Gov. John West of Virginia

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Governor John West, Sr.

Also Known As: "Captain"
Birthplace: Wherwell, Hampshire, England
Death: Died in King William, Virginia Colony
Place of Burial: King William, Virginia Colony
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas West, 2nd Baron de la Warr and Anne Knollys, Baroness De La Warr
Husband of Anne Percy
Father of Col. John West of West Point, Virginia; Anthony West; Matthew West; Thomas West; Nathaniel West and 2 others
Brother of Elizabeth Salstonstall; Robert West, MP; Margaret Johnson; Thomas West, 3rd Baron de la Warre; Walsingham West and 13 others

Occupation: Governor & Captain General of Virginia (1635-1637), Member of the Virginia House of Burgesses (1628-30); Acting governor of colonial Virginia (1635-37).
Managed by: David Clifton Majors
Last Updated:

About Gov. John West of Virginia

The colonial Governor of Virginia from 1635 to 1637, the third West brother to serve in that position.

He was the fourth son and twelfth child of Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr, of Wherwell Abbey in Hampshire, and his wife, Lady Anne Knollys. - mentions marriage only to Anne Percy.

The Honorable John West (1590-1659), twelfth child of Sir Thomas West, Second Lord De La Warr, matriculated at Magdalen College 17 February 1608/9 and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts on 1 December 1613. He came to Virginia in 1618 and immediately associated himself with the military life of the colony. After the massacre of 1622 he commanded a company of men against the Indians. He was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1629-1630 and in 1634 a Justice of the Peace in York County. He was a member of the Governor'’s Council in Virginia from 1631 until the time of his death. Great unrest arose in Virginia in the spring of 1635, and the Council advised that Governor Sir John Harvey return to England, whereupon Colonel John West was elected Governor and Captain General of Virginia. He served until 18 January 1636/7, shortly after which he was appointed to the office of Muster Master General of Virginia by King Charles I of England.

In 1631 when the Council resolved to plant a settlement on the York River, Colonel John West was one of the first settlers to patent lands on King’s Creek, and shortly established himself at his plantation there (later known as “Bell-field”) where in 1632 was born his only child, John West Junior, being the first child of English parents born on the York River. Governor West sold this plantation in 1650 to Edward Digges, Esquire (Governor of Virginia 1655-1656), and moved to his plantation known to this day as West Point in the fork of the York River where he died in 1659.

Colonel John West died at his West Point plantation, 1659, and in March 1660, the House of Burgesses passed a Resolution of Good Will in recognition of "the many important favors and services rendered to the country of Virginia by the noble family of West, predecessors of Mr. John West, their now only survivor ..... It is ordered that the levies of the said Master West and his family be remitted, and that he be exempt from payment thereof during life".

(There must be some missing text; this seems to refer to Anne Percy, wife of John West?....)......"Governor John ..... many of her descendants that she was the only child of George Percy (1580-1632) (youngest son of Sir Henry de Percy, Eighth Earl of Northumberland) and his wife Ann Floyd, daughter of Nathaniel Floyd of Jamestown. George Percy came to Virginia in 1607 and returned to England in 1612, leaving his wife in Virginia.

Governor John West and Ann, his wife, had an only child, John West, Junior, mentioned in act of March 160?, as the only survivor (in Virginia) of the noble family of West; of him more subsequently."

More children are shown above...needs further research, though perhaps some were the children of John and his 2nd wife?...

Washington and Northern Virginia Company - Jamestowne Society - -

  • Served as Crown Governor of Virginia from 1635-1637.

Governor from 1635-1636

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Gov. John West of Virginia's Timeline

December 14, 1590
Wherwell, Hampshire, England
Age 24
Charles City, Charles City County, Virginia, United States
Age 34
Age 34
June 6, 1632
Age 41
York River, York, Virginia
Age 43
March 1659
Age 68
King William, Virginia Colony
Age 68
King William, Virginia Colony