William Lewis Addington

Death 2 Sep 1805 (aged 54–55)
Williamsburg City, Virginia, USA
Burial Williamsburg, Williamsburg City, Virginia, USA
Plot 73724125
Memorial ID 73724125 · View Source
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William Addington was born in London, England in 1750. He lived with his parents until he was about twenty years old. Because his parents were wealthy, he was afforded excellent educational opportunities. William desired to come to the colonies in North America, but his parents tried to convince him to stay in England. Seeing that their persuasive efforts failed, William's father gave him money for the overseas passage and to supply his needs for some time afterward.

William immigrated, by ship, to the American colonies from Great Britain. He was transported by Alexander Campbell in June 1773 according to documents abstracted in Prince William County, Virginia and housed at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. After landing at Norfolk, he traveled through eastern Virginia and North Carolina. He finally settled near Culpeper County, Virginia where he married Margaret Cromwell in 1774.

William Addington volunteered to fight in the American Revolution and was appointed as a Commissary Officer in General George Washington's continental army. He held this position until the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, which he witnessed. His name, Addington, has not been found on any records of that war. However, there is a William Edlington found on the soldier's list of those who were present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. Other documents have been found where William Addington signed his name as William Eddington. So, it is believed that the William Edlington on the soldier's list is our William Addington. Unfortunately, William died before Congress enacted the pension act for service in the Revolutionary War.

In September 1783, William Addington moved his family to Caswell County, North Carolina. By the summer of 1785, William Addington and 12 other families relocated to Russell County (some accounts say Washington County), in the valley, north of the mountain, near Hayter's Gap. The area they settled in is known today as Addington Cove, where a small stream named Addington Branch has its headwaters.

On November 4, 1799 William withdrew his entry of 100 acres made on July 26, 1792 and reenters his 100 acres on the top of War Gap Ridge, near Jacob Crabtree. It is probable that this move was done to be nearer to Margaret's brother Charles Cromwell, who was also a resident of the War Gap Ridge Section, having moved there prior to 1785.

The 1802 Russell County Tax List is the last time William Addington is mentioned in any of the Russell County Records.

On July 12, 1802, William was admitted to Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, the first public facility in the United States constructed solely for the care and treatment of the mentally ill. Family researchers have reported that his name appears on a list of patients at the hospital from 1800 to 1815. I have never seen this list, but would love to if anyone has a copy of it.

At the hospital, William was being treated for melancholy, today known as depression. When William died on 9 February 1805, the hospital had two carpenters construct a coffin for him. One account reports that he was buried in the hospital cemetery. The hospital did not provide headstones for the patient's graves, thus the cemetery is basically a piece of well kept land. There is a wrought iron fence on the front of the cemetery, and immediately upon entering the gate there is a memorial monument area that was erected in 1986, consisting of five granite stones with the theme "Celebrating Their Dignity". One stone has the following inscription on it: "We erect this monument in memory of those persons whom we have known, loved and served through the years. While living they knew the suffering of inner pain, confusion and despair. Now they are at peace in the hands of God where no torment will ever touch them again." On the other four stones, the names of all laid to rest are inscribed, though not in alphabetical order or dated. I have never seen the memorial, so I don't know if William Addington's name is there or not. If anyone has seen his name on one of the memorial monuments, please let me know. Update: Gary Hensley, a 5th great-grandson, wrote to me and said that he is buried near the hospital but not in the Eastern State Cemetery. He says that his and other's graves are commemorated by a bronze plaque that includes his name. Gary has visited and has pictures of it.

According to Edwin Nickells, William Addington's descent into the depression that lead to his hospitalization began when his application for a land bounty for his service during the Revolutionary War was denied. I do not know the source of Edwin's information concerning the denied application for a land bounty nor how he came to associate that with William's decline into depression. But, one thing is for certain, something triggered William's depression.

There are numerous descendants of William Addington through his children, Charles Cromwell Addington, William Addington, Elizabeth Addington (m. Alexander Montgomery) and Margaret Addington ("met" Tandy Welch and married Peter Stallard). The published sources I used for this memorial (listed below) document many of William Addington's descendants.

The history of the Addington family was first recorded in 1906 by John L. Addington, Sr., the son of Charles Cromwell Addington and grandson of William Addington, who published a pamphlet entitled Genealogy of the Addingtons (Saratoga Printing Company). Hugh M. Addington, a great-great-grandson of William Addington, collected family data and published his book, History of the Addington Family in the United States and England (Service Printery, Nicklesville, VA) in 1931. The descendants of William Addington were updated in an excellent book entitled The Addingtons of VA, the Descendants of William Addington and Margaret Cromwell by Nancy Clark Brown and Rhonda Robertson, published in 1994.

Gravesite Details William Addington never had a marker.



  • Created by: Angela Stallard
  • Added: 21 Jul 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 73724125
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Lewis Addington (1750–2 Sep 1805), Find a Grave Memorial no. 73724125, citing Eastern State Hospital Cemetery, Williamsburg, Williamsburg City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Angela Stallard (contributor 47520620) .