Northampton County

Northampton County, highlighted in map of Virginia

In 1643 the General Assembly changed the name of Accomac(k) County to Northampton County, perhaps as part of the purge of Native American names such as Warrosquyoake (now Isle of Wight).

In 1663, there were enough English settlers travelling long distances to the monthly courts to justify dividing Northampton into two counties. The southern portion retained the name of Northampton, the home county of local leader Obedience Robins. The northern part adopted the old name of Accomac(k). The decision to split the counties gave Col. Edmund Scarborough, the agressive competitor with Obedience Robins, control over a county court.

However, in 1670 Scarborough over-reached and almost initiated a war with local Native American tribes. Governor Berkeley was unable to punish Scarborough because he was a member of the General Assembly representing Accomack County - so the governor abolished Accomack County and reconsolidated it with Northampton. That change eliminated Scarborough's exemption from prosecution.

In 1673, after Scarborough's death, the counties were split again, but Accomack was given more land than Northampton. In 1687, Northampton County managed to get the boundary with Accomack County moved north, so each county would have about the same amount of territory.1

Barrier Islands

Cape Charles - a Railroad Town Without a Railroad

Chesapeake Bay Geology and Sea Level Rise

The Chesapeake Bay "Bolide" That Shaped the Groundwater in Southeastern Virginia

Eastern Shore

Virginia and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)

Will Norfolk (and the Rest of Hampton Roads) Drown?

in 1879, Harper's New Monthly Magazine found Eastville to be a quaint, sleepy place
in 1879, Harper's New Monthly Magazine found Eastville to be a "quaint, sleepy place"2
Source: Library of Congress, A Peninsular Canaan in Harper's New Monthly Magazine (May 1879)


flooding risk at Town of Cape Charles
flooding risk at Town of Cape Charles
Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) Viewer


1. Susie M. Ames , "The Reunion of Two Virginia Counties," in The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Nov., 1942), pp. 536-548, Southern Historical Association, (last checked August 22, 2008)
2. Howard Pyle, "A Peninsular Canaan," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 58 Issue 348 (May 1879). p.848, (last checked July 16, 2014)

Existing Virginia Counties
Virginia Places