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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Boyd, Thomas

by William S. Price, Jr., 1979

died ca. 1715

Thomas Boyd, colonial officer, first appeared in the records of North Carolina in the summer of 1697. He frequently acted as an attorney before the general court in the early eighteenth century, and in 1702 he married the widow of John West of Pasquotank Precinct.

In March 1706, Boyd was appointed provost marshal, the chief enforcement officer of the higher courts. By July 1708 he was elevated to a justiceship of the general court, after having been speaker of the General Assembly during the previous November. An Anglican and a member of the Pasquotank vestry as early as 1710, Boyd opposed the dissenter forces of Thomas Cary in the Cary Rebellion. He served on the council of Governor Edward Hyde from June 1711 and appealed to Virginia for aid against the Cary rebels. During the Tuscarora War, Boyd was a colonel in the militia and once led two hundred troops into a skirmish with the Indians. In May 1714 he fed and sheltered the Hatteras Indian tribe at his own plantation in order to encourage them to fight the Tuscaroras.

Boyd served with regularity on the council through 6 Nov. 1714 but died soon after that date. Although he was named to the vestry of the southwest parish of Pasquotank Precinct in the Vestry Act of 1715, a petition filed with the council in November 1719 implies that Boyd had died five years earlier. He died intestate leaving four sons, two by his wife's former marriage. His son Thomas became attorney general of the colony in 1725, after previous service in the assembly, and is sometimes confused with his father.


Mattie Erma Edwards Parker, ed., North Carolina Higher-Court Records, 1697–1701 (1971).

William S. Price, Jr., ed., North Carolina Higher-Court Records, 1702–1708 (1974).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vols. 1–2 (1886).

Additional Resources:

"Minutes of the North Carolina Governor's Council, March 30, 1721." Colonial and State Records of North Carolina  vol. 2. 428. Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (accessed October 21, 2013).

La Vere, David. The Tuscarora War. Chapel Hill: UNC Press. 2013. 136. (accessed October 21, 2013).

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