Richard William Scott

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The Hon.
Sir Richard William Scott
Sir Richard William Scott.jpg
Sir Richard William Scott
5th Mayor of Bytown
In office
Preceded by Charles Sparrow
Succeeded by J. B. Turgeon
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
In office
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Daniel John O'Donoghue
Constituency Ottawa
2nd Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
In office
December 7, 1871 – December 21, 1871
Preceded by John Stevenson
Succeeded by James Currie
Senator for Ottawa, Ontario
In office
March 13, 1874 – April 23, 1913
Appointed by Alexander Mackenzie
Personal details
Born (1825-02-24)February 24, 1825
Prescott, Upper Canada
Died April 23, 1913(1913-04-23) (aged 88)
Ottawa, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Other political
Ontario Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Heron
Cabinet Provincial:
Commissioner of Crown Lands
Minister Without Portfolio
Secretary of State of Canada
Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs (Acting)
Minister of the Interior (Acting)
Religion Roman Catholicism

Sir Richard William Scott, PC, KC (February 24, 1825 – April 23, 1913) was a Canadian politician and cabinet minister.[1]

He was born in Prescott, Ontario in 1825, a descendant of a family from County Clare. A lawyer by training, Scott was admitted to the bar in 1848 and established a practice in Bytown (now Ottawa). He became a member of municipal council in 1851, was mayor of Bytown in 1852, and held a seat in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1857 until 1863. With Canadian Confederation, Scott won a seat in the Ontario legislature as a Liberal representing Ottawa from 1867 to 1871. He was Speaker of the legislature briefly in December 1871 before being appointed to the provincial cabinet as Commissioner of Crown Lands. Scott played a leading role in passing legislation ensuring the rights of separate schools in Ontario.

In November 1873, he left provincial politics when he was appointed minister without portfolio by Alexander Mackenzie in the federal Cabinet. Mackenzie had become prime minister after Sir John A. Macdonald's government had been forced to resign due to the Pacific Scandal. Scott was appointed to the Canadian Senate by Mackenzie in January 1874, and became Secretary of State for Canada and Leader of the Government in the Senate. A supporter of temperance, he drafted the "Scott Act" which allowed any county or municipality in Canada to prohibit the retail sale of liquor by majority vote. With the defeat of the Liberal government in the 1878 election, Scott became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate until the return of the Liberals to government under Wilfrid Laurier. Scott resumed his old Cabinet position of Secretary of State. Scott retired from the cabinet in 1908, but remained in the Senate until his death in 1913.


Mrs Mary A Scott by William James Topley

Richard William Scott married at Philadelphia, Pa., November 8, 1853, Mary Heron, daughter of John Heron and Frances, his wife. She was born and educated in Dublin, Ireland. The couple had two sons William L. Scott, Local Master in Chancery, and D Arcy Scott, Barrister, Ottawa and four daughters. Before her marriage, Mrs. Scott was a professional singer who toured in Canada and the United States as a member of "The Heron sisters." The couple lived at 274 Daly Avenue, Ottawa. She served on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Women, and as a Vice-President of the Local Council.[2]


  1. ^ Dave Mullington "Chain of Office: Biographic Sketches of Ottawa's Mayors (1847-1948)" (Renfrew, Ontario: General Store Publishing House, 2005)
  2. ^ Morgan, Henry James Types of Canadian women and of women who are or have been connected with Canada : (Toronto, 1903) [1]
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Luc Letellier de St.-Just
Leader of the Government in the Senate of Canada
Succeeded by
Alexander Campbell
Preceded by
David Mills
Leader of the Government in the Senate of Canada
Succeeded by
Sir Richard John Cartwright