Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: Thomas Jefferson’s Abstract of Marriage Settlement of John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell Paradise, [after 10 May 1769]


Abstract of Marriage Settlement of John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell Paradise

Extracts from marriage settlement.
Date. May 10. 1769.
Parties John Paradise esq. son of Peter Paradise 1st part.
Peter Paradise 2d part.
Lucy Ludwell 3d part.
Wm Dampier 4th part
James Lee 5th part.
Recites will of Philip Ludwell dated Feb. 28. 1767. & devising to Richard Corbin Et others in trust, for use of his 3. daurs to wit, (which he specifies) to each & her heirs for ever if either died before age or marriage, her part to be equally divided between survivors & their heirs. appointing Peter Paradise John Paradise & Wm Dampier their guardians, and that Wm Dampier alone took guardnshp on himself. that the testr died Mar. 25. 1767. Frances Ludwell died Sep. 7. 1768. under age & unmarrd—that marrge intendd1 etc
that Peter Paradise will give John Paradise 4000£ immedly and 4000£ more on his death, the latter to be put into hands of James Lee & Rob. Cary for trusts hereaft. mntd
Limitns of Real estate & hereditamts
1. to J. P. for life witht impeachmt waste2 with powr of leasg 21. years reservg best ren[t]
2. after his death to L. P. for life witht impt etc with powr to lease etc
3. to James Lee & Rob. Cary durg lives of J. P. & L. P. to suppt Contingt remrs3
4. to child or chdrn of J. & L. P. for such estates (not exceedg an estate tail) and in such shares & proportns, with or witht power of revocn, and with such remrs & limitns over ‘(but such limns over to be for the benefit of some or one of the sd children)’ as the sd J. P. & L. L. or the survivor by deed or will duly exd shall appoint
5. (if no appmt made) to all the chdrn as ten. in com.4 in tail wth cross remrs in tai[l]
6. remr to such person as L. L. shall appt by deed or will
7. in default of appmt to survivor of sd J. & L. in fee.
 Power, with consent of trustees, to exchange for lands in Engld or to sell, & buy others to be settld etc
Personal estate of sd L. L. the use of it
1. to J. P. for life. 2. afterwds to L. P.5 for life. 3. to chdr, on such proportns and such limns (sd limns ever to be for benefit of some of ye chdrn) as the sd J. & L. o[r] the survivor by deed or will shall appt 4. if no appmt then to chdr equally and under many intricate limns. 5.6 if no chdrn then to such person as L. shall by deed or will appt 6.7 if no such appmt then to survivor.
The 4000£ paiable at death of P. Paradise to be placed in public funds or on landed security, with consent of truste[es] and of J. & L. interest to be received
  1. by J. P. for life 2. aftwds L. for life. 3. to chdrn as before providd for Personl est. of sd L. with power, with consent of Trustees & of J. & L. to lay out the 4000 £ in lands in Engld to be limite[d] as the real estate of sd L. before described

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 53:9038); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated; edge trimmed; with Tr of following enclosure on verso. Tr (Stephen Phillips Jr., Salem, Mass., 1961); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated; at head of text: “An Extract of the marriage settlement of John & Lucy Paradise by Th Jefferson”; presumably being the clean copy TJ made for Philip I. Barziza.

John Paradise (1743–95), linguist, was born in Thessaloníki and studied at the University of Padua and at Oxford University. He and his father, Peter Paradise, acted as executors for Philip Ludwell, and on 18 May 1769 John married Ludwell’s daughter Lucy. Paradise knew eight languages, devoted himself to scholarly pursuits, became a fellow of the Royal Society of London, and enjoyed the friendship of Edmund Burke, David Garrick, Samuel Johnson, and Sir Joshua Reynolds. He managed his wife’s Virginia lands from afar, with the assistance of TJ and others. The Paradises visited Virginia in 1788 but soon returned to London, where John died (ODNB description begins H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, eds., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, 60 vols. description ends ; Archibald Bolling Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg [1942]).

Lucy Ludwell Paradise (1751–1814) was born at Green Spring plantation, near Williamsburg. She moved with her family to London in 1760, where she met and married John Paradise. Paradise and her surviving sister, Hannah Philippa Ludwell Lee, split their father’s estate following the death of their sister Frances Ludwell in 1768. A decade after the death of her husband, Paradise returned to Williamsburg to live. She was declared insane in 1812 and died in Williamsburg two years later (Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell).

TJ had met John Paradise by 1786. Beginning with the couple’s May 1788 visit to Paris, TJ became heavily involved in helping them sort out their tangled affairs. TJ had seen the original marriage settlement from which this extract was made by 6 Sept. 1788. On that date he sent a copy of it to Nathaniel Burwell, who was managing the Paradises’ Virginia estates (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 38 vols. description ends , esp. 9:434–5, 11:242–3, 13:472–3, 543–5, 570–1, 14:418–20).

1Tr: “that a marriage was intended to be had.”

2Tr: “without impeachment of waste.”

3Tr: “to support Contingent remainders.”

4Tr: “tenants in common.”

5Reworked from “2. to L. P. for life.”

6MS: “4.” Tr: “5.”

7MS: “5.” Tr: “6.”

Index Entries

  • Burwell, Nathaniel; as agent for J. and L. L. Paradise search
  • Cary, Robert; as trustee of J. and L. L. Paradise search
  • Corbin, Richard; as trustee to P. Ludwell’s daughters search
  • Dampier, William; as guardian of P. Ludwell’s daughters search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; friendship with J. and L. L. Paradise search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Abstract of Marriage Settlement of John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell Paradise search
  • Lee, James; as trustee for J. Paradise and L. L. Paradise search
  • Ludwell, Frances; and P. Ludwell estate search
  • Ludwell, Philip; estate of search
  • Paradise, John; identified search
  • Paradise, John; marriage settlement of search
  • Paradise, John; TJ acts as agent for search
  • Paradise, Lucy Ludwell (John Paradise’s wife); identified search
  • Paradise, Lucy Ludwell (John Paradise’s wife); marriage settlement of search
  • Paradise, Lucy Ludwell (John Paradise’s wife); TJ acts as agent for search
  • Paradise, Peter; and marriage settlement of J. Paradise and L. L. Paradise search
  • Paradise, Peter; as trustee of P. Ludwell’s daughters search