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Home North Carolina Chowan County City of Edenton Historical Markers Henderson Walker C. 1660-1704

Henderson Walker C. 1660-1704

North Broad St., Edenton, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 36° 4' 35.9148", -76° 35' 28.77"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Acting governor, 1699-1703; attorney general, judge, and vestryman. Grave is 75 feet west."
Henderson Walker is believed to have been born around 1660 (the exact date is not known) and to have emigrated to America some time after 1682. Walker was an attorney and, in rather short order, a judge of the admiralty court, justice of the superior court, attorney general, and member of the Council. In this last role Walker, in May 1699, met with Virginia commissioners in Jamestown in an attempt to settle the dispute over the boundary line. Two months later, on the death of John Harvey, he became chief executive.

As president of the Council, Walker maneuvered to have the Vestry Act of 1701 enacted. The act provided for the organization of vestries in each precinct, erection of churches, and the maintenance of the clergy through a poll tax. St. Paul’s (originally Chowan) Parish, which Walker served as a vestryman, was among the first parishes organized under the act. Its passage effectively wrested power away from the Quakers and crowned efforts to establish the Anglican Church as dominant in the province. Nonetheless, in 1703, the Lords Proprietors disallowed it on a technicality. Also during Walker’s term, the general court was abolished and replaced by a court of five justices commissioned by the Proprietors.

Walker died on April 14, 1704, and was buried on his plantation about five miles outside Edenton. The grave lay beneath the shade of a large cedar just yards from the sound. In the late nineteenth century, his remains were moved to the churchyard at St. Paul’s, there to join the reinterments of Thomas Pollock and Charles Eden. On his tombstone the epitaph reads, in part: “. . . during (his) administration the Province enjoyed that tranquility which it is to be wished it may never want.” Walker’s widow, the former Ann Lillington, later married Edward Moseley.

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 14 (1856-57)
Francis Hawks, History of North Carolina (1858)
Blackwell P. Robinson, North Carolina Guide (1955)
Mattie Erma Edwards Parker and William S. Price Jr., eds., The Colonial Records of North Carolina, (Second Series,) North Carolina Higher Court Records, 1697-1701 (1971), and 1702-1708 (1974)
Henderson Walker C. 1660-1704 Historical Marker Location Map, Edenton, North Carolina