Edward Gawler Prior

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Col. The Hon.
Edward Gawler Prior
Edward Gawler Prior.jpg
15th Premier of British Columbia
In office
November 21, 1902 – June 1, 1903
Monarch Edward VII
Lieutenant Governor Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière
Preceded by James Dunsmuir
Succeeded by Richard McBride
11th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
In office
December 9, 1919 – December 12, 1920
Monarch George V
Governor General The Duke of Devonshire
Premier John Oliver
Preceded by Francis Stillman Barnard
Succeeded by Walter Cameron Nichol
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Victoria
In office
Preceded by Noah Shakespeare
Succeeded by George Riley
Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Victoria City
In office
Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Victoria
In office
Personal details
Born (1853-05-21)May 21, 1853
Dallowgill, Yorkshire, England
Died December 12, 1920(1920-12-12) (aged 67)
Victoria, British Columbia
Political party Conservative

Edward Gawler Prior, PC (May 21, 1853 – December 12, 1920) was a mining engineer and politician in British Columbia. Prior worked as a mining engineer in England until 1873 when he moved to the province where he settled 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.

Prior was first elected to the provincial legislature in 1886. In 1888, Prior won a seat in the Canadian House of Commons 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 1901 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 lost his seat in the 1904 provincial election. He was also defeated that year 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.

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


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