Thomas Baillie

Thomas Baillie, soldier, administrator (b at Hanwell, Eng 4 Oct 1796; d at Boulogne, France 20 May 1863).

Baillie, Thomas

Thomas Baillie, soldier, administrator (b at Hanwell, Eng 4 Oct 1796; d at Boulogne, France 20 May 1863). After a stint in the British infantry, Baillie secured an appointment as commissioner of crown lands and surveyor general of New Brunswick in 1824, and for 2 decades he was at the centre of controversy in that province.

Required to collect taxes from the expanding TIMBER TRADE, Baillie gave wide powers to loosely controlled subordinates in enforcing what were regarded as tyrannical regulations. Arrogant and ostentatious, he soon antagonized local politicians and timber traders. He even circumvented the governors and came to be seen as representing all that was wrong with the colonial system.

Eventually the united effort of his opponents forced the British to curtail his powers in 1837. Undaunted, Baillie continued to fight for executive control of development. Personal bankruptcy in 1839 should have finished him, but he recovered, was elected to the Assembly in 1846, and became a member of the Executive Council. Compelled to resign in 1848, he remained surveyor general until 1851, when he retired to England.