Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


William Shirley


Shirley, William (1694-1771), governor of Massachusetts (1741-56), was born at Preston, Sussex, England, on December 2, 1694. He was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge (B.A., 1715), was called to the bar in 1720, and for eleven years practised law in London. In 1731 he emigrated, with his family, to Massachusetts ; and in 1741, through the influence of the Duke of Newcastle, he was appointed governor of Massachusetts. He [was the one] who conceived the project of attacking Louisbourg in 1745 ; and in 1755 he was given command of the expedition against Niagara. After the death of Braddock, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America ; but the failure of his expedition against Niagara brought about his recall in 1756. In 1761 he was appointed governor of the Bahamas ; but in 1767 he relinquished this post, and returned to Massachusetts. He died at Shirley Place, Roxbury, Massachusetts, on March 24, 1771. His Correspondence has been edited by C. H. Lincoln (2 vols., New York, 1912). See G. A. Wood, William Shirley, governor of Massachusetts (New York, 1920).

[Consult the biography of Shirley at the Peter Landry's site (Blupete)]

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Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. V, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 401p., p. 396.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College