Better know a Newfoundland functionary: the Governor of Newfoundland

My 100th post! Enjoy!

In 1586 Sir Humphrey Gilbert landed in St. John’s harbour and claimed Newfoundland as a colony of England, despite having no permanent English population. Between 1610 and 1660 various small settlements were attempted, at Cuper’s Cove, Bristol’s Hope, Renews, South Falkland, Ferryland, and Avalon. Each was controlled by a proprietary governor, who both owned the land and represented the government. The French founded a colony at Plaisance (Placentia) in 1665, and was more or less the only permanent settlement in Newfoundland until it was abandoned when France lost its claim to Newfoundland under the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713.

The first permanent governance of Newfoundland was the Commodore-Governor, an official of the Royal Navy who patrolled the fishing banks and the summertime fish-processing stations of Newfoundland beginning in 1729. Permanent settlement didn’t get going until the turn of the 19th century, with the Commodore-Governor replaced by a permanent civil governor in 1825, and in 1855 Newfoundland became a Crown Colony with a colonial governor.

In 1907, Newfoundland became a Dominion and the governor became the Dominion Governor, and also Commission Governor when the elected government of Newfoundland was suspended and direct government by Britain imposed in 1934, after the calamitous failure of Newfoundland’s entire financial system. Then, when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, the office became the Lieutenant-Governor of Newfoundland. When the province changed its name to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1999, the Lieutenant-Governor’s title changed, too.

The Commodore-Governors of Newfoundland were:

Adm. Henry Osborn, 1729-30.
Adm. of the Fleet the Hon. George Clinton, 1731.
Capt. Edward Falkingham RN, 1732.
Capt. Robert MacCarty RN, Viscount Muskerry, 1733-34.
Vice-Adm. Fitzroy Henry Lee, 1735-37.
Capt. Philip Vanbrugh RN, 1738.
Vice-Adm. Henry Medley, 1739-40.
Adm. Thomas Smith (1st time), 1741.
Adm. the Hon. John Byng, 1742.
Adm. Thomas Smith (2nd time), 1743.
Adm. of the Fleet Sir Charles Hardy, Kt., 1744.
Rear-Adm. Richard Edwards, 1745.
Adm. Sir James Douglas, Bt., 1746.
Maj.-Gen. John Bradstreet, 1747.
Vice-Adm. Charles Watson, 1748.
The Rt. Hon. Adm. Sir George Brydges Rodney KB, 1st Baron Rodney, 1749.
Vice-Adm. Francis William Drake, 1750-52.
Capt. Hugh Bonfoy RN, 1753-54.
Capt. Richard Dorrill RN, 1755-56.
Adm. Richard Edwards (1st time), 1757-59.
Capt. James Webb RN, 1760.
The Rt. Hon. Adm. Sir Thomas Graves KB, 1st Baron Graves, 1761-63.
Adm. Sir Hugh Palliser, Bt., 1764-68.
Vice-Adm. the Hon. John Byron, 1769-71.
The Rt. Hon. Adm. Molyneux Shuldham, 1st Baron Shuldham, 1772-74.
Adm. Robert Duff, 1775.
Adm. John Montagu, 1776-78.
Adm. Richard Edwards (2nd time), 1779-81.
Vice-Adm. John Campbell, 1782-85.
Adm. John Elliot, 1786-88.
Adm. Mark Milbanke, 1789-91.
Adm. Sir Richard King, Bt., 1792-93.
Adm. Sir James Wallace, Kt., 1794-96.
The Rt. Hon. Adm. Sir William Waldegrave GCB, 1st Baron Radstock, 1797-99.
Adm. of the Fleet Sir Charles Morice Pole, Bt., 1800-1801.
The Rt. Hon. Adm. of the Fleet Sir James Gambier GCB, 1st Baron Gambier, 1802-1803.
Vice-Adm. Sir Erasmus Gower, Kt., 1804-1806.
Adm. John Holloway, 1807-1809.
Adm. Sir John Thomas Duckworth GCB, Bt., 1810-1812.
Adm. Sir Richard Goodwin Keats GCB, 1813-16.
Vice-Adm. Francis Pickmore, 1817-18.
Adm. Sir Charles Hamilton, Bt., 1818-25.

The Civil Governors of Newfoundland were:

Adm. of the Fleet Sir Thomas John Cochrane GCB, 1825-34.
Adm. Sir Henry Prescott GCB, 1834-41.
Lt.-Gen. Sir John Harvey KCB KCH, 1841-46.
Lt.-Gen. Robert Law, 1846-47.
Lt.-Gen. Sir John Gaspard Le Marchant GCMG KCB, 1847-52.
Ker Baillie-Hamilton, 1852-55.

The Colonial Governors of Newfoundland were:

Capt. Sir Charles Henry Darling KCB, 1855-57.
Sir Alexander Bannerman, Kt., 1857-64.
Sir Anthony Musgrave KCMG, 1864-69.
Sir Stephen John Hill KCMG CB, 1869-76.
Sir John Hawley Glover GCMG (1st time), 1876-81.
Lt.-Col. Sir Henry Berkeley Fitzhardinge Maxse KCMG, 1881-83.
Sir John Hawley Glover GCMG (2nd time), 1883-85.
Sir George William Des Vœux GCMG, 1886-87.
Sir Henry Arthur Blake GCMG DL FRGS FRCI, 1887-89.
Maj.-Gen. Sir John Terence Nicholls O’Brien, Kt., 1889-95.
Sir Herbert Harley Murray KCB, 1895-98.
Sir Henry Edward McCallum KCMG, 1898-1901.
Sir Charles Cavendish Boyle KCMG, 1901-04.
The Rt. Hon. Sir William MacGregor PC GCMG CB MD, 1904-07.

The Dominion Governors of the Dominion of Newfoundland were:

The Rt. Hon. Sir William MacGregor PC GCMG CB MD, 1907-09.
Sir Ralph Champneys Williams KCMG, 1909-13.
Sir Walter Edward Davidson KCMG, 1913-17.
Sir Charles Alexander Harris KCMG CB CVO, 1917-22.
Sir William Lamond Allardyce GCMG, 1922-28.
Sir John Middleton KBE CMG, 1928-32.
Adm. Sir David Murray Anderson KCB KCMG MVO, 1933-35.
Vice-Adm. Sir Humphrey Thomas Walwyn KCSI KCMG CB DSO, 1936-46.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon MacDonald PC KCMG, 1st Baron Macdonald of Gwaenysgor, 1946-49.

The Lieutenant-Governors of Newfoundland (and Labrador) have been:

Sir Albert Joseph Walsh KC, Kt., 1949.
Col. Sir Leonard Cecil Outerbridge CC CBE DSO CD, Kt., 1949-57.
Campbell Leonard Macpherson OBE, 1957-63.
Fabian Aloysius O’Dea QC, 1963-69.
Ewart John Arlington Harnum, 1969-74.
Gordon Arnaud Winter OC, 1974-81.
William Anthony Paddon OC MD, 1981-86.
The Hon. James Aloysius McGrath PC, 1986-91.
Frederick William Russell OC CD, 1991-97.
Arthur Maxwell House OC MD FRCP, 1997-2002.
Edward Moxon Roberts CM ONL QC, 2002-08.
The Hon. John Carnell Crosbie PC OC ONL QC, 2008-13.
Frank F. Fagan CM, 2013-now.


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