Darling, Sir Charles Henry (1809-1870)
Darling was born in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia on February 19, 1809. He was educated in
England, at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst. He started in the army as an ensign in 1826
and, by 1830, he was a lieutenant. A year later, however, he re-started his studies at Sandhurst
and remained there until 1833. He left to serve as a military secretary in Barbados, the Windward
Islands, and Jamaica. Darling rose to the rank of captain before retiring from the army in 1841 to
start a new career in the civil service. As a government official, Darling spent several years in
Jamaica until he was appointed lieutenant-governor of St. Lucia in 1847, and the Cape Colony in
South Africa in 1851. He was appointed governor-in-chief of Antigua and the Leeward Islands in
1855 but never served there. The Colonial Office decided to send him to Newfoundland instead.
Darling was sent to Newfoundland to help ease the way for responsible government. At the start,
he got along well with the newly elected Liberal administration, headed by Philip F. Little. During
1855 and 1856 Newfoundland was peaceful politically, and, with its inclusion in the Reciprocity
Treaty with the United States, enjoyed a spurt of economic growth. His agreeable relationship
with the government changed sharply, however, in 1856, when Darling went along with British
suggestions that would grant the French more fishing rights in waters between Cape St. John and
Cape Ray. The Newfoundland government vehemently disagreed with the proposals, and
eventually the recommendations were dropped. The conflict tarnished the relationship between
Darling and the government. His term ended shortly after the dispute.
Darling was appointed governor and captain-chief of Jamaica in February of 1857. His last
appointment was in 1863, as governor of Victoria, Australia. He returned to England and died in
Cheltenham in 1870.
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