He was a Member of the House of Commons in Britain, and entered the House of Lords in 1811. In 1835 he became Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada, and was instructed to appease the reformists, led by Louis-Joseph Papineau, without giving them any real power. He officially established the Diocese of Montreal in 1836, though it had been unofficially created a few years before. In 1837, when Papineau organized a rally against Prime Minister Lord Russell after Russell rejected Papineau's Ninety-Two Resolutions, Lord Gosford prohibited public assemblies. In August of that year Gosford dissolved the Legislative Assembly when they refused to pass his budget.
In November, Lord Gosford learned of the planned Patriotes Rebellion and had many of Papineau's followers arrested, although Papineau himself escaped to the United States. The next month, he issued a reward for the capture of Papineau, and declared martial law in Lower Canada.
Lord Gosford resigned after the rebellion was defeated. He returned to Britain and was replaced with Lord Durham, who implemented the Union Act in 1840 (which Lord Gosford unsuccessfully argued against). He died in 1849.
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