Governor Sir George Yeardley

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Gov Sir George Sir George Yeardley, Sir Knight and Governor

Birthplace: Bagshot, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Death: November 13, 1627 (39)
Jamestown, James County, Virginia Colony, British Colonial America
Place of Burial: Jamestown, James County, Virginia Colony, British Colonial America
Immediate Family:

Son of Ralph Yardley of Caldecot and Rhoda Yardley
Husband of Temperance West, Lady Yeardley
Father of Elizabeth Yeardley; Col. Argall Yeardley, Sr. and Col. Francis Yeardley
Brother of Ralph Yardley and Catherine Yeardley
Half brother of Catherine Irby

Occupation: Governor of the Virginia Colony
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Governor Sir George Yeardley

Temperance Flowerdew is documented as a wife of Governor Sir George Yeardley. Alice Bradley and Sarah NN are not.

Sir George Yeardley (1587 - 1627) was a plantation owner and three time colonial Governor of the British Colony of Virginia. A survivor of the Virginia Company of London's ill-fated Third Supply Mission, whose flagship, the Sea Venture, was shipwrecked on Bermuda for 10 months in 1609-10, he is best remembered for presiding over the initial session of the first representative legislative body in Virginia in 1619. With representatives from throughout the settled portion of the colony, the group became known as the House of Burgesses. It has met continuously since, and is known in modern times as the Virginia General Assembly.

Early life

George Yeardley was baptized 28 July 1588 in St. Saviour's Parish, Southwark, Surrey. Yeardley was the son of Ralph Yeardley (1549-1604), a London merchant-tailor, and Rhoda Marston (d. 1603). He chose not to follow his father into trade, but instead became a soldier and joined a company of English foot-soldiers to fight the Spanish in the Netherlands. As captain of a personal bodyguard, he was selected to serve Sir Thomas Gates during his term as Governor of Virginia.

The Shipwreck

Yeardley set sail on 1 June with the newly appointed Gates aboard the Sea Venture, the flagship of the ill-fated Third Supply expedition to Jamestowne. Leaving England in 1609, after seven weeks at sea and eight days from expected landfall the convoy ran into a tropical storm and the Sea Venture was shipwrecked in the Bermudas. No lives were lost, despite numerous problems and civil unrest amongst the former passengers, causing Gates to declare martial law, in 10 months time two small ships were built, the 30 ton Deliverance and the pinnance Patience, they arrived at Jamestowne 23 May 1610


The shipwreck survivors found the colonists of Jamestown in desperate condition. Most of the settlers had died from sickness, starvation, or been killed by Indians. Sir Thomas Gates agreed with the Jamestown settlers to abandon the colony and return to England. He ordered Captain George Yeardley to command his soldiers to guard the town preventing settlers from setting fire to the structures that were evacuated. Lord de la Warr soon arrived bringing supplies to save the struggling colony. Captain Yeardley was co-commander of the early Forts Henry and Charles at Kecoughtan. In October 1610, Lord De La Warr ordered Captain Yeardley and Captain Edward Brewster to lead 150 men into the mountains in search of silver and gold mines.

Marriage and Deputy-Governorship

In 1613 Yeardley married Temperence Flowerdew, daughter of Anthony Flowerdew of Hethersett, County Norfolk, and his wife Martha Stanley of Scottow, County Norfolk. Temperence had also sailed for Virginia in the 1609 expedition aboard the Faulcon, arriving at Jamestowne in August 1609, and one of the few survivors of the Starving Time.

In 1616 George Yeardley was designated Deputy-Governor of Virginia. One of his first duties was to come to an agreement with the Chickahominy Indians that secured food and peace for two years. He served from 1616-1617. Yeardley was appointed Deputy-Governor again in 1625.

Knighthood and Governorships of Virginia

Sir George Yeardley was knighted at Newmarket, England, on 24 November 1618, six days later he was commissioned Governor of Virginia. He was granted 300 acres (1.2 km2) of land to help defer the cost of maintaining himself as governor.

In 1618, he patented 1,000 acres of land on Mulberry Island. [1] He owned another private plantation upriver on the south side of the James River opposite Weyanoke, named Flowerdew Hundred.

Flowerdew Hundred plantation dates to 1618 with the patent of 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) on the south side of the James River in Virginia. Sir George Yeardley, a Governor and Captain General of the Virginia Colony, named the property after his wife, Temperance Flowerdew. The plantation elected two representatives to the first General Assembly in Jamestown in 1619: one was an ancestor of President Thomas Jefferson. With a population of about thirty, the plantation was economically successful with thousands of pounds of tobacco produced along with corn, fish and livestock. Sir George paid 120 pounds (possibly a hogshead of tobacco) to build the first windmill in British America in 1621.

The plantation survived the 1622 onslaught of Powhatan Indians losing only six people. It remained an active and fortified private plantation unlike many others in the area, such as the Citie of Henricus. The windmill was an English post design and was transferred by deed in the property’s 1624 sale to Abraham Piersey, a Cape Merchant of the London Company.

Yeardley led the first representative Virginia General Assembly, the legislative House of Burgesses, to meet on American soil convened at the church in Jamestown, 30 July 1619. One of the first acts of the this representative body was to set the price of tobacco. Yeardley was appointed Deputy-Governor again in 1625. He served a second time as Governor from 4 March 1626/7 until his death 13 November 1627. Sir George Yeardley is buried in the church at Jamestowne, Virginia.

Yeardley married Temperance Flowerdew, daughter of Anthony Flowerdew and Martha Stanley. The couple had three children:

Argoll Yeardley (31 August 1618 - 29 October 1655).

Elizabeth Yeardley (1620-1660)

Francis Yeardley (December 1623 - August 1657),%20GOVERNOR

George Yeardley /////////// He chose the life of a soldier and joined English footsoldiers to fight in the Netherlands against Spain. He was in charge of a company of bodguards to protect Sir. Thomas Gates when he was Governor of Virginia. He was one of the 60 subscribers to the Virginia Company 23 May 1609. He sailed to Virginia in 1609 in the ill fated Seaventure. He arrived in Virginia 9 months later and when Thomas Gates ordered Jamestowne to be abandoned he left Yearley in charge of a company of soldiers. Captain Yeardley was in charge of forts at Fort Henry and Fort Charles. In 1613 he married Temperance Flowerdew dau of Anthony Flowerdew of Hethersett, County Norfolk, England. She had sailed for Virginia in 1609. He was designated Deputy Governor in 1616. He was designated Governor of Virginia 18 Nov 1618, and 6 days later he was knighted. George Yeardley was knighted at Newmarket 24 Nov 1618. //////////// He built a plantation of 1000 acres of land called Flowerdew Hundred which was later sold to Capt. Abraham Peirsey. Sources (1)

Sir George Yeardley (1587 - 1627) was a plantation owner and three time colonial Governor of Virginia Colony and a survivor of the wreck of the Sea Venture. In 1613 Yeardley married Temperence Flowerdew.
Governor of Virginia.

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Governor Sir George Yeardley's Timeline

July 28, 1588
Bagshot, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Age 29
James City County, Virginia
Age 32
London, Middlesex, England, (Present UK)
December 1623
Age 35
November 13, 1627
Age 39
Jamestown, James County, Virginia Colony, British Colonial America
Jamestown, James County, Virginia Colony, British Colonial America