Halifax, Charles Montagu, earl of, 1661-1715, English statesman. He and Matthew Prior were coauthors of a parody of John Dryden's The Hind and the Panther, entitled The Town and The Country Mouse (1687). As a lord of the treasury, Halifax proposed (1692) the system of government borrowing that established the British national debt. In 1694 he adopted the proposal of William Paterson to found the Bank of England and was appointed chancellor of the exchequer. The following year he designated Isaac Newton as warden of the mint to effect a recoinage and issued the first exchequer bills. Halifax succeeded Sidney Godolphin as first lord of the treasury (1697-99) and was twice impeached (1701, 1703) for breach of trust as auditor of the exchequer, but he was not convicted. He was reappointed first lord of the treasury on the accession (1714) of George I.
Halifax, Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st earl of, 1881-1959, British statesman. He entered the House of Commons (1910) as a Conservative and was president of the Board of Education (1922-24) and of the Board of Agriculture (1924-25). Created Baron Irwin in 1925, he served (1926-31) as viceroy of India. Confronted with the civil disobedience campaign of Mohandas Gandhi and his followers, he promised (1929) dominion status for India and induced Gandhi to participate in the further roundtable conferences on India's future. Succeeding his father as Viscount Halifax in 1934, he became Conservative leader of the House of Lords in 1935, serving also as secretary for war (1935) and lord privy seal (1935-38). As foreign secretary (1938-40) Halifax firmly supported Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement toward Nazi Germany. From 1941 to 1946 he was ambassador to the United States. He was created an earl in 1944. He wrote John Keble (1932); his speeches are collected as Indian Problems (1932), Speeches on Foreign Policy (1940), and American Speeches (1947).

See his autobiography, Fullness of Days (1957); biographies by A. Johnson (1941), the earl of Birkenhead (1965), and A. Roberts (1991).

Halifax, George Savile, 1st marquess of, 1633-95, English statesman. A protégé of the 2d duke of Buckingham, he was made Viscount Halifax (1668) and sat (1672-76) in the privy council. An opponent both of the pro-Catholic faction that arranged the alliance (1670) with France and of the ministry of Lord Danby, which reversed that policy, Halifax became known as the Trimmer because of his practice of "trimming," or balancing between factions. He was expelled from the council for opposing Danby, but he regained favor with Charles II and was readmitted (1679) to the council, created an earl (1679) and a marquess (1682), and made lord privy seal (1682). He led the successful opposition to the bill (1680) to exclude the future James II from the throne. On the accession (1685) of James II, Halifax was made lord president of the council, but he resigned almost immediately in opposition to James's pro-Catholic policies. When William of Orange (see William III) landed in England in 1688, Halifax at first sought to mediate between William and James, but then joined William. As leader of the Whig peers, he formally requested (1689) William to accept the crown of England. He was appointed (1689) lord privy seal and chief minister, but lack of a supporting group in Parliament made it impossible for him to form a viable ministry, and he resigned (1690). His most famous political pamphlet, The Character of a Trimmer (written 1684, published 1688), describes the virtues of his middle course in politics.

See his complete works, ed. by W. Raleigh (1912, repr. 1970); his life and letters by H. C. Foxcroft (2 vol., 1898; repr. 1969); biography by H. C. Foxcroft (1946).

Halifax, city (1991 pop. 114,455), provincial capital, S central N.S., Canada, on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the largest city in the Maritime Provinces and is one of Canada's principal ice-free Atlantic ports. Halifax is the eastern terminus of Canada's two great railroad systems and of its transcontinental highway. Its many industries include commercial fishing, fish processing, shipbuilding, oil refining, and the manufacture of automobiles, electronics, clothing, and furniture. It is the home port of the Canadian Atlantic fleet and the headquarters of its eastern army.

Halifax was founded in 1749 as Chebucto and was then renamed for the earl of Halifax, then president of the Board of Trade and Plantations. It was intended originally to be a British naval stronghold comparable to that of France at Louisburg. It served as a naval base for the expedition against Louisburg in 1758, against the American colonies in the American Revolution, and against the United States in the War of 1812. The Halifax Gazette, founded in 1752 and now the official Nova Scotia Royal Gazette, was the first newspaper in Canada.

The first transatlantic steamship service, from Halifax to Great Britain, began in 1840. During both world wars the port was an important naval and air base, convoy terminal, and embarkation center. In 1917 a French munitions vessel carrying explosives was rammed in the harbor by a Belgian relief vessel, causing an explosion that killed about 1,800 people, injured about 9,000 more (one-fifth of the population), and destroyed the northern part of the city.

Places of interest include the Citadel fortress (1856); Province House (1818); St. Paul's Church, the oldest (1750) Anglican church in Canada; the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic; and Point Pleasant Park. Educational institutions include Dalhousie Univ. (1818), the Univ. of Kings College, Mount St. Vincent Univ., St. Mary's Univ., and technical and art schools.

See S. H. Prince, Catastrophe and Social Change (1920, repr. 1968); T. H. Raddall, Halifax: Warden of the North (rev. ed. 1971); J. Payzant, Halifax: Cornerstone of Canada (1985).

Halifax, urban area (1991 pop. 87,488), Calderdale metropolitan district, central England, on the Hebble, a small tributary of the Calder River. Halifax is an industrial town centered around the production of woolen goods, carpets, and machine tools. Other industries include the manufacture of cotton, silk and synthetics, and iron and steel. Noteworthy are the Bankfield Museum, the 18th-century Piece Hall, the 15th-century parish church of St. John the Baptist, the Renaissance town hall designed by Sir Charles Barry, and Heath Grammar School (1585). Halifax carried on an important wool trade in the Middle Ages.
Halifax, Nova Scotia may refer to any of the following:


Former municipalities

  • The former City of Halifax was incorporated in 1841 and dissolved in 1996 when the HRM was formed.


  • Halifax County, Nova Scotia, one of Nova Scotia's 18 counties. The county government, along with the City of Halifax, City of Dartmouth, and Town of Bedford, was dissolved in 1996 when HRM was formed.


Military facilities

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