Blake, Sir Henry Arthur (1840-1918)
Blake was born in Limerick, Ireland on January 8, 1840. He started out as a draper's assistant at
a haberdashery but soon joined the Irish Constabulary where he worked as an inspector and
magistrate (Duff). He was made governor of the Bahamas in 1886, and was transferred to
Newfoundland in 1887. He was knighted the same year.
Blake was Newfoundland's governor during a controversy over fishing rights in Newfoundland
waters. The terms of the 1818 fishing convention which gave American fishers substantial rights
to the waters and to Newfoundland shores for processing were up for discussion. Britain and
the United States, however, had planned to meet without Newfoundland's knowledge. Outraged,
Prime Minister Winter demanded to attend and eventually did (Hiller 155). During this time,
Blake acted mostly as mediator.
Blake's term ended in 1889. He subsequently served as governor of Jamaica, Hong Kong, and
Ceylon. In 1910, he became chairman of the newly-formed Newfoundland Oilfields Limited which
explored oil deposits in the Parsons Pond area. Blake died on February 23, 1918. The community
of Blaketown is named in his honour.
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