Monck, Charles Stanley (DNB01)

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MONCK, Sir CHARLES STANLEY, fourth Viscount Monck in the Irish peerage, and first Baron Monck in the peerage of the United Kingdom (1819–1894), first governor-general of the dominion of Canada, was born at Templemore, in the county of Tipperary, on 10 Oct. 1819, being the eldest son of Charles Joseph Kelly Monck, third Viscount Monck of Ballytrammon, by Bridget, youngest daughter of John Willington of Killoskehane in the county of Tipperary. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he graduated B.A. at the summer commencements of 1841, and was called to the Irish bar at King's Inn in June of the same year. On 20 April 1849 he succeeded as fourth viscount in the Irish peerage.

In 1848 he unsuccessfully contested the county of Wicklow in the liberal interest, but four years later entered the House of Commons as member for Portsmouth (July 1852); On the resignation or Lord Aberdeen's ministry in 1855 he became a lord of the treasury in Lord Palmerston's government (7 March 1855). His term of office lasted three years, until March 1858, when the Earl of Derby formed a ministry. Monck was defeated at Portsmouth in the general election of 1859.

On 28 Oct. 1861 he was appointed by Lord Palmerston captain-general and governor-in-chief of Canada, and governor-general of British North America. Scarcely had he entered on his duties in the month following when there came the news of the 'Trent affair,' which for a time threatened to embroil England and the United States in a war. Diplomacy, however, dispelled the cloud, and the local irritation was calmed by Monck's patience and firmness. A more serious trouble arose in 1864, when certain confederates, having found refuge in Canada during the American civil war, plotted to turn their asylum into a basis for petty attacks on the United States, e.g. seizing vessels on the lakes, attacking defenceless ports, breaking open prisons as at Detroit, robbing banks as at St. Albans. By patrolling his frontier from point to point, and setting small armed craft on the lakes, Monck diligently guarded his long boundary line of two thousand miles, kept the peace between the nations, and received the approbation of the imperial authorities (1864). But his exertions were not so highly appreciated in the United States. Immediately after the 'St. Albans affair,' General Dix put forth a proclamation threatening reprisals (4 Dec. 1864). Next year the Republic denounced the reciprocity treaty of 1854 for other than commercial reasons, and suffered, if she did not encourage, the attempts of the Fenians against British North America. Once more the militia were called forth and the frontier patrolled. At the Niagara peninsula some nine hundred Fenian marauders made an inroad into Canadian territory and were repulsed with considerable loss by the militia on 2 June 1866. Difficulties with the United States continued during the greater part of Monck's term of office, but his government also synchronised with the formation of the federated dominion of Canada.

In 1864 Monck had welcomed a proposition emanating from George Brown [q. v. Suppl.], for the introduction into Canada of a federal constitution (memorandum of Lord Monck, 15 June 1864). The governor took an active interest in the conferences on the subject held at Charlottetown and Quebec (1864), and in the conduct of the Quebec resolutions, which embodied the federal constitution, through the local houses of parliament (1865). He likewise brought his influence to bear in favour of union on the lieutenant-governors of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In the autumn of 1866 he came to England, as well to assist at the Westminster conference as to advise the imperial authorities, Sir John Michel administering affairs in his absence. On 4 June following his appointment was renewed under 30 Vict. cap. 3, and his title declared to be Governor-general of the Dominion of Canada. In accordance with the terms of Queen Victoria's proclamation he took the oath of office and constituted the privy council of Canada on 1 July 1867. Having thus inaugurated the federation successfully, the governor-general resigned office on 13 Nov. 1868. He left Canada the next day.

On 12 July 1866 he was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Monck of Bally trammon in the county of Wexford. He received the honour of the grand cross of St. Michael and St. George on 23 June, and was called to the privy council on 7 Aug. 1869. Trinity College, Dublin, bestowed on him the degree of LL.D. in 1870.

After his return to Ireland, where he had been a commissioner of charitable donations and bequests in 1851, he was appointed a member of the Church Temporalities and National Education commissions (1871). He continued to administer the former till 1881. In the following year he was chosen, with Mr. Justice O'Hagan and Mr. Litton, to carry out the provisions of the new Irish Land Acts, and sat on the commission until 1884. From 1874 to 1892 he held the office of lord-lieutenant and custos rotulorum in and for the county of Dublin. He died on 29 Nov. 1894. On 22 July 1844 Monck married his cousin, Elizabeth Louisa Mary (d. 16 June 1892), fourth daughter of Henry Stanley Monck, earl of Rathdowne. By her he had issue two sons, of whom the elder, Henry Power, succeeded to the peerage, and two daughters.

[Taylor's Port. of Brit. Amer. i. 1–14; Dent's Can. Port. Gall. iv. 162–3; Foster's Peerage, p. 470; Burke's Peerage, p. 1025; Cat. of Grad. Dublin Univ.; Hansard, vols. cxxxvii. cxlviii.; J. E. Coté's Pol. Appoint. i. 30–4; Johns Hopkins Univ. Stud. Neut. of the Lakes, 16th ser. Nos. 1–4, 137–65; Miss Frances Monck's My Canadian Leaves, 1891, p. 225; Somerville's Fenian Invasion of Can. pp. 103–4; Denison's Fenian Raid at Fort Erie (pamph.) 1866; Le Caron's Twenty-five Years in the Secret Service, pp. 30–5; Consolidated Statutes of Canada, Upper Canada, Lower Canada, 1859; N. O. Coté's Political Appointments, p. 5; Pope's Mem. of Sir J. A. Macdonald, i. 299–303, 319, ii. 416; Ann. Reg. 1894, pt. ii. p. 207; Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1890; Hopkins's Canada; Appleton's Annual Encycl. i. 358–9, ii. 52.]

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