Williamsburg Timeline

College of William and Mary founded.
The capital of the Virginia colony is moved from Jamestown to the college site, which was renamed Williamsburg in honor of King William III.
January 16. George Washington (1732-1799) arrives in Williamsburg to report to Governor Dinwiddie about the result of his trip to Fort Le Boeuf. His written report is later published by Williamsburg printer William Hunter (?-1761) as The Journal of Maj. George Washington.
February. Major General Edward Braddock (1695-1755) arrives in America and makes Williamsburg his headquarters.
An organ was installed at Bruton Parish Church; Peter Pelham (1721-1805) became the first organist.
Start of the French-and-Indian War (known as the Seven Years War in Europe).
April 2. Benjamin Franklin, visiting Williamsburg, receives the first honorary degree from the College of William and Mary.
April 9. Noted Welsh poet Goronwy Owen became master of the Grammar School at William and Mary.
Francis Fauquier (1704-1768), the most intellectual of Virginia's colonial governors, arrives in Williamsburg, where he remained until his death in 1768.
March 25. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) enters the College of William and Mary. His mentor at the time is William Small, a Scot and professor of natural philosophy.
October 26. George III is crowned king of England and, despite illnesses, reigned until 1820.
The Bray School for African-American children is established in Williamsburg.
April 25. Thomas Jefferson begins to study law with George Wythe.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) publishes The Social Contract.
February 10. The Treaty of Paris, ending the French and Indian War, is signed. The French relinquished claims to Canada and all land east of the Mississippi except New Orleans.
October 7. George III signed the Proclamation of 1763, which restricts settlement west of the Appalachians and reserved land for the Indians. Virginians resented limitations on western lands.
December 1. Patrick Henry (1736-1799) argued the Parsons' Cause before the Hanover County Court, challenging the Crown's right to nullify colonial laws. This case brought Henry both popular acclaim and political leadership.
April 5. Parliament passes the Revenue Act, known as the Sugar Act, to raise funds to pay for colonial administration.
April 19. Parliament adopts the Currency Act, preventing the colonies from issuing paper money as legal tender. The measure is prompted chiefly by Virginia's issuance of £440,000 to finance the French and Indian War.
December 18. The Virginia General Assembly reacts to threats of a stamp tax by writing an address to the king and sending memorials to both houses of Parliament. They argue that only the House of Burgesses had the right to tax Virginians. This remains a basic point of contention through the Revolutionary period.
December 22. Stephen Hopkins (1707-1785), governor of Rhode Island, publishes "The Rights of Colonies Examined."
John Wilkes (1725-1797) is expelled from Parliament for his attack on George III in the magazine The North Briton.
Voltaire (1694-1778) publishes Treatise on Tolerance.
March 22. The Stamp Act is enacted by Parliament. Stamps were required on newspapers, pamphlets, playing cards, dice, and legal papers in the colonies after November 1.
May 15. The Quartering Act becomes law. It required colonists to provide barracks and supplies for British troops. To Americans this seemed yet another example of taxation without representation.
(May 30) The House of Burgesses at Williamsburg vote to pass five resolutions "relative to the charging of certain Stamp Duties in the Colonies and Plantations of America". These were drafted by John Fleming, and proposed by orator Patrick Henry in a daring speech that "Tarquin and Caesar had each his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third . . ."
June 8. The Massachusetts General Court adopts a circular letter calling for a Congress of representatives from all colonies to convene in October.
October 7. The Stamp Act Congress meets in New York.
October 30. Virginia Governor Fauquier rescues stamp agent George Mercer from an angry mob in Williamsburg. Mercer resigns the next day.
March 18. Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, but the news does not reach the colonies for nearly two months.
May 11. With the death of John Robinson, Speaker of the House of Burgesses and treasurer of the colony of Virginia, a scandal came to light in Virginia. Robinson had made £100,000 worth of private loans to his friends with retired paper money. The two offices were separated thereafter.
June 9. In Virginia, Governor Fauquier announced the repeal of the Stamp Act, although the Virginia Gazette had published the news on May 2.
June 13. In Williamsburg, a ball and general illumination of the town celebrated the repeal of the Stamp Act.
March 3. Death of Virginia's Governor Francis Fauquier. John Blair, president of the Council, serves as acting governor until the appointment and arrival of Governor Botetourt.
April 16. The Virginia General Assembly adopts memorials to the king and Parliament protesting the Townshend Acts.
October 26. Norborne Berkeley, baron de Botetourt (1718-1770) arrives in Williamsburg and was met with great celebrating by citizens. He is Virginia's first full governor in residence in nearly 60 years. In office, Botetourt proved himself to be both a diplomatic and a trendsetting governor.
May 16-18. The House of Burgesses adopt resolutions claiming once again their exclusive right to levy taxes in Virginia, and draft an address to the king. Consequently, Governor Botetourt dissolves them. Most of the burgesses reconvene at the Raleigh Tavern, where they begin an association not to import a long list of British goods.
During a critical stage of the Revolutionary war, the capital is moved to Richmond, which was considered "more safe and central than any other town situated on navigable water".
Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin arrives as rector of the Bruton Parish Church. During several years of this his first appointment as rector, he undertakes a restoration of the church to its historic appearance.
At a lecture in New York, Dr. Goodwin first proposes a plan to Mr. John D. Rockefeller to restore Williamsburg. Initially his proposal is turned down.
After a visit in March, Rockefeller agrees to undertake the restoration. By the end of the year, the first steps in acquiring houses and lots are taken.
The first year of full construction at Williamsburg.

John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Mon Dec 11 12:57:35 2000