Indian and Canadian supporters on the Dufferin Memorial, Belfast. Source.
Canada has a pretty lamentable record of treating people from South Asia as aliens. But, from the mid-18th till the mid-20th century Canada and India were parts of the same empire. We share obvious things like the English language, but also less obvious things, like the system of Canadian aboriginal syllabics used to write Cree and Inuktitut, which was based on Devanagari.
The same placenames crop up in both countries, not because they're vaguely imperial sounding, but because in many cases the same persons took turns running each country.
Dalhousie. General George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie (b. 1770, d. 1838). Born in Scotland, fought in the Peninsular War. Served as Governor of Nova Scotia from 1816 to 1820, and then Governor General of British North America from 1820 to 1828. Dalhousie University is named after him. Served as Commander-in-Chief of India from 1830-32. His son James was later Governor-General of India.
Metcalfe. Sir Charles Metcalfe (b. 1785, d. 1846). Born in Calcutta. Governor of the Presidency of Agra 1834-35. Acting Governor-General of India 1835-36. Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Provinces (of India) 1836-38. Governor of Jamaica 1839-42. Governor General of the Province of Canada (Quebec plus Ontario) 1843-45.
Elgin. James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin (b. 1811, d. 1863). Born in London. Governor of Jamaica 1842-46. Governor General of the Province of Canada 1847-54. High Commissioner to China 1857-60. Viceroy of India 1862-63. Died in Dharamsala, Punjab.
Dufferin. Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Marquess of Dufferin and Ava (b. 1826, d. 1902). Born in Florence. Governor General of Canada 1872-78. Ambassador to Russia 1879-81. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire 1881-84. Viceroy and Governor-General of India 1884-88. Is buried in Northern Ireland.
Landsdowne. Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Marquess of Landsdowne (b. 1845, d. 1927). Born in London. Under-Secretary of State for India 1880-83. Governor General of Canada 1883-88. Viceroy and Governor-General of India 1888-94. Died in Ireland.
Minto. Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, Earl of Minto (b. 1845, d. 1914). Born in Middlesex. Served in the Second Afghan War. Military secretary to Landsdowne 1883-85, and Chief of Staff to General Middleton during the Riel Rebellion of 1885. Married the sister of Lord Grey in 1883. (Grey was Governor General of Canada after Minto.) Governor General of Canada 1898-1904. Viceroy and Governor-General of India 1905-10. Is buried in Scotland.
Willingdon. Freeman Freeman-Thomas, Marquess of Willingdon (b. 1866, d. 1941). Governor of Bombay 1913-18. Governor of Madras 1919-24. Governor General of Canada 1926-31. Viceroy and Governor-General of India 1931-36. Threw Gandhi in jail. Is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Haida carvers are preparing to raise the first new totem pole in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in 130 years. Totem poles combine mythology with current events, and this one commemorates the 1985 blockade that saved the forests that provided the cedar log for this pole. Source.
A Canadian settler hates a tree, regards it as his natural enemy, as something to be destroyed, eradicated, annihilated by all and any means. The idea of useful or ornamental is seldom associated here even with the most magnificent timber trees, such as among the Druids had been consecrated, and among the Greeks would have sheltered oracles and votive temples. The beautiful faith which assigned to every tree of the forest its guardian nymph, to every leafy grove its tutelary divinity, would find no votaries here. Alas! for the Dryads and Hamadryads of Canada!
There are two principal methods of killing trees in this country, besides the quick, unfailing destruction of the axe; the first by setting fire to them, which sometimes leaves the root uninjured to rot gradually and unseen, or be grubbed up at leisure, or, more generally, there remains a visible fragment of a charred and blackened stump, deformed and painful to look upon; the other method is slower, but even more effectual; a deep gash is cut through the bark into the stem, quite round the bole of the tree. This prevents the circulation of the vital juices, and by degrees the tree droops and dies. This is technically called ringing timber. Is not this like the two ways in which a woman's heart may be killed in this world of ours -- by passion and by sorrow? But better far the swift fiery death than this "ringing," as they call it.
Anna Brownell Jameson, Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada (1838), page 48, NCL edn., 1965.
If ever you find yourself oppressed by the thought that there is not much evidence of a Canadian civilization, take a look at some of Thoreau MacDonald's illustrations. His stark, calm woodcuts, along with some fantastic typography, make the books of the Ryerson Press highly collectible. Source.
For the purposes of this blog post, foreign means not Canadian, British, or French.
1. Almonte, Ontario. This town in Lanark County, Ontario was told by the Post Office in 1855 that its current name, Waterford, was already in use elsewhere in the province and needed to be replaced. The citizens, mindful of the shadow thrown over Canada's independence by the 1823 Monroe Doctrine, named the town for Juan Almonte, victor at the Alamo in 1836 and later ambassador to the US and Britain. The people of the Ottawa Valley mispronounce his name ALmont. James Naismith, inventer of basketball, was born in Almonte in 1861. Source.
2. Mount Garibaldi, British Columbia. In 1860, during survey work in Howe Sound, Captain Richards of the HMS Plumper named this volcano after the liberator of Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi. The name Garibaldi spread to the whole mountain range, a lake, a provincial park, and the now ghost-town of Garibaldi. Source.
3. Oyama, British Columbia. In the Lake Country near Kelowna. Named during the period of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1902-1923) for Prince Ōyama Iwao, Japan's commander-in-chief in Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese War and later Minister of War. Source.
4. Kuroki, Saskatchewan. This tiny community next to a railway siding was also named for a participant in the Russo-Japanese War, Count Kuroki Tamemoto, commander of the Japanese First Army. The picture is captured from Google Street View.
Today is Victoria Day, the public holiday to celebrate the birth of Queen Victoria and unofficially mark the beginning of summer in Canada. Victoria Day always falls on a Monday so as to cause a long weekend and consequently lands on Victoria's actual birthday of May 24 only once in a while. The holiday is our last sentimental link to the 19th-century monarch whose person was at one time central to our political and social identity. We buy a lot of beer in anticipation of the beer store being closed, and some of us drown in lakes. In parts of Canada Victoria Day is also known as Firecracker Day.
This year the governments of the Commonwealth are all amending their statutes to allow the Crown to pass to the eldest child of the monarch, instead of the eldest son. This means that if Kate and William's first child is a girl she will probably be Queen of Canada in the second half of this century, if we stick with the monarchy. Might that Queen be named Victoria after Queen Victoria? (Or Victoria Beckham)?
Female lineage doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves, and is normally invisible because there is no shared family name. But if you treat the given name Victoria as a marker, you can draw a tree that overhangs much of Europe.
The first is Queen Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, born in 1786 in Germany, who married her second husband, King George III's fourth son, Prince Edward the Duke of Kent, in 1818, displacing his mistress of many years Julie de St-Laurent, a Canadian. Her daughter the future Queen Victoria was born in 1819. Edward died almost immediately and Princess Victoria carried on as the Dowager Princess of Kent until 1861, a headache to her daughter.
When Alexandrina Victoria was born she was fifth in line to the British throne. Then George III died (1820), her father the Duke of Kent died (1820), her cousin the Princess Elizabeth died (1821), the Duke of York died (1827), and George IV died (1830). William IV had no surviving legitimate children, so from 1830 Alexandrina Victoria was first in line. William IV died in 1837, and the princess became Queen Victoria. She married in 1840, had nine kids, and reigned the British Empire until her death in 1901. She is the most famous person of the 19th century.
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield had an older brother Ferdinand, who had a daughter Victoria, born in 1822, Queen Victoria's cousin and contemporary. She married Louis d'Orléans in 1840 and was afterwards known as Victoria, Duchess of Nemours. Her son married into the Brazilian royal family, which was ousted in 1889.
Queen Victoria's first child was a girl, whom she named Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. In 1858 this Princess Victoria was married to Prince Frederick William of Prussia, heir to the Prussian throne. In 1871 Prussia defeated France and upgraded Frederick William's father's title to German Emperor. In 1888 Frederick William inherited the title of Emperor, making his wife Victoria, German Empress and Queen of Prussia. But Frederick William died almost immediately, and Victoria spent the rest of her days as dowager empress. She died in 1901, just a few months after her mother. If the 2013 rules of succession had been in place in 1840, this Victoria would have become Queen Victoria II in 1901.
Frederick William's sister Louise had a daughter named Viktoria (1862-1930) who married the future King of Sweden and is known as Viktoria, Queen of Sweden.
Victoria the German Empress had eight children, the eldest of which inherited the German throne in 1888 and is still remembered by English-speaking people as Kaiser Bill. Her fifth child was Princess Viktoria of Prussia. Viktoria was born in 1866, and was married in 1890 to a German prince, Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, who died in 1916. They had no children. The German Empire became a republic in 1918. Viktoria married a Russian dancer in 1927, and died in 1929.
Edward VII, brother of Victoria the German Empress, had a daughter called Princess Victoria (1868-1935). She never married.
Princess Alice, the sister of Victoria the German Empress and Edward VII, married Prince Louis of Hesse who eventually became Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, and they had a daughter known as Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (1863-1950) until she married Prince Louis of Battenberg, after which she was styled Victoria Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven. She was the mother of Louis Mountbatten.
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the brother of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress and Princess Alice, had a daughter named Princess Victoria Meita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1876-1936). She married, then divorced, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, and then married Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia. After the Russia Revolution they dragged around Europe while he claimed the throne of Russia.
Helena, the sister of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress, Princess Alice, and Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and had a daughter Princess Helena Victoria (1870-1948).
Beatrice, the sister of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress, Alice, Alfred and Helena, married Prince Henry of Battenberg and had a daughter Victoria Eugenie (1887-1969) who in 1906 married King Alfonso XIII of Spain. She is the grandmother of the present king.
Kaiser Bill had a daughter named Viktoria Luise (1892-1980). When she was eighteen they named a steamship after her. That's her on the left in the photo, wearing the death's head hat.
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden (born 1977) is the heir apparent to the Swedish throne.
Where did the Prime Ministers of Canada go to school? Or, put another way, where should a young person go to school the better to become Prime Minister of Canada? Here is the historical record, excluding honorary degrees and chancellorships, which generally come as a result of being Prime Minister.
John A. Macdonald. Articled with a lawyer.
Alexander Mackenzie. Ended formal education at 13.
John Abbott. McGill College.
John Thompson. Royal Acadian School, Free Church Academy, articled with a lawyer.
Mackenzie Bowell. Apprentice.
Charles Tupper. Horton Academy, Edinburgh University.
Wilfrid Laurier. Collège de L'Assomption, McGill University.
Robert Borden. Brief formal education in Grand Pré. Began teaching at age 14.
Arthur Meighen. Blanshard SS #1, St Marys Collegiate Institute, University of Toronto.
Wiliam Lyon Mackenzie King. Berlin Central School, Berlin High School, University of Toronto, University of Chicago, Harvard University.
R.B. Bennett. Fredericton Normal School, Dalhousie University. Note: at age 18 Bennett was appointed principal of Douglastown School, where he taught for two years.
Louis St. Laurent. St. Charles Seminary, Université Laval.
John Diefenbaker. Saskatoon Collegiate Institute, University of Saskatchewan.
Lester B. Pearson. Hamilton Collegiate Institute, University of Toronto, Oxford University.
Pierre Trudeau. Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Université de Montréal, Harvard University, Institut d'études politiques de Paris, London School of Economics.
Joe Clark. High River High School, University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, University of British Columbia.
John Turner. Ashbury College, St. Patrick's College, University of British Columbia, Oxford University, Université de Paris.
Brian Mulroney. St. Thomas College, St. Francis Xavier University, Université Laval.
Kim Campbell. Prince of Wales Secondary School, University of British Columbia, London School of Economics.
Jean Chrétien. Séminaire Saint-Joseph de Trois-Rivières, Université Laval.
Paul Martin. École Garneau, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto.
Stephen Harper. Northlea Public School, John G. Althouse Middle School, Richview Collegiate Institute, University of Toronto, University of Calgary.
Results: U of T (5), Laval (3), UBC (3), McGill (2), Harvard (2), Dalhousie (2), Oxford (2), LSE (2).