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MILNES, Sir ROBERT SHORE – Volume VII (1836-1850)

d. 2 Dec. 1837 in Tunbridge Wells (Royal Tunbridge Wells), England


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

CRAMAHÉ, HECTOR THEOPHILUS (baptized Théophile-Hector de Cramahé), army officer, civil secretary to governors James Murray, Guy Carleton*, and Frederick Haldimand, judge, lieutenant governor of the province of Quebec, and titular lieutenant governor of Detroit; b. 1 Oct. 1720 in Dublin (Republic of Ireland), son of Hector-François Chateigner de Cramahé et Des Rochers and Marie-Anne de Belrieux de Virazel; d. c. 9 June 1788 in England.

Hector Theophilus Cramahé, the tenth and last child of a Huguenot family, was baptized in the French church of St Patrick in Dublin. His father had left France towards the end of the 17th century for religious reasons. The elder Cramahé entered the service of England, for which he fought, and found shelter in Ireland, where he raised a large family. Hector Theophilus kept the patronymic Cramahé, which was linked to a fief and a chateau near La Rochelle owned by the Chateigners.

Following in his father’s footsteps Cramahé took up a military career in 1740. Appointed ensign in January 1741, he was posted to the 15th Regiment with the rank of lieutenant three months later. He served at Cartagena (Colombia) and Cuba (1741–42), in Flanders at Ostend (Belgium) (1745), in Brittany at Lorient (1746), and then at Rochefort (1757). On 12 March 1754 he became a captain and in 1758 he went with his regiment to America, where he took part in the siege of Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), and in that of Quebec the following year.

Cramahé arrived at Quebec in June 1759 and was to remain there more than 22 years, during which he ended the purely military phase of his career. On 22 September, shortly after the capital’s surrender, he entered Brigadier-General Murray’s service as his secretary. The fact that they had fought in the same regiment and on the same battlefields since 1741 was probably not unrelated to the solid friendship that soon linked the two men. Cramahé became indispensable to the first governor of Quebec and, since he gave up his military command in 1761 to remain with Murray, the latter had no hesitation in using his influence to obtain for him the post of civil secretary, which he held from 1764 to 1780.

At the end of 1764, even before Cramahé’s future had been definitely settled, Murray sent him post-haste to London, without advising Major-General Gage, the British commander-in-chief in North America. As the governor explained in a letter dated 27 October, “The situation of Affairs here obliges me to send him to England because I know nobody so capable of informing ye King’s servants thoroughly of everything relative to this country.” Cramahé would, he hoped, dispel the “doubts and misrepresentations,” unmask the intrigues, and “give you every information I know,” since he was “thoroughly informed of all I know.” Commenting to the Board of Trade Murray observed, “There does not exist a man of more Integrity and Application” and “No man has the good of this colony more at heart.” To the secretary of state for the Southern Department, Lord Halifax, he described him as “one of the best men I know.”

Upon arrival in England in December 1764 Cramahé sought audiences with the principal ministers capable of expediting the study of Canadian matters and finding remedies without delay, as Murray desired. The problems fell into five categories. Firstly, the authorities in the home country had to be convinced of the necessity of giving military command to the governor of Quebec, and to that end of having Murray listed as “Extraordinary Brigadier.” In this connection Murray took to task Brigadier-General Ralph Burton*, commander of the troops in the province of Quebec, who refused to recognize the military authority with which the governor believed himself vested by his commission. Feelings had been running so high that an anti-Murray clan had developed in London. Secondly, concerning civil affairs, Cramahé had to explain that it was too early to think of convoking the house of assembly demanded by the British merchants. The administration of justice was an area where the governor found himself more open to criticism; the remonstrances of the Grand Jury, to which Murray in a spirit of liberalism had allowed the new Catholic subjects to be admitted, provided the Protestant minority with sufficient ammunition to put the governor in an embarrassing situation. Revenues were a fourth subject of contention. The Treasury, which had not had the time to study this problem, complained of not having received any reports, whereas the governor maintained that he had written about it on many occasions without benefit of a reply. The delay in establishing revenues was slowing down the administration of the colony. Cramahé agreed to draw up for the chancellor of the Exchequer, George Grenville, a statement “from memory” of revenues and expenditures from the time of the conquest until his departure for England, and Murray was pleased with this financial report.

The last, but by no means the least problem that had to be discussed with the authorities was the thorny one of giving the Canadian clergy a bishop. Murray, who was convinced that a bishop was needed, favoured the vicar general of Quebec, Canon Jean-Olivier Briand, who, he noted, “has in all circumstances acted with a Candour, Moderation, and a Delicacy” meriting the highest praise. “None of his Gown in the Province,” he wrote to Lord Shelburne, “[is] so justly deserving of the Royal Favour.” It was with this recommendation by the governor that Briand, the choice of the chapter of Quebec, had set out for London in the autumn of 1764. His steps to obtain permission for his consecration were followed with interest by Cramahé, who arrived just a month later, but the governor’s secretary quickly perceived that the time was unsuitable. Assertions were being made that the recent uprisings in Ireland had been fomented by priests. Moreover, the former Jesuit Pierre-Joseph-Antoine Roubaud, whom the governor of Quebec himself had sent to England as his protégé, impeded the appointment of a bishop for the province, particularly by the memoir he drew up on the church in Canada. Briand had to defend himself against Roubaud’s allegations. Cramahé endeavoured to intervene with Roubaud, but to no avail. In February 1766 Cramahé simply recommended “all possible discretion and secrecy” to Briand, who had sought his advice. In so doing Cramahé acted as prudently as the British ministers, who according to him did not dare give official approval to Briand’s proposal for fear of rousing strong opposition in parliament. In the light of this caution on Cramahé’s part, it would seem unreasonable to credit the claim made after Briand’s consecration by Quebec’s attorney general, Francis Maseres*, that Cramahé had been “deluding people into an opinion that . . . [Briand] was not to be called bishop or to appear with all this public pomp.”

Cramahé’s mission to London was to last some 20 months. The change of government in July 1765 obliged him to start his canvassing all over again. In his correspondence with Murray he conscientiously noted all the steps he had taken. Although he was, as Murray stressed, timid to the point of “what at first may appear awkwardness,” Cramahé’s letters show that he nevertheless had sound judgement and a perceptive mind. He gave good advice, and Murray not only continued to seek his counsel but told his secretary that he took decisions only while waiting “till you can provide better.” No striking results, however, crowned Cramahé’s efforts. The probity, modesty, good sense, and thorough knowledge of Canadian affairs vaunted by Murray had not persuaded the British ministers to heed him. On the contrary Murray was recalled to England to give an account of his administration. Exasperated, weary, and suspecting Cramahé of having perhaps been too cautious in his reports and solicitations, the governor even reached the point of writing, not without bitterness, that he hoped “your silence has recommended you to the regards of my enemys who alone at present can do Justice to your merit.” But Murray in fact needed his friend’s help at such a critical moment. Carleton, who succeeded Murray, was able to recognize Cramahé’s value and win him to his service.

Having returned to Canada on 12 Sept. 1766, Cramahé devoted himself to the service of the new lieutenant governor and future governor. Soon he had to undertake jointly the offices of acting receiver general, to which Carleton appointed him on 15 Aug. 1767, and judge of the Court of Common Pleas, assumed in July 1769 following François Mounier*’s death. In July 1770, however, Cramahé gave up the two offices to Thomas Dunn* to become administrator of the province during the absence of Carleton, who left on 1 August for England. The favourable opinion held of Cramahé in high places meant that Carleton had not had to plead the cause of “the eldest Counsellor”; his “Sense, Moderation, and Disinterestedness, as well as Knowledge of all public Business,” the governor observed, were already known to Lord Hillsborough, secretary of state for the American Colonies. Cramahé’s administration was to last four years. On 6 June 1771, ten months after Carleton’s departure, he received a commission as lieutenant governor of this “very important colony,” to the great satisfaction of the Council, who assured him “of an entire union and harmony in our Councils as long as you continue to preside in them.” He was to hold this appointment until April 1782.

Many problems faced Cramahé as lieutenant governor, and they required thorough explanation to the authorities in London. To this task he applied himself. First and foremost Cramahé became the defender of the Canadians’ rights. When on 9 Oct. 1770 he sent Carleton a petition from the Canadians asking that the laws and customs that had governed their landed property be restored, Cramahé emphasized its importance to them. Not content with the supplementary royal instructions of July 1771 confirming the maintenance of seigneurial tenure, which according to Hillsborough should “convince His Majesty’s new subjects of the King’s gracious intentions” towards them, Cramahé took advantage of these orders the following year to press for the application of the old property laws that were still suspended. He stressed that “the confusion and perplexity of the [present] laws,” high costs, dilatory procedures, and the “disagreeable necessity” of listening to hearings in the law courts conducted in a language they did not understand, were the Canadians’ main complaints. He even attributed the influence that France might still have over her former subjects to “the confusion . . . subsisting in regard to the laws.” The need to set up a stable government for the province as soon as possible appears as a leitmotiv in nearly all Cramahé’s letters to the minister. His insistence was the more understandable given Lord Hillsborough’s warning that delay was unavoidable because of the delicacy and importance of the decisions to be taken.

Cramahé had another strong preoccupation: the achievement of as much religious freedom as possible for the Canadians, in order, he claimed, to gain their affection. He was sympathetic towards the Canadian-born clergy, who, he noted, were “strongly interested in preventing any change,” in contrast to the French clergy and the Canadian nobility, whom he suspected of desiring a return to the former régime. On 12 July 1772, “to encourage this Disposition” of the Canadian priests, he allowed Bishop Briand to consecrate Abbé Louis-Philippe Mariauchau d’Esgly as his coadjutor, to the great surprise of Lord Dartmouth, the new secretary of state for the American Colonies. To allow and indeed to desire the existence of “a clergy entirely Canadian” presupposed the acceptance of a bishop to ordain priests and a coadjutor to ensure the succession of episcopal authority; of this Cramahé did his utmost to convince the authorities in London. Dartmouth at first considered this permission granted by the lieutenant governor as “a matter of the highest importance” because no royal instruction had ever recognized episcopal authority. The creation of such a precedent required “the most serious consideration.” Five months after the coadjutor had been consecrated, Dartmouth had mellowed: such toleration of the Catholic religion as had been accorded by the king could make “the admission of some episcopal authority under proper restrictions” necessary. A year later, in December 1773, he pointed out “the Justice and Expediency of giving all possible Satisfaction to the new Subjects” according to the guarantee recognized by the treaty of Paris, while assuring himself, however, that all their needs in the practice of their religion would be met within the colony itself without the necessity for recourse to a foreign jurisdiction. He was coming round to Cramahé’s very ideas.

Cramahé took every occasion to reassure London about the Canadians’ state of mind. His annual tour of the province brought him into contact with the people and allowed him to discover their needs and feelings. Thus he reacted vigorously against the rumour spread by the London newspapers in the spring of 1771 to the effect that the imminent prospect of war with Spain had caused the Canadians to behave “with unusual Insolence.” There was “not the least reason to apprehend any stir among them,” he asserted. The Canadians’ relations with the Indians of the Six Nations seemed equally innocent; he had been unable to obtain any confirmation of a questionable exchange of correspondence between them. A further reason for confidence was the fact that the Canadians were against the house of assembly demanded by the Protestant minority in the province. Efforts to win them over to this cause had proved unavailing, to the great relief of Cramahé, who judiciously explained that the Canadians, suspecting the English speaking merchants of wanting their signatures only to support this request “without really intending their Participation of the Privilege,” had refused to join them. Although the new subjects’ docility reassured him, the agitation among the British in Montreal and Quebec, who had sent four petitions and two memoirs to London at the end of 1773, alarmed Cramahé, especially since they had conveyed certain of their projects directly to the former attorney general, Maseres, without submitting them to him beforehand. He told Dartmouth that he would try “to convince them of the irregularity of their conduct” and of the “ill example” they were setting their Canadian compatriots, from whom similar activities were to be feared given “their great superiority in point of numbers.” It was preferable, he added, “to see [them] continue in [their] habits of respect and submission.” In July 1774 Cramahé saw in the proposed Quebec Revenue Act, which was intended to tax spirits in order to defray the cost of the colony’s administration, another reason for the British to petition for a house of assembly. The “Old Subjects,” he alerted Lord Dartmouth, “ . . . have in General adopted American Ideas in regard to Taxation.”

Another subject on which Cramahé proved to be a valuable adviser for London was the settling of the boundaries of the province, the western hinterland having been cut off by the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The problem was important and had been getting more serious since 1768 when the mother country had relinquished control in the west, leaving the colonies free to regulate the fur trade with the Indians. Rivalry among merchants gave rise to all kinds of troubles, against which no civil government could take strong action. In 1771 an attempt to bring commissioners of the various colonies together in New York to reach a common set of regulations seemed to offer a glimmer of hope. Cramahé hastened to lend his support to this measure, corresponding with the governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, in order to choose the date and procedures for the meeting. It was set for 1 December but unfortunately did not take place. The project failed not only because the British government vetoed the holding of a congress but because, in Cramahé’s opinion, “the interests of the two Provinces [New York and Quebec] in regard to the Indian trade differ too widely, to expect they will ever perfectly agree upon general regulations for carrying it on.” There remained another solution, one envisaged on 8 April 1769 by the committee of Council that had been appointed to consider the numerous complaints of the British merchants in Montreal. Cramahé had sat on this committee, along with Chief Justice William Hey and Thomas Dunn. It had concluded that from both the geographic and the economic points of view only the extension of Quebec’s jurisdiction over the west could restore order there. The legitimacy of this recommendation was confirmed by the fact that since 1770 new fur-traders had come to set up in business in Montreal, thus foreshadowing the supremacy of the St Lawrence valley. On 1 Oct. 1773 Cramahé was able to recommend to Dartmouth that before setting the boundaries of Quebec he should consider the fur trade, on which the commercial activity of the province was concentrated. If the boundaries were left as they were, he wrote, the trade would be lost to the Montreal merchants, to the advantage of those in Albany, their main rivals; this prospect the Montrealers considered all the more “unreasonable” since the southern colonies already had the West Indies trade, whereas the northern one, limited by geographical situation and climate to a scant six months of inland navigation per year, could lay claim to the western trade only. Two months later Dartmouth confirmed to Cramahé that in view of a number of considerations of which the mother country had not been aware at the time of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, it was necessary to extend the boundaries of the province of Quebec to the former limits of Canada.

The lieutenant governor’s administration ended on 18 Sept. 1774, with the return of Governor Carleton to Quebec. Cramahé then limited himself to his role as civil secretary and president of the Council, where he had great influence, playing an active role within the French party. The siege of Quebec by the Americans in 1775 [see Richard Montgomery] brought Cramahé into prominence again for some weeks. Since Carleton had set up his headquarters in Montreal at the beginning of September, the responsibility fell to Cramahé to ready as far as possible the defences of Quebec City against the approach of the American rebels. The task was hardly an easy one, as Cramahé was aware. Lacking soldiers, Carleton had been unable to post any regular troops to garrison the capital. Its defence rested on a militia re-established and trained in haste, which had been “with difficulty brought to mount guard, and [was] consequently not much to be depended on,” in Cramahé’s words. The British merchants in the city were just as reluctant to take up arms as were the Canadian habitants in the country. Cramahé reproached the merchants for their “damn’d Committees that had thrown the province into its present state” of indifference. For want of sufficient forces he found himself unable to take strong action against the habitants’ defection. He could count upon the fidelity of the clergy, the nobility, and the Canadian bourgeoisie, but their zeal, unfortunately, had not been able to counteract the habitants’ resistance. The enemy threatened the besieged as much from within as from without, to such an extent that Cramahé wished that “all of them, inclined to that cause, had done the same” and left the city. Despite the desperate situation Cramahé set to work. With the few men available he endeavoured first to repair the breaches in the walls and to place artillery along the fortifications. On 16 September, to counter pro-American espionage and propaganda, he issued a proclamation designed to enable the authorities to find out in less than two hours the intentions of every newly arrived visitor in the city. On 28 September, in order to man the armed vessels that were to keep a watch on the St Lawrence, he put an embargo on all navigation. Through this measure he was able to detain five transports that had come from Boston. He was overjoyed at the arrival of the naval sloop Hunter on 12 October and of the frigate Lizard at the beginning of November, since it meant more combatants for the defence of the city. Other developments were less encouraging: on 2 November he learned that the British army and naval commanders, General Sir William Howe and Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves, would not be able to send help from Boston; the next day Fort Saint-Jean, on the Richelieu, was surrendered to Brigadier Richard Montgomery. At the same time an intercepted letter from Benedict Arnold* to John Dyer Mercier, a Quebec merchant, confirmed his suspicions of betrayal within the walls; it also revealed, to his great despair, the secret advance of Arnold’s army along the Kennebec, and led him to predict that this force would soon be on the Chaudière and at Pointe-Lévy (Lauzon and Lévis). To prevent the enemy from crossing the St Lawrence, Cramahé quickly had all ships removed from the south shore and Île d’Orléans. On 20 November, an assembly of Quebec’s leading citizens is supposed to have recommended, in view of the precarious situation, that the city surrender. The providential arrival that day of Lieutenant-Colonel Allan Maclean, who had come from Sorel with reinforcements, revived hopes. Despite the rebels’ occupation of the city’s outskirts the next day and their rash parade before the ramparts on 14 November, the besieged Quebeckers did not reply to Colonel Arnold’s threatening demand for surrender. Instead the rebels’ envoy was twice turned away at the city’s gates. On 11 and 16 November Cramahé held a council of war with army and navy officers serving in the defence of Quebec and with two members of the Legislative Council, judges Adam Mabane and Thomas Dunn. Not only did this group vote on the 16th for the unconditional defence of the city, but it also agreed on “the absolute necessity” of maintaining the embargo and detaining the king’s ships and their crews. The same day a petition to this effect was sent to the ships’ captains. The wise decisions taken by Cramahé in anticipation of the siege were thus sanctioned. Thanks to Cramahé, Maclean at the head of the Royal Highland Emigrants, and Captain John Hamilton commanding the sailors, the critical first phase of the invasion, the autumn of 1775, had been weathered to the advantage of the British. On 20 November, the day after his return to Quebec, Governor Carleton was able to inform London that, considering the unfavourable circumstances, “. . . every thing has been done in my absence for the Defense of this Place.” A captain in the British militia, Thomas Ainslie*, who was more loquacious, gave credit to Cramahé, writing in his Journal that “the Lieutenant Governor was indefatigable in putting the town in a proper state of defence.”

In the performance of his duties Cramahé was led to take measures which did not always meet with approval. His quarrels with Chief Justice Peter Livius deserve mention. In August 1777 Livius had a disagreement with the members of the Court of Appeal, over which Cramahé presided. Wishing to extend its power over the lower courts, Livius wanted to allow fresh evidence to be accepted in appeals. His colleagues refused. The following October he came into personal conflict with Cramahé, accusing him of “an usurpation and abuse of power.” In Carleton’s absence from the city the lieutenant governor had arrested two civilians, a tanner and his wife, on his own authority and sent them to the military prison on a charge of having used seditious language. Livius challenged Cramahé’s “extraordinary proceeding,” accusing him of “Acts of Illegality, Violence and Oppression.” Offended in his official dignity, Livius could not tolerate the lieutenant governor’s obstruction and interference in his particular responsibility, the administration of criminal justice. Claiming it was his duty to protect personal liberty, Livius maintained that the right of habeas corpus had existed in the colony since the introduction of British criminal law, whereas Cramahé claimed that the risk of rebellion justified his repressive gesture, even if the strict letter of the law did not authorize it. Like Pierre Du Calvet, whose ardent defender he would become, Livius violently opposed encroachments by the military authority upon the civil. On the strength of his office as chief justice, he denied not only that Cramahé had any legal power as long as the governor was in the province but that he had any of the authority his position was officially acknowledged to confer; he asserted that the lieutenant governor could act only as a simple justice of the peace. Livius insistently called for a trial of all the civilians imprisoned illegally by the lieutenant governor: he demanded they be brought before him so that he might deal with them “as of right,” and bring the administration of justice back to its normal course. Despite his extreme statements, before taking any action Livius consulted the governor, asking for his protection and aid. Upon his return to the city Carleton temporized – but not for long: some months later, on 1 May 1778, he removed the chief justice from office.

The arrival of the new governor, Frederick Haldimand, on 27 June 1778 was to upset Cramahé’s life and deprive him of the influential role he had been able to play with the two previous governors. It seems that ill feeling developed quickly between the two men, since Cramahé proposed in November 1779 to resign from his office as civil secretary. Haldimand’s entreaties probably persuaded him to be patient. Their relations soon grew increasingly acrimonious, particularly over the wheat question. The governor supported two proposed ordinances which Cramahé opposed vigorously, one to fix the price of wheat, the other to make threshing of grain obligatory. Alarmed by the poor harvest of the previous year and the danger of shortages, Haldimand asked the Legislative Council in January 1780 to issue an ordinance forcing the sale of wheat at a fixed price. This proposal, supported by the French party, was defeated by one vote, Cramahé having joined the merchants in opposing it. He explained his position in two long letters to the governor on 10 and 20 February. Comparing the fixing of the price of wheat to a “tax” levied on its owners, he denied the Legislative Council had the authority to tax, since the Quebec Act did not confer it. He had no more faith in the submission and obedience of the habitants than he had had in 1775: they would either hide their wheat or go over to the enemy. The area richest in wheat, the Chambly River region (in the Richelieu valley), was in fact also the one that could least be trusted. Surely it was unnecessary to risk losing the colony for “a wretched tax,” as the other 13 had been lost. Better to pay the current price for wheat and flour and profit from the good effect this liberality would have on the Canadian people. Cramahé found further justification for this expenditure in his belief that “the present emergency” should be attributed to the British Treasury, which in 1776 had counted too much on the province to supply Burgoyne’s army with flour. Haldimand retorted that his instructions did not prevent him from passing a law to set a fair price for wheat. He criticized the council for not using its authority to bring relief to the poor and end monopolies and greed. As a final argument he insisted that, given the army’s extensive requirements of rations, military logistics demanded that the selling price of wheat be fixed, in order to prevent the free play of supply and demand. Haldimand had to be content, however, with an ordinance forbidding the export of supplies, which would reduce the high price of wheat and flour. This ordinance of 9 March 1780 was strangely similar to the one suggested by Cramahé in his letter of 10 February.

On 5 Jan. 1781 Cramahé again returned to the charge, tackling a proposed ordinance aimed at making it obligatory to thresh wheat. Judging the measure improper and ill advised, likely to alarm the habitants, encourage scheming, and give the government’s enemies the time in which to do it harm, Cramahé suggested that the government send agents to comb the countryside buying up wheat, and then order it threshed immediately and put in the army’s stores. In this way supporters of the American cause would be prevented from storing up wheat for their friends. He brandished the prospect of the habitants hiding and even destroying their wheat harvest if the unpopular obligation to thresh the grain were perceived as the forerunner of a “tax” that would set the selling price – the famous tax already debated in the council and rejected by one vote. Furthermore, in the event of another invasion he saw recourse to martial law as the only means of keeping the province in a state of submission. Not unreasonably Haldimand objected that, since the habitants never sold their wheat until March, it would be unpardonable to lose precious time trying to apply the method suggested by the lieutenant governor; in any event it would be impossible to avoid alarming the habitants with troop movements, because forces had to be shifted soon for the defence of Montreal. He wanted at all cost to avert destruction of the wheat which martial law, applied when the enemy was already among them, would make inevitable. And taking practical considerations into account, he attached greater importance to obtaining unanimous support within the council and among government officials for the adoption of vigorous measures to maintain order, experience having shown that submission and obedience were now virtually impossible in America. Perhaps he feared another rebuff from the council. Giving up the idea of an ordinance, he issued a proclamation ordering wheat to be threshed.

As he was unable to gain acceptance of his views, Cramahé resigned as civil secretary on 5 Jan. 1781, pleading ill health. Far from showing resentment, he said he was ready to give his opinion at any time if asked, and to serve in a minor capacity if the situation required it. Two months later Sir Thomas Mills, who had advised Haldimand in September 1779 to get rid of Cramahé if he did not cooperate, urged Lord Germain to summon the lieutenant governor to England to answer before the Treasury for the province’s accounts. Such an order was issued, but it seems to have been merely a pretext to get him out of the colony. As Cramahé stressed to the Home secretary, Lord Shelburne, in April 1782, three months after his arrival in London, neither Lord North nor the Treasury made any effort to have him appear before them. On 8 July 1781 Haldimand, who was only too happy with the prospect of Cramahé’s departure, had suggested Henry Hamilton to succeed him as lieutenant governor. On 27 April 1782 Shelburne confirmed the choice of Hamilton, and he justified the removal of Cramahé in the following terms: “Lt-Gov. Cramahé’s character and time of life is more adapted to other situations than what he now fills.” Before leaving Canada on 23 Oct. 1781 Cramahé had received the kind of stirring demonstration of gratitude, esteem, and affection which Haldimand himself was not to get when he in turn left in 1784. “The Address was signed by all the principal citizens both French and English,” wrote the Quebec Gazette, in contrast to the custom of old and new subjects remaining separate in their public demonstrations. Reduced to the salary of judge advocate, Cramahé asked his former superior, Guy Carleton, to use his influence on his behalf. In 1786 he was appointed lieutenant governor of Detroit, but he was to hold this commission for only 16 months, as his wife Margaret indicated when asking for a pension after his death. He died on or about 9 June 1788, at his residence near Exeter in Devonshire. Cramahé was so discreet about his 22-year stay in Canada that it has been impossible to discover whom he married or whether he had children.

Pierre Tousignant and Madeleine Dionne-Tousignant

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Pierre Tousignant and Madeleine Dionne-Tousignant, “CRAMAHÉ, HECTOR THEOPHILUS,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 4, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed December 2, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/cramahe_hector_theophilus_4E.html.

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Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/cramahe_hector_theophilus_4E.html
Author of Article:   Pierre Tousignant and Madeleine Dionne-Tousignant
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 4
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1979
Year of revision:   1979
Access Date:   December 2, 2023