Adventures of the Heart
WHEN DANIEL PARKE was born in Virginia during 1669, it seems to have been to realize the Biblical prophecy that the sins of the fathers shall be visited onto the children even unto the third or the fourth generation. That he sent money down the years along with the sins increased their lethalness. 1 But after some of his riches had left the family through the remarriage of a granddaughter-in-law, they went to a hero and thus contributed to the birth of the United States.
Daniel Parke inherited not only money but position. A member of the King's Council while still in his twenties, he struck the Governor with a horsewhip. Having married in Virginia and fathered two daughters, he sailed to England, where he sparkled while his Virginia family lived in relative penury. As colonel and aide-de-camp to Marlborough, he carried the news of Blenheim to Queen Anne, who gave him her miniature set in diamonds and £1000. Then he became Governor of the Leeward Islands.
Even if living poorly for the moment, Parke's two daughters were presumptive heiresses to a huge estate. Lucy married Virginia's celebrated patrician William Byrd. Frances (Nancy) married another inheritor of wealth, John Custis.
Custis knew that Nancy was a shrew, but considered the money he expected to inherit through her as a poultice for