Yeardley, Sir George (yärdˈlē) [key], c.1587–1627, British colonial governor of Virginia (1618–21, 1626–27). He was shipwrecked (1609) in the Bermudas but managed to reach Virginia in 1610. In 1616–17 he was acting governor of Virginia and then returned to England, where in 1618 he was appointed governor and knighted. Under Yeardley, acting on instructions of the London Company, the first English colonial representative assembly in the New World was convened (1619) at Jamestown. This and other improvements made him exceptionally popular among the colonists. Relieved at his own request in 1621, he remained in Virginia. In 1626 he replaced Sir Francis Wyatt, who had succeeded him, and governed until his death.
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