Lord Lillington

South of Keetha Point on Lake George, beyond Georgetown and Lake George Point, Charles Bernard located a 10,000-acre tract for Lord Lillington. Bernard came from England with commissions to select sites for the Earl of Moira, Lord Beresford, and other grantees. For Lillington, Bernard selected a tract on the north and east of Lake George that he named Lillington Plantation. Bernard claimed to have built a wharf on Lake George, where he docked two large vessels carrying "40-60 tons burthen" that he navigated up the St. Johns River. "The Great Lake," Bernard extolled, was "superior to Lake Geneva in Switzerland," located about 130 miles from the Atlantic Ocean on a river he called "the most beautiful I ever saw.” The climate was "agreeable," better than in France and Italy, and appeared to be frostproof. After effusive praise of the varieties of flowers and trees found at Lake George, and the abundance of deer, bear, and other wild game, Bernard said he purchased six horses at six guineas each and ordered 200 head of "stock cattle" at thirty shillings apiece to be driven south from Georgia and turned out to graze on Lillington's abundant acreage. His plan was to let them graze and multiply and, after two or three years, begin butchering one a day without diminishing the herd. In the meantime there would be milk, butter and cheese. In the future, if Bernard was hired to be agent for the estates on Lake George, he planned to save money by personally driving the cattle from Georgia. He also informed Lord Lillington that he had planted a crop of white mulberry bushes with seed obtained in South Carolina.

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Lillington Plantation was located in the general vicinity of what is now Georgetown. Drayton Island, can be reached via a brief ferry ride. Like Lake Geneva in Switzerland, Lake George is a stunningly beautiful body of water.

Plat Map for Lord Lillington

The mapmaker who drew "Exact Plan of the River St. Johns in East Florida, with part of the Sea Coast" (PRO MR 2/6), placed the names of Andrew Turnbull and Miss Mary Turnbull on the site selected for Lord Lillington. If accurate, it would indicate that the Lillington grant papers were not finalized and the land was regranted in the 1770s. James Grant made reference to 2500 acres on Lake George north of Moira granted to Turnbull in a letter to the Earl of Cassillis, February 9, 1768.

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