The Royal Colony of North Carolina

Royal Governors of North Carolina

NC Governor

Year(s)

George Burrington

1731-1734

Gabriel Johnston

1734-1752

Nathaniel Rice*

1752-1753

Matthew Rowan*

1753-1754

Arthur Dobbs

1754-1765

William Tryon

1765-1771

James Hassell*

1771

Josiah Martin

1771-1775
*Not a true Governor appointed by the Crown. President of the Executive Council, serving as Acting Governor until the next Crown appointee could make it to the Province.

Royal Governors were appointed by the Crown, on the advice of the Secretary of State, and accountable directly to both the Secretary of State and the Board of Trade. Other Crown appointees were: Secretary, Surveyor General, Auditor, Receiver General, Attorney General, Chief Justice, and Customs Collectors for each of five (5) ports. These appointees were to work with the Royal Governor and even take direction from him, but he could not remove them from office.

As was true during the previous Lords Proprietors' period, if a governor died, the Executive Council was authorized to elect a President to run the government temporarily until the Crown could appoint the next governor and for that man to make his way to North Carolina and take the oaths of office.

Acting alone, a governor could appoint provincial officials, or suspend their offices on his own authority, except those offices named above that were also appointed by the Crown. Legislative bills could be rejected by the governor, and he could prorogue or dissolve the General Assembly on his own authority, but most sought concurrence by their Councils.


Click Here to view/download an Adobe PDF file of the book, entitled "The Five Royal Governors of North Carolina 1729-1775," by Blackwell P. Robinson, Ph.D, published in 1963.


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