Adherents of the fortunes of the Stuarts—the nobility, and the bitter opposers of the Puritans.
On the death of Charles I. (1649), they fled to Virginia
by hundreds, where only, in America, their Church and their King
They made an undesirable addition to the population, excepting their introduction of more refinement of manner than the ordinary colonist possessed.
They were idle, inclined to luxurious living, and haughty in their deportment towards the “common people.”
It was they who rallied around Berkeley
in his struggles with Bacon
(see Bacon, Nathaniel
), and gave him all his strength in the Assembly.
They were extremely social among their class, and gatherings and feastings and wine-drinking were much indulged in until poverty pinched them.
They gave a stimulus to the slave-trade, for, unwilling to work themselves, they desired servile tillers of their broad acres; and so were planted the seeds of a landed oligarchy in Virginia
that ruled the colony until the Revolution in 1775, and in a measure until the close of the Civil War