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When you've got a lot of people together, it makes sense to pick someone to be in charge. As exploration expanded, individuals were chosen to oversee colonies and settlements. This section highlights those men (and some women), as well as the leaders and attendant ruling class -- nobles, peerage, wannabes and hangers-on --back home.
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Cross-listed in Clergy

Pedro de la Gasca

borndied
1485, Jun1567, Nov 13
a Spanish bishop, diplomat and the second (acting) viceroy of Peru, from April 10, 1547 to January 27, 1550. Pedro de la Gasca studied at the University of Salamanca and the University of Alcalá. He became a priest and a lawyer, and was known for his intellect. In 1542 he was negotiator for Emperor Charles V in discussions with the pope and King Henry VIII,...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne [1]

aka: Duke of Bouillon
borndied
1555, Sep 281623, Mar 25
a member of the powerful (then Huguenot) House of La Tour d'Auvergne, Prince of Sedan and a marshal of France. After the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572 he participated in the Siege of La Rochelle (1572-1573), but subsequently re-converted to Protestantism. Defeated at Doullens, Picardy in 1595 by Fuentes, governor of the Spanish Low Countries, he was...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne [2]

aka: Vicomte de Turenne
borndied
1611, Sep 111675, Jul 27
was the most illustrious member of the La Tour d'Auvergne family. He achieved military fame and became a Marshal of France. He was one of six marshals who have been made Marshal General of France. Frederick Henry of Nassau, who succeeded his brother Maurice as Stadtholder and Prince of Orange in 1625, gave Turenne a captaincy in 1626. The young officer took ...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)


William Lamb

aka: 2nd Viscount Melbourne, Lord Melbourne
borndied
1779, Mar 151848, Nov 24
a British Whig statesman who served as Home Secretary (1830–1834) and Prime Minister (1834 and 1835–1841). He is best known for his intense and successful mentoring of Queen Victoria, at ages 18–21, in the ways of politics. Historians have concluded that Melbourne does not rank high as a prime minister, for there were no great foreign wars or domestic ...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in MilitaryWriters

John Lambert [1]

borndied
16191684, Mar
an English Parliamentary general and politician. He fought during the English Civil War and then in Oliver Cromwell's Scottish campaign (1650–51), becoming thereafter active in civilian politics until his dismissal by Cromwell in 1657. During this time he wrote the Instrument of Government, Britain's only codified constitution, and was influential in bring...
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Timeline (3)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Lamoral of Egmont

aka: Count of Egmont
borndied
1522, Nov 181568, Jun 5
a general and statesman in the Spanish Netherlands just before the start of the Eighty Years' War, whose execution helped spark the national uprising that eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands. In the service of the Spanish army, he defeated the French in the battles of Saint-Quentin (1557) and Gravelines (1558). Egmont was appointed stadthol...
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Timeline (3)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Legal

Chauncey Langdon

borndied
1763, Nov 81830, Jul 23
an American politician, lawyer and judge. He served as a United States Representative from Vermont. Langdon became an active Federalist. He practiced law in Windsor, but later returned to Castleton. He served as the Rutland County Register of Probate from 1792 to 1794, in 1796, and again in 1813. He was Judge of Probate in 1798 and 1799. In 1808 he served on...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Commerce

Henry Laurens

borndied
1723, Feb 241792, Dec 8
an American merchant, slave trader, and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political leader during the Revolutionary War. A delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Laurens succeeded John Hancock as President of the Congress. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and President of the Continental Congress when the Articles were pa...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne [1]

aka: Sieur de Bienville
borndied
1680, Feb 231767, Mar 7
a colonizer, born in Montreal, New France, and an early, repeated governor of French Louisiana, appointed four separate times during 1701–1743. At the age of seventeen, Bienville joined his brother Iberville on an expedition to establish the colony of Louisiana. Bienville explored the Gulf of Mexico coastline, discovering the Chandeleur Islands off the coa...
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Cross-listed in InventorsCommerce

John Wheeley Lea

borndied
1791, May 81874, Mar 23
an English pharmacist and sauce manufacturer. Born on a farm with three brothers and four sisters, Lea wanted to be a chemist from a young child. In 1823 he partnered with William Henry Perrins, opening a drug store in Worcester, and in 1837 they began selling the Lea & Perrins brand of Worcestershire sauce. Lea was also an alderman and was elected mayor of ...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Francis Lightfoot Lee

borndied
1734, Oct 141797, Jan 11
a member of the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia. As an active protester regarding issues such as the Stamp Act, Lee helped move the colony in the direction of independence from Britain. Lee was a delegate to the Virginia Conventions and the Continental Congress. He was a signer of the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence...
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Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Henry Lee III

borndied
1756, Jan 291818, Mar 25
an early American Patriot and politician who served as the ninth Governor of Virginia and as the Virginia Representative to the United States Congress. During the American Revolution, Lee served as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army and earned the nickname "Light-Horse Harry". Henry Lee was the father of Civil War-era Confederate general Robert E. Lee...
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Timeline (3)Links (1)


Richard Henry Lee

borndied
1732, Jan 201794, Jun 19
an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation, and his "resolution for independency" of June 1776 led to the United States Declaration of Independence, which Lee signed. He also served a one-year te...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi

aka: Miguel López de Legazpi
bornactivedied
1502 ca1528-15651572, Aug 20
a Basque Spanish navigator and governor who established the first Spanish settlement in the East Indies when his expedition crossed the Pacific Ocean from the Viceroyalty of New Spain in modern-day Mexico, and founded Cebu on the Philippine Islands in 1565. He was the first Governor-General of Spanish East Indies which included the Philippines and other Pac...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Francis Legge

borndied
1719 ca1783
a British military officer and colonial official in Nova Scotia during the 18th century. He served as Governor of Nova Scotia from 1772-1776. During the American Revolution, Legge raised the Royal Nova Scotia Volunteer Regiment. Legge had served in the territory during the Seven Years' War "without distinction or promotion". However, Legge happened to be a r...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


William Legge

aka: 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, Viscount Lewisham
borndied
1731, Jun 201801, Jul 15
a British statesman who is most remembered for his part in the government before and during the American Revolution, and as the namesake of Dartmouth College. Lord Dartmouth was Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1772 to 1775. It was Lord Dartmouth who, in 1764, at the suggestion of Thomas Haweis, recommended John Newton, the former slave trader and au...
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Timeline (3)Links (13)


Sampson Lennard

borndied
15441615, Sep 20
an English Member of Parliament who represented an unusually large number of different constituencies during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. A prominent member of the Kent and Sussex gentry, Lennard was High Sheriff of Kent in 1590-1. He entered Parliament in 1571 as member for Launceston (Cornwall). He subsequently also represented Bramber (1584-5), ...
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Links (5)


HRE Leopold I

borndied
1640, June 91705, May 5
Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia and King of Serbia. The second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain, Leopold became heir apparent in 1654 by the death of his elder brother Ferdinand IV. Elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1658, Leopold would rule as such until his death in 1705. Leopold'...
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Timeline (23)Links (1)


HRE Leopold II

bornactivedied
1747, May 51790-17921792, Mar 1
Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary and Bohemia from 1790 to 1792, Archduke of Austria and Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1765 to 1790. He was a son of Emperor Francis I and his wife, Empress Maria Theresa, thus the brother of Marie Antoinette. Leopold was a moderate proponent of enlightened absolutism.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Clergy

Leopold V

bornactivedied
1586, Oct 91623-16321632, Sep 13
the son of Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria, and the younger brother of Emperor Ferdinand II, father of Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Further Austria. He was Bishop of Passau and of Strasbourg, until he resigned to get married, and Archduke of Further Austria including Tirol. He was invested as bishop in 1598, as a child, even though he had not been ord...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Walter Leslie

borndied
16071667, Mar 4
a Scottish Soldier and diplomat. He gained the positions of Imperial Field Marshal, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, Governor on the Croatian-Slavonian Military Frontier, Imperial Ambassador to Naples, Rome in 1645 and to Constantinople in 1665-1666. In 1624, Walter Leslie crossed the North Sea to fight with the Protestant Army of the United Provinces. By 162...
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Links (1)


Stanislaw Leszczynski

aka: Stanislaus I
borndied
1677, Oct 201766, Feb 23
King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Duke of Lorraine and a count of the Holy Roman Empire. Stanislaw was born into a powerful magnate family of Greater Poland, and he had the opportunity to travel to western Europe in his youth. In 1702 King Charles XII of Sweden marched into the country as part of a continuing series of conflicts between the powers o...
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Timeline (4)Links (5)


Francis Lewis

borndied
1713, Mar 211802, Dec 31
a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New York. He was a member of the Committee of Sixty, a member of the New York Provincial Congress, and was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775. In 1778, he signed the United States Articles of Confederation. From 1779 to 1780, Lewis served as the Chairman of t...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in MilitaryLegal

Morgan Lewis

borndied
1754, Oct 161844, Apr 7
an American lawyer, politician, and military commander. The second son of Francis Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Lewis fought in the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He served in the New York State Assembly (1789, 1792) and the New York State Senate (1811–1814) and was New York State Attorney General (1791–1801) and go...
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Links (4)


Cross-listed in Military

Li Zicheng

aka: Li Hongji
borndied
1606, Sep 221645
a Chinese rebel leader who overthrew the Ming dynasty in 1644 and ruled over China briefly as the emperor of the short-lived Shun dynasty before his death a year later. According to folklore, in 1630, Li was put on public display in an iron collar and shackles for his failure to repay loans to a usurious magistrate, Ai. Ai struck a guard who offered shade an...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Commerce

Philip Livingston

borndied
1716, Jan 151778, Jun 12
an American merchant and statesman from New York City. He was a delegate for New York to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1778, and signed the Declaration of Independence. Livingston made his fortune provisioning and privateering. He also speculated heavily in real estate. He had a stone townhouse on Duke Street in Manhattan and also a forty-acre estate...
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Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Legal

Robert R. Livingston

aka: The Chancellor
borndied
1746, Nov 161813, Feb 26
an American lawyer, politician, diplomat from New York, and a Founding Father of the United States. He was known as "The Chancellor", after the high New York state legal office he held for 25 years. He was a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, along with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Roger Sher...
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Timeline (4)Links (8)


Chief Logan

bornactivedied
1725 ca1770s1780
a Native American orator and war leader born in the Iroquois Confederacy. Although he was of the Cayuga nation, after his 1760s move to the Ohio Country, he was sometimes referred to as a Mingo. His revenge for the killing of family members by American frontiersmen helped spark the 1774 conflict known as Dunmore's War. Logan became famous for a speech, later...
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Links (1)


Lone Horn

bornactivedied
1790 ca1810s-1870s1877
Born in present-day South Dakota, was chief of the Minneconjou Lakota. He participated in the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868, which reads "Heh-won-ge-chat, his x mark, One Horn". In 1832, George Catlin painted One Horn, at Fort Pierre, South Dakota.
Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Francis de Lorraine

aka: Prince of Joinville, Duke of Guise, Duke of Aumale
borndied
1519, Feb 171563, Feb 24
a French soldier and politician. By religion, he practised Catholicism, at a time when France was being polarized between the Catholics and Huguenots. In 1545, he was seriously wounded at the Second Siege of Boulogne, but recovered. He was struck with a lance through the bars of his helmet. The steel head pierced both cheeks, and 15 cm (6 in) of the shaft we...
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Timeline (4)Links (1)


Louis of Nassau

borndied
1538, Jan 101574, Apr 14
the third son of William, Count of Nassau and Juliana of Stolberg, and the younger brother of Prince William of Orange Nassau. Louis was a key figure in the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain and a strongly convinced Calvinist, unlike his brother William, whom he helped in various ways, including by arranging the marriage between him and his second wife...
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Timeline (3)Links (1)


Louis of Soissons

aka: Louis de Bourbon, Count of Soissons
borndied
1604, May 11641, Jul 6
the Count of Soissons. He was the son of Charles de Bourbon, Count of Soissons and Anne de Montafié. He was the second cousin of King Louis XIII of France and a held the rank of prince of the blood. Born in Paris, he was made governor of the Dauphiné province (1612), an office inherited at the death of his father, and later governor of the Champagne provin...
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Links (1)


King Louis XII

bornactivedied
1462, Jun 271498-15151515, Jan 1
a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1498 to 1515 and King of Naples from 1501 to 1504. Louis persevered in the Italian Wars, initiating a second Italian campaign for the control of the Kingdom of Naples. Louis conquered the Duchy of Milan in 1500 and pushed forward to the Kingdom of Naples, which fell to him in 1501. Proclaimed ...
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Timeline (9)Links (1)


King Louis XIII

aka: Louis II of Navarre
bornactivedied
1601, Sep 2781610-16431643, May 14
a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1610 to 1643 and King of Navarre (as Louis II) from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown. Shortly before his ninth birthday, Louis became king of France and Navarre after his father Henry IV was assassinated. His mother, Marie de' Medici, acted as regent du...
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Timeline (7)Links (1)


King Louis XIV

aka: Louis the Great, Sun King, Le Roi Soleil
bornactivedied
1638, Sep 51643-17151715, Sep 1
a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest of any monarch of a major country in European history. In this age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralization of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661 a...
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Timeline (27)Links (1)


Louis XV

aka: Louis the Beloved
bornactivedied
1710, Feb 151715-17741774, May 10
a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1 September 1715 until his death. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity in 1723, his kingdom was ruled by Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans as Regent of France; the duke was his maternal great-uncle, as well as first cousin ...
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Timeline (6)Links (1)


King Louis XVI

aka: Louis Capet
bornactivedied
1754, Aug 231774-17931793, Jan 21
King of France from 1774 until his deposition in 1792, although his formal title after 1791 was King of the French. He was guillotined on 21 January 1793. His father, Louis, Dauphin of France, was the son and heir apparent of Louis XV of France, but his father died in 1765, and Louis succeeded his grandfather as king in 1774.
Timeline (14)Links (1)


Louis XVIII

bornactivedied
1755, Nov 171814-18241824, Sep 16
a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1814 to 1824 except for a period in 1815 known as the Hundred Days. Louis XVIII spent twenty-three years in exile, from 1791 to 1814, during the French Revolution and the First French Empire, and again in 1815, during the period of the Hundred Days, upon the return of Napoleon I from Elba.
Timeline (4)Links (1)


Louis de Bourbon [3]

aka: Prince of Condé
borndied
1668, Nov 101710, Mar 4
a prince du sang as a member of the reigning House of Bourbon at the French court of Louis XIV. Styled as the Duke of Bourbon from birth, he succeeded his father as Prince of Condé in 1709. However, he was known by the lesser ducal title. He was prince for less than a year. Like his father, Louis was hopelessly insane, having slipped into madness several ye...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Louis Philippe I

borndied
1773, Oct 61850, Aug 26
King of the French from 1830 to 1848 as the leader of the Orléanist party. As a member of the cadet branch of the Royal House of France and a cousin of King Louis XVI of France by reason of his descent from their common ancestors Louis XIII and Louis XIV, he had earlier found it necessary to flee France during the period of the French Revolution in order to...
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Timeline (3)Links (1)


Louise of Orleans

aka: Louise-Marie
borndied
1812, Apr 31850, Oct 11
a French princess who became the first Queen of the Belgians as the second wife of King Leopold I. As a child, she had a religious and bourgeoisie education thanks to the part played by her mother and her aunt, Princess Adélaïde of Orléans to whom she was very close. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon she was entitled to the rank of a Princess o...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Louise Henriette of Nassau

aka: Louise Henrietta
borndied
1627, Dec 71667, Jun 18
a Countess of Nassau, granddaughter of William I, Prince of Orange, "William the Silent", and an Electress of Brandenburg. Louise Henriëtte had to abandon her love for Henri Charles de La Trémoille, Prince of Talmant, son of Henry de La Trémoille, as her mother had royal ambitions for her. However, attempts to conclude an engagement with King Charles II o...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Toussaint Louverture

aka: Francois-Dominique, François-Dominique, Toussaint Bréda, Toussaint L'Ouverture
borndied
1743, May 201803, Apr 7
the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution. His military and political acumen saved the gains of the first Black insurrection in November 1791. He first fought for the Spanish against the French; then for France against Spain and Great Britain; and finally, for Saint-Domingue against Napoleonic France. He then helped transform the insurgency into a revo...
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Timeline (4)Links (1)


Francis Lovelace

borndied
1621 ca1675
an English Royalist and the second Governor of New York colony. Lovelace lived in Virginia where his sister, Anne Gorsuch, had migrated after marriage, from 1650 until after the colony was seized by the English Parliamentary commissioners in 1652 when the governor, Sir William Berkeley, dispatched him to France to inform Charles II. He returned to England in...
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Timeline (1)Links (3)


Cross-listed in Astronomers

Sir William Lower

borndied
15701615, Apr 12
an English astronomer from the early telescopic period, and a Member of Parliament. He was born in Cornwall, and after studying at Exeter College, Oxford, he married and settled in South-west Wales. In 1607 he observed Halley's comet and took a number of careful measurements which he communicated to Thomas Harriot, by which it was determined that the comet w...
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Links (3)


Cross-listed in MilitaryLegal

Roger Ludlow

borndied
1590, Mar 71664/65/66
an English lawyer, magistrate, military officer, and colonist. He was active in the founding of the Colony of Connecticut, and helped draft laws for it and the nearby Massachusetts Bay Colony. Under his and John Mason's direction, Boston's first fortification, later known as Castle William and then Fort Independence was built on Castle Island in Boston harbo...
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Timeline (1)Links (5)


Cross-listed in Writers

Lutfi Pasha

aka: Lütfi
borndied
1488 ca1564, Mar 27
an Ottoman statesman and grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman the Magnificent from 1539 to 1541. He wrote 21 works mainly on religious topics but also on history, 13 of them written in Arabic and 8 in Turkish.
Links (1)


Thomas Lynch

bornactivedied
unknown1670-16841684
Governor of Jamaica. In 1677, Sir Thomas Lynch returned to England having served in Jamaica since 1670, the year when he was also knighted at Whitehall and married Vere, daughter of Sir Edward Herbert of Weybridge and sister of the Earl of Torrington. He purchased the Esher estate and either during his ownership or that of his daughter, Philidelphia and son-...
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Links (5)


Thomas Lynch Jr.

borndied
1749, Aug 51779
a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of South Carolina; his father was unable to sign the Declaration of Independence because of illness. Lynch was elected a member of the Provincial Congress on February 11, 1775. This committee was formed to prepare a plan of government and represent the people of South Carolina.
Links (6)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Matthew Lyon

borndied
1749, Jul 141822, Aug 1
an Irish-born American printer, farmer, soldier and politician, who served as a United States Representative from both Vermont and Kentucky. Lyon represented Vermont in Congress from 1797 to 1801, and represented Kentucky from 1803 to 1811. His tenure in Congress was tumultuous. He brawled with one Congressman, and was jailed on charges of violating the Sedi...
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Timeline (1)Links (4)Notes (1)

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