|Richard Royster Royall [aka
Richard and R. R.] was the youngest child born to
Captain William and Elizabeth Bedford Royall of Halifax
County, Virginia. He was born June 1 1798. When Royall
became twenty-one years of age, his father gave him a
plantation near Tuscumbia, Alabama. On his way to
Alabama, he stopped off at Nashville, Tennessee, to
visit the Underwood family. Richard fell in love with
their daughter, Ann, and six months later, they were
married. Before Ann died on their Matagorda County
plantation, in February, 1836, they had six children.
Royall was a friend of Stephen F.
Austin and by 1832, he had emigrated to Texas with some
eleven prominent families from Tuscumbia, Alabama. The
schooner arrive in 1832 and landed in Matagorda during a
storm. The immigrants and livestock were saved, but some
of the household goods and farming implements were lost.
On January 3, 1839, he married
Elizabeth Ann (Allen) Love, in Houston. Elizabeth was
born November 9, 1819, in New York and came to Texas
with the A. C. Allen family.
Royall was active in the colony
and was president of the committee of safety of
Matagorda Municipality. He was the delegate to the
Convention of 1833, temporary chairman of the
Consultation of 1835, and a member of the General
Council of the provisional government of Texas from
December 6, 1835, to January 17, 1836. This first
governing body, which met at San Felipe on October 11,
1835, elected Royall as president; their purpose was to
make preparations for war. For twenty-one days, October
11-31, 1835, the Permanent Council was the government of
Revolutionary Texas. It accomplished much important work
during this time--perhaps the most critical period in
the organization of the Revolution of Texas.
Royall was elected a delegate to
the convention that convened at Washington-on-the-Brazos
on March 1, 1836, but the election was contested by S.
Rhoads Fisher on February 22, 1836, and Samuel Rhoads
Fisher became the representative instead.
Royall then joined Thomas McCoy's
Company of Mounted Riflemen in April of 1836, and sent
word to Austin that they could "count on Matagorda." On
August 8, 1836, David Burnet authorized him to raise and
organize an independent ranger company of at least one
hundred men to round-up all apparently ownerless cattle.
These beeves proved a valuable source of food for the
A merchant in Matagorda, Royall
had a home in the town as well as a large plantation,
where he had a cotton gin and other machinery. He died
May 28, 1840. Family information indicates he was buried
on his Matagorda plantation, but the 1936 Texas
Centennial Historical Marker is located in Matagorda
After Royall's death, his widow
married James Denison, a prominent lawyer, on April 2,
1848, in Christ Church.
They had two children: Alice
Dudley Denison born January 10, 1849 and Mary Chase
Denison, born August 31, 1851.
Historic Matagorda County,
Volume I, page 88