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Robert Andrews
Born 1748
Pennsylvania Colony
Died 1804 (aged 55–56)
Virginia, United States
Occupation Clergyman and politician
Parents Moses Andrews and Letitia Cooke

Robert Andrews (1748–1804) was a Colonial/American clergyman, professor and Virginia politician.[1]

Early life

Birth and family history

Son of Moses Andrews and Letitia Cooke, Robert Andrews was the great-grandson of John Andrews, who emigrated to Province of Maryland from the County of Rutland, England in 1654. He was born in the colony of Pennsylvania. He had four brothers, Moses Andrews, Rev. John Andrews, James Andrews and Polydore Andrews.[2]

Education and ordination

Andrews graduated with an A.B. degree from the College of Philadelphia in 1768 and in 1772 went to London for ordination.[3]


As clergyman

Andrews was one of the thirteen men, including only a handful of clergymen, to sign the agreement drawn up by eighty-nine former members of the House of Burgesses on May 27, 1774, recommending a general congress and a non-importation association.

As professor

In December 1777 he was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy at the College of William & Mary. When the college was reorganized in 1779, the Law of Nature and Nations and the Fine Arts were added to his teaching portfolio. He is considered the first college professor in the nation to have fine arts included in his professorship. He was also distinguished for his mathematical talents. In 1784 he was transferred to the mathematical professorship and retained his position as professor up to 1789.[4]

Militia involvement

He became chaplain to the Virginia militia in 1777, serving until 1780. In 1781 he was private secretary to Governor Thomas Nelson, Jr.

As public official


Andrews was elected to the Williamsburg, Virginia Committee of Safety in 1779, and soon afterward, an alderman.[4]


Andrews was a delegate for James City County to the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, which approved the United States Constitution. He represented Williamsburg in the Virginia House of Delegates 1790–1798. In 1798, he voted against the Virginia Resolution opposing the federal Alien and Sedition Acts.[1]

U.S. government

He served with the Reverend James Madison (cousin to the fourth U.S. president) on the commission that established the final border between Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Marriage and family

He married, first, Elizabeth Ballard, and second, Mary Blair.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kromkowski, Charles A.. "The Virginia Elections and Elected Officials Database Project, 1776–2008". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  2. Wyker, Clara Berry (1917). Andrews Genealogy and Alliances. Cincinnati, Ohio: Methodist Book Concern Press. pp. 42. ISBN 978-1-153-27566-8. 
  3. Bell, James B.. "Anglican Clergy in Colonial America Ordained by Bishops of London". American Antiquarian Society. p. 110. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robson, David W. (1985). Educating Republicans: the College in the Era of the American Revolution, 1750-1800. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 108. ISBN 978-0-313-24606-7. 

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