Centreville in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Convicts and Slaves
Laboring at Newgate
Naming of Newgate
Before the town of Centreville was created in 1792, the area was named after places in London. Newgate Tavern may have been named after the infamous Newgate Prison. A property adjacent to the tavern was called Wapping after a district in east London. The small stream that divided the two was named after the River Thames.
Convicts to Virginia
From 1718 to 1775 over 20,000 convicts were shipped from England to Virginia under the authority of the Transportation Act of 1718. The British Treasury paid merchants a subsidy to transport convicts to the British colonies in North America. Most of the people were transported for stealing and were typically banished for a period of 7 years, although some were exiled for 14 years or life depending on their crime.
Merchants preferred transporting young, able-bodied men who they could sell as indentured servants. Skilled tradesmen brought the highest prices. Sales were conducted on board ship by the local agent who sold the convicts in lots to local buyers. The purchase price of convicts was substantially less than that of slaves. Irish convicts were also sent to Virginia.
Convicts and Slaves at Newgate
William Carr Lane and James Lane operated a nearby store and engaged in the sale of transported convicts. Early tax ledgers list
Most of the convicts sent to Virginia landed at ports on the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers, including the ports of Alexandria and Dumfries.
Location. 38° 50.413′ N, 77° 25.737′ W. Marker is in Centreville, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is at the intersection of Braddock Road (Virginia Route 620) and Mt Gilead Road, on the left when traveling west on Braddock Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Centreville VA 20120, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Newgate Tavern (here, next to this marker); Archaeology at Newgate Tavern (here, next to this marker); Centreville Methodist Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Stone Church (about 500 feet away); Minnie Minter Carter Saunders (about 500 feet away); St. John’s Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mount Gilead Historic Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Place on the High Ground (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Centreville.
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a map captioned Survery of the Northern Neck of Virginia, ca. 1747, by John Warner, Surveyor. Courtesy Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division. On the right side of the marker is an image captioned Runaway advertisement published in the Virginia Gazette, May 12, 1768. Courtesy Library of Virginia.
Also see . . . Wapping: A House of Entertainment. Northern Virginia History Notes, by Debbie Robison (Submitted on January 16, 2014.)
1. Fifteen Pounds Reward
Transcription of text of Runaway Advertisement on marker.
FIFTEEN POUNDS REWARD. RUN away from the subscriber, in Loudoun county, near Rocky Run chapel, two English convict servant men, both blacksmiths by trade. John Benhan, about 28 years of age, a slender made fellow, about five feet five or six inches high, stoops in his shoulders, has a very down look, and a hoarse voice; he wears his own hair, which is short, and had on when he went away, an oznabrig shirt, a short cotton jacket, cotton breeches, coarse stockings, and country shoes or pumps. John Miller, about 28 years of age, a short well set fellow, about five feet two or three inches high, wears his own short hair, has a very large scar in his forehead, has been in the country before, talks very much, and is very deceitful. He had on when he went away, a grey bearskin jacket and breeches, an oznabrig shirt, no stockings, and country shoes. They perhaps may both change their dress, as they took with them oznabrig trouwsers, and other cloaths. They also took with them, a Negro lad, about 18 years of age, named Jack, a short well set fellow, has lost the greatest part of his toes with the frost, is a very brisk lively fellow, and remarkably black. They stole out of my stable two horses, one a bay, about fourteen hands high, shod before, has a star in his forehead, hanging mane and switch tail, brand not known; the other a sorrel horse, with a star in his forehead very large, shod all round, and goes well. The Negro boy took with him a white horse, about 12 hands high, with a bob tail. Whoever takes up the said servants and Negro, and brings them to my house near Rocky Run chapel, in Loudoun county, shall receive the above reward, and if taken apart, five pounds reward for each. WILLIAM CARR LANE.
— Submitted January 16, 2014.
Categories. • African Americans • Colonial Era •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 16, 2014. This page has been viewed 505 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 16, 2014. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.