Thomas Broughton

Lt. Governor of South Carolina Province 1729 to 1735
Acting Royal Governor of South Carolina Province 1735 to 1737

Upon the death of Governor Robert Johnson on May 5, 1735, the Lieutenant Governor, Thomas Broughton, took the reins of the government in South Carolina. He had been appointed Lt. Governor at the same time that Robert Johnson was appointed governor in 1729. He died in office on November 22, 1737.


Thomas Broughton arrived in Charles Town as early as 1695, and was elected to the 3rd Commons House of Assembly in 1696, representing Berkeley County. He was elected to the 4th Commons House of Assembly that met from 1698 to 1699; the 5th Commons House of Assembly that met from 1700 to 1702; the 6th Commons House of Assembly that met from 1702 to 1703; and the 15th Commons House of Assembly that met from 1716 to 1717, in which he was elected Speaker of the House.

After the Crown took over South Carolina, Thomas Broughton was elected to the 2nd Commons House of Assembly (under Royal Rule) that met from 1725 to 1727 - he was elected to represent both St. John's, Berkeley Parish and St. Thomas's & St. Dennis's Parish, but he chose to represent the latter. He was elected Speaker of the House, but he was forced to resign on August 29, 1727, due to illness.

On June 18, 1702 he was appointed as Deputy of John Carteret, 2nd Baron Carteret (later 2nd Earl of Granville) and served on the Executive Council under Acting Governor James Moore, Jr. and Governor Sir Nathaniel Johnson. He was commissioned as a Colonel over one of the Royal regiments in 1704. He married a daughter of Governor Sir Nathaniel Johnson.

In 1709, he was appointed as one of the free school commissioners. In 1710, upon the death of Governor Edward Tynte, he entered a violent contest over the governorship, in which he claimed that Acting Governor Robert Gibbes won through bribery. The controversy resulted in a riot, but Gibbes won the day.

In 1716, Thomas Broughton was appointed as an Assistant Judge in the Court of Admiralty to try a band of pirates.

On April 30, 1717, the Lords Proprietors issued a commission and instructions to the next governor of South Carolina, Robert Johnson, and they named eight member of the Executive Council, including Thomas Broughton.

In December of 1729, he was appointed as Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina in the commission to the new governor of South Caorlina, Robert Johnson (his second term). Upon the death of Governor Robert Johnson on May 3, 1735, Lt. Governor Thomas Broughton took over the reins of government in South Carolina.

His brief administration was mostly noted for the beginning of constitutional struggles between the Commons House of Assembly and the advisors to the Crown over who had the right to originate grants of money in the province. Being an unsuspicious man, Acting Governor Thomas Broughton was very susceptible to the influence of unscrupulous men who persuaded him to grant them warrants for land they desired.

He died in office on November 22, 1737 in Charles Town.


In 1735, the ship Samuel had a very arduous voyage from Europe, arriving in Charles Town with a shipload of Swiss of which several on board had contracted Smallpox and some of these died. After landing in Charles Town, a child who may have been on board became quite ill with the disease and the Executive Council journals show that it was necessary to quarantine everyone who had had contact with this child. The Executive Council journal gives a very vivid account of steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease further as follows:

"The Hon. Lt. Governor, Thomas Broughton, Esq., being informed that several of the Swiss died of the Small Pox on the ship and there was a child on shore who was then full of it which child died on the same day after noon and that several of the Swiss were gone into the place where the child lay. His Honor directed some of the Justices of the Peace and the Constable Sheriff to immediately go towards the said Place and keeping at a Moderate Distance from the same hinder the peoples within the house where the child lay from coming out and any person without from going in."

"And a lone uninhabited house about three miles from Charles Town was immediately put in order to receive the persons who were in the afflicted house or such who might take the small pox to which place they were conducted this Day and a watch set over the House to Prevent any communication with the same."


A few years later a village, the site of which was the intersection of two Indian trails, was laid out in the southwest corner of this township. Colonel Thomas Broughton, Lt. Governor of South Carolina, renamed the township Orange and called the village Orangeburgh in honor of the IV Prince of Orange, who had married Ann, the daughter of George II, King of England.
In March of 1731, the Trustees of the free school at Childsbury Ferry presented a petition to the Executive Council relative to the legacies left the school. To be a trustee one must have subscribed at least £100 to the school. At that time the trustees were Hon. Thomas Broughton, The Lieutenant Governor; Rev. Mr. Thomas Hasell, Anthony Bonneau, John Harleston, Nathaniel Broughton, Thomas Cordes, and Francis Lejau, Esq.
Besides possessing a considerable degree of architectural interest, Mulberry Plantation illustrates well a number of important facets of 18th-century American history. It was constructed in 1714 by Thomas Broughton, later a Royal Governor of South Carolina. Located on the frontier, the house was built over a cellar fort, with firing slits in the foundation walls. During the Yamassee War of 1715-16, Mulberry Plantation was a fortified stronghold to which a number of neighboring colonists fled for protection.
A commission was sent out to Charles Craven, a man of great knowledge, courage and integrity, by his brother, investing him with the government of the colony. His Executive Council was composed of Thomas Broughton, Ralph Izard, Charles Hart, Samuel Eveleigh, and Arthur Middleton, &c.; all men of considerable property, and experience in provincial affairs.
Sir Nathaniel Johnson of Kibblesworth, County Durham, was Governor of the Leeward Islands in 1686 and of South Carolina in 1702-1709. He established the parish system in South Carolina and was active in defending the colony against the Spanish and French. A daughter, Ann, married Governor Thomas Broughton and had many descendants in SC.
We hear that on Tuesday last [March 4, 1746] Thomas Broughton, Esq., was married to the relict of Mr. Charles Izard [Mary], an agreeable young lady of great merit and fortune...
Click Here for information on the Executive Council under Acting Governor Thomas Broughton.

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