The Town of Porstmouth was established in 1752 on land owned by Col. William Crawford. He hired a county surveyor, Gershom Nimmo, to Divide the 65 acres of his plantation into a town called Portsmouth named after a seacoast town in England.
Portsmouth was located one the Elizabeth River the route travel and trade was carried on is that period of time. Portsmouth a seacoast town with abundance of the pine and fir trees in the area. Soon became a successful seaport. Trading and ship building brought a need for skilled carpenters, shipwrights, sail makers, ship builders and sea captains.
Beginning at the mouth of the Southern Branch, thence running westwardly on the southern boundary of crawford bay to the mouth of swimming point creek, thence southward along dinwiddie street to south street, then eastwardly along south street to the southern branch and then northwardly along the river to the beginning north of north street.
The first Market house in Portsmouth was located in themiddle of high street, between crawford and water streets. It was removed in 1835 to Glasgow street, between middle and crawford, and converted into a dwelling house.
Appointed Commissioners by an Act passed in May 1784 the following men were to sell certain public lands for the use of the people:
Joseph Jones Paul Loyall William Lee Mann Page Henry Tazewell
Benjamin Harrison Thomas Nelson Miles King John Kearns
There was a section of these public lands called Gosport and in 1784 The Governor with advice from Council annexed this land to Portsmouth.
There is some political back and forth for those who are interested in it, email me page 373.
In 1789 a group of trustees were authorized to raise a sum not to exceed L400 to erect a bridge between Gosport & Portsmouth, and to sell certain lots in Gosport for the purpose.
On Wed April 20 1796
The trustees were
James S. Matthews Bernard Maguien John Mushrow Robert Thompson
Thomas Emmerson John Quareles John Brooks Nathaniel Peed
William Wilson Robert Shelton William Porter Henry Dickinson
Henry Dickinson was unanimously elected President for the ensuing year & Treasurer.
Andrew Kidd was appointed Clerk to be paid the sum of $20 a year.
In 1800 the follwoing gentlemen were chosen to serve as trustees of the town for one yar.
RICHARD BLOW JAMES S. MATHEWS BERNARD MAGUIEN HENRY DICKSON
PETER HERBERT JOHN BROOKS WILLIAM KING JOHN FOSTER
JONATHAN DENBY THOMAS BROOKS NATHANIEL ESHON DANIEL CLEMENTS
CAPT. WILLIAM KING WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT
1803 TRUSTEES WERE EMPOWERED TO LEASE FOR 99 YEARS RENEWABLE FOREVER A PART OF THE LOT GIVEN BY CO. WILLIAM CRAWFORD A FOR A MARKET. And they were authorized to extend the limits of the town to Chestnut Street.
1805 Trustees were empowered to lease part of the land given by Crawford for a court house, the rents to be appropriated toward paving the streets.
1811 An act of legislature was passed providing that the limit of the town were not to be extended from Effingham to Chestnut for 15 years unless the consent of the owers of the land affected could be obtained sooner.
1833 the trustees were authorized to prohibit the burial of dead person within the limits of the town and to hold land for a burying ground.
1852 Until otherwise provided the Town of Portsmouth shall for the purposes of this Act. be laid off into two wards:
1. All of Portsmouth & Gosport East of Court & 4th streets shall be called JACKSON WARD.
2. All of Portsmouth & Gosport WEST of COURT & 4TH streets shall be called JEFFERSON WARD Ward
And there shall be a separate place of voting in each ward as follows:
THE VOTING PLACE IN JACKSON WARD SHALL BE TOWN HALL
JEFFERSON WARD IT SHALL BE COURT HOUSE.
ALSO in 1852 Portsmouth was incorporated as a town.
if anyone wants the "legal" info email me, kristina firstname.lastname@example.org
Under the act of incorporating Portsmouth as a full grown town,
John S. White was the first mayor WITH MEMBERS OF COUNCIL ARE:
John L. Porter - President
C.S. Cocke W.H.H. HODGES CALVIN REYNOLDS H. FEREBEE W.R. WOODARD
R.A. J. THOMPSON THOMAS MORAN H.J. PHILLIPS JOHN LASH CALEB NASH
JOHN VERMILLION W.N. SCHOOLFIELD WILLIAM M. LEVY AS CLERK.
GENEALOGY OF EARL OF EFFINGHAM FOLLOWS EMAIL ME IF U R INTERESTED OR RELATED KRISTINA
March 1 1858 CITY OF PORTSMOUTH IS BORN.....................
MAY 4 1858 The court of Hustings for the City of Portsmouth established by the charter held the first session at the court house of Norfolk county. Present were:
Alderman Samuel Watts Arthur R. Smith John Nash William H. Morris Moss w. Armistead
John S. White Robert Dickson William W. David Edward Kearns
Arthur R. Smith wad designated as chairman to preside at the court.
Arthur Emmerson was appointed cryer
James Murdaugh was appointed clerk
David J. Godwin was elected COMMONWEALTH ATTORNEY with salary of $300 per. year
Claudius W. Murdaugh Leopold C.P. Cowper and Virginius O. Cassell were elected commissioners in chancery.
Qualified to Practice Law:
James Murdaugh John S. Stubbs Leopold C.P. Cowper J.M. Brickhouse James G. Holliday
James F. Crocker David J. Godwin Claudis W Murdaugh Virginius O. Cassell
PH.H. DAUGHTERY Abram S. Watts
Joseph Hobday commissioner of the revenue
Herman Matthews constable
David J. Godwin Claudius W. Murdaugh, Abram S. Watts John Emerson : Notaries
George W. Grice was the first mayor elected april 1858.
Hon. Edward W. Massenburg was the first JUDGE.
1873 THE WARDS WERE CHANGED too much to list here.
St. Bride's got a new church in 1762. it stood at the southwest corner of state routes 170 and 614. It is said to be probably that the Great Bridge Chapel, served as a parish church until the new church was completed and then continued in use as a chapel of this parish.
It is unlikely that either church or chapel was used for worship after the revolution, though they were not dismantled until sometime later 1853 / 1854. The present St. Bride's Episcopal church in Berkley represents a modern revival of the old name in 1923 by the union of st. paul's, Berkley 1867 and st. thomas 1886. the present building was erected in 1911.
In 1803 Elder Dempsey casey became pastor and a prominent lay leader was james grimes. the membership was then 52.