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List of colonial governors of the Gambia

  (Redirected from Colonial Heads of the Gambia)

This is a list of colonial governors and administrators in the Gambia from the establishment of a British settlement on St Mary's Island (now Banjul Island) in 1816, through to the Gambia Colony and Protectorate's independence from the United Kingdom in 1965.

Governor of the Gambia
Flag of the Governor of The Gambia (1901–1965).svg
Gambia Colony and Protectorate
StyleHis Excellency
Member ofExecutive Council, Legislative Council
Reports toSecretary of State for the Colonies
Formation1843, 1901
First holderHenry Froude Seagram
Final holderJohn Paul
Abolished1866, 1965
DeputyColonial Secretary of the Gambia

The official title of the Commandant of St Mary's Island was given as the Commandant of the British Settlement at St Mary's in 1823. In 1821, the Gambia became a British colony that formed part of Sierra Leone. In 1829, a Lieutenant Governor was appointed that was subordinate to the Governor of Sierra Leone. Between 1843 and 1866, the Gambia had its own Governor independent of Sierra Leone. It once again became subordinate in 1866, with an Administrator being appointed to govern the territory. An independent Governor was again appointed in 1901 that also acted as the Commander-in-Chief of the colony.

The Gambia achieved independence in 1965. Thereafter, the viceroy of the British Crown in the Gambia became the Governor-General of the Gambia, until it renounced the Queen as head of state in 1970.

Before 1816Edit

Before 1816, the colonial presence in the Gambia was restricted to James Island (known as St Andrew's Island from 1456 to 1660, and as Kunta Kinteh Island since 2011).

Commandants of St Mary's Island (1816–1830)Edit

Commandant Term of office Prior or concurrent offices Colonial Secretary Monarch Ref
Lieutenant Colonel
Sir Alexander Grant
(1775–1827)
23 April
1816
1 August
1826
– Officer with the Royal African Corps (1804–1825)

– Acting Governor of Sierra Leone (1820–1821; 1821)

None George III
 
(1760–1820)
[1][2]
First British colonial administrator in the Gambia since 1783. Negotiated lease of St Mary's Island in 1816. Founded town of Bathurst. Encouraged activities of Wesleyans and Quakers. Subordinated to Sierra Leone in 1821. Purchased MacCarthy Island in 1823 and founded Georgetown. Acquired Ceded Mile from the King of Barra in 1826. George IV
 
(1820–1830)
Colonel
Alexander Findlay
KH
(1784–1851)
1 August
1826
8 March
1829
– Officer with the Royal African Corps None
Appointed an advisory board of commerce.
  William Huttonα
(17??–18??)
8 March
1829
8 August
1829
– Acting Consul for the Kingdom of Ashanti None
Assumed role after Findlay returned to Britain. Initiated merchant-backed April 1829 expedition down the Gambia River. Signed treaties with the King of Wuli and chief of Kantalikunda, later rescinded. Dismissed for misconduct.
Captain
James Jacksonα
(17??–18??)
8 August
1829
28 January
1830
– Officer with the 3rd West India Regiment None
Took over from Hutton. Signed secret treaty with the King of Kombo regarding return of fugitive slaves. Treaty later repudiated by Colonies Secretary.

Lieutenant Governors of the Gambia (1830–1843)Edit

Lieutenant Governor Term of office Prior or concurrent offices Colonial Secretary Monarch Ref
Colonel
Alexander Findlay
KH
(1784–1851)
28 January
1830
3 April
1830
– Officer with the Royal African Corps

– Commandant of St Mary's Island (1826–1829)

None George IV
 
(1820–1830)
[1][2]
Almost immediately appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Sierra Leone.
George Rendall
(d. 1837)
3 April
1830
20 September
1837
– Chief Justice of Sierra Leone (1829–1830) Andrew Hunter
Established a Liberated Africans Department in 1831. 1831–32 Barra War, also known as the Anglo-Niumi War. Groundnuts shipped to Britain for the first time in 1834. Failed expedition against Kemintang Kamara in 1835. Died of yellow fever in office. William IV
 
(1830–1837)
Victoria
 
(1837–1901)
Anthony Clogstounα
(1815–1851)
20 September
1837
October
1838
– Writer in the Colonial Secretary's Office Thomas Lewis Ingram
Assumed role immediately after Rendall's death in office.
Major
Sir William Mackie
(d. 1839)
October
1838
17 September
1839
– Officer with the 88th Regiment of Foot Thomas Lewis Ingram
Died in office.
Thomas Lewis Ingramα
(1807–1868)
17 September
1839
10 April
1840
– Colonial Secretary of the Gambia (1837–1849) Himself
Then-Acting Colonial Secretary. Appointed Acting Lieutenant Governor despite objections of Bathurst merchants.
  Captain
Sir Henry Vere Huntley
RN
(1795–1864)
10 April
1840
31 May
1841
– Captain of HMS Lynx Thomas Lewis Ingram
Agreed cession of part of Kombo from King of Kombo in 1840, creating British Kombo. Left in May 1841.
Thomas Lewis Ingramα
(1807–1868)
31 May
1841
1 April
1843
– Colonial Secretary of the Gambia (1837–1849) Himself
Re-appointed after Huntley left the Gambia.

Governors of the Gambia (1843–1866)Edit

Governor Term of office Prior or concurrent offices Colonial Secretary Monarch Ref
Henry Froude Seagram
(1802–1843)
1 April
1843
26 August
1843
– Unknown Thomas Lewis Ingram Victoria
 
(1837–1901)
[1][2]
First Governor as a distinct colony. Almost immediately appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Sierra Leone.
Thomas Lewis Ingramα
(1807–1868)
26 August
1843
7 August
1844
– Colonial Secretary of the Gambia (1837–1849) Himself
Established a Liberated Africans Department in 1831. Failed expedition against Kemintang Kamara in 1835. Died of yellow fever in office.
Edmund Nash Norcott
(1794–1874)
30 October
1843
15 March
1844
– Unknown Thomas Lewis Ingram
Did not take office.
Sir John Iles Mantellα
(1813–1893)
7 August
1844
9 December
1844
– Queen's Advocate in the Gambia (1841–1847) Himself
Acting Governor while serving as Queen's Advocate.
  Captain
Charles Fitzgerald
RN
(1791–1887)
9 December
1844
18 April
1847
– Unknown Thomas Lewis Ingram
Agreed cession of part of Kombo from King of Kombo, creating British Kombo. Left in May 1841.
Thomas Lewis Ingramα
(1807–1868)
18 April
1847
21 December
1847
– Colonial Secretary of the Gambia (1837–1849) Himself
Re-appointed after Fitzgerald left the Gambia.
  Richard Graves MacDonnell
(1814–1881)
21 December
1847
18 August
1852
– Chief Justice of the Gambia (1843–1847) Thomas Lewis Ingram
 
Daniel Robertsonα
(1813–1892)
11 August
1851
12 March
1852
– Colonial Secretary of the Gambia (1849–1865) Himself
Brief period as Acting Governor in place of MacDonnell.
  Arthur Kennedy
(1809–1883)
May
1852
May
1852
– Poor Law Commission administrator (1846–1851) Daniel Robertson
Before formally taking up role, was re-appointed to Governor of Sierra Leone, so never entered office.
Daniel Robertsonα
(1813–1892)
18 August
1852
21 October
1852
– Colonial Secretary of the Gambia (1849–1865) Himself
Appointed Acting Governor after MacDonnell left the Gambia, and after Kennedy did not take up role.
  Lieutenant Colonel
Luke Smythe O'Connor
(1806–1873)
21 October
1852
23 April
1859
– Officer with the 1st West India Regiment Daniel Robertson
Upper Kombo ceded to the British by the King of Kombo in 1853. Commanded British soldiers at both sackings of Sabbajee. Negotiated end to Soninke-Marabout War (1850–1856). Albreda ceded by the French to the British in 1857.
Daniel Robertsonα
(1813–1883)
23 April
1859
6 September
1859
– Colonial Secretary of the Gambia (1849–1865) Himself
 
  George Abbas Kooli D'Arcy
(1818–1885)
6 September
1859
19 February
1866
– Officer with the 3rd West India Regiment Daniel Robertson
Ma Bah begins attacks on the Soninke at Baddibu in 1862. Death of Maba Diakhou Bâ at the Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune in 1867.

Administrators of the Gambia (1866–1901)Edit

Administrator Term of office Prior or concurrent offices Colonial Secretary Monarch Ref
  George Abbas Kooli D'Arcy
(1818–1885)
19 February
1866
18 December
1866
– Officer with the 3rd West India Regiment
– Governor of the Gambia (1859–1866)
Unknown Victoria
 
(1837–1901)
 
Rear Admiral
Charles George Edward Patey
RN (retd)
(1811–1881)
18 December
1866
21 April
1869
– Administrator of Lagos (1866) [1][2]
 
Major
Alexander Bravoα
(18??–18??)
21 April
1869
12 September
1870
– Unknown
Acting Administrator during a major cholera outbreak in 1869. British government accepts proposals on cession to France in principle. Native petitions and opposition in the House of Commons leads to the abandonment of the proposal.
Lieutenant Colonel
Henry Antonα
(1824–1871)
12 September
1870
7 August
1871
– Acting Administrator. [1][2]
 
Thomas F. Callaghan
(1827–1881)
7 August
1871
21 April
1872
– Governor of Labuan (1861–1866)
 
Henry William John Fowlerα
(1842–1893)
21 April
1872
7 October
1872
– Acting Administrator. [1][2]
 
Captain
Henry T. M. Cooperα
(1838–1877)
7 October
1872
2 October
1873
– Unknown [1][2]
 
  Cornelius Hendricksen Kortright
(1817–1897)
2 October
1873
12 February
1875
– Lieutenant Governor of Tobago (1864–1872)
 
Captain
Henry T. M. Cooperα
(1838–1877)
12 February
1875
2 July
1875
– Unknown [1][2]
 
  Brigade Surgeon
Samuel Rowe
(retd)
(1835–1888)
2 July
1875
3 July
1875
– Colonial Surgeon of the Gold Coast (1875)

Governor of Sierra Leone (1875–1881)

Day after arrival, was re-assigned as Acting Governor of Sierra Leone.
Captain
Henry T. M. Cooperα
(1838–1877)
3 July
1875
9 January
1877
– Unknown
Tomani Bojang, last Soninke King of Kombo, surrenders to Fodi Silla. British government proposes cession to France again, but abandons the idea in 1876. Died in office.
William Hamilton Berkeleyα
(18??–18??)
9 January
1877
30 March
1877
– Unknown
Acting Administrator until the arrival of Gouldsbury.
Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel
Valesius Skipton Gouldsbury
CMG
(1839–1896)
30 March
1877
3 March
1884
– Civil Commandant at Accra
Civil war in Baddibu begins in 1877. First issue of The Bathurst Observer and West African Gazette in 1883. J. D. Richards appointed as first African member of the Legislative Council in 1883.
Cornelius Alfred Moloney
CMG
(1848–1913)
3 March
1884
December
1885
– Colonial Secretary of Lagos (1879–1884)
 
  Gilbert Thomas Carterα
CMG
(1848–1927)
December
1885
8 February
1886
– Treasurer and Postmaster of the Gambia (1882–1888)
 
James Shaw Hay
(1839–1924)
8 February
1886
12 June
1886
– Unknown
 
  Gilbert Thomas Carterα
CMG
(1848–1927)
12 June
1886
29 April
1887
– Treasurer and Postmaster of the Gambia (1882–1888)
From 1886 to December 1888, Carter was the Acting Administrator.
  Brigade Surgeon
Samuel Rowe
(retd)
(1835–1888)
29 April
1887
27 November
1887
– Governor of British West Africa (1885–1888)
Effectively acting in this role from Sierra Leone.
Thomas Risely Griffithα
(1848–1???)
27 November
1887
6 June
1888
– Unknown

Governor of Sierra Leone (1875–1881)

Acting Administrator from 6 June 1888 to 29 November 1888.
  Gilbert Thomas Carter
CMG
(1848–1927)
6 June
1888
2 March
1891
– Treasurer and Postmaster of the Gambia (1882–1888)
Acting Administrator from 6 June 1888 to 29 November 1888. The Gambia becomes separate colony for the last time in 1888 as administrative link with Sierra Leone is severed. Anglo-French agreement in 1889 fixes border of The Gambia.
Charles Herbert Harley Moseleyα
(1857–1933)
16 March
1891
19 April
1891
– Unknown
 
Robert Baxter Llewelyn
(1845–1919)
19 April
1891
21 March
1900
– Commissioner of Saint Lucia (1889–1891)
Fodi Kabba driven into Casamance by British forces in 1892. First Travelling Commissioners, J. H. Ozanne and C. F. Sitwell, appointed in 1893. First comprehensive ordnance for governing the colony in 1894.
Horace Major Brandford Griffithα
(1863–1909)
21 March
1900
10 January
1901
– Unknown
Killing of Travelling Commissioners Sitwell and Silva in June 1900.
  Sir George Chardin Denton
KCMG FRGS FZS
(1851–1928)
10 January
1901
4 March
1901
– Lieutenant Governor of Lagos (1900)
Upgraded to Governor in March 1901. Edward VII
 
(1901–1910)

Governors of the Gambia (1901–1965)Edit

Governor Term of office Prior or concurrent offices Colonial Secretary Monarch Ref
  Sir George Chardin Denton
KCMG FRGS FZS
(1851–1928)
11 January
1901
21 December
1911
– Administrator of the Gambia (1901) Charles O'Brien Edward VII
 
(1901–1910)
[1][2]
Death of Fodi Kabba in 1901. Establishment of the Gambia Company in 1901. Expedition of parasitologist Joseph Everett Dutton. S. J. Forster appointed as permanent member of the Legislative Council for the first time in 1906, dies in 1940. George V
 
(1910–1936)
  Lieutenant Colonel
Sir Henry Galway
KCMG DSO
(1859–1949)
21 December
1911
30 January
1914
– Governor of Saint Helena (1903–1911) Charles O'Brien
Ordnance for governing the protectorate revised in 1913.
Cecil Gwynα
(18??–19??)
30 January
1914
10 April
1914
– Unknown
 
  Sir Edward John Cameron
KCMG
(1858–1947)
11 April
1914
July
1920
– Commissioner of Saint Lucia (1909–1914)
Governor during World War I. Establishment of the Gambia Section of the National Congress of British West Africa in 1920.
Herbert Henniker-Heatonα
(1880–1961)
1920 1921 – Lieutenant Governor of Tobago (1864–1872)
 
Sir Cecil Hamilton Armitage
KBE CMG DSO
(1869–1833)
3 January
1921
10 March
1927
 Chief Commissioner of the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast (1910–1920) Charles R. M. Workman
Demonetization of the French franc in 1922. Ousman Jeng appointed to the Legislative Council representing the Muslims of Bathurst in 1922. First issue of The Gambia Outlook and Senegambian Reporter, published by Edward Francis Small, in 1922. Opening of the Armitage School in 1927.
Sir John Middleton
KBE CMG
(1870–1954)
10 March
1927
October
1928
– Governor of the Falkland Islands (1920–1927) Charles R. M. Workman
 
Charles Rufus Marshall Workmanα
(1874–1942)
October
1928
29 November
1928
– Unknown
Acting Governor between Middleton's departure and Denham's arrival.
Sir Edward Brandis Denham
GCMG KBE
(1876–1938)
29 November
1928
13 January
1930
– Colonial Secretary of Kenya (1923–1928) Charles R. M. Workman
Bathurst Trade Union formed in 1929. BTU organises successful strike the same year. Denham leaves shortly afterwards having found it difficult to cope.
Charles Rufus Marshall Workmanα
(1874–1942)
13 January
1930
11 September
1930
– Unknown
Acting Governor between Denham's departure and Palmer's arrival.
  Sir Richmond Palmer
KCMG CBE
(1877–1958)
11 September
1930
12 April
1933
– Governor of Northern Nigeria (1925–1930) Charles R. M. Workman
Godfrey C. B. Parish
Bathurst Urban District Council (BUDC) formed in 1930. Sheikh Omar Fye appointed as Muslim member of the Legislative Council in 1932, replacing Jeng. He serves until 1947. BTU becomes first registered trade union in Africa. A general reorganization of government takes place in 1933.
Godfrey C. B. Parishα
(1897–1934)
12 April
1933
April
1934
– Unknown Himself
Acting Governor between the departure of Palmer and the arrival of Richards.
Sir Arthur Richards
GCMG
(1885–1978)
April
1934
30 May
1936
– Governor of North Borneo (1930–1934)
Establishment of the Bathurst Advisory Town Council (BATC) in 1935, replacing the BUDC. Edward VIII
 
(1936)
Harris Rendell Okeα
(1891–1940)
30 May
1936
22 October
1936
– Unknown Himself
Acting Governor between Richards' departure and Southorn's arrival.
  Sir Thomas Southorn
KCMG KBE
(1879–1957)
22 October
1936
23 March
1942
– Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong (1925–1936) Kenneth Blackburne
Governor during home front build-up in early World War II. George VI
 
(1936–1952)
  Sir Hilary Blood
GBE KCMG
(1893–1967)
23 March
1942
October
1946
– Colonial Secretary of Sierra Leone (1934–1942) Kenneth Blackburne
George D. Chamberlain
Governor during the deployment of Gambia Regiment soldiers to Burma in 1944 and 1945. Drew up plans on how the Colonial Development and Welfare Acts funds were to be spent. Modernized the Bathurst water system, established a sewage system, paved streets, and improved the port. Established the Bathurst Town Council in 1946. Drew up 1947 Constitution that created direct elections.
George D. Chamberlainα
(1???–19??)
October
1946
29 March
1947
– Unknown Himself
Acting Governor between Blood's departure and Wright's arrival.
Lieutenant Colonel
Sir Andrew Barkworth Wright
KCMG CBE MC
(1895–1971)
29 March
1947
May
1949
– Colonial Secretary of the Windward Islands (1943–1947)
Yundum Egg Scheme failure. Organised first direct election to Legislative Council of Edward Francis Small in 1947. Began policy of Africanization of the civil service and the reduction of European privilege. Departure to Cyprus led to protests due to his popularity.
Edward Rex Wardα
(1902–19??)
May
1949
December
1949
– Unknown Himself
Acting Governor between Wright's departure and Wyn-Harris' arrival.
Sir Percy Wyn-Harris
KCMG MBE KStJ
(1903–1979)
December
1949
9 April
1958
– Chief Native Commissioner of Kenya (1947–1949)
Opposed broadly to the development of self-government. Expanded elected and unofficial places on the Executive and Legislative Councils. Garba-Jahumpa founds the Gambia Muslim Congress in 1952. Dismissal of Pierre Sarr N'Jie from the Executive Council. Wyn-Harris is unpopular among Colony, but popular among Protectorate due to efforts to improve conditions there. Forced to leave role incognito across the Senegal border. Elizabeth II
 
(1952–1970)β
Alexander Nicol Anton Waddellα
(1913–1999)
9 April
1958
19 June
1958
– Unknown Himself
Acting Governor between Wyn-Harris' departure and Windley's arrival.
Sir Edward Henry Windley
KCMG KCVO
(1909–1972)
19 June
1958
29 March
1962
– Chief Native Commissioner of Kenya (1953–1958)
Drew up 1959 Constitution which established the House of Representatives. Foundation of the People's Progressive Party in 1959. Explored possibility of union with Senegal. Gambia Workers' Union carries out successful general strike in 1960. Drew up 1961 Constitution that led to full self-government. Appointed Pierre Sarr N'Jie as Chief Minister in 1961.
Kenneth G. S. Smithα
(1918–2001)
28 February
1962
29 March
1962
– Unknown Himself
Acting Governor between Windley's departure and Paul's arrival.
Captain
Sir John Paul
GCMG OBE MC
(1916–2004)
29 March
1962
18 February
1965
– Secretary to the Cabinet of Sierra Leone (1960–1962)
Appointed Dawda Jawara as Prime Minister in 1962 following the 1962 election. First major census of the Gambia in 1963. Independence conference in London in 1964, post-independence agreements reached with Senegal. Independence from the UK on 18 February 1965, Paul becomes first Governor-General.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

This incumbent was acting in this position in the place of a formally-appointed incumbent.
Elizabeth II remained as monarch of The Gambia from 1965 to 1970 in her capacity as Queen of the Gambia.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cahoon, Ben. "The Gambia". World Statesmen. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Gambia Administrators". The British Empire. Retrieved 19 May 2018.