Charles Poulett-Thomson

Charles Poulett-Thomson

Male 1799 - 1841  (42 years)    Has 3 ancestors but no descendants in this family tree.

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name Charles Poulett-Thomson 
    Born 13 Sep 1799 
    Gender Male 
    Died 19 Sep 1841 
    Person ID I251938  Geneagraphie
    Last Modified 8 Sep 2010 

    Father John Buncombe-Poulett-Thomson,   d. Jan 1839 
    Mother Charlotte Jacob,   d. 18 May 1824 
    Siblings 3 siblings 
    Family ID F46941  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Last Modified 4 Sep 2006 
    Family ID F99525  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • 1st Baron Sydenham

      After attending private schools until age 16, Thomson entered the family firm at Saint Petersburg. In 1817 he came home due to poor health and embarked on a prolonged tour of southern Europe. He returned to Russia in 1821 and over the next three years travelled extensively in eastern Europe. He established permanent residence in London in 1824 but frequently visited the Continent, especially Paris.
      [edit] Political career

      Sydenham was returned to the House of Commons for Dover in 1826. In 1830 he joined Lord Grey's ministry as Vice-President of the Board of Trade and Treasurer of the Navy. A free-trader and an expert in financial matters he was elected MP for Manchester in 1832, a seat which he occupied until 1839. He was continuously occupied with negotiations affecting international commerce until 1839, when he accepted the Governorship of Canada.

      Sydenham succeeded Lord Durham as Governor of Canada in 1839. He was responsible for implementing the Union Act in 1840, uniting Upper Canada and Lower Canada as the Province of Canada and moving the seat of government to Kingston. Later that year, he was created Baron Sydenham. Upper Canadians were given a choice in the matter of union, which they accepted; Lower Canada had no say, and as a result many French Canadians were opposed to both the union and Sydenham himself. Sydenham was just as anti-French as Durham had been, and he encouraged British immigration to make the French Canadian population less significant. French Canadians referred to him as le poulet, "the chicken." Realizing he had almost no support in Lower Canada (at this time Canada East), he reorganized ridings to give the English population more votes, and in areas where that was infeasible, he allowed English mobs to beat up French candidates. Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine was one such candidate who suffered from Sydenham's influence; Lafontaine eventually left Canada East to work with Robert Baldwin in creating a fairer union for both sides.

      Sydenham also settled the Protestant land dispute in Upper Canada (at this time Canada West), which the Family Compact had interpreted to refer only to the Anglican Church. Sydenham declared that half of the land set aside for Protestant churches would be shared between Anglicans and Presbyterians, and the other half would be shared between the other Protestant denominations. Sydenham wanted to make Canada more financially independent, so that there would less danger of annexation by the United States. He had been working on this policy throughout the 1830s, when he was President of the Board of Trade in Britain, though he had little time to implement any economic reforms once he had arrived in Canada. After less than two years as Governor-General.


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