Sir Thomas Gates, Colonial Governor of Virginia



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Sir Thomas Gates, Kt.

出生地 Colyton Parish, Colyford, Devon, England
逝世 1622年9月7日之前
Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden

unknown Gatesunknown Gates之子
Lady unknown Gates的丈夫
Anthony Gates; Capt. Thomas Gates; Margaret Gates; Mary GatesElizabeth Gates之父

Occupation: Colonial Governor of Virginia
管理员 Martin Severin Eriksen

About Sir Thomas Gates, Colonial Governor of Virginia

Sir Thomas Gates (fl. 1585–1621), followed George Percy as governor of Jamestown, the English colony of Virginia (now the Commonwealth of Virginia, part of the United States of America). Percy, through inept leadership, was responsible for the lives lost during the period called the "starving time". Gates arrived to find a few surviving starving colonists commanded by Percy.

"Sir Thomas Gates was probably the first of this name to come to America. He was a major investor in the Virginia Company, and he made his first of several trips to that colony in 1608. He served as Governor of the small Virginia settlement at Jamestown until 1614 when he returned to England where he died in 1621. His children did not settle in America."

"Gates died in the Netherlands sometime before September 7, 1622. Sir Dudley Carleton was quoted, saying that Gates was "an ancient honest gentleman of this nation." Gates had five children at his death, Thomas, Anthony, Margaret, Mary, and Elizabeth. Gates Bay in Bermuda is named in his honor, and is purportedly the bay where the Sea Venture landed. Gates Fort, also named in his honor, is a point of interest in St. George, Bermuda."

Not to be confused with Thomas Gates, of Jamestown


From Encyclopedia of Virginia

Gates was born at Colyford in Colyton Parish, Devonshire, in the southwest of England. Little is known about his early life; his date of birth and the identity of his parents are unknown. ....

.... Sir Thomas Gates served as governor of Virginia in 1610 and then as lieutenant governor from 1611 until 1614. Born in the southwest of England, he served in the West Indies with Sir Francis Drake and fought with Robert Devereux, second earl of Essex, in Normandy and Cádiz, where Gates was knighted in 1596. Gates was an original investor in the Virginia Company of London and led an infantry company in the Netherlands until taking command of a massive resupply fleet to Virginia in 1609. Aboard the flagship Sea Venture, Gates and his crew were shipwrecked on Bermuda for nearly a year before finally making it to Virginia. There, Governor Gates encountered a colony on the brink of extinction, saved only by the timely arrival of a new governor, Thomas West, twelfth baron De La Warr.

... Gates immediately set about improving the defensive posture of the colonists, constructing three forts at the mouth of the James River. According to a later report by the General Assembly, he also "erected some buildinges in and about James Towne," including a governor's house, an additional blockhouse, and a new wharf. He even cultivated a garden containing small but vigorously growing fruit trees. These may have been tended to by Gates's daughters, whose mother (name unknown) had died on the transatlantic voyage. Rather than see them pursue their fortunes in Virginia, Gates sent them back home with Christopher Newport in December 1611. At his death, Gates had at least two sons, Thomas and Anthony, and three daughters, Margaret, Mary, and Elizabeth.

September 7, 1622 - Sir Dudley Carleton writes a letter informing an English official of the death, in the Netherlands, of Sir Thomas Gates, describing him as "an ancient honest gentlemen of this nation."

June 13, 1623 - Thomas Gates, the son of former Virginia governor Sir Thomas Gates, is given administration of his late father's estate.

From Wikipedia: Sea Venture 1609

Sir Thomas Gates had a cross erected before leaving Bermuda, on which was a copper tablet inscribed in Latin and English:

In Memory of our deliverance both from the Storme and the Great leake wee have erected this cross to the honour of God. It is the Spoyle of an English Shippe of 300 tonnes called SEA VENTURE bound with seven others (from which the storme divided us) to Virginia or NOVA BRITANIA in America. In it were two Knights, Sir Thomas Gates, Knight Gouvenor of the English Forces and Colonie there: and Sir George Somers, Knight Admiral of the Seas. Her Captain was Christopher Newport. Passengers and mariners she had beside (which all come to safety) one hundred and fiftie. Wee were forced to runne her ashore (by reason of her leake) under a point that bore South East from the Northerne Point of the Island which wee discovered first on the eighth and twentieth of July 1609.

From page 36 of THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN VIRGINIA DURING THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY By EDWARD D. NEILL "Ships Arriving At Jamestown, From The Settlement Of Virginia Until The Revocation Of Charter Of London Company.".

Ships which arrived at Jamestown. 1607—1624.

May 1610, built at Bermuda, the Delierance and the Patience. Gates and Somers with 100 colonists


The Swan, Master Thomas Gates, sailed May 1611, departing England, arriving Aug 30, 1611 Virginia.

The following entiries were obtained from Hotten book from the Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia 1624/1625 chapters, pages 201 thru 265, which lists the muster captain, and what ship the individual arrived on.

Sir Thomas Gates, lieutenant General of Virginia, returned from Holland in March and sailed from England towards the end of May 1611 with three ships, the Trial, the Swan and the Sara, three carvells (cattle only) and two hundred and four score men and twenty women, two hundred Kine, and many swine and other necessaries. His wife and daughters went with him. They sailed via the West Indies, and while stopping there, his wife died. He arrived in Virginia a litte before Dale's ships (Starr, Prosperous, Elizabeth) were ready to depart.

- The First Republic in America, Alexander Brown


There seems to be confusion concerning Thomas Gates who arrived in Jamestown in 1609 aboard the Swan and Sir Thomas Gates who arrived in Jamestown in 1610 aboard the Deliverance. Denis (see following note) notes this is an item downloaded from the Internet. However it seems to confuse Avery Kolb writing in Early Passengers to Virginia: When Did They Really Arrive?

I think Kolb (see following note) is confusing our Thomas Gates, who arrived aboard the Swan in 1609, and who married Elizabeth after she arrived in 1620 aboard the Warwick, with Sir Thomas Gates. Two different people.

Glenn Byant

Denis . . .

Family legend tells us that the originator of our American Gates line was Thomas Gates who arrived in Jamestown in 1609 aboard the Swan. This was not the Sir Thomas Gates of that time, but another, who was an "Ancient Planter" and married a woman named Elizabeth who arrived in Jamestown aboard the Warwick in 1620. (this is no longer a working site it was downloaded Monday, 19 May 2008 @ 1239:59 CDT)

Kolb . . .

There are a number of similar dual arrival errors. One of the most obvious is that Sir Thomas Gates, who in Hotten is shown as arriving on the Swann in 1609. Actually, as we know, Gates arrived first with remnants of the 1609 Somers Fleet on the ship Deliverance, which was constructed in Bermuda and reache Virginia in 1610.

Early Passengers to Virginia: When Did They Really Arrive?

Avery E. Kolb


Sir Thomas Gates, Colonial Governor of Virginia的年谱

Colyford, Devon, England
Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden