John Murray, the Earl of Dunmore was the last Royal Governor of the colony of Virginia. He was born in 1732, appointed Governor of New York in 1770 and of Virginia in 1771 and arrived in Williamsburg early in 1772.
It was his misfortune to succeed Lord Bottletourt as Governor, who was very popular with the colonists and who at his death named a county after him and erected a statue to his memory in front of William and Mary College.
Dunmore was abrupt in manner, intensely loyal to his King and determined to crush out any spirit of Independence exhibited by the Colonists and as a ruler was exceedingly unpopular.
On the contrary the Countess of Dunmore and her family were received with every mark of courtesy and respect upon their arrival in Williamsburg, the town being illuminated in their honor and the House of Burgesses giving a ball at the capitol to welcome them to Virginia.
Dunmore in 1774 organized an expedition against the Western Indians in the Ohio Country, one column under General Andrew Lewis moved down the Big Kanawha and fought the battle of Point Pleasants with the Indians under Cornstalk.
The other column under the Governor moved by way of Pittsburgh down the Ohio and thence to the Shawnee towns on the Sciota near the present town of Chillicothe. He made a Treaty of Peace with the Indians and returned to Williamsburg. This war in history is known as Dunmore's war.
The dissatisfaction of the colonies was now rapidly ripening into revolution and to carry out a systematic plan to disarm the people Dunmore on the morning of April 20, 1775, caused the powder in the public magazine at Williamsburg to be removed to a British man of War lying in James River. This created great excitement and the country were hurried on board a war ship, the "Fowey," to be followed by the Governor early in June.
He burned Norfolk and committed other depredations along the coast and sailed away to England. He was appointed Governor of the Bermuda Islands in 1786 and died in England in 1809.
In 1772 the Assembly named a County Dunmore which in 1777 was changed to Shenandoah.
[NOTE OF CAUTION: It appears that the birth year is incorrect.]