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The first Wright/Wrighte that filters through our family tree is Sir Nathan Wrighte Chancellor ofEngland

The office of Lord Chancellor was the highest legal office in the land, and the holder could not be removed from office by the monarch. However, when a monarch found his Chancellor to be too obstructive, it was possible to remove the Great Seal from him and give them to another office holder, the Lord Keeper (of the Seal). This latter post was not held until death, and so the monarch could dismiss them at will. Until the Act of Union, there were seperate Chancellors and Lord Keepers for England and Scotland. Where an office-holder held a succession of titles (for instance Anthony Ashley Cooper, later Lord Ashley, later Earl of Shaftesbury), only the final title will be shown.

Nathan Wrighte, Esq, son of the Rev Ezekiel Wright (Ezekiel was born at Denington in Suffolk, 1603; elected fellow of Emanuel College, Cambridge, 1625; and rector of Thurcaston in Leicesiershire; where he died May 23, 1668; and Dorothy his widow died Sep 26, 1691.) rector of Thurcaston, by Dorothy second daughter of John Onebye, Esq, of Hickley and one of the four sisters and coheiresses of Sir John Onebye , Knight, was born at Thurcaston, Feb 11, 1653; and after being initiated in the law under his uncle Thomas Staveley, Esq, was placed in Emanuel College, Cambridge, in 1668, by the care of his mother, who in that year had been left a widow; and in due time removed thence to the Inner Temple, where, notwithstanding an estate left him by his father had been much improved during his minority, he lost no time for more than seven years, which he entirely spent in the study of the law.

Sir John Onebye, in 1671-2, tells his brother Staveley, "I shall take care to commend That Wrighte to Sober company and good students, and what else is convenient." Howerver, having a good fortune with his lady (Elizasbeth, daughter of George Ashby, of Quenby, Esq, whom he married in 1676), he neglected to practice for some years, till the increase of his family, and the advice of f riends, who foresaw what a considerable figure he was likely to make in the profession, prevailed with him to attend the bar, where he approved himself as consummate a lawyer, and made as ample an accession to his fortune, as any of his contemporaries. He was elected recorder of Leicesler in 1680, and in 1681 he entered the pedigree of his family, at the Heraldic Visitation of the country, as a resident at Basrwell. He held the office of recorder till 1685, when Theophilus earl of Huntingdon was chosen under the new charter, and continued about three years; after which Mr Wrighte was restored, and continued to hold the office till 1696.

Incidentally Nathan and Dorothy's daughter married the infamous Major John Oneby

 

The next member of the Wright family enters when Elizabeth Wright (g-g-grandaughter of Francis Wright and Anne Washington ) marries Samuel Arnold in 1771.

Francis Wright  was born 1660 in Coan, Northumberland, VA., and died 1713 in Westmoreland Co. VA.. He married Anne Washington 1680 in Near Cabin Pt., Westmoreland Co.VA., daughter of John Washington and Ann Pope. She was born September 1662 in Northumberland Co, VA or Lower Macodoc, Westmoreland Co. VA., and died March 11, 1696/97 in Washington Parish, Westmoreland Co, VA.

Notes on Maj. Francis Wright
Francis Wright, gentleman, captain, major, surveyor, attorney, sheriffand justice of Westmoreland
County - his father was Capt. Richard Wright, whose Will was proved 10 Dec 1663 (Northumberland
Record Bk1659-1666, p. 114). In 1682 Francis was Commissioined a Justice by Governor Bixby in
Westmoreland County.
Francis was 2 to 5 years old at his father's death - according to his father's Will he remained under the
control of his uncle Col. Nicholas Spencer. Francis lived his 53 years after becoming of nominal
legalage (then 18 though taxable at 16) in Westmoreland County upon his inherited estate of 1400 acres
fronting on the Potomac and flanked by Nonini Bay and the lower Machadoc River.
He is reported to have moved to Prince William Co., and then to Stafford Co., by William K. Wright.
Francis is the first President, George Washington's great uncle.

Francis had a large estate at Lower Machodoc on the Potomac in Westmoreland County, VA. He was a Gentleman Sheriff and was known for his intellectual activities and social position. 189, 229

More About Francis Wright:
Land: Settled on 2, 200 acres his father bought on the Potomac. (Land Office, Richard, Virginia, Patents 1655-1664, old volume 5, page 210.)
Military: June 03, 1699, Appointed to field officer in VA.
Occupation 1: 1682, Commissioned by Gov. Bixby as a justice of Westmoreland Co. ( Westmoreland
county court "Order Book 1675-6 to 1688-9, " page 267)
Occupation 2: Bet. January 1689/90 - May 1692, High Sheriff of Westmoreland CO., VA

 

The Wright family pops up throughout both of our families.  The closest to us is Martha Biddy Wright daughter of

Joshua Wright  born 1733, and died 1794 in Rockingham Co., NC. He married (1) Elizabeth. She died
Unknown. He married (2) Hester Bef. 1770. She died Unknown.

Notes for Joshua Wright:
In the name of God amen. I Joshua Wright Senior of the State of North Carolina and County of
Rockingham being feable and weak in body but in perfect mind and memory, Thanks be to almighty
God for his great mercies.... calling to mind the mortality of my mind and knowing ... that it is
appointed for all men once to see , do make and ordain this
my last will and testament that is today principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into
the hand of almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent
christain burial at the discretion of my executors but at the general resurrection, I shall receive the
same again by the might power of God and us . Touching such worldly estate were within it has
pleased God to bless in this life I give demise and dispose of the same in the following manner and
form...
First I give and bequeath unto my dearly beloved wife, Hester Wright, one negro woman named
Patience.
I also give and bequeath unto my eldest son Joshua Wright the sum of five shillings current money.... it
being his full part of any personal and real estate.
I also give and bequeath unto my daughter Charlotty Charles Craft five shillings current money it
being her full part of my personal and real estate.
I also give and bequeath unto my son Cannelly Wright five shillings, current money it being his full
part of my personal and real estate.
I also give a bequeath unto my son Edward Wright, five shillings current money it being his full part of
my personal and real estate.
I also give and bequeath unto my son Constant Wright five shillings current money it being his full
part of my personal and real estate.
I also give and bequeath unto my son Josiah Wright one negro boy named Jack, to him and his heirs
forever...
I also give give and bequeath unto my daughter Hester Wright one negro girl named Silvey to her and
her heirs forever.
I also give and bequeath unto my son Jacob Wright one negro girl named Rhoda to him and his heirs
forever.
I also give and bequeath unto my daughter Martha Wright one negro woman name Phillis, to her and
her heirs forever.
I also give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Wright one negro man named Moses to her and her
heirs forever.
I also give my said son William Wright one negro girl named Ruth to him and his heirs forever. I also
give my
said son William my large __? and her furniture to him and his heirs forever.
I also give my aforesaid son Jacob, my two saws cross cut and whip saws to him and his heirs forever.
I also give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Wright one negro boy named Charles to her and
her heirs forever.
Likewise all my lands lying in the State of North Carolina in Rockingham into be equally divided into
four parts. One fourth to my wife Hester Wright, and one fourth part to my son Josiah Wright, and one
fourth part to my son Jacob Wright and lastly the other fourth to my son William Wright to them
andtheir heirs forever.
And also all the remaining part of my movable estate, goods, and chattel is to be equally divided in
eight parts. First to my wife Hester Wright one eight part, to my son Josiah the next eight parts, to my
daughter Hester one eights part, to my son Jacob one eights part, to my daughter Martha one eights
part, to my son William one eights part., to my daughter Elizabeth one eight parts, to my daughter
Mary one eight parts.
I also constitute my dearly beloved Hester Wright and my son Josiah Wright my whole and sole
executor and executive of my whole estate and I hereby utterly disallow, revoke, and dis annul all and
every other former testaments, wills, legacies,bequests and executors by me in any wise before named
will and bequeathed ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament in
witness where of I have unto set my hand and seal on this, the 14th day of April One Thousand Seven
Hundred and Ninety four.
Signed, sealed, published
pronounced and declared Joshua Wright
by the said Joshua Wright as
his last will and testament
in the presence of us who in his
presence of each other have
here unto subscribed our names.
Thomas Lowe
James Hodge
Sarah Hodge
James Gaunt
More About Joshua Wright:
Guardianship: Will Book 1, pages 170-172, Franklin Co., VA
Inheritance: 1747, "Chapmans Fellowship" Baltimore Co., MD
Land Patent 1: 1755, "Sandwitch" 45 acres Dorchester Co., MD
Land Patent 2: 1763, "Fortune in Providence" formerly "Hacketts Adventure" 478 acres
Land Patent 3: 1773, "Wright's Conclusion" Dorchester CO., MD, 1219 acres (resurvey of Sandwitch
and Fortune
Land Purchase 1: 1763, Dorchester CO., MD
Land Purchase 2: 1765, Dorchester CO., MD
Land Purchase 3: 1787, Rockingham Co., NC
Land Sale: 1779, Dorchester CO., MD
Military service: August 13, 1777, Pvt, Caroline CO, 14th Battn, Capt Rich Andrews Co.
35

Children of Joshua Wright and Elizabeth are:

   Joshua Wright, died Unknown.

   Charity Wright, died Unknown.

   Cannady Wright, died Unknown.
   Constant Wright, died Unknown.

   Edward Wright, born 1758; died Unknown.

Children of Joshua Wright and Hester are:

   William Wright, born Bef. 1773; died 1801 in Rockingham Co., NC.

   Josiah Wright, born Bef. 1773; died Unknown. He married Peggy Ferguson November 20, 1797 in
Franklin Co., VA; died Unknown.

   Jacob Wright, born Bef. 1773; died Unknown.

   Hester Wright, born 1780; died Unknown. She married John T West October 16, 1798 in Franklin Co.,
VA; died Unknown.

    Martha "Biddy" Wright  born April 1792, and died December 28, 1857 in Patrick County, Virginia,
Death Records 1853-18708,8. She married William Patrick "Billy" Canaday in Floyd County, Virginia,
son of James Canaday and Elizabeth Rakes. He was born September 18, 1781 in Franklin County,
Virginia, and died July 11, 1874 in Patrick County, Virginia; Death Records 1870-18969,9.

   Elizabeth Wright, born Abt. 1793; died Unknown.

   Mary Wright, born Abt. 1795; died Unknown. She married Thomas Benton; died Unknown.
Notes for Mary Wright:
Thomas BENTON of Rockingham and Stokes Counties Prays for Divorce From Polley (WRIGHT) BENTON.
N.C. General Assembly Session Records Nov-Dec 1813
Box 2
Petition of Thomas BENTON of Rockingham County states that when he was about eight years of age, his parents departed this life leaving your petitioner and three sisters in a helpless and forlorn situation. Eventually your petitioner was put to live with a certain Willis PRUITT in Stokes County, whose severe treatment while young caused your
petitioner to feel constrained and repugnant to comply to the mandates of said Willis. When your petitioner became seventeen years of age, the said Willis through insinuations and threats compelled your petitioner to intermarry with a certain Polley WRIGHT, a step-daughter of the said Willis, "who then lived in this family and who was only about fourteen years of age. Your petitioner at the time of his intermarriage was entirely ignorant of the views and nefarious schemes of the said Willis PRUITT. Your honorable body will better conceive than I can express the
surprise and indignation I felt when I came to learn that the whole trick had been planned and played off. Your said petitioner for the sole purpose of gitting the Estate of the said Polley (which was considerable) into the hands of the said Willis, which at length he has done." The said Polley from the first night of their marriage absolutely refused to bed and cohabit with your said petitioner, nor have they lived together, nor is there any prospect that they ever will. It has been upwards of four years since the said marriage took place in which said time the said Polley has been delivered of a child which your said petitioner entirely disowns." The said Polley "hath entirely devoted herself to every evil and shameful practice of a common prostitute. Your petitioner deems it unnecessary to go any further into a detail of a subject as disagreeable to himself as it must be unpleasant for you." Prays for a law to divorce him from the said Polley. Ninety Four citizens of the counties of Rockingham and Stokes certify that the facts set forth in the foregoing petition are believed to be true and that the said Thomas BENTON has always supported a good character
and that he is justly entitled to the clemency of the Legislature.
Divorce REJECTED!

Willis Pruett, Thomas Benton and wife Mary, of Stokes Co, sold 22 acres on both sides of Joils Creek,
Rockingham, NC, Mary Wrights part of her father, Joshua Wright Desc, estate, Lot 1 bordering Walker
and Dilworth. Witness: J Farrington, John Vernon and Alex Tate. ( Rockingham Bk O, p 419)