Robert Quary

Interim Governor July 1685 – October 1685

Robert Quary was born in England in 1644, and immigrated to South Carolina in 1684. The deputy of proprietor Thomas Amy, he was appointed to the office of clerk of court. The Lords Proprietors commissioned Quary as the colony’s secretary in 1685, and on July 12, 1685, the Grand Council elected him interim governor upon Joseph West’s resignation. Three months later Joseph Morton assumed the interim governorship, on instructions of the Lords Proprietors,.

Robert Quary was suspected of mishandling his positions by aiding pirates and failing to send land records to England. In February 1688 the proprietors removed him from all public offices.

Quary supported Seth Sothel’s takeover of the governorship in 1690, and was rewarded with the position of chief justice of Carolina. When Sothel was forced from office in 1692, Quary fled to Philadelphia. There he found a protector in Francis Nicholson, a future governor of South Carolina who was then the governor of Maryland, and continued his political career in several mid-Atlantic colonies. Robert Quary died in Virginia in October 1712.

Lesser, Charles H. “Quary, Robert.” Walter Edgar, ed. South Carolina Encyclopedia. University of South Carolina Press, 2006.