He was born at Essendon, Hertfordshire, England in 1782. John Clitherow enlisted in the British Army in 1799 and served in the Egyptian campaign of 1801 and in the Peninsular War among other assignments. He arrived in British North America in 1838 as commander of Montreal following the Lower Canada Rebellion. He married Miss Christie-Burton, granddaughter of General Gabriel Christie, of Montreal.
When the second rebellion broke out Clitherow commanded 3,000 regulars that marched on rebel headquarters. He also presided over courts martial that prosecuted the rebels.
In 1841, he was transferred to Canada West to command British forces there and was made governor by Lord Sydenham. Upon becoming governor, he was succeeded as commander of the British forces by Richard Armstrong. He prorogued the first session of the first parliament of the Province of Canada when Sydenham died and remained acting Governor for six days until the appointment of Sir Richard Downes Jackson as administrator.
- "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
- "John Clitherow". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
|Lieutenant Governor of Canada West
| Succeeded by|
Sir Richard Downes Jackson
|Lieutenant Governor of Canada East|