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HILL, WILLIAM, sea captain, colonizer, governor of Lord Baltimore’s [see Calvert] colony at Ferryland; fl. 1634–38.

Nothing is known of Hill’s career before about 1634 when he was appointed deputy governor of the colony in Newfoundland by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. The settlement appears to have been without a governor since 1629 when George Calvert had left the island and transferred his interest to the more hospitable shores of Maryland.

Hill took up residence in Baltimore’s deserted mansion house at Ferryland. There are no accounts of his rule over the colonists and visiting fishermen. In 1629 the settlers had numbered 100 but probably only a small proportion of these now remained.

Hill was still at Ferryland in June 1638 when the Pembroke of London, commanded by Capt. Henry Tilliard, arrived to prepare for the coming of Sir David Kirke. Kirke and his associates, the Marquis of Hamilton and the earls of Pembroke and Holland, were the new proprietors of the island under a charter granted in November 1637, in disregard of Baltimore’s charter of Avalon. A month later Kirke himself arrived and demanded that Hill quit the mansion house. Hill at first refused but found himself unable to hold out against Kirke’s superior strength. He “with drew himselfe into a little house adjoyning and not being able to doe otherwise yeelded up the possession of the said Chiefe Mansion house to the said Sir David Kirke.” Later Hill moved to the north side of the harbour “where after some yeeres of dwelling hee . . . departed his life.” (PRO, H.C.A. 13/65, 12 & 29 March 1652, depositions of James Pratt and Robert Alward.)

Gillian T. Cell

For other references to Hill see: PRO, C.O. 1/14, no.9. PRO, CSP, Col., 1574–1660. Lounsbury, British fishery at Nfld. L. D. Scisco, “Calvert’s proceedings against Kirke,” CHR, VIII (1927), 132–36.

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Cite This Article

Gillian T. Cell, “HILL, WILLIAM,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed June 13, 2024, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/hill_william_1E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/hill_william_1E.html
Author of Article:   Gillian T. Cell
Title of Article:   HILL, WILLIAM
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1966
Year of revision:   1979
Access Date:   June 13, 2024