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Peyton Randolph

Peyton RandolphBorn: 1721
Birthplace: Williamsburg, VA [1]
Died: 23-Oct-1775
Location of death: Philadelphia, PA
Cause of death: Stroke
Remains: Buried, Chapel of the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: First President of the Continental Congress

The American politician Peyton Randolph was born at Tazewell Hall, Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1721, a son of Sir John Randolph (1693-1737), the king's attorney for Virginia. He graduated at the College of William and Mary, studied law at the Inner Temple, London, and in 1748 was appointed the king's attorney for Virginia. Randolph wrote the address of remonstrance to the king in behalf of the Burgesses against the suggested stamp duties in 1764. His policy was conservative and moderate, and in May 1765 he opposed Patrick Henry's radical "Stamp Act Resolutions." In 1766 he resigned as king's attorney and was succeeded by his brother John (1727-1784.) In 1769 he acted as moderator of the privately convened assembly which entered into the non-importation agreement, and in May 1773 he became chairman of the first Virginia intercolonial committee of correspondence. He presided over the provincial convention of August 1774, and was a member of the First Continental Congress, of which he was president from the 5th of September to the 22nd of October 1774. He was re-elected to Congress in March 1775, and on the 10th of May was again chosen to preside, but on the 24th he left to attend a meeting at Williamsburg of the Virginia Burgesses. He then returned to Congress, of which John Hancock had meanwhile been made president. Randolph died of apoplexy in Philadelphia on the 22nd of October 1775. He was provincial grand-master of the Masons of Virginia and was an intimate friend of George Washington.


[1] Tazewell Hall, Williamsburg, VA.

Father: John Randolph
Mother: Susannah Beverley
Brother: Beverley (older)
Brother: John
Sister: Mary
Wife: Betty Harrison (m. 8-Mar-1746)

    University: College of William and Mary

    Freemasonry Grandmaster, Masons of Virginia
    Delegate to the Continental Congress 1774-5
    Exhumed 1776
    Slaveowners


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