Thomas Shirley (1727 - 1800)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Thomas Shirley

Thomas would become a major general in the British army, created a baronet in 1786, and was, after his posting to the Bahamas, governor of Dominica and of the Leeward Islands.


Sir Thomas Shirley, 1st Baronet (1727? – 1800) was a British colonial governor and military officer. The son of William Shirley, a politically well-connected colonial administrator who served for many years as governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, Shirley entered the military, serving in the Louisbourg expedition his father organised in 1745. During the Seven Years' War he served on Minorca and in the 1761 Capture of Belle Île.

Shirley succeeded his father as governor of The Bahamas in 1768, and was appointed governor of Dominica in 1774, a post he held until the island was captured in 1778 by French forces during the American War of Independence. He was thereafter (1781) named governor of the Leeward Islands, and awarded a baronetcy in 1786. He died in Bath, England in 1800. Fort Shirley in Cabrits National Park, Dominica, was named for him, as were military installations in Antigua, then-capital of the Leewards.

Shirley is often incorrectly described as having been born in Boston, or in 1769. He was, however, born prior to his father's departure for Massachusetts.

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Major General Sir Thomas Shirley, 1st Baronet's Timeline

Age 68
Age 73