Thomas WEST

(3rd B De la Warr)

Born: 9 Jul 1577, Wherwell, Hampshire, England

Died: 17 Jun 1618, Nova Scotia / Hampshire, England

Father: Thomas WEST (1º B. De La Warr)

Mother: Anne KNOLLYS (B. De La Warr)

Married: Cicely SHIRLEY (B. De La Warr) (dau. of Thomas Shirley and Anne Kempe) 1602, Hants, England


1. John WEST

One of the bearers of the bier of Sir Phillip Sidney in 1587. Virginians know West as the first "Governor for Life" appointed by King James I. He was born at Wherwell in Hampshire very near the town of Whitchurch, which we believe was the home of William Shrimpton, the benefactor of Lady Dale’s will. His mother was Anne Knollys, the sister of Leticce Knollys who had first married Walter Devereaux, the 1st Earl of Essex, and then had remarried Sir Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. West served with Dale and Gates in Ireland in 1599, and was actively involved with his cousin, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, in his rebellion. At the time of Essex’s rebellion, Thomas West was a very poor Justice of the Peace living very near Titchfield, the ancestral home of his co-conspirator, the Earl of Southampton.

Thomas West married 1596 Cecily Shirley, the daughter of Sir Thomas Shirley, and Thomas West established Shirley plantation on the James River across from Dales’ Point of Land.

In 1606 King James I granted a charter for the settlement of South Virginia to an association of "noblemen, gentlemen, and merchants". The association was known as the London Company, or the Virginia Company of London, since most of its members lived in London. The Second London Company sailed under Lord De La Warr with nine ships and 500 people. The admiral's ship named "Sea Venture". They landed in America in 1610. A charter was granted to the Third London Company in 1611. In 1613 Shirley Plantation was granted to Lord De La Warr.

Because of his health, West did not spend much time in Virginia, but he was the single largest investor and his extended family was quite prominent in the colonization of North America. His uncles were the privateers who had sailed in the Roanoke voyages, Captain Francis and Henry Knollys. His Aunt Leticce Knollys was the mother of the Earl of Essex, and wife of the Earl of Leicester.

His brothers John West and Francis West both became Virginia Governors. Francis West settled Westover, which was on the upper James River in Virginia. Berkeley Plantation was sandwiched between Westover and Shirley’s plantation, all established between 1613 and 1619. His sister was married to the Pelhams whose children were instrumental in the colonization of New England.

Lord De La Warr died on the enroute to Virginia aboard the NEPTUNE. Delaware Bay and the State of Delaware are named after him.


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