Captain John Reynolds, Royal Navy officer and First Royal Governor of Colonial Georgia 1754–1758.
John Reynolds (Abt 1713-3 February 1788) served for a period as the royal governor of the Georgia Colony from 1754-1758. At the end of a long life of service, he became admiral shortly before his death.
John Reynolds & Maria Catharina Lang were married on 12 Nov 1761 in London.
The groom is listed as from St. John's parish in Hackney (London).
The European magazine, and London review, Volume 13 Page 144
February 16, 1788
Lately, John Reynolds, Esq. Admiral of the Blue.
By Philological Society (Great Britain)
The Gentleman's Magazine (London, England), Volume 64
F. Jefferies, 1788
Obituary of Considerable Persons; with Biographical Ancedotes. Page 181
John Reynolds, Esq. admiral of the Blue.
In New North-street, Red-lion-Square,
Rev. David Davies Morgan.
Reference: PROB 11/1162/45
Will of John Reynolds, Vice Admiral of the White Squadron of His Majesty's Fleet
04 February 1788
The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Admiral John Reynolds, Royal Navy
Born about 1713, he entered the Navy in 1728 as a "volunteer per order" with Captain John Gascoigne on board the frigate HMS Aldborough, in which he served for six years. He passed his examination on 31 July 1734, being then, according to his certificate, 21 years old. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 14 October 1736.
War of the Austrian Succession
In 1739–40 Reynolds was serving in the HMS Argyll on the home station. The War of the Austrian Succession broke out; and in June 1741 he was appointed to the fireship HMS Vulcan, then in the West Indies. She was paid off in November 1742, and Reynolds went on half-pay. In 1743 he was first lieutenant of the HMS Jersey, and from her, in February 1743-4, was moved to the HMS Victory, which he left before she sailed for the Tagus River in July 1744 on what was to be her last voyage (see Sir John Balchen).
On 23 April 1745 Reynolds was promoted to be commander of the fireship HMS Scipio on the home station. In the following December he was placed on half-pay. In August 1746 he was temporarily appointed to the HMS Ambuscade at Plymouth; and similarly, in September, to the HMS Centurion at Portsmouth, from which on 30 October he was posted to the HMS Arundel. He was, however, not relieved from the Centurion till 22 November. During 1747 the Arundel was employed in the English Channel, cruising with some success against the enemy's trade, and afterwards in convoy service in the North Sea.
London Evening Post December 18, 1746
Page 1 - The Lords of the Admiralty have appointed Capt. John Reynolds, to be Commander of His Majesty's Ship the Arundel, of 24 Guns, lately launch'd at Chichester.
Mission against pirates
In May 1748 Reynolds, still in the Arundel, was sent out to Charles Town, from which he went to Jamaica. In December he received orders to return to Charles Town, and patrol South Carolina, Georgia, and the Bahamas, an area then a resort of pirates. He continued on this station for over two years, returning to England in 1751.
Notes from the muster book of HMS Port Mahon, 6th Rate, Launched in 1740, Sold in 1763.
Dates: 22 February 1753-31 January 1755
Captain: John Montagu until 6 February 1754, then Robert Hughes
Complement: 130 men
Itinerary: Hamoze - Spithead - At Sea - Boston - At Sea - St John's (newfoundland) - At Sea - Lisbon River - At Sea - Portsmouth - At Sea - Savannah (Georgia) - At Sea - St John's (Antigua).
Governor Shirley of Boston and family carried from Portsmouth on 1 June 1753 to Boston on 8 August 1753.
His Excellency John Reynolds and suite carried from Portsmouth on 19 August 1754 to Savannah, Georgia on 30 October 1754.
Governor of Georgia
In July 1754 Reynolds was appointed governor of Georgia, where he remained for four years. John Reynolds was the first Royal Governor of the Colony of Georgia. While governor, Reynolds established courts and a Common House of Assembly in Georgia. He lacked political talent, however, and his forceful style of government clashed with a colonial society used to ordering its own affairs. Reynolds was recalled in August 1756 after a series of confrontations, but was not officially succeeded, by Lieutenant Governor Henry Ellis, until 14 April 1758.
Seven Years' War
In May 1759 he was appointed to the *HMS Firm, of 60 guns, with which, in June, he joined the fleet off Brest under the command of Sir Edward Hawke. Hawke detached him as commodore of the squadron off Quiberon Bay. On this post he was afterwards relieved by Robert Duff, but was still detached from the fleet on 17 November, when, off the Isle Groix, he had news of the French fleet being at sea. He sent this off at once to the admiralty, while he himself stood to the westward in the hope of meeting Hawke. This he did not succeed in doing, and he did not join the admiral till some days after the battle of Quiberon Bay on the 20th.
The following February he was moved into the HMS Temple, from which in March he was superseded. He afterwards commanded the frigate HMS Milford, till the peace of 1763.
* HMS Firm (1759) Ship type: 60-gun Fourth-Rate, Ship of the Line. Launched: 15 January 1759
Notes from the muster book of HMS St. Firm, 4th rate:
Dates: 26 February 1759 - 29 December 1759
Captain: John REYNOLDS
Itinerary: Home ports and Harbours and at sea.
French prisoners of the "Magninim", on order of Sir Edward HAWKE, Knight of the Bath, and discharged 3 December 1759 to a flag of truce ashore in exchange of order.
Dates: January 1760 - December 1760
Captain: John REYNOLDS
succeeded by John FERGUSSONE February 1760
Complement: 420 men
Itinerary: Guernsey, Channel Islands, Gibraltar and at sea.
French prisoners from "Valeur" and Jersey carried to Guernsey. Order of Vice Admiral SAUNDERS
During the following years he lived at Newington Butts, and from 1766 to 1768 commanded the HMS Fame, guardship at Plymouth. He then returned to Newington Butts, and in October 1768 sent to the admiralty a proposal of a method of giving ships way through the water in a calm.
In 1769 Reynolds commanded the HMS Burford, guardship at Plymouth; and from 1770 to 1773 the HMS Defence, in which in 1770 he took out troops to Gibraltar. In 1773 he commanded the HMS Dublin for some months, and in November was appointed to the HMS Ocean at Plymouth, from which he was relieved in the end of 1774.
Reynolds was promoted to be rear-admiral on 31 March 1775, and to be vice-admiral on 29 January 1778. He then suffered from a paralytic stroke. He attained the rank of admiral on 24 September 1787, and died in London on 3 February 1788.
Reynolds was married twice, but his first wife is unknown. He married Maria Catharina Lang at Newington, London, on 12 Nov 1761. She was from a German Swabian (Schwäbische) Protestant family who had emigrated to Georgia in 1752.
Their daughter Mary Catherine Reynolds later married James Sowerby, an English naturalist and illustrator, Dec 1820 in London.
Reynolds had a son George out of wedlock; he was also a naval officer, surviving the wreck of HMS Pandora*, and father of the engraver Alfred Reynolds.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
*HMS Pandora Find A Grave Memorial# 10676095
Georgia Colony: The Reynolds Administration, 1754-1757
In 1752 a committee of Parliament called the Board of Trade acquired the authority to nominate colonial officials. George Montagu-Dunk, Lord Halifax, the board's president, intended Georgia's charter to be a model for other American colonies. The charter provided for a strong governor empowered to convoke an assembly, pass on legislation, propose the erection of courts, approve land grants, enforce the laws, and otherwise administer the province. Other officials included an attorney general, a provost marshal, a clerk of council, a receiver of quitrents, a surveyor, and various customs officials. The legislature consisted of an assembly of two representatives from each county of the colony, which were created as soon as possible. In addition, there would be a council that would act as an upper house, as well as a court of appeals. The Board of Trade nominated the governor and members of the council, subject to the approval of the king.
Most Georgians welcomed Governor John Reynolds when he arrived from England on October 29, 1754. However, Reynolds, a career naval officer, lacked the political experience and skills necessary to the inauguration of a model government. At the outset he alienated a backcountry faction headed by Edmund Gray, a Quaker planter and an influential Georgia politician, by refusing to inquire into claims of fraud in Georgia's first election in 1754 and by branding the protestors as rebels. Then the governor frustrated the members of his council by awarding the most lucrative colonial offices to William Little, a naval surgeon who accompanied him to Georgia. When the council turned against him, the governor allied himself with his former enemies of the Gray faction, who shared his dislike of the Savannah-dominated council. Reynolds showed an equal lack of skill in Indian diplomacy, a crucial matter because his assumption of office coincided with the beginning of the French and Indian War (1754-63). Georgia was dangerously exposed to raids by the Creek and Cherokee Nations, and the Louisiana French hoped to instigate such attacks.
Lord Halifax reacted to the chorus of complaints from Georgia by recalling Reynolds at the end of 1756 and naming Henry Ellis as his successor 1758.
New Georgia Encylopedia: Royal Georgia, 1752-1776
It is said that the celebration held upon Reynolds' arrival in the colony was rivaled only by that held upon his departure.