Acheson Gosford Irvine | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Acheson Gosford Irvine

Acheson Gosford Irvine, soldier, police officer, prison warden (b at Québec C 7 Dec 1837; d there 9 Jan 1916). The third commissioner of the NWMP, Irvine's reputation was ruined by the North-West Resistance.

A businessman active in the militia, he served with the Quebec Rifles on the Red River Expedition . He remained in Manitoba in command of the Provisional Battalion of Rifles until he joined the police in 1875. As assistant commissioner (1876-80) and commissioner (1880-86), he was responsible for policing the Indigenous nations while they were settled on reserves. His warnings that the harsh Indigenous settlement policy could lead to rebellion were ignored. When the North-West Resistance broke out in 1885, he led a column of police to Prince Albert where he remained until the end of the fighting. His inaction was widely criticized and he resigned. Subsequently, he was warden of Stony Mountain Penitentiary (1892-1913) and Kingston Penitentiary (1913-14).