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The Bruton Town Dovecot


John Ludwell (5 May 1631-) Little is known other than a John Ludwell patented lands in 1661 in Virginia, we can presume that it would be this John brother of Phillip & Thomas

Philip Ludwell (c1630-c1710) and his brother Thomas were cousins of Lord John & Sir William Berkeley. He was first appointed as assistant to his brother before being appointed Governor of Carolina in 1691, by Lord John Berkeley who had been one of eight "proprietors" of (South) Carolina when it was chartered in 1663. At that time there was no North Carolina. Phillip's first wife by whom he had issue was Lucy Higginson daughter of Capt Robert Higginson, his second wife was Frances the widow of Sir William Berkeley. he died some time after 1707.

Philip had a son also Philip which adds to the general historical confusion.

Both Phillip & Thomas lived at Rich Neck Plantation which was excavated in the summer of 2000. This was part of the area known as Middle Plantation which later grew into the modern Williamsburg.

Thomas Ludwell (25 Jan 1628-1 Oct 1678) whose family were prosperous emigrated to Williamsburg Virginia USA as Secretary to the Colonial Governor William Berkeley, his cousin. In a letter dated 18th July 1666 Ludwell describes the Governor as "pious and exemplary, sober in his conversation, prudent and just in peace, diligent and valiant in war".

All three brothers and their sibblings were born at Discove a small hamlet near Bruton which was finally abandonded in the early part of the 20th century all that now remains is Discove Fm & Discove Hse.

Their family name is commemorated at Bruton by the name of Ludwell`s Elm which used to refer to a large Elm tree sited on a grass triangle at a road junction where Bruton becomes Pitcombe but now as a result of time's ravishes refers to the triangle, and the cluster of houses that has grown around it. However the town council planted a replacement tree in the spring of 2000 to mark both the 300th anniversary of Williamsburg and the new millennium.

Just outside the door of Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg Virginia lies the gravestone of Thomas Ludwell born Bruton England carrying the following inscription,

Under this marble lieth the body, of THOMAS LUDWELL Esqr,Secretary of Virginia who was born, at Bruton in the County of SOMERSET in the Kingdom of ENGLAND and, departed this life in the y(ear) 1678 And, near this place lye (the) bod(ies) of (R)ICHARD KEMP Esqr (his) predecessor in y(e) Secretarys Office and S(r) THOMAS LUNSFORD Kt in memory of whom this marble is placed by Order of PHILIP LUDWELL Esqr, Nephew (of) the said THOMAS LUDWELL (in) the year 1727.

Some say that the various references to Bruton in Williamsburg Virginia are a result of Thomas Ludwell rather than William Berkeley-----The truth is probably that it was due to both families.


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