Mackenzie Bowell: Wikis

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The Honourable
 Sir Mackenzie Bowell


In office
December 21, 1894 – April 27, 1896
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by Sir John Thompson
Succeeded by Sir Charles Tupper

Born December 27, 1823(1823-12-27)
Rickinghall, England
Died December 10, 1917 (aged 93)
Belleville, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Harriet Moore
Children 9
Alma mater None (no post-secondary schooling)
Occupation Newspaperman: printer, editor and, later, owner
Religion Presbyterian
Signature

Sir Mackenzie Bowell, PC, KCMG (pronounced /ˈboʊ.əl/; December 27, 1823 – December 10, 1917) was a Canada politician who served as the fifth Prime Minister of Canada from December 21, 1894 to April 27, 1896.

Contents

Biography

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Early Life

Bowell was born in Rickinghall, Suffolk, England to John Bowell and Elizabeth Marshall. In 1832 his family emigrated thence to Belleville, Ontario, where he apprenticed with the printer at the town newspaper, The Belleville Intelligencer. He became a successful printer and editor with that newspaper, and later its owner. He was a Freemason[1] but also an outstanding Orangeman, becoming Grandmaster of the Orange Order of British North America, 1870 – 1878. In 1847 he married Harriet Moore (1829 – 1884), with whom he had four sons and five daughters.

Early Political Life

Bowell was first elected to the House of Commons in 1867, as a Conservative, for the riding of North Hastings, Ontario. He held his seat for the Conservatives when they lost the election of January 1874, in the wake of the Pacific Scandal. Later that year he was instrumental in having Louis Riel expelled from the House. In 1878, with the Conservatives again governing, he joined the cabinet as Minister of Customs. In 1892 he became Minister of Militia and Defence. A competent, hardworking administrator, Bowell remained in Cabinet as Minister of Trade and Commerce, a newly made portfolio, after he became a senator that same year. His visit to Australia in 1893 led to the first conference of British colonies and territories, held in Ottawa in 1894. He became Leader of the Government in the Senate on October 31, 1893.

Prime Minister (1894 - 1896)

In December 1894, Prime Minister Sir John Thompson died suddenly and Bowell, as the most senior Cabinet minister, was appointed in Thompson's stead by the Governor General. Bowell thus became the second of just two Canadian Prime Ministers to hold that office while serving in the Senate rather than the House of Commons. (The first was John Abbott.)

As Prime Minister, Bowell faced the troublesome Manitoba Schools Question. In 1890 Manitoba had abolished public funding of its Catholic schools, contrary to the provisions made for Catholics in the Manitoba Act of 1870. Bowell and his predecessors had struggled to solve this problem. The issue had divided the country, the government, and even Bowell's own Cabinet. He was further hampered in his handling of the issue by his own indecisiveness on it, and by his inability, as a Senator, to take part in debates in the House of Commons. Bowell backed legislation, already drafted, that would have forced Manitoba to restore its Catholic schools, but then postsponed it due to opposition within his Cabinet. With the ordinary business of government at a standstill, Bowell's Cabinet decided he was incompetent to lead and so, to force him to step down, seven ministers resigned, then foiled the appointment of successors. Though Bowell denounced them as "a nest of traitors," he had to agree to resign. After ten days, through an intervention on Bowell's behalf by the Governor General, the government crisis was resolved and matters seemingly returned normal when six of the ministers were reinstated, but leadership was thenceforth effectively held by Charles Tupper, who had joined Cabinet at the same time, filling the seventh place. Tupper, who had been Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, had been recalled by the plotters to replace Bowell. Bowell formally resigned in favour of Tupper at the end of the parliamentary session.

Later Life

Bowell stayed on in the Senate, serving as his party's leader there until 1906, and afterward as a plain Senator until his death. He died of pneumonia in Belleville, only days short of turning 94, and was buried in the Belleville Cemetery. His funeral was attended by a full complement of the Orange Order, but not by any currently or formerly elected member of the government.

Bowell's descendants live in Hertfordshire, England.

In their 1999 study of the Canadian Prime Ministers up through Jean Chrétien, J.L. Granatstein and Norman Hillmer found that a survey of Canadian historians ranked Bowell #19 out of the 20 Prime Ministers up until then.

Supreme Court appointments

The following jurist was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada by the Governor General during Bowell's tenure:

Notes

  1. ^ A few famous freemasons at freemasonry.bcy.ca

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Isaac Burpee
Minister of Customs
1878 – 1892
Succeeded by
Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau
Preceded by
vacant
Minister of Railways and Canals
1891 – 1892
Succeeded by
John Graham Haggart
Preceded by
Adolphe-Philippe Caron
Minister of Militia and Defence
1892
Succeeded by
James Colebrooke Patterson
Preceded by
office created
Minister of Trade and Commerce
1892-1894
Succeeded by
William Bullock Ives
Preceded by
John Abbott
Leader of the Government in the Senate of Canada
1893 – 1896
Succeeded by
Oliver Mowat
Preceded by
John Thompson
Prime Minister of Canada
1894–1896
Succeeded by
Charles Tupper
Leader of the Conservative Party
1894–1896
Preceded by
William Bullock Ives
President of the Privy Council
1894 – 1896
Succeeded by
Auguste Réal Angers
Preceded by
Arthur Rupert Dickey
Minister of Militia and Defence
1896
Succeeded by
Alphonse Desjardins
Preceded by
George Foster
Minister of Finance and Receiver General
1896
Succeeded by
George Foster
Preceded by
Sir Richard W. Scott
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate of Canada
1896 – 1906
Succeeded by
Sir James A. Lougheed
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
None
Member of Parliament from Hastings North
1867 – 1892
Succeeded by
Alexander A.W. Carscallen
Preceded by
John Carling
Senator from Hastings
1892 – 1917
Succeeded by
Robert Mulholland

Simple English

The Honourable
Sir Mackenzie Bowell

In office
December 21, 1894 – April 27, 1896
Monarch Queen Victoria
Preceded by Sir John Thompson
Succeeded by Sir Charles Tupper

Born December 27, 1823(1823-12-27)
Rickinghall, England
Died December 10, 1917 (aged 93)
Belleville, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Spouse Harriet Moore
Children 9
Alma mater None (no post-secondary schooling)
Occupation Newspaperman: printer, editor and, later, owner
Religion Presbyterian

Sir Mackenzie Bowell, PC , KCMG (December 27, 1823December 10, 1917) was the fifth Prime Minister of Canada from December 21, 1894 to April 27, 1896.

Contents

Early life

Bowell was born in Rickinghall, Suffolk, England to John Bowell and Elizabeth Marshall. In 1832 his family moved to Belleville, Ontario. He started work helping the printer at the town newspaper, The Intelligencer. He became printer and editor with that newspaper, and later its owner. He was a Freemason[1] and an Orangeman, becoming Grandmaster of the Orange Order of British North America, 1870 – 1878. In 1847 he married Harriet Moore (1829 – 1884). He had four sons and five daughters.

Politics

Bowell was elected to the House of Commons in 1867, as a Conservative, for North Hastings, Ontario. In 1878 he became Minister of Customs. In 1892 he became Minister of Militia and Defence. He was a skilled and hardworking administrator. He later became Minister of Trade and Commerce. He was elected to the Senate. His visit to Australia in 1893 led to the first meeting of British colonies and territories. It was held in Ottawa in 1894. He became Leader of the Government in the Senate on October 31 1893.

In December 1894 the Prime Minister Sir John Thompson died suddenly. Bowell was the most senior Cabinet minister and was appointed Prime Minister by the Governor General. Bowell was the second of two Canadian Prime Ministers to serve in the Senate rather than the House of Commons. (The first was John Abbott.)

Manitoba Schools Question

As Prime Minister, Bowell faced the difficult Manitoba Schools Question. In 1890 Manitoba stopped giving money to Catholic schools. This was the opposite of an earlier law called in the Manitoba Act of 1870. Bowell other political leaders could not solve the problem. It had divided the country, the government, and even Bowell's own Cabinet. He could not make up his own mind on how to fix the problem. As a Senator he could not speak in the arguments in the House of Commons. Bowell supported a law that would have forced Manitoba to restore funding the Catholic schools. His Cabinet did not agree. Normal government activities stopped. His Cabinet decided he did not have the ability to be Prime Minister and he was forced to resign. Seven government ministers resigned and stopped new people from being appointed. Bowell called them "a nest of traitors". After ten days, the Governor General stepped in and the problem was solved. Six of the ministers went back to their jobs. Charles Tupper was the person who was seen as the real leader. Tupper had been Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He had been asked to come back and taker over from Bowell. Bowell resigned at the end of the parliamentary session.

Bowell was the Conservative leader until 1906. He stayed in the Senate until his death. He died of pneumonia in Bellville, just before he turned 94. He was buried in the Belleville Cemetery. His funeral was attended by a full group of the Orange Order.

Bowell's descendants live in Hertfordshire, England.

Supreme Court appointments

References

  1. A few famous freemasons at freemasonry.bcy.ca

Other websites

Prime Ministers of Canada
Macdonald | Mackenzie | Macdonald | Abbott | Thompson | Bowell | Tupper | Laurier | Borden | Meighen | King | Meighen | King | Bennett | King | St. Laurent | Diefenbaker | Pearson | Trudeau | Clark | Trudeau | Turner | Mulroney | Campbell | Chrétien | Martin | Harper


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