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Mackenzie Bowell

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

He was born on in Rickinghall, England. His family emigrated from there to Belleville, Ontario, where he apprenticed on the local newspaper. He became a successful printer and publisher and a prominent figure in the Orange Order, which made him Canadian grandmaster in 1870. In 1847 he married Harriet Moore[?] (1829-1884) and with her had four sons and five daughters.

In 1864, he was initiated into St. Lawrence Masonic Lodge #640 in Montreal, Quebec.

Elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1867, Bowell joined the Conservative cabinet in 1878. A competent, hardworking administrator, Bowell remained in cabinet when he became a senator in 1892. In 1894, as the most senior minister, Bowell succeeded to the prime ministership when Sir John Thompson died suddenly. As Prime Minister of Canada, Bowell struggled with dissent in his party. When seven cabinet ministers deserted him early in 1896, Bowell denounced them as "a nest of traitors." They soon returned, but with elections looming, Bowell agreed to retire. Charles Tupper, Canadian High Commissioner[?] to London, was recalled to replace him.

Sir Mackenzie Bowell was 93 years old and still a senator when he died in Belleville. He is buried in the Belleville Cemetery[?], Belleville, Ontario.

Preceded by:
John Thompson
Prime Minister of Canada Followed by:
Charles Tupper

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