Notes for James Shelton: [reeder615c.FTW] "Gentleman" James Shelton
He came to Virginia from England with his kinsman, Lord De La Warr, in June 1610. He was a member of the first courts from 1619 to 1624 and was a resident of Jamestown, Virginia in 1620. In 1642 he was a member of the later court. He and his father were members of the London Company. James had a land grant on the Potomac, October 16, 1650. Part of "Currioman" Westmoreland County, Virginia, was one of the original land grants of James. This grant was probably taken up by his son Thomas Shelton, who died in Cecil County, Maryland in 1650. James moved to Bermuda, where he also had large land grants. He is named in the "Partial List of Families in America Entitled to Bear Arms". The illustration of the plate he used, however, is not given. Coats of Arms were, in the Middle Ages, the distinctive signs of the "gentleman" in English society. The rigid etiquette observed in the county records of Virginia for the 17th century, showed that these distinctions prevailed her in Virginia as well. None, to my knowledge at this early period assumed the name of "gentleman" without claim to arms, and the bearer of arms was a "gentleman" according to the original definition of Sir Edward Coke...'It has been generally agreed by English and American writers that in America the use of arms by a family pervious to the Revolution may be taken as evidence that this family had a right to the use thereof An English coach painter came to New England about 1750 and furnished a number of families with arms which have been since discovered bogus. Virginia was the especial scene of Thomas Jefferson, who as the 'apostle of democracy strove to do away with all distinctions in society. When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, England for the first time since 1485 was not under the rule of the Tudors. In that year of 1603 the English crown passed from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland. He was known as King James I an was the first ruler of the House of Stuart. In 1606 King James I granted a charter for the settlement of South Virginia to an association of "noblemen, gentlemen, and merchants." The association was known as the London Company, or the Virginia Company of London, since most of its members lived in London. Some of the Sheltons belonged to this company. Some Sheltons also owned their own ships and did a large trading business with Bermuda and America. The Governor of Bermuda, Captain Wodehouse, was a kinsman of Sir Ralph Shelton, whose mother was a Wodehouse. Sir John Shelton, son of James Shelton (the first Shelton in America) is given on a list of ship owners and merchants who made large sales of commodities to the Virginia planters.