- Brent Tarter
Lynch, Charles (1736–29 October 1796), planter, and the man whose name probably gave rise to the phrase “lynch law,” was born in Virginia (town unknown), the son of Charles Lynch and Sarah Clark, Quakers who had immigrated to Virginia from Ireland. The city of Lynchburg, Virginia, which is located at the site of Lynch’s ferry over the James River, was named for a member of the family, probably his brother John Lynch. As a young man, Charles Lynch served as clerk of the Friends’ South River monthly meeting, but he probably did not share the antipathy to slavery that Quakers increasingly manifested during the latter portion of the eighteenth century, and he did not scruple in April 1767 to take the oaths to qualify as a justice of the peace of Bedford County, Virginia. For taking the oaths and attempting to justify his conduct, the South River monthly meeting disowned him on 20 December 1767. Lynch lived in the portion of Bedford County that became Campbell County in 1781, and he served as a justice of the peace in the new county too. In 1755 he married Anne (or Anna) Terrell, who was also a Quaker and according to her gravestone remained a member of the Society of Friends until her death. The couple had five children....