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Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford

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.

Archibald Acheson
2nd Earl of Gosford
GG-Archibald Acheson.jpg
PredecessorArthur Acheson, 1st Earl of Gosford
SuccessorArchibald Acheson, 3rd Earl of Gosford
Born(1776-08-01)1 August 1776
Markethill, County Armagh
Died27 March 1849(1849-03-27) (aged 72)


Born 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.[1]


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. [2]

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.

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).

He died in 1849. He had married Mary Sparrow, the daughter and heiress of Robert Sparrow of Worlingham Hall, Suffolk, with whom he had a son and four daughters. His son succeeded him as Archibald Acheson, 3rd Earl of Gosford[1]

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.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "ACHESON, Hon. Archibald (1776–1849), of Market Hill, co. Armagh". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  2. ^ Browning 1901.
  3. ^ "Some Significant events in Gosford History". Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.


External linksEdit