Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
June 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Sir James David Edgar


Edgar, Sir James David (18411899), speaker of the Canadian House of Commons (1896-9), was born at Hatley, Lower Canada, on August 10, 1841, the son of James Edgar and Grace Fleming. He was educated at Lennoxville, Lower Canada, and at Quebec ; and in 1864, having moved to Toronto, he was called to the bar of Upper Canada (Q.C., 1890). He was elected to the House of Commons in 1872 as Liberal member for Monck; and he was chief Liberal whip during the parliamentary crisis of 1873, which culminated in the downfall of Sir John Macdonald. In 1874 he was defeated at the polls; and he did not return to the House of Commons until 1884. He was then elected by acclamation in West Ontario ; and this constituency he represented continuously for the rest of his life. He was from 1884 to 1896 one of the leaders of the Liberal party in parliament; and in 1896 he was chosen speaker of the House of Commons. He died at Toronto on July 31, 1899. In 1865, he married Matilda, daughter of Thomas Gibbs Ridout; and by her he had six sons and three daughters. In 1897 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada; and he was the author of a volume of verse, This Canada of ours (Toronto, 1893), and a descriptive work, Canada and its capital (Toronto, 1898). In 1898 he was created a K.C.M.G.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada , 1948, 411p., p. 260.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College