|Colonial Governor of Virginia|
|Preceded by||Norborne Berkeley, baron de Botetourt|
|Succeeded by||John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore|
|Died||November 19, 1772|
|Children||Thomas Nelson Jr. and Edward Nelson|
|Parent(s)||Thomas "Scotch Tom" Nelson|
William Nelson (1711 – November 19, 1772) was an American planter, politician, and colonial leader from Yorktown, Virginia. In the interim between the royal governors Norborne Berkeley and Lord Dunmore, he served as governor of colonial Virginia in 1770 and 1771.
Nelson was the son of Thomas "Scotch Tom" Nelson, the immigrant ancestor from Cumbria, who built Nelson House at his plantation in about 1730.
In the years leading up to the American Revolution, Nelson was an active supporter of the Patriot cause. Among his children was his son, Thomas Nelson Jr., who was active in revolutionary politics, one of thirteen representatives who drafted the Articles of Confederation, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a future governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the new United States of America.