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Gov. Henry DURHAM, Sr.


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  • Name Henry DURHAM 
    Title Gov. 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Gender Male 
    • (1) Henry DURHAM was Acting Governor of Bermuda from 1682 to 1683.

      (2) "Governor of Bermuda," from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

      The Governor of Bermuda is the representative of the British monarch in the British overseas territory of Bermuda. The Governor is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the British government. The role of the Governor is to act as the de facto head of state, and he or she is responsible for appointing the Premier and the 11 members of the Senate (the upper house of Bermuda's Parliament).

      The current Governor is John Rankin; he was sworn in on 5 December 2016.

      The Governor has his own flag in Bermuda, a Union Flag defaced with the territory's coat of arms.


      Bermuda's settlement began in 1609, with the wrecking of the flagship of the Virginia Company, the Sea Venture. Although most of the passengers and crew ultimately completed their voyage to Virginia, the archipelago was permanently settled from that point, and left in the hands of the Virginia Company. The first intentional settlers arrived in 1612, under the colony's first Governor, Richard Moore. A carpenter by trade, Moore ensured the long-term survival of the colony by concentrating on building fortifications, including the first stone forts in the English New World, and developing St. George's Town.

      Bermuda was the second permanent English colony established (as an extension of the first, Jamestown, Virginia). Bermuda was administered under Royal charters by the Virginia Company, and its successor, the Somers Isles Company, which appointed the colony's governors until the Crown revoked the charter and took over administration in 1684. The Crown maintained the system of government established under the company; an elected parliament and a privy council under a governor. The Privy Council, made up of the Chief Justice, certain senior civil servants, and appointees, was also known as the Governor's Council and the Legislative Council (most of its responsibilities are now filled by the Cabinet and the Senate of Bermuda, with the Council now only an advisory body for the Governor). The last company-appointed Governor was reappointed by the Crown. In 1707 the British State was created by the union of the Kingdom of England with the Kingdom of Scotland, and Bermuda thereby became a British colony. Since the 1783 independence of Virginia, it has been the Britain's oldest colony. Following US independence, Bermuda became an important Royal Navy base, with a large military garrison to guard it. As such, the policy of the government until the closure of the Royal Naval dockyard in 1953 had been to appoint retiring Generals or Admirals as Bermuda's Governor and Commander-in-Chief. On the rare occasions when a civilian was appointed to the role, it was only as Governor - the role of Commander-in-Chief being filled by a serving General or Admiral in Bermuda or Newfoundland. Since the 1950s, those appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief have tended to be prominent career-politicians at the ends of their political lives.

      Prior to the creation of the lower (and, originally, only) house of the Parliament of Bermuda, the House of Assembly, in 1620, the Governors ruled supreme, and were often draconian. Governor Daniel Tucker, formerly of Virginia, who arrived in 1616, was notorious for his harshness, having many islanders hanged, maimed, or whipped on the slightest provocation. One Bermudian, John Wood, was hanged for airing his views on the Governor in church. Governor Tucker's personal boat was reportedly stolen by five islanders, one named Saunders, who left a note saying they were on their way to England, or Davy Jones' Locker, either place being preferable to Bermuda under Tucker's rule. On reaching England, they complained about the harshness of Tucker's rule, though their complaints fell on deaf ears. Governor Tucker also, reportedly, used his oversight of the surveying of Bermuda to enrich himself and future generations of Bermudian Tuckers with prime real estate when he appropriated the overplus (surplus) land left after Richard Norwood's 1616 survey of the colony. Much of this land, forming an estate known as The Grove, would still be in the hands of his relatives during the American War of Independence.

      For the remainder of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the real political power in Bermuda lay in the elected parliament and the appointed Council, both dominated by members of Bermuda's wealthy commercial class. By the mid-Seventeenth Century, the Somers Isles Company had ceased sending Governors from overseas, and instead appointed Bermudians such as William Sayle from this same local elite; a policy which ended after the Civil Wars. Governors who were too high-handed or injudicious in the exercise of their office occasionally fell foul of the local political institutions. Governor Isaac Richier, who arrived in 1691, quickly made himself unpopular with his carousing and criminal behaviour. Bermudian complaints saw him placed in jail, and replaced by Governor Goddard. When Goddard proved worse than Richier, attorney general Samuel Trott had him jailed alongside Richier. The two governors were to be tried before a pair of prominent Bermudians, John Trimmingham and William Butterfield. After Trott called the amateur judges bush lawyers, however, he found himself in St. George's jail alongside the governors. After they confided in him their plan for escape, Trott informed the judges. Richier and Goddard were sent back to England for trial.

      At the written request of George Washington, during the course of the American War of Independence, 100 barrels of gunpowder were stolen from a magazine in St. George's and provided to the American rebels. No one was ever prosecuted in relation to this act of treason. The theft had been the result of a conspiracy involving powerful Bermudians, who were motivated as much by Bermuda's desperate plight, denied her primary trading partner and source of food, as by any favourable sentiments they may have had in regard to either the American colonists or their cause. The chief conspirator was Henry Tucker of The Grove (the overplus estate appropriated in 1616 by Governor Daniel Tucker), a Member of the House of Assembly, former Member of the Council, and Militia officer (soon to be promoted to Colonel), who had plotted with Benjamin Franklin while attending the rebel Continental Congress as a delegate for Bermuda. Two of his sons served in the rebel Army and were to achieve high office in the post-War US Government. A third son, also named Henry Tucker, was at the time the President of the Council (and later acting Governor on multiple occasions), and married to the daughter of Governor George James Bruere. Following this, Bermudians and their political institutions were looked at suspiciously by the British Government.

      With the buildup of the naval and military bases on the island following American independence, the position of the Governor was enhanced. Despite this, the Governors - appointed by the Crown - remained largely dependent on the Bermudian parliament to pass laws and to provide funds. This fact often found Governors pleading in vain for the required acts of parliament or money to carry out policies determined at Government House, or in London. This was particularly noticeable in the Bermudian Parliament's neglect to maintain militia, which (other than during the course of the American War of 1812), it allowed to become moribund after the build-up of the naval and military base began in 1795.

      Attempts to raise militias directly under the control of the Governor, without acts of the local parliament, ultimately failed because the parliament did not provide funds. In the 1860s, it became the policy of the British Government to reduce the costly professional military garrison in Bermuda. As it was not wished to leave the colony, seen more as a naval base, unguarded, this could only be done if the professional soldiers were replaced with part-time Volunteer units. Successive governors were set the task of convincing the Bermudian parliament to raise the required units, but, concerned of being saddled with the cost of maintaining the entire garrison, as well as with the possibility for social disruption that could be caused by raising either racially segregated or integrated units, the Bermudian Parliamentarians simply refused. This state of affairs continued until the Secretary of State for War found a lever (the Princess Hotel) to blackmail the Bermuda Parliament with in 1885, which resulted it finally passing acts in 1892 for the creation of militia and volunteer forces (although the units would be entirely funded by the British Government). Struggles between the Governor and the Parliament would continue to recur. In 1939, the Governor, General Sir Reginald Hildyard, resigned his post, reportedly because the Bermudian Parliament refused to allow him a motor car (motor vehicles having been banned in Bermuda before the First World War, following a petition signed by numerous Bermudians, and by visitors including Woodrow Wilson).

      On 10 March 1973, the 121st Governor, Richard Sharples, and his aide-de-camp Captain Hugh Sayers, were assassinated in a racist attack by a Bermudian black activist named Buck Burrows and an accomplice, Larry Tacklin, who were members of the Black Beret Cadres. Under Bermudian law at the time, premeditated murder was a capital offence, and death sentences were often handed out, though routinely commuted. No death sentence had been carried out since the 1940s. After much debate due to the controversial moral issues raised, the sentence stood despite a 6,000-strong petition from Bermudians to the Queen. Both men were hanged in 1977 for the killings and other murders, sparking riots throughout Bermuda. Buck Burrows explained in his confession that he had killed the Governor to prove that he was not untouchable and that white-dominated politics was fallible. He was also found guilty of murdering the police commissioner, George Duckett, six months earlier on 9 September 1972, and of killing the co-owner and book-keeper of a supermarket called the Shopping Centre, Victor Rego and Mark Doe in April 1973.

      List of Governors of Bermuda . . .

      24. 1682-1683 Henry Durham (Act. Gov.) . . .

      (3) Mercer, Julia E., Bermuda Settlers of the 17th Century, Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Company, 2008, pp. 49-50:

      HENRY DURHAM married to JUDITH HUNT, February 14, 1660. Their children:

      THOMAS bapt Mar 6, 1661[/2].
      RICHARD bapt July 23, 1665.
      HENRY born Sept 21 and bapt Dec 8, 1667.
      JOSEPH bapt May 8, 1670.
      MOSES born Feb 9 & bapt Mar 11, 1672[/3].
      JOSHUA bapt April 1675.
      DANIEL (or DAVID) bapt Apl 8, 1677.
      JUDITH born March 26 & bapt May 4, 1679.
      JOSIAH born Dec 7, 1680 and bapt Jan 11, 1681[/2].
      JUDITH buried Jan 26, 1682[/3]
      JUDITH (2nd) born March 10, 1682[/3] & bapt May 6, 1683.
      ANNE born Nov 10, 1864 & bapt Jan 16, 1685[/6]
      ELISHA born Sept 11 & bapt Oct 14, 1688
      ELIZABETH born Sept 22 & bapt Nov 5, 1693

      Notes: It seems probable that the DURHAM family in Bermuda descended from HENRY & JUDITH DURHAM as within the memory of the late WILLIAM HALL DARRELL some of the lands in Southampton [Parish, Bermuda] were occupied by a Mrs HUNT and Mrs ELIZABETH DURHAM.

      JUDITH HUNT was the daughter of Governor RICHARD HUNT and his wife FRANCES. They were the first HUNTS in Bermuda. Another HUNT daughter, SARAH married THOMAS GIBBS.


      HENRY & ELIZABETH DURHAM (possibly this is HENRY the son) held several shares of land in Southampton in 1688.

      In 1690 WILLIAM RIGHTON of Burlington in Province of West Jersey in the parts of America, mariner, sold 25 acres of land in Paget Parish Bermuda to DANIEL DURHAM. RIGHTON'S wife was SARAH one of the daughters of THOMAS MURRELL & SARAH his wife. Price £275.

      (4) Article posted by Roberta Estes to her blog, DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy <>, on May 20, 2017:

      If you sign on to Ancestry or any other site and look at trees, you'll find the persistent rumor that Thomas Durham is the son of Governor Henry Thomas Durham who had a son, Thomas, born about 1634.

      Unfortunately, there is not one shred of evidence to connect the two. Several trees also have the Governor passing away in 1694 in North Farnham Parish in Richmond County. I can assuredly tell you that there are absolutely NO records to corroborate this information.

      (5) Message posted by user to the Durham Genealogy Forum on December 13, 1998:

      Sorry, guys, LDS records notwithstanding, Thomas DURHAM 1661/1715 of Richmond Co. VA married to Dorothy ??? is NOT the son of Gov. Henry DURHAM of Bermuda. I bought that story too, but couldn't prove it was the same Thomas. Finally I wrote Bermuda Archives, and received an abstract of a lawsuit filed in Bermuda in 1734 that definitely proved that the Thomas who was born to Gov. Hunt [?] lived and died in Bermuda where he had a son "Richard Durham of Sandys tribe marriner Eldest son and heir of Thomas Durham Late of the same Gent: dec'd, who was the son of Henry Durham, Esq. "The suit was in regard to property in Bermuda lately in the possession of Judith DURHAM, Henry's wife. I would love to know also who the parents of our Thomas of Virginia were, but they weren't Henry and Judith Hunt DURHAM of Bermuda. I will say there is an outside chance there could be a collateral relationship, since the father of Henry DURHAM of Bermuda also named Thomas had other sons, who also may have had a son named Thomas, and of course there was trading, etc. between Bermuda and Virginia during that time, of which scant records were kept. Incidentally, since these are our ancestors also, Jim, I'd be really pleased to hear from you about clues you have for the possible family for Dorothy and her sisters.
    Person ID I42833  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 

    Family Judith HUNT,   b. Aft 28 Mar 1643 
    Married 14 Feb 1660  Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Thomas DURHAM,   b. Bef 6 Mar 1662, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     2. Richard DURHAM,   b. Bef 23 Jul 1665, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     3. Henry DURHAM, Jr.,   b. 21 Sep 1667, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     4. Joseph DURHAM,   b. Bef 8 May 1670, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     5. Moses DURHAM,   b. 9 Feb 1673, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     6. Joshua DURHAM,   b. Bef Apr 1675, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     7. Daniel DURHAM,   b. Bef 9 Apr 1677, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     8. Judith DURHAM,   b. 26 Mar 1679, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 26 Jan 1683, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 3 years)  [natural]
     9. Josiah DURHAM,   b. 7 Dec 1680, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     10. Judith DURHAM,   b. 10 Mar 1683, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     11. Anne DURHAM,   b. 10 Nov 1684, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     12. Elisha DURHAM,   b. 11 Sep 1688, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     13. Elizabeth DURHAM,   b. 22 Sep 1693, Port Royal, Southampton, Bermuda Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 19:11:43 
    Family ID F18451  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart