During the era of Protestant control in England (1649 to 1660), when King Charles II was in exile, he granted to six loyal supporters the rights to all land in the North American colonies lying between the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. Through deaths, marriages and other events, title passed completely into the hands of Thomas Culpeper, who was governor of Virginia from 1677 to 1683. When he died, title passed to his daughter Catherine, who married Thomas Fairfax, 5th Lord Fairfax of Cameron; and at her death in 1719, to their son, Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax.

Also called The Fairfax Grant, it is shown here in relation to today’s Virginia and West Virginia counties.


The Proprietors of the Northern Neck Grant issued landgrants to purchasers, like William Fitzhugh (the Immigrant) and Robert “King” Carter. For many years title to these grants was clouded for at least two reasons. First, the English government, through its colonial representative, the Virginia governor, also claimed title and offered to sell land in the Northern Neck area. Second, the exact boundaries of the Northern Neck were disputed, until finally settled based on surveys in 1736-37 and 1745.

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