| On Jan. 20, 1708 Sir John Colleton
conveyed to Thomas Broughton 4,423 a.cres granted to Sir Peter Colleton
in I679. That convenance, in Grant Book 1701-1712, p. 37 stated that the
plantation was then known as "Mulberry Plantation". This began a
series of land transactions between the two families which would give the
Broughtons title to the portion of Fairlawn on which Thomas Broughton had
built his settlement. This must have been one of the choice spots in the
Province having once been set aside for Lord Ashley.
| The house built by Broughton
in 1714 has come to be known as "Mulberry Castle," but in his will he calls
it his mansion. Mansion house is a term found in early wills to describe
the first retentious houses built by the first wealthy English settlers
and the of self-made men who acquired fortunes in "Indian trading, planting,
soldiering, and office holding."
| Samuel Gaillard Stoney writes
that Broughton built Mulberry to be a family seat for future generations.
This assumption is borne out by Broughton's will which leaves it to his
widow for her life, with the provision that it go to his eldest son Captain
Nathaniel Broughton. From his study of the house Stoney concludes that
only the second stony interior and the towers refIect truly "the
taste of the old house." He states that the main rooms were redecorated
in the late 1700's with the wealth from the rich swamp fields and the rice
fields along the river. He further states that Mulberry "is one of the
few buildings of brick laid in English bond" left in this section outside
Charleston. The dates are cut through the weather vanes of the four towers.
The house and grounds, including the gardens; have been preserved and carefully
maintained by the owners during the last half-century. The present owner,
Mrs. Fannie Brawley, has continued this tradition and has been most generous
in permitting the citizens of Berkeley County to visit this historic spot
during its most beautiful season.
| Thomas Broughton was married
about 1683 to Anne Johnson, daughter of Sir Nathaniel Johnson of Silk Hope.
It is thought that they were married in England .and were related: He had
relatives who remained in England, but his sister Constantia married the
second Cassique John Ashby of Quenby Plantation, and their daughter married
Gabriel Manigault, reputed to have. been one of the wealthiest men of that
day in Carolina.
| Like his father-in-law, Sir
Nathaniel Johnson, he was of the high church party and involved in some
of the unsavory practices of the Indian trade and in the effort to bar
dissenters from participation in the government.
| In 1708, Broughton was one of
the signers, along with the Governor; in the report to the Crown on the
state of the Province. When the Free School Act came into being, he was
one of the Commissioners.
| In 1709, there was a riot in
Charles Town during the struggle between Thomas Broughton and Robert Gibbes
as to which of the deputies of a Proprietor would fill the place of governor
after the death of Governor Tynte. Broughton carried an armed force from
his plantation, presumably Mulberry, to "Town." Gibbes was already in office
in Charles Town and called out the militia to keep Broughton's forces outside
the wallsof the Town. With help from within, the Broughton party forcibly
entered. There was much confusion, but Broughton was unsuccessful in taking
the office. The affair has been described as a "discreditable controversy"
among men who called themselves the first citizens.
| In 1716, when a Commission
was set up to try captured pirates, the Hon. Thomas Broughton, Speaker
of. the House of Assembly, was one of the Assistant Judges appointed. He
later served again in the same capacity. During the Yemassee War of 1715
the Rev. Robert Maule of St. John's, Berkeley, and a number of the people
remained,at Mulberry for safety for four months.
| On April 30, 1717, Thomas Broughton
was one of the group designated to serve as the Council when. the Proprietors
issued a commission to Robert Johnson as Governor. In the last legislation
under the Proprietors as ratified on March 20, 1718-19, Broughton was one
of three commissioners to regulate Indian Trade. However during the struggle
of the Proprietors to retain control of the Province, Broughton was left
off the Council even though he was a brother-in-law to the Governor.
| In 1731, when Robert Johnson
returned to the Province from England as Royal Governor, he brought a Commission
for Thomas Broughton as Lieutenant Governor; and when Governor Johnson
died on May 3, 1735. Thomas Broughton, as Lieutenant Governor, proclaimed
himself Governor, the fulfillment of an old aspiration. Historians have
termed him plain and honest,. but freely permitting other leading men "without
many scruples" to acquire large possessions.
| At the very beginning of the
Broughton administration, the Commons House of Assembly in March of 1735
challenged his attempt to add 2,100 pounds to the money bill as prepared
by the Commons. Then the Lieutenant Governor and the Council challenged
the Commons, the reply was a denial of any right of the Council to amend
a money bill. On the 29th. of March Broughton adjourned the Assembly, until
the l5th. of April. When the Assembly met again, the Commons refused to
yield what it considered the parliamentary right of Englishmen to be taxed
by their representatives only. For a year no supply bill was passed. The
Lieutenant Governor died on the 22nd. of November, 1737 and was succeeded
by William Bull, the senior member of his Majesty's Council. Under the
Lords Proprietors, Carolinians had served as Governor, but under the Crown,
local leaders could never expect any thing higher than Lieutenant Governor,
and outsiders were sent in as Governor and to fill many other offices as
favorites of the Crown.
| Thomas Broughton had a daughter
Joanna who was married in 1732 to Thomas Monck, Esq., who purchased Mitton
Plantation from James LeBas in 1735, probably because it was near the Broughtons;
but also very probably because he realized the commercial possibilities
at the junction of the roads there.
| In 1731/2, his daughter Christiana
was married to the Rev. Daniel Dwight. His will also names an unmarried
daughter Constantia and a daughter Anne, the wife of John Gibbes of Barbados
and Goose Creek.
| Of his sons, the eldest was
Captain Nathaniel Broughton, who married Henrietta Charlotte de Chastaigner,
commanded a company the Yemassee War (1715), lived for a time at Seaton,
but gave it up in order to inherit Mulberry under the terms of his father's
will. The second son Andrew married Hannah Guerard and received Seaton
under the father's will. Robert received the tract called Mount Pleasant.
In 1734 Nathanlel and Andrew, along with their father received Commissions
as Justices of the Peace for Berkeley County. In 1737 the two sons
again received such commissions.
| Mulberry Plantation has long
been listed as an important historic site and, under the National Historic
Preservatlon Act of 1966, the Plantation is listed on the National Register.
Information and Article from
"Historic Ramblin's Through
written by and used with permission
Mr. J. Russell Cross