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Governor: 1725-1731

by Dennis F. Daniels
Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History, 2004.

See also: Sir Richard Everard, Dictionary of North Carolina Biography

Map of major Carolina settlements at the time of Everard's leadership. Sir Richard Everard (24 June 1683-17 February 1733) served as the last governor of North Carolina under the proprietary government. Born at Langleys, in what is now Great Waltham, to Sir Hugh Everard and the former Mary Browne, young Everard assumed the baronetcy at his father’s death in 1706. He then resigned his commission in Queen Anne’s army and sold the family property at Langleys in order to pay debts, later purchasing property at Broomfield Green. On June 13, 1706, Everard married Susannah Kidder, daughter of the Right Reverend Richard Kidder who was the bishop of Bath and Wells. Together they produced four children, Richard, Hugh, Susannah and Anne.

Chief Justice Christopher Gale personally delivered the North Carolina council’s complaints about Governor George Burrington to the Lords Proprietors, and in January 1725, Burrington was dismissed. A letter from Everard, seeking appointment as Burrington’s successor, was then read to the Proprietors and approved. Everard took the oath of office in Edenton on July 17, 1725, at which time Burrington learned of his dismissal. Although he was undoubtedly aware that the Proprietors were inclined to transfer North Carolina back to the royal government, Everard diligently followed his instructions and suspended the granting of lands. The move was unpopular, especially among those pursuing the settlement of the Cape Fear region. Due to his actions, Everard lost many supporters, many of whom returned their favor to Burrington who had disregarded the Proprietors’ policies on land grants.

By 1728 it was evident that Burrington likely would be restored to the governorship after the transfer to the king, and Everard resumed granting lands, collecting the fees associated with the grants. In an effort to increase the incoming fees, Everard signed countless “blank patents,” duly signed grants on which the location of the land and acreage were left to be filled in by the purchaser. Many of the grants were never recorded, allowing the “owners” to avoid payment of quitrents. Modern estimates are that as many as 400,000 acres of prime Cape Fear area land were transferred by means of the questionable documents. As expected, Burrington was appointed as the first royal governor of North Carolina effective January 1730. However, Everard remained in North Carolina as governor until Burrington’s arrival in February of the following year. Following his replacement’s installation, Everard and his family returned to England.

Sir Richard Everard died at his home in London on February 17, 1733 and was buried in Great Waltham. Both of his sons, Richard and Hugh, died without issue, and the baronetcy became extinct. Only his daughter Susannah remained in the colonies, having married David Meade of Virginia. After the death of her husband, she lived in Halifax.


Ekirch, A. Roger. 1981. "Poor Carolina": politics and society in colonial North Carolina, 1729-1776. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Everard, Richard. 1725. Richard Everard proclamation.

Great Britain, William Noel Sainsbury, J. W. Fortescue, Cecil Headlam, and Arthur Percival Newton. 1860. Calendar of state papers, Colonial series.

Haywood, Marshall De Lancey. 1897. Sir Richard Everard, Baronet, governor of the colony of North Carolina, 1725-1731, and his descendants in Virginia.

Paschal, Herbert Richard. 1979. Proprietary North Carolina a study in colonial government. Thesis--University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Powell, William Stevens. 1986. Dictionary of North Carolina biography. Vol. 2, D-G. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Online via NetLibrary and NC LIVE.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 2008. Colonial and state records of North Carolina. [Chapel Hill, N.C.]: University Library, UNC-Chapel Hill.

Image credits:

Map of major Carolina settlements, 1729, 2008. LearnNC