Past Governor Generals



(1761-1809), Lieutenant General. Born In Glasgow 13 November 1761,was third but eldest surviving son of Dr. John Moore 1729-1802. Become a brevet-colonel 21 August 1795. On 9 September following he had been appointed, with the local rank of Brigadier-General in the West Indies, to command a brigade, consisting of the Choiseul hussars and of two other French emigrant regiments, which had been preparing in the Isle of Wight for San Domingo. While awaiting embarkation he was ordered, on 25 February 1796, to take charge of Major-General Perryn's brigade, forming part of the armament proceeding to the West Indies under Sir Ralph Abercromby.

Through some mistake, Perryn had sailed without his brigade; Moore sailed with it at a few hours' notice, and arrived on 13 April at Barbados where he had his first interview with Sir Ralph Abercromby. He commanded a brigade under Abercromby at the attack on St. Lucia, and with the 27th Inniskillings formed the lodgement at La Vigie on 24 May 1796, which led to the immediate surrender of the fortress of Morne Fortune.

Abercromby left Moore in command of the island, where he was engaged for some time, under difficulties of every description, in warring with the Negro brigands, who swarmed in the woods. He re-established order and security. An officer who was present describes him as indefatigable in his exertions, visiting every post in the island, living on salt pork and biscuit like the men, and sleeping in the open (Stewart, Scottish Highlanders, i. 419).

Moore died unmarried. Bruce, the son-in-law and biographer of the historian Napier, states that when Moore was in Sicily he contemplated making an offer of marriage to Miss Caroline Fox, daughter of General Henry Edward Fox [q.v.], but was deterred by a chivalrous feeling of doubt that the disparity of age and his high position might influence her decision unwisely for her contentment in after life. The offer was never made, and in 1811 Miss Fox became the wife of the future Sir William Napier (Bruce, Life of Sir William Napier, i. 61).

Moore, who possessed a very winning address, was in person tall and graceful, and his features, even when worn with service, were eminently handsome. A portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., is in possession of the family; it has been often and very badly engraved. The photograph from it in Moorsom's 'Historical records 52nd Light Infantry' was taken by Claudet. Another portrait of Moore was his father and the eighth Duke of Hamilton, by Gavin Hamilton, is in the National Portrait Gallery.


(1767-1816), soldier and governor-general of Canada, was eldest son of Major-General Augustine Prevost (died 1786), who served under Wolfe, by his wife Anne, daughter of Chevalier George Grand of Amsterdam. Born on 19 May 1767, he entered the army and became a captain on 9 June 1783, took a company in the 25th foot on 15 October 1784, was promoted major in the 60th (Royal American) foot on 18 November 1790, and shortly afterwards was sent to the West Indies with his regiment.

Becoming Lieutenant Colonel on 6 August 1794, he commanded the troops in St. Vincent in that and the following year, and saw much active service. On 20 January 1796 he was twice wounded in repeated attempts to carry Baker's Ridge, St. Vincent. On 1 January 1798 became a colonel, and on 8 March Brigadier-General.

In May 1798 Prevost was nominated military governor of St. Lucia. Applying himself to abate the discontent of the French population, and to reform the disorganised law courts, he so won the hearts of the people that, on their petition, he was appointed civil governor on 16 May 1801. In the following year his health compelled his return to England. On 27 September 1802 Prevost was appointed Captain-General and governor-in-chief in Dominica.

In 1803 he aided in retaking St. Lucia from the French, and in February 1805 had a severe tussle with the French for the possession of Dominica. On 10 May 1805 he again obtained leave to visit England, was placed in command of the Portsmouth district, and on 6 December 1805 was created a baronet. He was now Major-General, and on 8 September 1806 became colonel in his regiment. In the same year he was second in command when Martinique was captured. In January 1808 he became Lieutenant-General.

In 1808 Prevost became Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Nova Scotia, where he increased his reputation. On 14 February 1811 he was, at a critical juncture, chosen to be governor of Lower Canada and Governor-General of British North America, in succession to Sir James Henry Craig [q.v.] He found the Canadians suspicious and untraceable, while the United states were threatening war, of which Canada was to bear the burnt. Prevost's first action was to undertake a tour of military observation; he next remodelled his executive council. On 21 February 1812 he met his parliament, and was cordially received. The house responded to his request for unusual supplies, and on 19 May the assembly was prorogued.

On 18 June the United states declared war; on the 24th the news reached Quebec. Prevost acted with promptitude, yet showed every consideration to American subjects then within his jurisdiction. When the news of the repeal of the orders in council was received, he concluded an armistice with the American general; but it was disavowed by the states, and the war went on. Through his influence Canada made it primarily a defensive war, and the British government retained the confidence of the Canadian people, in spite of the ill feeling, which smouldered in the House of Assembly.

But in 1813 the house, irritated with the governor's cautions reception of the impeachment of two judges, Sewell and Monk, resolved that by his answer to the address he had violated the privileges of the house.