This portrait of Margaret Read (Reade) Nelson can be seen in the Thomas Nelson home in Yorktown, Va. She was the first wife of Thomas Nelson progenitor of the Nelson family of Virginia, married about 1710.
Dr. R.C.M. Page, author of "Genealogy of the Page Family of Virginia" states the only portrait of "Scotch Tom"--which he adds was "A very fine one"--was destroyed by fire in Richmond, Va., in 1864. It has been assumed by many that this portrait was painted by Robert Feke.
Margaret Reade Nelson was the daughter of Robert Reade, who died in 1712, and Mary Lilly, his wife. Her father was a justice of York in 1692 and for some years thereafter. His will, proved March 16, 1712, mentions his daughter Margaret as the wife of Thomas Nelson. Her mother was Mary Malson, daughter and heiress of Edward Malson and wife of John Lilly. Her will was signed Nov. 26, 1722.
Margaret Reade Nelson, granddaughter of Col. George Reade who came to Virginia from England in 1637. He married Elizabeth Martiau, daughter of Capt. Nicholas Martiau, the first to patent the land on which Yorktown stands, i.e., the father of Yorktown. Col. Reade, a member of the Colonial Council, a Burgess, and Secretary of State for the Colony, pro tem. His brother, Robert Reade was private secretary to Windebank, Secretary of State to King Charles I of England. Col. Reade died in 1671 and his wife died either late in 1686 or early in 1687. His will was proved at York Nov. 20, 1671 and hers at the same place on Jan. 24, 1687.
The painting of Margaret has historically been owned by descendants of Margaret Reade Nelson. It hung on the walls of "Nelson House" in Yorktown, Va., until the Civil War when it was sent to Richmond for safekeeping. After that war, William Nelson IV, a great-great grandson of Mrs. Thomas Nelson, took it back to Yorktown. A memorial stone for William lies adjacent the Governor Thomas Nelson's stone. At William's death, the portrait passed to his sister, Fanny Burwell Nelson, who married Corbin W. Mercer (all buried in Yorktown). Mrs. Mercer removed it to Richmond, Va., and it hung in the State Library there for safe-keeping. About 1927 Mrs. Thomas Nelson Carter of "Powhatan," Boyce, Clarke County, Virginia, a cousin of Mrs. Mercer and lineal descendant of Margaret Reade Nelson bought the painting from the former. Mrs. Carter gave it to her only daughter, Mrs. Douglas Crocker (Isabelle Carter), and it hung in Mrs. Crocker's home. In the fall of 1941, William Sawitzky visted Mrs. Crocker's home and after an examination of the portrait informed her he was sure it was the work of Robert Feke. Within a short time of the visit of Mr. Sawitzky, the Rev. Robert Wilder Foote also inspected the painting and he gave it as his opinion that it was not by Feke but by some other artist, had been painted earlier and is very much restored. (Ref: Clarke County Historical Association website)
(Ref: The Nelson: A Biographic Study of a Virginia Family in the Eighteenth Century, by Emory Gibbo Evans, C-1957).
Children of Thomas and Margaret Read Nelson were:
1. William Nelson - born in 1711
2. Mary Nelson - born about 1713
3. Thomas Nelson - born about 1716
Robert Reade (1644 - 1712)
Mary Lilly Reade (1662 - 1722)
Thomas Nelson (1677 - 1745)
William Nelson (1711 - 1772)*
Mary Nelson Berkeley (1713 - ____)*
Thomas Nelson (1716 - 1782)*
Note: No marker
Grace Episcopal Churchyard
Plot: Possibly Buried here?
Maintained by: Thomas
Originally Created by: P Fazzini
Record added: Apr 13, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68318935
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