D. B. (David Breakenridge) Read.

The lieutenant-governors of Upper Canada and Ontario, 1792-1899 online

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Read, D. B. 1823-1904.
The lieutenant-governors of
Upper Canada and Ontario



THE

LIEUTENANT-GOVERNORS

OF

UPPER CANADA AND ONTARIO



D. B. READ, Q.C.,

Author of " The Life of Governor Simcoe," " The Lives of the Judges," " The Life and
Times of Sir Isaac Brock," " The Rebellion of 1837," etc.



With 22 full-page Portraits by J. E. Laughlh



TORONTO:

WILLIAM BRIGGS,

Wesley Buildings.

1900.



900 Webster Streei



Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year
one thousand nine hundred, by William Briggs, at the Department
of Afcriculture.



I DEDICATE THESE SKETCHES
OF THE

Lieutenant-Governors of this Province,

TO

Sir ©liver flDowat, Ik.C.flD.©.,

HIMSELF A WORTHY SUCCESSOR
OF A

long line of brave and distinguished
Sons of the Empire;

FEELING that HIS EMINENT WORTH, AND

OUR LIFE-LONG FRIENDSHIP,

JUSTIFY ME IN REGARDING HIM AS A CANADIAN

TO WHOM IS DUE MY HIGHEST RESPECT.

D. B. READ.
Toronto, Dec. 27th, 1899.



INTRODUCTION.



It was not my intention when I had completed "The
Life and Times of Major-General John Graves Simcoe,"
and the past governors of the old Province of Upper
Canada, to further pursue the investigation of the
history of Canadian governors; but the favorable
reception that volume received at the hands of the
public has encouraged me to continue my writing of the
series of lieutenant-governors from Simcoe's time to
the incumbency of the present occupant of the office, Sir
Oliver Mowat.

I am certain that all Canadians will take an interest
in a connected historical account of the rulers that have
been set over them for the last hundred years. A mere
biographical sketch would hardly answer the purpose, so
I have combined something of the political history of
the governors with biography in order to convey a
better idea of the men who have held so prominent a
position as that of lieutenant-governor of this Province
of the Dominion of Canada.

Before the union of the Provinces of Upper Canada



VI INTRODUCTION.

and Lower Canada, in 1841, the lieutenant-governors
and the administrators of the Government who were
appointed as official heads of the State during the
periods intervening between the retirement of one
governor and the appointment of his successor, had
much more power than the governors of the present
time. I have therefore included sketches of those
administrators in the series of executive officers in
this volume, as in more cases than one the adminis-
trators and provisionally appointed governors, in the
performance of their duties, rendered very essential
service to the Province whose affairs for the time
being were committed to their hands.

In entitling the chapters I have followed the plan of
giving to each of the Governors or Administrators his
official designation in use during his term of office.
Many of the governors and administrators received
subsequent honors and rank, and many had military
rank while holding office, but in filling the civil post of
chief magistrate of the Province, the military rank was
not regarded. Up to 1878 the lieutenant-governors
were designated as His Excellency; after that date, as
His Honor.

Special acknowledgment is made to Mr. Alfred
Sandham, Toronto, for permission to make duplicates
from his admirable collection of portraits of the lieu-
tenant-governors, as well as of their autographs, which
form a feature of this volume.



PREFACE.



The translator of Suetonius's " Lives of the Twelve
Caesars " says in the preface to his work : " Of the
sevex'al sorts of history, biography is perhaps most
adapted to perform the double service of administering
at once delight and profit. For, though the general
history of a nation, being more extended, and neces-
sarily comprehending in it a far greater number and
variety of events, may promise a higher pleasure and
more diversified entertainment to the reader, yet biog-
raphy, being restrained within a narrower limit, has
this particular advantage, that the series of the action is
embraced by the understanding with greater ease, and
the instructions which arise from the most remarkable
occurrences in the life of a single person are more
directly and naturally applied than when the attention
is dispersed through the affairs of a whole people."

These words, written in 1727, have more force now
than when first published, since the vastly increased
number of events happening every day makes it neces-
sary to have recourse to biography to engage the



viii PREFACE.

attention of readers, which in a general history would
be distracted by the very number of historical occur-
rences.

In the " Lives of the Lieutenant-Governors of Upper
Canada and Ontario" I have endeavored to steer a
middle course, giving to each governor so much of his
political history as it is necessary to know without
trespassing on the domain of biography in its essential
feature of individual character. Without presuming to
say I have hit the happy mean, I launch my bark upon
the waters trusting to an indulgent public to give it
protection in its hazardous voyage.

The more one makes himself familiar with the
history of the governors of a state or country, the more
he will become acquainted with the country itself.

Ontario, which, under the name of Upper Canada,
is the author's native province, has reason to take a
pride in having had as lieutenant-governors men of
sterling integrity and worth, fit representatives of the
constitutional government under which they lived.
That it may be always so must be the ardent wish of
every lover of his country.

D. B. Read.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

JOHN GRAVES SIMCOE, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.

PAGE

Establishment of Upper Canada, 1791 — Simcoe first Governor —
Birth and early education— Eton— Oxford — Enters Army —
Revolutionary War — Queen's Rangers— Campaigning in the
Jerseys — Capitulation of Yorktown — Marriage — Member of
Parliament for St. Maws, 1790— Canada in 1791— Govern-
ment organized 1792 — The Miami Forts affair — Visit to
Brant — Government of St. Domingo, 1796 — Portuguese Com-
mission, 1806 — Monument in Exeter Cathedral 19

CHAPTER II.

PETER RUSSELL, PRESIDENT.

Family connection — Secretary to Sir Henry Clinton — Residence
on Palace Street — Russell Abbey — Land grants by the Ad-
ministrator — Miss Russell — First Parliament Buildings —
Slave holding in Canada — Russell Square 33

CHAPTER III.
PETER HUNTER, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.
Scottish descent — Military life — Service in Revolutionary War —
Disciplines the officials — York Market established 1803 —
Provincial Bar established — Visit of Duke of Kent — Enlarg-
ing Parliament Buildings — Death and burial at Quebec 41



X CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IV.

ALEXANDER GRANT, PRESIDENT.

PAGE

Born 1734 — Enters Navy — Service in Canada, 1759 — Enters the
naval service of the lakes — First Commodore of western
waters— Appointed Administrator— Judge Thorpe— Quarrels '
with the Assembly — Reporcs to Lord Castlereagh — Married,
1774— Descendants— Dies in 1813 52

CHAPTER V.

FRANCIS GORE, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.

Formerly Lieutenant-Governor of Bermuda — Born 1769 — Re-
lated to Earl of Arran — Army life — Marries in 1803 —
Bermuda, 1804— Arrives at York, August 27th, 1806— Judge
Thorpe's agitation — He enters Parliament — Government
complains to Home Office — Judge Thorpe removed and sent
to Sierra Leone — Surveyor-General Wyatt suspended— Re-
covers damages against Gore — Gore takes leave of absence
1811 67

CHAPTER VI.
SIR ISAAC BROCK, PRESIDENT.
SIR ROGER HALE SHEAFFE, PRESIDENT.
SIR FRANCIS DE ROTTENBURG, PRESIDENT.
SIR GORDON DRUMMOND, PROVISIONAL LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.
SIR GEORGE MURRAY, PROVISIONAL LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.
SIR FREDERICK PHIPPS ROBINSON, PROVISIONAL
LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.

Brock meets Legislature, February 3rd, 1812 — War with United
States— Falls at Queenston Heights October 1,3th, 1812 —
Sir Roger Sheaffe's military career — Takes command at Bat-
tle of Queenston Heights — Created Baronet in reward —
Evacuation of York, April, 1813 — Succeeded by Sir Gordon



CONTENTS.

Drummond — Born, 1771, at Quebec — Serves in the Low
Countries — Canada, 1813 — Storming of Fort Niagara— Battle
of Lundy's Lane— Attacks Fort Erie — Resigns, 1816— Death
in 185i. Sir George Murray — Birth and education — Dis-
tinguished array life — Peninsular war — Canada in 1815 —
Arrives at York and takes oath of office — Leaves Canada —
Governor of Edinburgh Castle, 1818 — Sandhurst — Colonial
Secretary under Duke of Wellington — Death, 28th July,
1846. Sir Frederick Phipps Robinson, Governor, July 1st,
1815 — Related to Chief Justice Robinson — Serves till Gov-
ernor Gore's return in 1816

CHAPTER VII.

LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR GORE.

(Second Administration, i
Governor Gore returns to Canada — Arrival at York — Address of
welcome — Meets Parliament February 6th, 1816— Quarrels
with Legislature — Retires April 18th, 1817 — Deputy Teller
of Exchequer, 1818— Club life— Friendship with Marquis of
Camden — Dies November 3rd, 1852

CHAPTER VIII.

SAMUEL SMITH, ADMINISTRATOR.

Bom on Long Island, 1756 — Serves in Revolutionary War — Joins
Queen's Rangers — U. E. Loyalist — New Brunswick, 1792 —
Colonel of Rangers — Takes up land in Etobicoke — Executive
Councillor, 1815 — Administrator, 1818 — Meets Parliament
February 5th, 181 8— Death, 1826 :

CHAPTER IX.

SIR PEREGRINE MAITLAND, K.C.B., LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.
Bom, 1777, in Hampshire — Enters army at fifteen — Serves in the
Low Countries and Spain — Command of Brigade at Waterloo
— Elopes with Lady Sarah Lennox — Forgiven by the Duke
of Richmond — Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada,



xii CONTENTS.

PAGE

January 3rd, 1S18— Duke of Richmond Governor-General —
Death of Duke of Richmond — Robert Fleming Gourlay prose-
cuted for libel and acquitted — Contest with Governor Mait-
land — Governor's residence at Stamford — William Lyon
Mackenzie assails Government in Colonial Advocate — First
copy inserted in Brock's Monument — Governor orders re-
moval — Destruction of second Parliament Buildings — The
destruction of the Mackenzie printing office — Action against
rioters — Dispxite with Assembly — Governor censured — Recall
in 1828— Subsequent life 116

CHAPTER X.

SIR JOHN COLBORNE, K.C.B., UEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.

Educated at the Blue Coat School — Service in Holland, Egypt
and Italy — Under Wellington, 1809 — In Peninsular War —
Marriage in 1814 — In command of regiment at Waterloo —
Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey — Canada in 1828 — Ad-
dresses of dissatisfaction — Case of Francis Collins — Judge
Willis — Removal by Governor Maitland — Mackenzie's
Grievance Resolutions — Establishment of Upper Canada
College — New Parliament Buildings, 1826 — Assembly de-
clares want of confidence, 1830 — Governor approves of Min-
isters — Bitter party waif are — Dissolution of Parliament —
Reformers defeated in elections — Mackenzie expelled from
the House — Departs for England in 1832 — Asiatic Cholera —
Incorporation of Toronto— 'Mackenzie first Mayor — The
Seventh Report on Grievances — Lord Goderich's answer —
Governor retires — Leaves for England — Stopped at New
York — Commander-in-Chief of (^anada during Rebellion —
England in 1839 — Elevation to Peerage with life pension —
The Ionian Islands — Commander-in-Chief of Ireland — Field-
Marshall — Monument at Plymouth 130

CHAPTER XL

SIR FRANCIS BOND HEAD, BARONET, LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.
Born 1793 — Serves on the Cont'nent — Exploration in South
America — Retired on half-pay — Poor Laws Commissioner —



CONTENTS.

Marriage — Appointed Lieutenant-Governor — Arrival at
Toronto— Meets Legislature — Communicates his instructions
— Dissatisfaction of Assembly — Trouble as to the Legislative
Councillors — Baldwin, Rolph an I Dunn — Resignation of
Executive Council — New Council appointed — Assembly pro-
teats — House dissolved — Elections of 1836 — A victory for
Government — Satisfaction of Home Government — Head
rewarded with Baronetcy — Financial stringency — Head
refuses to elevate Bidwell to Bench — Sends in resignation —
Rebellion breaks out — Attack on Toronto — Defeat of rebels
— Navy Island — Mackenzie's Provisional Goverimient — Sir
Francis leaves for England — Subsequent life in England ....



CHAPTER XII.
SIR GEORGE ARTHUR, K.C.H., LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.

Birth — Service in Italy and Egypt — Lieutenant-Governor of
Honduras, 1814 — Van Diemen's Land, 1823 — Succeeds to
Government of Canada — Lount- Mathews execution — Sup-
pression of the Rebellion — Windmill and Windsor affairs —
Retires 1841 — Governor of Bombay — Subsequent Life in
England 192



CHAPTER XIII.

RIGHT. HON. CHARLES EDWARD POULETT THOMSON,
LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR .

Son of a London merchant — Born 1799 — Mercantile career —
Enters Parliament 1826— Vice-President Board of Trade 1830
— Cabinet Minister 1835 — Governor-General of Canada 1839
— Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada — Session of 1839-40
— Returns to Montreal— Created Baron Sydenham — Opens
first parliament of United Canadas — Fatal accident — Death
— Personal Characteristics 201



XIV CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XIV.

MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY WILLIAM STISTED, C.B.,

LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.

PAGE

First Governor after Confederation — Succeeds General Napier in
military command — Service in Afghanistan and in Mutiny —
Appointed July, 1867 — Township of Stisted named after —
Colonel of 93rd Highlanders— Dies, December, 1875 204

CHAPTER XV.

HON. WILLIAM PEARCE HOWLAND, C.B., LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.
Of Quaker descent— Born in New York — Emigrates to Canada —
Merchant in Toronto Township — Member for West York,
1857 — Minister of Finance, 186C — Receiver-General in Mao-
donald-Dorion Government — Postmaster-General and Finance
Minister till Confederation — Succeeds General Stisted — Bay
Verte Canal Commissioner — Business career 207

CHAPTER XVI.

HON. JOHN WILLOUGHBY CRAWFORD, LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.
Born in Ireland — Education for the law — Partnership with the
Hon. Henry Sherwood and Mr. Hagarty — Lieutenant-Colonel
in Militia — Member for East Toronto, 1861 — Member for
South Leeds, 1867— Appointed Lieutenant-Governor, 1873—
Marriage and family — Death, 187.'> 214

CHAPTER XVII.

HON. DONALD ALEXANDER MACDONALD,
LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.
Born at St. Raphael's — Contractor on Grand Trunk — Member for
Glengarry, 1857 — Postmaster-General in 1872 — Lieutenant-
Governor of Ontario, 1878— Personal characteristics — Subse-
quent life— Dies 1896 218



CONTENTS. XV

CHAPTER XVIII.

HON. JOHN BEVERLEY ROBINSON, LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.

PAGE

Of U. E. Loyalist descent — Educated at Upper Canada College —
Aide-de-camp to Sir Francis Head during Rebellion — Mission
to Washington — Called to the Bar — Marriage — Municipal
politics — Member for Toronto, 1858 — President of Council,
1862— Member for Algoma, 1872, and Toronto, 1878— City
Solicitor — Lieutenant-Governor, 1880 — Personal character-
istics — Sudden death — Hon. John H. Hagarty and Hon.
John G. Spragge, Administrators 221



CHAPTER XIX.

HON. SIR ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, K.C.M.G.,
LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR.

Born in England — Enters Law Society — Partnership with Mr.
John A. Macdonald — Alderman in Kingston— Bencher of
Law Society, 1857 — Legislative Councillor, 1858 — Sjjeaker of
Council, 1863 — Commissioner of Crown Lands — Senator,
1867 — Postmaster-General — Treaty of Washington — Minister
of Interior — Leader of Opposition in Senate, 1873 — Receiver-
General, 1878 — Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, 1887 — Dies
1892— Hon. Thomas Gait, Administrator 229



CHAPTER XX.

HON. GEORGE AIREY KIRKPATRICK, LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.

Bom at Kingston— Called to the Bar — Service in militia — Mem-
ber for Frontenae, 1870— Parliamentary service— Speaker of
Fifth Parhament — Director of Canadian Pacific Railway
Company — Lieutenant -Governor of Ontario, 1892 — Social
duties — Knighted 1897— Dies 1899— Col. Gzowski, Adminis-
trator 235



XVI CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXI.

HON. SIR OLIVER MOW AT, G.C.M.G., LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.

Born in Kingston — Admitted to Law Society — Articled to Mr.
John A. Macdonald— Law partnership with Messrs. Burns &
VanKoughnet — Alderman in 1857 — Statute Commissioner,
1856— Member of Parliament for South Ontario, 1857 — Sec-
retary of State, 1858 — Postmaster-General, 1863 — Confedera-
tion Conference — Vice-Chancellor, 1864 — Resigns 1872 —
Premier of Local House twenty-three years — Acquisition of
New Ontario — Legal Reformer — Resigns from Provincial
House, 1896 — Minister of Justice— Lieutenant-Governor,
1897

APPENDIX.

Autographs of Lieutenant-Governors and Administrators whose
portraits do not appear in the volume



PORTRAITS.



John Graves Simcoe - - - Frontispiece

Hon. Peter Russell - - - 33

Francis Gore - - - - 67

Sir Isaac Brock - - - - 81

Sir Roger Hale Sheapfe - - - 86

Sir Gordon Drummond - - - 90

Sir George Murray, G.C.B. - - - - - 95

Sir Frederick Phipps Robinson - - - - 99

Samuel Smith - - - - 111

Sir Peregrine Maitland, K.C.B. - - - - 116

Sir John Colborne, K.C.B. - - - - - 130

Sir Francis Bond Head, Baronet - - - - 153

Sir George Arthur, K.C.H. - - - - - 192

Lord Sydenham (Poulett Thomson) - - - 201

Major-General Henry William Stisted, C.B. - 204

Hon. Sir William Pearce Howland, C.B. - - 207

Hon. John Willoughby Crawford - - - - 214

Hon. Donald Alexander Macdonald - - - 218

Hon. John Beverley Robinson - - - - 221

Hon. Sir Alexander Campbell, K.C.M.G. - - 229

Hon. Sir George Airey Kirkpatrick - - - 235

Hon. Sir Oliver Mowat, G.C.M.G. - - - 240
2



THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNORS OF UPPER
CANADA AND ONTARIO.



CHAPTER I.



JOHN GRAVES SIMCOE, LIEUTENANT-
GOVERNOR.

Canada fell into the hands of Britain after the fall
of Quebec, where Wolfe so gallantly led the attack in a
contest that resulted in half a continent being added to
the Empire of Great Britain. This was in 175D, and
from the time of the peace of 1763 until 1791 the whole
country was governed as the Province of Quebec. After
the American Revolution there was a large exodus of
what has been called the United Empire Loyalists into
Canada, and these hai'dy and intrepid settlers began to
form settlements and take up land in the western part
of the Province. They were devoted to English laws
and institutions, and it was soon seen that they would
not easily submit to the French laws and customs which
then obtained in Canada. The British Ministry saw
that the time had come to divide the country, keeping
what was to be called Lower Canada for the French and
giving Upper Canada to the British. The Canada Act
of 1791 was accordingly introduced and passed in the
19



20 THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNORS.

House of Commons, establishing the new province west
of the Ottawa.

For the Province of Upper Canada a governor had
now to be appointed, and for this office no better man
was available than the distinguished officer, Colonel
John Graves Simcoe. Simcoe had served with dis-
tinction in the Revolutionary War, and when the new
Republic of the United States was established had as-
sisted many loyal emigrants who, persecuted on account
of their adherence to Britain's cause, and with estates
forfeited for having carried arms on her behalf, sought
in the Canadian wilderness a refuge from the repub-
lican tempest blowing so fiercely to the south.

Simcoe was a member of the Parliament which passed
the Imperial Act, and had acquired his knowledge of
parliamentary procedure and of statecraft under the
tutelage of those two great statesmen, William Pitt and
Charles James Fox. He had indeed taken some part
in the debate in the House of Commons which resulted
in the enactment of the Canada Bill. He had further
qualifications for the post to which he was appointed.
As commander of the Queen's Rangers throughout
the Revolutionary War he had shown his aptitude for
command, a penetration which had been mo.st service-
able to the British cause in many emergencies, a loving
care for those who served under him, and adminis-
trative capacity that could not but command the
respect of his superiors. Beyond and above all this he
had endeared himself to all those who took part with
him in the conflict which resulted in the independence
of the United States. Some idea of his popularity and
acceptability to Canadians in his new office of governor



JOHN GRAVES SIMCOE. 21

may be gathered from the manner in which he was
received at Johnstown on his first setting foot in the
Province, in 1792, to take upon himself the responsibility
of governing Upper Canada. There he was received by
the inhabitants with a salvo of artillery, the ordnance
for the occasion being an ancient cannon obtained from
the old French fort on the island below Johnstown.
Soon after the Governor left on his journey up the
river, the gentry of the surrounding country, in their
queer old broad-skirted military coats, their low
tasselled boots, their looped chapeaux, with faded
feathers fluttering in the wind, collected together,
retired to St. John's Hall, and there did honor to the
occasion in speech making and health drinking, as
was the custom of the time. In the speech making,
Colonel Tom Fraser said, " Now I am content — content,
I say — and can go home to reflect on this proud day.
Our Governer, the man of all others, has come at last.
Mine eyes have seen it — a health to him, gentlemen —
he will do the best for us."

Simcoe, whose father was commander of His Majesty's
ship Peinhroke, and who lost his life in the Royal service
in the important expedition against Quebec in the year
1759, was born in 1752. His father had while on
service been taken prisoner by the French and carried
up the St. Lawrence, and thus had obtained a know-
ledge which enabled him to make a chart of that river
and conduct General Wolfe in his famous attack on the
citadel of Quebec. Naturally, therefore, we find him
inheriting a spirit which only needed the events of the
American Revolution to produce mature development.

After the death of Commander Simcoe his widow



22 THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNORS.

resided at Exeter, in England, and young Simeoe was
sent to the Free Grammar School of that town, and
from there, at the age of fourteen, to Eton. Thence he
removed to Merton College, Oxford, where his classical
education was completed, and where he acquired a love
of Tacitus and Xenophon which made them his constant
companions in after life. By the age of nineteen he had
entered on his career, obtaining then a commission as
ensign in the 35th Regiment of the line. He had been
but three j'ears in the army when his regiment was
despatched to America to assist in quelling the rebellion
of the colonists, and he landed at Boston on the day of
the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17th, 1775. Soon after
this he was promoted to command a company in the
40th Regiment, and was with it at the battle of Brandy-
wine, when General Howe defeated General Washington
and became master of Philadelphia. Captain Simeoe in
this battle so distinguished himself that he was marked
out for promotion, and in the following October, having
attained his majority in the meantime, he was made
second in command of the Queen's Rangers. This regi-
ment, originally raised in Connecticut and around New
York by Colonel Rogers, and sometimes called Rogers'
Rangers, was a provincial corps of light cavalry of
Loyalist Americans, with attached companies of light
infantry, and was originally about four hundred strong.
It had done valiant service, and was severely cut up at
Brandywine, and was now recruited with gentlemen of
Virginia and young men of the regular army. On re-
ceiving his commission, on October 17th, 1777, Major
Simeoe joined his regiment, then stationed at German-
town, now a suburb of Philadelphia. Soon after the



JOHN GRAVES SIMCOE. 23

regiment was moved to New York, when recruiting was
vigorouslj^ prosecuted in order to bring the regiment up
to the required strength. During the war a company


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16