Sir Richard Nicolls, born in Bedfordshire, England, in 1624, changed this city's name from New Amsterdam to New York in 1664.
Nicolls, a cavalry soldier, was sent to America by James, Duke of York, to conquer the Dutch province of New Netherland and depose its governor, Peter Stuyvesant. Nicolls arrived with four armed frigates, but the Dutch surrendered without a shot being fired.Nicolls, who renamed the city to honor the Duke of York, became governor in 1665 and granted the city its first charter. He returned to England in 1668. In 1672, he was killed during the Anglo-Dutch war.