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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Bird, Valentine

by Mattie Erma E. Parker, 1979

d. ca. 1679

Museum exhibit depicting Culpeper's Rebellion, 1963. Image from the North Carolina Digital Collections.Valentine Bird, colonial official and a leader in Culpeper's Rebellion, settled in Albemarle before April 1672, at which time he was speaker of the assembly.

In 1675, Bird was appointed collector of the penny-per-pound tax that Parliament had recently imposed on tobacco shipped from one colony to another. Because of the hardship imposed by the tax, which threatened to destroy the tobacco trade of the colony, local officials agreed that Bird would collect only a small fraction of the amount specified by Parliament, and he is alleged to have permitted some tobacco to leave the colony tax-free.

Bird was one of the chief leaders in the 1677 uprising called Culpeper's Rebellion, in which the acting governor, Thomas Miller, was ousted from office. Bird helped plan the strategy for the revolt and headed the armed groups that seized and imprisoned Miller and several members of his government. He was a member of both the assembly and the council chosen by the rebels and was one of the judges appointed to try Miller for his alleged offenses.

Bird died soon after the revolt he had helped lead. He left a minor daughter, Sarah. His widow, Margaret, married John Culpeper in 1679 or 1680.


Timothy Biggs, "A Narrative of The Transactions past In the Conty of Albermarle Sence Mr. Tho. Miller his Arrivall there" (Arents Tobacco Collection, New York Public Library, New York City, photocopy in North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

J. Bryan Grimes, ed., North Carolina Wills and Inventories (1912).

North Carolina State Archives (Raleigh), for Albemarle Book of Warrants and Surveys (1681–1706), Council Minutes, Wills, Inventories (1677–1701), and Bond of Margaret Culpeper as Guardian for Sarah Bird (2 Feb. 1686).

Mattie Erma Edwards Parker, ed., North Carolina Higher-Court Records, 1670–1696 (1968).

William S. Powell, ed., Ye Countie of Albemarle in Carolina (1958).

Hugh F. Rankin, Upheaval in Albemarle: The Story of Culpeper's Rebellion (1962).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 1 (1886).

Additional Resources:

Deposition of Timothy Biggs concerning rebellion in Albemarle County, Biggs, Timothy, d. ca. 1685, 1678, Volume 01, Pages 309-311, Documenting the American South, UNC Libraries:

Culpeper's Rebellion, by David Walbert, LearnNC:

Hugh F. Rankin, Upheaval in Albemarle: The Story of Culpeper's Rebellion (1962):

Representation concerning the rebellion in Albemarle County, No Author, 1679, Volume 01, Pages 256-261, Documenting the American South, UNC Libraries:

Image Credits:

"One of the exhibits in the Mobile Museum of History, presented to the Department during the observance of the Carolina Charter Tercentenary, was a model scene depicting Culpeper's Rebellion in 1677. Citizens were shown in action as they protested the tobacco tax in the first open rebellion against the Crown of England." Thirtieth biennial report of the North Carolina Department of Archives and History. Raleigh [N.C.]: State Department of Archives and History. 1964. p. 72. (April 17, 2013).

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