British politician Henry Goulburn (1784-1856) was born in London, England, to Munbee Goulburn and Susannah Chetwynd. Henry graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, with a Master of Arts degree in 1808, and became undersecretary of the home department in 1810. From 1812 to 1821, Goulburn served as an undersecretary for war and colonies department. In May 1814, he was appointed peace commissioner to the United States, serving with Admiral James Gambier and William Adams to negotiate the treaty to end the War of 1812. The negotiating team traveled to Ghent in August 1814 to meet with the five American commissioners, Albert Gallatin, John Quincy Adams, James Ashton Bayard, Henry Clay, and Jonathan Russell. On December 24, 1815, the commissioners signed the Treaty of Ghent, which essentially restored British and American territorial borders and maritime rights to their pre-war state.
Goulburn resigned from the colonial office in 1821 and was appointed chief secretary to the Marquis of Wellesley, lord lieutenant of Ireland. In 1826, Goulburn unsuccessfully campaigned to represent Cambridge University in the House of Commons and instead was elected to a seat for Armagh, Ireland. Cambridge finally elected him to Parliament in 1831, and he held that seat until his death in 1856. During this period, Goulburn also served as chancellor of the exchequer and home secretary.