Friday, March 8, 2013

Sir George Prevost


Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost, who, after having devoted to his country thirty-five of the best years of his life; after having distinguished himself in many gallant actions; and after having preserved to the crown of Great Britain some of its most valuable foreign possessions, was called upon, at the close of his honourable career, to answer charges which vitally affected his reputation, and which he was prevented by death from fully and clearly refuting. [Source]

The "bare bones" biography, according to Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online:

PREVOST, Sir GEORGE, army officer and colonial administrator; b. 19 May 1767, in New Jersey, the eldest son of Augustin Prévost and Nanette (Ann) Grand; m. 19 May 1789, Catherine Anne Phipps, and they had five children, one of whom died in infancy; d. 5 Jan. 1816 in London, England, and was buried in East Barnet (London).

George Prevost received his first commission in the 60th regiment in the British Army.  After transfers back and forth he was severely wounded at St. Vincent's and went to England to recover.

On January 1, 1798, he became a colonel and a brigadier-general on March 8.  1798 was a big year for Prevost; he was nominated as military governor of St. Lucia; ill health caused him to return to England.  He was made a baronet in 1805 and was now a major-general.  In 1808 Prevost became a lieutenant-general, and also lieutenant-governor and commander in chief in Nova Scotia.

February 14, 1811, he was, "at a critical juncture," chosen to be governor of Lower Canada [Quebec], and governor-general of British North America.

"He found the Canadians suspicious and untractable, while the United States were threatening war, of which Canada was to bear the brunt."  "Prevost's first action was to undertake a tour of military observation...".


"Provost's intervention in the military operations of the campaigns of 1812-14 was most unfortunate. Though nominally commander-in-chief, he left the chief conduct of the war to others, and his own appearance in the field on two occasions was followed by the humiliation of the British arms." [Source]

An obituary for Sir George Prevost here.

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