James Kirkpatrick Kerr

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The Hon.
James Kirkpatrick Kerr
Senator for Toronto, Ontario
In office
1903–1916
Appointed by Wilfrid Laurier
Speaker of the Senate
In office
1909–1911
Preceded by Raoul Dandurand
Succeeded by Auguste Charles Philippe Robert Landry
Personal details
Born (1841-08-01)1 August 1841
Near Guelph, Canada West
Died 4 December 1916(1916-12-04) (aged 75)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Liberal

James Kirkpatrick Kerr, PC KC (1 August 1841 – 4 December 1916) was a Canadian lawyer and Senator. He served as Speaker of the Canadian Senate during the 11th Parliament from 14 January 1909 to 22 October 1911.[1]

Kerr was born in Guelph in what was then Canada West. He was called to the bar of Upper Canada in 1862 and began a legal partnership with Edward Blake, Samuel Blake and James Bethune. He became head, in 1884, of the legal firm of Kerr, Davidson, Paterson and Grant.[1]

In his career, Kerr argued several cases before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and was elected a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1879.

He was an active Liberal and stood unsuccessfully for election to the Canadian House of Commons in 1891 from Toronto Centre.

He became president of the Ontario Liberal Association in 1892 and was summoned to the Canadian Senate on 12 March 1903. He was appointed Speaker of that body six years later.

Kerr was also an active Mason and was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada from 1875 to 1877.

He was also active in commerce and sat on several boards of directors including the Canadian General Electric Company. He was one of the founders of Havergal College.

As a former Speaker of the Canadian Senate James Kerr was given membership in the Queen's Privy Council for Canada in 1911.

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