George Airey Kirkpatrick
Sir George Airey Kirkpatrick
|4th Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada|
February 8, 1883 – July 12, 1887
|Governor General||The Marquess of Lorne|
The Marquess of Lansdowne
|Prime Minister||Sir John A. Macdonald|
|Preceded by||Joseph Godéric Blanchet|
|Succeeded by||Joseph-Aldéric Ouimet|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
April 27, 1870 – May 30, 1892
|Preceded by||Thomas Kirkpatrick|
|Succeeded by||Hiram Augustus Calvin|
|7th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario|
May 30, 1892 – November 7, 1896
|Governor General||The Lord Stanley of Preston|
The Earl of Aberdeen
Arthur Sturgis Hardy
|Preceded by||Alexander Campbell|
|Succeeded by||Casimir Gzowski|
|Born||September 13, 1841|
Kingston, Canada West
|Died||December 13, 1899 (aged 58)|
|Spouse(s)||Frances Jane Macaulay (d. 1877)|
Isabel Louise Macpherson (m. 1883)
|Relations||Thomas Kirkpatrick (father)|
|Children||4 sons and 1 daughter (from his first marriage); 1 son (from his second marriage)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College|
|Profession||lawyer, militia officer, and businessman|
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.
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.
- 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.
- Spence, Marion; Old Times: Remember When: Seats of Honour; Winter/Spring 2007; Pg. 18
- Works by or about George Airey Kirkpatrick at Internet Archive
- Morley, Leslie H. (1990). "Kirkpatrick, Sir George Airey". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. XII (1891–1900) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
- George Airey Kirkpatrick – Parliament of Canada biography