Dunmore, John Murray, 4th Earl of, Viscount Of Fincastle, Lord Murray Of Blair, Moulin, And Tillemot

▪ British royal governor of Virginia
born 1730?
died Feb. 25 or Mar. 5, 1809, Ramsgate, Kent, Eng.

      British royal governor of Virginia on the eve of the American Revolution.

      A descendant of the Scottish house of Stuart, he was the eldest son of William Murray, the 3rd earl, whom he succeeded in 1756. He sat in the House of Lords from 1761 to 1770 and then was appointed governor first of New York in 1770 and then of Virginia in 1771. Personally interested in western lands as well as officially concerned with protection of the Virginia frontier to the west, he raised 3,000 militiamen to subdue the Shawnee Indians in the upper Ohio River valley in 1774, an action known as Lord Dunmore's War.

      As the revolution approached, Dunmore's power declined rapidly, especially through his own rashness. He dissolved the Virginia Assembly in 1772, 1773, and 1774 on account of its revolutionary sentiments. In April 1775 he seized the colony's store of powder, thereby bringing about an armed uprising. Taking refuge aboard an English warship, he shortly declared martial law, proclaimed freedom to slaves who would join the British, and proposed to Lord Dartmouth the use of Indians against the rebels. Defeated at Great Bridge near Norfolk on Jan. 1, 1776, he ordered his ships to bombard Norfolk, thereby setting it afire. He returned to England in July 1776. After serving again in the House of Lords, he was royal governor of the Bahamas from 1787 to 1796.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lord Dunmore's War — (1774) Attack by Virginia militia on the Shawnee in Kentucky. The militiamen seized Fort Pitt on the western border, renaming it after their royal governor, Lord Dunmore, who had ordered attacks against the Shawnee, seen as a threat to white… …   Universalium

  • Norfolk — /nawr feuhk/; for 2, 3 also /nawr fawk/, n. 1. a county in E England. 659,300; 2068 sq. mi. (5355 sq. km). 2. a seaport in SE Virginia: naval base. 266,979. 3. a city in NE Nebraska. 19,449. * * * I Administrative and historic county (pop., 2001 …   Universalium

  • Bahamas, The — officially Commonwealth of The Bahamas Archipelago and nation consisting of about 700 islands and numerous cays, northwestern edge of the West Indies, lying southeast of Florida and north of Cuba. Area: 5,386 sq mi (13,950 sq km). Population… …   Universalium

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