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James Boyle Uniacke

James Boyle Uniacke (Halifax 1799 – 26 March 1858 Halifax) led the first responsible government in Canada or any colony of the British Empire. He was the first Premier of Nova Scotia from 1848 to 1854 serving concurrently as the colony's Attorney-General.

The son of Richard John Uniacke, James was born to politics and entered the colony's legislative assembly in 1832 as a Conservative. In 1838 he joined the Executive Council and became a Reformer during the struggle for responsible government culminating in the 1848 election, the first under responsible government, which resulted in a Liberal Party administration led by Uniacke with Howe becoming more prominent after 1851 as Uniacke's health declined.

Uniacke worked closely with Joseph Howe, the most influential reform politician of the era and put Howe in his cabinet as Provincial Secretary. The two politicians worked to adapt Nova Scotia's institutions to the new democratic forms. Uniacke retired as Premier in 1854 to become commissioner of crown lands and surveyor general.


Political offices
Preceded by
new position
Premier of Nova Scotia
Succeeded by
William Young


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