Edward Tynte

Governor of Carolina Province 1709 to 1710

On December 9, 1708, the Lords Proprietors commissioned Edward Tynte as the next governor of Carolina, but he did not arrive and take the oath of office until November 26, 1709. He died while in office on June 20, 1710. Click Here to read the commission and instructions provided by the Lords Proprietors to Governor Edward Tynte.

In 1708, Edward Tynte had been appointed Governor of South Carolina with instructions to deputize Edward Hyde over the northern colony. Until Hyde should arrive, Tynte left in charge Colonel Thomas Cary, a former South Carolina merchant. Unfortunately for the affairs in North Carolina, Tynte died during the summer of 1710 without signing Hyde's commission and administering the oath. Cary, in control of the government and its finances, refused to yield it to Hyde.
Though the territory between the Virginia border and the Cape Fear River was officially recognized as "North Carolina" as early as 1689, still, in 1710, with South Carolina, it comprised what was known as the "Province of Carolina". The governor of the province, most of the time, maintained his residence at Charles Town, while a Deputy Governor was appointed for the northern part of the province.

In the absence of a Deputy Governor, the President of the North Carolina Executive Council became Acting Governor. For twenty years after 1689, more than a dozen men came into authority as provincial governor, or as Deputy or Acting Governor of North Carolina. Naturally the executive branch of the government was weakened, while the legislative branch assumed more power in Albemarle.

At this time there was also a growing friction between the Quakers in the colony and those whole who would have the Church of England established by law.

It was in this turbulent condition that Edward Hyde found North Carolina when he arrived in August of 1710 as Deputy Governor. To add to the confusion was the questionable position of Hyde, himself. He had been appointed by the Lord Preprietors in England as a Deputy Governor, and as such, his commission was to have been signed by the governor of the province, who was residing at Charles Town.

The official signature was never obtained, because the provincial governor of Carolina, who at the time was Edward Tynte, a near relative of Hyde's, died shortly before Hyde arrived.

The depredations of the French compelled the inhabitants to desert their country. Twelve thousand of them, in the most forlorn condition, sought refuge in London. Queen Anne, for some time, supported them out of the privy purse. She was afterwards helped by the benevolence of her subjects, and twenty thousand pounds were subscribed and paid into the treasury of the city, for the relief of these fugitives, who were finally disposed of as colonists, in Ireland and North America.

Several of them came to Carolina, and Edward Tynte, who had succeeded Sir Nathaniel Johnson in the government of the province, was directed to grant land to them, in the county of Bath, the population of which was, as yet, very thin. [Martin]

In 1710, Thomas Broughton came close to starting a civil war in South Carolina. Governor Johnson's successor Col. Edward Tynte died after a seven-month administration and the three Deputies in the colony proceeded to choose an Acting Governor.

At the morning session Robert Gibbes and Thomas Broughton each voted for himself. Turbeville voted for Broughton but in the afternoon changed his vote to Gibbes, who was thus declared elected. But when Turbeville was found to have been bribed, a battle between the town militia was barely averted…" Several sources have indicated that Turbeville died of apoplexy (stroke) the dame day.

On December 3, 1707, John Grenville, 1st Baron of Granville of Potheridge, the Palatine, died; and was succeeded in that high dignity by William Craven, 2nd Baron of Craven as Palatine of the Lords Proprietor. The death of that nobleman, by whose instruction and encouragement the several violent steps for the establishment and support of the church of England in Carolina had been taken, was now likely to produce some change in the future state of public affairs.

Though the Governor and his friends still maintained a majority in the Commons House of Assembly, yet, from the number and temper of Dissenters, they were not without some suspicions of seeing the fabric, which they had with such uncommon industry been erecting, totally overturned. While many Anglicans in England were terrified with the prospects of danger to their church, the Carolinians took the alarm, and passed an Act for its security in that province.

The preamble of this Act runs thus:

"Whereas the church of England has of late been so happily established among us, fearing that by the succession of a new Governor this church may be either undermined or wholly subverted, to prevent which calamity falling upon us, be it enacted, That this present assembly shall continue to sit for two years, and for the time and term of eighteen months after the change of government, whether by the death of the present Governor, or the succession of another in his time."

Whether the church must not have been in great danger when men were obliged to take such an extraordinary measure for its security, we leave it to the world to judge.

On December 9, 1708, Col. Edward Tynte received a commission from William Craven, 2nd Baron of Craven, and Palatine, investing him with the government of the colony. About the same time Charles Craven, brother of the Palatine, was made Secretary in the province.

During the time Sir Nathaniel Johnson had governed the country, it had not only been threatened with a formidable invasion, but also torn to pieces with factions and divisions, which had much retarded its progress and improvement. Great confusion among the people had been occasioned by the violent stretch of power in favour of an ecclesiastical establishment.

The new Palatine, sensible of those things, instructed Gov. Edward Tynte to adopt such healing measures as would be most conducive to the welfare of the settlement. Soon after his arrival he received a letter from the Lords Proprietors to the following effect:

"We hope by this time you have entered upon your government of our province of Carolina, and therefore we earnestly require your endeavours to reconcile the minds of the inhabitants to each other, that the name of parties, if any yet remains among them, may be utterly extinguished: for we can by no means doubt, but their unanimous concurrence with our endeavours for their prosperity, will most effectually render Carolina as flourishing a colony as any in America."

The late Palatine, from a mixture of spiritual and political pride, despised all Dissenters, as the enemies of both the hierarchy and monarchy, and believed the state could only be secure, while the civil authority was lodged in the hands of high-church men.

The new Palatine, Lord Craven, possessed not the same proud and intolerant spirit, and thought those Carolinians, who maintained liberty of conscience, merited greater indulgences from them; and, though a friend to the church of England, he always was doubtful whether the minds of the people were ripe for the introduction of that establishment.

He therefore urged lenity and toleration, which in general have been productive of peace and union, while rigor and persecution have seldom failed to excite discord and promote superstition in every community. [Hewat]

Click Here for information on the Executive Council under Governor Edward Tynte.
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