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Wallis (Wallace, Wallice), Robert

by Mattie Erma E. Parker, 1996

d. 25 Mar. 1712

Robert Wallis (Wallace, Wallice), Council member, Assembly member, and justice of the General Court and precinct court, settled in the North Carolina colony before 1668. Although a deposition made many years later places him among the early settlers of the colony, Wallis's name has not been found in surviving records before the 1680s, when it occurs occasionally in court records naming him as a juror, constable, or road surveyor. In January 1689 / 90 he was a justice of Pasquotank Precinct Court, but the full period of his tenure is unknown.

By 1 Jan. 1693 / 94 Wallis was a member of the Council, sitting as an "assistant," which indicates that he also was a member of the Assembly and had been appointed to the Council by that body. He remained on the Council at least through March 1694 / 95. As Council member he was ex officio justice of the General Court, but he attended as justice only in November 1694. In the early 1700s he advocated the establishment of the Anglican church and the placing of political disabilities on Quakers. His role in the establishment movement, however, probably was that of a private citizen, as he does not appear to have held public office after serving on the Council until 1711, when he was a member of the Assembly.

Wallis lived in Pasquotank Precinct, where he owned at least 400 acres of land. In addition to planting, he seems to have been engaged in a mercantile business. From time to time he also appeared as an attorney before the General Court. He was a member of the vestry of Pasquotank Parish in 1710 and probably was one of the original vestrymen.

Wallis's headrights included an Elizabeth Wallis, who may have been his wife. A Thomas Wallis also listed in his headrights may have been a son, but no later mention of him has been found. Wallis's only child known to have survived to adulthood was a son named William, who died shortly before his father's death. Robert Wallis left as his heir at law a grandson, William, son of the recently deceased William.

References:

J. Bryan Grimes, ed., Abstract of North Carolina Wills (1910).

J. R. B. Hathaway, ed., North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, vols. 1, 3 (1900, 1903).

North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh: various papers, particularly in Albemarle Book of Warrants and Surveys (1681–1706) and Council Minutes, Wills, and Inventories (1677–1701).

Mattie Erma E. Parker, ed., North Carolina Higher-Court Records, 1670–1696 and 1697–1701 (1968, 1971).

William S. Price, Jr., ed., North Carolina Higher-Court Records, 1702–1708 and North Carolina Higher-Court Minutes, 1709–1723 (1974, 1977).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 1 (1886).

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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