James Cockburn biography

James Cockburn


1819 – 1883


Who was James Cockburn?

James W. Cockburn, QC was a Canadian Conservative politician, and a father of Canadian Confederation.

He was born in Berwick-Upon-Tweed on the English - Scottish border and immigrated to Canada with his father, James Cockburn Snr., mother, Sarah Turnbull and brother, Adam, at the age of 13. After attending Upper Canada College and Osgoode Hall, he established a law practice in Cobourg, Ontario. In the 1850s, Cockburn was elected to the town council. In 1861, he was elected to the Province of Canada's legislative assembly as a Reformer representing Northumberland West. Despite elected as an opponent of the Macdonald - Cartier administration, Cockburn switched allegiances and became a supporter of Macdonald's Liberal-Conservative Party.

Cockburn attended the Quebec Conference of 1864 as a supporter of Confederation. After Confederation, he was elected to the new Canadian House of Commons in the country's first election. He was nominated by Sir John A. Macdonald to be Canada's first Speaker of the House of Commons, a position in which he served from 1867 to 1874.


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Feb 13, 1819
Also known as
  • Коберн, Джеймс
  • Scottish Canadian
  • Canada
  • Upper Canada College
Aug 14, 1883

on July 23, 2013