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Andros, Sir Edmund, -1714

Born in London, Dec. 6, 1637. In 1674 he succeeded his father as bailiff of Guernsey Island. In the same year he was appointed governor of the province of New York. He administered public affairs wholly in the interest of his master, the Duke of York. His private life was unblemished; but such was his public career that he acquired the title of “tyrant.” Andros became involved in serious disputes with the colonists. In 1680 he deposed Philip Carteret, and seized the government of East Jersey. The next year he was recalled, and retired to Guernsey, after having cleared himself of several charges that had been preferred against him. The New England governments were consolidated in 1686, and Andros was appointed governor-general. Under instructions, he forbade all printing in those colonies [163] He was authorized to appoint and remove his own council, and with their consent to enact laws, levy taxes, and control the militia. These privileges were exercised in a despotic manner, and his government became odious. He attempted to seize the charter of Connecticut, but failed. New York and New Jersey were added to his jurisdiction in 1688.

In the former he succeeded the clearheaded and right-minded Governor Dongan. He entered New York City early in August, with a viceregal commission to rule that province in connection with all New England. He had journeyed from Boston, and was received by Colonel Bayard's regiment of foot and horse. He was entertained by the loyal aristocracy. In the midst of the rejoicings, news came that the Queen, the second wife of James II., had given birth to a son, who became heir to the throne. The event was celebrated, on the evening of the day of the arrival of the intelligence, by bonfires in the streets and a feast at the City Hall. At the latter, Mayor Van Cortlandt became so hilarious that he made a notable display of his loyalty to the Stuarts by setting tire to his hat and periwig, and waving the burning coverings of his head over the banquet on the point of his straight-sword. When news came to Boston of the revolution in England, Governor Andros affected to disbelieve it. and imprisoned those who brought it. With the people the “wish was father to the thought,” and they gave credence to the rumor and arranged a popular insurrection. A mob gathered in the streets of Boston. The sheriff who attempted to disperse them was made a prisoner: so also was the commander of the frigate Rose as he landed from his boat. The militia assembled in arms at the town-house under their old officers. Andros and his council withdrew in alarm to a fort which crowned an eminence still known as Fort Hill. Simon Bradstreet. a former governor, then eighty-seven years of age, was seen in the crowd by the militia, and immediately proclaimed the chief magistrate of the redeemed colony. The magistrates and other citizens formed themselves into a council of safety. The ready pen of Cotton Mather wrote a proclamation, and Andros was summoned to surrender. A barge sent front the Rose to take off the governor and his council was intercepted and captured. Andros yielded. and, with the royal ex-President Dudley, Randolph, and his other chief partisans, was imprisoned (April 18, 1689). Andros, by the connivance of a sentinel, escaped to Rhode Island, but was brought back. In July following he was sent to England, by royal order, with a committee of his accusers, but was acquitted without a formal trial. Andros was appointed governor of Virginia in 1692, where he became popular; but, through the influence of Commissary Blair, he was removed in 1698. In 1704-6 he was governor of Guernsey. He died in London. Feb. 24, 1714.

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