In 1664, Drummond was chosen to be governor of the Albemarle County colony (which would eventually become North Carolina) by Virginia Governor William Berkeley at the request of Berkeley's fellow Lords Proprietor of the colony. Drummond summoned the first legislative assembly in Carolina in 1665. Samuel Stephens succeeded him as governor.
Drummond returned to Virginia in 1667 and later supported Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon's Rebellion against the government of Governor Berkeley. After Bacon was defeated, Drummond was found guilty of treason and rebellion against the king. Governor Berkeley had Drummond executed on January 17, 1677.