The Right Honourable
Sir John Sparrow
David Thompson

1892-1894
Conservative

" We look forward to it as one of the aims which are to be accomplished in the public life of Canada, because the Conservative party believes that the influence of women in the politics of the country is always for good. I think, therefore, that there is a probability of the franchise being extended to the women on the same property qualifications as men." John Thompson, September 1893, on women's suffrage.


Private Life

Did You Know?

Born into a strict Protestant family, Thompson converted to Catholicism following his marriage to Annie Affleck. He later became Canada's first Catholic prime minister.

  • Born: November 10, 1845, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Education: Attended Free Church Academy in Halifax.
  • Marriage: Annie Affleck (1845-1913) in 1870.
    • Two sons and three daughters born (four other children died in infancy).
  • Called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1865.
  • Alderman in Halifax, 1871-1877.
  • Attorney General of the Province of Nova Scotia, 1878-1882.
  • Premier of Nova Scotia, 1882.
  • Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, 1882-1885.
  • Minister of Justice, 1885-1892.
    • Negotiated with Britain and the United States on fishing rights in Canada.
  • Died: December 12, 1894, at Windsor Castle, England, of heart failure while still in office. Buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Political Career

Did You Know?

On July 23, 1894, despite opposition by his fellow Conservatives, Thompson piloted a bill through Parliament enacting Labour Day. The first Labour Day parade that same year, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was over 3 kilometres (2 miles) long.

  • Constituencies: Antigonish, Nova Scotia, 1885-1894.
  • Declined Prime Minister's position when John A. Macdonald died in 1891 believing that his Catholicism was unacceptable to the party.
    • While John Abbott served as PM from the Senate, Thompson represented the government from the House of Commons.
    • Created the Canadian Criminal Code, 1892.
  • Succeeded as Prime Minister when Abbott retired in 1892.
    • Negotiated the Bering Sea sealing dispute with the United States.
    • Settled the dispute over schooling in the North West Territories.
  • Thompson was a staunch believer in women's rights. Women may have received the vote much sooner had Thompson lived long enough.
    • "We look forward to it as one of the aims which are to be accomplished in the public life of Canada, because the Conservative party believes that the influence of women in the politics of the country is always for good. I think, therefore, that there is a probability of the franchise being extended to the women on the same property qualifications as men." John Thompson, September 1893, on women's suffrage.
  • Thompson suffered a heart attack while visiting Windsor Castle in England.
    • Queen Victoria held a requiem mass at Windsor for Thompson.
    • Thompson was returned to Halifax aboard the battleship HMS Blenheim (painted black for the task).

*(Progressive) Conservative *Liberal *Unionist/Conservative

* Macdonald * Mackenzie * Abbott * Thompson * Bowell
* Tupper * Laurier * Borden * Meighen * King
* Bennett * St. Laurent * Diefenbaker * Pearson * Trudeau
* Clark * Turner * Mulroney * Campbell * Chrétien

Canadiana