The Duke whose life began and ended in a barn


By David Morris, published 31st May 2001

Though ill-luck came the way of the Harvey family last autumn when their hay barn was gutted by fire, they hardly expected it to become national news. The family run a dairy farm in the Jock River country south of what is now Ottawa in Canada – nothing extraordinary about that, but the Ottawa Citizen was soon to proclaim that it was a special barn and its destruction ‘tarnished’ a remarkable piece of Canadian and British history. This barn was indeed the scene of the Governor General of Canada’s death in tragic circumstances in 1819. He was the Duke of Richmond and Lennox, a glamorous figure with a long record of military and diplomatic service who had come only the year before to take up his post in Canada.

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