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Sir Charles Stanley Monck, 4th Viscount Monck

Appointed Canada's first Governor General: June 1, 1867
Sworn In: July 1, 1867, Ottawa, Ontario
Born: October 10, 1819, Templemore, Ireland
Died: November 29, 1894


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Viscount Monck was the first Governor General after Confederation, and might properly be called a father of Confederation. He had been Governor of the old Canada since 1861 and worked closely with the Fathers of Confederation in guiding the process of consolidation and unification through he British Colonies and the Imperial Government. Canadian Historian W.L. Morton called him a grave, persistent architect of Confederation.

Sir Charles Stanley, fourth Viscount Monck, was born October 10th, 1819 at Templemore, Tipperary, Ireland, and educated in law at Trinity College Dublin.

Barred, as Irish peers were, from a seat in the House of Lords, he won a House of commons seat in Portsmouth in 1852, and later became Lord of the Treasury.

In 1861, Queen Victoria appointed Monck as 'Our Captain-General and Governor in Chief in and over .... all our provinces in North America and the Island of Prince Edward'>

He did everything possible to further the aspirations of the Confederationists. His term normally would have expired in 1866, but he wanted to see the new Dominion established and the Queen extended his tenure.

Thus Monck was sworn in on parliament Hill in Ottawa, July 1 1867, as Canada's first Governor General. His first official duty was to inform Sir John A Macdonald that the Queen had made him a Knight of the Bath, and his ministerial associates Commanders of the Bath, and that Sir John was to form a Government.

Since 1866, Canada's capital had been in Ottawa and the Governor General lived in Rideau Hall down river from his office on Parliament Hill. In the summer, Monck would make the journey to his office by long-boat, manned by Royal Navy bluejackets.

Monck ended his term on November 14th, 1868 and went home to Ireland. For his work in Canada, he was made a Peer of the United Kingdom, Baron Monck of Ballytrammon, and from 1874 to 1893 he was Lord Lieutenant of the county of Dublin. He died in 1894.

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