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Thomas West De la Warr, 12th Baron

De la Warr, Thomas West, 12th Baron (dĕlˈəwər) [key], 1577–1618, English colonial governor of Virginia. He saw fighting in the Netherlands and was knighted when serving in Ireland. He succeeded to the peerage in 1602. In 1609 he was appointed first governor of Virginia (Sir Thomas Gates governed as deputy until De la Warr arrived). He sailed in Apr., 1610, with an expedition including Sir Samuel Argall. On his arrival at Jamestown he found the settlers in such dire need that they were ready to return to England. He encouraged them to remain, sent Argall for supplies, and had forts built. Argall, on his voyage, sailed into the bay later called (after the governor) Delaware Bay. Lord De la Warr returned to England, and the colony was governed by Sir Thomas Gates and Sir Thomas Dale. De la Warr in his Relation … of the Colonies Planted in Virginia (1611) pleaded for the colony. He died during his second voyage to Virginia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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