Sir William Gooch, 1st Baronet
m. abt. 1670
- Sir William Gooch, 1st Baronet1681 - 1751
Facts and Events
Gov. William Gooch was one of the Early Settlers of Colonial Virginia
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Sir William Gooch, 1st Baronet, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Secondary quality.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Sir William Gooch, 1st Baronet (21 October 1681 – 17 December 1751), born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, and died in London, served as Governor of Virginia from 1727 through 1749. Technically, Gooch only had the title Royal Lieutenant Governor, but the nominal governors, George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney, and Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle, were in England and did not exercise much authority. Gooch’s tenure as governor was characterized by his unusual political effectiveness. One of his greatest successes was the passage of the Tobacco Inspection Act of 1730. The Act called for the inspection and regulation of Virginia’s tobacco, the most important crop of the colony. Tobacco planters were required to transport their crop to public warehouses where it was inspected and stored. The Act raised the quality of Virginia’s tobacco and reduced fraud; this greatly increased the demand for Virginia tobacco in Europe.
Gooch’s military policy focused on protecting the western territory from Native Americans and French encroachment. He promoted the settlement of the Shenandoah Valley in order to buffer the rest of the colony from Indian attacks, and to prevent the French from settling the land. However, in the early 1730s, Western expansion was fraught by the Iroquois invasion each spring, as settlements inevitably fell along their war-trails leading south. Gooch decided to broker peace between the Six Nations and their southern enemies, to end the warfare. He hired Conrad Weiser to negotiate in the winter of 1736 and 1737, before the war season began. Weiser was successful in negotiating an armistice, allowing Gooch to authorize settlement of the Shenandoah Valley.
He had many military credentials including fighting under John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough in his campaigns in the Low Countries and with Admiral Edward Vernon in his expedition against Cartagena, New Grenada (now in Colombia) as part of the War of Jenkins' Ear. During King George's War, Gooch received an appointment as brigadier-general in charge of the army raised to invade Canada, but declined. Gooch was made a baronet in 1746 and a major general in 1747. Also in 1747, Gooch made a speech condemning all religious groups aside from the established Church. However, in 1738, Gooch had given a group of Presbyterians the right to settle new territory under the conditions of the English Act of Toleration. In 1749, Gooch left Virginia and returned to England.
Gooch married Rebecca Staunton (for whom Staunton, Virginia is named), the daughter of a squire in Middlesex, England. The two had a son named William who grew up in Williamsburg. William became a naval officer, but died of the “bloody flux” at the age of 26, shortly before his parents returned to England.
Gooch honored himself with the naming of Goochland County, Virginia in 1727.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., c1915), 1:60, Secondary quality.
Gooch, William, lieutenant-governor of Virginia (1726-1749), was born October 12, 1681, in Yarmouth, county Suffolk, England, and was descended from an ancient family. His grandfather was William Gooch, of Suffolk, and his father was Thomas Gooch, alderman of Yarmouth, who married Frances, daughter of Thomas Love , of Norfolk county. His uncle, William Gooch, had emigrated to Virginia at a very early date and become a major in the York county militia and a member of the Virginia council, dying in 1655.
The subject of this sketch entered the English army at any early age and took part in all of Queen Anne's wars, being present at the battle of Blenheim. In October, 1727, he superseded Robert Carter as lieutenant-governor of Virginia, and for more than twenty years conducted the affairs of the colony in a manner which occasioned complaint neither in England nor in America. Indeed, it is said that in this respect he stands alone among colonial governors. Still his administration was a period of much activity in Virginia. In 1730 tobacco notes, a new form of currency, were devised which proved salutary. The frontier line was pushed to the Alleghanies, and the valley of Virginia was settled with hardy and enterprising German and Scotch-Irish settlers. Norfolk was chartered a town, and Fredericksburg, Winchester, Richmond and Petersburg were founded. The first newspaper in the colony, the Virginia Gazette, was published in Williamsburg in 1736. The boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina was run. In 1740, on account of the unexpected death of Major-General Alexander Spotswood, Governor Gooch assumed command of the four colonial battalions transported to join the British troops under Admiral Vernon in an attack on Carthagena in New Granada. he was absent one year, during which time Rev. Dr. James Blair, president of the college, acted as governor. The campaign proved unsuccessful, Gooch was severely wounded, and contracted the fever from which many of the English troops died. Upon his return to Virginia in July, 1741, he resumed the government of the colony, and among other events which followed, the capitol accidentally caught fire and was burned in 1746. On June 20, 1749, he embarked for England, to the great sorrow of all the people of his colony to whom he had endeared himself by his noble and disinterested conduct. He died in London, December 17, 1751. Governor Gooch was created a baronet November 4, 1746.
His wife was Rebecca, daughter of William Stanton, Esq., of Hampshire, England. He had an only son, William Gooch, who died in Virginia. his wife survived him till 1775,and in her will left a beautiful silver gilt communion service to the college chapel. This memorial of this excellent woman, who was once the first lady of Virginia, is still preserved in Bruton Church in Williamsburg.
The family of the Gooch name in Virginia are descended from Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Gooch, who was living in York county in 1656, and was an adherent of Nathaniel Bacon, Jr., in 1676. He was probably a member of Governor Gooch's family.
[cos1776 Note: possible error . More research needed.]