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Hamilton-Gordon, John Campbell

Born: 1847 AD
Died: 1934 AD
Nationality: English
Categories: Governor General

1847 – Hamilton-Gordon was born on August 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, the third son of the 5th Earl of Aberdeen.

1870 – Following his education at St Andrews and Oxford, he succeeded on his eldest brother’s death to the Earldom, assuming his seat in the House of Lords, where he was a close friend and supporter of the Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone.

1877 – On November 7, 1877, he married Ishbel Maria Majoribanks, daughter of Dudley Majoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth, at St. George’s Church, Hanover Square, London.

1880 – Lord Aberdeen became Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.

1881-1885 – Held the office of High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for four years.

1886 – He was invested as a Privy Counsellor on February 6, 1886. He gained experience in overseas administration with his appointment as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1886, and he was also a representative of Her Majesty Queen Victoria at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

1893-1898 – He became Governor General of Canada for five years. Lord Aberdeen was Governor General during a period of political transition, throughout the terms of four Prime Ministers – Sir John Thompson, Sir Mackenzie Bowell, Sir Charles Tupper and Sir Wilfrid Laurier. It was also an era of controversy marred by competing issues, from the abolition of separate French schools in Manitoba – which created a unity crisis (the Manitoba Schools Question) – to the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway to the discovery of gold in the Yukon Territory. Lord Aberdeen was well equipped to take on the challenges of the position, with the experience and knowledge from his previous travels in Canada, and family history of success in this country – his father was instrumental in boundary negotiations between the United States and Canada. Above all, Lord Aberdeen believed that, as Governor General, he could improve the well being of Canadians generally, and he and Lady Aberdeen again travelled extensively throughout the country in an attempt to meet and talk with Canadians from all walks of life. This included a journey to the Maritimes where he met, among others, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, as well as many inhabitants of Cape Breton Island who spoke Gaelic and were themselves from the highlands of Scotland. He also travelled west to meet with many people, including many First Nations peoples, and was made an honorary chief of both the Six Nations and Blackfoot people. Lord and Lady Aberdeen were enthusiastic supporters of outdoor sport in Canada, and personally participated in curling, hockey and sleighing at Rideau Hall. They also contributed to the social and cultural life of the capital by hosting a variety of balls and official dinners, and the Aberdeen family often participated in theatrical performances in the ballroom at Rideau Hall. In 1893, Lord and Lady Aberdeen had a chapel built at Rideau Hall. Lord Aberdeen was invested as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in the year 1895. Ottawa’s Aberdeen Pavilion, built in 1898, was named in his honour and he presided over its opening. Lord and Lady Aberdeen participated in the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and the commemoration of various anniversaries and celebrations throughout Canada. Lord Aberdeen was also involved in the Canadian military. He conducted fleet inspections of the Canadian Navy on three different occasions and became Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards in 1898.

1901-1902 – Lord Aberdeen was President of the Highland and Agricultural Society for one year.

1906 – Lord Aberdeen was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle. Hamilton Gordon had served briefly as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1886, but returned to the post in 1906.

1911 – Lord Aberdeen was invested Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

1916 – On January 4, 1916, he was created 1st Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair.

1934 – On March 7, 1934, Lord Aberdeen in Tarland, Scotland.