Obedience Robins of Accomack: 17th-century strategies for success
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Obedience Robins emigrated to Virginia in the 1620s in search of the land and status his elder brother gained by inheritance. This thesis establishes motivations for immigration and methods by which one English emigre achieved success in Virginia. The 1582 will of Richard Robins established a pattern of primogeniture for successive generations of his Northamptonshire family. Muster lists, wills, parish registers and a 1591 manor survey record increasing prosperity and associated expectations. Robinses were among those "better sorts" who paid taxes, provided armour, held local office, educated their children, and protested against perceived government injustice. In Virginia, Richard Robins's great grandson parlayed his assets into land, office and status. The extent of his education and financial resources was probably limited, but good health, tinidng, ability and hard work brought him respect, a seat on the governors council, and his children's marriages within a coalescing Eastern Shore gentry. Robins's career in America paralleled that of his brother in England. Both abandoned their father's yeoman designation to become gentlemen in their own and their peers' estimations. Obedience Robins combined public office with private enterprise and agriculture with trade for social and economic security. The commonwealth period did not disrupt Virginia's colonial hierarchy. Robins and his fellow justices, n-militia officers and burgesses retained their positions within a framework of transported English institutions.
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Includes bibliographical references: p. 87-97.
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Wilheit, Mary Catherine (1997). Obedience Robins of Accomack: 17th-century strategies for success. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from