Harry Ord

Sir Harry St. George Ord GCMG CB (17 June 1819 – 20 August 1885) was a British colonial administrator who served as Governor of Bermuda between 1861 and 1864, Governor of the Straits Settlements between 1867 and 1873, and Governor of Western Australia between 1877 and 1880.

Harry Ord
In his official attire as Governor of Western Australia
10th Governor of Western Australia
In office
12 November 1877  9 April 1880
Preceded bySir William Robinson
Succeeded bySir William Robinson
8th Governor of the Straits Settlements
In office
16 March 1867  4 November 1873
MonarchQueen Victoria
Colonial SecretaryRonald MacPherson
James W.W. Birch
Preceded bySir William Orfeur Cavenagh
Succeeded bySir Andrew Clarke
Governor of Bermuda
In office
Preceded byFreeman Murray
Succeeded byWilliam Munroe
Personal details
Born(1819-06-17)17 June 1819
North Cray, Kent, England
Died20 August 1885(1885-08-20) (aged 66)
Homburg, Germany
Cause of deathHeart attack
Resting placeFornham St Martin
Julia Graham
(m. 1846)
RelationsCraven Ord (paternal grandfather)
  • Henry Gough Ord (father)
  • Louisa Latham (mother)
OccupationColonial administrator

Education and career

Ord was the son of Henry Gough Ord and grandson of Craven Ord (1756–1832) of Greenstead Hall, Essex, a prominent antiquarian. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, (1835–1837). He served in the Royal Engineers, (1837–1856), principally in the West Indies, West Africa, and the Anglo-French expedition to the Baltic (1854), during the Crimean War.

Ord later held many important colonial posts, including:

Governor of Straits Settlements

The official picture of Sir Harry Ord as the Governor of the Straits Settlements

Sir Harry Ord, whom the second Colonial Office appointed in 1867 as the Governor of the Straits Settlements, was at first given no instructions regarding the Colony's relations with the Malay States. He was unpopular in the Straits Settlements, but was an ambitious and energetic man, who was ready to do what he could to restore order and promote trade in the Peninsula. Conditions in Malaya at that time were extremely unsettled. The quarrels of the Malays were intensified by feuds between competing groups of Chinese miners, and the links of the Chinese with the British settlements threatened to involve these too in the trouble. After some experience of negotiating with Malays and Siamese, Ord worked out a policy under which he proposed to share the supervision of the Peninsula between Britain and Siam. This policy was disapproved by the Colonial Office, and Ord was directed to abstain from all interference in the affairs of the Malay States.


Harry Ord in 1869

Ord married Julia Graham of Exmouth daughter of Admiral James Carpenterin on 28 June 1846 by whom he had three sons.[1] Sir Harry Ord died on 20 August 1885 from heart attack and was buried in the churchyard of St. Martin's parish church in Fornham St. Martin, Suffolk, England. The village institute in Fornham was built in Ord's memory with funds donated by the Maharaja of Johore.[2]

The Ord River in the Kimberley region of Western Australia was named in his honour, as was Ord Street, Fremantle.



  1. "1878–1880 Major-General Sir Harry St George Ord RE KCMG CB". Government House of Western Australia.
  2. Parkinson, C. Northcote (1960). British Intervention in Malaya 1867-1877. Singapore: University of Malaya Press. p. 105.
  3. "No. 24464". The London Gazette. 30 May 1877. p. 3442.
  4. "No. 24976". The London Gazette. 24 May 1881. p. 2675.
  • Colonial Office List, various list, DNB
  • One Hundred Years of Singapore (1819)
  • C.D. Cowan, Nineteenth Century Malaya: The Origins of British Political Control, (1961)

See also

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