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Sir Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, 6th Earl of Kerry

Appointed: August 18, 1883
Sworn In: October 23, 1883, Quebec City
Born: January 14, 1845, London, England
Died: June 3, 1927


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Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5thh Marquis of Lansdowne and a member of the Irish nobility, was Canada's 5th Governor General after Confederation and the fourth Irishman to be so honoured.

Lansdowne was born in 1845 and was educated at Eton and Oxford. He succeeded to the title at 21 and immediately became active in the House of Lords. At 26, he was appointed a Lord of the Treasury and served as Under-Secretary for War from 1872 to 1874. He was named Secretary for India in 1880, but resigned this post following a difference with Gladstone over Irish Home Rule.

Appointed Governor General in 1883, his tenure was relatively  eventful, despite the tensions of the Riel Rebellion. An ardent fisherman and outdoorsman, he enjoyed fishing in New Brunswick, and it is recorded that in four seasons, he had caught 1,245 salmon.

He travelled twice to the west coast. His first was largely by private means of travel and he visited many Indian bands and witnessed their rituals. In contrast, his second trip was by way of the new Canadian Pacific Railway and he thus became the First Governor General to use the line all of the way.

Returning to England in 1888. Lansdowne was at once appointed Viceroy of India where he served until 1893. He turned down the ambassadorship to Russia and served in various cabinet posts. He was War Secretary when the South African war broke out and took some of the blame for the country's unpreparedness.

Later, he served as Foreign Secretary for five years and Leader of the Unionist opposition in the House of Lords. He joined the wartime coalition government without portfolio, but resigned in 1917 and led a group seeking to promote overtures for peace with Germany. He died in 1927 at this daughter's home near Clonmel in Tipperary,

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