Monday, May 17, 2010

Major William Gooch,_1st_Baronet

Sir William Gooch, 1st Baronet (21 October 1681 – 17 December 1751), born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, and died in London, served as Governor of Virginia from 1727 through 1749. Technically, Gooch only had the title Royal Lieutenant Governor, but the nominal governors, George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney, and Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle, were in England and did not exercise much authority. Gooch’s tenure as governor was characterized by his unusual political effectiveness. One of his greatest successes was the passage of the Tobacco Inspection Act of 1730. The Act called for the inspection and regulation of Virginia’s tobacco, the most important crop of the colony. Tobacco planters were required to transport their crop to public warehouses where it was inspected and stored. The Act raised the quality of Virginia’s tobacco and reduced fraud; this greatly increased the demand for Virginia tobacco in Europe.


In 1739, Governor William Gooch of Virginia complained to the British government that “The great number of Convicts yearly Imported here, and the impossibility of ever reclaiming them from their vicious habits have occasioned a vast Charge to the Country.” Objections from the American colonies to the practice convict transportation like this one were perhaps to be expected, but convict transportation also had its critics back in Great Britain.

This would be a cool place to stay.

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