Governor of Saint Helena

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Governor of St Helena
Coat of Arms of Saint Helena.svg
Coat of Arms of Saint Helena
Flag of the Governor of Saint Helena.svg
Standard of the Governor of Saint Helena
Philip Rushbrook

since 11 May 2019
StyleHis Excellency
ResidencePlantation House, St Helena
AppointerMonarch of the United Kingdom
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
First holderJohn Dutton
WebsiteGovernment of St Helena
Flag of the Governor of Saint Helena

The Governor of Saint Helena is the representative of the British monarch in the United Kingdom's overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.[1] The Governor is appointed by the monarch on the official advice of Her Majesty's Government (HMG).

The role of the Governor is to act as the de facto head of state as well as the de jure head of government and commander-in-chief of the territory, which consists of the islands of Saint Helena and Ascension and the group of islands of Tristan da Cunha. His or her responsibilities include internal security, external affairs, the administration of justice, finance, shipping, and employment, and disciplinary action in respect of any public officer. The Governor is based on Saint Helena and is represented by resident Administrators, appointed by HMG, on Ascension Island, and Tristan da Cunha. He or she also appoints Saint Helena's Executive Council, and, with some exceptions, is bound to seek and act in accordance with their advice.

The Governor has his/her own flag in Saint Helena, the Union Flag defaced with the territory's coat of arms. The official residence, Plantation House, is located near the capital Jamestown, and the Governor's office is located within The Castle, along with the office of the Chief Secretary, who runs the day-to-day administrative part of the government.

Before 2009 the territory was known as "Saint Helena", of which Ascension and Tristan da Cunha were dependencies. A new constitution that came into force in 2009 changed the name of the territory to "Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha"; however, the Governor's title remained as the "Governor of Saint Helena".[2] The Governor of Saint Helena nonetheless is the British monarch's representative across the territory.

Acting Governor and the Governor's Deputy[edit]

Under the St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009, an Acting Governor is appointed when the office of Governor is vacant or the Governor is unable to fulfill his or her duties long term. The Acting Governor is appointed by Her Majesty The Queen.

If the Governor is off the island for a short time (including when s/he visits Ascension or Tristan da Cunha) or is ill for a short period, s/he may appoint anyone on St Helena to be Deputy. The Deputy must follow any instructions issued by the Governor. It is current practice to appoint an Acting Governor when the Governor is away from the island of Saint Helena, even if visiting either Ascension Island or Tristan da Cunha.[3]

In recent years the Chief Secretary (or in his/her absence, the Attorney General) has taken on this temporary role in the Governor's absence, the most recent times being in January 2011 when the Governor travelled to Tristan da Cunha and the Chief Secretary became Deputy Governor[4] and then later in 2011 when Kenneth Baddon, the Attorney General, became Deputy Governor.

List of governors of Saint Helena[edit]

East India Company governors[edit]

The territory was governed by the East India Company from its initial colonization in 1659 to the end of Company rule in 1834.

British Crown governors[edit]

Following on from St Helena becoming a crown colony in 1834, the first governor was appointed in 1836.

  1. 1836 – Major General George Middlemore
  2. 1842 – Colonel Hamelin Trelawney
  3. 1846 – Major General Sir Patrick Ross
  4. 1851 – Colonel Sir Thomas Gore Browne
  5. 1856 – Sir Edward Drummond-Hay
  6. 1863 – Admiral Sir Charles Elliot
  7. 1870 – Vice Admiral Charles George Edward Patey
  8. 1873 – Hudson Ralph Janisch
  9. 1890 – Sir William Grey-Wilson
  10. 1897 – Robert Armitage Sterndale
  11. 1903 – Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Galway
  12. 1912 – Major Sir Harry Cordeaux
  13. 1920 – Colonel Robert Peel
  14. 1925 – Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Iremonger (Acting Governor)
  15. 1925 – Sir Charles Harper
  16. 1932 – Sir Spencer Davis
  17. 1938 – Sir Guy Pilling
  18. 1941 – Major William Gray
  19. 1947 – Sir George Joy
  20. 1954 – Sir James Harford
  21. 1958 – George Albert Lewis (Acting Governor)
  22. 1960 – Sir Robert Alford
  23. 1963 – Sir John Field
  24. 1969 – Sir Dermod Murphy
  25. 1971 – Sir Thomas Oates
  26. 1976 – Geoffrey Colin Guy
  27. 1981 – Sir John Dudley Massingham
  28. 1984 – Francis Eustace Baker
  29. 1988 – Robert F Stimson
  30. 1991 – Alan Hoole
  31. 1995 – David Leslie Smallman
  32. 1999 – David Hollamby
  33. 2004 – Michael Clancy
  34. 2004 – Martin Hallam (Acting Governor)
  35. 2007 – Andrew Gurr
  36. 2011 – Kevin Baddon (Acting Governor)
  37. 2011 – Mark Andrew Capes
  38. 2016 – Lisa Honan[8]
  39. 2019 – Dr Philip Rushbrook[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order, 2009 does not provide for a 'Governor of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha': it only provides for a 'Governor of St Helena', who is concurrently the 'Governor of Ascension' and the 'Governor of Tristan da Cunha'.
  2. ^ The St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009 Part 3 of the Constitution (in the Schedule to the Order)
  3. ^ "St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009, Schedule sections 27 and 28". Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  4. ^ St Helena Independent Archived 2012-03-17 at the Wayback Machine 21 January 2011, see page 8
  5. ^ British Magazine 1st Dec 1746, p402
  6. ^ Maj. V. C. P. Hodson, List of the Officers of the Bengal Army, 1758-1834, part III (London: Phillimore & Co. Ltd., 1946), 481.
  7. ^ Stearn, Roger T. "Coffin, John Pine". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/5809. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  8. ^ "Foreign & Commonwealth Office – Change of Her Majesty's Governor of St Helena". Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Change of Governor of St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 4 December 2018.

External links[edit]