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By Paul W. Wilderson

John Wentworth, the final royal governor of latest Hampshire, is usually agreed to were an capable, sincere, and forthright chief. Given his robust own and enterprise ties to the colony, historians and students have lengthy questioned over why, whilst the yankee Revolution got here, Wentworth broke along with his relations and local land to develop into a loyalist. Paul W. Wilderson explores this question in an attractive and readable narrative of Wentworth's existence and occupation that demanding situations conventional assumptions approximately loyalists. most likely no governor in North the USA took extra actual curiosity or better delight in his colony than John Wentworth. His roots have been 5 generations deep in New Hampshire soil. As governor, he used to be deeply bothered through the transforming into rift among the colonies and nice Britain. From 1767, while he grew to become governor, to 1775, while he left, Wentworth by no means agreed with colonial regulations passed down at Whitehall and didn't view himself as a loyalist. Why then did he abandon New Hampshire in help of British authority and imperial rules? to reply to that query, Wilderson analyzes the certain connection Wentworth constructed with England via his far away relative, the Marquis of Rockingham. on account that Wentworth had labored heavily with Rockingham, then head of the British govt, to repeal the Stamp Act, he believed compromise with the colonies was once attainable. Blinded to the truth that conflict was once inevitable and the cut up among Britain and American irreconcilable, Wilderson argues, Wentworth left New Hampshire in 1775 totally anticipating to come to his fatherland.

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Additional resources for Governor John Wentworth and the American Revolution: The English Connection

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In 1712 he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the New Hampshire council and, a short time later, was chosen as a judge of the court of common pleas. Although New Hampshire had been dislodged from the jurisdiction of Massachusetts in 1679 and made a separate royal province, from the early eighteenth century it had shared a governor with its larger neigh- Page 17 bor to the south. Because the governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire rarely ventured above the Merrimack River, executive responsibilities in the northern province were largely in the hands of the lieutenant governor.

The Wentworths made their home in Portsmouth, the only seaport in New Hampshire. They had accumulated great wealth through mercantile trade, mainly in timber, and had long been at the center of the elite in the province. John Wentworth was an adherent of the Anglican faith, which looked to London for authority and support and which was still regarded Page 8 with suspicion in New England. Since birth, John Wentworth's fortunes had been closely tied to the mother country. The Wentworths' social and economic position at the top of New Hampshire society was dependent on political influence in England and on trade within the British Empire.

As first minister and leader of the whig faction, Rockingham deliberated carefully over proper policy for America. When finally formulated, that policy was both moderate and practical. Strangling economic restrictions on the colonies were to be lifted in the interest of welding the British Empire into a single prospering unit. What was good for trade in the colonies would also benefit Britain. Early in 1766, the Rockingham administration pressed for and gained the repeal of the Stamp Act. John Wentworth could not have been happier.

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