Page:Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography volume 1.djvu/97

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COLONIAL PRESIDEXTS AND GO\'ERXORS


69


steady support of the American war endeared liim to the King, who made him in 177(1 Lord Amherst, in 1778 a general, and in 1780 colonel of the 2nd Horse Grenadiers. After various other honors he was raised in ijv)() to the rank of field marshal. He did not long survive this last honor, and died at Montreal, his seat in Kent. August 3. 1797.

Berkeley, Norborne, Baron de Botetourt. govcrniir-in-chief of Virginia (1768- 1770). was born in England, in 1718. He was the only son of John Symes Berkeley, Esq.. of Stoke GifTord. county Gloucester, England, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Walter Xorborne of Caline. county Wilts. Of this branch of the distinguished and ennobled family of Berkeley an extended pedigree ap- pears in the \'isitation of Gloucester of 1623. In 1764 Botetourt was raised to the peerage of England as Xorborne, Baron de Botetourt. Previous to this he had been colonel of the Xorth Gloucestershire militia and a member of parliament, and afterwards in 1767 became constable of the Tower of London. Xo gov- ernor-in-chief had resided in the colony of \'irginia for three-quarters of a century, and. to appease the growing discontent there over the revenue law. the home authorities sent Botetourt over with the full title and dignity of "His Majesty's Lieutenant. Governor-Gen- eral and Commander-in-Chief." He was ap- pointed in July. 1768. and arrived in the colony October 28. 1769. His reception was enthu- siastic, and his afifable deportment made him immediately very popular, which was increased by his concurring shortly after his arrival with his council in declaring writs of assistance illegal. The quarrel over the revenue act had come to a crisis at this time. Parliament had sent an order over for the arrest of the patriot


leaders in Xew England, who were to be trans- ported to England for trial, and \"irginia was the first colony to take action. When Bote- tourt convened the assembly, that body on May 26. 1769, passed stirring resolutions con- demning parliament. Botetourt dissolved the assembly, and the members, with the speaker, Peyton Randolph, at their head, met immedi- ately at the Raleigh tavern and adopted an ex- tensive system of non-importation. They ral- lied all the other colonies to do the same, and parliament, yielding to the pressure, abolished all the taxes complained of except a small tax on tea. Botetourt had cherished the hope that all the taxes would be repealed, and relying upon the assurances of the English secretary of state had called an assembly in November following the May session in 1769 to convey to them the joyous information of this purpose of the British ministry. He was. therefore, greatly disappointed when only a partial repeal was made. It is said that he contemplated a resignation of his office and was only prevented from sending it on by his sickness and death, which occurred October 15. 1770. There are various contemporary notices of his social acts, his dinner companies at the palace, the distinction of his manner, and the urbanity of his address. Through his munificence two gold medals were established in the College of William and Mary, to be given annually one for excellence in classical learning, and the other for excellence in philosophy. Eight of these prizes were bestowed, and they are said to be the earliest of their kind in the United States. Lord Botetourt was honored by the ■ people with a splendid funeral, and he was buried in a vault underneath the floor of the chapel of William and Mary, and subsequently a statue was erected to his memory. Close by his vault lie the ♦-emains of Peyton Randolph,