Young, William Alexander George
b. 1827
d. 1885-04-25
William Alexander George Young enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1841, becoming a captain in 1855. Young was decorated for his services in the Crimean War and was appointed secretary of the British Boundary Commission in British Columbia. He arrived in Victoria in June 1857, and in November James Douglas seconded him from the boundary commission, giving him the temporary position of colonial secretary for British Columbia. The Colonial Office approved the appointment on 3 March 1859, and later in that year Young took on the role of acting colonial secretary of Vancouver Island, giving him considerable authority in the colony.1
When the governments of the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia were separated, Young chose to remain in Victoria, losing his salary as colonial secretary of the mainland. Young ran for election to the assembly, winning a seat in the four-member riding of Victoria. When Douglas announced his retirement on 14 March 1864, Young applied for leave of absence, travelling to England with Douglas and returning to Victoria in June 1865.2
When the colonies were united in 1866, Young served as acting colonial secretary, although Governor Frederick Seymour felt Young untrustworthy because of his close association with Victoria. Young and his family left British Columbia on 1 June 1869. He was later appointed financial secretary of Jamaica but fell ill with yellow fever and returned to England in 1872. In 1877 he was named a CMG and was appointed governor of the Gold Coast in Africa. Young died there on 25 April 1885.3
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