Sydenham, Charles Edward Poulett Thomson, first Baron


Sydenham, Charles Edward Poulett Thomson, first Baron
(1799-1841)
   Sy Represented (as Charles Edward Poulett Thomson) city of Manchester in House of Commons, 2; his liberal views, 3; birth, 4; enters office of his father's firm at St. Petersburg, 5; introduced to best society there, 5; returns to England, 6; foreign travel, 6; linguistic acquirements, 6; returns to St. Petersburg, 7; visits central, southern, and eastern Russia, 7; spends part of winter at Vienna, 8; his journals, 8; death of his mother, 8; yields to prevalent mania for speculation, 10, 14; adopts new economic views, 12; becomes associated with philosophic Liberals, 13; candidate for representation of Dover in Commons, 13; incurs heavy expenses, 14; elected, 15; votes for reduction in duty on corn, 15; his view of politics, 16; his speech on the Navigation Acts, 17; advocates ballot and repeal of usury laws, 18; supports repeal of Test and Corporation Acts, 18; a believer in free trade, 18; moderate in his views, 19; suffers from gout, 20; spends winter in Paris and meets many able men, 20; speaks on parliamentary reform, 21; on the national system of taxation, 22, 23; recommends income tax, 24; made vice-president of Board of Trade, and treasurer of navy, 25; tariff reform and vested interests, 27, 29; takes little part in framing Reform Bill, 28; but devotes much attention to the public accounts, 28; negotiates commercial treaty with France, 29; his excessive labours, 30; elected both for Manchester and for Dover, 31; elects to sit for Manchester, 31; an advocate of commercial freedom, 33-38; great dinner given to, at Manchester, 37; his views on banking, 38; on the corn duties, 39; on free trade, 41; president of Board of Trade in reconstructed government, 43; Greville's description of, 43, 44; returns to office with Melbourne (1835), 46; re-elected (over Gladstone) for Manchester, 48; a departmental worker rather than an active politician, 49; description of, by Thomas Raikes, 49; makes commercial treaty with Austria, 50; founds school of design and promotes international copyright, 51; provides for regulation of railway charters, 53; collects statistics, 54; Lord Melbourne's estimate of his abilities, 56; accepts governor-generalship of Canada, in preference to chancellorship of the exchecquer, 57-59; instructor for Canada in principles of responsible government, 83; his tact in dealing with that question, 104; makes important changes in draft bill for reunion of provinces, 124; news of his appointment received in Canada, 129; appointment not acceptable to all parties, 129-132; Reformers of Upper Canada disposed to favour him, 133; article in Colonial Gazette on his mission, 136-141; his views on question of French nationality, 137; on parties in Upper Canada, 138; on responsible government, 139; his instructions, 141; Lord John Russell's letter accompanying instructions to, 141-144; large discretion intrusted to him, 144; sails in frigate Pique from Portsmouth, 147; arrival at Quebec, 147; his reflections on shipboard, 147, 148; sworn in, 149; his proclamation, 149, 150; address of the Quebec Committee of Trade, 152; meets Sir George Arthur at Montreal, 153; his task, to place Cabinet government in Canada on stable basis, 179, 187; forced to exercise an unusual measure of political control, 188; opposed by ultra-Tories and ultra-Radicals, 189; consults with Chief-Justice Stuart of Lower Canada, 191; summons Special Council of Lower Canada to consider question of union, 192; proceeds to Upper Canada, 195; describes navigation of the St. Lawrence, 196; arrives at Toronto and takes over government of province, 197; his significant reply to address of Toronto corporation, 198; calls for a return of revenue and expenditure of province, 198; describes condition of things in Upper Canada, 200-203; speech on opening of Upper Canada Legislature, 203, 204; thought too sympathetic with French-Canadians, 205, 233; carries union resolutions in Upper Canada Legislature, 203-210; his personal influence very marked, 210, 211; acknowledges support given to him by Reformers and moderate Conservatives, 213, 214; reports to the colonial secretary on the state of Upper Canada, 215-226; unpopular with French-Canadians, 233; decides to attempt settlement of Clergy Reserves question, 238; his message on the subject to the Legislative Assembly, 245, 246; secures passing of bill, 248; is non-committal on subject of responsible government, 249; his report on session to colonial secretary, 250, 251; goes to Montreal to meet Special Council, 253; describes situation in Lower Canada, 253-255; proceeds to Nova Scotia, 257; reports on situation there, 259-263; fails to anticipate full action of responsible government in the colonies, 263, 264; visits New Brunswick at request of Sir John Harvey, 264; returning to Canada, visits Eastern Townships, 265; tour through Upper Canada, 265-268; well received everywhere, 267; proposes to fix capital of united provinces at Kingston, 268; not so popular in Lower Canada, 269; notified that royal assent had been given to Union Act, 271; raised to peerage as Baron Sydenham and Toronto, 272; his strong desire that Union Act should provide a municipal system for Canada, 273-275; favours Kingston as seat of government, 281; authorized to proclaim Union, 282; appoints 10th of February, 1841, as date, 282; becomes from that date governor-in-chief of united province, 282; issues proclamation to people, 282; issues writ for general election, 282; his sympathy with French-Canadians, 284; changes electoral limits of Montreal and Quebec by attaching suburbs to adjoining counties, 285, 286; unable to give French-Canadians representation in his Cabinet owing to their rooted opposition to union, 288; supported by moderate Reformers, 291; his difficulty with Baldwin, 294-296; much aggrieved by Baldwin's action, 299; his analysis of the Legislature of 1841, 303, 304; his belief in theory of responsible government, 312, 313; his efforts to improve financial conditions, 315, 320; promises in speech from throne Imperial loan in aid of public works, 320; his views on emigration, 321; his satisfaction over passing of Local Government Bill, 325; interest in public works, 326; his plan for a bank of issue, 327; plan not suited to Canadian conditions at the time, 329; partial adoption of, many years later, 330; reorganizes public departments and Executive Council, 331-335; takes part in extradition and boundary negotiations with the United States, 336; serious illness, 337; sends resignation to take effect on close of session, 338; his confidence in the solidity of his work, 338; his absorption in his work, 339; receives Grand Cross of Bath, 340; meets with fatal accident, 341; his fortitude in suffering, 342; his last words to the Legislature, 342; his high opinion of Lord John Russell, 343; his death, 343; buried at Kingston, 344; eulogy of, by Dr. Ryerson, 346, 347; by Joseph Howe, 348, 349; general support given to his ideas by home government, 350; his special qualifications for his work in Canada, 352-355; gradually gains favour with French-Canadians, 355; his administration marks transition from the old system to the new, 356. B French-Canadians complain they are outraged by, 15-16. E His character, 2, 14; appointed governor-general to complete the union and establish responsible government, 26-29; his qualities, 29; his death, 30; his canal policy, 96-97; his proposed settlement of Clergy Reserves, 156-157. C Sent to Canada to carry out some of Durham's recommendations, 12; his character, 12; attitude towards Canadians, 12; secures approval of union scheme, 12-13; persuades Upper Canada to modify conditions of union, 14; wins the elections, 15; his constitutional battle with La Fontaine as to meaning of ministerial responsibility, 97; asked to disfranchise French of Lower Canada, 99. R Comes to Canada, supported by Ryerson, 122; his policy, 122; draws up resolutions on responsible government, 123-126; his influence on political life, 131; interview with Ryerson, 163; his death, 163. H Visits Nova Scotia, and discusses political situation with Joseph Howe and other leaders, 68. P His views as to political situation in Nova Scotia, 24; requests La Fontaine to enter Draper ministry, 72; referred to by Papineau, 171; his aim in bringing about union of the Canadas to crush the French-Canadians, according to La Fontaine, 174-175. BL In period of reconstruction, 50; sent to Canada as governor-general, 59; his previous career, 59; becomes Baron Sydenham and Toronto, 59; takes over government, and lays his plans before the Special Council, 59-60; his special project the union of the Canadas, 60-61; visits Upper Canada, 61; appoints Baldwin solicitor-general of Upper Canada, 63; his attitude towards responsible government, 64-67; union project, 67-71; describes a journey in Canada in 1839, 74-75; summons Legislature, 1841, 75; appoints Legislative and Executive Councils, 75, 83; correspondence with Baldwin as to personnel of Cabinet, 79-80, 81; succeeds in carrying on the government, 85; on the luxurious surroundings of colonial legislators, 86; absent from meeting of the Houses, 86; his speech from the throne, 89; his public policy, 90; his views as to his constitutional position, 97-98, 137; legislation as to municipal government, 100-105; the resolutions on constitutional government, 109-111; his death, Sept. 19, 1841, 111; Turcotte and McMullen on, 111-112; his character, 111-112; referred to in La Fontaine's speech, 128; changes boundaries of constituencies of Montreal and Quebec for political purposes, 146; this and other legislation of his repealed in 1842, 146-147; on responsible government, 161, 162, 163; dissatisfaction with his selection of Kingston as capital, 180; his instructions, 230; and Ryerson, 241; his application of the constitutional system, 274; municipal legislation under, 299. Mc On state of province, 406; would not have fought against rebels, 407; praises Reformers, 407; opposition from Family Compact, 407; gives responsible government, 409; surprised people had not rebelled sooner, 477. Md Advocate of responsible government, 17; his death, 17; secures passage, by Assembly, of Act secularizing Clergy Reserves, 1840, but on being sent to England, it is disallowed on technical grounds, 59-60. W His despatch to Lord John Russell on the Executive Council, 113.
   Bib.: Morgan, Cel. Can.; Dent, Can. Por. and Last Forty Years; Scrope, Memoir of Life of Sydenham.

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