Servants Conspiracy in Gloucester County

In a conspiracy in 1663 by disaffected servants in Gloucester County, there is some evidence that attributed the plot to the leadership of convicts, primarily Cromwellian soldiers:  “for the poor people becoming therefore very uneasy, their murmurings were watched and fed by several mutinous and rebellious Oliverian soldiers that were sent thither as servants.”[1] A James City grand jury presented nine “laborers” of Gloucester County charged “as false Traytors against his most Excellent Prince, of Soveraigne Lored Charles ye second.”  They apparently planned to break into a couple of houses to steal arms and ammunition with which they would march to the govern to demand freedom from their contracts.[2]


[1] Robert Beverly, The History and Present State of Virginia, (New York, 1972) p. 32.  Also see “The Servants’ Plot of 1663,” VMHB (1908), 38-41.

[2] “The Servants’ Plot of 1663,’ VMHB, XV (1908), 38-41.  The names of those indicted were John Gunter, William Bell, Richard Darbyshire, John Hayte, Thomas Jones, William Ball, William Poultney, William Bendell, and Thomas Collins.