Mackenzie Bowell

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



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

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