John Wanton

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John Wanton
John Wanton RI Colonial Governor.jpg
21st Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
In office
Preceded by William Wanton
Succeeded by Richard Ward
18th and 22nd Deputy Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
In office
Governor Samuel Cranston
Preceded by Joseph Jenckes
Succeeded by Joseph Jenckes
In office
Governor Joseph Jenckes
William Wanton
Preceded by Thomas Frye
Succeeded by George Hazard
Personal details
Born December 24, 1672
Scituate, Massachusetts
Died July 5, 1740 (1740-07-06) (aged 67)
Newport, Rhode Island
Resting place Coddington Cemetery, Newport
Spouse(s) Mary Stover
Occupation Assistant, Deputy, Speaker of House of Deputies, Deputy Governor, Governor

John Wanton (December 24, 1672 – July 5, 1740) [1] was a governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, serving for six consecutive terms from 1734 to 1740. He was the son of Edward Wanton who was a ship builder, and who became a Quaker after witnessing the persecution of these people, also becoming a preacher of that religion.[2] Edward Wanton had lived in York, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; and Scituate, Massachusetts before coming to Rhode Island.[2]

John Wanton was a merchant, and like his father was a Quaker, and the Friends' records state that "for many years he was a valuable public friend."[1] He first entered public service in 1706 as a deputy from Newport serving for several years in that capacity, and also as the Speaker of the House of Deputies. He was called Colonel John Wanton in 1706 when he went after French privateers with John Dublin, who was wounded in the action.[1] Between 1721 and 1734 Wanton was the Deputy Governor for the colony, and following the death of his brother, William Wanton, he became governor in 1734, serving continuously until his own death in 1740. He was buried in the Coddington Cemetery in Newport.

Wanton was married to Mary Stover, the daughter of Sylvester and Elizabeth (Norton) Stover of Cape Neddick, York County, Maine, and had five children.[1][3] Wanton's brother, William Wanton, preceded him as governor, and his nephews Gideon Wanton and Joseph Wanton were later governors of the colony.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Austin, 216
  2. ^ a b Austin, 215
  3. ^ Noyes, et al, 667, 718
  4. ^ Austin, 215-16


  • Austin, John Osborne (1887). Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island. Albany, New York: J. Munsell's Sons. ISBN 978-0-8063-0006-1.
  • Noyes, Sybil; Libby, Charles Thornton; Davis, Walter Goodwin (1939). Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company.

External links

  • Chronological list of Rhode Island leaders

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