Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

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


William Cayley


Cayley, William (1807-1890), inspector-general of Canada (1845-48 and 1854-58), was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 26, 1807, the son of John Cayley and Harriet Raikes. He was educated at Christ Church , Oxford ; and in 1834 he was called to the English bar from Lincoln's Inn. He came to Canada about 1836; and in 1838 he was called to the bar of Upper Canada. In 1846 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Canada as member for Huron; and, except for the years 1851-4, he continued to be a member of the legislature until 1861, first for Huron and Bruce (1854-7), and lastly for Renfrew (1858-61). From 1845 to 1848 he was inspector-general of accounts in the Draper administration, and from 1854 to 1858 in the MacNab-Morin, the MacNab-Taché, the Taché-Macdonald, and the Macdonald-Cartier administrations. In the formation of the Cartier-Macdonald government of 1858 he was omitted; and in 1861 he retired from political life. He represented the "Family Compact" wing of the Liberal-Conservative party; and his disappearance from political life marked the end of the influence of this group. His .period of office was mainly notable for the introduction of the Tariff Act of 1858, in which the principle of "protection. for home industries" was first applied. In 1869 he was appointed provincial auditor for Ontario ; and he died in Toronto on February 23, 1890. In 1836 he married Emma Robinson, daughter of Darcy Boulton, of The Grange, Toronto ; and he had by her eight sons and three daughters. He published a pamphlet entitled Finances and trade of Canada at the beginning of 1855 (London, 1855).

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 16-17.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College