Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr

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Lord De La Warr. 3rdLordDeLaWarr.jpg
Lord De La Warr.
Depiction of the arrival of De La Warr at Jamestown Arrival de la warr.jpg
Depiction of the arrival of De La Warr at Jamestown

Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr ( /ˈdɛləwɛər/ ; [1] [2] [3] 9 July 1577 – 7 June 1618) was an English politician, for whom the bay, the river, and, consequently, a Native American people and U.S. state, all later called "Delaware", were named.

Delaware Bay The estuary outlet of the Delaware River on the northeast seaboard of the United States

Delaware Bay is the estuary outlet of the Delaware River on the northeast seaboard of the United States. Approximately 782 square miles (2,030 km2) in area, the bay's fresh water mixes for many miles with the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean.

Delaware River major river on the East coast of the United States of America

The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States. It drains an area of 14,119 square miles (36,570 km2) in five U.S. states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania. Rising in two branches in New York state's Catskill Mountains, the river flows 419 miles (674 km) into Delaware Bay where its waters enter the Atlantic Ocean near Cape May in New Jersey and Cape Henlopen in Delaware. Not including Delaware Bay, the river's length including its two branches is 388 miles (624 km). The Delaware River is one of nineteen "Great Waters" recognized by the America's Great Waters Coalition.

Lenape Indigenous people originally from Lenapehoking, now the Mid-Atlantic United States

The Lenape, also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands, who live in Canada and the United States. Their historical territory included present-day New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania along the Delaware River watershed, New York City, western Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Today, Lenape people belong to the Delaware Nation and Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma; the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin; and the Munsee-Delaware Nation, Moravian of the Thames First Nation, and Delaware of Six Nations in Ontario.


There have been two creations of Baron De La Warr, and West came from the second. He was the son of Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr, of Wherwell Abbey in Hampshire and Anne Knollys, daughter of Catherine Carey, Lady Knollys; making him a great-grandson of Mary Boleyn. He was born at Wherwell, Hampshire, England, and died at sea while travelling from England to the Colony of Virginia. Counting from the original creation of the title, West would be the 12th Baron. [4]

Earl De La Warr

Earl De La Warr is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1761 for John West, 7th Baron De La Warr.

Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr English Baron

Thomas West, 2nd and 11th Baron De La Warr of Wherwell Abbey, Hampshire, was a member of Elizabeth I's Privy Council.

Wherwell village in the United Kingdom

Wherwell is a village on the River Test in Hampshire, England. The name may derive from its bubbling springs resulting in the Middle Ages place name “Hwerwyl” noted in AD 955, possibly meaning “kettle springs” or “cauldron springs.” Pronunciation of the name has ranged from “Hurrell” to “Wer-rel” to present-day “Wher-well.”


Thomas West received his education at Queen's College, Oxford. He served in the army under Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and, in 1601, was charged with supporting Essex's ill-fated insurrection against Queen Elizabeth I, but he was acquitted of those charges. [5] He succeeded his father as Baron De La Warr in 1602, and became a member of the Privy Council. [6]

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex 16th-century English nobleman

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG, PC, was an English nobleman and a favourite of Elizabeth I. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in 1599. In 1601, he led an abortive coup d'état against the government and was executed for treason.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, commonly known as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or simply the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Lord De La Warr was appointed governor-for-life and captain-general of the Colony of Virginia, to replace the governing council of the colony under the presidency of Captain John Smith. [7] Subsequently, in November 1609, the Powhatan tribe of Native Americans killed John Ratcliffe, the Jamestown Colony's Council President, and attacked the colony in what became the First Anglo-Powhatan War. [8] As part of England's response, De La Warr recruited and equipped a contingent of 150 men and outfitted three ships at his own expense, and sailed from England in March 1610. [9]

Colony of Virginia English/British possession in North America (1607–1776)

The Colony of Virginia, chartered in 1606 and settled in 1607, was the first enduring English colony in North America, following failed proprietary attempts at settlement on Newfoundland by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583, and the subsequent further south Roanoke Island by Sir Walter Raleigh in the late 1580s.

Powhatan Ethnic group native to eastern Virginia

The Powhatan people may refer to any of the Indigenous Algonquian people that are traditionally from eastern Virginia. All of the Powhatan groups descend from the Powhatan Confederacy. In some instances, The Powhatan may refer to one of the leaders of the people. This is most commonly the case in historical writings by the English. The Powhatans have also been known as Virginia Algonquians, as the Powhatan language is an eastern-Algonquian language, also known as Virginia Algonquian. It is estimated that there were about 14,000–21,000 Powhatan people in eastern Virginia, when the English colonized Jamestown in 1607.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii and territories of the United States. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaskan Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

Lord De La Warr returned to England due to illness in the spring of 1611, leaving his deputy, Sir Samuel Argall, in charge of the colony. Later that year, De La Warr wrote and published a book titled The Relation of the Right Honourable the Lord De-La-Warre, Lord Governour and Captaine Generall of the Colonie, planted in Virginea. [10] He remained the nominal governor, and after receiving complaints from the Virginia settlers about Argall's tyranny in governing them on his behalf, Lord De La Warr set sail for Virginia again in 1618 aboard the Neptune to investigate those charges. He died at sea on 7 June. [5] [11]

Sir Samuel Argall was an English adventurer and naval officer.

It was thought for many years that Lord De La Warr had been buried in the Azores or at sea. [5] By 2006, researchers had concluded that his body was brought to Jamestown for burial. In October 2017, archaeologists excavated remains from underneath one of the churches at Historic Jamestowne, but it not yet known if De La Warr's is one of those. [12]

Azores Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean

The Azores, officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. It is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of continental Portugal, about 1,500 km (930 mi) west of Lisbon, in continental Portugal, about 1,500 km (930 mi) northwest of Morocco, and about 2,500 km (1,600 mi) southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Historic Jamestowne Cultural heritage site in Virginia, United States

Historic Jamestown is the cultural heritage site that was the location of the 1607 James Fort and the later 17th-century city of Jamestown. It is located on Jamestown Island, on the James River at Jamestown, Virginia and operated as a partnership between Preservation Virginia and the U.S. National Park Service.

Lord De La Warr's brother, John West, later became governor of Virginia, and married Anne Percy, daughter of George Percy. [13]


On 25 November 1596, De La Warr married Cecily (died c. 1662), the daughter of Sir Thomas Shirley of Wiston, Sussex and Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe. [14] They had children:


  1. Németh, Robert Stuart (13 September 2006). "The De La Warr Pavilion". Building Opinions. Latest Homes. Archived from the original on 13 July 2013.
  2. Billings, Warren M. "Thomas West, Twelfth Baron De La Warr (1576–1618)". Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  3. "Delaware Place Names" (PDF) (Report). United States Geological Survey.
  4. Thomas West, 12th Baron De La Warr at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. 1 2 3 Pollard, Albert Frederick (1899). "West, Thomas (1577–1618)"  . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . 60. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 344–45.
  6. Fiske, John (1897). Old Virginia and Her Neighbours. 1. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. pp. 146–47.
  7. "The Jamestown Chronicles Timeline", 12 May 2016
  8. Lamont, Edward M. (2014). The Forty Years that Created America: The Story of the Explorers, Promoters, Investors, and Settlers Who Founded the First English Colonies. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 121. ISBN   9781442236608.
  9. Brown, Alexander (1898). The First Republic in America. New York, NY: Houghton,Mifflin. p. 126.
  10. De La Warr, Thomas West, Baron (1611). The Relation of the Right Honourable the Lord De-La-Warre, Lord Governour and Captaine Generall of the Colonie, planted in Virginea at
  11. "Virginia Encyclopedia".
  12. Ruane, Michael E. (27 October 2017). "Experts have uncovered remains at the first permanent English colony. But whose bones are they?". The Washington Post . Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  13. Bradburn, Douglas; Coombs, John C. (20 September 2011). Early Modern Virginia: Reconsidering the Old Dominion. University of Virginia Press. p. 50. ISBN   9780813931708.
  14. Lundy 2011 , pp. 14230 §142296, 20756 §207556, §207558, citing Cokayne 2000 , p. 161.
  15. Lundy 2011 , p. 14230 §142295 §142296, citing Cokayne 1983 , p. 140, Hammond 1998 , p. 128, Mosley 2003 , p. 630.
  16. Lundy 2011 , pp. 13955 §139543, 14230 §142296, citing Mosley 2003 , pp. 630, 1075.
  17. Lundy 2011 , pp. 14230 §142296, 24497 §244965, citing Mosley 2003 , p. 1075.
  18. Lundy 2011 , pp. 14230 §142296, 20756 §207553, citing Cokayne 2000 , p. 161, Mosley 2003 , p. 1075.
  19. "Martha West". Retrieved 28 December 2013.[ unreliable source ]

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Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas West
Baron De La Warr
Succeeded by
Henry West
Government offices
Preceded by
Thomas Gates
Colonial Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
George Percy