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Sir Francis Bernard1760-1769Edit

-Born in 1712 in England and was admitted to the bar in 1737.

-Appointed as the Governor of New Jersey in 1758 where he defended the colony from attack by Native Americans.

-Appointed as the Governor of Massachusetts in 1760.

-One of his acts as Governor in his first year was to issue Writs of Assistance, and he presided the trial in 1761 about those Writs.

-Some things that happened while he was in office:

The French and Indian War and its conclusion

The Writs of Assistance Case

The Sugar Act

The Stamp Act and repeal

Mobbing of Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson’s house

The vote not to rescind by the Massachusetts Assembly

The Townshend Acts

Troops Arriving in Boston 1768

-Some of the things he did was design Harvard Hall for Harvard College and finish his mansion in Jamaica Plain that still stands today. He also named the Berkshires after his home in England and Pittsfied and Bernardston, both in Massachusetts.

-His last act of Governor was to announce the repeal of the Townshend Acts, except for the tea tax. He left office March 14, 1771.

-He received a Baronetcy for his loyal service and died in 1779 in England.


Thomas Pownall1757-1760Edit

-Born in 1722 in England, appointed Lt. Governor of New Jersey in 1755 and commissioned as Royal Governor of Massachusetts in 1757.

-He was the first Governor in 50 years that got along with the Massachusetts Assembly.

-He supported William Pitt, who appointed him, during the French and Indian War by rallying troops for the effort in North America.

-He was transferred to the Governorship of South Carolina but never went there and was recalled to England in 1760 and served in Parliament there, where he voted against measures of Parliament that led to the American Revolution.

-He died in 1805 in England.


The Governor’s CouncilApril 5, 1757 to August 3, 1757Edit

Spencer Phips1749-1753, 1756-1757Edit

-Born Spencer Bennett, June 6, 1685 in Rowley, MA. He was adopted by his Uncle Governor William Phips, changed his name and became sole heir. He graduated Harvard College in 1703.

-Appointed Lt. Governor in 1732 and took over the Governorship in 1749 until Governor Shirley came back from negotiations with the French in 1753. He took over again while Governor Shirley was accused of Treason and Incompetence in England.

-Governor during the start of the French and Indian War in 1756.

-Died April 4, 1757 in office.

Governor William Shirley1741-1749, 1753-1756Edit

-Born in 1694 in London, England. There he trained as a lawyer and moved his family to Boston in 1731.

-Served as Advocate General and before that as Surveryor of the King’s Woods before being appointed to Governor in 1741.

-In September of 1749, he went to England to negotiate a treaty with the French and came back in 1753. Shirley approved an attack in 1755 in upstate New York, which failed miserably. He was relieved of his duties in 1756 and sent to England.

-He was exonerated of the charges of Treason and Incompetence and given the Governorship of the Bahamas in 1761 where he lived until his son took over as Governor in 1769. Afterward Shirley retired to Roxbury, MA.

-Died on March 24, 1771 in Roxbury.

Jonathan Belcher1730-1741Edit

-Born in 1681 to Andrew Belcher Esq. and Sarah Gilbert in Cambridge, Massachusetts and educated at Harvard University. He traveled abroad after school, and settled in Boston as a merchant.

-In 1730 he was appointed to be the Royal Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

-He was maligned by political enemies in Massachusetts, which brought about his dismissal in 1741.

-He founded Princeton University while Governor of New Jersey from 1747-1757.

-Died 31 Aug 1757.


William Burnet1728-1729Edit

-Born in The Hague, Netherlands in 1688 to Bishop Burnet who followed William and Mary to England and was a close advisor. His father’s position helped William to become Governor of New York in the 1720’s.

-Appointed Royal Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 1728.

-Same problems with the Legislature-they would not pay him a regular salary.

-Died in Boston in September 1729.


William Dummer Acting Royal Governor of Massachusetts 1723-1728, 1729-1730Edit

-Born in Boston to Jeremiah Dummer and Anna Atwater in 1677. Jeremiah Dummer was the first man born in America to become a silversmith.

-He married Catherine Dudley; daughter of Governor Joseph Dudley, onApril 20, 1714there was no issue from this marriage.

-Was appointed Lt. Governor under Governor Samuel Shute and became Acting Governor when Shute retired to England.

-Died October 10, 1761 in Boston.

-His legacy is in several towns in Vermont and New Hampshire being named after him and in his will he set aside money to build a school named Dummer Academy, lately the name has been changed to Governor’s Academy.


Samuel Shute1716-1728Edit

-Born January 12, 1662 to Benjamin Shute and Elizabeth Caryl in London, England.

-Arrived in Boston October 4, 1716 to succeed Joseph Dudley.

-He had contention with the Legislature over many things, but two in particular: he conciliated with the Native Americans to such a point as to anger the colonists, and he always argued over his pay. He went to England to bring the matter to the Privy Council and they gave him a pension there.

-Died on April 15 1742 in England.


William Tailer 9 Nov 1715 - 5 Oct 1716, 11 Jun 1730 - 10 Aug 1730Edit

-Born March 7, 1677 to William and Rebecca (Stoughton) Tailer, Mrs. Tailer was the daughter of William Stoughton who was Lt. Governor and Acting Governor 1700-1701

-Acting Governor from November 9, 1715 to October 5th, 1716 and again June 11th to August 10, 1730

-His most notable Act as Lieutenant Governor was being the head of the council that built the Boston Light House.

-He made the Legislature so distrust Governors, they no longer trusted any after him.

-He died March 1, 1732.


Joseph Dudley 11/22 Jun 1702 - 3/14 Feb 1715, 21 Mar/1 Apr 1715 - 9/20 Nov 1715Edit

-Joseph Dudley was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1647, son of a Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Dudley.

–He graduated from Harvard College in 1665; he was then elected into the General Court as a representative from Roxbury in 1673.

-He was active in King Phillips War and took from that an ability to negotiate with the Native Americans, which he was lauded for in England, but it was seen as suspicious in the colonies. In 1676 he was elected to the state legislature until 1684.

-He received a commission to dissolve the Governorship and legislature in Massachusetts, this commission made him President of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire Rhode Island and Connecticut in 1686. This government dissolved within a few months and he became part of Governor Andros’ counsel. He also served as Chief Justice at this time.

-He left for England in 1689 to stand trial for misdeeds committed during his Presidency and while serving on council, but the charges were dropped.

-In 1690 he was given a commission as chief of the council to the Governor of New York (where he went when he left England) and was so successful at carrying out royal procedure, he was asked to stay when the new Governor was in place.

-There was a coup, in which a man named Leisler took power from the Governor in New York, but he was captured and tried, Dudley had a large role in the trial. Leisler was popular, but he was found guilty and put to death which made Dudley unpopular so in 1692 he left for Massachusetts and settled in his native Roxbury.

-April 12th, 1702 he took the commission to be Governor of Massachusetts. Because he was unpopular with the people of Massachusetts, he was not effectual when his will was against the Massachusetts Assembly.

-He spent most of his administration as Governor fighting on the losing side against the French in Canada or different tribes of Native Americans.

-When Queen Anne died the council decided that six months later Dudley’s commission would expire so they replaced him with the Council, placing William Tailer, as the oldest member of the Council, in the Governor’s position. The happened for a month, until they received King George’s letter to keep government intact until he could respond further.

-When King George ascended to the throne Dudley lost his favorable contacts at court and was replaced by Samuel Shute.

Died on April 2, 1720 and buried in Roxbury at the age of seventy-three.



Thomas Povey 1702-1706 Acting Governor?


The Governors Council briefly took over the Governors Duties following the death of William StoughtonEdit

July 10 1701- June 11, 1702Edit

William Stoughton 5/16 Mar 1701 - 7/18 Jul 1701Edit

William Stoughton was most likely born in England in 1631and came to Massachusetts shortly after birth with his parents Israel and Elizabeth (Knight) Stoughton. They were among the founders of Dorchester, Massachusetts. Graduated from Harvard in 1650, then earned a masters degree in Theology from Oxford in 1652. He became a Curate in England until 1660 until his religion fell out of favor. He returned to Massachusetts where he served as Chief Deputy in 1686 and was made Chief Justice of the newly formed Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in 1692, primarily to deal with the Salem Witchcraft Trials of that year. He notoriously withheld rights to the accused; he would not allow them counsel, he admitted hearsay evidence and if the jury found the defendant not guilty, he would tell the jury to rethink their answer. He was Acting Governor of Massachusetts from 1694-1697, and then again after Governor Coote’s death in 1701, till his death on July 7th.


Richard Coote, Earl of Bellomont held the office of Governor of New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 26 May/8 Jun 1699 - 5/16 Mar 1701Edit

Governor Coote, born in 1636 in Britain, was known for his staunch Whig party standings. When Catholic King James ascended to the throne of England, he left, being a Puritan, to live in the Colonies and was called back by Puritan King William. At this time he served in Parliament and for Queen Mary as her Treasurer and Receiver General. Coote was known for his integrity, pleasing personality and sensibility as well as not condoning piracy and theft. He became a personal friend of King William and Queen Mary and was awarded the Earl of Bellomont by them when they discovered he raised the ire of the deposed King James.

In 1689, Piracy and ignorance of the Navigation Acts had begun to run rampant in the colonies. King William needed an honest man ardently opposed to piracy in the seat of Governor of New York, a town from which many pirates sailed. He chose the Earl of Bellomont for this seat as well as the Governorships of New England. “Privateers,” or ships contracted to take cargo from enemy ships was a well-established practice, however, at this time Privateers started to see any ships as fair game. Bellomont conscripted Captain William Kidd and his vessel to quell ships engaged in piracy on the seas as well as ships of France, since they were at war with England.

Upon arriving to New York in 1697, he found himself vehemently opposed by his predecessor and many of the people in the Assembly and on the streets of New York. Many of his acts were disapproved of or outright ignored. By 1698 rumors started circulating that Captain Kidd had turned Pirate, which was affecting Bellomonts reputation in England. Kidd lands in Rhode Island around this time and Bellomont instructs him to go to Boston, where if he is innocent, he will find safe port there. Kidd goes to Boston but is arrested under a warrant issued by Bellomont. Kidd had done his duty by Bellomont and had captured enemy vessels and plundered them, however he had left most of the plunder in the West Indies and had only brought about a third with him to Boston. Not being able to get the location of the rest of the Privateer money out of Kidd, Bellomont sent him to London for a trial. He was tried, his defense being that his men had forced him to go above the words of his contract with Bellomont but he was found guilty in 1701 and hung in England that year. His association with Kidd blackened Bellomonts name, not only because Kidd was found guilty of piracy, but also because of Bellomont’s handling of Kidd once he came to Boston. Bellomont callously sent him to London to stand trial, however knowing Bellomont’s personality; it is exactly what he should have done.

He passed away on the fifth of March 1701 in New York from a severe case of gout.

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