I told you in the blog about Thomas and Hannah Bentley that there had been an ad placed in Ben Franklin's Philadelphia newspaper about a runaway named Thomas Bentley. I am not saying that this is our Thomas. However, I did find another such listing for a different plantation so there were multiple Thomas Bentley's who shall we say, "left their former employment without notice". I did find the original wording on the ad that appeared in Virginia and I thought that you might enjoy reading it.
"Surry County, VA - Extracts from Records; William and Mar y College Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 2", Transcribed by Kathy Merrill for the USGenWeb Archives Special Collections Project
Surry County, Virginia Militia in 1687:
Thomas Bentley, Jr. is listed, serving under Col Phillip Ludwell, Virginia Colonial Militia, 1651-1776 For Horse Heading: Militia in Surry County in 1687
Thomas Bentley, Jr. is listed, serving under Col Phillip Lu dwell
The eldest son of Thomas and Hannah, Ludwell Lee, Philip Ludwell (1727-1775) was carefully prepared to be the heir to his father's rapidly growing empire.
Philip Ludwell (LEE) had recruited an English coachman, Thomas Bentley, to serve him for four years. Bentley evidently found the position disagreeable and absconded before his term expired. He was a valuable enough employee that his irritated master went to the expense of not only advertising for his capture, but also offering a reward.
The Virginia Gazette, Purdie and Dixon, 16 August 1770.
RUNAWAY SLAVE- THOMAS BENTLEY?
Posted by: W. BENTLEY
Date: July 29, 2001 at 09:10:12
RUNAWAY SLAVE ADVERTISEMENT FROM 18TH - CENTURY NEWSPAPER
(PURDIE & DIXON), WILLIAMSBURG
AUGUST 16, 1770
RUNAWAY FROM STRATFORD, IN WESTMORELAND, THE 26TH OF JULY, AN INDENTURED SERVANT NAMED THOMAS BENTLEY. HE IS AN ENGLISHMAN, ABOUT SIX FEET HIGH, WEARS HIS OWN HAIR, WHICH IS LIGHT BROWN, IS PALE FACED, HAS A IMPUDENT WAY OF TALKING , AND IS BY PROFESSION A COACHMAN. WHEN HE WENT AWAY HE HAD ON AN OSNABRUG COAT, JACKET, AND BREECHES, THE CUFFS OF THE COAT RED LINEN. HE CARRIED WITH HIM WHITE AND BROWN THREAD STOCKING, TWO PAIR SHOES, ONE ENGLISH, THE OTHER COUNTTR Y MADE, A SAILOR'S HAT BOUND WITH BLACK WORSTED FERRET, TWO SHIRTS, AND SUNDRY GOOD CLOTHES. WHOEVER APPREHENDS THE SAID SERVENT, AND CONVEYS HIM TO ME, SHALL HAVE 30 SHILLING S REWARD, IF TAKEN OUT OF THE COLONY 31 BESIDES WHAT THE LAW ALLOWS.
PHILLIP LUDWELL LEE
From the Bentley forum on Genealogy.com
Re: RUNAWAY SLAVE- THOMAS BENTLEY?
Posted by: Fran (ID *****4434)
Date: July 26, 2002 at 21:05:56
In Reply to: RUNAWAY SLAVE- THOMAS BENTLEY? by W. BENTLEY
I also am a descendant of Thomas and Hannah Bentley. But, what I have to say isn't about Bentleys.
The unfortunate Thomas Bentley may have run away because he was overdue for release. It seems Phillip Ludwell Lee made a practice of refusing to release indentured servants at the end of their term of service. My husband's ancestor Richard Mynatt signed a four year contract in 1749 in London (I have a copy of the contract) at the end of his contrac t in 1754 he had to go to court to get released from Phillip Ludwell Lee's service. Many of Lee's indentured servant s did not have the education to represent themselves in cou rt.
Stratford Hall (The Lee Estate) Website