory then remarried to Elizabeth Elder, who gave him six sons and one daughter.
The oldest of Sarah's children, John Glascock, married Margaret O'Rear of Stafford County, the daughter of Irish immigrant, John O'Rear, and the former Mary Peck. Margaret gave John eight children, all born in Prince William County in the vicinity of Rectortown.
Sarah's youngest child, Peter, married first Jane Fishback about 1735, who gave him nine children. He married again to Mary Rector about 1760, who gave him another seven children. He was sixty years old when his sixteenth child was born. Sarah's youngest daughter, also Sarah Glascock, married Charnel Hightower. Eventually both Sarah and her brother, Peter, moved to Rowan Co., North Carolina, where they died.
Although Thomas Glascock's name became blight to the Northern Neck, nine of his descendants would become patriots of the coming Revolutionary War. These included his son, John and John's sons: Thomas and George Glascock. Also serving as patriots were three of the sons of Peter, the youngest son of Thomas Glascock: Peter, Jr., Jesse and Spencer. Gregory, the accomplice to his father's murder, had a son, William, who served in the Revolution, as well as William's sons, Thomas, and William's nephew, Benjamin Glascock.
Millie Glascock still lived as a widow at Indian Banks, along with her five children. Although they had nothing to do with the crime, their Glascock name was cursed in the community. Millie's three oldest sons, George, Jr., William and Thomas, were now between twenty and twenty-two and were getting ready to leave the nest. George, Jr. was engaged to Judith Ball, one of Mary Ball's cousins. William had his heart set on marrying Esther Ball, another cousin to Mary. The Glascock's only daughter, Frances, was about eighteen, while their youngest, John, was in his mid-teens.
The Glascocks originally emigrated from the county of Essex, in England. The convicted Thomas Glascock was the grandson of his immigrant ancestor, Thomas, who married Jane Juet in London, as recorded by the Guildhall Library in that city on June 17, 1634.
"This day appeared personally Thomas Glascock of ye parishe of St. Mary Whitechappell in ye county of Middlesex, joyner and a batchelor aged about 23 yeares and at his owne government and alledgeth that he intendeth to marry Jane Juet of ye same place, maiden aged about 23 years and att her own government, her parents being deceased and that there is noe lawful lett or impediment by reason of any precontract, consanguinity, affinity or otherwise, to hinder this intended marriage, he made faith and desired license for them to be married in ye parish churche of St. Mary Staynings, London. (Signed) Thomas Glascock (Signed) Row: Jennings (Rowland Jennings, surrogate of the Vicar General of the Bishop of London)" (by signing of his name Thomas shows that he was of the gentry class).
Sammy Peachey heard that in 1743 Thomas Glascock, the immigrant, had received two land parcels, one for 130 acres in Warwick County near Jamestown. Another was for 200 acres between the Rappahannock River and the York River. He lived there for nine years before receiving a 600-acre land patent on the Morattico Creek in Lancaster County. He eventually received another 280-acre parcel adjoining the one on Morattico Creek. This is where he moved his family.
Gregory Glascock was born about 1634 in Moreton, Essex, England. Being the oldest son of Thomas, he inherited his property when his father died in 1667. However, Sammy Peachey understood that much, of not all of it, was immediately signed over to his brother, Thomas, who was also born in Moreton, Essex, in 1640. This Thomas Glascock was the one built Indian Banks for his son, George.
Gregory meanwhile had three children: Thomas, Mary and Annie, all born in North Fornham Parish of Richmond County. Thomas married Sarah Stone, daughter of William Stone and Sarah Howard, about 1698.She gave him six children: John, Gregory, Elizabeth, Thomas, Sarah and Peter. When Thomas committed the murder and fled the scene, his children ranged from 24 years to nine. When he escaped, he never returned, leaving his wife and children devastated. To make matters worse, they lost their home and all their property. Nevertheless, his sons were determined to turn this curse into a blessing. Through their dogged aggressiveness, they became productive citizens and committed patriots for their country's future independence from England.
Source:On The Banks of the Rappahannock:A Captivating Story of Romance and Mystery in Colonial Virginia, by John Harding Peach, published by Author House, 2011; Pgs. 81-86