Francis Wyatt
Sir Francis Wyatt was the first English royal governor of Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. He sailed for America on August 1, 1621 on board the George. He became governor shortly after his arrival in October, taking with him the first written constitution for an English colony. Also sailing with him on this voyage was his second cousin Henry Fleete Sr., who helped found colonies in both Virginia and Maryland. In 1622 he rallied the defense of Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

 which was attacked by Native Americans
Indian massacre of 1622
The Indian Massacre of 1622 occurred in the Colony of Virginia, in what now belongs to the United States of America, on Friday, March 22, 1622...

, during which the lives of some 400 settlers were lost and he then oversaw the contraction of the colony from scattered outposts into a defensive core.

Wyatt was from Boxley Manor
Boxley Abbey
Boxley Abbey in Boxley, Kent, England was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1143-46 by William Ypres, Earl of Kent, and colonised by monks from Clairvaux Abbey in France. Some of its ruins survive, some four miles north-east of Maidstone.- Notable events :...

 in Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 and attended St Mary Hall, Oxford
St Mary Hall, Oxford
St Mary Hall was an academic hall of the University of Oxford associated with Oriel College since 1326, but which functioned independently from 1545 to 1902.- History :...

, (from July 1, 1603) and Grey's Inn (1604). He was knighted July 7, 1618 at Windsor.

Wyatt was governor of Virginia from November 1621. Virginia became a royal colony in 1624, but Sir Francis, at the request of the crown, remained on as governor until September 18, 1625, when Sir George Yeardley
George Yeardley
Sir George Yeardley was a plantation owner and three time colonial Governor of the British Colony of Virginia. A survivor of the Virginia Company of London's ill-fated Third Supply Mission, whose flagship, the Sea Venture, was shipwrecked on Bermuda for 10 months in 1609-10, he is best remembered...

, whom he had succeeded, resumed the office. In 1624, Wyatt resided in Jamestown with his wife, his brother Haute, and seventeen servants. In 1625, he received a black servant girl after a court settlement from her previous employer. After leaving office, he left Virginia for the Ireland and England to settle his father's estate. He was appointed governor again in 1639, sailing from England to take up his post. He served from November 1639 until February 1641 and was then succeeded by Sir William Berkeley. He arranged the purchase of the home of the previous governor to use as the first designated "state house" of the colony, the government previously having met in the church.

Wyatt returned to England after his second term as governor and died in Boxley. He was buried there on August 24, 1644.

Sir Francis Wyatt organized the General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly
The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, established on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members,...

 which had been called in 1619. This was the first legislative body in America. Sir Francis caused its privileges to be embodied in a written constitution, the first of its kind in the New World.


Francis Wyatt's grandfather was Thomas Wyatt the younger
Thomas Wyatt the younger
Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger was a rebel leader during the reign of Queen Mary I of England; his rising is traditionally called "Wyatt's rebellion".-Birth and career:...

 who had led Wyatt's rebellion
Wyatt's rebellion
Wyatt's Rebellion was a popular uprising in England in 1554, named after Thomas Wyatt the younger, one of its leaders. The rebellion arose out of concern over Queen Mary I's determination to marry Philip II of Spain, which was an unpopular policy with the English...

 trying to replace Queen Mary with Elizabeth and his great-grandfather Thomas Wyatt
Thomas Wyatt (poet)
Sir Thomas Wyatt was a 16th-century English lyrical poet credited with introducing the sonnet into English. He was born at Allington Castle, near Maidstone in Kent – though his family was originally from Yorkshire...

 was briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London for his alleged relationship with Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...


Sir Francis's wife was named Margaret; she was the niece of George Sandys
George Sandys
George Sandys was an English traveller, colonist and poet.-Life:He was born in Bishopsthorpe, the seventh and youngest son of Edwin Sandys, archbishop of York. He studied at St Mary Hall, Oxford, but took no degree...

, the Treasurer of Jamestown. Francis and Margaret had children including Henry and Francis who was at King's College, Cambridge, 1639.

Although Sir Francis left no direct descendants in what would later become the United States of America, his brother, the Reverend Haute Wyatt who had arrived in Virginia with Francis, is considered the common ancestor to those who claim kinship to the pre-1700 Wyatt family in the Americas.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.