Charles Monck, 4th Viscount Monck

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The Viscount Monck

Charles Stanley Monck.png
The Viscount Monck in 1880.
1st Governor General of Canada
In office
1 July 1867 – 14 November 1868[1]
Prime MinisterCanadian: John A. Macdonald
British: Earl of Derby
Benjamin Disraeli
Preceded byhimself, as Governor General of the Province of Canada
Succeeded byThe Lord Lisgar
Personal details
Charles Stanley Monck

(1819-10-10)10 October 1819
Templemore, Ireland
Died29 November 1894(1894-11-29) (aged 75)
Enniskerry, Ireland
Lady Elizabeth Monck
(m. 1844; her death 1892)
RelationsCharles Monck, 1st Viscount Monck (grandfather)
Henry Monck, 1st Earl of Rathdowne (uncle)

Charles Stanley Monck, 4th Viscount Monck GCMG PC (10 October 1819 – 29 November 1894) was a British politician who served as the last Governor-General of the Province of Canada and the first Governor General of Canada after Canadian Confederation. Prior to Confederation he was concurrently Lieutenant Governor of both Canada West and Canada East.

Early life[edit]

The Viscount Monck in 1868

Charles Stanley Monck was born in Templemore, Ireland on 10 October 1819, which was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at the time. He was the son of Charles Monck, 3rd Viscount Monck, and his wife Bridget née Willington.[2]

His paternal grandparents were Charles Monck, 1st Viscount Monck and the former Anne Quin. After his uncle, Henry Monck, 1st Earl of Rathdowne, died without male heirs (but was father to nine girls),[3] his earldom became extinct and the viscountcy was inherited by his father who became the 3rd Viscount. His maternal grandparents were John Willington of Killoskehan Castle in Barnane, and the former Bridget Butler (daughter of Theobald Butler of Knocka Castle in Drom).[3]


Monck obtained a law degree from Trinity College, Dublin. He married his cousin Elizabeth Monck in 1844, and in 1849 he inherited his father's title of Viscount Monck. In 1852 he was elected MP for Portsmouth, and from 1855 to 1858 he served as Lord of the Treasury under Lord Palmerston.

Governor General of Canada[edit]

In 1861, he was appointed Governor General of British North America as well as Governor of the Province of Canada. Lord and Lady Monck and their children came to Canada, but they did not remain throughout his term of office as Governor General of Canada. The family resided at Spencerwood in Quebec during most of their stay in Canada.

During this time, the Canadian colonies were beginning to organise themselves into a confederation. The American Civil War had just broken out, and the Trent Affair caused diplomatic tension between the United States and Britain. The Canadian government was eager to gain some measure of independence during this turbulent period. The Quebec Conference, the Charlottetown Conference, and the London Conference, at which the details of confederation were discussed, all took place during Monck's time as governor. Monck supported the idea, and worked closely with John A. Macdonald, George Brown, George-Étienne Cartier, and Étienne-Paschal Taché, who formed the "Great Coalition" in 1864.

In 1866, Viscount Monck became a peer with the title Baron Monck. When the Canadian colonies became a semi-independent confederation the next year, Monck became the country's first Governor General. Monck was also responsible for establishing Rideau Hall as the residence of the Governor General in Ottawa.

Later life[edit]

In 1869, Monck was succeeded by John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar. He returned home to Ireland, where he became Lord Lieutenant of Dublin in 1874.

Personal life[edit]

Lady Elizabeth Louise Mary Monck by William Notman

On 23 June 1844, he married Lady Elizabeth Louise Mary Monck, his first cousin and the daughter of his uncle Henry, the 2nd Viscount, who had been made Earl of Rathdowne in 1822. Together, they were the parents of two sons and two daughters:[4]

Lady Monck died in June 1892, aged 78. He died in November 1894, aged 75.[5]


  1. ^ Office of the Governor General of Canada. "History > Former Governors General > The Viscount Monck". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  2. ^ The Peerage – Bridget Willingtone.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Monck, Viscount (I, 1801)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  4. ^ Morgan, Henry James, ed. (1903). Types of Canadian Women and of Women who are or have been Connected with Canada. Toronto: Williams Briggs. p. 244.
  5. ^ Monet, Jacques (1990). "Monck, Charles Stanley, 4th Viscount Monck". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. XII (1891–1900) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir George Staunton, Bt
Francis Baring
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth
With: Francis Baring
Succeeded by
Sir James Dalrymple-Horn-Elphinstone
Francis Baring
Political offices
Preceded by
Lord Alfred Hervey
Lord Elcho
Junior Lord of the Treasury
Succeeded by
Lord Henry Lennox
Thomas Edward Taylor
Henry Whitmore
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Edmund Walker Head, Bt
Governor General of (the Province of) Canada
Position abolished
Captain General and Governor in Chief of Canada
Position abolished
Lieutenant Governor of Canada West
Succeeded by
Henry William Stisted
Lieutenant Governor of Canada East
Succeeded by
Sir Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau
New office Governor General of Canada
Succeeded by
The Lord Lisgar
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Howth
Lord Lieutenant of Dublin
Succeeded by
Ion Hamilton
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Charles Monck
Baron Monck
Succeeded by
Henry Monck
Preceded by
Charles Monck
Viscount Monck
Succeeded by
Henry Monck
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Monck
Succeeded by
Henry Monck