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Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford

GG-Archibald Acheson.jpg
Member of Parliament for County Armagh
In office
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byHenry Caulfeild
William Brownlow
Personal details
Archibald Acheson

(1776-08-01)1 August 1776
Markethill, County Armagh
Died27 March 1849(1849-03-27) (aged 72)
Spouse(s)Mary Sparrow
ChildrenArchibald Acheson, 3rd Earl of Gosford
Lady Mary Acheson
Lady Millicent Acheson
ParentsArthur Acheson, 1st Earl of Gosford
Millicent Pole

Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford, GCB, PC (1 August 1776 – 27 March 1849), styled The Honourable Archibald Acheson from 1790 to 1806 and Lord Acheson from 1806 to 1807, was a British politician who served as Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada and Governor General of British North America in the 19th century.[1]

Early life

Acheson was born on 1 August 1776 at Markethill, County Armagh, Ireland. Gosford was the son of Arthur Acheson, 1st Earl of Gosford, and his wife Millicent (née Pole). He succeeded his father to his titles and estates in 1807.[2]


Gosford Castle, County Armagh

Acheson sat in the Irish House of Commons for Armagh County from 1798 until the Act of Union in 1801, when Ireland became part of the United Kingdom. Subsequently, he was a Member of the British House of Commons representing Armagh to 1807, when he succeeded to his father's Irish titles as Earl of Gosford. He entered the British House of Lords in 1811 upon being elected an Irish Representative Peer.[3]

In 1831 he was appointed the first Lord Lieutenant of Armagh for life, having previously been a Governor of Armagh since 1805. The new position incorporated the post of Custos Rotulorum of County Armagh which he also already held. He was created Baron Worlingham in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1835 and thus became a member of the UK House of Lords in his own right. He commissioned Thomas Hopper (1776–1856) to design a new house, Gosford Castle on his Gosford estate. The house would not be completed until after his death.

In 1835, he became Governor General of British North America (also Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada), and commissioner in the Royal Commission for the Investigation of all Grievances Affecting His Majesty's Subjects of Lower Canada. He was instructed to appease the reformists, led by Louis-Joseph Papineau, without giving them any real power. Gosford attempted to distance himself from his predecessor, Lord Aylmer, who had exacerbated the hostility of French-Canadians to the British administration. Gosford officially established the Diocese of Montreal in 1836, though it had been unofficially created a few years before. In August of that year Gosford dissolved the Legislative Assembly when they refused to pass his budget.[4]

In November, Lord Gosford learned of the planned Lower Canada Rebellion and had many of Papineau's followers arrested, although Papineau himself escaped to the United States. The next month, he issued a reward for the capture of Papineau, and declared martial law in Lower Canada.

Lord Gosford resigned in November 1837 and returned to Britain the next year. His eventual successor, Lord Durham, implemented the Union Act in 1840 (uniting Lower and Upper Canada, which Lord Gosford had unsuccessfully argued against).

Personal life

He married Mary Sparrow, the daughter and heiress of Robert Sparrow of Worlingham Hall, Suffolk, with whom he had a son and four daughters.[2]

Lord Gosford died in 1849.[5]


It is believed the city of Gosford in New South Wales, Australia was named after him, the Governor of New South Wales having served with him in Canada.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Browning, Thomas Blair (1901). "Acheson, Archibald" . Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 8–10.
  2. ^ a b "ACHESON, Hon. Archibald (1776–1849), of Market Hill, co. Armagh". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  3. ^ Browning 1901.
  4. ^ T. B. Browning, rev. Phillip Buckner. "Acheson, Archibald, second earl of Gosford (1776–1849)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/58. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ Buckner, Phillip (1988). "Acheson, Archibald, 2nd Earl of Gosford". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. VII (1836–1850) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  6. ^ "Some Significant events in Gosford History". Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.

External links

Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
William Richardson
William Brownlow
Member of Parliament for Armagh County
1798 – 1801
With: Viscount Caulfeild 1798–1799
Robert Camden Cope 1799–1801
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for County Armagh
With: Robert Camden Cope 1801–1802
Henry Caulfeild 1802–1807
Succeeded by
Henry Caulfeild
William Brownlow
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Longueville
Representative peer for Ireland
Succeeded by
The Lord Kilmaine
Preceded by
The Marquess of Clanricarde
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard
Succeeded by
The Earl of Courtown
Preceded by
The Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard
Succeeded by
The Earl of Ilchester
Preceded by
The Lord Aylmer
Governor General of British North America
Succeeded by
Sir John Colborne (acting)
Honorary titles
New title Lord Lieutenant of Armagh
Succeeded by
The Earl of Charlemont
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Arthur Acheson
Earl of Gosford
Succeeded by
Archibald Acheson
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Worlingham
Succeeded by
Archibald Acheson