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From: "Kathryn Payne" <>
Subject: [WEBB] One Last Try: WEBB article
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 09:45:49 -0400

From: Lawmaking and legislators in Pennsylvania : a biographical
dictionary / Craig W. Horle ... [et al.] ; sponsoring
institutions, Center for Public Policy, Temple University ...
[et al.].
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, c1991-


ASSEMBLY: Chester Co. 1705

b. 19 March 1656, Gloucester, Glos., Eng. Arr. 1701. d. March 1720. Father: Richard Webb (1637-1683). Mother: Mary Holliday (Hayward) (Webb). m. Elizabeth ? (1663-1727; children: John; William, m. Rebecca Harlan, daughter of George Harlan; Mary, Esther; Sarah; Joseph; Daniel; James; Benjamin; Elizabeth. Offices: Chester Co: assessor, 1709-10; tax commissioner, 1711; JP. 1711, 1713, 1715, 1717-19; justice (president) for the trial of Negroes, 1718.[1]

Richard Webb, a Quaker yeoman and long-serving justice of the peace for Chester County, was elected only once to the Assembly.

Born in March, 1656, Richard Webb was the son of a Gloucestershire Quaker who was imprisoned in 1660 for refusing to take the oath of allegiance. In 1670 Gloucester authorities seized ?10 in goods from the home of Webb for attending Quaker meeting, and in the process, the town mayor allegedly "beate Richard Webb at his doore." Remaining in Gloucestershire, Webb married a Quaker who from 1697 to 1699 traveled in the ministry in America. Presumably, on her return to England, Elizabeth Webb influenced her husband to immigrate with her to Pennsylvania. Receiving a certificate of removal from Nailsworth Monthly Meeting on 27 August 1700 the Webbs, along with their children, arrived in Philadelphia by February 1701. After a brief stay in Philadelphia, Richard and Elizabeth Webb, accompanied by their children and several of his siblings who had immigrated at about the same time, settled on a relative's 200 acres in the manor of Rocklands, New Castle County. Richar!
d Webb became a landowner in his own right with his purchase of 415 acres in Birmingham Township on 22 April 1702, further acquiring 500 acres in Caln and Uwchlan townships in 1712. He sold a Philadelphia city lot he received as part of this 1712 purchase. A yeoman, Webb was moderately successful according to Chester County tax returns for Birmingham Township between 1715 and 1720. No returns for his other properties have been found, however.[2]

Elected in 1705 to an Assembly dominated by allies of William Penn, Webb played a minor role in the legislative process as recorded in the minutes. On behalf of the House, he asked David Lloyd, the former speaker, to return to the Assembly all public papers in his possession. The House was particularly concerned about an inflammatory remonstrance that Lloyd, ostensibly as speaker, had sent the previous year to the proprietor. Webb was also sent by the House at one point to inquire of Governor John Evans about a possible joint conference with the assembly.[3]

Unlike his provincial role, Webb's service at the local level was relatively extensive. He assisted in laying out roads in Chester County in 1704 and 1705, was appointed assessor in 1709 and 1710 and county commissioner in 1711, and was commissioned a county justice on 24 November 1711, a post he may have held until his death in 1720, although the paucity of extant records prevents a definitive conclusion.[4]

Initially a member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Webb was attending Concord Monthly Meeting by 1702. As the result of a report that he had behaved "to the dishonour of Truth," Webb was prevented from enjoying full membership in the Concord meeting. Apparently, sometime prior to 1704, he had persuaded a Bucks County woman "to drink to much Rum," which resulted in her subsequent "Disordering." Although the incident was minor, Philadelphia Friends balked at granting Webb a certificate of removal for six years, while several Friends, including William Hudson, Pentecost Teague, Samuel Preston, and Richard Hill, sought a resolution. Finally, on 27 January 1710 Webb condemned the incident and the certificate was granted. The issue resolved, Concord Friends appointed him a trustee of the meeting's burial ground in 1712 and one of their representatives to Chester Quarterly Meeting on five occasions between 1714 and 1719. Webb's wife, Elizabeth, continued to minis!
ter among Friends in various colonies and in England from 1704 to 1712, making a final trip to New England after her husband's death.[5]

Richard Webb's will, written on 2 March 1720 and proved 12 days later, bequeathed ?1 to each of his children while leaving all of this property to his wife. His personal estate was valued at ?280, and his lands were sold for a total of ?815. His debts, however, were ?and in 1722 Elizabeth Webb complained to Concord Monthly Meeting that her husband's estate was nearly expended and that she could no longer afford to care for his sister Mary. The meeting aided Elisabeth Webb with various contributions.[6]


[1] DQR, Glos. & Wilts.; PHMMR; The Friend, 29:77, COMMR, F & C, 364; CCR, 187, 204; PGM 22:115-17; Statutes, 2:370; CPS; PATBk. A, 4:262, 337, 5:117, 127, 217, 337, 389.

[2] Besse, 1:211; GBS, 1:428; PHMMR, PHMM, 28 Feb. 1700-01, 25 Feb. 1703/4; PA, 2d ser., 19:218, 320, 517; OR., 78: 30, 80:46-47, 63; W&S, 2:136, 5:59; PHDBk. E7, 8, 365; PATBk. A, 2:358; CCR, 8g; TP, 9:1797, 11:2249, 2274; CTL., 1715-1850.

[3] Votes, 1(pt 2): 54-70.

[4] CCR, 115, 145, 187, 284; F&C, 364; MPC 2:596; Statutes, 2:370.

[5] PHMM, 28 April, 26 May 1704, 30 March 1705, 28 Oct., 25 Nov., 30 Dec., 1709, 27 Jan. 1709/10; COMM. 8 Dec. 1712-3 Aug. 1719 passim; The Friend, 29:77.

[6] CW&A, #84; COMMR.

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