Francis Bond Head
|Sir Francis Bond Head|
|6th [[Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada]]|
|Preceded by||Sir John Colborne, 1st Baron Seaton, GCB, GCMG, GCH|
|Succeeded by||Sir George Arthur, 1st Baronet KCH PC|
|Born||1 January 1793
|Died||20 July 1875
Croydon, Surrey, England
|Spouse(s)||Julia Valenza Somerville|
|Profession||Commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers|
Bond Head was an officer in the corps of Royal Engineers of British Army from 1811 to 1825; as such he earned a Waterloo Medal. Afterwards he attempted to set up a mining company in Argentina. He married 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 accompanied as her personal physician Catherine of Braganza in 1662 when she came to England to marry Charles II. His grandfather Moses Mendes married Anna Gabriella Head and took on the Head name following the death of his wife's father.
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:
- An unincorporated area northwest of Toronto in the town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, Simcoe County
- A cape on Lake Ontario in the municipality of Clarington, Regional Municipality of Durham, to the east of Toronto, which gives its name to a neighbourhood and local park west of the cape and east of the Port of Newcastle harbour.
- Three streets in the town of Oakville, Ontario named Francis, Bond, and Head. (Only Bond and Head remain.)
- Two streets in the city of St. Catharines, Ontario named 'Bond' and 'Head'. Though both streets are short, they intersect.
- The community of Frankford, on the Trent River, was named after Bond Head after he crossed the river there while travelling.
- Life of Bruce (London, 1830), a biography of Scottish traveler James Bruce
- Bruce, James, Travels (18??), an abridged version of the 1790 work, edited by F. Bond Head.
- Head, Francis Bond. (1826). Rough Notes Taken during some Rapid Journeys across the Pampas and among the Andes. Murray (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00161-8)
- The Royal Engineer, by Francis Bond Head. Published by John Murray, 1869.
- Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- Works by Francis Bond Head at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Francis Head at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Francis Bond Head at Internet Archive
- Life of Bruce, the African Traveller (1830 edition), full text at Archive.org
- Works by Francis Bond Head at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
Sir John Colborne
|Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada
Sir George Arthur
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
(of Rochester, Kent)
Francis Somerville Head
Sir John Colborne
|Chancellor of King's College
Sir George Arthur