Home >> New International Encyclopedia, Volume 14 >> New Years Day to Nordau >> Nicholson


governor, lie, royal and virginia

NICHOLSON, Sir FRANCIS (1660-1728). A British colonial governor and soldier in America. He was born in England, and in 1678 entered the army as an ensign. In 1684 he became a lieu tenant and was sent to America, where in 1687 lie was appointed deputy for New York of Sir Edmund Andros. Nicholson's administration of affairs in New York was weak and vacillating. In the spring of 1689, at the time of the Leisler rebellion (see LETSLER, JACOB), lie was turned out of offiee, and returned to England, a new commis sion from William Ill. as Governor of the colony arriving soon after his departure. From 1690 to 1694 he was Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, and administered the affairs of the colony with great ability. Although himself a dissolute rake. he endeavored, with considerable success, to im prove the moral and intellectual condition of the people. He gave his attention to bettering the character and condition of the clergy, established for the first time a regular system of schools, and founded William and Alary College, to which be himself donated the sum of 300. In 1694 Lord Howard of Effingham, under whom Nichol son served as deputy. died, and when Andros was appointed to succeed him Nicholson, disappointed, resigned. He was pacified with the appointment to the Governorship of Alaryland. where his fail

ure to get along with the colonists was as con spicuous as his success in Virginia hail been. In 1698 he returned to Virginia as Governor, but his second term was far less successful than the first. He caused considerable irritation and ill feeling by his removal of the capital from James town to Williamsbnrg. Ile was recalled in 1705. In 1709 and 1711 he made ineffectual attempts to invade Canada by leading an army northward from Albany by way of Lake Champlain. In 1710 lie planned and commanded the expedition which resulted in the capture of Port Royal, and in 1713 became GoNernor of Acadia. In 1719, the proprietary charter of South Carolina hav ing been declared forfeited, Nicholson was ap pointed royal Governor. lie was knighted in the following year, and remained in South Carolina until 172.5. In the same year lie attained the rank of lieutenant-general. Ile published an in teresting account of the capture of Port Royal, entitled Journal of an Expedition for the Re duction of Port Royal (1711), reprinted by the Nova Scotia Historical Society in 1879: and .In Apology or rindication of Sir Francis Nicholson, Governor of South Carolina (1724).