Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LEVERETT, Sir John, colonial governor of Massachusetts, born in England in 1616; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 16 March, 1679. He emigrated to Boston at the age of sixteen with his father, Thomas, who, in 1633, became an alderman of that place. John early held various offices of public trust, was captain of a militia company, and a successful merchant. He returned to England in 1644, took the side of parliament in the struggle between that body and the king, and, as commander of a company of foot soldiers, gained military distinction and the friendship of Cromwell. After his return to Boston he was a delegate to the general court in 1651-'3, and again in 1663-'4. He was one of the governor's council in 1665-'71, major-general in 1663-'73. and deputy governor in 1671-'3, becoming governor at the latter date. His administration is important in colonial history as the era of the war with King Philip, which Governor Leverett's skill and energy were instrumental in conducting to a fortunate issue. In 1676 he was knighted by Charles II. in acknowledgment of his services to the New England colony during this contest. See "Leverett Memorial" (Boston, 1856).--His grandson, John, lawyer, born in Boston, 25 August, 1662; died there, 3 May, 1724, was a judge, speaker of the colonial legislature, member of the council, and president of Harvard from 1707 until his death. His attainments in learning were extensive, and he received the honor of membership in the Royal society, which was then rarely given to colonists. He was commissioner to the Indians in 1704, and to Port Royal in 1707.
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