Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Governors of Colonial Virginia

The oldest English-speaking colony in the New World, Virginia, was established in 1607AD at Jamestown.  Intially, the colony was a venture of the London Company.  It was under the London Company leadership that a House of Burgesses was established in 1619 for the colony.  At the same time, the hardships, and especially the colony-wide attack by the Powhatan Confederation in 1622, convinced the crown to take control of the colony as a royal colony.

The following list, for your enjoyment and interest, presents the Governors and Lieutenant Governors of the colony from the appointment of its first Governor in 1610 until the Revolution and end of royal rule.  Note especially that in the mid-18th century, many of the Governors were absentee, and the Lt. Governors actually ran the day-to-day affairs of the Old Dominion.

Also included are the proprietors of the Northern Neck -- north of the Rappahannock River -- who exercised a degree of polical power and levied taxes, during the 18th century.

Virginia residents will recognize a great many of the names in the counties of the Commonwealth today.

File:Virginia map 1606.jpg
Map of the colony in 1606 engraved by William Hole.

Governors and Lt. Governors of Colonial Virginia

Governors in Bold; Lieutenant Governors in Italics; Counties named for those with *

Governors under the London Company

  • Sir Thomas Gates (1610)
  • Thomas West, Baron De La Warr (1611-1618) [The State of Delaware bears his name]
    • Sir Thomas Gates (1611-1614)
  • Sir George Yeardley (1619-1621)
  • Sir Francis Wyatt (1621-1624)

Governors of the Crown Colony

  • Sir Francis Wyatt (1624-1626)
  • Sir George Yeardley (1626-1627)
  • Francis West (1627-1629)
  • John Pott (1629-1630)
  • Sir John Harvey (1630-1635)
  • John West (1635-1637)
  • Sir John Harvey (1637-1639)
  • Sir Francis Wyatt (1639-1642)
  • Sir William Berkeley (1642-1652)

Governors of the Colony during the English Commonwealth

  • Richard Bennett (1652-1655)
  • Edward Digges (1655-1656)
  • Samuel Mathews (1656-1660)

Governors of the Crown Colony

  • Sir William Berkeley (1660-1677)
    • Francis Moryson (1661-1662)
  • Thomas Culpeper, 2nd Baron Culpeper of Thoresway (1677-1683)
    • Herbert Jeffreys (1677-1678)
  • Francis Howard, 5th Baron Howard of Effingham (1683-1692)
    • Francis Nicholson (1690-1692)
  • Sir Edmund Andros (1692-1698)
  • Francis Nicholson (1698-1705)
  • Edward Nott (1705-1706)
  • Robert Hunter (1707-1709) [Captured by the French and never arrived in Virginia]
    • Edmund Jenings (1708-1710)
  • George Hamilton Douglas, 1st Earl of Orkney [Absentee] (1710-1737)
    • Lt. Col. Alexander Spotswood* (1710-1722)
    • Hugh Drysdale (1722-1726)
    • Sir William Gooch* (1727-1749)
  • William Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle* [Absentee] (1737-1756)
    • Sir William Gooch* (1727-1749)
    • Robert Dinwiddie* (1751-1758)
  • John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun* [Absentee] (1757-1763)
    • Robert Dinwiddie* (1751-1758)
    • Sir Francis Fauquier* (1758-1768)
  • Sir Jeffrey Amherst* [Absentee] (1763-1768)
    • Sir Francis Fauquier* (1758-1768)
  • Norbone Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt* (1768-1770)
  • John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore* [Dunmore County renamed to Shenandoah County in 1778] (1771-1775)

Northern Neck Proprietors

  • Catherine Culpeper,* [she was the daughter of 2nd Baron Culpeper & the wife of the 5th Lord Fairfax, and mother to Thomas, 6th Lord Fairfax] (1689-1719)
  • Thomas, 6th Lord Fairfax, Baron Cameron* [Lived in Virginia after 1747, +1781] (1719-1779)

Sources: Colonial Virginia Register by Stanard & The Hornbook of Virginia History

Live well!

No comments:

Post a Comment