Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford

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The Earl of Guilford

1st Governor of British Ceylon
In office
12 October 1798 – 19 July 1805
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded byRobert Andrews
(as Resident and Superintendent of British Ceylon)
Succeeded byThomas Maitland
Personal details
Born(1766-02-07)7 February 1766
Died14 October 1827(1827-10-14) (aged 61)
RelationsFrederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (father)

Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford GCMG FRS (7 February 1766 – 14 October 1827), styled The Honourable Frederick North until 1817, was a British politician and colonial administrator.

Early Life and education[edit]

North was a younger son of Prime Minister Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (usually referred to as Lord North). He was educated at Eton College (1775–82) and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1791, he converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church and became an ardent adherent.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1794.[2]



He represented Banbury in Parliament from 1792 to 1794.

Governor of Ceylon[edit]

He served as first British Governor of Ceylon from 1798 to 1805. North proclaimed in 1801 that all rajakariya (royal service) was abolished and replaced it with a tax of one-fifth of their produce on low land and one-tenth on high land. North built his official residence, the Doric Bungalow, near the Mannar Sea according to his own plan; he himself used to supervise the pearl fishery, which at that time provided a substantial income for the British. North declared himself head of the salagama caste and appointed Robert Arbuthnot head of the karava caste; the Judicial Charter limited the governor's autocracy by establishing the Supreme Court and High Court of Appeal.[3]

In 1817 he succeeded his elder brother as fifth Earl of Guilford.

Ionian Academy[edit]

In 1824 North established the Ionian Academy on the island of Corfu, which was under British control as part of the United States of the Ionian Islands. It was the first University to be established in modern Greece. In this context, he financed the studies in France (at Ecole polytechnique ) of Giovanni Carandino, the founder of the modern Greek mathematics. The academy has now closed but a statue of the Earl stands on the island. A library and a street are also named after him.[4]


Lord Guilford died unmarried in October 1827, aged 61, and was succeeded in his titles by his cousin Francis.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Fellow Details". Royal Society. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Miller (1966), p. 123.


External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Lord North
Member of Parliament for Banbury
Succeeded by
William Holbech
Government offices
Preceded by
New office
Governor of Ceylon
Succeeded by
Thomas Maitland
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Francis North
Earl of Guilford
Succeeded by
Francis North