Richard Blanshard

 © David Watts

Victoria winter 1996

Some governors were fighting men, made their name in time of war

Others were diplomats who smoothed where the fighters had gone before

Some governors were born to lands, title and rank and wealth

Richard Blanshard was just an Englishman, served the Queen all by himself.


He didn’t make a fortune

He didn’t win much fame

Richard Blanshard paid his own way

And left us with only his name.


They said he was “a gentleman,” perhaps that wasn’t enough

In the frontier rush when push comes to shove, you gotta know how to be tough

They didn’t give him soldiers or a residence of his own

When you’re new in town with a staff of one, you have no weight to throw around. 


After just a few months he decided to quit, but he waited for permission to go

While letters went by boat, he stayed at his post until his release came through

Some folks had wanted a council, a say in how things were done

Before his time to depart, Blanshard made a start with elections called and run.


Perhaps he came too early, perhaps he came to late

But when he took a look and saw how things were he decided not to wait

They didn’t need a Governor representing the Crown

In a Company shop with one boss at the top, who didn’t want another around.


Last double chorus

He was caught in the crossfire without fortune or fame

Richard Blanshard paid his own way and left us with only his name


He didn’t make a fortune, he didn’t win much fame

Richard Blanshard came West and gave of his best

and Victoria remembers that he came.