John Wickham

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John Wickham (1763-1839) was the eldest son of John Wickham and his wife, Hannah Smith Fanning. He was born at Southold, Long Island on June 6, 1763. The family were loyalists in the American Revolution and their property was confiscated. Wickham was sent abroad by his uncle to the military school at Arras, but he returned to America, studied law at Williamsburg under Wythe and Tazewell, and was admitted to practice in 1786. In Richmond he became a successful barrister, and was a leading member of the defense in the Aaron Burr trail. His first wife died in 1799 and in 1800 he married Elizabeth Selden McClurg. Mordecai calls him “the eloquent, the witty and the graceful.”

John Randolph, of Roanoke, refers to him in his will as “my best of friends and the wisest and best man I ever knew;” and Tom Moore, the poet, pronounced him “the only gentleman I found in America, and would have graced any court." He died in Richmond, January 17, 1839 and is buried in Shockoe Cemetery, Richmond.

From the March 25, 1800, Virginia Gazette and General Advertiser: MARRIED – On Thursday evening last, John Wickham, Esq. Attorney at Law, to the amiable and accomplished Miss Elizabeth M’Clurg, daughter of Doctor James M’Clurg, all of this city.


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