George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Littleton Eyre, 5 June 1765

From Littleton Eyre

Northampton June 5th 1765


I recd yours of the 8th ulto from Wmsburg & agreeable to your request I now send you inclosed to Mr Valentine the Will of John Custis Esqr. by which youll find he gave his dwelling House & plantation to his Son Hancock dureing his Natural life with remainder to his heirs male with a power to devide the same amongst his Male Issue & for want of such to his female &c.1 Hancock Custis I have been told devised the same to his Son John in what Manner I Cant say his Will is recorded in Accomack County where he lived & died, John left Issue a son & daughter named Hancock & Peggy the son died an Infant by whoes death the Land desended to his Sister who intermarryed with Mr Saml Wilson of Somerset County Maryland (since dead) leaving Issue a Son Named John now liveing in Case of whoes death your Ward Mastr John Park Custis is heir,2 the other Lands devised by the Testator3 to his son Hancock by the Name of Jolys Neck &c. in Accomack County I have been told he4 devised the same to his son Levan (who died without Issue), with remainder to his son, the afsd John an in Case of his dying without Issue, to his Brother Henry Custis & his heirs so that if Mr Wilsons son John dies that tract of Land desends to the heirs of Henry of which there are many.5 if you are not fully Satisfied with my State of the Case I will if required Send you a Copy of Hancock Custis[’s] Will, it will at all times give me pleasure to have it in my power to Serve you or the Children of the late Colo. Custis your predesessor. I am with Compliments to your Lady. Sir Yr mo. obt Sevt

Littleton Eyre


Littleton Eyre (d. 1768) lived at Eyre Hall on Cherrystone Creek in Northampton County and owned more than 4,000 acres on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. He had been a member of the House of Burgesses from Northampton County from 1742 to 1761. Eyre also had been county sheriff and senior warden of the local vestry and was the senior judge on the Northampton County court.

1GW’s letter of 8 May has not been found. The will of John Custis of Hungars referred to here was dated 3 Dec. 1708 and proved on 16 Mar. 1713–14 in Northampton County. The copy of this will that is now in DLC:GW is probably the copy that Eyre enclosed in this letter. The John Custis who made the will was the father of John Custis (1678–1749), whose son married Martha Dandridge (later Martha Washington); he was also the father of Hancock Custis (died c.1729) named here.

2The part of John Wilson’s property that would go to GW’s ward John Parke Custis should Wilson die without an heir was the property that he had inherited from his mother, the granddaughter of Hancock Custis (see notes 1 and 5).

3The “Testator” is John Custis of Hungars. See note 1.

4That is, Hancock Custis, son of John of Hungars.

5The “afsd John” Custis was the son of Hancock Custis, Peggy Custis Wilson’s father, and John Wilson’s grandfather.

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