Characters > Historical

Sir Arthur Percy Sherwood
Chief Commissioner of the Dominion Police

Photo of Sir Arthur Percy Sherwood

“I heard a few days ago about Bennett probably taking a prolonged holiday. I think it is a good thing. I wish I could the same.”
Lieutenant Colonel A.P. Sherwood

As Inspector Andrew MacNutt’s boss, Chief Commissioner Sir Percy Sherwood needed patience to deal with some people’s exuberance when it came to protecting Canada’s borders. It is he who recruits Andrew to head his department’s Secret Service and assigns Staff Sergeant Lacelle to be his second in command.

He stays mainly in the background in my novel and he never does meet Count Jaggi, the German secret agent and the man his subordinate MacNutt is searching for. But he is kept informed and does his best to run interference for MacNutt and Lacelle.


Born in Ottawa in 1854, Sir Percy was the Chief of Police of Ottawa from 1879 to 1882. He left the Ottawa police to become a superintendent of the Dominion Police. He was made chief commissioner in 1885. Under his command, the force continually expanded its role and responsibilities and had gradually increased in numbers to about 140 when he retired in 1919.

He was an extremely social man. He was

When the Canadian Parliament increased his budget by $100,000 to deal with the perceived threat, he took what he believed to be a common sense approach. He hired the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to conduct investigations in the United States. 

Sherwood felt that Canadians should not waste too much time and energy on matters of home defence when there was a war to be won in Europe. At the same time he needed to be prepared for any real dangers.

While there were some incidents such as:

There were very few serious incidents, and most of Sherwood’s time was spent investigating the overactive imaginations of the Canadian public and Canadian and British officials.

Military Service

1898, Commanding Officer, 43rd Regiment

1906, Commanding Officer, 8th Infantry Brigade

Sources and further reading


Dominion Police fonds, Description found in Archives - Search - Library and Archives Canada

Arthur Percy Sherwood and family fonds, Description found in Archives - Search - Library and Archives Canada