Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Eden Colvile (1819-1893)

Governor of Rupert’s Land (1850-51).

Born in 1819, the son of Andrew Colvile, founder of the Royal Mail Steamship line. He received his education at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was married in Montreal to Anna Maxwell in 1845.

He was sent to Canada in 1844 by the London Land Company to take charge of the seigniory of Beauharnois. He represented Beauharnois in the Legislative Assembly from 1844 to 1847. In 1850 he was appointed Governor of Rupert’s Land by the Hudson’s Bay Company. He resided in Red River for less than a year, constantly embroiled in controversy, especially with recorder Adam Thom and with the free traders. He returned to England in 1851. He served as Deputy Governor from 1872 to 1880 and from 1880 to 1889 as Governor.

Colvile died in Devonshire, England, on 2 April 1893.

His letters (1849-52) were edited by W. L. Morton as Eden Colvile’s Letters 1849-52 (1956).

More information:

Eden Colvile, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, XII,206-7.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 4 February 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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