ENGLISH COMMANDERS IN BNA: -1680

Introduction

The English have been sailors for at least two millenia and as islanders take naturally to the sea. It was probably expansion and rivalry with Spain that led the Tudors to follow up fishing discoveries to America. In 1707, the English and Scots parliaments voted to pass the Act of Union between their two countries. The newly named British continued to follow up their colonial interests in North America. The following table identifies many of their leaders.[1] Dates indicate service. British attention first began with fish and Newfoundland. Colonies were used as pawns to help make peace at the end of various conflicts, but the implied sovereign-ownership is accurate for the specific periods indicated.

The significant North American events of the century were the 1754-1761 Seven Years' War, and the sequel American Revolution of 1776. Fighting the Dutch, French and Spanish, British attention shifted to the 13 colonies on the eastern seaboard. After 1783, British focus shifted back to Québec and the remaining colonies in North America, and the generic term ‘British North America’ (BNA) was coined. (The term British West Indies (BWI) was used to define the Caribbean colonies.) Since Canada was not created until 1867, initial Canadian colonial history is focused in Québec.

The names are listed chronologically. Appointments are shown for the years only: note that titles changed over time. The most senior ranks are shown for the period of service - despite later promotions. I have not included all colonial British incumbents for sake of data bulk: but I have included most Canadian and American appointees, plus those in incidental Carribean and Central and South American positions. I have shown significant actions for some individuals.

Name

Appointment

Dates

Sir Humphrey Gilbert Governor of Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1583
1583
Ralph Lane

Governor of Roanoke (Carolina)

1585-1586
John White Governor of Roanoke (Carolina)
1586-1590
Edward Maria Wingfield Governor of Jamestown
President of the Council of Virginia
1607
1607
John Ratcliffe President of the Council of Virginia
Governor of Jamestown
1607-1608
1608
George Popham Governor of Popham Beach (Maine)
1607-1608
Matthew Scrivener Governor of Jamestown
President of the Council of Virginia
1608
1608
Captain John Smith Governor of Jamestown
President of the Council of Virginia
1608-1609
1608-1609
George Percy President of the Council of Virginia
Governor of Jamestown

Acting / Governor of Virginia
1609-1610
1609-1610
1611
1611
Sir Thomas Gates Governor of Jamestown

Acting / Governor of Virginia
1610
1611-1614
1610
1611-1612
Thomas West, Baron de la Warr Governor of Jamestown
Governor of Virginia
1610-1611
1610-1618
John Guy Proprietary Governor of Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1610-1613
1610-1613
Thomas Dale Acting / Governor of Virginia
Governor of Jamestown
Acting / Governor of Virginia
Governor of Jamestown
1611
1611
1612-1616
1614-1616
William Colston Acting / Governor of Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1613-1614
1613-1614
John Mason Proprietary Governor of Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland
Proprietor of Maine
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1615-1621
1622-1635
1615-1621
George Yeardley Acting / Governor of Virginia
Governor of Virginia
1616-1617
1619-1621
1626-1627
Samuel Argall Acting / Governor of Virginia
1617-1619
Robert Hayman Proprietary Governor of Bristol's Hope, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1618-1628
1618-1628
Nathaniel Powell Acting / Governor of Virginia
1619
Roger North Governor of Oyapock (Guyana)
1620
John Carver Governor of Plymouth
1620-1621
Captain Miles Standish Captain General of Plymouth Colony
1620-1656
Edward Wynn Proprietary Governor of Ferryland, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1621-1625
1621-1625
Sir Francis Wyatt Governor of Virginia
1621-1626
1639-1642
William Alexander, I Earl of Stirling, Viscount of Canada Proprietor of Nova Scotia (Scotland)
1621-1632
William Bradford Governor of Plymouth

1621-1633
1635-1636
1637-1638
1639-1644
1645-1657

Sir Ferdinando Gorges Proprietor of Maine
Proprietor of New Somersetshire (Maine)
1622-1635
1635-1647
Sir Richard Whitebourne Proprietary Governor of Renews, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
c1623
1623
Wollaston Governor of Mount Woolaston (Merry Mount)
1623
Francis Tanfield Proprietary Governor of South Falkland, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1623-1625
1623-1625
Thomas Morton Governor of Mount Woolaston (Merry Mount)
1623-1628
Sir Arthur Ashton Proprietary Governor of Avalon, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1626-1627
1626-1627
Francis West Governor of Virginia
1627-1628
George Calvert, 1 Baron of Baltimore Proprietary Governor of Avalon, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1628-1629
1628-1629
John Pott Governor of Virginia
1628-1630
John Endecott Governor of Massachusetts Bay
1628-1630
1644-1645
1649-1650
1651-1654
1655-1665
Lord Ochiltree Governor of Cape Breton Island  (Île Royale)
1629
Sir Lewis Kirke[2] Governor of New France
1629-1632
Cecil Calvert, 2 Baron of Baltimore Proprietary Governor of Avalon, Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
Lord Proprietary of Maryland
1629-1634
1629-1634
1632-1654
1657-1675
John Winthrop Governor of Massachusetts
Governor of Saybrook (Connecticut)
Governor of Massachusetts


Governor of Hartford (Connecticut)

Governor of Connecticut
1630-1634
1635-1636
1637-1640
1642-1644
1646-1649
1657-1658
1659-1662
1662-1676
Sir John Harvey Acting / Governor of Virginia
Governor of Virginia
1630-1635
1637-1639
Thomas Wiggin

Governor of the Upper Plantation of New Hampshire

1631-1637
William Claiborne Governor of Maryland
Parliamentary Commissioner for Maryland
1631-1632
1652-1656
Leonard Calvert Governor of Maryland
1632-1647
Edward Winslow Governor of Plymouth
1633-1634
1636-1637
1644-1645
Thomas Prence Governor of Plymouth
1634-1635
1638-1639
1657-1673
Thomas Dudley Governor of Massachusetts Bay

1634-1635
1640-1641
1645-1646
1650-1651

William Hill Proprietary Governor of Avalon, Newfoundland
1634-1638
John Haynes Governor of Massachusetts Bay
Governor of Harftford (Connecticut)
1635-1636
1639-1640
1641-1642
1643-1644
1645-1646
1647-1648
1649-1650
1651-1652
1653-1654
John West Governor of Virginia
1635-1637
William Gorges Governor of New Somersetshire (Maine)
1635-c1647
Sir Henry Vane Governor of Massachusetts Bay
1636-1637
Lion Gardiner Acting / Governor of Saybrook (Connecticut)
1636-1639
Roger Williams Governor in Providence (Rhode Island)
President of the Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)
1636-1651
1654-1657
John Lewger Acting / Governor of Maryland
1637
1638
George Burdett Governor of the Upper Plantation of New Hampshire
1637-1641
Sir David Kirke[3] Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland
Governor of St Pierre & Miquelon
1637-1651
1637-1651
Thomas Cornwaleys Acting / Governor of Maryland
1638
1641
William Coddington Judge of Portsmouth (Rhode Island)
Governor in Newport and Portsmouth (Rhode Island)
Governor of Rhode Island
1638-1647
1651-1653
1674-1676
1678

George Fenwick Governor of Saybrook (Connecticut)
1639-1644
Theophilus Eaton Governor of New Haven (Connecticut)
1639-1658
Edward Hopkins Governor of Harftford (Connecticut)

1640-1641
1644-1645
1646-1647
1648-1649
1650-1651
1652-1653
1654-1655

Captain William Sayle, RN Governor of Bermuda

Governor of of Eleuthera (Bahama Islands)
Governor of Bermuda
Governor of Clarendon (South Carolina)
1640-1641
1643-1645
1648-1657
1658-1663
1669-1671
John Downing, Sr Governor of Avalon, Newfoundland
1640-1651
Richard Bellingham Governor of Massachusetts Bay
1641-1642
1654-1655
1665-1672
George Wyllys Governor of Hartford (Connecticut)
1642-1643
Sir William Berkeley Governor of Virginia
1642-1652
1660-1677
Giles Brent Acting / Governor of Maryland
1643-1644
William Brainthwait Acting / Governor of Maryland
1644
Richard Kemp Acting / Governor of Virginia
1644-1645
Richard Ingle Governor of Maryland
1645-1646
Edward Hill Governor of Maryland
1646
John Coggeshall, Senior President of the Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)
1647-1648
Thomas Greene Governor of Maryland
Acting / Governor of Maryland
1647-1649
1651-1652
Jeremy Clarke President of the Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)
1648-1649
John Smith President of the Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)
Governor in Newport and Portsmouth (Rhode Island)
1649-1650
1652-1653
William Stone Governor of Maryland
1649-1656
Nicholas Easton President of the Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)

Governor of Rhode Island
1650-1651
1654
1672-1674
Samuel Gorton Governor in Providence and Warwick (Rhode Island)
1651-1652
John Littlebury Head of the Board of Commissioners of Newfoundland
1651-1653
William Fuller Acting / Governor of Maryland
1652-1654
Richard Bennett Governor of Virginia
Parliamentary Commissioner for Maryland
1652-1655
1652-1656
John Sanford Governor in Newport and Portsmouth (Rhode Island)
1653-1654
Gregory Dexter Governor in Providence and Warwick (Rhode Island)
1653-1654
John Treworgie Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland
Acting / Governor of Newfoundland
1653-1660
1660-1661
John Leverett Governor of Nova Scotia
Governor of Massachusetts Bay
1654-1657
1672-1679
Edward Digges Governor of Virginia
1655-1656
William Penn Commander of Jamaica
Lord Proprietary of Pennsylvania

Governor of Pennsylvania
1655
1681-1693
1694-1718
1681-1682
1699-1701
Robert Venables Commander of Jamaica
1655
Thomas Welles Governor of Hartford (Connecticut)
1655-1656
1658-1659
Edward D'Oyley Commander of Jamaica

Governor of Jamaica
1655-1656
1657-1661
1661-1662
John Webster Governor of Hartford (Connecticut)
1656-1657
William Brayne Commander of Jamaica
1656-1657
Josias Fendall Governor of Maryland
1656-1660
Samuel Mathews Governor of Virginia
1656-1660
Benedict Arnold President of the Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)

Governor of Rhode Island
1657-1660
1662-1663
1663-1666
1669-1672
1677-1678
Luke Barber Acting / Governor of Maryland
1657-1668
Sir Thomas Temple Governor of Nova Scotia
1657-1670
Francis Newman Governor of New Haven (Connecticut)
1658-1660
Philip Calvert Governor of Maryland
1660-1661
William Brenton President of the Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)
Governor of Rhode Island
1660-1662
1666-1689
Phillip Calvert Acting / Governor of Maryland
1661
Francis Moryson Acting / Governor of Virginia
1661-1662
J Rayner Acting / Governor of Newfoundland
1661-1663
William Leete Governor of New Haven (Connecticut)
Governor of Connecticut
1661-1665
1676-1683
Charles Calvert, 3 Baron of Baltimore Governor of Maryland
Lord Proprietary of Maryland
Governor of Maryland
1661-1676
1675-1689
1679-1681
Thomas Hickman Windsor, Baron of Windsor Governor of Jamaica
1662
Samuel Stephens Commander of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
1662-1663
1667-1670
Sir Charles Lyttelton Deputy Governor of Jamaica
1662-1663
Sir Thomas Lynch Acting / Deputy Governor of Jamaica
Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica
1663-1664
1671-1674
1682-1684
William Drummond Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
1663-1667
Edward Morgan Deputy Governor of Jamaica
1664
Richard Nicolls Governor of New York
1664-1668
Robert Needham Commander on the Delaware
1664-1668
Sir James Modyford Deputy Governor of Jamaica
1664-1671
Thomas Edward Morgan Governor of Saint Eustatius
1665
Theodore Carey Governor of Saint Eustatius
1665-c1666
Christopher Martin Governor of Newfoundland
1665-1668
Sir George Carteret Lord Proprietary of East Jersey
1665-1680
Philip Carteret Governor of New Jersey
1665-1680
John Berkeley, Baron Berkeley of Stratton Lord Proprietary of West Jersey
1665-1674
Christopher Monck, 1 Duke of Albemarle Lord Proprietary of Carolina
Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica
1665-1687
1687-1688
Robert Robinsen Governor of Newfoundland
1668-1671
Francis Lovelace Governor of New York
1668-1673
John Carr Commander on the Delaware
1668-1673
Peter Carteret Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
1670-1673
Joseph West Governor of of Clarendon (South Carolina)
1671-1672
1674-1682
1685

William Davis Governor of Newfoundland
1671-1675
John Berry Acting / Governor of New Jersey
1672-1673
Sir John Yeamans Governor of Clarendon (South Carolina)
1672-1674
John Jenkins Acting / Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
1672-1676
1679-1681
Cornelis Evertsen Governor of New York
1673
Anthonie Colve Governor of New York
1673-1674
Josiah Winslow Governor of Plymouth
1673-1680
Edward Byllynge Lord Proprietary of West Jersey

Governor of West Jersey
1674-1675
1683-1687
1680-1687
Sir Henry Morgan Acting / Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica
1674-1675
1678
1680-1682
Sir Edmund Andros Governor of West Jersey
Governor of East Jersey

Governor of New York

Governor in Chief of New England
Governor of Plymouth
Governor of Massachusetts Bay
Governor of Connecticut

Governor of Virginia
Governor of Maryland

1674-1680
1688-1689
1674-1681
1688-1689
1674-1681
1686-1689
1686-1689
1686-1689
1686-1689 1687-1689
1692-1698
1693
1694

John Vaugh Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica
1675-1678
Cecil Calvert Governor of Maryland
1676
Nathaniel Bacon, Jr Governor of Virginia
1676
Jesse Wharton Acting / Governor of Maryland
1676
Walter Clarke Governor of Rhode Island
1676-1677
1686
1696-1698
Thomas Eastchurch Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
1676-1677
Thomas Notley Governor of Maryland
1676-1679
Thomas Miller Deputy Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
1677
Herbert Jeffreys Acting / Governor of Virginia
1677-1678
John Culpeper Deputy Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
1677-1678
Thomas Culpeper, Baron Culpeper Governor of Virginia
1677-1683
Seth Sothel[4] Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)

Governor of Carolina
1678
1682-1689
1690-1692
John Cranston Governor of Rhode Island
1678-1680
Charles Howard, I Earl of Carlisle Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica
1678-1680
Sir Henry Chicheley Acting / Governor of Virginia
1678-1680
1678-1682
John Harvey Acting / Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
Deputy Governor of Albemarle County (North Carolina)
1679
1696-1699
Simon Bradstreet Governor of Massachusetts Bay
1679-1686
1689-1692
John Cutt

President of New Hampshire

1680-1681
Peleg Sanford Governor of Rhode Island
1680-1683
Thomas Hinckley Governor of Plymouth
1680-1686
1689-1691

ENDNOTES

1             I am indebted for much of the data to Index of Colonies and Possessions, at http://www.worldstatesmen.org/#U, the data there are quite specific, well organised, accurate, and very helpful. I also found individual Wikipedia state sites to be helpful. For the confusing Carolinas I also used http://www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/sections/hp/colonial/Bookshelf/countie/countapp2.htm. Also see Frank McLynn, 1759, the Year Britain Became Master of the World, http://pages.quicksilver.net.nz/jcr/~boug2.html, http://www.cmhg.gc.ca/cmh/fr/page_233.asp, http://faculty.marianopolis.edu/c.belanger/quebechistory/encyclopedia/SevenYearsWar-FrenchandIndianWar-BattleofthePlainsofAbraham.htm, and Fred Anderson, Crucible of War..

2             19 Aug 1629 - 13 Jul 1632, as a result of a trade war Québec City was occupied by English force under David and Lewis Kirke. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kirke for the context in the Thirty Years' War.

3             Prior to Sir David Kirke the mandate of the governor of Newfoundland had run to individual coastal settlements of: Cuperís Cove, Bristolís Hope, Trepassy, South Falkland, and Avalon. In 1638 this authority was extended to ĎAll the Settlementsí.

4           Appointed by the the Lords Proprietors Governor Sothel was captured en route by pirates and held until 1682.

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