Sir Danvers Osborn, 3rd Baronet

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Sir Danvers Osborn, Bt
Danvers Osborn (1715–1753), Governor of New York, by Petrus Johannes van Reysschoot.jpg
Danvers Osborn (1715–1753), Governor of New York (Petrus Johannes van Reysschoot, 1736)
Colonial Governor of the Province of New York
In office
Preceded byGeorge Clinton
Succeeded byJames DeLancey
Personal details
Born(1715-11-17)17 November 1715
Shefford, England
Died12 October 1753(1753-10-12) (aged 37)
New York City, Province of New York

Sir Danvers Osborn, 3rd Baronet (17 November 1715 – 12 October 1753), served briefly in 1753 as colonial governor of New York Province. During the Jacobite Uprising, he had raised and commanded troops in support of the king. He later served as a Member of Parliament from Bedfordshire (1747–1753). In 1750 he traveled to Nova Scotia and was part of the colonial administration. He had a history of melancholia, as it was then called, and committed suicide in New York shortly after taking office.

Early life[edit]

Osborn was born on 17 November 1715, at Chicksands village (Shefford, Bedfordshire, England), which was the seat of the Osborn family. His father was John Osborn, eldest son of Sir John Osborn, 2nd Baronet (see Osborn baronets). Of the previous four generations of paternal relatives, two grandmothers (Lady Doroty Danvers and Lady Eleanor Danvers) had belonged to the Danvers lineage. Osborn's mother was Sarah Byng. Her father was George Byng, the 1st Viscount Torrington, whereas her brother was the Admiral John Byng. Both Byng relatives were prominent figures against the Jacobite rising of 1689. In 1720 he succeeded his grandfather in the baronetcy.

Osborn was married to Lady Mary Montagu, on 25 September 1740. She was of the 8th generation of Henry VIII's lineage. Her father was George Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, whereas her brother George Montagu-Dunk became the 2nd Earl. Osborn begot two children, of whom one was named George. However, in 1743, Lady Montagu died after delivering the second child. Osborn was quite affected by grief for her for the rest of his life. During the subsequent years, Osborn was a frequent guest at the Montagu-Dunk's manor of Horton (Northamptonshire).

Political career[edit]

When Charles Edward Stuart rebelled in 1745 (Jacobite rising of 1745) in behalf of the House of Stuart, Osborn raised troops to support the King George II, commanding such forces into battle, within Colonel Bedford's regiment, under the Duke of Cumberland.

Subsequently, Osborn represented Bedfordshire as a Member of Parliament (1747–1753). In 1750, following the 2nd Earl of Halifax, who was presiding the Board of Trade and founding the city of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Danvers Osborn travelled to Nova Scotia for six weeks, integrating into the Nova Scotia Council (August). Therein, many issues were attended by Osborn, such as the supplies of the new settlers, the remuneration of the construction workers of the royal projects, and the regulation of the local trade, which was functioning then on Sundays despite the biblical precepts. Attending to so many local matters brought Osborn esteem from the settlers. Back in England, in December, he discussed the issues of Halifax with the official functionaries of trade and plantation.

In May 1753, the Board of Trade recommended that Danvers Osborn should be the next Royal Governor of the Province of New York. In July, his appointment was approved. After his arrival on 6 October, Osborn was welcomed officially by the mayor and the assemblymen of New York, and formally assumed his office on 10 October. His personal secretary was the Englishman Thomas Pownall.


On 12 October 1753, Osborn's dead body was found in the garden of the house in which he was lodged, which belonged to a local councilman. The body presented evidences of strangulation. James De Lancey, the lieutenant governor who took over as acting governor on Osborn's death, reported to the Board of Trade that Osborn had had a melancholic demeanor, which evidenced a great psychological disorder. Historically, such depression to provoke Osborn's suicide, is attributed to grief over his lost wife. The New York Post reported his death and gave details of the last week of his life before his suicide.

Initially, Osborn was buried at the Trinity Church of New York. In 1754, his remains were transported to Osborn's native parish of England (Chicksands), where he was reinterred.

See also[edit]


  • Colonial Governors of NY
  • Sir Danvers Osborn
  • Fergusson, Charles Bruce (1974). "Osborn, Sir Danvers". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. III (1741–1770) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  • Chicksands. A Millennium Of History
  • The Baronetage of the Osborns of Chicksands.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
George Clinton
Governor of the Province of New York
Succeeded by
James DeLancey
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Roger Burgoyne, Bt
Sir John Chester, Bt
Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire
with Thomas Alston
Succeeded by
Thomas Alston
The Earl of Upper Ossory
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
John Osborne
(of Chicksands)
Succeeded by
George Osborn