Smyth, Sir Edward Selby

Sir Edward Selby Smyth, military officer (b at Belfast, Ire 31 Mar 1819; d in Eng 22 Sept 1896). He was adjutant general and general officer commanding the Canadian militia 1874-80, an appointment capping a British service career in India, Africa, Ireland and Mauritius. Economic depression and decreased militia expenditures forced Selby Smyth to concentrate on the survival of the militia as an institution. Although many of his proposals were rejected by the government, his relations with his Canadian political masters were better than those of his successors. In 1875 Selby Smyth undertook an 18 333 km tour through the Canadian West to inspect NWMP and militia units. His timely arrival in Batoche with 50 policemen forestalled declaration of a Métis republic.