Charles Craven

Governor March 1712 – April 1716

Charles Craven was born in England in 1682, a younger son of Sir William Craven, one of Carolina’s original eight Lords Proprietors. Charles Craven was appointed governor of the colony in February 1711, and arrived in Charleston in March 1712.
Charles Craven was adept in his management of the irascible Commons House of Assembly, but political infighting locked him in a dispute with the Lords Proprietors. The assembly supported the governor, and favored Craven’s decision in February 1715 to return to England and defend his actions. The Yamassee Indian uprising delayed his departure.
When the Yamassee War broke out in April 1715, Charles Craven led the colonists and their Native American allies against the attacking tribes. He commanded the troops until he left the colony. The war had quieted, if not ended, by the spring of 1716. In April, governor Craven appointed Robert Daniel his deputy governor, and departed for England.
Charles Craven never returned to South Carolina, but spent the rest of his long life in England, where he died in 1754.

Moore, Alexander. “Craven, Charles.” Walter Edgar, ed. South Carolina Encyclopedia. University of South Carolina Press, 2006.


Herman Moll, “Carolina.” 1732. American Memory, Library of Congress

A pitched battle fought at Salkehatchie in April 1715 ended with a decisive victory for the English colonists, and the Yemassees were driven south of Savannah River. The war was not finally ended until 1718.

"The Georgian Period…. Measured Drawings of Colonial Work." American Architect and Building News Co., 1902

In 1712, the assembly ordered the purchase of a tract of land and construction of a brick house as a country residence for the colony’s governors. Charles Craven was the first to occupy “Governor’s House.” The house shown here, known as Belvedere, was built after 1796.

Road to Watboo Bridge, from Charleston, by Goose Creek Bridge & Strawberry Ferry. 1787. American Memory, Library of Congress

Thomas Shubrick bought the Governor’s House farm in 1749. It became known as Belvedere during the Shubricks’ ownership; in March 1796, “Belvedere, the elegant seat of Thomas Shubrick Esq., three miles from this city, was destroyed by fire.”