Thomas Wilson Paterson

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The Honourable
Thomas Wilson Paterson
Portrait of Thomas Wilson Paterson (c. 1914).jpg
9th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
In office
December 3, 1909 – December 5, 1914
Monarch Edward VII
George V
Governor General The Earl Grey
the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Premier Richard McBride
Preceded by James Dunsmuir
Succeeded by Francis Stillman Barnard
MLA for North Victoria
In office
December 23, 1902 – October 3, 1903
Preceded by John Paton Booth
Succeeded by district abolished
MLA for The Islands
In office
October 3, 1903 – February 2, 1907
Preceded by new member
Succeeded by Albert Edward McPhillips
Personal details
Born (1850-12-06)6 December 1850
Darvel, Ayr, Scotland
Died 28 August 1921(1921-08-28) (aged 70)
Victoria, British Columbia
Nationality Canadian
Political party Liberal
Emma Elizabeth Riley (m. 1886)
Occupation railway contractor
Profession Politician

Thomas Wilson Paterson (6 December 1850 – 28 August 1921) was a Canadian railway contractor, politician, and the ninth Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.[1]

Railway career[edit]

After moving to British Columbia in 1885,[2] he helped to build the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway line on Vancouver Island.[1] In 1895, he became general manager of the Victoria and Sidney Railway.[1] In 1897, Paterson filed for and was granted a patent for a spark catcher and smoke burner for locomotives.[3] The following year, he filed for a patent in the United States as well.[4]

Political career[edit]

In 1902, Paterson ran as an independent candidate in a byelection for the provincial riding of North Victoria prompted by the death of the incumbent, John Paton Booth. He defeated a government-aligned candidate by 43 votes (12% of the votes cast). For the 1903 election, the North Victoria riding was abolished during redistribution, and Thomas ran as a Liberal candidate in the newly created riding of The Islands. He defeated a Conservative candidate by 67 votes (19% of the votes cast). In the 1907 election, a new Conservative candidate won by 6 votes (2%of votes cast), and Thomas was unseated.[5]

In 1907, he was defeated when running for mayor of Victoria.

From 1909 to 1914, he was the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. In 1912, he presented a cup to the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.[6] The cup was first won by the New Westminster Royals, who were PCHA champions in the PCHA's first season.[7]

Family and Personal Life[edit]

Born in Darvel, Scotland,[8] he immigrated to Canada with his parents. He was raised in Ontario.[1]

Paterson married Emma Elizabeth Riley, the daughter of George Riley in Victoria on November 25, 1886.[9] Paterson retired in 1914. He died in Victoria on August 28, 1921,[10] and was buried in Ross Bay Cemetery.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia biography". Government House. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  2. ^ "Paterson, Thomas Wilson". British Columbia Archival Information Network. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  3. ^ Canadian Intellectual Property Office: Patent 56793 Summary
  4. ^ Google Patents: Thomas wilson paterson: US 601355 A
  5. ^ Electoral History of British Columbia 1871-1986. Victoria, BC: Elections British Columbia (1988), pages 91, 93, 102, 405.
  6. ^ The Paterson Cup presented to the Pacific Coast Hockey Association champions The New Westminster Hockey Team
  7. ^ Thomas Wilson Paterson - Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
  8. ^ "Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950". Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  9. ^ "Marriage Registration of Thomas Wilson Paterson and Emma Elisabeth Riley, Registration: 1886-09-003141,". BC Archives - Royal BC Museum. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  10. ^ "British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 30 September 2015), Thomas Wilson Paterson, 1921.
  11. ^ "Find A Grave Memorial# 121312758: Thomas Wilson Paterson". Retrieved 2017-03-16.