The History of Henry Esmond HTML version

The estate of Castlewood, in Virginia, which was given to our ancest-
ors by King Charles the First, as some return for the sacrifices made in
his Majesty's cause by the Esmond family, lies in Westmoreland county,
between the rivers Potomac and Rappahannock, and was once as great
as an English Principality, though in the early times its revenues were
but small. Indeed, for near eighty years after our forefathers possessed
them, our plantations were in the hands of factors, who enriched them-
selves one after another, though a few scores of hogsheads of tobacco
were all the produce that, for long after the Restoration, our family re-
ceived from their Virginian estates.
My dear and honored father, Colonel Henry Esmond, whose history,
written by himself, is contained in the accompanying volume, came to
Virginia in the year 1718, built his house of Castlewood, and here per-
manently settled. After a long stormy life in England, he passed the re-
mainder of his many years in peace and honor in this country; how be-
loved and respected by all his fellow-citizens, how inexpressibly dear to
his family, I need not say. His whole life was a benefit to all who were
connected with him. He gave the best example, the best advice, the most
bounteous hospitality to his friends; the tenderest care to his dependants;
and bestowed on those of his immediate family such a blessing of fath-
erly love and protection as can never be thought of, by us, at least,
without veneration and thankfulness; and my sons' children, whether es-
tablished here in our Republic, or at home in the always beloved mother
country, from which our late quarrel hath separated us, may surely be
proud to be descended from one who in all ways was so truly noble.
My dear mother died in 1736, soon after our return from England,
whither my parents took me for my education; and where I made the ac-
quaintance of Mr. Warrington, whom my children never saw. When it
pleased heaven, in the bloom of his youth, and after but a few months of
a most happy union, to remove him from me, I owed my recovery from
the grief which that calamity caused me, mainly to my dearest father's
tenderness, and then to the blessing vouchsafed to me in the birth of my
two beloved boys. I know the fatal differences which separated them in
politics never disunited their hearts; and as I can love them both, wheth-
er wearing the King's colors or the Republic's, I am sure that they love
me and one another, and him above all, my father and theirs, the dearest