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Acts of Assembly of June, 1619
of March, 1623-4
OF VIRGINIA DURING THE PERIOD COMPRISED IN THIS
[From a MS. belonging to Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States, and purchased by him from the Executor of Richard Bland, dec'd* ]
CSIR Thomas Smith, Knt. was treasurer and Go-
is now in the Congress, at library of Washington.
Sir George Yeardley was Governor from the 18th Sir George of November, 1618, till the 18th of November, 1621. Yeardley.
Sir Francis Wyatt was Governor to the Company Sir Francis from the 18th of November, 1621, till the 26th of Au- Wyatt. gust. 22d. Jac. 1. And then the King granted him a commission to be Governor till some other course should be settled and resolved upon. But George Wyatt, Esq. father of the Governor dying in Ireland, the Governor got leave from the King, dated the 18th of Sept. in the same year, to go to Ireland to manage his affaires, and at the same time sent a commission to Sir George Yeardley to be Governor in the absence of Sir George Sir Francis, or in case of his death, to be chief Govern
* This list of governors is at the end of the volume, and is bro't. down to the year 1722, when Alexander Spotswood ceased to be governor and was succeeded by Hugh Drysdale; who dying in 1726, and Jennings the president of the council being suspended, Col. Robert Carter took upon himself the administration of the government, as president of the council. This manuscript appears to be in the hand-writing of R. Hickman, who, as clerk to the secretary's office, has attested several of the public papers.
+ The administration of Sir Thomas Smith must be understood as confined to a presidency of the council and company in England, while the affairs of the colony were managed by one council resident there. He was never actually governor in Virginia-(see Burk's bist. Virg. vol. I. pa. 92) During the time that Sir Thomas Smith was Treasurer and president of the company in England, the following were the presidents of the council, and governors in 'Virginia: 1st president of the council, Edward Maria Wingfield 2d. John Radcliffe. 3d. John Smith. 4th George Percy. 1st Governor, Lord De la War. 2d. Sir Thomas Dale. 3d. Sir Thomas Gates. 4th Sir Thomas Dale. 5th. Capt. George Yeardley. 6th. Capt. Argall,
Capt. Francis West.
Capt. John West.
or. Sir George Yeardley by virtue of that commission on continued Governor till the 19th April, 1626, when a commission was granted him by King Charles the 1st to be chief Governor, in which post he continued as long as he lived. And the day after he was buried, being the 14th November, 1627, and according to his majesties commission to the council for that purpose Capt. Francis West was elected Governor.
Capt. Francis West continued Governor till the 5th March, 1828, and then (he being designed to go for England) John Pott, Esq. was elected Governor by the Council.
John Pott, Esq. continued Governor till some time between October and March, 1629 for on the 4th of March the Quarter Court ordered an assembly to be called to meet Sir John Harvey on the 24th, and nothing was done after Sbr. in Pott's name that can be found.
Sir John Harvey continued Governor till 1625, and the people being enraged at some mismanagements of his, petitioned for an Assembly to hear their complaints against him, and an Assembly was called accordingly. But before they met he agreed in Council to go to England to answer them and upon that, Capt. John West was elected Governor.
How long John West governed is uncertain, but it appears by a paper among the damnified records, that he was out the 3d Jan. 1636, and Harvey Governor again. There is a pattent granted by Harvey 13th April, 1636.
Harvey, after that continued Governor till November, 1639, and then Sir Francis Wyatt came in with a commission to be Governor.
Sir Francis Wyatt continued Governor till February, 1641, and then came Sir William Berkley in Go
Sir William Berkley continued Governor till the latter end of June, 1644. and then returned to England, whereupon the Council elected Richard Kempe, Esq. Governor.
Richard Kempe continued till Sir William returned Richard back which was about the 16th of June, 1645. Kempe.
Sir William Berkley, after that continued Governor Sir William till the spring, 1652, and then Richard Bennett, Esq. Berkeley. was Governor.
Richard Bennett continued till 1655, and then Ed- Richard Benward Digges, Esq. was made Governor.
Digges continued till between February, 1656 and Edward the April following, and then Samuel Mathews was made Governor.
Samuel Mathews, Esq. continued till January, 1659 and died. And before 23d March next the Assembly elected* Sir William Berkeley Governor for that day he sat in court.
This account of the election of Sir Wm. Berkeley by the assembly, is entirely supported by the public records-See act II of March, 1659-60, page 530. The last four Governors, in this list, Bennett, Digges, Matthews and Berkeley were appointed by the assembly of Virginia, during the existence of the commonwealth of England, and not by the parliament or Cromwell, as erroneously represented by Robertson and other historians-See note to page 326,