Colborne, Sir John, 1st Baron Seaton

Sir John Colborne, 1st Baron Seaton, soldier, colonial administrator (b at Lyndhurst, Eng 16 Feb 1778; d at Torquay, Eng 17 Apr 1863). Colborne entered the British army in 1794 and distinguished himself at Waterloo (1815). From 1821 to 1828 he was lieutenant-governor of Guernsey and on 3 November 1828 assumed office as lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada.

Colborne vigorously promoted public works and immigration and saw the colony's population increase by 50% between 1830 and 1833. Yet by showing considerable favouritism to the newer immigrants from Britain and diverting public funds in unpopular ways, he contributed to the popular unrest that culminated in the reform victory in the 1834 election and ultimately in the Upper Canadian REBELLION OF 1837.

Early in 1836 Colborne was recalled as lieutenant-governor but placed in command of the British forces in the Canadas. He personally led his troops in suppressing the 1837 insurrection in Lower Canada. He briefly acted as governor general from Nov 1838, until he was officially gazetted mid-December 1839. He crushed the second rebellion which erupted in Lower Canada in November 1838 with great severity. In October 1839 he returned to Britain and was elevated to the House of Lords, where he spoke against the Act uniting the Canadas. He was lord high commissioner of the Ionian Islands 1843-49 and commander of the forces in Ireland 1855-60.