Samuel Matthews

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Captain Samuel Matthews[1] (born about 1600 died January 1660)[2][3] was an English Colonial Governor of Virginia. Matthews came to Virginia Colony in 1622[3] and was chosen as governor by the House of Burgesses in 1656.[1] In April 1658, mainly to signal their displeasure with Oliver Cromwell, the Burgesses ceremonially dismissed him and reelected him in a single Act.[4][5] Because of his loyalty, as governor, to Cromwell, he was often assumed to be a Puritan himself, although in fact he had been known as a persecutor of the Puritan sect in Virginia in the days before Cromwell.[1]

In January 1660, shortly before the English Restoration, Matthews died in office, and the Burgesses at that point simply reinstated the former Royalist Governor, William Berkeley by unanimous vote.[2] Thus, in the view of historian Robert Beverley, Jr. writing in 1705, Virginia colony "was the last of all the King's Dominions that submitted to the Usurpation, and afterwards the first that cast it off."[6]

As a member of the House of Burgesses, Matthews was viewed as an "honest, energetic and faithful servant of the Colony" whose death was "universally lamented."[7]

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  1. ^ a b c Cooke, John Esten (1883). Virginia: A History of the People. Houghton, Mifflin and Co. p. 205. 
  2. ^ a b Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, ed. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Volume 1. New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915. OCLC 229136302. Retrieved February 16, 2013. p. 148.
  3. ^ a b Bruce, Philip Alexander (1893). The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. Virginia Historical Society. p. 91. 
  4. ^ Cooke p. 207.
  5. ^ Arthur, Timothy Shay (1852). The History of Virginia: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. Lippincott, Grambo & Co. p. 14. 
  6. ^ Robert Beverley, The History and Present State of Virginia
  7. ^ Waters, Henry Fitz-Gilbert (1885). Genealogical Gleanings in England. New England Historic Genealogical Society. p. 101.