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Gooch, Sir William

Sir William Gooch (gōōch), 1681–1751, colonial governor of Virginia (1727–49), b. Yarmouth, England. He came to Virginia after distinguished service with the British army. Nominally, Gooch was only lieutenant governor, but he was in fact the real chief executive in the colony for 22 years. He defended the colonists before the Board of Trade, was an influence in their favor with Parliament, promoted tobacco growing, and was on generally good terms with the burgesses. His resignation because of failing health was profoundly regretted by the Virginians. Gooch was created baronet in 1746 and promoted to major general in 1747.

See biography by P. S. Flippin (1926).

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