An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Dale, Thomas

(d. Aug. 9, 1619). Public official in colonial Virginia. He was born in England. On June 19, 1606, he was knighted Sir Thomas Dale of Surrey. Dale entered the service of the Virginia Company of London, which appointed him marshal of Virginia. When he arrived in Virginia on May 19, 1611, the Governor of Virginia, Lord De la Warr, was away, and Dale served as deputy governor of the colony. He was noted for his discipline. At one time he placed the colonists under martial law for insubordination. Sir Thomas Gates became governor in Aug., 1611. When Gates left in Mar. 1614, Dale again became deputy governor. While Gates was governor he issued stringent regulations for the colony. Gates's regulations were enlarged by Dale and published as “Articles, Lawes, and Orders, Divine, Politique, and Martial for the Colony in Virginia. . . .” This is frequently referred to as “Dale's Laws,” but that is a misnomer. These laws were very strict with regard to religious matters. For example, one could be put to death for speaking “impiously or maliciously, against the holy and blessed Trinitie,” or for blaspheming God's Holy Name. Dale returned to England in 1616. He died in Masulipatam, India, while serving with the London East India Company.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.