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Governor: 1706-1708

by Dennis F. Daniels

Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History, 2005.

See also: William Glover, Dictionary of North Carolina Biography

William Glover (d. prior to October 1712), an attorney, had a long career as a public servant, culminating his selection as acting deputy governor following the dismissal of Governor Thomas Cary. Glover’s tenure was marked with continuing tensions between Anglicans (supported by Glover) and dissenters (supported by Cary) that eventually led to Cary’s Rebellion. Glover’s parents and birth place were never established. In 1688 he was a resident of Henrico County, Virginia, where he served as a justice. He was evidently married to Mary Davis and possibly had three sons by her. Glover was also the guardian of John Davis of Henricoe County, Virginia. By 1707 he was remarried to a woman named Catherine and had a daughter by the marriage.

Glover began his government career as a clerk for the courts, council, secretary, and the Crown. From 1700 to 1712, he participated on the executive council as a member or as president. While on the council, Glover had his share of foes not afraid to speak their opinion of him. In 1700, James Cole accused of offering “sevrall abusive Indignities to the Honorable Wm. Glover Esqr.” Six years later, James Norcome received “tenn Lashes on his bare Back” for saying “verry scandelous words and Expressions” against Glover and Christopher Gale. However, Glover’s greatest challenge came from Thomas Cary and the uprising that he led."The disrupting effects of the Cary Rebellion [essentially a religious quarrel between Quaker and Anglican, or Church of England, political factions] on the life of Bath and the Pamlico region can hardly be exaggerated."  --- Herbert R. Paschal, Jr., A History of Colonial Bath, 1955.

While Cary was in South Carolina in 1706 and 1707, Glover served as acting governor since he was president of the council. In October of that year, John Porter, who had been sent to England by to present grievances to the Lords Proprietors, returned with Cary’s suspension and authority to chose new council members and governor. With Glover still presiding, Porter convened the new councillors and had Glover elected as chief executive. Cary and Glover attempted but failed to resolve their dispute.

Glover like previous governors called for an oath of office which kept Quakers out of public office since their faith does not allow for the swearing of oaths. By the summer 1708, Porter called a meeting of current and former councillors and declared Glover’s election illegal. Porter then decided to support Cary after the former governor changes his position about oaths. The events resulted in two men claiming the governorship, causing turmoil and violence for the colony. One contemporary account called the actions taken by both sides “liker the freaks of Madmen than the actions of men of reason.” In October 1708, both sides tried to settle their difference in the assembly following elections that had rival delegates going to the assembly. Unfortunately for Glover, Cary’s supporters controlled the assembly and elected him president. Glover went to Virginia claiming that Cary wanted “to take away my life.”

Glover served on the council from 1711 to 1712 under Governor Edward Hyde, who assumed the governorship from Cary. During Hyde’s tenure, Cary led an armed uprising against the government, but Glover apparently was not an active participant in the suppression of it. He died sometime prior to October 1712.


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Image Credits: 

“'Quaker Activity' North Carolina historical marker,” ID: A-79. North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program, Research Branch of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC, USA.