Spotswood, Alexander (1676–1740), a British colonial official. His administration of Virginia, as lieutenant governor (1710–22), was the ablest in the colony's history. He encouraged settlement of the frontier, promoted education, and initiated iron manufacturing. As a staunch upholder of British authority, however, Spotswood often clashed with the colonists. This discord led to his removal from office, but he settled in Virginia and was deputy postmaster general for the American colonies, 1730–40. Spotswood, a Scot, was born in Tangier, Morocco, where his father was a doctor.