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William Claiborne (c. 1587 – c. 1677) (also spelled William Clayborne) was an English pioneer, surveyor, and an early settler in Virginia and Maryland. Claiborne became a wealthy planter, a trader, and a major figure in the politics of the colony. He was a central figure in the disputes between the colonists of Maryland and of Virginia, partly because of his trading post on Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay, which provoked the first naval battles in North American waters. Claiborne repeatedly attempted and failed to regain Kent Island, sometimes by force of arms, after its inclusion in the lands that were granted by a royal charter to the Calvert family, thus becoming Maryland.A Puritan, Claiborne sided with Parliament during the English Civil War and was appointed to a commission charged with subduing and managing the Virginia and Maryland colonies. He played a role in the submission of Virginia to parliamentary rule in this period. Following the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, he retired from involvement in the politics of the Virginia colony. He died around 1677 at his plantation, Romancoke, on Virginia's Pamunkey River. According to historian Robert Brenner, "William Claiborne may have been the most consistently influential politician in Virginia throughout the whole of the pre-Restoration period".