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Thomas Lynch (governor)

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Thomas Lynch (governor)

Sir Thomas Lynch (died 1684) was the English governor of Jamaica on three separate occasions in the 17th century. He was also chief justice of Jamaica for a time.


He was the son of Theophilus Lynch (born 1603), fourth son of William Lynch of Cranbrook in Kent, and of his wife Judith, eldest daughter of John Aylmer. He served under Robert Venables in the army which went out to Jamaica in 1655. In January 1661, after a period back in England he was appointed provost-marshal of the island for life.[1]

In December 1662 Lynch was lieutenant-colonel of the 5th regiment of militia; in April 1663 was sworn in as a member of council, and in April 1664 elected president of the council in the absence of Duke of Albemarle to appoint a sheriff, instead of a provost-marshal; but on 12 February 1665 Lynch wrote to Lord Arlington complaining that the governor had discharged him from the council and the office of chief justice without giving any public reason.[1]

Lynch was then obliged to return to England. At the end of 1670 he was ordered to go out again to Jamaica, as lieutenant-governor, with authority to command in the absence of Modyford. The commission was repeated in January 1671, when Modyford was recalled, and at the same time he received a commission from James, Duke of York to be commander-in-chief of his majesty's ships in and about Jamaica. He was knighted at Whitehall Palace on 3 December 1670.[1]

Jamaica's buccaneers had been encouraged by Modyford. Under Lynch they acted under the governor's commission, including Lord Vaughan was sent out with orders to suppress the pirates and put an end to piracy. In 1682 Lynch was again sent out to Jamaica as governor and captain-general, with similar instructions regarding piracy, and these he carried out severely.[1]

Lynch died, apparently in 1684, some time before the death of Charles II was known in the colony. He was buried in the cathedral of Jamaica, beneath a black marble slab.[1]


Lynch married (1) Vere, daughter of Sir George Herbert, by whom he had a daughter Philadelphia, wife of Sir Thomas Cotton, bart., and (2) Mary, daughter of Thomas Temple of Frankton in Warwickshire, but does not seem to have left issue. His widow afterwards married his successor, Colonel Hender Molesworth.[1]


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