Monck, 4th Viscount Monck Charles
Charles Stanley Monck was declared first Governor General of Canada in 1861 and held that post until his resignation in 1868. During his term, he strongly advocated for the confederation of all British North American colonies, and used his influence to bring the “Great Coalition” to fruition.1 In addition to this accomplishment, Monck helped diffuse several controversial events, including the Trent Affair of 1861, the St. Alban’s raid of 1864, and the Fenian raids of 1866.2 However, in several despatches, there are signs of his lack of administrative experience prior to his appointment as governor general. In this despatch, a proposal to build a telegraph and postal service between New Westminster to Lake Superior falls through upon Monck’s failure to deliver his input.3 In another, his despatches are deplored as “jejune” and incomplete.4 Nevertheless, he maintained unshakable integrity in his position and demonstrated benevolence and diplomacy, which would help him to resolve many of the Canadian-American tensions of the time.5
Monck was born in Templemore, Ireland, on 10 October 1819. He was educated at Trinity College, where he graduated with a BA in 1841. He had four children- two sons and two daughters- with his wife, Elizabeth Louisa Mary. Monck admitted to accepting the offer of Governor General of Canada in large part for its salary; the position was otherwise a big undertaking for a man with a young family given Canada’s turbulent political state at the time.6 Still, he managed to attain a good outcome for the duration of his term, and he would be rewarded for those successes upon his resignation. Monck was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Monck of Ballytramon as well as knight grand cross of St. Michael and St. George. After his return to Ireland, he was appointed member of the Church Temporalities and National Education Commission. He would remain in Ireland until his death on 29 November 1894.7
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Places in this document

Lake Superior

New Westminster

The Colonial Despatches Team. Monck, 4th Viscount Monck Charles. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/monck.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)