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Colonel Thomas Dongan, Governor of New York in 1682, later became the Earl of Limerick. |

Colonel Thomas Dongan, Governor of New York in 1682, later became the Earl of Limerick.

Thomas Dongan, an Irish nobleman and military officer, served as the colonial governor of New York from 1682 to 1688. He was appointed by King James II of England and was tasked with establishing royal authority and promoting the interests of the Catholic minority in the predominantly Protestant colony.

During his tenure as governor, Dongan implemented policies aimed at strengthening the governance and economy of New York. He convened the first representative assembly, known as the Dongan Charter, which granted greater political rights and liberties to the colonists. He also encouraged trade and commerce, improving relations with Native American tribes, and expanding settlement in the region.

After his time in New York, Dongan returned to Ireland and became involved in the Williamite War, supporting the Catholic Jacobite cause. In recognition of his loyalty, King James II created him the Earl of Limerick in 1689. Dongan played a role in the defence of Limerick during the war but ultimately surrendered to William of Orange’s forces in 1691.

Although his governorship of New York was relatively short, Thomas Dongan’s impact on the colony’s political and economic development, as well as his subsequent title as the Earl of Limerick, have left a lasting historical legacy.

Limerick Gazette

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