Governors-General
of the Dominions


Governors-General of Canada
British North America
Jeffrey Amherst1760-1763
James Murray1764-1768
Guy Carleton1768-1778
Sir Frederick Haldimand1778-1786
The Lord Dorchester1786-1796
Robert Prescott1796-1807
Sir James Henry Craig1807-1811
Sir George Prevost1812-1815
Sir John Coape Sherbrooke1816-1818
The Duke of Richmond1818-1819
The Earl of Dalhousie1820-1828
Sir James Kempt1828-1830
Lord Aylmer1830-1835
Earl of Gosford1835-1837
Rebellion of Lower Canada, 1837
Sir John Colborneacting,
1837-1838
Province of Canada
Earl of Durham1838-1839
Lord Sydenham1839-1841
Lord Bagot1842-1843
Lord Metcalfe1843-1845
Earl Cathcart1846-1847
Earl of Elgin1847-1854
Sir Edmund Walker Head1854-1861
Viscount Monck1861-1867
Dominion of Canada
Viscount Monck1867-1869
Lord Lisgar1869-1872
Earl of Dufferin1872-1878
Marquess of Lorne1878-1883
Marquess of Lansdowne1883-1888
Lord Stanley1888-1893
Earl of Aberdeen1893-1898
Earl of Minto1898-1904
Earl Grey1904-1911
Duke of Connaught1911-1916
Duke of Devonshire1916-1921
Lord Byng of Vimy1921-1926
Viscount Willingdon1926-1931
Earl of Bessborough1931-1935
Lord Tweedsmuir1935-1940
Earl of Athlone1940-1946
Field Marshall Viscount Alexander1946-1952
Vincent Massey1952-1959
Major General Georges Vanier1959-1967
Roland Michener1967-1973
Jules Léger1973-1978
Edward Schreyer1978-1984
Jeanne Sauvé1984-1989
Ray Hnatyshyn1989-1995
Roméo LeBlanc1995-1999
Adrienne Clarkson1999-2005
Michaëlle Jean2005-

The list here begins with the British conquest of Canada in 1760. We transition through the changes in status of the possessions, culminating with Dominion status in 1867. Since then, the Governor-General has held a largely ceremonial and symbolic position, with real power in the hands of the elected Canadian Government and Prime Minister. We see a preference for titled nobility for many years, but in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, we start getting commoners, often chosen to make a symbolic political statement. Thus, the current Governor-General, Michaëlle Jean, is a Haitian immigrant. There is an official Canadian website for the Governor-General, with a list of previous holders of the office. There are similar websites for current Governors-General of New Zealand and Australia below.

Lieutenant-Governors of New Zealand, Governors and Governors-General of New Zealand
Captain William Hobson, RN1840-1841
under Lt.-Col. Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales, 1837-1846, and Governor-in-Chief of New Zealand, 1839-1841
Governors of New Zealand, Crown Colony
Captain William Hobson, RN1841-1842
Captain Robert Fitzroy, RN1843-1845
Captain George Grey1845-1847
Sir George GreyGovernor-in-Chief,
1848-1853
Governors of New Zealand, Self-Governing
Sir George Grey1853-1853
Colonel Thomas Gore Browne1855-1861
Sir George Grey1861-1868
Sir George Ferguson Bowen1868-1873
Sir James Fergusson, Baronet1873-1874
Marquess of Normanby1875-1879
Sir Hercules George Robert Robinson1879-1880
Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon1880-1882
Lt. General Sir William Francis Drummond Jervois1883-1889
Earl of Onslow1889-1892
Earl of Glasgow1892-1897
Earl of Ranfurly1897-1904
Lord Plunket, GCMG1904-1910
Lord Islington1910-1912
Earl of Liverpool1912-1917
Governors-General of New Zealand, Dominion
Earl of Liverpool1917-1920
Viscount Jellicoe1920-1924
General Sir Charles Fergusson, Baronet1924-1930
Viscount Bledisloe1930-1935
Viscount Galway1935-1941
Air Marshal Sir Cyril Louis Norton Newall1941-1946
Lt. General Lord Freyberg1946-1952
Lt. General Lord Norrie1952-1957
Viscount Cobham1957-1962
Brigadier Sir Bernard Fergusson1962-1967
Sir Arthur Espie Porritt1967-1972
Sir (Edward) Denis Blundell1972-1977
Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake1977-1980
Sir David Stuart Beattie1980-1985
Sir Paul Alfred Reeves1985-1990
Dame Catherine Anne Tizard1990-1996
Sir Michael Hardie Boys1996-2001
Dame Silvia Cartwright2001-2006
Anand Satyanand2006-

New Zealand began as a dependency of New South Wales in Australia. It transitioned to a colony in its own right, became self-governing, and finally joined Canada and the others as a Dominion.

Governors of New South Wales
Captain Arthur Phillip, RN1788-1792
Captain John Hunter, RN1795-1800
Captain Philip King, RN1800-1806
Captain William Bligh, RN1806-1808
Colonel William Patersonacting, 1809
Major-General Lachlan Macquarie1810-1821
Major-General Sir Thomas Brisbane1821-1825
Lieutenant-General Ralph Darling1825-1831
Major-General Sir Richard Bourke1831-1837
Sir George Gipps1838-1846
Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy1846-1855
Sir William Denison1855-1861
John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar1861-1867
Somerset Lowry-Corry, 4th Earl Belmore1868-1872
Hercules Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead1872-1879
Lord Augustus Loftus1879-1885
Charles Wynn-Carington, 3rd Baron Carrington1885-1890
Victor Albert George Child-Villiers, 7th Earl of Jersey1891-1893
Sir Robert Duff1893-1895
Henry Robert Brand, 2nd Viscount Hampden1895-1899
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp1899-1901
Admiral Sir Harry Rawson1902-1909
Frederic John Napier Thesiger, 3rd Baron Chelmsford1909-1913
Sir Gerald Strickland1913-1917
Sir Walter Davidson1918-1923
Admiral Sir Dudley de Chair1924-1930
Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Game1930-1935
Brigadier-General Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven1935-1936
Admiral Sir David Anderson1936
John de Vere Loder, 2nd Baron Wakehurst1937-1946
General Sir John Northcott1946-1957
Lieutenant-General Sir Eric Woodward1957-1965
Sir Roden Cutler1966-1981
Air Marshal Sir James Rowland1981-1989
Rear Admiral Sir David Martin1989-1990
Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair1990-1996
Gordon Samuels1996-2001
Professor Marie Bashir2001-present
Governors-General of Australia
John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun, Marquess of Linlithgow1901-1903
Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson1903-1904
Henry Northcote, 1st Baron Northcote1904-1908
William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley1908-1911
Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman1911-1914
Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson1914-1920
Henry Forster, 1st Baron Forster1920-1925
John Baird, 1st Baron Stonehaven1925-1931
Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs1931-1936
Brigadier-General Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie1936-1945
Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester1945-1947
Sir William John McKell1947-1953
Field Marshal Sir William Joseph Slim (1960, 1st Viscount Slim)1953-1960
William Morrison, 1st Viscount Dunrossil1960-1961
William Sidney, 1st Viscount De L'Isle1961-1965
Richard Gardiner Casey, Baron Casey1965-1969
Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck1969-1974
Sir John Robert Kerr1974-1977
Sir Zelman Cowen1977-1982
Sir Ninian Stephen1982-1989
William George Hayden1989-1996
Sir William Patrick Deane1996-2001
Rev. Dr Peter Hollingworth2001-2003
Major-General Michael Jeffery2003-present

The list of the Governors-General of Australia doesn't include earlier Governors of Australia because, before the creation of the Commonwealth in 1901, each of the Provinces, like New South Wales, had its own government and was a Dominion in its own right. Thus, I have given the Governors of New South Wales, the first Australian colony, above. The Governor of New South Wales is still a direct representative of Queen Elizabeth, just as the Governor-General is for all of Australia. The elected Government of New South Wales is headed by the Premier. The most famous Governor of New South Wales was certainly Captain William Bligh, of Bounty fame. Bligh made himself unpopular enough that in 1808 he was deposed from office, which is why we only get an acting Governor until 1810. Among the Governors-General, we get a member of the Royal Family, the Duke of Gloucester, and then Field Marshall Slim, who conducted the campaign that drove the Japanese out of Burma in World War II. Slim was popular with the troops, many of whom in the Theater were Australian.

Dutch East India Company, Cape Colony, Commanders, 1652-1691
Jan van Riebeek1652-1662
Zacharias Wagenaer1662-1666
Cornelis van Quaelberg1666-1668
Jacob Borghorst1668-1670
Pieter Hackius1670-1671
Albert van Breugelacting, 1672
Isbrand Goske1672-1676
Johan Bax dit van Herenthals1676-1678
Hendrik Crudop (acting)1678-1679
Simon van der Stel1679-1691
Dutch East India Company, Cape Colony, Governors, 1691-1795
Simon van der Stel1691-1699
Willem Adriaan van der Stel1699-1707
Johannes Cornelis d’Ableingacting, 1707-1708
Louis van Assenburg1708-1711
Willem Helotacting, 1711-1714
Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes1714-1724
Jan de la Fontaineacting, 1724-1727
Pieter Gijsbert Noodt1727-1729
Jan de la Fontaineacting, 1729-1737
Jan de la Fontaine1737-1737
Adriaan van Kervel1737
Daniël van den Henghelacting, 1737-1739
Hendrik Swellengrebel1739-1751
Ryk Tulbagh1751-1771
Joachim van Plettenbergacting, 1771-1774
Joachim van Plettenberg1774-1785
Cornelis Jacob van de Graaff1785-1791
Johannes Izaac Rheniusacting, 1791-1792
Sebastiaan Cornelis Nederburgh & Simon Hendrik FrijkeniusCommissioners- General, 1792-1793
Abraham Josias Sluysken1793-1795
British Governors, Cape Colony, 1797-1803
George Macartney, Earl Macartney1797-1798
Francis Dundasacting, 1798-1799, 1801-1803
Sir George Yonge1799-1801
Batavian Republic, Cape Colony, Governors, 1803-1806
Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist1803-1804
Jan Willem Janssens1803-1806
British Occupation, 1806, ceded to Britain, 1815

The Dutch ruled a colony at the Cape of Good Hope for 154 years. When France invaded the Netherlands in 1795 and installed a friendly government, the Batavian Republic, the British began to take Dutch colonies, lest they should become French naval bases. After a brief occupation, 1797-1803, and its restoration as part of the Peace of Amiens (1802-1804), the British took the colony again in 1806. At the Congress of Vienna (1815), Britain gained permanent possession of the Cape.

British Governors, Cape Colony, 1806-1910
Sir David Bairdacting, 1806-1807
Henry George Greyacting, 1807, 1811
Du Pré Alexander, 2nd Earl of Caledon1807-1811
Sir John Francis Cradock1811-1814
Robert Meadeacting, 1813-1814
Charles Somerset1814-1826
Sir Rufane Shaw Donkinacting, 1820-1821
Richard Bourkeacting, 1826-1828
Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole1828-1833
Thomas Francis Wade1833-1834, acting 1834
Benjamin d'Urban1834-1838
Sir George Thomas Napier1838-1844
Sir Peregrine Maitland1844-1847
Governor of Cape Colony & High Commissioner for Southern Africa, 1847-1910
Sir Henry Pottinger1847
Sir Harry Smith1847-1852
George Cathcart1852-1854
Charles Henry Darlingacting, 1854
Sir George Grey1854-1861
Robert Henry Wynyardacting, 1859-1860, 1861-1862
Sir Philip Edmond Wodehouse1862-1870
Charles Craufurd Hayacting, 1870
Sir Henry Barkly1870-1877
Henry Bartle Frere1877-1880
Henry Hugh Cliffordacting, 1880
Sir George Cumine Strahanacting, 1880-1881
Hercules Robinson1881-1889, 1895-1897
Sir Leicester Smythacting, 1881, 1883-1884
Sir Henry D'Oyley Torrensacting, 1886
Henry Augustus Smythacting, 1889
Henry Brougham Loch1889–1895
Sir William Gordon Cameronacting, 1891-1892, 1894
Sir William Howley Goodenoughacting, 1897
Alfred Milner1897-1901
Sir William Francis Butleracting, 1898-1899
Walter Hely-Hutchinson1901-1910
Sir Henry Jenner Scobellacting, 1909
Union of South Africa, 1910

Cape Colony became the largest unit in what later would be the Union and then the Republic of South Africa. It's capital has always been Cape Town. From Table Mountain, up above Cape Town, Sir John Herschel (1792-1871), the son of Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), the discoverer of the planet Uranus, did the first systematic astronomical survey of the southern skies. Besides the Cape, the other early British colony was the Natal, which had been founded as another Boer Republic (like those following below) in 1839, but then was annexed by Britain in 1843. Natal was relatively small, comparable in size to the Orange Free State. The principal city of Natal is Durban, which is where Mahatama Gandhi arrived in South Africa and where he practriced law until his fateful trip to Johannesburg. Cape Colony had its own elected government after 1872. The most famous Prime Minister (1890-1895) of Cape Colony was certainly Cecil Rhodes (1853–1902), who made a fortune at the diamond mines and founded the diamond company De Beers, which has maintained a near monopoly (with the help, in its day, of the Soviet Union) of the international diamond market. Rhodes was responsible for the colonization of areas north and south of the Zambezi River, named Rhodesia in 1895, which became Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Rhodes Scholarships were established by him.

Great Trek, 1836 onward
Presidents of the Orange Free State, independent 1854Presidents of the South African (Transvaal) Republic, independent 1852
Josias P. Hoffman1854-1855Marthinus Wessel PretoriusCommandant, 1853-1857
Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff1855-1859President, 1857-1863
1859-1863
Johannes Henricus Brand1864-1888Willem Cornelis Janse van Rensburg1863-1864
Marthinus Wessel Pretorius1864-1871
Thomas Francois Burgers1871-1877
British Rule, 1877-1881
First Boer War, 1880-1881
Pretorius, Kruger and Piet Joubert1881-1883
Francis William Reitz1889-1895Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger1883-1902
Marthinus Theunis Steyn1896-1902
in exile after
28 May 1900
Second Boer War, 1899-1902
Christiaan R. de Wet29-31 May 1902Schalk Willem Burgeracting, 1900-1902
British Rule, 1902-1910

The "Great Trek" took Dutch settlers, the Boers ("farmers"), out of the British controlled areas of South Africa and into the hinterland where they could be free of British rule. Before long the British acquiesced to this situation and recognized the two Boer Republics that were founded, the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (or the Transvaal). What soon complicated the situation greatly was the discovery of diamonds in 1866 and then gold in 1886. The British annexation of the first diamond areas in 1871 and then the flood of British and other settlers into the Boer states to exploit the diamonds and gold led to the two Boer Wars. The first maintained Boer independence, but the second destroyed it. Not without a great deal of trouble. In conventional terms, the Boers had been defeated by 1900, but the war dragged on as the Boers resorted to guerilla tactics. This was difficult to deal with, and the British paid a certain homage to it by adopting the name of the Boer units, "Commando," for their later special operations teams. Lord Kitchener (1850-1916) arrived fresh from the conquest of the Sudan (1898) and cut off Boer support by rounding up much of the population into what were named, in an ominous preview of the 20th century, "concentration camps." By thus forcefully including the Boers in South Africa, the British actually put them in position to later politically take over the country. The Boer Republics were thus the predecessors of the harsh Apartheid regime that endured until 1994.

Governors-General of South Africa
Viscount Gladstone1910–1914
Viscount Buxton1914–1920
Prince Arthur of Connaught1920–1924
Earl of Athlone1924–1931
Earl of Clarendon1931–1937
Sir Patrick Duncan1937–1943
Nicolaas Jacobus de Wet1943–1946
Gideon Brand van Zyl1946–1951
Ernest George Jansen1951–1959
Lucas Cornelius Steyn1959
Charles Robberts Swart1959–1961

The Union of South Africa, like Australia, was created out of previously existing states, namely the British Cape Colony and Natal, together with the Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. This came to an end in 1961 when South Africa became a Republic and left the Commonwealth, because of criticism of its racial policies.

Lords Lieutenant, Deputies, or Viceroys of Ireland
Piers Butler, 1st Earl of OssoryLord Deputy, 1528-1529
Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset1529-1534
William SkeffingtonLord Deputy, 1534-1536
Lord Leonard Grey1536-1540
Lords Justices, 1540
Anthony St LegerLord Deputy, 1540-1548
Kingdom of Ireland, 1541
Edward BellinghamLord Deputy, 1548-1549
Lords Justices, 1549-1550
Anthony St LegerLord Deputy, 1550-1551
James CroftLord Deputy, April 1551-1552
Lords Justice, 1552-1553
Anthony St LegerLord Deputy, 1553-1556
Thomas Radcliffe, Lord FitzwalterLord Deputy, 1556-1558
Lords Justice, 1558-1559
Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of SussexLord Deputy, 1559-1560, Lord Lieutenant, 1560-1565
Henry SidneyLord Deputy, 1565-1571
Catholic rebellions, 1567-1603
Lord Justice1571
William FitzwilliamLord Deputy, 1571-1575
Henry SidneyLord Deputy, 1575-1578
Lord Justice1578-1580
Arthur Grey, 14th Lord Grey de WiltonLord Deputy, 1580-1582
Lords Justice, 1582-1584
John PerrotLord Deputy, 1584-1558
William FitzwilliamLord Deputy, 1588-1594
William RussellLord Deputy, 1594-1597
Thomas Burgh, Lord BurghLord Deputy, 1597
Lords Justice, 1597-1599
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex1599
Lords Justice, 1599-1600
Charles Blount, 8th Baron MountjoyLord Deputy, 1600-1603, Lord Lieutenant, 1603-1604
Sir Arthur ChichesterLord Deputy, 1604-1615
Sir Oliver St John1615-1622
Henry Cary, 1st Viscount of FalklandLord Deputy, 1622-1629
Lords Justice, 1629-1633
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Viscount Wentworth, 1st Earl of StraffordLord Deputy, 1633-1640, Lord Lieutenant, 1640-1641
Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester1641-1643
James Butler, 1st Marquess of Ormonde1643-1646, appointed by the King
Philip Sydney, Lord Lisle1646-1647, appointed by Parliament
James Butler, 1st Marquess of Ormonde1648-1649, appointed by the King
Oliver CromwellCommander-in-Chief, 1649-1650
Henry IretonLord Deputy, 1650-1651
Charles FleetwoodCommander-in-Chief, 1652-1657
Henry CromwellLord Deputy, 1657-1658, Lord Lieutenant, 1658-1659
Edmund LudlowCommander-in-Chief, 1659-1660
George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle1660-1662
James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde1662-1668
Thomas Butler, Earl of OssoryLord Deputy, 1668-1669
John Robartes, 2nd Baron Robartes1669-1670
John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton1670-1672
Arthur Capell, 1st Earl of Essex1672-1677
James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde1677-1685
Lords Justice, 1685
Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon1685-1687
Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of TyrconnellLord Deputy, 1687-1689
King James II1689-1690
Defeated at the Boyne, 1690
King William III1690
Lords Justice, 1690-1692
Henry Sydney, 1st Viscount Sydney1692-1693
Lords Justice, 1693-1695
Henry Capell, 1st Baron CapellLord Deputy, 1695-1696
Lords Justice, 1696-1700
Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester1700-1703
James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde1703-1707
Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke1707-1708
Thomas Wharton, 1st Earl of Wharton1708-1710
James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde1710-1713
Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury1713-1714
Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland1714-1717
Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend1717
Charles Paulet, 2nd Duke of Bolton1717-1720
Charles Fitzroy, 2nd Duke of Grafton1720-1724
John Carteret, 2nd Baron Carteret1724-1730
Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset1730-1737
William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire1737-1745
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield1745-1746
William Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington1746-1750
Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset1750-1755
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire1755-1757
John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford1757-1761
George Montague-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax1761-1763
Hugh Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland1763-1765
Thomas Thynne, 3rd Viscount Weymouth1765
Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Earl of Hertford1765-1766
George William Hervey, 2nd Earl of Bristol1766-1767, did not assume office
George Townsend, 4th Viscount Townsend1767-1772
Simon Harcourt, 1st Earl Harcourt1772-1776
John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire1776-1780
Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle1780-1782
William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland1782
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 3rd Earl Temple1782-1783
Robert Henley, 2nd Earl of Northington1783-1784
Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland1784-1787
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham1787-1789
John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland1789-1794
William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 2nd Earl Fitzwilliam1794-1795
John Jeffreys Pratt, 2nd Earl Camden1795-1798
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis1798-1801
Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of HardwickeLord Lieutenant, 1801-1805
United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland, Irish Parliament abolished, 1801
Edward Clive, 1st Earl of Powis1805-1806, never took office
John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford1806-1807
Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond1807-1813
Charles Whitworth, 1st Viscount Whitworth1813-1817
Charles Chetwynd Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot1817-1821
Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley1821-1828
Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey1828-1829
Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland1829-1830
Catholic Emancipation, 1829
Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey1830-1833
Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley1833-1835
Thomas Hamilton, 9th Earl of Haddington1835
Constantine Henry Phipps, 6th Earl of Mulgrave1835-1839
Hugh Fortescue, Viscount Ebrington1839-1841
Thomas Philip de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey1841-1844
William ŕ Court, 1st Baron Heytesbury1844-1846
John William Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough1846-1847
George William Frederick Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon1847-1852
Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton1852-1853
Edward Granville Eliot, 3rd Earl of St Germans1853-1855
George William Frederick Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle1855-1858
Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton1858-1859
George William Frederick Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle1859-1864
John Wodehouse, 3rd Baron Wodehouse1864-1866
James Hamilton, 2nd Marquess of Abercorn1866-1868
John Poyntz Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer1868-1874
James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn1874-1876
John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough1876-1880
Francis Thomas de Grey Cowper, 7th Earl Cowper1880-1882
John Poyntz Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer1882-1885
Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon1885-1886
John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, 7th Earl of Aberdeen1886
Charles Stewart Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 6th Marquess of Londonderry1886-1889
Lawrence Dundas, 3rd Earl of Zetland1889-1892
Robert Offley Ashburton Milnes, 2nd Baron Houghton1892-1895
George Henry Cadogan, 5th Earl Cadogan1895-1902
William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley1902-1905
John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, 7th Earl of Aberdeen1905-1915
Ivor Churchill Guest, 2nd Baron Wimborne1915-1918
John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Viscount French of Ypres1918-1921
Edmund Fitzalan-Howard, 1st Viscount Fitzalan of Derwent1921-1922
Ireland Partitioned into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, 1922

King Henry II of England became Lord of Ireland in 1175. The country was then ruled, in the absence of the King, by the Lord Lieutenant, or the Lord Deputy, or, in their absence, the Lords Justice, i.e. the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, and the Archbishop of Armagh, the Primate of Ireland for the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. The Lords Lieutenant, despite the shortness one will notice in their terms of office, were often not in residence. Some, as noted, never took up the office. Nevertheless, the Lord Lieutenant represented English rule in Ireland, and was the tip of a pyramid of English government which functioned effectively enough with or without his presence. The list of the Lords Lieutenants and Deputies (entirely, I'm affraid, from Wikipedia) begin shortly before Henry VIII made himself King of Ireland (1541). This became part of the process by which the government became Protestant and increasing disabilities were imposed on the Catholic population of the country. Noteworthy in the course of this history was the descent of Oliver Cromwell on the land. Previous rebellions of Irish nobility has resulted in exile for many of them. I believe that Cromwell all but exterminated the remaining Catholic nobility. By then, Catholics could not hold office or even own land. As in England, the Catholic Church was officially outlawed and Catholic worship prohibitted. These measures held the country, not only in a constant state of disaffection and simmering revolt, but it also prevented much in the way of economic development, so that a Mediaeval poverty persisted, such as Scotland was escaping by the end of the 18th century. Unfortunately, a foodstuff that enabled the population to expand, the potato, led to a Famine when a blight began to destroy the potato crops in 1845. Much of the population either died or left the country, many emigrating to America. After Catholic Emancipation in 1829, the principal goal of Irish politics was independence. When this was accomplished, the Protestants in the North wanted nothing to do with it. So the country was partitioned.

Governors-General of the Irish Free State
Tim Healy1922–1927
James McNeill1928–1932
Domhnall Ua Buachalla1932–1936

That Ireland had a Governor-General at all, as a Dominion, was a political compromise that really pleased no one. The Irish Republican Army assassinated Michael Collins over it. The history of the office was thus brief and contentious, until Ireland declared itself a Republic. Since that was in 1938, the office seems to have been vacant for a couple of years.

Northern Ireland, 1922-1973
GovernorsPrime Ministers
James Albert Edward Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn1922-1945Sir James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon1921-1940
John Miller Andrews1940-1943
Basil Stanlake Brooke, 1st Viscount Brookeborough1943-1963
William Spencer Leveson-Gower, 4th Earl Granville1945-1952
John de Vere Loder, 2nd Baron Wakehurst1952-1964
John Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine of Rerrick1964-1968Terence Marne O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of the Maine1963-1969
Ralph Francis Alnwick Grey, Baron Grey of Naunton1968-1973James Dawson Chichester-Clark, Baron Moyola1969-1971
Arthur Brian Deane Faulkner, Baron Faulkner of Downpatrick1971-1972
Government of Northern Ireland suspended

Although the Irish Republic has five times the area of Northern Ireland, as of 1962 it had barely twice the population (2,960,593 to 1,384,100). The North, with a bare Protestant majority, thus was more densely populated and economically much more developed. Belfast was an industrial center comparable to the cities of Britain. At the same time, it was mainly Protestants who participated in that development, and their majority enbled them, not just to dominate, but to humiliate the Catholic minority. Since many Catholics got the idea, thanks to Marxism, that they were poor because of the political dominance of the Protestants, a "civil rights" movement in 1968 soon led to the "Troubles," which meant terrorist bombings and other violence. This spilled over into England itself. The British responded first with military occupation to protect Catholics from the Protestant police force, but then, when the Irish Republican Army turned on the British, to put down the Catholics themselves. The measures adopted included suspension of many civil rights, indefinite detentions, and I doubt we even know what all else. The Government of Northern Ireland, dominated by the Protestants, itself was suspended in 1972, but the violence continued for decades afterwards. Things have quieted down by now, but negotiations and agreements are ongoing. The welcome and surprising economic development of the Irish Republic itself since the early 1990's now illuminates the truth that the Catholics even in Northern Ireland might have taken responsibility for their own economic development in the first place. The Protestants might not have been sharing their pie, but then it was their pie. Catholics needed to get their own. It is still unclear whether everyone understands this even now.


The only sources I have found for the lists on this page have been in Wikipedia and some other webpages. Despite reading conventional histories for decades, it is only recently that such scholarship has bothered giving basic information like lists of rulers or office holders. Now, thanks to the Internet, the resources of more specialized and detailed historical material become widely available. Exit this page by closing its window. There are no off-page links here.

Copyright (c) 2007 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved