Author: David Muraca

director of archaeology for the George Washington Foundation.

Richard Kemp (ca. 1600–ca. 1650)

Richard Kemp (also spelled Kempe) served as the secretary of the colony and as a member of the governor’s Council from 1634 to 1649. He also served as acting governor of Virginia in Sir William Berkeley‘s stead from 1644 to 1645, assuming leadership of the colony just after the Third Anglo-Powhatan War (1644–1646). A close ally of Sir John Harvey, the first royally appointed governor of Virginia (1630–1639), Kemp supported Harvey throughout a series of disputes between Harvey and members of the Council. Harvey was ultimately removed from power, but Kemp regained his position as secretary after he stowed away on a ship bound for England and pled his case to King Charles I. Kemp lived in urban Jamestown, where he built the first all-brick house in the colony, before relocating to Rich Neck, a 1,200-acre plantation he had bought in 1636 from George Menefie.