Elliot, Thomas Frederick
b. 1808-07
d. 1880-02-12
Born in 1808, Thomas Frederick Elliot was part of a well-off Scottish family with many connections to the whigs.1 Educated at Harrow School, he joined the Colonial Office as a junior clerk in 1825 and attracted the notice of James Stephen who would become the principal architect of the mid-nineteenth-century Colonial Office bureaucracy.2 In 1833 Elliot became senior clerk of the North American Department. Two years later he acted in Quebec as secretary to the earl of Gosford's inquiry into Canadian affairs.3 His work concerning emigration prompted the enmity of E. G. Wakefield and some of the Colonial Reformers.4 In 1847 he was promoted to assistant under-secretary, the second highest civil servant in the Colonial Office establishment.5 During the 1860s he acted in a supervisory capacity for the North American Department, frequently suggesting the government's policy.6 After the creation of British Columbia in 1858, Elliot's growing concern for Douglas's financial actions in the new colony moved from expressions of apprehension to harsh criticism. In 1863 he declared that the governor's activities were like any other fraud.7 Passed over for permanent under-secretary in 1860, Elliot retired in 1868 and was knighted for his service.8
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Douglas, James

Stephen, James

Wakefield, Edward Gibbon

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British Columbia