Green Rives of Dinwiddie County Virginia

Transcribed from book written by John R. T. Rives

"Here lyeth the body of Robert Ryves who departed this life 11th day of February anno 1551." The Ryves Coat of Arms is engraved on the tomb stone.

Arms—Argent, on bend cotizel, sable, three lozenges ermine.
Crest A grey hound sejant sable: bezante. collared or.
(Hutchins History of Dorset BIandford, Dorsetshire, England


Dr. George Ryves, son of John Rives, born about 1559, one of the illustrious scholars of his day, in England. Entered Winchester College in 1574 as of Blandford Dorsetshire. Rector of Blandford St. Mary's church, Dorset 1.589. He died at Oxford May 31, 1613.


"George Ryves, D. D. Warden of New College 1559 — Vice Chancelor, 1601 and afterwards Warden of Winchester College."

Wood (Life and Times, vol. iv, p, 173) recounts that on 31 July 1610 at 9 A.M., the first stone of Wadham College at Oxford was laid by the Vice Chancellor, Dr. (George) Ryves, of New College, who made an elegant oration in Latin in praise of the work and its founders.

2His chief title to more than casual notice, however, rests in the fact that he was one of the translators of the King James Authorized Version of the Bible, more specifically, overseeing the translation of the New Testament (6 ) as appears from a letter addressed on April 19, 1609, by the Bishop of Winchester to Sir Thomas Lake, chief secretary to King James I, as follows:

"After my verie harty commendations whereas doctor Ryves Warden of the new Colledge in Oxford and one of the overseers of that part of the New Testament which is there translated out of Greek and Mr. Nicholas Love Scholemaster of Winchester are willing with my allowance to exchange some of their livings being of my patronage that they may lay them near together and more commodious to the rest of there livinges and there is no let to the performance thereof but his majestie's pleasure signified by his letters to the late Bishop of London now Bishop of Canterbury that the next benefice of my gifte and of 20 pounds or above in the King's bookes that shall fall voyde should be reserved for some of those that are employed in the translation of the Bible I doe not conceive that his Majesty's meaning thereby was to bar the men from exchanging their livings otherwise permitted by the lawes but that such livings as fell voyd should be reserved for the translators. I shall hartely thank you if you will take opportunity to know his majesty's pleasure therein and obteyn his letters to signifie to me his princely pleasure. The men are both of good desert, the one imployed in the oversight of the translation and the other toke to small paynes indoing his duetie both for the enterteinement of his majestie and the prince when they were at Winchester." (State Papers, Jas. I., Vol, xii, No. 73) .

Dr. George Ryves was one of the "privileged persons" taxed by the Vice Chancellor and others of the University of Oxford in 7 James I (1610) in an amount of 20 shillings for lands.

He appears as a taxpayer also in 1611 (Lay Subsidy Roll, 163 /437) . He left no will and Hutchins is the authority for his death without issue.

6* "The Authorized Version of the Bible was begun in 1605 and completed in 1611. Dr. George Ryves no doubt served on one of the six original committees         which met at Oxford for the purpose of organizing the work of translation."

Anthony Woods Antiquitates Oxoniensis—publish-ed 1674 in England records: "Elisa Ryves wrote the "Hermit of Snowden" and some popular translations from the French." She died in 1697 and is buried at Blandford. (Hutchins)

"Thomas Ryves, or as he styles himself in his Latin writings, "Rivius' 8th son of John Ryves of Damory." There is little doubt that the Rives were Hugenots who, for this reason, took refuge in England some time prior to 1545, as French history records the persecutions of the Hugenots and Calvinists during and after that time, culminating in the massacre of 30,000 Hugenots on St. Bartholomew's day August 22, 1572. The Rives have always been known for their love of Liberty and Independence.

The Rives came over with the Cavalier emigration1649-1659 and settled on the James River in Virginia. 


DR. BRUNE RYVES (1596-1677)
Chaplain to King Charles I and II


"Brune Ryves, D. D. 4th son of Thomas of Damory, noted minister-chaplain to King Charles I, 1628. Published a sermon on 1st Timothy VI-10 and 2nd Timothy IV-7."


Brune Ryves

Dr. Brune Ryves, one of the most worthy Ryves family of England. He was the author of Mercurius Rusticus, or The Countries Complaint of the Barbarous Outrages Committed by the Sectaries of this Late Flourishing Kingdome, 1646.

The dire straits to which his loyalty to the King had reduced Dr. Ryves are illustrated in a petition presented by him in December 1646 to the Committee for Compositions set up by Parliment at Goldsmith's Hall wherein it was set forth:

"That your Petitioner being commanded by virtue of his oath to attend his Majesty as Chaplaine in Ordinary was in Oxford when that Garrison was surrendered on Articles whereupon his Parsonage and estate have been sequestered for delinquency upon his adhering to the King against the Parliment of England. Your Petitioner therefore humbly prayeth that he may be admitted to compound according to the Articles of Oxford."

"It is interesting to observe from a pass which is given him by Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Forces raised by Parliment"  that Dr. Ryves to have contemplated removing himself beyond the seas, perhaps to Virginia.

He died at Windsor 13 July 1677 and was buried in the alley or isle joining on the south side of his majesty's chappell of St. George there.


The Rives in Virginia

Margaret Rives King of Cincinnati wrote "Ancestral Homes in Virginia - Virginia Life" in 1890 from which we quote the following: "England was not the original home of the Ryves, who trace their family to Languadoc, France, where the name was spelt Rives. There is at Rookwood a quaint old cabinet of carved oak, bearing the Rives Crest. 'A greyhound conchant' which came from Dijon, France. It is a rare old relic of ancestral worth. Rookwood was built in 1847 near Cincinnati. The first trace of our ancestors in this country is found near Petersburg, Va. where the great grand-father of my father (Dr. Landon Cabell Rives) restored the French spelling. One brother of my grand-father removed to Georgia where there are still some of his descendants as there is also some in Tennessee. Annie Rives, daughter of Dr. Landon Cabell Rives, was born October 1822 and married Dr. Joseph Longworth, May 13, 1841.

(Hon. Nicholas Longworth, elected speaker of the House of Representatives in Congress, December, 1925, was a grandson of Dr. Joseph Longworth and his wife Annie (Rives) Longworth.) Nicholas Longworth, married Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States.

Clara Rives Longworth, born in Cincinnati, Ohio; Granddaughter of Dr. Joseph Longworth, married in 1901, Comte Adalbert de Chambrun, whose father was Counsellor of the French Embassy in Washington for almost a generation. Colonel Comte de Chambrun was French Aide-de-Camp to General Pershing and Chief of the French Mission with American General Headquarters during the World War, and was for five years after the war, Brigadier General, commanding the French forces at Fez in Morocco, being now in command of the Toulouse Division of the French Army. The Comtesse de Chambrun, who maintains a home in Paris at 58 Rue Vaugirard, has fully fulfilled the liter ary traditions of her family. Several years ago the Sorbonne conferred upon her the much prized degree of Doctor of Letters for her remarkable thesis on the influence of Montaigne's Essays upon Shakespeare's development. In addition to the publication of several novels, she has attained wide-spread celebrity by her latest work, Shakespeare Actor-Poet, of which she has done a French as well as an English version.

The Count Rene de Chambrun, is a great-great-great grandson of the revered patriot Lafayette, and a U. S. citizen by virtue of an early Maryland statute that conferred rights of citizenship upon all of General Lafayette's male descendants. In 1956 Count de Chambrun and his wife came into possession of the fifteenth century castle, La Grange, Lafayette's home. In the attics, which had been closed for nearly a hundred years, they found a cache of papers, letters and books, which represent one of the great historical discoveries of this century.

Count de Chambrun and his wife are now engaged in sorting and cataloging the thousands of items discovered at La Grange. They also are working to turn the castle with all Lafayette's possessions into a museum. Count de Chambrun says: "It is our hope that some day the people of America will find at La Grange the spirit of Lafayette and of his remarkable wife, Adrienne."

Castle Hill

The famous old Colonial estate of Castle Hill originally belonged to Nicholas Meriwether. It is nestled at the foot of Peter's Mountain and is the most widely known home in this historic part of Virginia.

In 1741 Nicholas Meriwether's widow, who was a cousin of George Washington, married Dr. Thomas Walker, and it was through this marriage that he became the owner of Castle Hill. This estate was subdivided many times. Cismont, Castalia, Music Hall, Belvoir, Kinloch, Merrie Mills, Keswick, Edgeworth, Cobham Park, the Creek and Mechunk were once part of the original Castle Hill estate.

Dr. Thomas Walker's ancestors came to Virginia about 1650 from Staffordshire, England. He was a physician, surveyor, planter, explorer, soldier and politician. In fact, he led a very, very useful life. He was also a pioneer plantation owner; went to Kentucky on an exploring expedition in 1750, and probably was the first white man to enter the wilds of Kentucky. In colonial times he was Major and Quartermaster-General of the Colonial forces in Virginia, a member of the House of Burgesses and the Committee of Safety.

Judith Page Walker, granddaughter of Dr. Thomas Walker, inherited Castle Hill from her father, Francis Walker. She married William Cabell Rives, United States Senator and twice Minister to France. It is interesting to note that she was not only a daughter of a United States Senator, but the wife of one also.


May 3, 1793-April 25, 1868
Statesman, Diplomat and Biographer


                                                                        - Courtesy Virginia Historical Society

"It is principle alone which constitutes the legitimate distinction of party. When a party abandons its principles, and is held together only by some common interest of power or office, it loses everything which sanctions and dignifies political associations, and it degenerates at once into faction."

William Cabell Rives,
March, 1839       


Boxwood Hedge at Castle Hill


William Cabell Rives, born May 4, 1793, studied law and politics under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, 1809-1811; United States Senator from Virginia and United States Ambassador to France during theVan Buren administration. He was one of five, cornmissioners sent from Virginia to the "Peace Congress" which met in Washington February 4, 1861. On July 20, 1861, he was elected one of the Virginia delegation to the first Confederate Congress which assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, in February, 1862.


2 Rives Childs—"Reliques of the Rives"

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