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Francis Bond Head


Francis Bond Head

Sir Francis Bond Head
In office
Monarch William IV
Preceded by Sir GCMG, GCH
Succeeded by Sir KCH PC
Personal details
Born 1 January 1793
Higham, Kent
Died 20 July 1875(1875-07-20) (aged 82)
Croydon, Surrey, England
Spouse(s) Julia Valenza Somerville
Profession Commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers
Religion Anglican

Sir Francis Bond Head, 1st Baronet KCH PC (1 January 1793 – 20 July 1875), known as "Galloping Head", was Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada during the rebellion of 1837.


  • Biography 1
  • Legacy 2
  • Works 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Bond Head was an officer in the corps of Royal Engineers of British Army from 1811 to 1825; as such he earned a Waterloo Medal. Afterwards he attempted to set up a mining company in Argentina. He married Julia Valenza Somerville in 1816, and they eventually had four children. Bond Head was born to parents James Roper Mendes Head and Frances Anne Burgess. He was descended from Spanish Jew Fernando Mendes, who accompanied as her personal physician Catherine of Braganza in 1662 when she came to England to marry Charles II. His grandfather Moses Mendes married Anna Gabriella Head and took on the Head name following the death of his wife's father.

Sir Francis Bond Head in 1873, aged 80.

Bond Head was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada in 1835 in an attempt by the British government to appease the reformers in the colony, such as William Lyon Mackenzie, who wanted responsible government. He appointed reformer Robert Baldwin to the Executive Council, though this appointment was opposed by the more radical Mackenzie. In any case he ignored Baldwin's advice, and Baldwin resigned; the Legislative Assembly of the 12th Parliament of Upper Canada then refused to pass any money bills, so Bond Head dissolved the government. In the subsequent election campaign, he appealed to the United Empire Loyalists of the colony, proclaiming that the reformers were advocating American republicanism. The Conservative party, led by the wealthy landowners known as the "Family Compact", won the election to the 13th Parliament of Upper Canada, and thus the Reformers were disenfranchised.

In December 1837, Mackenzie led a brief and bungled rebellion in Lord Durham. Bond Head returned to England and settled down to write books and essays.

In later life Bond Head lived at Duppas Hall, overlooking Privy Council in 1867.


Several places in Ontario are named for Bond Head:


  • Life of Bruce (London, 1830), a biography of Scottish traveler James Bruce
  • Bruce, James, Travels (18??), an abridged version of the 1790 work, edited by F. Bond Head.
  • Head, Francis Bond. (1826). Rough Notes Taken during some Rapid Journeys across the Pampas and among the Andes. Murray (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00161-8)
  • The Defenceless State of Great Britain by Sir Francis B. Head. Published by John Murray, 1850.
  • The Royal Engineer, by Francis Bond Head. Published by John Murray, 1869.


  1. ^ Peppiatt, Liam. "Chapter 87: The York Militia". Landmarks of Toronto Revisited. 
  2. ^ "Bond Head".  
  3. ^ "Bond Head".  
  4. ^ Toronto and area street guide.  

External links

  • Dictionary of Canadian Biography OnlineBiography at the
  • Works by Francis Bond Head at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by Francis Head at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Francis Bond Head at Internet Archive
    • Life of Bruce, the African Traveller (1830 edition), full text at
  • Works by Francis Bond Head at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Colborne
Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada
Succeeded by
Sir George Arthur
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
(of Rochester, Kent)
Succeeded by
Francis Somerville Head
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir John Colborne
Chancellor of King's College
Succeeded by
Sir George Arthur
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