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Henry Sherwood

The Hon. Henry Sherwood

4th Premier of Canada West
In office
1847 – 1848
Preceded by William Henry Draper
Succeeded by Robert Baldwin

Born 1807
Augusta Township, Upper Canada
Died July 7, 1855
Bavaria
Political party Tory
Spouse(s) Mary White
Profession lawyer, local politician

Henry Sherwood, QC (1807 – July 7, 1855) was a lawyer and Tory provincial politician, moved to municipal politics and was alderman of St. David's Ward when chosen as Toronto's 7th mayor from 1842 to 1844. Sherwood was appointed QC on 23 January 1838. He was born in Augusta Township, Upper Canada.

In 1836, he was elected to the 13th Parliament of Upper Canada representing the town of Brockville. In 1843, he was elected to the 1st Parliament of the Province of Canada representing Toronto. From May 28, 1847 to March 11, 1848, Sherwood served as Joint Premier of the Province of Canada for Canada West along with his counterpart Denis-Benjamin Papineau who represented Canada East.

When responsible government was granted to Upper Canada (which then became Canada West), Sherwood ran with Mayor George Monro on a Tory ticket but was defeated in March 1841 by Reformers despite having the full backing of the Orange Order and establishment. A riot ensued the next day when a victory parade by the Reformers was attacked by Orangemen carrying knives, sticks and firearms. The Orangemen were based at the Coleraine Tavern and had been brought in from Scarborough, Ontario by the tavern's owner, Samuel Sherwood, who happened to be Henry's brother. One man was killed by a shot fired from the tavern. Charles Dickens, visiting Toronto at the time, observed:

One man was killed on the same occasion and from the very window whence he received his death, the very flag which shielded his murderer (not only in the commission of his crime, but from its consequences), was displayed again on the occasion of the public ceremony performed by the Governor General, to which I have just adverted. Of all the colours in the rainbow, there is but one which could be so employed: I need not say that the flag was orange.[1]

Sherwood, nevertheless, succeeded Monro as Mayor. He stayed very active in national politics while mayor. He became the Solicitor-General of Canada in the summer of 1842 and again during his second term as mayor.

He was a successful mayor. Credit belongs to the committees, but he was the mayor that oversaw the regulation of the market, paving the streets and collecting taxes. In 1842, 94 gas lights illuminated King and Yonge Streets and a waterworks was underway.

Mayor Sherwood saw that the Town Hall was too small for the growing civic government and the plans were drawn for Toronto's first municipal offices. Construction began on the new City Hall (now St. Lawrence Hall) in the summer of 1844 at Jarvis and Front Streets.

Sherwood sat on city council after his final mayoralty term until 1849 then continued on with provincial politics for a few more years. He suffered from ill health later in life and died in Bavaria in 1855 while travelling in Europe.

Sherwood's brother and tavern owner, Samuel, would serve as the city's police chief from 1852 to 1859.

References

Mayors of Toronto, Volume 1, 1834-1899 by Victor Loring Russell ©1982 Published by: The Boston Mills Press

Used with permission

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
William Henry Draper
Joint Premiers of the Province of Canada - Canada West
1847–1848
Succeeded by
Robert Baldwin
Preceded by
George Monro
Mayor of Toronto
1842–1844
Succeeded by
William H. Boulton
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