Alexander Keith (Canadian politician)

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Alexander Keith
Alexander Keith.png
4th Mayor of Halifax
In office
Preceded by Thomas Williamson
Succeeded by Hugh Bell
13th Mayor of Halifax
In office
Preceded by Andrew MacKinlay
Succeeded by Henry Pryor
Personal details
Born (1795-10-05)October 5, 1795
Halkirk, Caithness, Highland, Scotland
Died December 14, 1873(1873-12-14) (aged 78)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Resting place Camp Hill Cemetery
44°38′33.9″N 63°35′10.2″W / 44.642750°N 63.586167°W / 44.642750; -63.586167
Political party Conservative
Residence Keith Hall, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Occupation Politician, Brewer

Alexander Keith (October 5, 1795 – December 14, 1873) was a Scottish born Canadian politician, Freemason and brewer. He was mayor of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Conservative member of the provincial legislature, and the founder of the Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery.


Keith was born in Halkirk, Caithness, Highland, Scotland, where he became a brewer. He immigrated to Canada in 1817, founded the Alexander Keith's brewing company in 1820. He served as mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia three times, and as a member of the Legislative Council for 30 years.

Throughout his career Keith was connected with several charitable and fraternal societies. He served as president of the North British Society from 1831 and as chief of the Highland Society from 1868 until his death. In 1838 he was connected with the Halifax Mechanics Library and in the early 1840s with the Nova Scotia Auxiliary Colonial Society. Keith was also well known to the Halifax public as a leader of the Freemasons. He became Provincial Grand Master for the Maritimes under the English authority in 1840 and under the Scottish lodge in 1845. Following a reorganization of the various divisions in 1869, he became Grand Master of Nova Scotia. There are four masonic lodges named in his honour: Moncton, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Stellarton, and Bear River in Nova Scotia.

Alexander Keith died in Halifax in 1873 and was buried at Camp Hill Cemetery across from the Halifax Public Gardens. His birthday is often marked by people visiting the grave and placing beer bottles and caps on it (or, less frequently, cards or flowers).

He has often been confused with his nephew, Alexander "Sandy" Keith, Jr. who was a notorious Confederate agent during the American Civil War.

Nova Scotian artist William Valentine painted Kieth's portrait.


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