Thursday, June 14, 2007

Charles Buck I -- a Sportsman

In a letter written by his son, Thomas, Charles Buck I was said to be “a great sportsman and used carry me off to the horse races of which I became very fond and in all probability should have followed his example had not the Lord arrested both him and myself in our mad career.”

The race track referenced by Thomas Buck is said to have been located in present day Front Royal. Typically such tracks were about a quarter mile around. The better horses were smaller and their descendants are known as quarter horses today.

Horse racing in colonial Virginia was considered an immoral and sinful activity. Not only were the races rough on the horses, races were often brutal for the jockeys. Horse races were also accompanied by wagering and alcoholic beverages. At the same time, horse racing was reserved for gentlemen only!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Charles Buck I (1710 - 1771)

Charles Buck I was born about 1710 in York County and died in 1771 in the Shenandoah Valley. He first moved from York County into Westmoreland County, but after a short stay there he received a bequest from his uncle Joseph which he used to buy land in the Shenandoah Valley about 1735. Charles prospered there, and became a large landowner near what is now Front Royal, VA. He was a Vestryman of Frederick Parish, Lieutenant of Militia, Trustee for the town of Strasburg, Overseer of Roads, and otherwise active and influential in county affairs.

Charles Buck I married Ann Sorrell Earle in 1747 in Earle Family Chapel, Muddy Run, VA. Ann Sorrell Earle was born in 1728 and died in 1749 shortly after the birth of her daughter Mary who also died. She was the daughter of Major Samuel Earle, a pioneer leader in the valley who was the first delegate from Frederick County to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1744. Charles and Ann had two children: John and Mary.

After the death of his first wife, Ann Sorrell Earle, Charles BUCK I married Letitia Sorrell in 1749. Letitia was the widow of (1) Ambrose Callis and (2) John Wilcox. She was also the aunt of Ann Sorrell Earle, the first wife of Charles Buck I. Her son Thomas wrote of her "She was a strict moralist, and instilled into my mind a great reverence for the Supreme Being". She had children by her previous marriages; perhaps as many as three sons and five daughters. Charles Buck I and Letitia Sorrell had two sons: Charles (II) and Thomas (V).