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Charles Hibbert Tupper

Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Pictou
In office
Serving with John McDougald
Preceded byJohn McDougald
Robert Doull
In office
Serving with Adam Carr Bell
Succeeded byEdward Mortimer Macdonald
Personal details
Born(1855-08-03)August 3, 1855
Amherst, Nova Scotia
DiedMarch 30, 1927(1927-03-30) (aged 71)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Political partyConservative
SpouseJanet McDonald
Parent(s)Charles Tupper
Frances Morse
Residence(s)Halifax, Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver
Alma materMcGill University
Harvard Law School (LLB)[1]
ProfessionLawyer, Politician
CabinetMinister of Marine and Fisheries (1888–1894)
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (1894–1896)
Solicitor General of Canada (1896)

Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper KCMG PC (August 3, 1855 – March 30, 1927) was a Canadian lawyer and politician.

Family, early career

Tupper was the second son of Sir Charles Tupper, a physician, leading Conservative politician, and Canadian diplomat. The elder Tupper served as premier of Nova Scotia, was a Father of Confederation, and served briefly as prime minister of Canada in 1896. The younger Tupper practised law in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after articling to learn the profession; at the time there was no formal legal education in Atlantic Canada. He formed a successful partnership with Wallace Graham, and the two invited the young Robert Borden, a future prime minister who was one year older than Tupper, to join them in the late 1870s. A decade later, Borden became the firm's senior partner after Graham was appointed a judge and Tupper entered politics.

Tupper's younger brother William Johnston Tupper also became a Conservative politician.

MP, Cabinet minister

He was elected as a Conservative MP in 1882. He was appointed Minister of Marine and Fisheries by Sir John A. Macdonald in 1888, and kept that position in subsequent Conservative cabinets until 1894, under PMs Sir John Abbott and Sir John Sparrow David Thompson.

He then became Minister of Justice in the government of Sir Mackenzie Bowell and attempted, unsuccessfully, to resolve the Manitoba Schools Question by drafting a bill to restore Separate School education for Catholics in Manitoba. Tupper resigned in January 1896 to protest Bowell's leadership, which had largely failed on this question, among others. He returned as Solicitor General of Canada in the short-lived government of his father, who became prime minister later in 1896, when Bowell stepped down. Tupper Sr. was defeated in the 1896 Canadian federal election, by Liberal Wilfrid Laurier, who became prime minister. Tupper remained an MP until his retirement from politics in 1904.


In 1893, while minister of Marine and Fisheries, he was involved in the Bering Sea Arbitration between the United States and Canada as a representative of the British government, which at that time was responsible for Canadian foreign affairs. He was knighted in recognition for this service, which produced a successful outcome for Canada.[2]

Moves to British Columbia

In 1897 he moved to Victoria, British Columbia, and then moved to Vancouver in 1898, but continued as the Member of Parliament for Pictou, Nova Scotia, where he was re-elected in 1900. From 1898 he practised law in Vancouver, where he served as a bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia and was elected Treasurer (chief elected officer) for 1924-25. He represented Japanese-Canadians in a series of cases opposing discriminatory practices of the provincial government.[2] In 1923, he was involved in the creation of the short-lived Provincial Party of British Columbia.


In September 1879, Charles Hibbert Tupper married Janet McDonald, daughter of the Hon. James McDonald, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, and his wife, Jane. The couple had four sons and three daughters. The couple lived in Parkside, Vancouver, B.C. Her sister married her brother-in-law, Mr. W. J. Tupper. Another sister married the Rev. L. H. Jordan, B.D., of Chicago.

Electoral history

1882 Canadian federal election: Pictou
Party Candidate Votes Elected
Liberal–Conservative John McDougald 2,709 Green tickY
Conservative Charles Hibbert Tupper 2,681 Green tickY
Liberal James William Carmichael 2,397
Liberal John A. Dawson 2,320
1887 Canadian federal election: Pictou
Party Candidate Votes Elected
Liberal–Conservative John McDougald 3,413 Green tickY
Conservative Charles Hibbert Tupper 3,334 Green tickY
Conservative Adam Carr Bell 2,923  
Independent John D. McLeod 2,739  
By-election on 18 June 1888

On Mr. Tupper being appointed Minister of Marine and Fisheries, 30 June 1888

Party Candidate Votes
Conservative Charles Hibbert Tupper acclaimed
1891 Canadian federal election: Pictou
Party Candidate Votes Elected
Conservative Charles Hibbert Tupper 3,433 Green tickY
Liberal–Conservative John McDougald 3,384 Green tickY
Liberal James A. Fraser 2,708  
Liberal John Yorston 2,594  
1896 Canadian federal election: Pictou
Party Candidate Votes Elected
Conservative Charles Hibbert Tupper 3,577 Green tickY
Conservative Adam Carr Bell 3,503 Green tickY
Liberal E.M. McDonald 3,349  
Liberal J.W. Carmichael 3,337  
1900 Canadian federal election: Pictou
Party Candidate Votes Elected
Conservative Charles Hibbert Tupper 3,624 Green tickY
Conservative Adam Carr Bell 3,615 Green tickY
Liberal Edward Mortimer Macdonald 3,523  
Liberal James D. McGregor 3,438  


  1. ^ "Quebec History".
  2. ^ a b McKinnon, Kaitlin (January 2010), "Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, K.C.", The Advocate, 68 (January 2010), Vancouver: Vancouver Bar Association: 94–96, ISSN 0044-6416
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Charles Hibbert Tupper
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