Thomas Farley, Burgess from James City County
Thomas Farley was elected to the Virginia General Assembly to represent plantations in James City County, VA, in 1629. Who was this man?
Thomas Farley was born 15 January 1590, in Worcester, Worcestershire, England. He was the son of Roger Farley and Isobel Pumphreys and the brother of Robert, William, Elliot, and Edward Farley. He was known as a “gentleman of Worcester of Worcestershire.” Thomas Farley married Lady Jane Molyneux of Sefton, the illegitimate daughter of Sir John Molyneux of Sefton and Margaret Hope, on 12 July 1622 in Savoy Church, Worcester, England. Jane was christened on 30 September 1607, at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Being born on the “wrong side of the bed,” Jane had no right to call herself “Lady” and was presumably sent to Worcester to live with relatives in order to avert any embarrassment to the Molyneux family in residence at Sefton.
Thomas Farley and his wife Jane first arrived in James County, Virginia, in 1623 on the ship Ann the year after the Indian attack that slew more than 347 inhabitants of the colony of Jamestown in 1622. Their first child, a daughter whom they named Ann, was born either soon after their arrival or aboard the ship. Accompanying them was a servant Nicholas Shotten, age 40 years.
Thomas Farley owned a plantation and rented other adjoining properties to produce large quantities of tobacco for English markets. He was twice elected to the General Assembly. In the March 1629-1630 session, Farley served as a Burgess from the plantations between Harrop and Archer’s Hope and Martin’s Hundred, and in the February, 1631-1632 session, he represented Archer’s Hope.
At court in James City, 21 August 1626, “Thomas Farley, gent.,” confessed to being absent from church on the Sabbath Day for three months. It was determined by the court that a fine of one hundred pounds of tobacco for the public treasury would restore him to his spiritual status. The minutes of the Council and General Court, 1622-1629 states, “Thomas Farley of Archer’s Hope bargained with Widow Bush for the land he was settled on.” Thomas Farley died after 1634 in Archer’s Hope, James City, Virginia.
First Mississippi Company Descendants of Thomas Farley: Sandra Sartor Ford, Martha Ray Sartor, Daniel Ford, John-Peter Ford, Mark Ford