Berkeley, Sir William

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Berkeley, Sir William,

1606–77, colonial governor of Virginia. Appointed governor in 1641, he arrived in Virginia in 1642. Berkeley defeated the Native Americans and the Dutch, extended explorations, and encouraged agriculture, but so persecuted dissenters that many of them left the colony. An uncompromising royalist, he made Virginia a haven for supporters of Charles I and declined to recognize the Commonwealth. Berkeley was deposed by a Puritan force from England in 1652 and lived quietly on his Virginia plantation until the Restoration in 1660, when he was reappointed governor. His second term as governor was marred by great domestic discontent and strife. A drop in tobacco prices brought great economic suffering to the colony. At the same time it was charged that Berkeley was showing favoritism toward a small group of friends and depriving the freemen of their rights. When, in addition, Berkeley refused to take the measures demanded by the frontiersmen for protection against the Native Americans, Bacon's RebellionBacon's Rebellion,
popular revolt in colonial Virginia in 1676, led by Nathaniel Bacon. High taxes, low prices for tobacco, and resentment against special privileges given those close to the governor, Sir William Berkeley, provided the background for the uprising, which was
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 broke out. Temporarily forced to flee, Berkeley regained power after Bacon's premature death and ordered the hanging of many of Bacon's followers. The executions were carried out in defiance of a royal commission that had arrived with pardon for all except Bacon. Finally he yielded to the commission's order that he return to England, where he died discredited.


See T. J. Wertenbaker, Virginia under the Stuarts, 1607–1688 (1914); W. Washburn, The Governor and the Rebel (1957).

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Berkeley, Sir William

(1606–77) colonial governor; born in Somerset, England. He became governor of Virginia in 1642, led militia against the colony's remaining Indian tribes, organized a defense that prevented a Dutch landing on the Virginia coast in 1665, and ruthlessly put down a settlers' rebellion in 1676.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Governor Sir William Berkeley's negotiated peace with the Pamunkey weroance Necotowance in 1646 was thus a watershed moment, ushering in the tributary system by bringing the former members of the Powhatan paramount confederacy into new, colony-centered bonds of mutual obligation, "some honored and some broken" (16).
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Here the use of blackface paint is carefully analysed to suggest how it can be used as a device to establish white supremacy in Ben Jonson's work, as a protective tool for women in Walter Montagu's The Shepherds' Paradise and, in Sir William Berkeley's The Lost Lady, as a critique of the values of women.
Frank Callender, Paisley A The choreographer and director was born William Berkeley Enos in Los Angeles on November 29, 1895.
His brother, Sir William Berkeley (1606-77), was Governor or Virginia from the 1640s and the exiled cavaliers he encouraged to settle there were the ancestors of the Virginia planter aristocracy.
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THE innovative choreographer and director was born William Berkeley Enos in Los Angeles on November 29, 1895.