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Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Earl of Dufferin, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava.

Appointed: May 22, 1872
Sworn in: June 25, 1872, Quebec City
Born: June 21, 1826, Florence, Italy
Died: February 12, 1902


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Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple Blackwood, Canada's third Governor General, was one of the most popular and gifted men ever to hold the office.

A handsome, eloquent statesman and an Irish aristocrat, the 1st Marquis of Dufferin and Ava was born in Florence, Italy, June 21st, 1826, the son of the 4th Baron of Dufferin.

His mother, Selina Sheridan, Lady Dufferin, was a granddaughter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, author of 'School for Scandal' and other great works. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, specialized in the classics and became fluent in Latin, Greek, French and Persian as well as his mother tongue.

He choose a public career and in 1849 was appointed Lord in Waiting to the Queen. A year later he was made a Peer of the United Kingdom and took his seat in the House of Lords. He travelled widely and his impressions of the Arctic were recorded in a popular book 'Letters from the Latitudes'.

He was appointed Governor General in 1872 and shortly after, travelled to every accessible part of Canada, initiating a tradition which has been followed by his successors. Often he travelled on horseback and by canoe.

On his own initiative Dufferin broke a delicate impasse by commuting the death sentence passed on Louis Riel's chief aide, Lepine. In 1876, when British Columbia was threatening to secede over the delay in obtaining a railway, he visited the province and charmed its government into patience and adherence to the federal union. He also resorted to charm and diplomacy in 1875 in Quebec, when the city planned to raze historic sites, including the old ramparts. As a result of his influence, new plans were drawn up and the walls have been preserved to this day. In recognition of  his efforts, the city named a delightful promenade on the heights 'Dufferin terrace'.

Upon his return to England in 1878, Dufferin served as Ambassador to Russia and Turkey; headed a mission to Cairo; was Viceroy of India; Ambassador to France and Italy.

He retired at the age of 70 in 1896 and died in 1902 at Clandeboye, his family seat near Belfast.

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