Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Sir Frederick Haldimand


Haldimand, Sir Frederick (1718-1791), governor-in-chief of the province of Quebec (1778-86), was born in the canton of Neufchâtel, Switzerland, on August 11, 1718, the son of François Louis Haldimand and Marie Madelaine de Trytorrens. He became a soldier of fortune in various armies in Europe, among others in the army of Frederick the Great of Prussia ; and in 1756 he took service in the British army, as a lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Americans. He served in America throughout the Seven Years' War; and from 1762 to 1764 was military lieutenant-governor of the district of Three Rivers in Canada. In 1767 he was appointed to command the southern district of North America, and for the next six years his headquarters were in Florida. In 1773-4 he was commander-in-chief at Boston, but his foreign birth rendered him unsuitable for high command in America during the Revolution, and in 1774 he was recalled to England.


He was appointed to succeed Sir Guy Carleton as governor of the province of Quebec in 1778. His period of office in Canada, coinciding as it did with the alliance between Old France and the American revolutionists, was one of especial difficulty; and some of the measures he was forced to adopt in coping with disaffection in Canada were somewhat arbitrary. But his measures for the defence of the province were eminently successful; and his arrangements for placing on the land the loyalists who flocked into Canada at the close of the American Revolution were a model of efficient organization. At the end of 1784 Haldimand returned to England on leave of absence; and in 1786 he was succeeded as governor by Sir Guy Carleton. He died at Yverdun, Switzerland, near his birthplace, on dune 5, 1791.


In 1772 he was promoted to be a major-general in America, and in 1776 to be general in America ; in 1777 he became lieut.-general in the army; and in 1785 he was created a K.B. He was not married.


See Jean N. McIlwraith, Sir Frederick Haldimand (Toronto, 1904) ; J. M. LeMoine, Le général Sir Frederick Haldimand à Québec (Trans. Roy. Soc. Can., 1888),; W. Smith, The struggle over the laws of Canada , 1763-1783 (Can. hist. rev ., 1920); F. J. Audet, Sir Frédéric Haldimand (Trans. Roy. Soc. Can. , 1923). The Haldimand papers are in the British, Museum (Addit. MSS., 21661-21892) ; and copies of them are in the Canadian Archives, and are calendared in the Archives Reports, 1884-9.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. III, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 396p., pp. 98-99.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College