William Dummer 
Colonial Massachusetts Governor 
1723-1728, 1729-1730

"William Dummer (1677-1761) was Acting Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay from 1723 to 1728. He was one of the most experienced and practical statesmen in the period of provincial history. Being in England in 1716, he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, through the interest of Sir William Ashurst; and he held the office until 1730, when he was superseded by the appointment of Mr. Tailer.

Few public men enjoyed, or have transmitted, a purer or more enviable reputation. In 1722, when Governor Shute returned to England for the purpose of instituting articles of complaint against the House of Representatives for encroaching on the King's prerogative, the office of commander-in-chief of the Province [passed on to] Lieutenant-Governor Dummer, which he sustained with no less fidelity to the King than to the Province; the interest and rights of which he [determined] the whole force of his powerful mind to maintain, avoiding unprofitable controversies. All the historians of the period speak of him in terms of high honor. 'I cannot help heaping encomiums upon Lieutenant-Governor Dummer,' says Douglas, with whom the language of praise was not easy or familiar.

'Mr. Dummer's administration,' said Hutchinson, 'has been justly well spoken of. He retired with honor, and was soon elected to the Council, where, from respect for his former commission, he took the Chapter place of President; but, being thought too favorable to the prerogative, after two or three years he was left out.'

He passed the rest of his life in the bosom of his family in dignified retirement; enjoying the [reward] of the consciousness of a virtuous and useful life, and having, for the circle of his friends, men of sense, virtue, and religion. By Eliot, he is said 'not to have been a favorite of the popular party, but highly respected by all parties, when their prejudices did not operate.'

He was a native of [Newbury] Massachusetts, and died in 1761, at the age of eighty-four. By his last will he bequeathed two hundred pounds...to [Harvard University]; and left a great part of his estate for charitable uses.'

At his bequest, the Governor's Academy was opened in Byfield, Massachusetts in 1763. It was first called Dummer Charity School, then Dummer Academy and, recently, Governor Dummer Academy. In 2006, the name changed to The Governor's Academy."

Dummer was buried at Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street in Boston.

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