Edward Blake

Edward Blake

Birth
Adelaide, Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada
Death 1 Mar 1912 (aged 78)
Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Burial
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Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Memorial ID 69015296 · View Source
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2nd Premier of Ontario, Canada. He served in this position from 1871 to 1872 and was the leader of the Liberal party from 1880 to 1887. He was the only leader of the Liberal party who never became Prime Minister of Canada. Born Dominick Edward Blake in Adelaide Township, Upper Canada (now part of the province of Ontario). A sickly child, he received his primary education at home, taught by his parents and a tutor. He then attended Upper Canada College and the University of Toronto, in Toronto, Ontario, receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1854 and a Master of Arts Degree in 1856. After finishing college, he decided to go to pursue a career in law and in 1856, after he was called to the bar, he entered into partnership with Stephen M. Jarvis in Toronto to practice law. When his brother Samuel Hume Blake joined soon thereafter, it became Blake & Blake and today the firm is known as Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. In 1867 he was recruited into active politics by George Brown, one of the Fathers of Confederation, and won a seat in the Canadian House of Commons from the district of South Bruce, Ontario. In 1868 and became leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and Premier of Ontario in 1871, but left provincial politics to run in the 1872 federal election, in which he was re-elected. He played a major role in exposing the government of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald's complicity in the 1873 Canadian Pacific Railway Scandal forcing MacDonald's resignation. He was offered the prime ministership, but turned it down due to ill health. When the Liberal party won the subsequent 1874 federal election, he joined the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie and served as Minister of Justice and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. From 1876 to 1900 he served as chancellor of the University of Toronto. In 1878 the Liberal party was defeated in the federal election, and he succeeded Mackenzie as party leader in 1880. As party leader, he was excessively dominant in party matters and parliamentary activity. He often gave long speeches, up to 6 hours in length, that left little for his colleagues to say and consequently left them minimal opportunity to display leadership, gain experience or please the electorate. He failed to defeat Macdonald's Conservatives in the 1882 or 1887 elections and he resigned as the Liberal leader in 1887, recruiting future Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier as his successor, and left the Canadian House of Commons in 1891, when he moved to England. In the 1892 election, he entered the British House of Commons as an Irish Nationalist Member of Parliament for the constituency of South Longford in the center of Ireland, serving until 1907 when he resigned following a stroke and retired to Canada. He died in Toronto, Ontario at the age of 78.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Islington
  • Added: 27 Apr 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 69015296
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Edward Blake (13 Oct 1833–1 Mar 1912), Find A Grave Memorial no. 69015296, citing Saint James Cemetery, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave .