Who was this John Lewelling 1777 North Carolina

Billie Harris - Oct 8, 2008

Obviously he was to be put to death for treason but what does "in the Gaol of Edenton" mean?   Edenton District is in Chowan County from what I found on the internet.

See for further information:

[NOTE: broken link]

In reading the following, it appears he was put to death in 1777 but in reading the above site, it looks like his Will was dated 1779.   William Lewelling was somehow connected to John Lewelling.   Would the William Lewelling be the same one who died 1799 in Randolph County?  


Received from His Excellency the Governor, the following Message to-wit:

To the Hon. General Assembly.


I herewith lay before you the proceedings of the Council of State. In pursuance of the advice of that Board I havereprieved a certain John Lewelling, condemned in the District of Edenton to be executed for high treason; and also John Wilson, who was convicted of horse stealing in the District of Salisbury.

The papers respecting those persons are also laid before you to the end that you may take such order thereon as you may think proper.

I send you the Memorial of the officers of the Tenth North Carolina Battalion and the officers of the Artillery Company respecting cloathing for the said Battalion and Company and request that you will be pleased to take the same immediately into consideration.

R. Caswell

Sent by the Assistant Clerk.

Received the following Message from the House of Commons:

Mr. Speaker & Gentlemen of the Senate:

His Excellency the Governor having submitted to the consideration of this house several Petitions praying that mercy may be extended to John Lewelling now under sentence of death in the Gaol of Edenton for the crime of high treason have fully considered the same and now send all the papers that they are possessed of on the subject for the examination at the Senate and suggest to them that it will be necessary to obtain the sense of the Commons

Ordered that the following message be sent to the House of Commons:

Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Commons:

This house have received your message relative to John Lewelling now under sentence of death in Edenton Gaol for treason against this State and are of opinion that the Gen'l Assembly cannot constitutionally intermeddle in the present case but that the sentence ought immediately to be carried into execution unless something from the Judge who sat on the Tryal should be laid before the Governor and Council to induce them to think otherwise.

Sam Ashe, S. S

Received from the House of Commons the following Message:

Mr. Speaker & Gentlemen of the Senate:

We having received and considered your Message of yesterday respecting John Lewelling concur therewith and request you would prepare a Message for his Excellency the Governor informing him

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that it is the opinion of the General Assembly that the sentence ought to be put immediately into execution. We also think it expedient that an express be immediately dispatched to the Commanding Officer of Chowan or in his absence to the Sheriff of the said County directing him to keep a strong guard over the body of the said John Lewelling

On motion Ordered that the following address be sent to his Excellency the Governor first having the assent of the House of Commons.

To His Excellency Richard Caswell Esquire, Governor and Commander-in-Chief &c, &c.


The General Assembly have considered the Petition and other papers laid before them by your Excellency relative to the case of John Lewelling now under sentence of death for high Treason and are of opinion that as it doth not appear that there were any mitigating circumstances certified by the Judge who sat on his trial the sentence should have been carried into execution without delay for which purpose the Constitution hath invested your Excellency with full powers and hath expressly declared that the Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers of Governmeut ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other.

The General Assembly think it absolutely necessary that an express be immediately sent to the commanding officer or in his absence the Sheriff of Chowan County directing that a strong guard be kept over the body of the said Lewelling.

S. Ashe, S.S.

John Corn - Oct 9, 2008

Billie - According to Wikipedia:
" Gaol is an early Modern English spelling for jail with the same pronunciation and meaning. Although jail is now more common, gaol is still the favoured spelling in parts of the Commonwealth of Nations, for example in Australia. However, due to American influence, the spelling "jail" is now more common in popular contexts such as the media, the spelling "gaol" being mainly retained in historical use and in the legal profession."

Billie Harris - Oct 9, 2008

Thanks, John.   That does help me understand.

Billy Mayo - Oct 10, 2008

Captain John Willliam Llewellyn II (Tory) was pardoned by the Gov. Caswell after an appeal by his wife and Col. Nathan Mayo. He died Nov. 03, 1794 of old age in Edgecombe County, NC. His wife Mary died in 1808 in Edgecombe County ,NC.

Billie Harris - Oct 10, 2008

Billy, I remember discussing this before and   you're right about it.   To finish up more on John Lewelling, read the following.   Incidentally, since there's nothing documented showing John's middle name as William, I believe I can see where it came from and it was because he had a son named William.   In reading John's Will though, he doesn't name a son William but instead names a son John so what happened to William?   Remember a second name wasn't common until after the Revolutionary War and yet his sons named William and John were born before that time..

Martin County was created 1774 from Halifax and Tyrell

1775 - Will of John Jackson named John LEWELLING as an executor and was witnessed by William LEWELLING

1777 (this info came from a website on the internet)
   John RAWLINS, of Martin County, fleeing from thence to Mattimuskeet, being there apprehended on a Report that he had a hand in a Conspiracy carried on against the State of North Carolina, Deposeth and Saith:
That about the time of Laying the Constitution of Government (as well as he can remember) a General Muster was held at Plymouth, the Court House of said Martin County, on or about the 28th day of March last past, when John LEWELLING & John CARTER, Both of that County, going home in Company with the sd RAWLINS (told him, one or both), that the Country was Like to become subject to popery, for which reason LEWELLING sd there ware a Necessity of Indeavoring to seek relief and had thought on Means proper, and hop'd for a Blessing on the Indeavour he, the sd LEWELLING, said there must be an Instrument of Writing Drawn to which people Might agree under oath and Related something of the form and some few Days after ye sd John LEWELLING AND HIS SON WILLIAM came to the house of sd RAWLINS and the sd Jno. LEWELLING further declared the form which contained much writing and also the form of an oath of Compliance - all of which John LEWELLING sd to the said Deponent if he would Take the Trouble to write down he should be well satisfy'd.   And that then his son should Coppy from the same which he also did as he the sd Wm. LEWELLING Told sd Dpo. that he had wrote some for MARTIN, EDGECOMBE, HALIFAX and think he sd for BARTEE and TERIL. He also heard James SHEROD say he had wrote some and likewise John LEWELLING. Now after Many had come into this Society, as it was Term'd, they became known to each other by word and sign; and some time after John LEWELLING told sd Deponent that if they could destroy Whitmel HILL, Colonel WILLIAMS, Thomas HUNTER, Nathan MAYO, Colonel SALTER and one TAYLOR, that then the Country would soon be settled. In Behalf of the King, this being proposed by John LEWELLING, seem'd to be approv'd off by several others, But not yet put in practice as the Dep't knows off. After this John LEWELLING Told the Deponent it would be a good scheeme to Git some Body to Diseffect the negroes and thought David TAYLOR would do it and Give out an oration of their Rising would draw the soldiers out of Halifax, whilst he and Company could seize the Governor and Magazene, but hearing the Governor was not to Come at the appointed time it was Dropt for that time, but that scheeme became not public to many, the Dept. believes, for when he objected against it John LEWELLING said if he Divulg'd anything, Death was the portion to him or any one else. Another scheeme was to go to General HOWE. John LEWELLING with the Deponent agreed if he would go with him to do for him what ever he Could to advance him as also the Deponent expected to see his father and friends, but going as far as Scotland Neck, returned Back and in a few days something of the matter Became Discovered, [When John LEWELLING persuaded the Deponent to flee and not to be taken by any means; accordingly he fled from home the 5th day of July. It is certain none of these vile proceedings were Incerted in their writings; but very Repugnant to them, some of the Express words in their writings were those to Govern their Lives and actions By the Just Laws of Morality and by the Scriptures of old and New Testament, to which they were sworn, which caused Many to be Cald in the proceedings of Cruelty, I believe altho first proposed by John LEWELLING.
Sworn before me this 10th August, 1777.

1777 - From James RAWLINS to the Worshipful Justices of New Bern:
Some days past, George WAINWRIGHT, from Martin County, a Great Friend to John LEWELLING, was here. I expect to endeavour to hear some News by his short stay of what I had Related, and I knowing the Great Influence Capt. LEWELLING has over that Neighborhood have Great Reason to fear he will make any attempts to invalidate my Testimony, and though no other person but myself could have discovered the Beginning of the Scheeme, unless himself. Yet I will acquaint you of some Evidence as yet I believe unknown that may be Material. Richard TAYLOR, Sr., a near neighbor to Capt. LEWELLING, told me in private that LEWELLING had Told him if he could git but ten Men to Joyn him he would fall to work and kill them every one, speaking of Whitmel HILL and others that had threaten'd him as a Tory. This Richard TAYLOR told me Long since the Scheeme was begun; also James MAYO, Captain, had threatened Mr. LEWELLING. To take him up for a Tory for which Reason Mr. LEWELLING Desired Peter TYLER and myself to waylay sd MAYO on the Road to kill him, but when I told him I could not he persuaded, Peter TYLER and lent him his Gun and told him Tarry till he sent him victuals, which TYLER did, but saw MAYO not. This may be prov'd by TYLER and Myself. Again a few days before I made My Escape, Mr. LEWELLING said to me it would be no Damage if he were Taken to swear that a Travling Man brought the writings to My house and that I and that Travelling man Carried the same to his house, by which Means the Beginning would not be Discovered, so that I being to My hurt, as all the friends or power I have is to declare the Truth and Humbly Crave pardon for having had any hand in sd plot or Scheme, testifying whatever shall Come to my Memory I will make known about this matter.

1777 -

Nathan HATTAWAY being sworn on the holy Avangelists of Almighty God, deposeth & sayth as follows (to-wit), that John CARTER swore him to keep John LUALLEN's name a Secret and that John CARTER give him a stick with three notches, which stick he was to carry to the sd John LUALLEN, and the meaning of that stick was to let LUALLEN know that he was Entered into their Society to support the Old & New Testament and that John CARTER told him that the French was coming in & that the Gentry was joining them to being in the popish Religion, this Deponent sayth that when he Delivered the stick to John LUALLEN he asked him what he gave him that for, this Depon't answered for a sign. The sd. LUALLEN asked him if he had got that sign - this Depo't answered, I have. He said then, give it me. This Dep't answered B, he sd E, the Dep't T, he said R, the Dep't sd U, he sd E, this Dep't then said be true, he answer'd I hope you will. Then the sd LUALLEN Read to this Dep't what he called a Constitution, & after that this Dep't told him he could not join in it & then left him - this Dep't sayeth that John CARTER told him James SHARRARD was in the Scheme and that James SHARRARD handed him a Book and told him he might swear if he would or not, this Dep't then swore that he was to join with him if the people was Drafted, & they should find themselves about to oppose those that Drafted them, and further this Dep't sayth not.
Sworn before me the 4th July, 1777.
N.B. - This Deponent further sayth that he heard CARTER say that he got no Powder & shot at Halifax.

1777 - Letter from John B. BEASLEY to Gov. Richard CASWELL:
2nd December, 1777
The distressed circumstances of Mary LEWELLEN, wife of poor John LEWELLEN now under the sentence of death in Edenton Gaol induces me to write your Excell'y. I am so unhappy to have nothing to plead in his behalf but Mercy which as it is a darling attribute of the Deity hope it will prevail, this much I can say that when he had an opportunity toe scape out of Edenton Gaol he did not.
I am Your Excellency's Most Obed Humble Servt.,
John LEWELLEN was one of the first to organize the Tories in Martin, Bertie and Washington Counties, and had been tried for treason, convicted and sentenced to death for the part he took in the Conspiracy against the State. His pardon was granted, and he was not executed.

1779 -   Tax List of Martin County shows:
WILLIAM LEWELLING 438 acres and JOHN LEWELLING 12,026 acres

1793 - The following is the Will of JOHN LEWELLING of Martin County, N.C.:
“This twenty second day of October in the year of our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Three –
“I JOHN LEWELLING of the County of Martin and State of North Carolina, being in sound and perfect mind and Memory, Blessed be God, Knowing it is appointed unto all men once to Die do make and ordain this and no other to be my last Will and Testament in manner and form following VIZ.   First and principally, I recommend my Soul in the Hands of the Almighty God, who gave it one and my Body, I commit, to the Earth to be buried in a Christian like and decent manner.   And as touching those worldly goods and Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me, I give Bequeath and dispose of them in manner and form Following:
“Item.   I give and bequeath unto MARY BOWERS my wifes Daughter, six pewter plates and one small pewter dish to her and her heirs forever.   I lend unto said Mary Bowers, one Negroe Woman named Lucy and one Negroe Girl named Milly and after the Decease of my wife, I lend unto sd Mary one Negroe Man named Neplion for & during the term of her natural life, and after her Death, I give and bequeath said Negroes unto the Children of said Mary Bowers then living to them and to their Heirs forever…
“Item.   I give and bequeath unto CHLOE BOWERS my wifes Daughter six pewter plates and one small pewter dish to her and to her heirs foever, my Will and desire is that there shall be a Negroe Girl purchased out of my Estate between the Age of Fourteen and Twenty years of Age, which said negroe girl I lend unto said Chloe and her husband William Bowers During their natural lifes.   Also one Negroe Man called Jim and after the Death of my wife one Negroe Woman called Silvy with her increase from this time after the Decease of sd Chloe and William my Will and Desire is that said Negroes shall be equally divided among the children o sd Chloe then living…
“Item.   I give and bequeath unto CLARY SOUTHERLAND my wifes Daughter six pewter plates and one small pewter dish to her and to her heirs forever.   I lend unto said Clary Southerling one Negroe girl named Rachel and one Negroe girl named Pine and after the Death of my wife, I also lend said Clary one negroe man named Sam, for and during the term of her natural life and the life time of her Husband John Southerland and after the decease of said Clary and John, my Will and Desire is that sd Negroes and increse shll be equally divided among the children of said Clary then living.
“I give and bequeath unto CHARLOTTE STATON my wifes Daughter six pewter plates and one small pewter dish to her and to her heirs forever, my Will and desire is that mony shall be raisd out of my Estate at convenient times to purchase a Negroe girl beetween the Age of Fourteen & Twenty years of age, which said Negroe girl, I lend unto sd Charlotte and Arthur Staton During their natural life times, likewise one Negroe girl child called Chane and after the death of my Wife, one negroe Man called Isaac, and after the death of sd Charlotte and Arthur my will is that sd negroes and increase shall be equally divided among the children of sd Charlotte then living.
“Item.   I give and bequeath unto GRACY MOOREING six pewter plates and one small pewter dish to her and her heirs forever.   I lend unto said Gracey Mooring one Negroe girl named Trebany, and one negroe Boy named Charles, and after the death of my wife, I also lend unto sd Gracey Mooring one negroe Man named Lewis, for and During the term of her natural life and the life time of her Husband John mooring and after the death of sd Gracey & John, My Will and desire is that sd Negroes & increase shall be equally divided among the children of sd Gracy then living…
“Item.   I give and bequeath unto ANNESS MOORE my wifes Daughter six pewter plates and one small pewter dish to her & to her Heirs forever.   I lend unto sd Anness Moore one negroe girl Nance also one negroe woman named Chane after the Death of my wife one negroe Man called Toney and after the Death of sd Annes & William, my Will & Desire is that sd negroes & increase be equally divided among the children of sd Anness then living…
“Item.   I give and bequeath unto SUSANNAH MOORING my wifes daughter six pewter plates and one small pewter dish to her and to her Heirs forever.   I lend unto sd Susannah Mooring one Negroe girl named Hasty and one negroe boy named Sampson & after the death of my wife I also lend unto sd Susannah one negroe man named Luke for and during the term of her natural life & the life time of her Husband James Mooring and after the death of Susanna & James, my Will is that sd negroes & increase shall be equally divided among the children of sd Susannah then living.
“Item.   I give and bequeath unto JOHN LEWELLING son of my wife one Negroe man named Phillip, one negroe man named America one Negroe Boy named Harry one Melatto girl named Charlott, one Negroe man named Bob, all my Will & desire is that the sd negroe Bob shall make my wifes shoes during life, after the death of my wife I give sd John Lewelling one negroe girl named Brett & increase from this time & likewise one half of Household & Kitchen furniture.   Likewise working Utensials Likewise Horses Cattle Hogs Sheep & Bees & Likewise my part of the Water Griss Mill Likewise my Stills All my desire is that his mother shall have the liberty of Stilling her Liquor in sd Still during the term of her natural life, which property I have given to my son John Lewelling I give to him & to his Heirs forever…The other half of the Household & Kitchen furniture working utensils & stock of every Kind I lend to my wife during her life and after her decease, my will & desire is that part of my estate shall be equally divided among her daughters.   My will and desire is that Toney Isaac Neption Sam Lewis & Luke be four of them hired out every year and the other two to be kept upon the plantation the money so arising for the hire of sd Negroes to be advanced for giving my wife a genteel maintenance during her lifetime, if any should be left at her decease my will & desire is that it should be equally divided among her daughters...
“Item.   I give and bequeath unto my son JOHN LEWELLING all my land excepting as much as his mother can tend with two hands and one fourth part of the orchard during her life.
“And I do further make and ordain, constitute and appoint Coll. Nathan Mayo, William Wallace & my son JOHN LEWELLING to be joint Executors to this my last will & Testament Hereby revoking & disannulling all other former wills by me heretofore made if any such should be found –  wratifying & confirming this & no other to be my last Will and Testament, in witness whereof the above John Lewelling hat hereunto set his hand and fixed his seal, the day & date above written signed, sealed & delivered to be the last will & Testament of the said John Lewelling.     John Lewelling (Seal)
Signed sealed in the pesence of Matthew Bennet, Martha Ciose, Francis Burnett

A document on file in Edgecombe County indicates that John Lewelling’s property was by the Martin line (See Edgecombe County)
1797 -   in Edgecombe   “Grimes, Thomas.   Inventory taken by Thos. Grimes and J. LEWELLING June 5, 1797, Aug. Ct. 1797.   Account current with JOHN LEWELLING and Thomas Grimes, exrs.   A legacy was paid to John Grimes (May Ct. 1799)."  
(NOTE:   Thomas Grimes m. CHLOE LEWELLING, dau. Of WILLIAM and FRANCES LLEWELLING of Martin and Tyrrell Counties, N.C
1794 - “Bible Records of Early Edgecombe, N.C.” by Williams and Griffin shows page 167-168: “Mayo-Grimes Records from the William Grimes Bible.   Original owner of the Bible was William Grimes, son of Thomas and CHLOE LEWELLING Grimes…”Thomas Grimes, father of William Grimes, d. May 8, 1797.   Chloe Grimes, mother of William Grimes, d. Dec. 8, 1794…
“CHLOE LEWELLING, w. of Thomas Grimes, owner of the Bible, was dau of William and Frances Llewelling of Martin and Tyrell Counties, N.C.   Chloe Llewelling’s brother, Capt. JOHN LEWELLING was foremost Tory in Martin Co…”

1793 - “Abstract of North Carolina Wills” by Olds, Southern Book Co., shows:
JOHN LEWELLING of Martin County 2 Oct. 1793 –  Aug. Ct. 1794.   Wife’s dau. Mary, Exr. And son John Lewelling (See above.)

Billy Mayo - Oct 11, 2008

John William Llewellyn I and Frances Culpepper had only one son, John William Llewellyn II and Mary Ball had only one son, John William Llewellyn III and Nancy Otterbridge had two sons, John William Llewellyn IV and Stephen Llewellyn. John William Llewellyn IV and Nancy Coley did not name any sons after his heritage.
I can show you several times where people had second names during that period, usually it was their mothers maiden name.

Billie Harris - Oct 11, 2008

Billy, I'm not doubting you but there are a number of documents for this family and I don't see any giving two given names, just a first name of John.   Is there a document giving both names?