Sir George Yeardley was one of Jamestown’s early leaders. Born in 1588, Yeardley left England in June 1609, bound for Virginia. In Jamestown, he served as a captain of Lt. Governor Sir Thomas Gates’ guard and helped lead an expedition to discover gold and silver mines in the interior. Playing an important role in the war of 1609-1614 against the Powhatans, he later served briefly as deputy governor in 1616 before returning to England the following year.
Yeardley was appointed lord governor of Virginia in the fall of 1618 following news of the unexpected death of the incumbent governor, Lord Delware (De La Warr), at sea on his way back to the colony. Yeardley was knighted by the king and sailed back to Virginia in early 1619.