Bayly, Samuel



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Person Biography

Samuel Bayly was from Fairfax County, Virginia, and was the son of William Bayly, Sr. He had six brothers (mostly older) and two sisters. William owned land in both Fairfax and Loudoun counties and his estate inventory was valued at over £520. Upon William’s death in 1782, he divided his land amongst his seven sons, leaving Samuel a significant amount of land in the town of Colchester in Fairfax County. By then, Samuel already had financial ties to Colchester, having been granted a license by the county in 1763 to open an ordinary. Ordinaries, or taverns, were public places providing both dining and lodging for travelers.

During this same time in the 1760s and 1770s, Bayly’s brother Pierce served as deputy sheriff of Fairfax County and collected taxes and rents as part of his official duties, including owed by or to George Washington. In 1785, Samuel Bayly was appointed by Patrick Henry, then governor of Virginia, as a tobacco inspector for Colchester. Tobacco inspectors, required by a 1730 Virginia law to control the quality of tobacco, were appointed to a specified inspection location, called a public warehouse. There, they inspected all tobacco products prior to shipment. Bayly took up the post again in 1787 and, in 1802, was recommended to James Monroe, then governor, for the position once again.

Samuel and his wife Mary Bayly had at least one child, George. Despite his large inheritance from his father and his multiple professions and sources of income, Samuel was most likely forced to sell much of his property during his lifetime due to debts. After he died, sometime prior to 1818, he left behind a shrunken estate which was debt-ridden and of very little value. Unfortunately, his son and heir George, whom county records list as an “insolvent debtor,” would follow suit and lose what was left of the estate in 1826.

By Bridget Swart