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Rosegill

( Originally Published 1932 )



This historic estate, one of the earliest king's grants in Virginia, has recently been purchased from Norwood B. Smith of Palo Alto, California, by Henry L. Bogert, Jr., of Long Island, New York.

The estate has passed through many hands, including the late Senator Cochran of Pennsylvania, who restored the mansion, since it left the possession of the original owners in 1806.

It was acquired by Captain Ralph Wormeley in the early seventeenth century, and was patented to his family in 1636 by King Charles I, of England. Myriads of wild roses gave the place its name.

Rosegill is part of an original grant of ten thousand acres. It now contains 735 acres in Middlesex County, with a two-mile frontage on the Rappahannock River. The brick, colonial dwelling contains eleven rooms, and was built in 1650.

Captain Ralph Wormeley was the stepson of Sir Henry Chicheley, colonial governor of Virginia, and, as president of the State Council, he acted himself as governor in the period between the death of his stepfather and the arrival of his successor, Lord Howard of Effingham.

The second Ralph Wormeley to make his home at Rosegill was the Secretary of State for Virginia, in 1693, and president of the State Council. The Wormeley descendants were all prominent in the colony and, though they had Tory leanings during the Revolution, Ralph Wormeley, of the fifth generation in America, became a member of the Virginia House of Delegates after the Revolution.

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