Temple, Thomas (DNB00)

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TEMPLE, Sir THOMAS (1614–1674), baronet of Nova Scotia, governor of Acadia, second son of Sir John Temple of Stanton Bury, Buckinghamshire, who was knighted by James I at Royston on 21 March 1612–13 (Metcalfe, Knights, p. 164), by his first wife, Dorothy (d. 1625), daughter and coheiress of Edmund Lee of Stanton Bury, was born at Stowe (his father's house being leased to Viscount Purbeck), and baptised there on 10 Jan. 1614. His grandfather was Sir Thomas Temple, first baronet of Stowe [see under Temple, Sir Richard, (1634–1697)]. On 20 Sept. 1656 Sir Charles St. Etienne made over to Thomas Temple and to William Crowne, father of the dramatist John Crowne [q. v.], all his interest in a grant of Nova Scotia, of which country the English had become masters in 1654. This grant was confirmed by Cromwell, who regarded the Temple family with favour, and the Protector further appointed ‘Colonel Thomas Temple, esquire,’ governor of Acadia. Temple set out for New England in 1657, occupied the forts of St. John and Pentagöet in Acadia or Nova Scotia, and resisted the rival claims of the French ‘governor’ Le Borgne. At the Restoration Temple's claims to retain the governorship were disputed, but on his return to England they were finally upheld. He was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles II on 7 July 1662, and three days later received a fresh commission as governor. Five years afterwards by the treaty of Breda (July 1667) Charles II ceded Nova Scotia to Louis XIV, and in December 1667 Charles sent a despatch to Temple ordering him to cede the territory to the French governor Sr. Marillon du Bourg. The surrender was not completed until the fall of 1670. Temple was promised, but never received, a sum of 16,200l. as an indemnification for his loss of property. The ex-governor settled at Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoyed a reputation for humanity and generosity. In 1672 he subscribed 100l. towards the endowment of Harvard College (Quincy, Hist. of Harvard, 1840, vol. i. app.) He joined the church of Cotton Mather, but his morals were not quite rigid enough to please the puritans of New England. He moved to London shortly before his death on 27 March 1674. He was buried at Ealing, Middlesex, on 28 March (Hutchinson, Massachusetts Collections, p. 445). He left no issue.

[Notes supplied by Mr. J. A. Doyle; Whitmore's Account of the Temple Family, 1856, p. 5; Prime's Temple Family, New York, 1896, p. 42; Murdoch's Hist. of Nova Scotia, 1865, i. 134–9, 153; Maine Hist. Soc. Collections, i. 301; Williamson's Hist. of Maine, i. 363, 428; Mémoires des Commissaires du Roi et de ceux de sa Majesté Britannique, 1755 (containing the documents relating to the surrender of Acadia by Temple); Kirke's First English Conquest of Canada, 1871; Winsor's Hist. of America, iv. 145; Cal. State Papers, Amer. and West Indies, 1661–8, passim, esp. pp. 96, 597, 626.]