John Carter was secretary of the colony and a member of the. His father, , sent him to England, where he studied law in London, and attended Cambridge. Called to the bar in 1720, Carter was appointed secretary of the colony in June 1722 and he returned to six months later. As secretary, a lucrative and politically powerful office, Carter was responsible for keeping the colony’s records and appointing all of the county court clerks. Some men, including the lieutenant governor, voiced concerns about the extent of the power of the secretary, but Carter successfully defended his conduct. In 1724 he also became a member of the Council and held both positions until his death. Through marriage and inheritance Carter acquired extensive estates, including Shirley plantation and Corotoman, and became one of Virginia’s .