Elizabeth Cason

(This is from the Norfolk Newspaper, 1972 or 1973)

The testy character of Madam Sarah Thoroughgood-Gookin-Yeardley, first grande dame of Lower Norfolk County, has rumbled down the centuries like the muffled thunder of far-off artillery.  Sarah had a definite mind of her own, and the early Norfolk area records are besprinkled with her legal wrangling.

One of the first things a newcomer learned in her day was to steer clear of anything remotely connected with her.  Those who disregarded the warning usually had the sheriff pounding on their doors before their criticisms were cold.  Born in London in 1609, Sarah was a daughter of Robert Offley, "Turkey Merchant," and Anne Osborne, daughter of Sir Edward Osborne, Lord Mayor of London in 1583.

In 1624, when she was 15, Sarah was married in St. Anne's Blackfriars, London, to Captain Adam Thoroughgood, who had only recently been released from a four-year indenture to Edward Walters of Elizabeth City County, Virginia.  Both Sarah and Adam were ambitious and by 1635, with the aid of powerful friends in England and Virginia, they were the proprietors of a princely grant of 5,350 acres of land on the Chesopean, later known as the Lynnhaven River.

In 1636, one year before the establishment of lower Norfolk County, of which he was the leading citizen, Adam Thoroughgood was named to the governor's council at Jamestown.  Four years later he was dead.

Six months after burying him, Sarah slapped a suit against Elizabeth Cason for saying that her late husband never paid a bill.  Elizabeth lost the suit and was forced to beg Sarah's pardon publicly on her knees in Lynnhaven Church.



Notes on Elizabeth Cason (c. 1624-1671) / Lower Norfolk County, VA Records


Cason, Causon  / Transcription of Lower Norfolk County, Virginia Records, by Mrs. William B. Wingo:


Book D, p. 135, 15 April, 1658 / "Whereas Jno. Stratton deceased lately + left a will but no Exec#: Upon ye petision of Eliz: his widow. It is ordered that she shall (have) the manadging of the estate until ye next court she giving then as acc#: of her proceedings therein_


Book D, p. 18 17 November, 1656 / "Upon ye petision of Edmund Moor a certificate is granted unto him for two hundred acres of land proved due on oath for ye transport: of fower (4) persons into ye Collony viz (into ye Collony Fran: Armstrong, Alexander Daniell, Brian K_____(?) + John Bray) 4 psons.


Book D p. 98 20 October 1657 / Mrs. Stratton held accountable for a bill (for most part illegible)


Book D p. 160 16 Aug., 1658 / Upon ye petision of Elizabeth Stratton widd w, A certificate is granted unto her for three hundred acres proved due by her oath for ye transportation of ye six p=sons herein under written into ye Collony.Elizabeth Watkins, Will Dawson (?), Edmond Moor, Elinor Edwards, Daniell Frissell, Jno. Powry) 6 psons.


Book D p. 161 16 August, 1658 #2 / Upon ye petison of Elizabeth Stratton Widd-w, Tho: Hall, Hno. Lawrence, Mr. Sim n. Barrowes + Tho: Allen with ye assistance of Mr. Jno: Martin + Mr. Robt. Powis are requested by the Court to meet at ye house of sd. Stratton, Upon yis day three weeks + being the ____? Sept. ____? ye next to _____? + divide ye estate of Jno. Stratton, dec. + also to deliver Tho: Causons children their share + produce to ye next Court a ____? list? of all their providing (?) therein-----.


Book D p. 161 16 August, 1658 / "Upon ye petison of Elizabeth Stratton, widd o., A probate is granted unto her upon ye last will + testam t. her husband late deed."


Book D p. 164- 15 Sept., 1658 / "Whereas Mrs. Stratton widdow is possest with ye estate of ye orphans of her late husband Tho: Causon, the court have therefore ordered that she bee summoned to ye next cort. + by then to give security for the said estate".


Book D p. 170= 20 Oct., 1658 / "A Judgem-t. is acknowledged in open Court. by Elizabeth Stratton Executrix of ye estate of her late husband Jno. Stratton,due to Jno. Lawrence for yeso. (?) of five hundred + nine pounds of tob. + cask-being due by bill with forbearance together with co-t charges as Executed"...


Book D p. 181 15 No., 1658 / "At ye request of Peter Malbone in ye behalfe of Eliz: Stratton widow, -a reference is granted unto her untill ye next court ag-t Mr. Thomas Edmunds in an accord of ye case when to be heard + determined"----


Book D p., 191 15 Feb. 1658 / Charge against estate of Jno. Stratton.


Book D p. 195 15 Feb. 1658 / "{ Reference is granted until next Court at request of Mrs. Stratton-


Book D p. 199 21 March 1658 / "An order is granted unto Mr. Tho: Edumns ag-st. Elizabeth Stratton widdow for ye pay=mt. of five hundred seventy one pounds of tob-o + caske being in full of all acc-t. together with Court charges Also executed."


Book D p. 246- 15 Feb 1659 / "Upon ye petison of Jno: Lawrence who married ye relict + exec-rtx of Jno. Stratton dec-d. It is ordered that Symon Barrowes, Hen. Woodhouse, Wm. Jacobs + John Johnson be requested to meet at ye sd Lawrence his plantation by ye last of May next to satisfie several payn-ts + ____ ye sd Lawrence estate and to produce at ye next Court a Full acc't of their proceedings therein".


Book D, p. 212 15 June, 1659 / "As Jno. Lawrence request, a reference is granted unto him in suit defending beween Mr. Rich: Conquest plantiff + ye sd. Lawrence who married ye relict + executrix of Jno. Stratton defend-t. untill ye next Court in Elizabeth River then to be heard and determined".


Book D p. 224 17 Oct 1659 / "Whereas Jno. Lawrence who married ye relict of Tho"Causon _ Jno: Stratton both deceased standeth endebted --? Mr. Rich: Conqest by specialty due for ye wreck goods of Capt. Lurks. It is therefor ordered that ye sd. Lawrence according to Act Remains in ye Sher-s Custody unto he gives security for ye payment of fourteen hunderd _ thirty pounds of tob-o according to ye contents of ye sd. specialty with Court charges and exp(?).


[Note:"I recall references in book C to the ship wreck or wreck of ship of Captain Lurk or Lark"? Mrs. William B. Wingo]


Book D- p. 338 15 Feb. 1661 / "Whereas William Jermy hath made it appear that there is due to him from the relict of Thomas Causon + John Stratton, dec-d. + herself the some of three hundred and thirteen pounds of tobacco for clerks fees. It is by this Court ordered that John Lawrence who married the relict and Administratrix of ye sd. Causon (Cason) + Stratton make paym-t. thereof unto the sd. William Jermy or his atty (?) together with Co-t chardges and Exscieson (?)"!


[Note: "Wm. Jermy was cl. of ct.!" Mrs. William B. Wingo.]