Jonathan Belcher
Painting: by Frederick E. Wallace, 1924

Royal Governor of Massachusetts: 1730-1741

In 1728, Jonathan Belcher went to London as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives to defend Massachusetts' practice of paying their Royal Governors by periodic grants rather than a permanent salary. When news of Governor Burnet's death reached London, Belcher himself was commissioned to become Governor in January of 1730.

Governor Belcher returned to Massachusetts in August of 1730, where he faced the same difficulties as his predecessors. The legislature refused to pay him on a regular basis, and he refused to issue currency based on interest paying mortgages.

Charges of corruption discredited Belcher's administration, including the allegation that he had accepted a bribe to settle a boarder dispute with New Hampshire, which he concurrently governed. Though the Crown removed Belcher, he was later commissioned to govern New Jersey.