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Sir Charles Alexander Harris KCMG CB CVO (28 June 1855, Wrexham, Wales – 26 March 1947) was a British colonial administrator, Governor of Newfoundland from 1917 to 1922.

Sir Charles Alexander Harris

Governor of Newfoundland
In office
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterEdward Morris
John Chalker Crosbie
William F. Lloyd
Michael Patrick Cashin
Richard Squires
Preceded byWalter Edward Davidson
Succeeded byWilliam Allardyce
Personal details
Born28 June 1855
Died26 March 1947 (1947-03-27) (aged 91)
RelationsStanley Harris (son)
Alma materChrist's College, Cambridge

Harris spent much of his first ten years in St. John's, Newfoundland after his father, the Rev. George Poulett Harris, moved to the island when Charles was a young boy. Harris began his schooling in Newfoundland before returning to England[1] where he attended Richmond School in Yorkshire.[2]

Harris graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge in 1878[3] and qualified for the bar at Lincoln's Inn. He began his career as a clerk in the Colonial Office in 1879.

From 1896 to 1899, he worked on a Boundary Arbitration between British Guiana and Venezuela, for which he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1900 New Year Honours list on 1 January 1900,[4][5] and was invested by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 1 March 1900.[6] From 1901 to 1904 he worked on another boundary commission between British Guiana and Brazil.[7]

Harris became Chief Clerk of the Colonial Office in 1917. The same year, he was knighted and appointed governor of Newfoundland. Harris wrote essays on the history of Newfoundland and was a contributor to the Dictionary of National Biography. He was offered the position of Governor-General of Australia but turned it down in favour of retiring from the colonial service in 1922 at the end of his term as Governor of Newfoundland.[2]

In 1928 he edited for the Hakluyt Society Robert Harcourt's A Relation of a Voyage to Guiana by Robert Harcourt 1613.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Harris, Charles Alexander (HRS874CA)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. ^ "New Year Honours". The Times (36027). London. 1 January 1900. p. 9.
  5. ^ "No. 27150". The London Gazette. 2 January 1900. p. 2.
  6. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36079). London. 2 March 1900. p. 6.
  7. ^ a b Sir C. Alexander Harris, ed., A Relation of a Voyage to Guiana by Robert Harcourt 1613 (Hakluyt Society, 1928), p. 1

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Preceded by
Sir Walter Davidson
Governor of Newfoundland
Succeeded by
Sir William Allardyce