George Airey Kirkpatrick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sir George Airey Kirkpatrick

4th Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada
In office
February 8, 1883 – July 12, 1887
Governor GeneralThe Marquess of Lorne
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Prime MinisterSir John A. Macdonald
Preceded byJoseph Godéric Blanchet
Succeeded byJoseph-Aldéric Ouimet
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Frontenac
In office
April 27, 1870 – May 30, 1892
Preceded byThomas Kirkpatrick
Succeeded byHiram Augustus Calvin
7th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
In office
May 30, 1892 – November 7, 1896
Governor GeneralThe Lord Stanley of Preston
The Earl of Aberdeen
PremierOliver Mowat
Arthur Sturgis Hardy
Preceded byAlexander Campbell
Succeeded byCasimir Gzowski
Personal details
Born(1841-09-13)September 13, 1841
Kingston, Canada West
DiedDecember 13, 1899(1899-12-13) (aged 58)
Toronto, Ontario
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Frances Jane Macaulay (d. 1877)
Isabel Louise Macpherson (m. 1883)
RelationsThomas Kirkpatrick (father)
Children4 sons and 1 daughter (from his first marriage); 1 son (from his second marriage)
ResidenceKingston, Ontario
Alma materTrinity College
Professionlawyer, militia officer, and businessman

Sir George Airey Kirkpatrick KCMG PC QC (September 13, 1841 – December 13, 1899) was a politician from Ontario, Canada.

Born in 1841 in Kingston, Ontario, the son of Thomas Kirkpatrick, George Kirkpatrick was educated at Trinity College, Dublin.


He was called to the bar in 1865 and served as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of Canada from 1870 to 1892 taking over the Frontenac seat held by his late father.

He was a supporter of Sir John A. Macdonald's National Policy but was also a friend of Liberal leader Edward Blake whom he supported on issues such as proportional representation. Kirkpatrick considered joining the Liberal Party over the Pacific Scandal but decided to remain with the Conservatives.

In 1875, Kirkpatrick contested the Governor General's right to pardon Louis Riel without the consent of the Canadian Cabinet. As a result of his arguments, the Colonial Office issued new instructions that future Governors General not act without the advice of his ministers in such matters.

Kirkpatrick also argued in favour of protection of sailors from ship-owners who went bankrupt.

Following the 1882 election, Prime Minister Macdonald nominated Kirkpatrick as Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada. He was unenthusiastic about the position, but was nevertheless considered to be the most impartial Canadian Speaker of the nineteenth century. The Conservative government was unimpressed with his lack of partisanship, and he was not renominated for the position following the 1887 election. He returned to the backbenches where he remained until 1892 when he was appointed the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Ontario by Sir John Abbott.

During his time in office, Kirkpatrick made a special effort to visit and support the rural areas of the province. He served until 1896, and was knighted the same year. Sir Mackenzie Bowell offered Kirkpatrick a position in the Cabinet, but by this time, he had lost interest in politics. He died in Toronto in 1899.


Lady Isabel Louise Kirkpatrick (née Macpherson) by Kennedy & Bell, Toronto

In 1865, Kirkpatrick married Frances Macauley, and after her death, married Isabel Macpherson at Paris, France, September 26, 1883. Isabel Louise Macpherson, was the daughter of Hon. Sir D. L. Macpherson, P.C., K.C.M.G., and his wife, Elizabeth Sarah, daughter of William Molson, Esquire, of Montreal. She was born in Toronto, and educated in England. While first lady of Ontario, she secured funds for the presentation of a wedding gift to the present Prince and Princess of Wales and assisted in securing the establishment in Canada of a branch of the St. John Ambulance Association. In 1898 she was selected to present colours to the Army and Navy Veterans.[1]

His son was General Sir George Macaulay Kirkpatrick Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India.


Upper Canada College has a chair that once belonged to George Airey Kirkpatrick.[2]


  1. ^ Morgan, Henry James, ed. (1903). Types of Canadian Women and of Women who are or have been Connected with Canada. Toronto: Williams Briggs. p. 188.
  2. ^ Spence, Marion; Old Times: Remember When: Seats of Honour; Winter/Spring 2007; Pg. 18

External links[edit]