John ASHE (The Agent)
- Born: Cir 1649, Teffont, Wiltshire
- Marriage (1): Martha Ivey JOY in 1672 in Teffont, Wiltshire
- Marriage (2): Mary BATT circa 1692
- Died: 1704, London, England aged about 55
Extract from "Sketches of Church History in North Carolina" (1892)
The Ashe family gave to the Province and to the Church in the 18th century some of its most brilliant lights. There are several Ashe stocks among the landed gentry of England. The North Carolina family is from the Ashes of Heightsbury, an old borrough in Wiltshire. The name was originally D'Esse, and the pedigree runs back to the Conqueror. The members have been prominent in English political life, in parliament and in official station. St. George Ashe was Bishop of Cloygher and Derry, and is said to have married Swift to Stella in the Bishop's own garden. Another, Edward, was on the Board of Trade at the time of the purchase of Carolina by the Crown. We find John Ashe sent to England in 1703, by the dissenters of the County of Colleton in South Carolina, for the purpose of thwarting the efforts of Governor Nathaniel Johnston to disfranchise all not belonging to the Church of England. While engaged in his mission he died in London, and his family, of which John Baptista Ashe was the head, emigrated to the Albemarle section about 1727. He at once became prominent in the Province, identifying himself with the people by marrying a daughter of Samuel Swann, the elder, and thus being connected with Edward Mosely, Samuel Swann, the speaker, the Porters, and the Lillingtons. He was at one time a member of the Council and at another Speaker of the Assembly, and had the nerve to resist with spirit the arbitrary encroachment of Burrington, thus incurring his mortal hatred and the abusive outgivings of his venomous tongue. His oldest son, John Ashe, as speaker of the Assembly and as Colonel of the militia of Brunswick, was foremost in resisting the attacks on the rights of the Colonies which led to the war of Independence. He was styled by Jones, the historian, "the most chivalrous hero of the Revolution." Eight years before the tea was thrown into Boston harbor by men disguised as Indians, Gens. Ashe and Waddell, in open day, with six hundred men from the Cape Fear region, had the daring to march to Brunswick and force the British men of war to surrender two merchant vessels, seized because their papers were not stamped, and surrounding Governor Tryon's house, took therefrom the Stamp-master who was then made to swear not to execute the duties of his office.
He was a leader in all the measures looking to resistance and a gallant, though unfortunate, General of the Revolutionary army. His younger brother, Samuel Ashe, was educated at Harvard and was a lawyer of ability. He likewise was an active patriot, a member of the State Congress of 1775 and 1776, and one of the Council of thirteen, which, during the provisional period preceding the adoption of the constitution, was the supreme authority of the State. He was for years one of the first Judges under the constitution, and then was transferred to the executive chair. He was a man of great force and influence and acknowledged integrity, and has had the extraordinary honor of giving names to a county and two towns of our State.
Mr. George Davis, in his admirable address before the Alumni of his Alma Mater, the University of North Carolina, quotes from Jones' History, 'the Ashe family contributed more than any other to the success of the Revolution in this State. Gen. John Ashe's son, Capt. Samuel Ashe, served two campaigns in the Northern States with the rank of Captain in the light-horse, and although he resigned his commission, he continued to serve in the militia expeditions of the State. So that there were five officers of that family actively engaged in the war: "Gen. John Ashe and his son, Capt. Samuel Ashe, Governor Samuel Ashe and his sons, Colonel John Baptista and Samuel Ashe." Mr. Davis says, 'True so far '97 and he might have added, that Gen. Ashe's son, John '97 "Mad Jack Ashe," as he was called, served nearly throughout the war with the rank of Captain, and that the boys, William, Acourt, and Cincinnatus Ashe, though too young to hold commands were old enough to follow the example of their sires, and march against the enemies of their country." Wm. Shepperd Ashe, member of Congress and President of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Company, and the late Thomas Samuel Ashe, Confederate States Senator and Judge of our Supreme Court, were lineal descendants of Judge and Governor Samuel Ashe, as is also Samuel Acourt Ashe, the editor, and many other
Extract from "Religion and Politics in Colonial S.C." by J.W. Brinsfield
Joseph Boone and John Ashe were leaders of the Dissenters in 1702. John Ashe became the first agent for the colony before Parliament. He died in 1704 and was replaced by Joseph Boone.
Extract from "History and description of the public charities in the town of Frome (1833)"
John Ash and Mr. Iveleaf's gifts:
It is stated in the church tablet that Mr John Ash gave three tenements at Beckington to the charity school and almshouse and that Mr Iveleaf gave £100 to be laid out in a house in Beckington for the use of the almshouse and it is observable that in the printed book above referred to, it is said that Mrs Elizabeth Ash and John her son gave a messuage or tenement with a garden in Goose Street in Beckington for 1,000 years to the almshouse so that it would appear that three tenements in Beckington belonging to this charity were not accounted for. But in the rental at the end of the said printed book Thomas West is stated to be the tenant at that time of Mrs Ash's tenements at Beckington and upon inquiry it appeared that the present tenant Mr Thomas West actually holds what did consist of four tenements at Beckington but one of the four has been thrown into one of the others so that at present he holds only three. Neither the conveyance of Iveleaf s tenement nor of Mrs Ash's three tenements could be found.
Extract from ' "Mr Ash" - A Footnote in Constitutional History' by David McCord Wright, University of Georgia (published in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Oct., 1962)
Readers of McCrady, and of various other histories of South Carolina, will recall John Ash or "Mr Ash", a leader of the dissenters in the crisis of 1703-4. He appears abruptly, steps into great prominence, is sent by the dissenters to London, and dies there in 1704. His protest later appears as part of a pamphlet published in 1706 by Daniel Defoe. But, though there are several references to "Mr" Ash in the contemporary documents, and comments on his personality, nothing is said about his antecedents. Probably his contemporaries thought these too well known for comment. In any event, his background when eventually documented proves to have been of considerable interest.
Ash's importance is not only personal but significant in that he stands midway between, and links together, his grandfather, John Ashe of Freshford, Somerset, M.P. for Westbury, Wilts, in the Long Parliament, and his grandson, Judge Samuel Ashe of North Carolina, member of the court which rendered the judgment of Bayard v. Singleton. Seen in this perspective, Ash appears as a minor but significant link in the transmission to the United States of the Whig political tradition so influential in its history. For Bayard v. Singleton was one of the first operative declarations of the right of a court to pronounce an act of the legislature unconstitutional.
Extract from "Address delivered before the Two Literary Societies of the University of North Carolina" by George Davis (1855)
And I mention first the noble family of Ashe, which, gave every grown male of the name, nine fighting men, to the service of their country, in the darkest hour of her cause. And yet, so modestly have their claims upon the State been pressed, or rather, so little have they been asserted at all, that the commonly received account of the origin of the family is entirely erroneous. It is generally said, that the founder of the family in North-Carolina emigrated from England in 1727, under the patronage of the Earl of Craven.
This is incorrect. The name of Ashe was distinguished in Carolina at least as early as the year 1700. Under the administration of Sir Nathaniel Johnson, in South-Carolina, an effort was made to make the religion of the Church of England the established religion of the colony; and an act of conformity was passed, the effect of which was, to exclude dissenters altogether from the Assembly. The inhabitants of Colleton county, who were mostly dissenters, were justly incensed at this injustice; and they sent John Ashe, who was one of their leading men, to England, as their agent, to lay their case before the Proprietors, and seek redress. This was in 1703. John Ashe died while in England on this mission; and soon afterwards his family emigrated to the Albemarle settlement in North-Carolina. From thence his son, John Baptista Ashe, about the year 1727, removed to the Cape Fear. He had two sons, the John Ashe of whom I have made frequent mention, "the most chivalrous hero of our Revolution", and who is usually distinguished by his subsequent title as General Ashe, and Samuel, afterwards Governor of the State. "The Ashe family," says Jones, "contributed more than any other to the success of the revolution in the State. Gen. Ashe's son, Capt. Sam'l Ashe, served two campaigns in the Northern States, with the rank of captain in the light-horse, and although he resigned his commission, yet he continued to serve in the militia expeditions of the State. So that there were five officers of that family all actively engaged in the war : Gen. John Ashe, and his son Capt. Sam'l Ashe; Gov. Samuel Ashe, and his sons, Colonels John Baptista, and Samuel Ashe." True so far. And he might have added, that Gen. Ashe's son John, "Mad Jack Ashe," as he was called, served nearly throughout the War with the rank of captain ; and that the boys, William, A'court, and Cincinnatus Ashe, though too young to hold command, were old enough to follow the example of their sires, and march against the enemies of their country.
It was not my good fortune to know but one of these distinguished men. In my early youth I remember an old man, bowed by age and infirmities, but of a noble front, and most commanding presence. Old and young gathered around him in love and veneration, to listen to his stories of the olden time. And as he spake of his country's trials, and of the deeds and sufferings of her sons, his eye flashed with the ardor of youth, and his voice rang like the battle charge of a bugle. He was the soul of truth and honor, with the ripe wisdom of a man, and the guileless simplicity of a child.
He won strangers to him with a look, and those who knew him loved him with a most filial affection. None ever lived more honored and revered; none ever died leaving a purer or more cherished memory. This was Colonel Samuel Ashe, " the last of all the Romans."
Extract from "A Genealogical Collection of South Carolina Wills and Records: Vol. 1" by Pauline Young (1955)
WILL OF JOHN ASH VOL. 1 PAGE 34
PROBATE JUDGES OFFICE, CHARLESTON, S. C.
I John Ash of Danho in the County of Colletion in South Carolina gent. do constitute this my last will thereby revoking and anuling all former wills and that all former wills are hereby annulled. That this is my last will is hereby declared. Imprimis I make my beloved wife Mary the daughter of Samuell Batt late rector of Coulson in Wiltshire in England my whole and sole Executrix in trust that she dispose of all my Estate as well real as personal which I hereby give her (except what is herein after otherwise bequeathed) for the maintenance of her self and children now born who may before ye twentieth of february next be born of her, as also that when either of the male children shall arrive to the age of twenty one years she shall to such child deliver than such part of the remains or improved product as divideing the same by the number of those children than liveing & her Self shall allow, and in like manner to the female Children as they shall arrive att the age of ffifteen. To my son John by Martha Joy I give the product of £100 Tally payable to me or order with advantage of Survivorship out to the Exchequor as also two fiths of the dues on another tally for fourteen percent recompose for five hundred pounds during his life payable also out of the Exchequor to me or my order. To my Son William I give the recompence due on ye Survivorship fund £100 Tally for his life these tallys are all in the hands of Sir William Simpson, I also give to my said son William the advowich of Colley vicarage bought of Mr Mayne lying in the County of Devon. Lastly in case my Executrix herein mentioned die before she know of my death it is my will that Landy Joseph Morton and the Lady Eliza. Blake be my Executors in trust she dispose of my Estate in like manor as has she lived she would have according to this my will have done.
signed sealed and delivered my will this ninth of April1 Seventeen hundred & three in Presence of Edmnd. Bellinger, Ja Byres, James Kinloch
John (SEAL) Ash
Before me the Rt. Honorable Sir Nathaniel Johnson Lt. Governor Capt genera1 and admiral of South and & North Carolina and ordinary of the Same. Came and appeared on this present Nineteenth day of October an.o dni 1704 Mr. James Byres and Dandy r Edmund Bellinger two of the within Subscribing Evidentes who on their oaths on the holy Evangelists taken say that they and either of them were personally present and did see the within testator Mr. John Ash Sign seal Publish and declare the within Instrument to be his last will and testament and at ye time of his so doing he was of Sound and Perfect mind and memory to ye best of their Judgments and knowledges and that they saw James Kinloch ye other of the within subscribeing witnesses sign ye Same in Wiittness thereto
Capt. et Jurat Coram me
die & anno Pr dict
Extract from Volume II of "Cyclopaedia of Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas of the Nineteenth Century" with an introduction by Hon. Samuel A. Ashe (1892)
A gentleman, many years ago, referring to "notices of the Ashe family printed in 1710," wrote "that in the mother country for several generations they were the strenuous opponents of arbitrary power, and were not only actors, but sufferers in the paternal and also in the maternal line."
A gentleman of this family compelled to sell his estate in Wiltshire, England, by the pecuniary embarrassments, in which an excess of zeal had involved him, migrated to South Carolina at an early period in the history of that province. Thence one of his sons removed to North Carolina, whose character and abilities made him a prominent member of that colony, and from that time to the year 1814 the name of Ashe was always conspicuous either in the forum, the senate or the field, and in the highest offices of the state."
In the long parliament that maintained the liberties of England against the arbitrary power of Charles the First, were two brothers, John and Sam Ashe, of Wiltshire. In the next generation a scion of that family, John Ashe, settled in South Carolina, where he became an influential member of the assembly. When the bigoted Lord Granville sought to oppress the dissenters of Carolina, Ashe was selected by the principal inhabitants of South Carolina to represent their grievances to the crown. While at Charleston to take shipping, his opponents raised a riot against him that lasted five days, and he was under the necessity of making his way through the wilderness to Albemarle. He was resolute, bold and high-spirited. The mild Quaker, Archdale, said that he did not seem well qualified for the work, "not that he wanted wit, but temper." His lofty spirit. could not tolerate with patience attempted oppression. Arriving at London, he drew up "The Representation," but died in 1703 before it was all printed, "not without suspicion of foul play." Defoe, the novelist, then took the work up and published his pamphlet, " Oppression in Carolina," and the train was laid that finally led to the downfall of proprietary rule.
John married Martha Ivey JOY in 1672 in Teffont, Wiltshire. (Martha Ivey JOY was born in 1651.)
John next married Mary BATT, daughter of Rev. Samuel BATT and Mary, circa 1692. (Mary BATT was born circa 1667 in Coulston, Wiltshire, England, died in 1712 in Charleston, South Carolina, USA and was buried in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.)