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  • ID: I04533
  • Name: Ambrose Madison
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1696
  • Death: 27 AUG 1732 in Spotsylvania Co., VA
  • Note:
    There is a promissory note from James Millener to Ambrose Madison dated "this 13th Day 1717," with no month given. This document is located in the "Shane Collection" in the Madison Family Papers, located at the Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA (MS.Sh18M265.1) On the assumption that Ambrose Madison was age 21 when he received this promissory note, he would have been born about 1696.

    The family bible of Ambrose Madison and Frances Taylor gives Ambrose Madison's and Frances Taylor's dates of death, date of marriage and lists their three children with birth and baptism dates and Godparents as follows:

    1. James Madison was born March 27, 1723, and was baptized April 21 and had for Godfathers Thomas Madison & James Taylor & for godmothers Martha Taylor & Elizabeth Penn.

    2. Elizabeth Madison, born June 14th, 1725, and was baptized July 3d & had for Godfathers James Taylor & Richard Thomas and for Godmothers Martha Taylor and Elinor Madison.

    3. Frances Madison was born March 6, 1726, and was baptized April 9th & had for Godfather James Pendleton & for Godmothers Isbell Pendleton & Elizabeth Penn.

    His latest date of birth is estimated from the fact that he was probably age 21 (or more) when he married in August 1721.

    On 13 _____, 1717, there is a promissory note from James Millenor to Ambrose Madison witnessed by John Red and Charles Beverley. [Presbyterian Historical Society, Shane Manuscript Collection, #M-265, Item 1]

    On 15 November 1723 Ambrose Madison "of King & Queen County", VA and Thomas Chew "of Spotsylvania County", VA received a 4675 acre land patent in Spotsylvania Co., VA (Patent Book 11, page 294). On 26 May 1737, Thomas Chew "of Orange County, Gent." deeded 2850 acres of this 4675 acres patent to Frances Maddison, widow and James Maddison, son and heir of Ambrose Maddison, deceased. Frances Madison's share was a life estate only and then to James Madison. The deed says "Ambrose Maddison departed this life before any legal division of the land was made, by which the whole was vested in Thomas Chew as survivor. Thomas Chew hath reserved to himself 1825 acres adjacent to Mr. John Scott" and the reside of the 4675 acres. The remaining 2850 acres adjoins the land of John Baylor and the Octuna (?) tract and Col. William Todd's land. /s/ Thomas Chew. Witnesses were William Waller and J. Lewis. Acknowledged by Thomas Chew on 26 May 1737. On motion of George Taylor, admitted to record. [Orange County, VA, Deed Book 2, page 10-13]

    On 23 April 1728, the Executive Council of VA appointed the justices for the new County of Caroline. Ambrose Madison is listed. It unclear if he was a justice of Caroline Co., VA or a list party of the Executive Council who was present to vote on the justices of Caroline Co., VA. [H.R. McIlwaine, Ed., Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, Vol. IV, page 172] (October 25, 1721-October 26, 1739]

    On April 29, 1731, Ambrose Madison was described as "of the County of Caroline" when he applied for reimbursement of the money he paid for the purchase of rights to 6000 acres of land in Spotsylvania Co., VA. [Virginia Executive Journals, Vol. IV, pages 1 and 240] The Virginia version of the Journal spells his name "Addison", but the English version spells it "Maddison".

    In a book entitled "The Short Life and Strange Death of Ambrose Madison," by Ann L. Miller is says - "Sometime in early summer, an attempt was made on Ambrose Madison's life, an attempt that would ultimately prove successful. He was poisoned, probably in June or July 1732 [by a slave] and, apparently, with a substance or dosage which did not kill him outright but rather caused sufficient damage to his system to condemn him to a slow death over several months. Lingering until late August, he had time to put his affairs in order, to make his will, and to honor a promise to one of his overseers." There is a notation in the Spotsylvania County Court Order Book regarding this slave's wrongful act.

    On March 16, 1731/32, John Madison, brother to Ambrose Madison wrote a letter to Ambrose Madison stating his brother relationship. The envelope is addressed "Ambrose Madison, York River." The Mattaponi River is a branch of the York River. This suggests that he was still living on his Caroline Co., VA property at the time.

    Ambrose Madison Will:

    In the Name of God Amen. I Ambrose Madison of the parish of St. Mark in the County of Spotsylvania, being of Sound Mind & perfect Memory, do make this my last will and Testament in a Manner and form following:

    Imprimis, I recommend my pretious and immortal soul into the hands of my great Creator, and blessed Redemer, and my body to the Earth to be decently intered at the discreton of my Executors & Executrix herein after named, as to my temporoll estate which it has pleased god to bless me, I give and bequeath (Viz).

    Item - I give and bequeath unto James Coleman and his wife, Elender Six hundred acres of land, (according to Survay Made be the same more or less,) adjoyning to the sd Coleman's plantation at the little Mountains, to him and his wife dureing their naturall lifes, and from and after their decease to the heirs of the body of the said Elender, lawfully begotten, or to be begotten, and for want of such ishue to return * * * my heirs.

    Item - I give and bequeath unto Francis W* * *mes two hundred acres of land * * *ing as its laid of adjoyning to his plantation at the great Mountains to him and his his heirs for Ever.

    Item - I give and bequeath unto Danell Stoghill, one hundred and and fifty acres of land begining at a red oak standing in David William's and Abraham Estridge's line, running along the said Abraham's line, so far as to lay of the said land square to him and his heirs for ever.

    Item - I give and bequeath unto David Roach one hundred and fifty acres of land, to be laid of some part of my land which I have in company with George Braxton, Gentlen and others, According to the discretion of my Executors hearin after named , to him & his heirs for Ever.

    Item - I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth one thousand acres of land adjoying to the said above Mentioned land of James Coleman, to begin at my uper line, and to run down to the lower line, and also one Thousand acres of land at the Great Mountains lying between land now belonging to John Camm Gentlen and my son James to her and her heirs for Ever.

    Item - I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Frances one thousand acres of land adjoying to her sister Elizabeth's, at the little Mountains, and also one thousand acres of land at the Great Mountains lyeing between the land of my son James on the one side and land of Abraham Estridge of the other side, to her and her heirs for Ever.

    Item - I give and bequeath unto my son James, all other My lands whatsoever that I am possessed of to him & his heirs for Ever, and that possess the same when he shall arrive to Eighteen years of age.

    Item - I lend unto my Dear and well beloved wife Francis all and Singular my reall and parsonall estate not before bequeathed, for and Dureing the time she shall continue a widow, or untill one of my Children shall Marry, at either of which times the hole of the Estate that I have lent to My wife shall be Devided as the law Directs.

    Item - I do hereby Constitute & Opoint my loveing wife, my Brother John Madison, Mr. Francis Conway and Joseph Brock Excutors and Exceutrix, of this my last will and Testament, and do hereby revoke and Make void all other wills by me heartofore Made in testimony whereof I have hearunto Set my hand and fix'd my Seal this 31st day of July 1732.

    /SS/ Ambrose Madison [Seal]

    Signed, sealed, published and declared in the presence of us.

    James Barbour
    Robt Martin
    George Penn

    At a court held for Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Tuesday, February 6th 1732 [1732/33].

    This will being exhibited and sworn to by Frances Madison one of the executrixs within named was proved by the oaths of James Barbour and George Penn and admitted to record.

    [Source: This is a compilation of three versions of the Will, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 6 (1899), pages 434-435, Spotsylvania Co., VA Will Book A, page 72 (a portion of the will is missing from the Will book), A copy of the Will found in the records of the Willis family of Orange County, VA (formerly lodged at the James Madison Museum in Orange Co., VA, now at the Orange County Historical Society). This version of the Will is printed in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 26 (1982), pages 286-287]

    Father: John Maddison , Jr. b: ABT 1658 in New Kent Co., VA
    Mother: Isabella Minor

    Marriage 1 Frances Taylor b: 30 AUG 1700
    • Married: 24 AUG 1721 in King & Queen Co., VA
    • Note: Date as stated in the Ambrose Madison bible.
    1. Has Children James Madison , Sr. b: 27 MAR 1723
    2. Has Children Elizabeth Madison b: 14 JUN 1725
    3. Has Children Frances Madison b: 6 MAR 1726/27
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