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Governers & Heads of State

Governors of the Gold Coast (1621–1751)

Sir William St. John, 1621–1623

William Greenhill, 1660

Henry Nurse, 1685

John Bloome, 1691

Baggs, 1697–1701

Thomas Dalby, 1701–1708

Henry Meredith, died 1812 after being killed by locals. Author of 'An Account of the Gold Coast of Africa: With a Brief History of the African Company.'

 

Governors of the Committee of Merchants of the Gold Coast (1751–1822)

Thomas Melvil, 23 June 1751–23 January 1756

William Tymewell, 23 January 1756–17 February 1756

Charles Bell, 17 February 1756–15 October 1757, first time

Nassau Senior, 15 October 1757–10 May 1761, acting

Charles Bell, 10 May 1761–15 August 1763, second time

William Mutter, 15 August 1763–1 March 1766

John Hippersley, 1 March 1766–11 August 1766

Gilbert Petrie, 11 August 1766–21 April 1769

John Crossle, 21 April 1769–11 August 1770

David Mill, 11 August 1770–20 January 1777

Richard Miles, 20 January 1777–25 March 1780, first time

John Roberts, 25 March 1780–20 May 1781

John B. Weuves, 20 May 1781–29 April 1782, acting

Richard Miles, 29 April 1782–29 January 1784, second time

James Morgue, 29 January 1784–24 January 1787

Thomas Price, 24 January 1787–27 April 1787

Thomas Morris, 27 April 1787–20 June 1789

William Fielde, 20 June 1789–15 November 1791

John Gordon, 15 November 1791–31 March 1792, first time

Archibald Dalzel, 31 March 1792–16 December 1798, first time

Jacob Mould, 16 December 1798–4 January 1799, first time

John Gordon, 4 January 1799–28 April 1800, second time

Archibald Dalzel, 28 April 1800–30 September 1802, second time

Jacob Mould, 30 September 1802–8 February 1805, second time

George Torrane, 8 February 1805–4 December 1807

Edward White, 4 December 1807–21 April 1816

Joseph Dawson, 21 April 1816–19 January 1817

John Hope Smith, 19 January 1817–27 March 1822

 

Governors of the Gold Coast (1822–1828)

Sir Charles MacCarthy, 27 March 1822–17 May 1822, first time

James Chisholm, 17 May 1822–December 1822, first time

Sir Charles MacCarthy, December 1822–21 January 1824, second time

James Chisholm, 21 January 1824–17 October 1824, second time

Edward Purdon, 17 October 1824–22 March 1825

Major-general Sir Charles Turner, 22 March 1825–8 March 1826

Sir Neil Campbell, 18 May 1826–15 November 1826

Henry John Ricketts, 15 November 1826–11 October 1827, first time

Hugh Lumley, 11 October 1827–10 March 1828

George Hingston, 10 March 1828–5 June 1828

Henry John Ricketts, 5 June 1828–25 June 1828, second time

 

Governors of the Committee of Merchants of the Gold Coast (1828–1843)

John Jackson, 25 June 1828–19 February 1830

George Maclean, 19 February 1830–26 June 1836, first time

William Topp, 26 June 1836–15 August 1838

George Maclean, 15 August 1838 – 1843, second time

Governors of the Gold Coast (1843–1960)

 

In 1843 a governor was appointed subordinate to the Governor of Sierra Leone until 1850. After the Ashanti Wars of 1873-74, the Gold Coast was formally declared a crown colony.

 

Henry Worsley Hill, 1843–8 March 1845

James Lelley, 8 March 1845–15 April 1846

William Winniett, 15 April 1846–31 January 1849, first time

James Coleman Fitzpatrick, 31 January 1849–13 January 1850

Sir William Winniett, 13 January 1850–4 December 1850, second time

James Bannerman, 4 December 1850–14 October 1851

Stephen John Hill, 14 October 1851–December 1854

Henry Connor, December 1854–March 1857, acting

Sir Benjamin Chilley Campbell Pine, March 1857–April 1858

Henry Bird, April 1858–20 April 1860, acting

Edward B. Andrews, 20 April 1860–14 April 1862

William A. Ross, 14 April 1862–20 September 1862, acting

Richard Pine, 20 September 1862 – 1865

Rokeby Jones, 1865, acting

W. E. Mockler, 1865, acting

Edward Conran, April 1865–February 1867

Herbert Taylor Ussher, February 1867–April 1872, first time

John Pope Hennessy, April 1872 – 1872

Charles Spencer Salmon, 1872–September 1872, acting

Robert William Keate 7 Mar 1873 - 17 Mar 1873

Robert William Harley, September 1872–2 October 1873

Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 2 October 1873–4 March 1874

James Maxwell, 4 March 1874–30 March 1874, acting

Charles Lees, 30 March 1874–June 1874, acting, first time

George Cumine Strahan, June 1874–7 April 1876

Charles Lees, 7 April 1876–December 1876, acting, second time

Sanford Freeling, December 1876–13 May 1878, acting to 5 June 1877

Charles Lees, 13 May 1878–June 1879, acting, third time

Herbert Taylor Ussher, June 1879–1 December 1880, second time

William Brandford Griffith, 1 December 1880–4 March 1881, acting, first time

Sir Samuel Rowe, 4 March 1881–29 April 1884

W. A. G. Young, 29 April 1884–24 April 1885

William Brandford Griffith, 24 April 1885–7 April 1895, second time

William Edward Maxwell, 7 April 1895–6 December 1897

Frederick Mitchell Hodgson, 6 December 1897–29 August 1900, acting to 29 May 1898

W. Low, 29 August 1900–17 December 1900, acting

Sir Matthew Nathan, 17 December 1900–9 February 1904

Herbert Bryan, 9 February 1904–3 March 1904, acting, first time

John Pickersgill Rodger, 3 March 1904–1 September 1910

Herbert Bryan, 1 September 1910–20 November 1910, acting, second time

James Jamieson Thorburn, 21 November 1910–29 June 1912

Herbert Bryan, 29 June 1912–26 December 1912, acting, third time

Sir Hugh Charles Clifford, 26 December 1912–1 April 1919

Alexander Ransford Slater, 1 April 1919–8 October 1919, acting, first time

Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, 9 October 1919–24 April 1927

Sir James Crawford Maxwell, 24 April 1927–5 June 1927, acting

John Maxwell, 5 June 1927–July 1927, acting

Sir Alexander Ransford Slater, July 1927–5 April 1932, second time

Geoffrey Northcote, 5 April 1932–29 November 1932, acting, first time

Sir Shenton Thomas, 30 November 1932–13 May 1934

Geoffrey Northcote, 13 May 1934–23 October 1934, acting, second time

Sir Arnold Weinholt Hodson, 24 October 1934–24 October 1941

George Ernest London, 24 October 1941–29 June 1942, acting

Sir Alan Cuthbert Maxwell Burns, 29 June 1942–2 August 1947

Sir Gerald Hallen Creasy, 12 January 1948–15 February 1949

Sir Robert Scott, 15 February 1949–28 March 1949, acting, first time

Thorleif Rattray Orde Mangin, 28 March 1949–11 June 1949, acting

Sir Robert Scott, 11 June 1949–11 August 1949, acting, second time

Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke, 11 August 1949–6 March 1957

Lord Listowell, March 1957 - July 1960

 

Monarch (1957–1960)

The succession to the throne of Ghana was the same as the succession to the throne of the United Kingdom, governed by the Act of Settlement 1701. The Unification of Gold Coast and British Togoland upon independence from Britain, took place from 6 March 1957 to 1st July 1960. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was the incumbent, was represented by:

Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke, as
Governor-General, from 6 March 1957 to 24 June 1957.

The 5th Earl of Listowel, William Francis Hare, (Lord Listowel), also served as the Governor General from 24th June 1957 to 1st July 1960.

 

HEADS OF STATE

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah served as Prime Minister of Ghana from 1957-1960. He became Ghana's first president, in 1960, after Ghana became a Republic on 1 July 1960. His term of office came to an end in 1966, when Major-General Joseph Arthur Ankrah deposed him in a coup d’état.

Major-General Joseph Arthur Ankrah, Chairman of the National Liberation Council, came to power, under military rule, in February 1966. In 1967, he was forced to resign as Chairman of NLC and Head of State over a bribery scandal involving Francis Nzerehe, a Nigerian Businessman.

Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa came into power with the rank of Brigadier, but was later promoted to the rank of General. His tenure of office spanned from 1967-1969 as Chairman of the National Liberation Council and head of state.

Edward Akufo-Addo, was a Ceremonial President of the Second Republic from August 1970 to January 1972, when he was deposed in a coup d’état.

Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong (later, General), Chairman of the National Redemption Council took over from 1972 to October 1975. He had a second term from October 1975 to July 1978 (by which time the name of the junta had been changed to Supreme Military Council -SMC). He was overthrown by his second-in-Command, Lt. Gen. Fred Akuffo, and other members of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC) after he was accused of economic sabotage.

Lieutenant-General Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo, took over in a military coup d’état as Chairman of the Supreme Military Council from July 1978-1979 when he was overthrown in coup d’état by Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings.

Dr. Hilla Limann, flag bearer, People's National Party (PNP), was sworn in as a President of Ghana's Republic in September 1979. He was however, deposed in a coup d'état by the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings December 1981.

Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings
Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council came into power from 4 June 1979 to 24 September after overthrowing Lieutenant-General Akuffo in a coup d’état.

John Agyekum Kufuor, then flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), came into power on 7 January, 2001, after democratically elected on 28 December 2000. He served a second term, which ended in December 2008.

John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills born 21 July 1944 is the third President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. He was inaugurated on 7 January 2009, having defeated the ruling party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 election. He was Vice President from 1997 to 2001 under President Jerry Rawlings, and stood unsuccessfully in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections as the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

John Dramani Mahama (born 29 November 1958) is a Ghanaian politician who has been President of Ghana since July 2012. He was the Vice President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, and he took office as President on 24 July 2012 following the death of his predecessor, President John Atta Mills. He was elected to serve his first term as president in December 2012 election. A communication expert, historian, and writer, Mahama was a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2009 and Minister of Communications from 1998 to 2001.