Landgrave John Yeamans

In 1670, George Monck, the Duke of Albemarle, who was the first Palatine, died, and was succeeded by the Lord John Berkeley, as eldest of the Lords Proprietors. John Locke, Sir John Yeamans, and James Carteret, were appointed as the first Landgraves, to make part of the nobility required by the Fundamental Constitutions.

Sir John was the eldest son and heir of Robert Yeamans, alderman of Bristol, who was imprisoned and executed in 1643, by order of Nathaniel Fienes, son to Lord Say, who had been appointed governor of Bristol by the parliament. His son, Sir John, was afterwards advanced to the dignity of baronet by King Charles the second in 1664, as a reward for the steady loyalty and heavy sufferings of his father.

But as the violence of the preceding times, which had deprived Sir John of his father, had also injured him in his private fortune, he embarked for the island of Barbados, at that time in a flourishing condition, to hide his poverty from his acquaintances in England, and endeavour to acquire a fortune suitable to his dignity.

When Carolina was settled, having received a grant of a large tract of land from the Lords Proprietors, he, with several respectable followers, retired to that infant colony, to forward, by his presence and example, the interest of his generous and beloved friends, from whom he had received great encouragement and assistance.


In 1665, Sir John Yeamans led a group of Barbadians into the Cape Fear area, but after two years of suffering the plagues of shipwrecks, internal disorders and Indian troubles, Clarendon County was abandoned. Craven County, eventually to become the colony of South Carolina, was not to experience a serious colonization effort until 1670. So it was that in the beginning Albemarle County served as nucleus of the proprietary colony of Carolina.
Sir John Yeamans was the third Governor of Charles Town, from 1672 to 1674.

 


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