Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

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


William Foster Coffin


Coffin, William Foster (1808-1878), civil servant and author, was born at Bath, England, on November 5, 1808, the son of a British army officer. He was educated at Eton, and came to Canada in 1830. In 1835 he was called to the bar of Lower Canada, and in 1838 he became assistant civil secretary of Lower Canada. From 1841 to 1852 he was joint sheriff of the district of Montreal; and in 1856 he was appointed commissioner of ordnance lands in Canada. This post he held until shortly before his death at Ottawa on January 28, 1878. In 1855 he raised the Montreal Field Battery, and became its commanding officer, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the militia. He was the author of Three chapters on a triple project (Montreal, 1848), 1812: The war and its moral (Montreal, 1864), Thoughts on defence from a Canadian point of view (Ottawa, 1870), and Quirks of diplomacy (Ottawa, 1874). Some of his papers are included in the Transactions of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec.

Source : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 98-99.




© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College