Richard Hanson

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Richard Hanson

Richard Hanson 1940.jpg
Leader of the Opposition
In office
May 14, 1940 – January 1, 1943
Preceded byRobert Manion
Succeeded byGordon Graydon
Mayor of Fredericton
In office
Personal details
Born(1879-03-20)March 20, 1879
Bocabec, New Brunswick, Canada
DiedJuly 10, 1948(1948-07-10) (aged 69)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Jean B. Neill (m. 1906)
Residence270 Church St., Fredericton
Alma materMount Allison University, Dalhousie Law School

Richard Burpee Hanson, PC, KC (March 20, 1879 – July 14, 1948) was a Canadian politician who served as interim leader of the Conservative Party from May 14, 1940 until November 11, 1941.

Early life and education[edit]

Hanson was born on March 20, 1879, in Bocabec, Charlotte County, New Brunswick to parents Richard B. and Hannah Hanson. He was educated in public schools in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, and Dalhousie Law School.[1]


He was admitted to the Bar of New Brunswick in November 1902 and was created a King's Counsel by the Government of New Brunswick in January 1917. From 1918 to 1920, he was Mayor of Fredericton.[1]

First elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for the New Brunswick electoral district of York—Sunbury in the 1921 general election,[2] Hanson served continuously in the House of Commons of Canada until his defeat in the 1935 election.[3] He was appointed to the Cabinet of R. B. Bennett in 1934 as Minister of Trade and Commerce.[4]

In the 1940 election, he returned to Parliament despite the poor showing of the Conservatives in that election and the personal defeat of Robert Manion. Since Manion resigned two months after the election, the Conservative caucus chose Hanson as interim leader and he served as Conservative Party Leader until Arthur Meighen was appointed the party's new leader in November 1941.[5] As Meighen did not have a seat in the House (and then failed to win a seat through a by-election), Hanson continued as Leader of the Opposition until 1943.

Death and legacy[edit]

Hanson died on July 14, 1948, due to illness.[6] The University of New Brunswick hands out the Richard Burpee Hanson Prize to a Faculty of Arts male student with the highest grades in English and History in the Sophomore level.[7]


There is a Richard Burpee Hanson fonds at Library and Archives Canada.[8]


  1. ^ a b Prominent people of the Maritime Provinces (in business and professional life) 1922, p. 79.
  2. ^ "Two By-Elections Made No Chnage in Party Status". Brandon Daily Sun. Manitoba. May 30, 1921.Free to read
  3. ^ "I First Saw". Winnipeg Tribune. Winnipeg. November 26, 1934.Free to read
  4. ^ "New Dominion Cabinet Ministers". Timmins Procupine Advance. Ontario. December 3, 1934.Free to read
  5. ^ Reardon, Terry (October 6, 2012). Winston Churchill and Mackenzie King: So Similar, So Different. Dundurn. p. 200. ISBN 9781459705906. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  6. ^ "Ex-House Leader R.B. Hanson Dies After Illness". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg. July 14, 1948.Free to read
  7. ^ "Richard Burpee Hanson Prize". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "Richard Burpee Hanson fonds, Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved September 4, 2020.


Party political offices
Preceded by
Robert Manion
Leader of the Conservative Party
Succeeded by
Arthur Meighen