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Martin Penn West

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The Indian Affair of Colonel John West with Cockasoeske

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John West (colonel)
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Lieutenant-Colonel John West (1632 - 1691) was commander of the New Kent Militia in the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, and a representative of the same county in the House of Burgesses.

[edit] Biography
John West was born in 1632 and was the first child born of English parents on the York River and a large tract of land was granted to his father in honor of his birth. He was the son of Governor John West of Virginia and the nephew of Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (Delaware).

In 1654, Colonel John West married Unity Croshaw, daughter of Major Joseph Croshaw of York, member of the House of Burgesses. The children of Colonel John and Unity Croshaw were:

Captain Nathaniel West (b. 1655-1724), he was mentioned in records as a Captain in 1662, a Major in 1667, Lt. Colonel in 1673. He commanded the militia of the county. Nathaniel married his second cousin Martha Woodard (the widow of Gideon Macon). Their son-in-law, William Danridge, was Martha Washington's uncle.
Unity (Susannah) West (b. 1657), married George Martin.
Anne West (b.1660-1708), married Henry Fox.
John West III (b. 1666), married Judith Armistead.
Captain Thomas West (b. 1670-1714), married Agnes (?).
He was taken prisoner in Bacon's Rebellion. As to what Bacon's men did to him, it is not recorded, but he later sat on the court-martial that tried the rebels and he more than evened the score with them. He was active on the side of Governor William Berkeley. However, he later sat on Berkely's Court Martial at Green Spring Plantation which condemned, as Charles II of England said, "more men in that naked country that I did for the murder of my father".

In 1685 he represented New Kent in the House of Burgesses. His will, which was dated November 15, 1689 and probated about 1691 was destroyed in the later destruction of the County records. John West was listed in later records as living with Cockacoeske the Queen of the Pamunkey Tribe. Cockacoeske was the cousin of Pocahontas and it was written that she "kept company" with John West, who was son of governor John West and nephew of Thomas West, baron De La Ware. They had several sons, one of the named was John West after his father.

While John West was either 'keeping company' or was 'married' to Cockacoeske, his first wife, Unity Croshaw West, an independent minded woman, left him for his adultery.

In the Tax Rolls for 3 March 1660, it is recorded that the Virginia Assembly at that session enacted the following order: "Whereas the many important favors and services rendered to the country of Virginia by the Noble family of West, predecessors to Mr. John West, it is ordered that the levies taxes of the said Master West and his family be remitted and that he be exempted from payment there of during life."

[edit] Sources
"Middle Peninsula Historic Marker "Cockacoeske"
"The Powhatan Indians of Virginia: Their Traditional Culture. Rountree, Helen C., University of Oklahoma Press, 1989.
"Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey: Diplomat and Suzeraine." W. Martha W. McCartney.
"Powhatan's Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast by Peter H. Wood.
"Tax Rolls, March 1660. 3 March 1659. 1.
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Categories: 1632 births | 1691 deaths | Rebellions in the United States | Virginia colonial people
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