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The Reverend James Maury (17191760), son of Matthew Maury and Mary Anne Fontaine Maury, of French and Dutch ancestry, was an educator and Anglican cleric in the American colonies. Among his famous pupils were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the First Bishop of Virginiamarker. The boarding school in which Maury taught was considered the best known school in Albemarle county, Virginiamarker.

The Reverend James Maury taught instruction in classics, manners and morals, mathematics, literature, history and geography (Dabney 110), and also Latin and Greek. Most of Reverend Maury's pupils boarded at his school, as home was too far away to leave school and return the next morning. Therefore the boys knew another well as young adults and as adults they worked together in making this nation great.

Thomas Jefferson lived with Rev James Maury's family for two years while he was being educated. Jefferson and others naturally went home on special holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas and sometimes on the week ends. Jefferson started in Rev. Maury's Classical School for Boys immediately after his father, Peter Jefferson, died.


Rev. James Maury married Mary Walker (b. 22 Nov 1724, King & Queen Co., VA) on November 11 1743 in Louisa County, Virginiamarker. They had thirteen children.

  • Matthew Maury, b. 10 Sep 1744, Albemarle Co., VA
  • "Consul" James Maury, b. 3 Feb 1746, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Leonard Hill Maury, b. 3 Jun 1747, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Anne Maury, b. 16 Nov 1748, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Mary Maury, b. 17 Sep 1750
  • Walker Maury, b. 21 Jul 1752, Louisa Co., VA
  • Catherine Maury, b. 15 Jul 1754, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Elizabeth Maury, b. 1 Apr 1756, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Abraham Maury, b. 28 Apr 1758, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Fontaine Maury, b. 3 Feb 1761, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Benjamin Maury, b. 15 Jan 1763, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Richard Lancelot Maury, b. 19 May 1766, Albemarle Co., VA
  • Matilda Hill Maury, b. 28 Oct 1769

His eldest son was America's first overseas consul James Maury (1746–1840), on whose behalf Thomas Jefferson petitioned then US President George Washington for an appointment. The petition was successful, and the son, James Maury (who came to be called "Consul" James Maury) became America's first consul to Liverpoolmarker, Englandmarker - a position that he held from 1790 to 1829, eventually quitting due to Jacksonian politics. During this overseas appointment, both he and his nephew Matthew Fontaine Maury (born in 1806) had opportunities to discuss and study the natural philosophy lectures (mainly physics) of Thomas Young published in 1807. "Consul" James Maury's portrait still hangs today in Liverpool Town Hall.

When Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha, married, it was Rev. James Maury that performed the marriage ceremony.

Rev. Maury considered knowledge of geography as one of the essential features in the education of a "well-rounded young gentleman"(Allen 61) and strongly promoted settling the west. He also promoted the Scriptures and sciences in his children, students, and grandchildren including Matthew Fontaine Maury. Later President Thomas Jefferson gained the Louisiana Purchase and sent out the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Matthew Fontaine Maury explored the winds and currents and the sea, and charted these for the world at no cost to nations that met in Brussels, Belgium in 1853 for USN Lieut. M. F. Maury's (Naval Observatory superintendent) International Conference of Nations.


  • Jacques de la Fontaine, (translated by Ann Maury), A Tale of the Huguenots or Memoirs of a French Refugee Family, published by John S Taylor, 1839. ASIN: B002L40ZEY


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