Biography of Tweedsmuir of Elsfield, baron - Archontology
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Tweedsmuir of Elsfield, baron

John Buchan

b. 26 Aug 1875, Perth, Perthshire, Scotland
d. 11 Feb 1940, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Title: Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada = Gouverneur général et Commandant en chef du Canada
Term: 2 Nov 1935 - 11 Feb 1940
Chronology: 10 Aug 1935, appointed by Commission under the Royal Sign Manual and Signet
  2 Nov 1935, oath of allegiance, oath of office and oath of Keeper of the Great Seal of Canada taken, Legislative Council Chamber, Parliament Buildings (Hôtel du Parlement), Québec City, Québec [1]
  11 Feb 1940, died [2]
Names/titles: 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield, in the County of Oxford [from 1 Jun 1935]

A clergyman's son, John Buchan published six books of fiction, poetry and history while an Oxford undergraduate. He was briefly an administrator in South Africa, a political journalist and tax lawyer. The books that he wrote, including The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) and Lord Minto (1924), gave him a creative outlet and a comfortable income. During World War I, Buchan was a correspondent for the London Times in France before becoming Director of Information under Lord Beaverbrook in 1917. He held many positions including the president of the Scottish Historical Society, trustee of the National Library of Scotland, and director of publishing company Thomas Nelson and Son (1906-1929). He was returned to U.K. Parlamient as Unionist/Conservative member representing Scottish Universities (1927-1935), but was too lacking in partisan fervor for a Cabinet post. Prior to his appointment as Governor General Buchan was raised to the peerage as Baron Tweedsmuir. Horrified by World War I, Baron Tweedsmuir supported peace initiatives of the US President Franklin Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, with whom Tweedsmuir forged strong links. He travelled throughout Canada, including the Arctic Circle, and instituted the Governor General's Literary Awards in 1937. Appointed U.K. Privy Council (28 May 1937). During the term of Tweedsmuir as governor general, King George VI visited Canada (1939) it was the first visit to Canada by a reigning Sovereign.

[1] Canada Gazette, 2 Nov 1935, Extra, pp. (1)-2; Globe and Mail, No. 26,790, 4 Nov 1935, pp. (1), 5.
[2] Globe and Mail, No. 28,128, Metropolitan Edition, 12 Feb 1940, p. (1).
[3] The Canadian encyclopedia: year 2000 edition. McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto.
  Image: photograph attributed to Yousuf Karsh, National Archives of Canada.