Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
February 2005

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


Sir Howard Douglas



Douglas, Sir Howard, Bart. (1776-1861), soldier, author, and lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick (1823-31), was born at Gosport, England, in 1776, the son of Vice-admiral Sir Charles Douglas, by his second wife, Sarah, daughter of James Wood. He was educated at the grammar school of Musselburgh and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. In 1795 he was sent on an expedition to Quebec, but the transport was wrecked and the castaways were carried by a trader to Labrador, where they passed the winter. Douglas spent some time at Halifax, at Quebec, and at Kingston, and returned to England in 1799. After a period of active service in Spain, and as commandant of the Royal Military Academy (1804-8 and 1812-22), he was appointed lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick in 1823. He was a popular and successful governor; and it was during his term of office that savings banks were established, and a charter was granted to the University of Fredericton. It was due also to his firmness and tact that the attempted American invasion of the frontier of Maine was checked in 1828; and when the question. of, the boundary was referred to the King of the Netherlands, Douglas was recalled to England to assist in preparing the British case. He was later for a time lord high commissioner of the Ionian islands. But he spent most of the rest of his life in politics in England, where he died at Tunbridge Wells, on November 9, 1861. In July, 1799, he married Anne (d. 1854), daughter of James Dundas of Edinburgh, and by her he had three daughters and six sons. He was a fellow of the Royal Society; and of the Royal Geographical Society; an associate of the Institute of Naval Architects ; a D.C.L. of Oxford, and first chancellor of the University of New Brunswick. He was made C.B. in 1814, K.C.B. in 1821, G.C.B. in 1841, and G.C.M.G. in 1832. He published a large number of essays on military and political subjects, and amongst these Considerations on the value and importance of the British North American provinces, and the circumstances on which depend their prosperity and connection with Great Britain (London, 1831). See S. W. Fullom, Life (London , 1863), and L. Harvey, New Brunswick a century ago (Dalhousie Review, 1926).

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 229-230.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College