Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford
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Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford

The Earl of Guilford

1st Governor of British Ceylon

12 October 1798 - 19 July 1805
MonarchGeorge III
Robert Andrews
(as Resident and Superintendent of British Ceylon)
Thomas Maitland
Personal details
Born(1766-02-07)7 February 1766
Died14 October 1827(1827-10-14) (aged 61)
RelationsFrederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (father)

Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford, (7 February 1766 - 14 October 1827), styled The Honourable Frederick North until 1817, was a British politician and colonial administrator.

Early Life and education

North was a younger son of Prime Minister Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (usually referred to as Lord North). He was educated at Eton College (1775-82) and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1791, he converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church and became an ardent adherent.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1794.[2]



He represented Banbury in Parliament from 1792 to 1794.

Secretary of State for Corsica

North served as Secretary of State to the Viceroy Sir Gilbert Elliot from 1794 to 1796 during the short-lived Anglo-Corsican Kingdom . North was tasked with the delicate negotiations with Pasquale Paoli and came to consider that Corsica was effectively 'ungovernable'.[3]

Governor of Ceylon

He served as first British Governor of Ceylon from 1798 to 1805. North proclaimed in 1801 that all rajakariya (royal service) was abolished and replaced it with a tax of one-fifth of their produce on low land and one-tenth on high land. North built his official residence, the Doric Bungalow, near the Mannar Sea according to his own plan; he himself used to supervise the pearl fishery, which at that time provided a substantial income for the British. North declared himself head of the salagama caste and appointed Robert Arbuthnot head of the karava caste; the Judicial Charter limited the governor's autocracy by establishing the Supreme Court and High Court of Appeal.[4]

In 1817 he succeeded his elder brother as fifth Earl of Guilford.

Ionian Academy

In 1824 North established the Ionian Academy on the island of Corfu, which was under British control as part of the United States of the Ionian Islands. It was the first University to be established in modern Greece. In this context, he financed the studies in France (at Ecole polytechnique ) of Giovanni Carandino, the founder of the modern Greek mathematics. The academy has now closed but a statue of the Earl stands on the island. A library and a street are also named after him.[5]


Lord Guilford died unmarried in October 1827, aged 61, and was succeeded in his titles by his cousin Francis.


  1. ^ "Bookplate of Frederick North, fifth Earl of Guildford (1766-1827)". St John's College Cambridge. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Fellow Details". Royal Society. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ Gregory, Desmond (1985). The Ungovernable Rock. A History of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom and its role in Britain's Mediterranean Strategy during the Revolutionary War (1793-1797). Associated University Presses,Inc. pp. 134-135. ISBN 0-8386-3225-4.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Miller (1966), p. 123.


  • Miller, W., The Ottoman Empire and its Successors: 1801-1927 (London, 1966), p. 123
  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.

External links

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Lord North
Member of Parliament for Banbury
Succeeded by
William Holbech
Government offices
Preceded by
New office
Governor of Ceylon
Succeeded by
Thomas Maitland
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Francis North
Earl of Guilford
Succeeded by
Francis North

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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