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1-540-373-2500 Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Warrior Gregory Speck Portrays The Right Reverend Miles Selden

At the kind invitation of Stephen Wilson, Director of the Historic St. John’s Church Foundation in Richmond, Warrior Gregory Speck recently portrayed the historical figure The Reverend Miles Selden at their weekly Reenactment of the Second Virginia Convention of March 1775, where Patrick Henry gave his inspirational oration ending with his riveting words “I know not what path others may choose, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” Those legendary words initiated the Revolutionary War, a full month before the April 1775 Massachusetts skirmishes of Lexington and Concord, and galvanized The Crown Colony of Virginia to lead The Thirteen Colonies in their epic struggle for independence against the gargantuan military and colossal naval forces of King George III of Great Britain.

Actors in elaborate period costumes and elegant powdered wigs portrayed Colonel George Washington, Burgess Thomas Jefferson, Convention President Peyton Randolph, Burgess Richard Henry Lee, and of course Burgess Patrick Henry, among others more or less patriotic, in the electrifying performance, and it turns out that Mr. Speck’s 6th great uncle, Charles Lynch. Jr. (1736-1796), Colonel during the Revolutionary War of the Bedford Militia, was also a Justice and a Burgess, and was present at that captivating and pivotal speech by his great friend Henry, whose Brookneal plantation Red Hill was only a few miles from Colonel Lynch’s Altavista plantation, then known as Green Level, but which burned in 1875, on a site now occupied by the utterly magnificent historic mansion Avoca, which was built there by his direct descendants, the Dearings and the Fauntleroys.

Colonel Lynch was also present at Patrick Henry’s equally inspirational 1765 speech delivered at The House of Burgesses in Williamsburg, where the fiery patriot protested King George’s tyrannical Stamp Act, which immortal exhortation concluded with the compelling words “If this be treason, then let us make the most of it!” Colonel Lynch, notorious for Lynch Law, by which he openly pursued, captured, punished, fined, and conscripted royalists and loyalists who sought to remain faithful to the British Empire, and not to The Old Dominion, was the older brother of Mr. Speck’s 5th great grandfather, John Lynch (1740-1820), who in 1786 founded the City of Lynchburg, among the few Confederate cities that never surrendered to Union forces.

The father of John and Charles Lynch, Jr. was of course Charles Lynch, Sr. (1703-1755), Mr. Speck’s Qualifying Ancestor for the General Society of Colonial Wars, who was a Justice, a Burgess, a Captain of the Albemarle Militia, and the builder of a Lynchburg plantation known as Chestnut Hill, which he left to his younger son John Lynch. Charles Lynch was also a direct descendant of Sir Thomas de Lynch (1284), an Anglo-Norman knight whose descendant Lynch dynasty formed the most prominent clan among a group of merchant oligarchs known as “The Twelve Tribes of Galway” in Galway, Ireland, whence they established Irish trade with Spain and France, always remained loyal to the British crown, provided no less than 72 of the Mayors of Galway over 184 years in the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries, and built towering Lynch Castle, which still stands at the center of that ancient city of The Emerald Isle.


Photo: Warrior Gregory Speck (left) Portrayed The Right Reverend Miles Selden at the St. John’s Historic Church Reenactment of the Second Virginia Convention on June 12.

Warrior Gregory Speck Portrays The Right Reverend Miles Selden
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