William Nelson (c.1711 - 1772) MP

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Birthplace: Yorktown, York County, Virginia
Death: Died in Yorktown, York, Virginia
Occupation: Colonial Governor of Virginia (1770-1771)
Managed by: stanley w. duke, jr.
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About William Nelson


William Nelson (1711 – November, 1772 ) was an American planter and colonial leader from Yorktown, Virginia. In the interim between the royal governors Norborne Berkeley and Lord Dunmore (John_Murray,_4th_Earl_of_Dunmore), he served as governor of colonial Virginia in 1770 and 1771.

In the early stages of the American Revolution he was an active supporter of the colonial cause, and his son Thomas Nelson, Jr. (Major General) went on to sign the Declaration of Independence.

William Nelson

He died the 19th of November Anno Domini 1772. Aged 61.

"Here lies the body of the Honourable William Nelson Esquire. Late Resident of His Majesty's Council in this Dominion in whom the Love of Man and the Love of God so restrained and enforced each other and so invicurated the mental power in general as not only to defend him from the vices and follies of his country but also to render it a matter of difficult decision in what part of laudable conduct most excelled whether in the tender and endearing accomplishments of domestic life. As a neighbor, a gentleman or a magistrate. Whether in the graces of hospitality or in the possession of piety, reader if you feel the spirit of that excellent ardour which aspires to the felicity of conscious virtue animated by those considerations and divine admonitions perform the task and expect the distinction of the righteous man.


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1742, 4 - Burgess from York Co. 1744-72 - Councilor Oct 15, 1770 - Aug '71 - acting Governor (as president) of the Colony President of the Colony

"William (1711-1772) married Elizabeth Burwell; he was President of the Privy Council and in 1770 became governor of Virginia. There are five children of record, among them: William, Jr. (from whom my gggrandmother Cindarilla Nelson is reported to be descended); and, Thomas (1738-1789) who married Lucy Grymes had eleven children and is apparently the signer described above." - Bill Leggett

Sources: 1.Title: Americans of Royal Descent Author: Charles H. /Browning/ Publication: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1911 Note: 7th Edition, reprinted 1986 in Baltimore Text: pp. 56, 132 2.Title: Colonial Virginia, Vol. II Author: Richard L. /Morton/ Publication: University of North Carolina Press, 1960 Note: "Westward Expansion and Prelude to Revolution, 1710-1763" contains the index Text: pp. 799, 869

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Gov William Nelson's Timeline

November 19, 1711
Yorktown, York County, Virginia
February 2, 1738
Age 26
Gloucester Co., VA
December 26, 1738
Age 27
Yorktown, York, Virginia
Age 30
Blount, Tennessee, United States
Age 33
Yorktown, York, Virginia
Age 38
Yorktown, York, Virginia
Age 40
Yorktown, York, Virginia, United States
Age 42
Yorktown, York, Virginia, USA
November 19, 1772
Age 61
Yorktown, York, Virginia