Portal:British Virgin Islands/Selected biography

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Selected biographies


Flag of the British Virgin Islands.svg

These are selected biographies related to the British Virgin Islands which appear on Portal:British Virgin Islands.

Arthur William Hodge

Arthur William Hodge (1763 - 1811) was a plantation farmer, member of the Council and Legislative Assembly and slave owner in the British Virgin Islands who was hanged on 8 May 1811 for the murder of one of his slaves. Hodge was the first, if not the only slave owner executed for the murder of a slave in the British West Indies. He though was not, as some have claimed, the first white person to have been lawfully executed for the killing of a slave.

Hodge was born in the British Virgin Islands, studied at Oriel College, Oxford and served in the British Army. His wife was a sister-in-law of the Marquess of Exeter. He was described as a man of great accomplishments and elegant manners and upon his father's death, he returned to the British Virgin Islands to assume control of the family's plantation. (more...)

Dr. John Coakley Lettsome (1744–1815)

Dr. John Coakley Lettsome (17441815) was born on Little Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. He was born into one of the early Quaker settlements in the British Territory. His surname is sometimes spelled Lettsom, particularly during the period of his life during which he resided in the British Virgin Islands.

Dr. Lettsome founded the Medical Society of London in 1773. The Medical Society of London was founded in 1773 by the Quaker physician and philanthropist, Dr John Coakley Lettsome, who was convinced that a combined membership of physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries would prove productive. His revolutionary idea met with success and the Society has provided a forum for all branches of the medical profession for the last 231 years. Situated at the heart of London's medical community at Lettsome House, Chandos Street, near Cavendish Square, this is the oldest medical society in the United Kingdom. (more...)

Dr. William Thornton, designer of the United States Capitol

Dr. William Thornton (May 20, 1759 - March 28, 1828) was an early American inventor, painter and architect who designed the United States Capitol. He also served as the first Architect of the Capitol and first Superintendent of the United States Patent Office.

From an early age William Thornton displayed interest and discernible talent in "the arts of design," to employ an eighteenth-century term that is particularly useful in assessing his career. Thorton was born on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, West Indies, in a Quaker community at Tortola, where he was heir to sugar plantations. He was sent to England at age five to be educated. Thornton was brought up strictly by his father's relations, Quakers and merchants, in and near the ancient castle town of Lancaster, in northern Lancashire, England. There was never any question of his pursuing the fine arts professionally--he was to be trained for a useful life, according to the Quaker ways. Thus, despite the fact that he had a sizeable income, young Thornton was apprenticed for a term of four years (1777-1781), to a practical physician and apothecary in the Furness district of Lancashire (now Cumbria). (more...)

Dancia Penn-Sallah

Ruth Dancia Penn, OBE, QC is a British Virgin Islands politician and former deputy governor of the British Virgin Islands. Dancia Penn also formerly served as the Attorney General of the British Virgin Islands from 1992 to 1999. She was the first woman to be appointed to either post, and the first British Virgin Islander to serve as Attorney General. She served briefly as the acting Governor of the British Virgin Islands during 2006 in the gap between Tom Macan leaving office and David Pearey taking up his appointment. Professionally Dancia Penn goes by her maiden name, but her legal name has been changed to Mrs Dancia Penn-Sallah since her marriage to Captain Sallah, Registrar of Ships in the British Virgin Islands. (more...)

Ralph O'Neal being appointed as first Premier by Governor David Pearey.

Ralph Telford O'Neal, OBE, born 1933, is the current opposition leader of the British Virgin Islands He was the first person to be appointed to the newly titled office by the Governor on 22 August 2007 under the British Virgin Islands constitution adopted in 2007 after leading the incumbent Virgin Islands Party to a landslide victory in the 2007 general election two days earlier. Ralph O'Neal also served a previous term as Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands (as the office was referred to under the old constitution) from 1995 (on the death of Lavity Stoutt). He won the subsequent election in 1999, but then subsequently lost power to National Democratic Party led by Orlando Smith in the 2003 general election, although he remained the elected representative for the 9th Electoral district (Virgin Gorda and Anegada), a seat in the Legislative Council that he has held continuously since 1971, and leader of the opposition. (more...)

D. Orlando Smith, OBE (born August 28, 1944) is a former Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands. He achieved that position when his National Democratic Party won parliamentary elections in 2003 for the first time in its history.

Dr Orlando Smith, OBE originally qualified as a physician, specializing in general surgery, and was the Territory's chief medical officer for many years both before and after entering politics. He entered politics at a relatively late stage of his career, being first elected to the Legislative Council of the British Virgin Islands in the 1999 general election, as the head of the newly formed National Democratic Party (NDP). In 2003 Dr Smith led the NDP to victory, defeating the ruling Virgin Islands Party for the first time since 1971 in the 2003 general election. (more...)

Cornelius Hendricksen Kortright

Sir Cornelius Hendricksen Kortright, KCMG (18171897) Cornelius was baptised on 8 January 1818 at Saint Mary church in London. He was the son of Lawrence and Jane Maria Kortright. He died on 23 December 1897 in Ontario, Canada.