Biography of Connaught, Duke of - Archontology
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Connaught, Duke of

Arthur William Patrick Albert

b. 1 May 1850, London, England
d. 16 Jan 1942, Bagshot Park, Surrey, England

Title: Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of Canada = Gouverneur général et Commandant en chef du Dominion du Canada
Term: 13 Oct 1911 - 11 Nov 1916
Chronology: 6 Mar 1911, appointed by Commission under the Royal Sign Manual and Signet [1]
  13 Oct 1911, 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 [2]
  11 Nov 1916, appointment superseded by the Commission of a successor effective on taking the prescribed oaths
Names/titles: Baptised (22 Jun 1850): Arthur William Patrick Albert; nobility title (by birth): Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert; nobility titles (conferred): 1st Duke of Connaught and of Strathearn, 1st Earl of Essex [from 24 May 1874]; family and dynastic name Windsor established by the Royal Proclamation of 17 Jul 1917
The third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Consort Albert; was educated privately before; attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich (1866-1868); commissioned lieutenant in the Corps of Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery (1868); spent a year with the first battalion of the Rifle Brigade in Montréal during the Red River Rebellion (1870); promoted to captain (1871) in the Prince Consort's Rifle Brigade; introduced and took his seat in the UK Privy Council (16 May 1871); promoted to the honorary rank of colonel (1871), as a substantive major (1874); made personal aide-de-camp to the Queen (1876); promoted to lieutenant-colonel (1876), colonel (1880), major-general (1880); commanded the Brigade of Guards in the Egyptian War of 1882; was present at the battles of Mahuta and Tel-el-Kebir; moved to India where he held the Bombay command (1886-1890); promoted to lieutenant-general (1889), to full general (1893); hoped to succeed his first cousin, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, as Commander-in-Chief of the British army (1895), but the office was abolished in the general reconstruction of national defence system; was given command of the southern district of Aldershot (1893-1898); promoted to field marshal (1902); held various military appointments, notably Commander-in-Chief in Ireland (1900-1904), inspector general of the forces (1904-1907), and Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean (1907-1909); served as Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada (1911-1916); took his nominal position as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Militia more seriously than he ought, particularly during World War I; his advice, opinions and insistence on being consulted about the details of war administration created considerable tension between him and the minister of militia, and stretched his constitutional position and the patience of Prime Minister Robert L. Borden to the limit; after his term as governor general, he returned to military service for the remainder of the war; presided over various state functions over the years and finally withdrew from public life in 1928.
Biographical sources: Canadian Encyclopedia; The Times, No. 49,136, Late London Edition, 17 Jan 1942, pp. 2, 4 (obituary).

[1] Sessional Papers, No. 83, pp. 1-2.
[2] Canada Gazette, 13 Oct 1911, Extra, pp. (1)-2; The Globe, No. 19,259, 14 Oct 1911, pp. (1), 3.
  Image: photograph of Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert; photographer: W. & D. Downey, c. 1910.