Henry Starnes

Henry Starnes

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Henry Starnes was a Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 businessman and political figure.


He was born in Kingston
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

 in Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

 in 1816 and studied at the Montreal Academical Institution and the Petit Séminaire de Montréal. He began work with James Leslie's food importing business in Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and became a partner in the business in 1849. He then served as director for several banks in Montreal. He served on Montreal's City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 from 1852 to 1853 and from 1855 to 1856 and as Mayor from 1856 to 1858 and 1866 to 1868. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada
Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada
The Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada was the lower house of the legislature for the Province of Canada, which consisted of the former provinces of Lower Canada, then known as Canada East and later the province of Quebec, and Upper Canada, then known as Canada West and later the...

 for Châteauguay
Châteauguay (electoral district)
Châteauguay was a federal electoral district in Quebec, Canada, that was represented in the Canadian House of Commons from 1867 to 1917 and from 1979 to 2004.-History:It was created by the British North America Act of 1867...

 in 1858; he was reelected in 1861. He was named to the Legislative Council of Quebec
Legislative Council of Quebec
From 1867 until 1968, the Legislative Council of Quebec was the unelected upper house of the bicameral legislature in the Canadian province of Quebec...

 for Salaberry division in 1867. In 1859, he had become manager for the Montreal branch of the Ontario Bank
Ontario Bank
Ontario Bank was an early bank operating in Toronto, Ontario in 1860. It was last listed as a member of the Canadian Bankers Association in 1901. The bank and its 30 branches across the province were absorbed into the Bank of Montreal in the fall of 1906, after its general manager Charles McGill...

; in 1871, he helped establish the Metropolitan Bank and became its first president. That bank served as a conduit for transferring contributions from Sir Hugh Allan
Hugh Allan
Sir Hugh Allan, KCMG was a Scottish-born Canadian shipping magnate, railway promoter, financier and capitalist...

 to George-Étienne Cartier
George-Étienne Cartier
Sir George-Étienne Cartier, 1st Baronet, PC was a French-Canadian statesman and Father of Confederation.The English spelling of the name, George, instead of Georges, the usual French spelling, is explained by his having been named in honour of King George III....

; in exchange, Cartier had promised Allan the contract for the transcontinental railroad. The exposure of this arrangement led to the Pacific Scandal
Pacific Scandal
The Pacific Scandal was a political scandal in Canada involving allegations of bribes being accepted by the Conservative government in the attempts of private interests to influence the bidding for a national rail contract...

 and the fall of John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

's Conservative
Conservative Party of Canada (historical)
The Conservative Party of Canada has gone by a variety of names over the years since Canadian Confederation. Initially known as the "Liberal-Conservative Party", it dropped "Liberal" from its name in 1873, although many of its candidates continued to use this name.As a result of World War I and the...

 government. The Metropolitan Bank closed in 1876; Starnes' unorthodox financial management was blamed for its collapse. He served as speaker for the legislative council from 1878 to 1882; he served in the provincial executive council
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 as railway commissioner from 1882 to 1884 and commissioner of agriculture and public works in 1887.

He died in Montreal in 1896.


Hon. Henry Starnes married Eleanor Stuart. The couple had three daughters: Louise, Eleanor and Corinne. Louise Starnes married Captain Mitchell-Innes, 6oth Rifles. Eleanor Starnes married the Hon. J. R. D. Tollemache, a son of John Tollemache, 1st Baron Tollemache
John Tollemache, 1st Baron Tollemache
John Jervis Tollemache, 1st Baron Tollemache , was a British Conservative Member of Parliament and a major landowner and estate manager in Cheshire.-Personal life and career:...

Corinne Starnes married, May 31st, 1869, Kenneth Gregg Henderson, Captain H.M.'s 6oth Rifles, who had distinguished himself during the Indian Mutiny and in China, and became, successively, Colonel of his regiment, a Major-General, and commandant of the garrison at Alexandria. He was created a C.B., 1887, and died August, 1902.

Louise Amelia Lititia Starnes married, in Montreal, Quebec, October 27th, 1870, Alexander Ferdinand Henry Mitchell-Innes, Captain 6oth Rifles, fourth son of Alexander Mitchell-Innes, J.P. and D.L. of Ayton Castle
Ayton Castle
Ayton Castle is located to the east of Ayton in the Scottish Borders. It is north-west of Berwick upon Tweed, in the former county of Berwickshire. Built around a medieval tower house, the present castle dates largely from the 19th century. Ayton Castle is the caput of the feudal barony of Ayton...

, County Berwick, Scotland, and his wife, Charlotte Gordon, daughter of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder
Thomas Dick Lauder
Sir Thomas Dick Lauder of Fountainhall, 7th Baronet, FRSE FSA was a Scottish author. He served as Secretary to the Board of Manufactures , on the Herring Fisheries Board, at the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts, and as Deputy Lieutenant of both counties of Moray and...

, Bart., and has issue two sons and one daughter.

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