Gosford, Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of

Archibald Acheson Gosford, 2nd Earl of, colonial administrator (b in Ire 1 Aug 1776; d at Markethill, Ire 27 Mar 1849). Scion of a prominent Anglo-Irish family, he was an outspoken opponent of the Orange Order and strongly supported a policy of conciliation in Ireland. After a parliamentary career he was appointed governor general of British North America in 1835 and placed in charge of a commission of inquiry into the crisis in Lower Canada. A number of its recommendations were embodied in the Russell Resolutions in 1837.

From 1835 to 1837 Gosford vainly sought to satisfy the Assembly of Lower Canada without alienating the colony's anglophone minority, but his efforts at conciliation did divide the Patriote Party and helped limit the support given the Rebellions of 1837. He resigned in November 1837, after violence began, and finally left Canada for England in February the following year. His tragedy was that he had been sent to govern Lower Canada at a time when a peaceful solution to the crisis there was no longer possible.