Francis West

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Francis West (October 28, 1586 – February 1633/1634) was a Deputy Governor of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia.

West was the second son of Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr (1556–1602) of Wherwell Abbey in Hampshire and his wife, Anne Knollys, and was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire on 28 October 1586.


As Captain Francis West, he arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, in July 1608; he returned there on the Mary Ann Margett in 1610. He was elected to the Governor's Council in 1608. From 1612 to 1617 he was the Commandant of Jamestown.[1] From July 30 through August 4, 1619, he served as an appointed representative in Jamestown's first Legislative Assembly. This was the first House of Burgesses appointed by Governor Sir George Yeardley. In 1622 he was appointed Admiral to New England, where he served alongside Capt. Christopher Levett, Governor of Plymouth, on a three-man council under Capt. Robert Gorges, named Governor General of the Plymouth Council for New England's venture in Massachusetts.[2][3]

He first married Margaret Whitney around 1625, a three-time widow lastly married to Edward Blayney. In March 1627 he married second the widow of Governor George Yeardley, Temperance Flowerdew. She died in December of the same year, and West fought the orphans (unsuccessfully) for possession of her estate.[4] He married thirdly Jane Davye with whom he had one son, Francis West.

West subsequently served as Deputy Governor of Virginia from November 17, 1627 to March 5, 1629.[1] He also served as Captain General of Virginia.

In 1632, his land was in Elizabeth City, south of the land of James Knott.

According to some records, he died in February 1633/1634, although this is not certain. His elder brother, Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (1577–1618), had served as a governor of the Virginia Company of London from 1610-1611. His younger brother, Governor John West (1590-ca 1659), served as Crown Governor of Virginia from 1635-1637. A fourth brother, Nathaniel West, died in Virginia in August 1623, aged 30.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Tyler, John Gardiner (1915). Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Vol. I, p. 44. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company.
  2. English Garner: Ingatherings from Our History and Literature, Vol. II, Edward Arber, Archibald Constable and Co., Westminster, London, 1897
  3. The Pilgrim Republic: An Historical Review of the Colony of New Plymouth, John Abbot Goodwin, Ticknor and Company, Printed by John Wilson & Son, Cambridge, Mass., 1888
  4. Sturtz, Linda, Within Her Power: Propertied Women in Colonial Virginia, p.24


  • Nugent, Nell Marion; Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants. Vol. 1. 1623-1666. Virginia State Library and Archives, Richmond, Virginia 1936
  • Powhatan's Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast by Peter H. Wood.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
George Yeardley
Colonial Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
John Pott