Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Sparrow David Thompson
|Date of Birth:||November 10, 1845|
|Place of Birth:||Halifax, Nova Scotia|
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Thompson 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 strong-willed wife — Annie Thompson had the same kind of spirit that had driven Agnes Macdonald to ride the cowcatcher of the CPR train through the British Columbia mountains. Her husband was a lawyer called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1865.
From 1878 to 1882 John Thompson was Attorney General in the provincial government of Simon H. Holmes. He served briefly as Nova Scotia premier in 1882 but his government was defeated in that year's election. He was appointed to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court after leaving the provincial legislature. 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, 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 of a heart attack 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 the second of two Canadian prime ministers to die in office (the first was Sir John A. Macdonald), and the first of three who did not die in Canada. (The other two were Sir Charles Tupper and Richard Bedford Bennett.)
He was buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia after an elaborate funeral in England staged by Queen Victoria.
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