George Edwin King

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George Edwin King
George Edwin King 1895.jpg
2nd & 4th Premier of New Brunswick
In office
July 5, 1872 – May 3, 1878
Monarch Victoria
Governor Lemuel Allan Wilmot
Samuel Leonard Tilley
Preceded by George Luther Hathaway
Succeeded by John James Fraser
In office
June 9, 1870 – February 21, 1871
Monarch Victoria
Governor Lemuel Allan Wilmot
Preceded by Andrew Rainsford Wetmore
Succeeded by George Luther Hathaway
MLA for Saint John County
In office
October 15, 1867 – June 11, 1878
Serving with Charles Nelson Skinner, John Hamilton Gray, James Quinton, Edward Willis, Michael Whalen Maher, Henry A. Austin, Joseph Coram, William Elder
Preceded by Robert Duncan Wilmot
Succeeded by David McLellan
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
September 21, 1893 – May 8, 1901
Nominated by John Sparrow David Thompson
Preceded by Christopher Salmon Patterson
Succeeded by Louis Henry Davies
Personal details
Born (1839-10-08)October 8, 1839
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Died May 7, 1901(1901-05-07) (aged 61)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political party Confederation Party
Spouse(s) Lydia Eaton (m. 1866)
Children 1 son and 1 daughter
Residence Metcalfe St, Ottawa
Alma mater Wesleyan University
Occupation lawyer
Profession politician
Religion Wesleyan Methodist

George Edwin King (October 8, 1839 – May 7, 1901) was a Canadian lawyer, politician, second and fourth Premier of New Brunswick, and puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

King was born in Saint John, New Brunswick and attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he received a B.A. in 1859 and a M.A. in 1862. He then served under articles to a senior lawyer in Saint John, Robert Leonard Hazen, was made an attorney in 1863, and was called to the bar in 1865.

King was elected to the first provincial legislature of the new Canadian Confederation in 1867 and served in the Confederation Party government as minister without portfolio. When Andrew R. Wetmore resigned, the Confederation Party became the Liberal-Conservatives and King became Premier in 1870. Some members of his caucus felt he was too close to the federal Conservatives of Sir John A. Macdonald and King was maneuvered out of the leadership by George L. Hathaway with King taking a position in the new cabinet. When Hathaway died in 1872, King became Premier for a second time serving until 1878.

One of King's major accomplishments was the Common Schools Act of 1871 which implemented a single, tax supported public school system. As Attorney General, King appeared in the courts to defend the Act from constitutional challenges, including appearing before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, at that time the court of last resort for Canada within the British Empire, in the case of Maher v. Town Council of Portland, which upheld the Act.

In 1880 he became a justice on the province's supreme court, the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick, and in 1893 he became a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada.

On his death in 1901, of a work-related heart attack,[1] he was interred in the Fernhill Cemetery in Saint John, New Brunswick.


  1. ^ "Goes to the Bar Above". The Ottawa Journal. 8 May 1901. p. 9. Retrieved 27 December 2016 – via