The Resource 1681-1721
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- Commonplace book, 1681-1721, of Sir John Randolph (ca. 1693-1737) of Williamsburg, Virginia, consisting transcriptions of opinions on will cases and other cases in Virginia. The majority of entries are in Randolph's handwriting. This volume was later part of the library which Thomas Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress in 1815
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- Sir John Randolph was born about 1693 to William Randolph and Mary Isham Randolph. Educated by a private tutor and at the College of William and Mary, Randolph entered Gray's Inn in England 17 May 1715 and accepted to the bar 25 November 1717. In 1712, even before he studied law in England, Governor Alexander Spotswood (1676-1740) appointed Randolph to represent the Crown in the county courts of Charles City, Henrico, and Prince George Counties, Virginia. Because of his education and family contacts, Randolph became clerk of the House of Burgesses in 1718 and held the post until 1734. During that time, he made two trips to England in 1728 and 1732 to plead for certain causes of the colony before the king. Impressing the court with his ability and eloquence, Randolph was knighted in 1732, the only colonial era Virginian to receive this honor. After his return to Virginia, Randolph resigned his position as clerk and was elected to the House of Burgesses as the delegate from the College of William and Mary. The house elected him speaker, a position he held until his death 2 March 1736/7. Randolph married Susanna Beverley and had 4 children, including Peyton Randolph (1721-1775) and John Randolph (1729-1784), both of whom served as attorney general for Virginia.
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