Parke, Daniel (DNB00)

PARKE, DANIEL (1669–1710), governor of the Leeward Islands, served in the English army under Marlborough, became one of that general's aides-de-camp, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-general. He was despatched in August 1704 to announce the victory of Blenheim to the queen, the duchess, and the English government. His fine appearance and handsome bearing commended him to Anne, and, being patronised by the Churchills, he was, by letters patent dated 25 April 1706, appointed chief governor of the Leeward Islands. The government of these islands had been very lax, the settlers were inclined to be rebellious, and the appointment of Parke was unpopular from the first. Having repulsed the French, who had plundered the islands of St. Christopher and Nevis, Parke endeavoured to carry out some much-needed internal reforms, and, being sure of support at home, he both disregarded the articles of a formal complaint against him drawn up by the colonists, and made a somewhat ostentatious display of the small military force placed at his command. The speedy result was that in December 1710 a violent insurrection broke out at Antigua, the seat of the government. Parke made a gallant resistance to the insurgents, and killed one of their leaders, Captain John Pigott, with his own hand; but he was soon overpowered by numbers, and, having been dragged from his house, was barbarously maltreated, and finally murdered (7 Dec.) His death being synchronous with the substitution of the tory for the whig government, which took place in the autumn of 1710, no steps were taken to bring his assassins to justice until 28 June 1715, when a test case, that of one Henry Smith, was tried at the king's bench, but was dismissed for want of sufficient proof.

[French's Account of Colonel Parke's Administration of the Leeward Islands, with an Account of the Rebellion in Antegoa, 1717, with a portrait of Parke engraved by G. Vertue, after Kneller; Some Instances of the Oppression of Colonel Parke, London, 1710; Duke of Marlborough's Letters and Despatches, ed. Murray, v. 630; Boyer's Annals of Queen Anne, 1735, p. 154; Noble's Continuation of Granger, 1806, ii. 179.]

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