Gov John Leverett

Is your surname Leverett?

Research the Leverett family

Gov John Leverett's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Sir. John Leverett

Birthplace: Boston, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
Place of Burial: Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Leverett and Anne Fisher
Husband of Hannah Leverett and Sarah Sedgwick
Father of Hudson John Leverett; Ann Leverett and Elizabeth Leverett
Brother of Ann Shelley Addington (Leveritt); James Leverett; Jabez Leverett; Israel Leverett; Elisha Leverett and 4 others

Occupation: Governor of Massachusets
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gov John Leverett

Commanders and leaders of King Philip's War: Metacomet, Metacom, or Pometacom known as "King Philip of Wampanoag", Canonchet, chief of Narragansett Muttawmp, chief of Nipmuck Gov. Josiah Winslow, Gov. John Leverett, Gov. John Winthrop, Jr., Captain William Turner, Captain Benjamin Church

Read more:

Birth: 1616 Death: Mar. 16, 1679

Colonial Governor. Born in Boston, England he immigrated to Massachusetts with his father in 1633. Returning to England a year later to serve during the English Civil War for Oliver Cromwell where he apparently made an impact in the Lord Protector's service. Returning to Massachusetts in 1648 where he served as Deputy Governor under Richard Bellingham during 1671 through the year of 1673. When upon the death of Bellingham, he took the position of Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, until his own death while still in office. He is noted for his success with the King Philip's War. (bio by: The Guardian (inactive))

"John Leverett (1616-1679) was a colonial soldier and Governor of Massachusetts.

Leverett was born July 7, 1616. He came with his parents, Reverend John Cotton, and others, in the Griffin. He joined the First Church July 14, 1639. He was the son of Thomas Leverett, the ruling elder of the First Church, who had been Alderman of Boston, England. He sailed from London, and arrived at Boston, September 4, 1633.

He joined the Artillery Company 1639; clerk of the company, 1641; junior sergeant, 1642; senior sergeant, 1643; lieutenant, 1648; commander, 1652, 1663, and 1670. He was appointed captain under Sergeant-Major Gibbons, August 12, 1645, to take the field against the Narragansett Indians; captain of a troop of horse in 1652; and, same year, captain of South Company. In 1654, he held a command under General Sedgwick in expelling the French from Penobscot. He was captain of a troop of horse in Cromwell's service in 1656. In 1663, he was chosen Major-General of the Colony, and held the office ten years.

In 1662, [Leverett was] granted one thousand acres of land in consideration of his services to the colony and five hundred more in 1671. On May 23, 1666, he was voted 'thanks' by the General Court, and one hundred pounds gratuity for his care and pains in completing the batteries of Boston, and mounting the great artillery.

Deputy for Boston 1651, 1652, 1653, 1663, 1664, 1665.

Speaker of the House, 1651, 1663, 1664.

In 1665, chosen from the House of Deputies to be an assistant and continued in that office until 1670.

Deputy Governor, 1671, 1672.

Governor, May 7, 1673 to 1678, and died March 16, 1679, while holding that office.

In August, 1676, King Charles II conferred the Order of Knight-hood upon him, but he concealed the fact during his lifetime.

Governor Leverett died March 16, 1679, and was buried with great pomp, March 25, in King's Chapel Ground. The Leverett tomb is numbered 30, and the Governor and the members of his immediate family, Secretary Isaac Addington and many other noted personages were buried in this tomb.

The following epitaph, written a short time after Governor Leverett's decease, is probably the eleven-line inscription engraved on the horizontal slab over his tomb in King's Chapel Burying Ground, but the face of the stone is so much worn the epitaph cannot be deciphered. The copy of [the] epitaph [below] is taken from the genealogy of the Leverett family:

'To ye Sacred Memory of N.E's Heroe, Mars his Generall, & Vertues standard-bearer, & Learning's glory, y't faithfully pious, & piously faithful subject to ye Great Majesty of Heaven & Earth, ye Experienced souldier in ye Church Militant, lately Listed in ye Invincible Triuphant Army of ye Lord of Hosts, ye deservedly Worshipful Jn Leverett Esq'r ye Just Prudent, & Impartiall Governo'r of ye Massachusetts Colony, In N - E who surrendered to ye all Conquering Command of Death, March, 16, Anno Dom, 1678 et AEtatis su AE 63.'


An English colonial magistrate, merchant, soldier and governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 1673-1679. He oversaw the colonial actions in King Philip's War, and expanded the colony's territories by purchasing land claims in present-day Maine. His descendants include his grandson John, the seventh President of Harvard College, for whom Leverett, Massachusetts is named. Also Leverett Saltonstall, a 19th-century governor of Massachusetts.

John Leverett, son of Thomas Leverett, was born in England. His baptism was recorded in the Parish Register of St. Botolph's. While some sources say he came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his parents in 1633 from Boston, Lincolnshire Co., England it is more likely that he did not arrive until about 1638 as he did not join the church until mid-1639 and did not become a freeman until 1640. He probably stayed in England to complete his education.

In 1639 he married his first wife, Hannah Hudson, daughter of Ralph and Mary Hudson. Hannah was born in England and immigrated in 1635 at age 14. She and John had four children, she died at the birth of their fourth child on 7 July 7 1646. Their son Hudson was the only one to reach adulthood.

John worked as a merchant and became a freeman of Boston in 1640, he returned to England in 1644 to fight for Oliver Cromwell in the Parliamentary Army during the English Civil War. He was appointed to a command in Thomas Rainsborrow's Regiment.

By 1647 he was back in Massachusetts where he married Sarah Sedgwick. The biography for John in the Saltonstall Papers, shows her as the daughter of his business partner, Robert Sedgwick. Charles E. Leverett, reports that she was the daughter of William and Eliza.

He rose quickly in the colonial militia and became active in local politics, serving numerous terms in the Massachusetts General Court, and becoming a Boston selectman in 1651.

John Leverett was knighted for his service in England, and is referred to as Sir John Leverett, Knight. He was Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1673 to 1679.

He died March 16,1679, but the funeral was a delayed until the 25th, and burial was at King's Chapel Burying Ground. The ceremony must have been an extremely important event, a list of the various individuals and the position they were to take in the march is in a manuscript by second Judge Cooke.

His memorial has a brief biography and a link to his sons.

view all

Gov John Leverett's Timeline

July 7, 1616
Boston, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Boston, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
May 3, 1640
Age 24
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
April 26, 1651
Age 35
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
November 23, 1652
Age 36
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
March 16, 1679
Age 63
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
Boston Latin School
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States