Ancestors in their own words.
November 2, 1709
I rose at 6 o’clock and read a chapter in Hebrew and some Greek. … I said my prayers and ate milk for breakfast. … We went to dinner about 4 o’clock and I ate boiled beef again. In the evening I went to Dr. [Barret’s] where my wife came this afternoon. Here I found Mrs. Chiswell, my sister Custis, and other ladies. We sat and talked till about 11 o’clock and then retired to our chambers. I played at [r-m] with Mrs. Chiswell and kissed her on the bed till she was angry and my wife also was uneasy about it, and cried as soon as company was gone. I neglected to say my prayers, which I should not have done, because I ought to beg pardon for the lust I had for another man’s wife. However, I had good health, good thoughts, and good humor, thanks be to God Almighty.
William Byrd II (1674-1744), a wealthy planter in Charles City County, Va., is considered the founder of Richmond. Born in Virginia and educated as a lawyer in England, Byrd owned around 4,000 books, the most valuable library in Virginia. His day typically began with reading Greek or Latin texts.