Thomas Godwin (politician)

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Thomas Godwin
16th Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses
In office
June 1676 – June 1676
Preceded by Augustine Warner Jr.
Succeeded by Augustine Warner Jr.
Personal details
Died 1677/8
Children Thomas, Edmund, Elizabeth
Residence Nansemond County, Virginia
Military service
Service/branch Virginia militia
Rank Colonel

Thomas Godwin (died 1677/8) was a Virginia politician and landowner. He served in the House of Burgesses 1654–55 and 1659, and was its Speaker in the June 1676 session that preceded Bacon's Rebellion.[1]

Godwin's birth and early years are undocumented. He partnered with Richard Axom to patent land in York County, Virginia in 1650. By April 1654 he was a member of the Nansemond County Court, and he represented the county in the House of Burgesses that year and next. He was also elected to the session of 1659.[1][2]

Among his other land purchases, he patented a tract in Chuckatuck parish in 1668. This farm was expressly included in Nansemond County when the Assembly drew its boundary with Isle of Wight County in 1674.[1]

In March 1676 he was identified as colonel of the Nansemond militia when he was authorized to raise a force to fight Indians.[2]

Godwin was not a member of the General Assembly of 1661–76. When it was dissolved and a new Assembly met in June 1676, he was elected Speaker of the House.[1] This Assembly, which met just before the outbreak of Bacon's Rebellion, had all its acts annulled by the Assembly that met the following year, although a number of them were reenacted by that same session.[3]

Godwin's will was dated March 24, 1677 (old style). He named three children as heirs.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Kukla, pp. 68-69
  2. ^ a b c Tyler, pp. 242-243
  3. ^ Kukla, p. 67


  • Kukla, Jon (1981). Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1643–1776. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia State Library. ISBN 0-88490-075-4. 
  • Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, ed. (1915). Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Lewis Historical Publishing Company.