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Edward Gawler Prior

Edward Gawler Prior
11th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
In office
9 December 1919 – 12 December 1920
MonarchGeorge V
Governor GeneralThe Duke of Devonshire
PremierJohn Oliver
Preceded byFrancis Stillman Barnard
Succeeded byWalter Cameron Nichol
15th Premier of British Columbia
In office
21 November 1902 – 1 June 1903
MonarchEdward VII
Lieutenant GovernorHenri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière
Preceded byJames Dunsmuir
Succeeded byRichard McBride
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Victoria
In office
23 January 1888 – 2 December 1901
Preceded byNoah Shakespeare
Succeeded byGeorge Riley
MLA for Victoria City
In office
7 July 1886 – 23 January 1888
Preceded byMontague Tyrwhitt-Drake
Succeeded bySimeon Duck
In office
10 March 1902 – 16 June 1903
Preceded byJohn Herbert Turner
Succeeded byJames Dugald McNiven
Personal details
Born(1853-05-21)21 May 1853
Dallowgill, Yorkshire, England
Died12 December 1920(1920-12-12) (aged 67)
Victoria, British Columbia
Political partyConservative
Suzette Work
(m. 1878)
Children1 son and 3 daughters
OccupationLand surveyor, merchant, mining engineer

Edward Gawler Prior, PC (21 May 1853 – 12 December 1920) was a mining engineer and politician in British Columbia.

Early life

Prior was born in Dallowgill, Yorkshire, England, and worked as a mining engineer in England until 1873. He then moved to British Columbia, settling in Nanaimo and took employment as assistant manager of the Vancouver Coal Mining & Land Co., Ltd. In 1878 he resigned and was appointed Inspector of Mines for the British Columbia government. He left that position and went into business as an iron and hardware merchant in 1880.

Political career

Prior was first elected to the provincial legislature in 1886. In 1888, Prior won a seat in the House of Commons of Canada as a Conservative. From December 1895 to July 1896 and 1897 Prior served as Controller of Inland Revenue in the cabinets of Prime Minister Sir Mackenzie Bowell and his successor Sir Charles Tupper.

He lost his seat in 1901 due to violations of election rules. He moved to provincial politics and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in 1902 becoming minister of mines. In 1902 he became the 15th premier leading the province's last non-partisan administration but was dismissed by the lieutenant governor in 1903 due to charges of conflict of interest that involved giving an important construction contract to his own hardware business, and did not run in the subsequent 1903 general election.[1] He was defeated in 1904 in an attempt to return to the federal House of Commons.

Prior was appointed the 11th lieutenant governor of British Columbia in 1919 but became ill and died in office within a year of his appointment. Edward Gawler Prior is interred in the Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria, British Columbia.[citation needed]

Prior was the last Canadian premier to be dismissed by a lieutenant-governor, (though William Aberhart, Premier of Alberta, was nearly so in 1937).[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Electoral History of British Columbia 1871-1986 - Elections BC" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 June 2011.


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Edward Gawler Prior
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