The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: November 11

WILLIAMSBURG, November 11, 1775.
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF THE HON. PEYTON RANDOLPH, Esq; Whose distinguished Virtues, in every Station of Life Gained him the Affection and Confidence of his Country. Descended from an ancient and respectable Family, He received a liberal and polite Education in William & Mary College. Removing from thence to the Inner Temple, He was advanced to the Degree of Barrister at Law, And appointed Attorney General of Virginia. In this Office His Regard to the Peace and Security of Society, His Humanity and Benovolence to the Criminal his Duty obliged him to prosecute, were not more conspicuous than his Learning and Integrity in his Profession. After an extensive Practice in the General Court, He resigned his Law Employments; And, being elected SPEAKER of the House of Burgesses, Discharged the Duties of that high Office with Such Ease, Dignity, and Impartiality, That he was frequently called to the Chair by the unanimous Voice of the Representatives of the People. When the Measures of the British Ministry Compelled the American Colonies to unite their Councils, In General Congress, He was chosen first DELEGATE for this Colony to that illustrious Assembly, And was by them unamimously elected their PRESIDENT. While he was attending a third Time in that Great Council, A sudden Stroke of the Palsey deprived America of a firm Patriot, His Country of a wise and faithful Senator, His Aquaintance of an invaluable Friend, His Family of the most affectionate Husband and kindest Master, Upon the 22d Day of October, 1775, in the 54th Year of his Age.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) November 11, 1775

About this entry:

This obituary reflects the respect and esteem Peyton Randolph received from those he represented during his political career, first as a servant of the king as Attorney General, and later as the first president of the Continental Congress in opposition to the policies of the crown. Because of their family background, their wealth and their education, Peyton and his brother John were expected to devote their lives to public service. Each performed their duties with distinction in Virginia until the revolutionary movement split the family apart. John was the last royal Attorney General before moving with his family to London.

Sources: WAR

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