Francis Cockburn

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Sir Francis Cockburn (/ˈkkbərn/; 10 November 1780 – 24 August 1868) served in the British Army, played an important role in the early settlement of eastern Canada and was a colonial administrator.

Cockburn was born in England in 1780. He was the fifth and last son of Sir James Cockburn, 8th Baronet (1729–1804) and his second wife Augusta Anne Ayscough. His maternal grandfather was Francis Ayscough, Dean of Bristol and royal tutor.

He joined the 7th Dragoon Guards at the age of 19 and served in South America and the Iberian Peninsula. He arrived in Canada in 1811 as a captain in the Canadian Fencibles and fought in the War of 1812. He served with the Quartermaster-General for Upper Canada at York and Kingston. In 1815, he became assistant quartermaster-general for Upper Canada and assisted in settling immigrants near Perth in the Bathurst District.

In 1818, he became deputy quartermaster-general for Upper and Lower Canada. He helped establish military settlements at Perth, Richmond, Lanark, the Bay of Quinte, Glengarry County and on the Saint-François River in Lower Canada. He also founded a village at Franktown, Ontario. In 1819, he accompanied the Duke of Richmond on the tour of Perth and Richmond which led to the Duke's death.

He returned to England in 1823. During his time there, he helped establish the price of lands for properties in Upper Canada and provided advice on the best locations for settlement in the region.

He served as superintendent of British Honduras from 1830 to 1837 and governor of the Bahamas from 1837 to 1844. He was knighted in 1841. He reached the rank of general in 1860. He died at Dover, England in 1868.

Cockburn Town, the largest settlement on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, was named after him, as was Cockburn Island in Ontario.

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Government offices
Preceded by
Alexander MacDonald
Superintendent of British Honduras
Succeeded by
Alexander MacDonald
Preceded by
William Macbean George Colebrooke
Governor of the Bahamas
Succeeded by
George Mathew
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir John Bell
Colonel of the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
John ffolliott Crofton