The office of Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island came into being in 1786, when the government of William Pitt adopted the idea that Prince Edward Island (then St. John's Island), along with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, should have as their respective governors a single individual. The earlier post of Governor of St. John's Island thus came to be occupied by the overreaching authority of the governor-in-chief, who was represented in the colony by a lieutenant. The modern incarnation of the office, however, was established in 1873, upon Prince Edward Island's entry into Confederation. Since that date, 27 lieutenant governors have served the province, amongst whom were notable firsts, such as Marion Loretta Reid – the first female lieutenant governor of the province – and Joseph Alphonsus Bernard – the first lieutenant governor of Acadian ancestry. The shortest mandate by a Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island was William Cleaver Francis Robinson, from 1 July 1873 to 4 July 1874, while the longest was Thomas William Lemuel Prowse, from 4 October 1950 to 31 March 1958.