Facts and Events
Francis Lovelace (1621–1675) was an English Royalist and the second Governor of New York colony.
He was born the third son of Sir William Lovelace (1584–1627) and his wife Anne Barne of Lovelace Place, Bethersden and Woolwich, Kent. He was the younger brother of Richard Lovelace, the Cavalier poet. The Bethersden Lovelace lineage was founded in 1367 by John Lovelace, six generations before Francis, and has been confused over the years with the Hurley Lovelaces who were raised to the House of Lords.
The five Lovelace brothers supported Charles II in his fight to be restored to the throne. When Cromwell was defeated, Charles gave his brother, the Duke of York (later to become King James II), rights to the colony of Nieuw Amsterdam when Richard Nicolls took it from the Dutch in 1667. Many people did not like him because they thought Oliver Cromwell was their savior.
The Duke of York appointed Lovelace the second governor of the New York Colony in 1668 after the departure of Richard Nicolls. His administration was terminated by the temporary re-capture of the colony by the Dutch in 1673 when, for a brief period the Dutch Admiral Cornelis Evertsen the youngest captured New York and re-established Nieuw Amsterdam. From 1673 to 1674, Dutch naval Captain Anthony Colve acted as military governor-general until England recovered the colony under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster (1674).
Lovelace was meeting with the Governor of Connecticut, John Winthrop, Jr. in Hartford, Connecticut, when the Dutch captured New York. He was planning the first postal system from New York to Boston. The Duke of York blamed Lovelace for the loss of his colony, confiscated his plantation on Staten Island, and shut him up in the Tower of London, where he contracted dropsy and died in penury two years later 1675.
The third new Governor of New York after Francis Lovelace was John Lovelace, 4th Baron Lovelace of Hurley – no kin to Francis of the Bethersden Lovelaces. Early genealogists confused Francis with an identically named son of Richard Lovelace, 1st Baron Lovelace of Hurley, due to a pamphlet issued at the time of his appointment mistakenly asserting that he was the brother of the said Richard. The confusion has also spread to more modern historians.
In 1652 was in Virginia and said to have been entrusted by Gov. Berkley of Virginia to carry news to King Charles II of the surrender of the colony to the representatives of Parliment. with the latters consent. Appointed Deputy Governor of Long Island and in 1668 became Governor of New York 1668-1673, until the city was captured by the Dutch 30 July 1673. Served as a Colonel for forces loyal to Charles I during the English Civil War. One biography by Florence Lovelace Robertson claims that Francis was married twice, first to Mary Iver and (2nd) to Blanche Talbot in 1659. There is a letter from Gov. Francis Lovelace of NY to Gov. Berkley of Va dated 6 Dec 1669, which referrs to appointment of Tho. Todd of Mobjack Bay guardian to the will Whitbey's son by his neice Mrs. Kath Gorsuch. See http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~lovelace/francis.htm.