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Hill, James

by Mattie Erma E. Parker, 1988

Fl. 1676–81

James Hill, Council member, was appointed to that position by a commission issued by the Lords Proprietors on 21 Nov. 1676. He probably assumed office the following summer, when his commission reached the northern Carolina colony, then called Albemarle.

Hill may have lived previously in Virginia, where a James Hill was granted 350 acres in Northumberland County in 1661. Whether he came to Albemarle before his appointment to the Council is not known.

A few months after Hill took office, the Albemarle colonists revolted against the acting governor, Thomas Miller, in the uprising called Culpeper's Rebellion. Like all but one of the other Council members, Hill supported Miller, but he does not seem to have been a chief target of the insurgents. Although Miller and certain Council members were thrown into prison and charged with heinous crimes, Hill was only confined to his home by a guard, from which he escaped to Virginia. Upon his return to Albemarle, after order was restored, he was arrested but apparently was soon released. In August 1679 he again was sitting on the Council, then presided over by John Harvey. The same month or soon after, Hill and several others helped Thomas Miller escape from prison, where he had been confined by order of a court held by the Council, of which Hill was a member. In 1680 Hill resigned his seat on the Council to protest certain actions of Robert Holden, then secretary and customs collector as well as a Council member.

Hill, a Quaker, was a member of the Perquimans Monthly Meeting and presumably lived in Perquimans Precinct. Records indicate, but do not clearly show, that his wife was Hannah Hill, who seems to have been married previously to Henry Phelps. If so, Hill had three stepchildren: John, Jonathan, and Hannah Phelps. Whether he had children of his own is uncertain.

Hill's name has not been found in records of later date than 10 Sept. 1681, when the Perquimans Monthly Meeting appointed him to a committee to settle differences between two of its members. He probably died soon after that date.


William Wade Hinshaw, comp., Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, vol. 1 (1936).

Minutes and Records of Perquimans Monthly Meeting, 1680–1762 (Quaker Collection, Guilford College Library, Greensboro).

Nell Marion Nugent, comp., Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623–1800 (1934).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 1 (1886–90). Manuscript sources in North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh: Albemarle Book of Warrants and Surveys, 1681–1706.

Council Minutes, Wills, Inventories, 1677–1701.

Entry Book of Lords Proprietors of Carolina (microfilm).

Additional Resources:

"Remonstrance from the Quakers in Carolina to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, September 13, 1679." The Colonial Records of North Carolina vol. 1. Raleigh [N.C.]: P.M. Hale, printer to the state. 1886. 250-253. (accessed April 23, 2014).

Durant, George. "Report by George Durant concerning the case of Thomas Miller, including supporting depositions, November 1679." The Colonial Records of North Carolina vol. 1. Raleigh [N.C.]: P.M. Hale, printer to the state. 1886. 313-317 (accessed April 23, 2014).

Lords Proprietors. Report by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina concerning rebellion in Albemarle County, November 20, 1680." The Colonial Records of North Carolina vol. 1. Raleigh [N.C.]: P.M. Hale, printer to the state. 1886. 326-328 (accessed April 23, 2014).