Francis Bond Head

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Sir Francis Bond Head
Francis Bond Head.jpg
6th [[Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada]]
In office
Monarch William IV
Preceded by Sir John Colborne, 1st Baron Seaton, GCB, GCMG, GCH
Succeeded by Sir George Arthur, 1st Baronet KCH PC
Personal details
Born 1 January 1793
Higham, Kent
Died 20 July 1875(1875-07-20) (aged 82)
Croydon, Surrey, England
Spouse(s) Julia Valenza Somerville
Profession Commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers
Religion Anglican

Sir Francis Bond Head, 1st Baronet KCH PC (1 January 1793 – 20 July 1875), known as "Galloping Head", was Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada during the rebellion of 1837.


Bond Head was a soldier in the British Army from 1811 to 1825, and afterwards attempted to set up a mining company in Argentina. He married Lady Bond Head (the former Julia Valenza Somerville) in 1816, and they eventually had four children.

Bond Head was born to parents James Roper Mendes Head and Frances Anne Burgess. He was descended from Spanish Jew Fernando Mendes, who was accompanied by Catherine of Braganza in 1662. His grandfather Moses Mendes married Anna Gabriella Head and took on the Head name following the death of his wife's father.

Sir Francis Bond Head in 1873, aged 80.

Bond Head was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada in 1835 in an attempt by the British government to appease the reformers in the colony, such as William Lyon Mackenzie, who wanted responsible government. He appointed reformer Robert Baldwin to the Executive Council, though this appointment was opposed by the more radical Mackenzie. In any case he ignored Baldwin's advice, and Baldwin resigned; the Legislative Assembly of the 12th Parliament of Upper Canada then refused to pass any money bills, so Bond Head dissolved the government. In the subsequent election campaign, he appealed to the United Empire Loyalists of the colony, proclaiming that the reformers were advocating American republicanism. The Conservative party, led by the wealthy landowners known as the "Family Compact", won the election to the 13th Parliament of Upper Canada, and thus the Reformers were disenfranchised.

In December 1837, Mackenzie led a brief and bungled rebellion in Toronto. Bond Head sent the colonial militia to put down the rebellion, which they did within four days. In response to the rebellion, Britain replaced Bond Head as Lieutenant-Governor with Sir George Arthur then Lord Durham. Bond Head returned to England and settled down to write books and essays.

In later life Bond Head lived at Duppas Hall, overlooking Duppas Hill in Croydon, where he organised protests against the proposed outlawing of horse-riding in the area. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1867.


Several places in Ontario are named for Bond Head:



External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Colborne
Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada
Succeeded by
Sir George Arthur
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
(of Rochester, Kent)
Succeeded by
Francis Somerville Head
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir John Colborne
Chancellor of King's College
Succeeded by
Sir George Arthur