|Born||February 24, 1687|
|Died||November 2, 1742 (aged 55)|
Jane Lilburne Susan Rogers
|Relatives||Thomas Jefferson (grandson)|
Charles Lilburn Lewis (grandson)
James Pleasants (grandson)
Isham Randolph (February 24, 1687 – November 2, 1742) was a planter, a merchant, a public official, and a shipmaster. He was the maternal grandfather of United States President Thomas Jefferson.
Isham Randolph was born on the Turkey Island plantation in Henrico County, Virginia on February 24, 1687. He was the third son of William Randolph (1650–1711) and Mary Isham (c. 1659–1735). His father was a colonist, landowner, planter, and merchant who served as the 26th Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses.
Randolph graduated from the College of William & Mary.
In 1717, Isham Randolph married Jane Rogers in London at St. Paul's Church in the Shadwell parish (today east London). Jane was from a wealthy landed gentry family of England and Scotland. Isham and Jane Randolph moved to Virginia. Together, they had nine children[nb 1] and were familially connected to many other prominent individuals:
Following his father, he was a prominent planter, merchant, public official, and also was a shipmaster. In London, Randolph was a well-established merchant and agent for the colony of Virginia. By the birth of his second daughter, Mary, in October 1725, he returned to Colonial Virginia. In 1730, he built Dungeness, with English manor house style architecture on what became a large tobacco plantation, near Goochland, Virginia just west of Fine Creek (near the Fine Creek Mills Historic District). At the time that he acquired the land for Dungeness, it was frontier land, 40 miles from Richmond, Virginia. It became a house of "refinement and elegant hospitality" with a hundred or more servants.
Randolph was a prominent member of the Virginia planter class, often referred to as the "planter aristocracy", owning enslaved Africans which grew tobacco on his plantations. He also participated in the triangular trade, in addition to bringing indentured servants and slaves to colonial Virginia.
Like his good friend, Colonel William Byrd, Randolph had an interest in science and engaged in amateur science circles while in London. He was noted for his abilities as a naturalist by members of the Royal Society. Upon the recommendation of naturalist John Bartram, Randolph was visited by botanist Peter Collinson and led an excursion to gather specimens in colonial Virginia.
In 1738, Randolph became the adjutant general of Virginia. The following year, he became a colonel of the militia of Goochland County. He was also a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Randolph died in November 1742 and was buried on Turkey Island. In his will he assigned guardians of his children, including his son-in-law, Peter Jefferson (the father of President Thomas Jefferson.)
The distinguished qualities of the Gentleman he possessed in an eminent degree: To justice probity & honor so firmly attached that no view of secular interest or worldly advantage, no discouraging frowns of fortune could alter his Steady purpose of heart. By an easy Compliance and obliging deportment he new no enemy but gained many friends; this in life meriting an universal esteem.— From the inscription on his tomb
|Ancestors of Isham Randolph of Dungeness|