|President of the New Jersey Provincial Council|
|Robert Hunter Morris|
|John Stevens, Vice President of the New Jersey Legislative Council|
|Member of the New Jersey Provincial Council for the Eastern Division|
September 18, 1745 - July 2, 1776 (State Constitution adopted)
|Born||December 12, 1704|
?zmir, Ottoman Empire
|Died||February 23, 1789|
Morristown, New Jersey
|Resting place||Mount Kemble|
|Spouse(s)||Gertrude Bayard, Elizabeth Tuite|
|Children||Samuel, Richard, Margaret, Mary, Peter, Stephen, Judith, William, Elizabeth, Robert, Ann|
Peter Kemble (December 12, 1704--February 23, 1789) was an American politician from the colonial period who served as President of the New Jersey Provincial Council from 1745 to 1776, the last to hold that office.
Peter Kemble was born on December 12, 1704 in ?zmir, Turkey, to Englishman Richard Kemble, a servant indentured in London to a merchant dealing in trade with the Ottoman Empire (the terms of which required the elder Kemble to spend the last two years of his indenture in Turkey), and his wife, a member of the Mavrokordatos family. Peter Kemble remained in ?zmir until 1712, when he was sent to school in England. He studied in a classical school in London for six years. His father was apparently well connected politically to be appointed consul at Thessaloniki in 1718 by George I; Richard Kemble remained in Thessaloniki until his death in 1720. It was also in 1718 that Peter Kemble was sent to a distant relative, the Rotterdam wine merchant George Kemble, who initiated Peter into the mercantile trade.
In the winter of 1720-1721, Peter went on a trading voyage from London to Guinea. He returned to London and engaged in business for some years. Around 1730, he traveled to New York and married Gertrude Bayard, who came from a prominent New York family. The couple settled at New Brunswick, New Jersey, where Peter embarked upon a successful business, allowing him to build a house. For several years Peter Kemble remained in New Brunswick. In 1751 he purchased a tract of 1,250 acres near Morristown, New Jersey, where he built a larger house. He called this hilly plantation 'Mount Kemble'. He lived at Mount Kemble until his death on February 23, 1789, at the age of 85. He was buried on his plantation.
By commission from George II, dated September 23, 1745, Peter Kemble was appointed a member of the New Jersey Provincial Council as a Councillor for the Eastern Division. Upon the death of Robert Hunter Morris, President of Council, on January 27, 1764, Kemble acceded to the presidency as senior councilor; he would serve in that capacity until the abolition of the Council.
On December 6, 1775, Governor William Franklin prorogued the New Jersey Legislature until January 3, 1776, but it never met again. On July 2, 1776, the New Jersey Provincial Congress approved a new constitution, and on August 13 a new legislature was elected, with the appointed Provincial Council being succeeded by the elected New Jersey Legislative Council.
During the American Revolutionary War, Peter Kemble remained loyal to The Crown. Due, however, to previous connections with George Washington and other future Revolutionary leaders, he was not harassed, although Continental Army Troops were quartered at Mount Kemble. After the Revolution, unlike other Loyalists, his lands were not confiscated.
Peter Kemble's first wife was Gertrude Bayard, a member of the prominent Bayard family of New York. By this marriage he had five sons and two daughters:
His second wife was Elizabeth Tuite, by whom he had a son and two daughters:
Kemble died on February 23, 1789 in Morristown, New Jersey.