Francis Moryson, Governor of Virginia

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Francis Moryson, Governor of Virginia

Birthplace: Wales
Death: Died in Bishop's Waltham, Southampton , England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Richard Moryson, MP and Elizabeth Harington
Husband of Mary Winston and Cecilia Moryson
Father of Edith Dabney and Lieut. Col. Henry Moryson
Brother of Sir Henry Moryson; Maj. Richard Moryson; Robert Moryson; Fynes Moryson and Lettice Moryson, Vicountess Falkland

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About Francis Moryson, Governor of Virginia

Francis Moryson (bef. 1628–1680/81) [SIC: see notes for dates] was an English soldier and Virginia colonial official. He was a Royalist in the English Civil War.

Moryson, Francis, deputy governor of Virginia from April 30, 1661, to the fall of 1662, was a son of Sir Richard Moryson, who was secretary of state to King James I. He served in King Charles' army with the rank of major and he embarked from London with his fellow loyalists, Colonel Henry Norwood, Major Richard Fox and major Francis Cary, for Virginia, September 23, 1649, and arrived in Virginia the November following. Driven by a storm, their ship found itself on June 12, 1650, among the islands of Assateague Bay, on the Atlantic coast of Virginia. Upon one of these Colonel Moryson landed with several of his companions, and after various experiences in Accomac crossed over to the main shore and was kindly received by Sir William Berkeley, who gave him the command of the fort at Point Comfort. In 1655 he was speaker of the house of burgesses, and when Governor Berkeley visited England in 1662, Moryson acted as governor till sometime in the fall of the following year. The memory of his service as chief executive is marked by his gift of a splendid service of church plate to the church at Jamestown, which is preserved by the church in Williamsburg. After the return of Berkeley, Moryson was sent as agent to England at an annual salary of £200 to protest against a grant of the Northern Neck to several court favorites. He remained as agent in England till 1677, when he returned to Virginia as one of a commission to enquire into the disturbances known as Bacon's rebellion. The commissioners held court at Swann's Point, over against Jamestown, which had been destroyed. Their report was a very full account of this interesting episode in Virginia history, and the finding was very much against Governor Berkeley. Moryson soon after returned to England, and died there not long after. He left a widow Cecilia, sister of Giles Rawlins, and a son Henry, who in 1699 was colonel to the Colstream Foot Guards. Colonel Moryson was preceded to Virginia by his two brothers — Richard and Robert Moryson, who also commanded at Point Comfort, and after Major Moryson, held commission about 1664. His sister, Letitia Moryson, was wife of the noble cavalier, Lucius Cary, Lord Falkland.


There is a letter dated 1685 from Col. Francis Moryson, soliciting from Lord Clarendon the Captaincy of the Fort for his nephew, Col. Charles Moryson—a place which Lord Falkland had got from his father.

!28 Dec 1698: Rachel Viscountess Dowager ffaulkland aged sixty yeares or thereabout make the oath yt haveing married wth Harry late Lord ffaulkland who was sonn to one of ye Daughters of Sr. Richard Morryson, She ye said Lady ffaulkland was well acquainted with severall of ye said Sr. Richard Morrysons relacons & has been informed & is well satisfied yt ye said Sr Richard Moryson had five sonnes. ffrancis ye third Sonn who dyed Leaveing Issue Henry Morryson his Eldest sonn who is now a Lewt. Coll. in ye Lord Cutts Regemt of ffort Guards. Jurat 28th die Decembr, 1698. Coram Myles Cooke. Recorded 22d of July 1699 P Cha : Jening s Cl Cur. Old Kecoughtan, Elizabeth City County, VA - Old Records; Wm. & Mary Qtrly, Vol. 9, No. 2.

from page 445 of Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Volumes 3-4 edited by Lyon Gardiner Tyler

Hard Times at POINT COMFORT. The following occurs in a letter of Anthony Henley, of the Grange, County Southampton, England, father of the Lord High Chancellor, Robert Earl of Northington (1708-1772), to Dean Swift:

“Col. Morrison of the guards (he lives next door to Tart-Hall) his father was in Virginia, and being like to be starved, the company had recourse to a learned master of arts; his name was Venter: he advised them to eat one another pour passer la temps, and to begin with a fat cook-maid. She had certainly gone to pot, had not a ship arrived just in the nick with a quantity of pork, which appeased their hunger, and saved the wench’s bacon.”London Magazine 1766, p. 352.

(Henry Moryson, son of Col. Francis Moryson, was born in the parish of Bishops Waltham, Southampton Co., England, October 21, 1669. In 1699 he was Lieut. Col. of Lord Cutts’ Regiment of Foot Guards. His father, Francis Moryson, son of Sir Richard Moryson, was a cavalier in the army of Charles I, and came to Virginia in 1649, where he was captain of the Fort at Point Comfort and acting governor in the absence of Sir William Berkeley in 161-62.—(William and Mary College Quarterly, IX, 119-122.)

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Francis Moryson, Governor of Virginia's Timeline

May 8, 1631
Age 26
Wales, England
October 21, 1669
Age 64
Bishop's Waltham, Southampton , England
Age 80
Bishop's Waltham, Southampton , England