John George Lambton (1792–1840), 1st Earl of Durham, was a controversial character. He was a Whig politician who pushed for electoral reform, and he helped to prepare the first Reform Bill. He hated political dealing and was always quarrelling with someone. Through his second marriage, he became the son-in-law of Earl Grey, and served in his administration. In 1838 Lambton was appointed High Commissioner of Lower Canada and Governor-General of the British provinces of North America, but resigned in the same year when he was criticised for his high-handed actions by the British Government, which withdrew its support from him. He tried to become leader of the Whig Party but failed; although an energetic and able man, he was arrogant and unwilling to compromise. He died young, at the age of 48.
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Royal College of Physicians, London
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