John Campbell Hamilton-Gordon, 7th Earl of Aberdeen and (from 1916) 1st Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, KT, GCMG, GCVO, PC, lived from 3 August 1847 to 7 March 1934. He was a politician who served as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland and Governor General of Canada. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
John Hamilton-Gordon was born in Edinburgh. He was the third son of George Hamilton-Gordon, 5th Earl of Aberdeen, who in turn had been the eldest surviving son of Prime Minister George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen. John was educated at the University of St Andrews and University College, Oxford. On their father's death in 1864, John's oldest brother George became the 6th Earl of Aberdeen. George was lost at sea off Australia in 1870, and as the second brother, James, had been killed in a rifle accident in 1868, John Hamilton-Gordon became the 7th Earl of Aberdeen, usually simply known as Lord Aberdeen. His Aberdeenshire home was at Haddo House, in the heart of the family's vast estates.
As a member of the House of Lords, Lord Aberdeen was a strong supporter of Prime Minister William Gladstone. During Gladstone's brief 1886 administration, Lord Aberdeen served as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. He was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire in 1880, a largely ceremonial and honourary post he held until 1934. He also served as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland between 1881 and 1885.
In 1890 Lord and Lady Aberdeen spent time in Canada during a world tour. They liked the country so much that the following year they bought a ranch in British Columbia. In 1893, Lord Aberdeen was appointed Governor General of Canada, a post he would hold until 1898. During this period, Lord and Lady Aberdeen travelled widely across Canada, making a point of meeting as many ordinary Canadians as possible. He oversaw the tenure of four Prime Ministers, and dismissed one, who had refused to give up power after the 1896 election. In 1905, Lord Aberdeen was again appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, a post he held until 1915.
Lord Aberdeen also served as Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews from 1913 to 1916. The year after returning from Ireland at the age of 68, John Hamilton-Gordon was promoted within the Peerage to become 1st Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair. He died in 1934 at the age of 87.