Byrd, William, 1652–1704, English planter in early Virginia. He came to America as a youth and took up lands he had inherited on both sides of the James River, including the site that would later be Richmond. In 1691 he moved to "Westover," long famous as the Byrd family home. His landed fortune was increased by his interest in trade, and he served (1703) as president of the Virginia council. Byrd's wealth, culture, and character made him the ideal tidewater aristocrat. He was the father of William Byrd (1674–1744).
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