Edmund Walker Head

Sir Edmund Walker Head, Bt

George Theodore Berthon's Sir Edmund Walker Head, 8th Baronet
Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
In office
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by William MacBean George Colebrooke
Succeeded by John Manners-Sutton, 3rd Viscount Canterbury
Governor General of the Province of Canada
In office
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin
Succeeded by Charles Monck, 4th Viscount Monck
Personal details
Born (1805-02-16)16 February 1805
Wiarton Place, near Maidstone, England
Died 28 January 1868(1868-01-28) (aged 62)
London, England
Spouse(s) Lady Anna Maria Head (née Yorke)

Sir Edmund Walker Head, 8th Baronet, KCB (16 February 1805 28 January 1868) was a 19th-century British politician and diplomat.


He was born at Wiarton Place, near Maidstone, Kent, the son of the Reverend Sir John Head, 7th Bt. and Jane (née Walker) Head.[1] He was educated at Winchester College and Oriel College, Oxford, and in 1830 he was made a Fellow of Merton College.[1] He succeeded to his father's title in 1838. He was an Oxford scholar and tutor who published several books.

He was simultaneously Governor General of the Province of Canada, and Lieutenant Governor of both Canada West and Canada East (1854–1861). He had previously been Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick (1847–1854).[2]

He was appointed a Privy Councillor in 1857, and knighted Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1860.[3] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1863.[4]

In 1866, Head published The Story of Viga Glum, which he had translated from the original Icelandic.[5]

While Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, Head authorized the creation of an engineering faculty at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). This was the first such programme in what would become Canada. In his honour, the buildings housing this faculty at UNB are called Head Hall.[6] The city of Edmundston, New Brunswick, was named after him.[7] In the county of Renfrew, a township of Head was named in his honour. He died in London in 1868.


Lady Anna Maria Head (née Yorke)

He had married Anna Maria Yorke, daughter of Reverend Philip Yorke Prebendary of Ely, and his wife, Hon. Anna Maria Cocks, daughter of John Cocks, 1st Earl Somers, on 27 November 1838. Anna Maria was born in 1808. The couple had three children. One son accidentally drowned in Quebec's Saint-Maurice River in September, 1859. One of their two daughters was born at Fredericton, New Brunswick on 6 February 1849.

Anna Maria was an artist, who sketched a picture of the view from Major's Hill, Ottawa, Ontario which she subsequently presented to Queen Victoria. Within a month or two after this event Her Majesty chose Ottawa as the seat of Government of United Canada. Lady Head volunteered and bestowed alms among the poor. A memorial of her Ladyship's visit to the Upper Ottawa, in a bark canoe, in 1856, stands at Portage-du-Fort, Quebec. In the county of Renfrew, a township Maria, was named in her honour. Lady Head died at Oak Lea, Shere, Guildford, England, 25 August 1890.[8][9]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Edmund Walker Head". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
  2. "From the LONDON GAZETTE, Tuesday, Oct. 26.". The Times. 27 October 1847. p. 4. Retrieved 16 May 2013. The Queen has been pleased to appoint Sir Edmund Walker Head, Bart., to be Lieutenant-Governor of the province of New Brunswick.
  3. "Court Circular". The Times. 17 December 1860. p. 7. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  4. "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved !3 November 2010. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. Head, Sir Edmund (1866). Viga Glum's Saga. London: Williams & Norgate.
  6. "Sir Edmund Head Hall". UNB Archives & Special Collections. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  7. "Heritage and Culture". Ville d'Edmundston. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  8. "Deaths". The Times. 27 August 1890. p. 1. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  9. Morgan, Henry James Types of Canadian women and of women who are or have been connected with Canada : (Toronto, 1903)
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
John Head
(of The Hermitage)
Succeeded by
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