Governor Military officer Officer Politician

John Montgomerie

Quick Facts

IntroBritish military officer, colonial governor of New York and New Jersey
Was Politician
Officer
Governor
Military officer
From United States of America
United Kingdom
Type Military
Politics
Gendermale
Birth 11 September 1680, Beith, North Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death 1 July 1731, New York City, New York, USA
(aged 50 years)

Star signVirgo

Biography

Colonel John Montgomerie (died 1731) was colonial governor of New York and New Jersey from 1728 to 1731.

Life

Montgomerie was born in the parish of Beith in Scotland. His father, Francis Montgomerie, was a member of the Privy Council under William III and Mary II and Queen Anne, and lord of Castle Giffen in Beith. When John Montgomerie married, his father gave him the estate at Hessilhead, which was auctioned off in 1722 to pay off accumulated debts.

Montgomerie served in the 3rd Foot Guards, and was elected to Parliament for Ayrshire between 1710 and 1722. When George II ascended the throne in 1727 he rewarded Montgomerie for his service with the governorship of New York and New Jersey, a position Montgomerie may have sought on account of his financial difficulties.

During Montgomerie’s term in New York he presided over the issuance of what became known as the Montgomerie Charter for New York City. This served as the city’s governing charter for more than a century, even though it was never formally approved by the crown. The city appropriated a sum of £1,000 at the times which may have served as a bribe to various colonial officials, including Montgomerie. His tenure in office saw the city’s export exceed those of Boston and Philadelphia, which had until then been the major trade centers in the North American colonies. He also oversaw the final agreement of the borders between New York and the neighboring Connecticut Colony.

Montgomerie served as governor until 1 July 1731, when he died of an epileptic seizure. He was replaced on an acting basis by Rip Van Dam in New York and Lewis Morris in New Jersey, who served until his official replacement, William Cosby, arrived to assume the office.