7 Annotations

vincent  •  Link

Berkeley, John, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton
1602–78, English army officer and courtier. A royalist, he fought in numerous engagements in the English civil war and later, through association with the duke of York (later James II), won great political advancement. Raised to the peerage in 1658, he was appointed lord president of Connacht for life in 1661 and one of the proprietors of New Jersey in 1664. From 1670 to 1672 he was lord lieutenant of Ireland.
see the the other berkly barkeley at
see Sir Carteret , George

David Quidnunc  •  Link

His brother, governor of Virginia

William Berkeley (1605-77) was not mentioned in the diary, but his life may shed some light on the times and on his older brother. William was the fifth of seven children of Sir Maurice, of the Somerset Berkeleys. After taking degrees at Oxford, he studied law at the Middle Temple.

Disillusioned about Charles I after serving in the First and Second Bishops' Wars (1639-1640), Berkeley decided to emigrate to Virginia -- as its governor. Family, friends and a payment to Charles II got him the job in August 1641.

Soon after arriving, Berkeley bought land and created a plantation where he engaged in agricultural experiments. (The age was rife with experimenters, including those who belonged to the Royal Society.) As governor, he either "generally discouraged the persecution of religious minorities and steered a middle course in the English Civil Wars" (source: first website noted below), or "so persecuted dissenters that many of them left the colony ... [and] declined to recognize the Commonwealth" (see second website below). In 1652, the Puritan government replaced him. It probably didn't help his cause that he had invited Charles II, in exile, to come to Virginia and be king there.

With the Restoration, he was elected governor again in May 1660, and Charles II confirmed him in the post, which he held until the mid-1670s. The king also gave extensive landholdings to Berkeley's brothers, John and Charles, in Virginia and in New Jersey.

In suppressing Bacon's Rebellion Berkeley executed so many rebels that the king is said to have commented, "That old fool has put to death more people in that naked country than I did here for the death of the father!" Berkeley set sail for England in May 1677 and died, discredited, that July at Berkeley House in Mayfair. He lies in the same vault with his brother, John, at St. Mary's Church in Twickenham.






David Quidnunc  •  Link

William Berkeley quotes

This is tangental to John Berkeley, but it may possibly shed light on John -- he had at least two brothers (William and Charles) who seem not to have minded too much who they offended and who could make a spectacle out of a statement:

"1670 -- Enquiries to the Governor of Virginia from the Lords Commissioners of Foreign Plantations; Answered by Sir William Berkeley in 1671 ...

"'23. What course is taken about the instructing the people, within your government in the christian religion; and what provision is there made for the paying of your ministry?

"'Answer. The same course that is taken in England out of towns; every man according to his ability instructing his children. We have fforty eight parishes, and our ministers are well paid, and by my consent should be better if they would pray oftener and preach less. But of all other commodities, so of this, the worst are sent us, and we had few that we could boast of, since the persicution in Cromwell's tiranny drove divers worthy men hither. But, I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!'"

At one point during Bacon's Rebellion (1676), Nathaniel Bacon and his forces surrounded the statehouse and demanded a commission for Bacon as general of the colony's forces against the Indians. Berkeley replied "Here shoot me before God, fair mark shoot." At another point, Berkeley walked away, but he did, later in that confrontation, give in "to Bacon's demands for campaigns against the Indians without government interference."

"I am more glad to see you, Mr Drummond, than any man in this colony! You shall be hanged in half an hour!" Berkeley allegedly said on capturing William Drummond, one of the rebels in Bacon's Rebellion. Berkeley hanged 22 rebels, by one account.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Seems to be a family trait

"The diary has references to his [John Berkeley's] hot, fiery discourse..."

-- L&M Companion volume

So brothers John, William and Charles Berkeley may be all of a piece.

David Quidnunc  •  Link


Berkeley Township, on the coast of New Jersey about half way between New York harbor and Atlantic City, was named after John Berkeley in 1875.

In the 1950s, New Province Township changed its name to Berkeley Heights Township. It's west of Elizabethtown.

There's also a Berkeley College, with campuses in various places. I can't confirm who it was named after, but probably John.

Berkeley, California, is named after Bishop George Berkeley, 18th century philosopher.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Berkeley and New Jersey

"[T]he Duke of York [...] sold his rights in the territory of New Jersey to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. [...] They found already here another British Governor, Colonel Nichols, who had not been told by the Duke of York of his sale of New Jersey. [...]
"Nichols called New Jersey "Albania." He thought highly of it and protested the sale in no uncertain terms, but without avail. Conflicting claims of titles to lands arose by reason of grants which had been made by Col. Nichols and also through purchases from the Indians and the old titles acquired under Dutch and Swedish rule. Berkeley became alarmed regarding his investment and sold out his entire interest in March 1673 to John Fenwick and Edward Byllinge, two Quakers living in England for 1,000 pounds cash."

A history page for the City of Camden, N.J., says that Berkeley sold his share because he "was beset by financial problems."

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Samuel Pepys and New Jersey

The colony of New Jersey never appears in the diary, but the diary is rife with several people who at one point or another shared ownership of it:

JAMES, the Duke of York, who took it, as part of New Netherlands and sold it to his friends,



ELIZABETH CARTERET also appears in the diary, for whom Elizabethtown is named, and who became proprietor of the colony after George Carteret died.

PHILIP CARTERET, George and Elizabeth's son, was the first governor of the colony.

EDWARD BILLING, a prominent Quaker who, with a partner, bought John Berkeley's share. He appears three times in the diary in 1660 and once again in 1667. (Alternate spellings: Billinge, Billynge, Byllinge, Byllyng, Byllynge, -- L&M spell it "Billing" and if there's another way to spell it, just Google and you'll find it out there.)

WILLIAM PENN (the younger), who arbitrated a dispute between Billing and his New Jersey colony partner, and later bought out Billing's share.

That's seven, and I believe New Jersey holds the record among the American colonies for having the most people associated with it who appear in the diary. I don't want to say who she is, but Philip Carteret's wife also appears in the diary, and if she went to New Jersey with him, would make eight.

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