Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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METCALFE, Charles Theophilus, Baron, British statesman, born in Calcutta, India, 30 January, 1785 ; died in Malshanger, near Baringstoke, England, 5 September, 1846. He was the second son of Theophilus Metcalfe, of Berkshire, an officer in the army, who afterward became a director of the East India company, and was made a baronet in 1802. Charles was taken to England by his parents in infancy, educated at Eton, and at the age of fifteen sent to India as a writer in the East India company's service. In 1801 he was appointed assistant to the British resident at the court of Dowlut Row Sindia, at Oojein, in 1811 resident at Delhi, in 1819 political secretary at Calcutta, and in 1820 resident at Hyderabad. In 1823 he succeeded to the baronetcy, on the death of his brother, in 1827 became a member of the supreme council of India, and in February, 1835, after he had for some time been governor of Agra, he provisionally succeeded Lord William Bentinck in the governor-generalship, the duties of which he discharged till 28 March, 1836. In the latter year the grand cross of the bath was conferred upon him, and in 1844 he was raised to the peerage. He was appointed governor of Jamaica in 1839, and shortly afterward succeeded in removing the difficulties that followed upon the passage of the Negro emancipation act. In 1842 illness compelled him to resign the governorship, in which he was succeeded by Lord Elgin. The legislature of Jamaica subsequently ordered his statue to be erected in the public square of Spanish Town. He was then appointed governor-general of Canada and sworn into office at Kingston, 29 March, 1843. Although he was experienced in the administration of colonial governments, it cannot be claimed that he was altogether successful in Canada. He could not divest himself of the idea that he ought to be the moving power in the state. His appointment to office of persons that were politically opposed to the administration, without consulting his ministers, was regarded as extremely arbitrary, and not in accordance with the principles of responsible government, which had been recently established in Canada. An incurable disease, from which he had long suffered, forced him to resign in November, 1845, after which he returned to England. His epitaph, written by Lord Macaulay, terms him "a statesman tried in many high offices and difficult conjunctures, and found equal to all." See " The Life and Correspondence of Charles, Lord Metcalfe," by John William Raye (new ed., 2 vols., London, 1858).
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