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 John Randolph

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John Randolph

Lawyer. After graduating from the College of William and Mary in 1711, he began studing law. The following year he was appointed attorney general of Charles City, Henrico and Prince George by Governor Spotswood. In 1715 he moved his studies to London at the Grays Inn. He returned to Virginia a member of the bar the following spring, and was quickly appointed clerk of the House of Burgesses by Spotswood. In 1722 he travelled to Albany, New York as a secretary of a Virginia delegation at a meeting of Iroquios chiefs organized by New York's Governor. In Williamsburg, he was among the original alderman when the town incorporated. In 1726 the governor appointed him attorney general and clerk of the council of the colony. During this time, he also had a prominent private law practice, as well as being appointed the King's attorney. He took on many important cases, including some which saw him travel to England to fight against certain taxes on tobacco. For his distinguished service, sometime before 1732 he was knighted, becoming the only colonial born in Virginia to have the honor. In 1734 he resigned his position of clerk of the House of Burgesses. The next day, the College of William and Mary elected him its burgess, and a few days later he was elected by the burgesses as Speaker of the House. A month later he became a justice in Gloucester County, and then treasurer. In 1736, Norfolk incorporated and named him its recorder. This would only last until his death a few months later. He was the father of Peyton Randolph, who is also buried here.


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