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George Reade

George Reade was born in England, probably in 1608, to the Reade family of Facombe. His father was Robert Reade, but it was through his mother, Lady Mildred Windebank, that his most impressive connections are recorded. She was the daughter of Sir Thomas Windebank, Duke of Norfolk. Her brother, Sir Francis Windebank, was Secretary of State to King Charles I, and George Reade's older brother, Robert, was the private secretary of Sir Francis. With these connections it is not surprising that George Reade appeared initially on the scene in Virginia at a fairly high level.  

His presence in Virginia was first indicated in a letter home in 1637 in which he indicated that he was "still at the Governor's House." As Governor Harvey had been returned to the colony at the King's order in 1636, it is likely that Reade had accompanied him. Then when Secretary Kemp left for England in 1640 Reade served as the acting Secretary of the colony.

When shortly thereafter Governor Harvey experienced his second sudden departure for England, he left the affairs of the colony in the hands of Reade, the acting Secretary, thus making him in turn the acting Governor. The Council then elected George Reade to be Secretary of the Colony on 27 August 1640.  

In 1641 George Reade married Elizabeth Martiau, daughter of Nicholas Martiau, one of Virginia's early settlers and a skilled engineer of French origin, who had first come to Virginia in 1620 as the representative of Henry, the fifth Earl of Huntington. Their daughter, Mildred Reade, married Augustine Warner of Warner Hall, and the daughter of this marriage, Mildred Warner, married Lawrence Washington, the grandfather of George Washington. 

After their marriage the Reades established their home in the vicinity of Middle Plantation, and in 1649 George Reade was a Burgess from James City. In documents dated 1648 and 1650 he was granted 2000 acres of land adjacent to Chiskyak Creek near Yorktown where his father‑in‑law lived, and in 1652 Reade was a justice of York County.

 In 1656 George Reade was elected to represent York County in the House of Burgesses. In 1657 he was named to the Council, a position in which he was confirmed by Charles II upon the restoration in 1660 and which he retained for the rest of his life. In 1659 he was named Colonel of York County. Finally, his last will and testament was recorded at Jamestown in 1671.
  Nicholas Martiau - The Adventurous Hugenot, by John Baer Stoudt; Norristown, Pa, 1932
     (Facsimile copy available in the Virginia Room of the Alexandria Public Library)