Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2007

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


Frederick Temple Blackwood

Marquees of Dufferin and Ava


Dufferin and Ava, Frederick Temple Blackwood, Marquess of (1826-1902), governor-general of Canada (1872-8), was born in Florence, Italy, on June 21, 1826, the son of Price, fourth Baron Dufferin and Clandeboye, and Helen Selina Sheridan, a granddaughter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. He was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, but did not graduate. He succeeded to his father's peerage in 1841; and from 1848 to 1852, and from 1854 to 1858, he was lord-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. He entered politics, and from 1864 to 1866 he occupied successively the offices of under-secretary of state for India and under-secretary for war. In 1868 he became chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Gladstone government; and in 1872 he was appointed governor-general of Canada. It fell to him, during his term of office, to deal with the difficult questions connected with the "Pacific scandal" charges; and he handled these questions has been well drained, and is now a with much tact and judgment. In 1876 he visited British Columbia, and by his able diplomacy succeeded in allaying       charges; and he handled these questions with much tact and judgment. In 1876 he visited British Columbia, and by his able diplomacy succeeded in allying in that province the growing discontent with Confederation. A facile and eloquent speaker, he achieved great popularity in Canada; though his speeches gave rise to some criticism, and were characterized by Goldwin Smith as “elegant flummery”.

In 1879 he was appointed British ambassador at St. Petersburg, and in 1881 he was transferred at Constantinople. From 1884 to 1888 he was viceroy of India; from 1888 to 1891 he was ambassador extraordinary at Rome; and from 1891 to 1896 he was ambassador at Paris. He died at Clandeboye, Ireland on February 12, 1902. In 1862 he married Harriot Georgiana, eldest daughter of Archibald Rowan Hamilton, of Killyleagh Castle, County Down, Ireland; and by her he had several children. In 1871 he was created Viscount Clandeboye and Earl of Dufferin, in the peerage of the United Kingdom; and in 1888 Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. He was the author of Letters from high latitudes (London, 1860) and of a number of essays on Irish affairs; and collections of his speeches were published in Toronto (1878) and in London (1882).

See Sir A. C. Lyall, The Life of the Marquees of Dufferin (2 vols., London, 1905), C. E. D. Black, The Marquees of Dufferin and Ava (Toronto, 1903), G. Stewart, Canada under the administration of the Earl of Dufferin (Toronto, 1878), and W. Leggo, The history of the administration of the Right Hon. Frederick Temple, Earl of Dufferin (Montreal 1878).

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 243-244


© 2007 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College