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John Sparrow David Thompson

The Right Honourable Sir John Thompson was the fourth Prime Minister of Canada from December 5, 1892 to December 12, 1894.

He was born November 10, 1845 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

He married Annie Affleck (1845-1913) in 1870 and with her had two sons and three daughters with four other children not surviving infancy. Like many Canadian leaders, he married a wife much stronger than he was -- Annie Thompson had the same kind of spirit that had driven Agnes MacDonald to ride the cowcatcher of the CPR train through the BC mounts. Her husband was a lawyer called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1865.

John Thompson had served briefly as Nova Scotia premier before being appointed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. When Sir John A. Macdonald recruited him to Ottawa in 1885, he quickly became a leading member of the Conservative government. His achievements included the first Criminal Code of Canada. His rise in government is probably due as much to the influence of Ishbel Aberdeen, the wife of the Governor General, http://www.geocities.com/daniellla.geo/ishbel, as to MacDonald's mentoring.

The previous prime minister, Sir John Abbott, wanted to turn the prime ministership over to him, but religious prejudice against the Roman Catholic Thompson prevented this, and it was delayed until Abbott's retirement in 1892.

Sir John Thompson had been Prime Minister of Canada for only two years when he died suddenly at the age of 49 on December 12, 1894, at Windsor Castle, where Queen Victoria had just made him a member of her Privy Council.

He was buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia after an elaborate funeral in England staged by Queen Victoria.

Preceded by:
John Abbott
Prime Minister of Canada Followed by:
Mackenzie Bowell



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