Carter was born most likely in England, but the date and place of his birth and the names of his parents are not known. He married a woman named Anne (surname unrecorded), had a daughter of the same name, and lived for part of his young adulthood in London. Carter settled in Virginia sometime in the 1640s or early in the 1650s. He may have been related to several of the Carters who had lived south of the James River since the early years of the colony, and he may have been engaged in commerce before moving from England to Virginia. Loss of early local records and the presence of other men of the same name during his residence in Virginia complicate and obscure family and business relationships. His kinship to John Carter (ca. 1613–1670), who resided in Lancaster County and served with him on the governor's Council, was probably close but is unclear.
Carter acquired three plantations in Nansemond (then still sometimes called Upper Norfolk) County and was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the militia before being elected early in 1658 to represent the county in the House of Burgesses. He attended the assembly session that met for three weeks beginning in March 1658 and the session that met for one week in March 1659. Soon afterward Carter moved to Lancaster County and purchased one plantation and patented land for another. He also acquired property in Maryland.
About 1668 Carter returned to England, terminating his membership on the Council. He resided at Edmonton, in Middlesex County, just outside London. Shipping records and other documents indicate that he engaged in trade between London and Virginia until the mid-1670s or later. He exported woolens and other goods to the colony and imported tobacco and furs. Carter also owned land in the parish of Chalfont Saint Peter in Buckinghamshire, England. He was one of five men who received from the estate of his fellow Virginia Council member Daniel Parke (d. 1679) money to purchase a mourning ring.
Carter married a second time, but whether before or after returning to England is unknown. His second wife's given name was Elizabeth, and she was probably the mother of the two daughters and possibly of his namesake son whom he mentioned when he signed his will on October 18, 1682. Carter appointed his wife executrix of his estate and empowered her to sell his colonial property if necessary to support the family. Edward Carter died probably at Edmonton and was buried on November 13, 1682, presumably in the middle aisle of the Church of Saint Dunstan in the East, in London, as his will specified. In 1685 his widow named John Purvis, a noted London sea captain and publisher of one of the earliest volumes of Virginia laws, as her attorney in fact to dispose of some of the Virginia and Maryland properties. He sold one of the Lancaster County plantations in 1686. Four years later, in her capacity of executrix, Elizabeth Carter patented 764 acres of land in Nansemond County.
1640s–1650s - Some time during these decades, Edward Carter settles in Virginia.
1658 - Edward Carter is elected to represent Nansemond County in the House of Burgesses.
1660 - By this year, Edward Carter becomes a member of the governor's Council.
1663 - Edward Carter and other Council members join the governor in signing a remonstrance to the Crown protesting the grant of the Northern Neck to the king's favorites.
Summer 1667 - Edward Carter and several of his fellow councillors complain to the king that the proprietor of Maryland has blocked an agreement to reduce tobacco production and thus to increase the crop's price. Carter also signs a letter that the governor and Council send to the king about the colony's defense during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
ca. 1668 - Edward Carter returns to England, terminating his membership on the governor's Council.
October 18, 1682 - Edward Carter signs his will, appointing his wife executrix of his estate and empowering her to sell his colonial property if necessary to support the family.
November 13, 1682 - Having died shortly before this date, Edward Carter is buried in the Church of Saint Dunstan in the East, in London.
- Colonial History (ca. 1560–1763)
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
Heuvel, L. L., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Edward Carter (d. by 1682). (2016, December 21). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Carter_Edward_d_by_1682.
- MLA Citation:
Heuvel, Lisa L. and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "Edward Carter (d. by 1682)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 21 Dec. 2016. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: May 20, 2013 | Last modified: December 21, 2016
Contributed by Lisa L. Heuvel and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography.