Sources related to Thomas West, Lord de la Warr


  • Bell, James B. Empire, Religion and Revolution in Early Virginia, 1607-1786. Studies in Modern History. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. This work discusses the spread of Christianity in colonial Virginia. It looks at how Christian practices were changed and implemented in the Jamestown colony. Bell mentions how Thomas West oversaw the renovations to the church and how his laws established Christian morals in the colony. 
  • Bernhard, Virginia. A Tale of Two Colonies What Really Happened in Virginia and Bermuda? Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011. Bernhard’s book provides an overview of the Jamestown colony and includes mention of Thomas West and his brother, Francis West and their arrival and activities in the colony. 
  • Brock, R. A, and Virgil Anson Lewis. Virginia and Virginians: Eminent Virginians, Executives of the Colony of Virginia. Richmond: H.H. Hardesty, 1888. This book includes a small biography of Thomas West (pgs. 15-16), focusing exclusively on his role in the Virginia Colony, his departure from the colony, and his death. It also includes information related to the famous portrait of Thomas West, as well the publication information of West’s “Relation.”
  • Brown, Alexander. The Genesis of the United States: A Narrative of the Movement in England, 1605-1616, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1891. This edited collection provides a narrative of the English expedition to the North America coast and the establishment of Jamestown from 1605- 1616. Brown’s narrative mentions Thomas West , primarily discussing his involvement in the development of Jamestown and its laws. Brown also includes a brief biography of West and his family lineage.
  • Cave, Alfred A. Lethal Encounters: Englishmen and Indians in Colonial Virginia. Westport: ABC-CLIO, 2011. Cave’s book studies the interactions between English colonists and Native Americans. He examines  how Thomas West handled the growing complications with the Powhatan tribes and discusses the resulting conflict. 
  • Chaney, Edward, and Timothy Wilks. The Jacobean Grand Tour :Early Stuart Travellers in Europe. Edward Chaney and Timothy Wilks. 2014.
  • Chaney’s book looks at the travels of young aristocrats in 17th century Europe and analyzes the cultural exchanges and education that resulted from their adventures. The travels of a young Thomas West resemble the Grand Tour discussed in this study.
  •  Davies, David W. Elizabethans Errant: The Strange Fortunes of Sir Thomas Sherley and His Three Sons, As Well in the Dutch Wars As in Muscovy, Morocco, Persia, Spain, and the Indies. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1967. Davies’ book gives insight into Thomas West’s father in law and his three sons. 
  • Doherty, Kieran. Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of the First English Colony in the New World. New York, St. Martin’s Press, 2007. This history provides a narrative for the expedition of the ship that carried and the rest of part of the Virginia Company to North America. This same ship quickly left for Newfoundland only to be stopped off shore by Thomas West. 
  • Gleach, Frederic. Powhatan’s World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures. University of Nebraska Press, 2000. This work gives insight into the protocols and policies towards Native communities undertaken by the Jamestown Colony under Thomas West’s leadership. 
  • Grizzard, Frank E. and D. Boyd Smith. Jamestown Colony: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. ABC-CLIO, 2007. This work highlights Thomas West’’s role in the killing of Native Americans and the popularization of the Jamestown colony’s scorched-earth military tactics. 
  • Haskell, Alexander B, and Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture. For God, King, and People : Forging Commonwealth Bonds in Renaissance Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018. Haskell’s book argues that the initial purpose of English settlements in North America were religious in nature, but were disrupted by the elite’s endeavors for financial success. Haskell provides details about Minister Robert Cecil, who recommended that Thomas West be included in the Virginia Company venture.
  • Horn, James. A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. New York: Basic Books, 2008. Horn’s book provides a look at Thomas West’s disciplinary tactics as well as his interactions with Native American during his time in the Jamestown colony. 
  • Kelso, William M. Jamestown, The Buried Truth. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006. In this archeological study, Kelso explores the secrets of the Jamestown settlement through the items and bodies buried in the colony. Kelso discusses the contributions of Thomas West to the success of the colony.
  • Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. The Jamestown Project. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007. Kupperman discusses Thomas West’s reputation as an upstanding citizen in Jamestown and the poor reputation of his brother, Francis West, who fled Jamestown with men and food during the starving time. She also briefly discusses Thomas West’s actions in Jamestown.
  • Mancall, Peter C., ed. The Atlantic World and Virginia, 1550-1624. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. Mancall briefly mentions Thomas West’s interactions with the Powahatan tribe. 
  • McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635 : A Biographical Dictionary. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub, 2007. Provides a biography of Thomas West that focuses on his interaction in and with the Virginia company. Additionally, it includes information on his wife, Cecily Sherley West, Lady Delaware.
  • Price, David. Love and Hate in Jamestown: James Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2007. Price’s book gives a detailed account of Thomas West’s arrival in Jamestown in 1610 including his activities with the colonists, Thomas Gates and other Jamestown officials, as well as the local Native communities. 
  • Rabb, Theodore K. Enterprise & Empire: Merchant and Gentry Investment in the Expansion of England, 1575-1630. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1967. Rabb’s book looks at the backgrounds of the Englishmen who funded overseas expansion. The majority of this work looks at the stock companies and their investors. Thomas West and his family’s shares are listed in the extensive records. 
  • Schmidt, Ethan A. The Divided Dominion : Social Conflict and Indian Hatred in Early Virginia. Boulder, Colorado: University Press of Colorado, 2015. Schmidt’s book briefly mentions Thomas West’s involvement with the conflict between the colonists and the Native Americans.
  • Smith, John, and James P. P. Horn. 2007. Writings: with other narratives of Roanoke, Jamestown, and the first English settlement of America. New York: Library of America. This collection of documents from the English colonies briefly mentions Thomas West’s involvement in the Jamestown settlement. 
  • Stanard, William Glover, and Mary Newton Stanard. The Colonial Virginia Register: A List of Governors, Councillors and Other Higher Officials, and Also of Members of the House of Burgesses and Revolutionary Conventions of the Colony of Virginia. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub, 1965. The Register is a list that provides the dates of Thomas West’s time as governor as well as those in positions of authority before and after his time in the colony.
  • Stoye, John. English travellers abroad, 1604-1667; their influence in English society and politics. London: Cape, 1952. Stoye’s broad study discusses English travellers in the 17th century. From elites and diplomats to soldiers and merchants, this book looks at the varying experiences of English movement through the continent of Europe. Thomas West’s Grand Tour itinerary is reflected in this piece.
  • Townsend, Camilla. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005. Townsend’s work provides insight into Thomas West’s interactions with the Powhatan people and instances of violence against the Paspahegh Indians. 
  • Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606-1625. New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1907. Tyler’s books provide biographical and familial information related to Thomas West and the rest of his family. It also includes a transcription of Thomas West’s Relation on pages (206-214). 
  • Woodward, Grace Steele. Pocahontas. 1st ed. The Civilization of the American Indian Series, [v. 93]. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969. Contains a description of Thomas West’s actions in Jamestown to stabilize the colony. 


  • Blanton, Wyndham Bolling. Epidemics, Real and Imaginary, and Other Factors Influencing Seventeenth Century Virginia’s Population. Baltimore, 1957. This article looks at the diseases present in early Virginia and mentions Thomas West’s sickness.
  • Brown, Alexander. “Sir Thomas West, Third Lord de la Warr.” Magazine of American History 9 (1883): 1-30.  ** ** (Online version available– pgs. 44-56) Brown’s article is one of the first attempts to compile information about Thomas West  into a biography. The account is short but gives a detailed genealogy of West’s lineage, and a timeline of West’s activities in Virginia and England.
  • Carthy, Daniel Mac. “The Disaster of Wicklow.” The Journal of the Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society, New Series, 2, no. 2 (1859): 428-40. Accessed July 2, 2021. Carthy’s article describes the Battle of Wicklow in 1599, an attempted quelling of Irish rebels by Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex, of which Thomas West played a role. 
  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. “The Voyage of the Neptune to Virginia, 1618-1619, and the Disposition of Its Cargo.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 87, no. 1 (1979): 30-67. Coldham’s article contains information on the second voyage of Lord and Lady Delaware on the Neptune. During this voyage Thomas West passed away. This piece also contains a disposition of the cargo on the ship. 
  • Coldham, Peter Wilson ed., “The Voyage of the Neptune to Virginia, 1618–1619, and the Disposition of Its Cargo,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 87 (1979): 32. Discusses the burial place of Thomas West. (The Neptune was the ship Thomas West was on during his 1918 return to Jamestown– he never made it, and died on the ship.)
  • Davis, Hazel. “Lord Delaware: The Governor who Named Hampton.” Virginia Tidewater Genealogy. Hampton, VA. v.20, no.4 (Dec. 1989), p. 131-137. Located in the Virginia Museum of History and Culture General Collection. Call Number: F221 .V8 T43 v.20 no.4. This article provides a biography of Thomas West, focusing specifically on his time as the Governor of the Virginia Colony. 
  • Egloff, Nancy. “A Triumvirate of Thomases.” Dispatch : A Newsletter of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. Williamsburg, VA. Volume 27, No. 1 (Winter 2013), page 4. Located in the Virginia Museum of History and Culture General Collection. Call Number: F221.D63 v.27 no.1. Discusses Thomas West’s role in engaging with martial law in Virginia.
  • Fausz, J. Frederick. “An “Abundance of Blood Shed on Both Sides”: England’s First Indian War, 1609-1614.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 98, no. 1 (1990): 3-56. Accessed June 14, 2021. Fausz’s article explores the violent interactions of Jamestown colonists and Native Americans during Lord Delaware’s rule over the colony. 
  • Garraty, John A., and Mark C. Carnes. “Baron De La Warr: Biographical Sketch, 1577-1618.” In American National Biography. New York, NY. v.6 (1999), p. 385-386. Provides a bibliographic overview of Thomas West’s life, from his birth in 1577 to his death in 1618. 
  • Harris, Malcolm H. “”Delaware Town” and “West Point” in King William County, Va.” The William and Mary Quarterly 14, no. 4 (1934): 342-51. Harris’ article analyzes the establishment and development of Delaware Town and West Point, which were both named after Thomas West. It includes an explanation as to why these towns were dedicated to West.
  • Herrmann, Rachel B. “The Tragicall Historie : Cannibalism and Abundance in Colonial Jamestown.” William and Mary Quarterly Ser. 3, Vol. 68, No. 1 (jan. 2011), P. [47]-74 (2011). This article discusses the state of the Virginia company before the arrival of Thomas West. It also investigates the evidence of cannibalism during the starving time. 
  • Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. “Apathy and Death in Early Jamestown.” The Journal of American History 66, no. 1 (1979): 24-40. Kupperman’s article discusses the experiences of Jamestown settlers during the Starving Time. The arrival of Thomas West alleviated the colony’s struggles which Kupperman notes briefly.
  • Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. Pocahontas and the English Boys : Caught between Cultures in Early Virginia. New York: New York University Press, 2019. On page 56, Kupperman mentions that Thomas West held a map of the silver mines and desired to search beyond “the falls” to search for more. However, he got sick before he could investigate the new locations. 
  • Lehman, Forrest K. “Settled Place, Contested Past: Reconciling George Percy’s ‘a Trewe Relacyon’ with John Smith’s ‘Generall Historie.’” Early American Literature 42, no. 2 (2007): 235–61. This study compares the accounts of George Percy and John Smith. Lehman contrasts their entries on Jamestown to better understand the politics surrounding the establishment of the colony.
  • National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century. “Virginia Society Ancestor List.” (2003-2005). Located in the Virginia Museum of History and Culture General Collection. Call Number: E186.99.C55 V81 2005. This document includes the name “Lord de la Warr” and possibly provides a brief description of his significance in Virginia history. 
  • Nicholls, Mark. “George Percy’s ‘Trewe Relacyon’: A Primary Source for the Jamestown Settlement.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 113, no. 3 (2005): 212–75. This primary source analysis looks at George Percy’s account in Jamestowne. He brings attention to the hardships that the colony faced and contradicted the accounts of John Smith.
  • Quinn, David B. “Notes by a Pious Colonial Investor, 1608-1610.” The William and Mary Quarterly 16, no. 4 (1959): 551-55. Accessed June 14, 2021. Quinn’s article uses the notes of Sir Stephen Powell to highlight the travels of Englishmen during the early 17th century. A couple of notes discusses the Virginia Company travel preparations of Thomas West. 
  • Rose, E. M. “Lord Delaware, First Governor of Virginia, “the Poorest Baron of This Kingdom”.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 128, no. 3 (2020): 226-58. Accessed June 10, 2021. Rose’s article reexamines Thomas West’s life and legacy by highlighting four key periods in West’s career: his life until his departure for Virginia, his time as the Governor of the Virginia Colony, his return to England, and finally his death. In the absence of a full-length biography, Rose’s work provides one of the most thorough examinations of Thomas West. 
  • Rose, E. M. “Viscounts in Virginia: A Proposal to Create American Noblemen (1619).” Huntington Library Quarterly 83, no. 1 (2020): 181-198. doi:10.1353/hlq.2020.0005. Rose’s article discusses the noble titles given to English men of means who assisted with the funding and establishment of the Virginia Colony, such as Thomas West. 
  • Toledo SE, and Toledo-Pereyra LH. “Early American Medicine.” Journal of Investigative Surgery : The Official Journal of the Academy of Surgical Research 16, no. 6 (2003): 311–14. This article discusses the medical practices of early America and includes information about Thomas West’s personal physician, Lawrence Bohun.
  • Weddell, Alexander Wilbourne, ed. “Henry West (Fourth Lord De la Warr): Biographical Sketch” in Memorial Volume of Virginia Historical Portraiture, 1585-1830. Richmond: VA (1930), p. 78. This entry provides a biographical sketch of Thomas West’s son, Henry West. 


  • Fausz, J. F. (1977). The Powhatan Uprising Of 1622: A Historical Study Of Ethnocentrism And Cultural Conflict (Order No. 7731784). Available From ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (302863151). Fausz’ dissertation provides insight into the conflicting cultures of the Powhatan Native Americans and the English of Jamestown.
  • Morris, Robert E., “The Campaign of Essex in Ireland, 1599.” Loyola University Chicago, 1974. Morris’s dissertation is one of the first efforts to put the 1599 Essex campaign in Ireland into historical perspective. Thomas West accompanied Sir Robert Devereaux (the Second Earl of Essex) on this campaign. Pages 120-146 give details on the various armies that were stationed throughout Ireland, including the Lowlands which is where Thomas West served. 
  • Winsbro, Nancy Lee. “The Governorships of Sir Thomas West, Lord Delaware, Sir Thomas Gates and Sir Thomas Dale in Virginia, 1610-1616.” University of Virginia, 1955. Winsbro’s master’s thesis discusses the impact of the elite governors on the development of England’s settlements in North America. This thesis mentions Lord Delaware’s involvement throughout and provides an overview of his influence in Jamestown.

Sources related to John West (1590-1659)

Primary Sources

  • Lyon, Tyler G., Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol 6. Page 116-177. This document speaks to the genealogy of the West family and the descendants of Thomas West and John West. The pages are copied and transcribed on the Smith Harper website which I have linked here.
  • Survey Report and Petition by Lord Coventry, 1638. This document is a petition to Lord Coventry in a suit by the Attorney General versus John West, Samuel Matthew, William Tucker, and others from 1638. This is digitized through the Virginia Colonial Records Project through the Library of Virginia.
  • Land Patent No. 6 1666-1679 page 423  This is a land grant document that is difficult to read, but refers to a land grant given to John West. It is unclear whether this document refers to John West (1590-1659) or his son John West. This is digitized through the Virginia Colonial Records Project through the Library of Virginia.
  • Land Patent, June 17, 1635 This is a land Patent from 1635 for 400 acres in Elizabeth City County, Virginia to William Woolrich (member of the House of Burgesses) signed by Governor John West. This document is not digitized online, but is available at the Library of Virginia.
  • This Find a Grave website gives a brief history about John West. Even though the sign that is pictured is talking about John West the Second, the information discussed is correctly talking about John West the First. There are also some references listed at the bottom of this page.
  • Alumni oxonienses; the members of the University of Oxford, 1500-1714; their parentage, birthplace, and year of birth, with a record of their degrees by University of Oxford; Foster, Joseph, 1844-1905. The bottom left column of this page shows John West as an alumni of Magdalene College of Oxford, and shows that he graduated December 1, 1613. He is also noted to be the brother of Thomas, 3rd Lord Delawarr. Another John West (probably a relative) is listed in the second column as 6th Lord Delawarr, son of Charles (5th Lord Delawarr).  

Secondary Sources

  • Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Southern Biography Series. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004. John West is mentioned in this book on pages 76-77 and 87-88. John West is mentioned as a member of the Virginia Council who installed Governor Berkeley to office. 
  • Boddie, John Bennett, Southside Virginia Families. Redwood City, Calif.: Pacific Coast Publishers, 1955. Page 398-400.  These pages cover the “West of West Point,” describing John West as the founder of West Point. It also says that much of the information listed in this section comes from “Winston of Virginia” by Dr. William Torrance. 
  • Dorman, John Frederick, and Genealogical Publishing Co. Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5. Fourth edition /ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 2004. John West is mentioned in this book around twenty times at various points. Pages 488-490 list biographical information about John West and his family. Nathaniel West is also mentioned in these pages.
  • Edwards, David and Margaret Peters. National Register of Historic Places Application, 1996. This document is the application for the Historic District designation for the downtown portion of West Point. This source documents land that was given to John West that was then given to his son upon his passing. The land at that time was known as West Point plantation and was situated on land belonging to the Cinquoteck Indian Village.
  • Fox, Ann Woodard, and Margaret McNeill Ayres. The Noble Lineage of the Delaware-West Family of Virginia, through Col. John West, His Sons, and His Daughter Anne West Who Married Henry Fox. Edited by Margaret McNeill Ayres. Limited non-profit edition. Memphis, Tennessee: [Margaret McNeill Ayres], 1958. This book is located at the Library of Virginia and details the genealogy of the West family, and it includes pictures of the family Coat of Arms, illustrations, and portraits. 
  • Garber, Virginia Armistead. The Armistead Family 1635-1910. Richmond, Whittlet, and Shepperson, 1910. Page 112-116. The connection between the Armistead family and the West Family is outlined in this book, and it gives information about John West (1590-1659) and his son John West (1633-1691) and their lineage. 
  • Golsan and Nash Inc.“Elsing Green” on the Pamunkey in Virginia. Richmond, 1933. I have included this book because it gives a history of Elsing Green Plantation in King William County, Virginia that once belonged to John West II (1633-1691). The land was owned by his father, John West (1590-1659) but John West II built the house that still stands today on the property.
  • Harris, Malcolm Hart. Old New Kent County : Some Account of the Planters, Plantations, and Places in New Kent County. West Point, Va.: M.H. Harris, 1977. This book is a good reference source for information regarding the area that John West lived and it mentions the land owned by John West multiple times. 
  • Harris, Malcolm H. “‘Delaware Town’ and ‘West Point’ in King William County, Va.” The William and Mary Quarterly 14, no. 4 (1934): 342–51. This document discusses how John West received a land grant of 2,000 acres and created what is now West Point, Virginia. This does give information about the West family, but also discusses the founding of Delaware Town which later became West Point (named after the West Family).
  • Morton, Richard L. Colonial Virginia. Chapel Hill: Published for the Virginia Historical Society by the University of North Carolina Press, 1960. Sections of this book recount how John West became acting governor from 1635-1637, as well as the details of John West’s land along the York and his move to present day West Point in 1652. 
  • Family Search Timeline. This page is just a good quick reference sheet of the timeline of John West’s life attached to primary documents. *One discrepancy that I keep running into is “if John West (1590-1659) is buried in West Point, Virginia or in Jamestown Island.” However, I think this page could offer a good reference. 
  • Esling Green. This website is the About page from Elsing Green Plantation in King William County, Virginia. The page discusses how Elsing Green was built by John West II on the land that his father acquired. Upon his death in 1692, the plantation was passed to his son Nathaniel West. 

Sources related to Nathaniel West (1592-1623)

  • Cook, Minnie G. “Governor Samuel Mathews, Junior.” The William and Mary Quarterly 14, no. 2 (1934): 105–13. This article focuses on the biographical and genealogical connections of Governor Samuel Mathews however the West family is mentioned. It mentions that Nathaniel West was in the colony by 1620 which supports other sources that also confirm between 1618/1620. It mentions marriage of Nathaniel to Francis Hinton and they had one son. He passed away and she remarried. 
  •   The Earl of Romney’s Deposit. “Wyatt MSS.”, 1621. This manuscript mentions the commission of Nathaniel West. Library of Virginia sources. Only one that mentions Nathaniel West, brother of John West. 
  •  Fox, Thomas. Land Grant 13 November 1713. This land grant from 1713 acknowledges ownership of land adjoining Captain Nathaniel West. Not Nathaniel West, brother of John West. 
  • Neubecker, Ottfried, and J. P Brooke-Little. Heraldry : Sources, Symbols, and Meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.