VIEW-14817 | Hon. C. Poulett Thomson, Lord Sydenham, painting, copied for Robert Glasgow 1914-15

Hon. C. Poulett Thomson, Lord Sydenham, painting, copied for Robert Glasgow 1914-15
Wm. Notman & Son
1914-1915, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
25 x 20 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Art (2774) , Painting (2229) , painting (2227) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

A member of a prominent English merchant family, Sydenham was appointed Governor General of British North America in 1839. He was able to impose the union of the two Canadas but rejected Durham's idea of responsible government, preferring to have his executive act as a cabinet without the support of the majority in the Assembly. Like Durham, he also pushed hard for anglicization of the colony.

Source : The Aftermath of the Rebellions [Web tour], by Brian J. Young, McGill University (see Links)

  • What

    Under Sydenham, Upper and Lower Canada were united into a singly colony. French Canadians, meanwhile, would be treated more harshly for their role in the rebellions than would the forces of William Lyon Mackenzie in Upper Canada.

  • Where

    Between the rebellions of 1837-1838 and the selection of Ottawa as the capital of Canada in 1856, the role of capital alternated between the major centres of Quebec City, Montreal and Kingston.

  • When

    In the 1840s, Kingston with its shipping, commercial and service functions was a more important city than it is today. Sydenham, as Governor General, lived in Kingston. He died here in 1841 after being thrown from his horse.

  • Who

    Sent to Canada in 1839, Sydenham was responsible for restoring calm in the shattered colony. Like Durham, he believed in the superiority of British institutions. He advocated strong and efficient government and was also closely allied to the business community of English Canada.