New Hampshire’s Little Known Colonial Governor–Richard Coote, 1st Earl of Bellomont (c1655-1701)

Engraving, Richard Coote, Earl of Bellomont, Governor of the Provinces of New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 1697 to 1701

Engraving, Richard Coote, Earl of Bellomont, Governor of the Provinces of New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 1697 to 1701. Internet Archive.

When someone brings up the topic of colonial governors of New Hampshire, I’m sure that the name “Coote” does not pop into your head first. But perhaps from now on it will.

In March 1697 he was appointed governor of New York Massachusetts, and New Hampshire but didn’t sail for America until November of the same year. During his time in the American Colonies he spent only two weeks in New Hampshire. It was during Richard Coote’s tenure as colonial governor that the reported ‘pirate’, Captain Kidd was taken into custody and sent to England for punishment. According to various reports,”he was a man of eminently fair character, upright, courageous and independent.”

Richard Coote was the son of Richard, 1st Baron Coote of Coloony by Mary, daughter of Sir George St. George of Carrick Drumrusk, County Leitrim. He married 1680 to Mary daughter of Bridges Nanfan. He was raised as gentry, serving in the cavalry of the Dutch army, and then in the employ of Princess Mary.  [read more here].

Richard Coote, 1st Earl of Bellmont died 5 march 1701 in New York of gout in the stomach, leaving his wife and sons destitute, and where he had to be buried at public expense. His widow married three more times, and died in 1738 leaving her estate to their son Richard Coote, 3rd Earl of Bellomont.

*****ADDITIONAL READING*****

List of Colonial Governors of New Hampshire

The Peerage: Richard Coote

Biography of the Earl of Bellomont, from History of New Hampshire

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