Birch, Arthur Nonus
b. 1836
d. 1914
Arthur Nonus Birch was born in 1836 in Yoxford, Suffolk. In 1855, Birch was appointed to the position of Private Secretary to Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and subsequently to the Duke of Newcastle and Chichester Fortescue.1 Birch travelled with newly appointed Governor Frederick Seymour to British Columbia as his personal secretary in 1863.2 In 1864, he was promoted to the position of resident colonial secretary of British Columbia.3 Then, from 1866 to 1867, Birch was made acting Governor of British Columbia in Frederick Seymour's absence. However, Birch was unable to deal effectively with the economic issues the colony faced, and by some accounts aggravated them.4 Birch then held a position on the Executive Council of Victoria until 1871.5 Birch then relocated to Penang where he became Lieutenant Governor in 1871. Finally, in 1873 he was made colonial secretary of Ceylon colony.6
Birch married Josephine Watts-Russell, and received a knighthood before his political retirement in 1876. And by 1891, Birch had moved to the private sector where he worked for the Bank of England.7 Birch died in 1914.
  • 1. J.F. Bosher, Imperial Vancouver Island: Who Was Who?, (Victoria: Writersworld, 2012.), 145.
  • 2. Margaret A. Ormsby. Seymour, Frederick, Dictionary Of Canadian Biography.
  • 3. Newcastle to Douglas, 19 December 1863, No. 61, NAC, RG7, G8C/10, 648.
  • 4. Ormsby, Seymour.
  • 5. Bosher, Imperial Vancouver Island.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
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