Sir Thomas Shirley, 1st Baronet

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Sir Thomas Shirley, 1st Baronet (30 December 1727 – 18 February 1800 [1] ) was a British colonial governor and military officer. The son of William Shirley, a politically well-connected colonial administrator who served for many years as governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, Shirley entered the military, serving in the Louisbourg expedition his father organised in 1745. During the Seven Years' War he served on Menorca and in the 1761 Capture of Belle Île. [2]


Shirley succeeded his father as Governor of the Bahamas in 1768, and was appointed Governor of Dominica in 1774, a post he held until the island was captured in 1778 by French forces during the American War of Independence. He was thereafter (1781) named Governor of the Leeward Islands, and awarded a baronetcy in 1786 as "Shirley of Oat Hall" . He was promoted to lieutenant-general on 18 October 1793 and general on 8 January 1798. He died in Bath, England in 1800 and was buried in Bath Abbey.

Fort Shirley in Cabrits National Park, Dominica, was named for him, as were military installations in Antigua, then-capital of the Leewards. Shirley is often incorrectly described as having been born in Boston, or in 1769. [3] He was, however, born prior to his father's departure for Massachusetts. [4]

See also


  1. George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Baronetage, volume V (Exeter, 1906) page 252
  2. Sugden, p. 282
  3. See e.g. the DNB entry on his father, and Sugden, p. 282
  4. Schutz, p. 4
Baronetage of Great Britain
New creation Baronet
(of Oat Hall)
Succeeded by
William Shirley

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