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Verlinda Cotton Stone
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Birth: unknown, England
Death: 1675
Saint Marys City
St. Mary's County
Maryland, USA

Verlinda Graves or Cotton (?-c. 1675) was the wife of William Stone (1595/6, first Protestant Governor of Maryland province. Some investigators believe that Verlinda was the daughter of Captain Thomas Graves (?-by 1637), early settler in Jamestown. But Verlinda, the wife of Williams Stone is most probably the sister of William Cotton, and not some other Verlinda because Cotton's 1640 will (recorded in 1646) mentions Captain William Stone as his brother-in-law. However, Cotton's wife, Ann, was a daughter of the abovce mentioned immigrant Thomas Graves (?-by 1637), who had a daughter, Verlinda. If William Stone was married to Verlinda GRAVES, Cotton, in his will, might have referred to William Stone as his brother-in-law. We opt for Cotton as the more likely paternal line for Verlinda Stone but . . . what can you do?

Verlinda COTTON was a daughter of Joane _____ (1580-?) and Andrew Cotton (1578-by 1640). Andrew has been identified as the son of Andrew Cotton (?-?) of Bunbury, Cheshire, England, himself the son of Mary Mainwaring (?-?) and Richard Cotton (?-1602) also of Cheshire. Mary may have been a daughter of Sir Arthur Mainwaring (?-?), High Sheriff of Cheshire (1563) and Knight of Ightfield.

Richard Cotton, husband of Mary Mainwaring, was the son of _____ and George Cotton (?-?), who was a favorite of Henry VIII, being knighted by him and given many estates: Ducote in County Salop, Cliffe and Hales in Drayton, Erdlet Grange in Staffordshire, Wincell Grange in County Cheshire and Cotes Grange in Derbyshire and a former monastery, Combermere. This Cotton line has been connected speculatively back to the eleventh century and William, Lord of the Manor of Cotton (Coton), in Cheshire. A daughter of Mary and Richard Cotton was Francis, wife of George Abell (abt 1587-abt 1631), parents of immigrant Robert Abell (1589-aft 1643), who arrived in Massachusetts in the 1630 Winthrop flotilla. (See page 210.) Robert and his wife Joanna _____ (?-?), are the ancestors of countless descendents in New England and beyond.

Verlinda Cotton Stone's brother was an Anglican priest, the Rev. William Cotton (abt 1600-1640), first minister in Hunger's Parish (Accawmacke Plantation) Virginia.

A communicant of the Church of England, Willaim Stone became Governor of Maryland shortly before the beheading of Charles I in 1649. He was appointed by the Catholic Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore and colonizer ("proprietor") of the Province of Maryland.

In 1654, commissioners from England arrived in Maryland. They insisted that the province be governed directly from England by the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell. William Stone was compelled to resign.

In 1655, a ship, the Golden Fortune, arrived with reinforcements from Lord Baltimore. The emboldened William Stone, to his misfortune, then demanded that he be restored as Governor under the terms of the original charter. Marching with his supporters toward Patuxent to reclaim official records, Stone was met by an army of Puritans, many of them recently settled asylees from Virginia Colony, whom Stone himself had invited into Maryland.

Near present day Annapolis, at the mouth of the Severn River, the Virginia Protestants, commanded by Captain William Fuller, defeated the little army of William Stone, agent of Lord Baltimore.

For a time, Stone was held prisoner. His wife Verlinda boldly appealed to Lord Baltimore, reciting in her letter some of the details of the battle. "Not above five of our men escaped," she wrote, "which ran away before the fight was ended . . . They have sequestered my Husband's Estate, only they say they will allow a maintenance for me and my children which I do believe will be but small. They keep my husband with the rest of the Council, all other officers, still prisoners, et cetera." Stone was freed and regained possession of at least some of his lands, including his estate, Nanjemy, later called Poynton Manor. William Stone died in 1660 in his house in St. Mary's City.

William and Verlinda Stone had seven children: Thomas, Richard, John, Matthew, Elizabeth, Katherine, and Mary Stone (?-before 1689), who became the wife, first of _____ Thomas and then, as a widow, of Robert Doyne (?-1689), High Sheriff of Charles County, Maryland.

In her 1675 will, Verlinda Cotton Stone gave a nameless "negar woman" to John Stone, her son and executor. This donation was an altogether new feature not only in the life of an English woman born in the time of Shakespeare; it was also new to English law. Had she never set her foot in the Colonies and instead had died in England, Verlinda could not have become the owner of another human being. Nor could she have given a woman to her son.

This brief biography has been taken from Volume I of a book of family history entitled ALL OF THE ABOVE I, by Richard Baldwin Cook. For additional information, visit the contributor profile, #47181028.

Family links: 
  William Stone (1595 - 1660)*
  Elizabeth Stone Calvert (1644 - ____)*
*Calculated relationship
Created by: Richard Baldwin Cook
Record added: Sep 29, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42528561

Rest in peace, Great Grandmother.
- Pat Sonier
 Added: Jan. 21, 2015

- Sandy Jensen
 Added: Nov. 4, 2014
9th Great Grandmother ~ Rest Sweetly
- Brenda
 Added: Sep. 8, 2014
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