Pennsylvania’s Mad Governor

Pennsylvania Governor’s Mansion

 Charles Gookin, grandson of Sir Vincent Gookin; was born in Kinsale, Ireland around 1662.In 1691 He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in Captain Bingham’s Company of Colonel Erie’s Regiment of Foot serving until 1706 and rising to the rank of Captain. In 1709 William Penn chose Charles to act as Colonial Governor of The Pennsylvania Colony, The Penn and Gookin Families had been friends for several decades.

Charles’s term as Governor ran fairly smoothly over the years marred only by frequent editorials by "The Pennsylvania Gazette" that attempted to portray The Governor as deranged, most likely in retaliation for Gookin rejecting  a marriage proposal by the Editor’s daughter.His time in office was mainly without incident until 1714 when he begin to display increasingly bizarre behavior. Once in 1714 when the General Assembly failed to convene on the scheduled day and met the following day he berated them and drove them from his door. Another time he removed all the Justices for New Castle County for ruling against his brother in law and once had a Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Justice summoned to him just so he could kick him. These and other events led to his removal from office in 1717.Colonel Charles Gookin passed away in 1723.