Charles Bridges was christened in the parish of Barton Seagrave in Northamptonshire, England, on April 2, 1672, the son of John Bridges and Elizabeth Trumbull Bridges. He came from a well-educated gentry family, and his brother John Bridges was a barrister and one of the first and most laborious historians of Northamptonshire. Charles Bridges married Alice Flower on August 4, 1687, at Saint Marylebone, near London. They had at least one son and two daughters. He was an agent of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge by 1699 and served as a liaison with local charity schools at least until 1713, when his name disappears from the society's records. Bridges may have been trained as a painter and begun a career as a portraitist, though the only English portrait firmly attributable to him is one of Thomas Baker, a fellow of Saint John's College, University of Cambridge, painted after 1717.
In 1733 Bridges, probably by then a widower, contemplated moving to Georgia. Men
approaching their mid-sixties seldom relocated to the colonies, but two years later
he arrived in Williamsburg with his children. Armed with recommendations from Thomas
Gooch, master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and Edmund Gibson, the
Bridges also explored with Blair and Gibson the possibility of establishing a charity to teach Christianity to the colony's African Americans. Because baptism was linked in many minds with notions of freedom, which the planters certainly opposed, and because Blair and Bridges lacked funds and youthful energy, nothing came of this humanitarian ambition. One of Bridges's daughters died in Williamsburg on August 24, 1736, and that December he rented a house in the borough for twelve months. Thereafter he moved to Hanover County, where he evidently stayed until he returned to England about 1744. Bridges died in his native Northamptonshire and was buried in the church of Warkton Parish near Barton Seagrave on December 18, 1747.
April 2, 1672 - Charles Bridges is christened in the parish of Barton Seagrave in Northamptonshire, England. He is the son of John Bridges and Elizabeth Trumbull Bridges.
August 4, 1687 - Charles Bridges marries Alice Flower at Saint Marylebone, near London. They will have at least one son and two daughters.
1699 - By this year Charles Bridges is an agent of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He serves as a liaison with local charity schools at least until 1713.
1717 - Sometime after this year, Charles Bridges completes a portrait of Thomas Baker, a fellow of Saint John's College, University of Cambridge.
1733 - Charles Bridges, in his mid-sixties and probably a widower, contemplates moving from England to Georgia.
1735 - Charles Bridges moves from England to Williamsburg, Virginia, where he hopes to make a living as a painter. He carries recommendations from Thomas Gooch of Cambridge and Edmund Gibson, the bishop of London.
December 1735 - Charles Bridges witnesses the will of Sir John Randolph. He also is introduced to Alexander Spotswood.
August 24, 1736 - One of Charles Bridges's daughters dies in Williamsburg.
December 1736 - Charles Bridges rents a house in Williamsburg for twelve months.
1744 - After living in Hanover County since late in 1737, Charles Bridges returns to England about this year.
December 18, 1747 - Charles Bridges is buried in the church of Warkton Parish near Barton Seagrave.
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
Hood, G., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography Charles Bridges (bap. 1672–1747). (2013, April 17). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Bridges_Charles_bap_1672-1747.
- MLA Citation:
Hood, Graham and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "Charles Bridges (bap. 1672–1747)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 17 Apr. 2013. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: June 23, 2011 | Last modified: April 17, 2013
Contributed by Graham Hood and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography.