Dudley, Joseph

Dudley, Joseph, 1647–1720, colonial governor of Massachusetts, b. Roxbury, Mass.; son of Thomas Dudley. In 1682 he was one of the agents sent to England to protest against the threatened loss of the Massachusetts charter. Having found favor in England, Dudley was appointed head of the temporary government in the colony until Sir Edmund Andros arrived (1686) a few months later as governor of all of New England. Under Andros he held several prominent positions, but with Andros's fall (1689) Dudley was sent to England to answer charges brought against him by the colonists. Acquitted of the charges, he was appointed chief of the council of New York (1690–92) and acted as chief justice during the trial of Jacob Leisler. Back in England again, he was elected to Parliament (1701), but soon returned as governor of Massachusetts (1702–15). Dudley raised and directed military expeditions against Canada, but his administration was marked by dissension because of his earlier unpopularity in the colony and his uncompromising attitude.

See biography by E. Kimball (1911).

His son, Paul Dudley, 1675–1751, b. Roxbury, Mass., rose to considerable prominence as a jurist in spite of his father's unpopularity and the hostility of the Mather faction. He was chief justice of Massachusetts (1745–51) and was well known as a naturalist.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies