After a break from the series last week due to my attendance at the pig party, this week’s installment of my BC Premierial series brings us the 10th Premier of the Province of British Columbia: John Herbert Turner.
|Name||John Herbert Turner|
|Born:||May 7, 1834 in Claydon, Suffolk, England|
|Died:||December 9, 1923 in Richmond, England|
|Held Office:||4 March 1895 to July 1898|
- was not Canadian Prime Minister John Turner.
- 1856: came to British North America from England (first to Halifax, NS then to Charlottetown, PEI)
- 1860: went back to England to marry, Elizabeth Eilbeck, who he then brought to PEI
- July 1862: reached Victoria, BC, having been attracted to the west by the gold rush, but decided to work as a merchant, which was what he had done out east, rather than as a miner, as was his original intention
- 1869: was appointed to the tariff commission
- 1872: was named as a trustee of the Ogden Point Cemetery
- 1876 to 1879: served as an alderman
- 1879: acclaimed as mayor of Victoria, a position he served in until 1881
- 1882: after many years of involvement in the militia, he retired with the rank of lieutenant-colonel
- June 1882: went to England for an extended stay
- July 1886: entered BC provincial politics by winning an election as an MLA, representing Victoria City
- 8 August 1887: became minister of finance and agriculture under Premier A.E.B. Davie, posts he would retain under Premiers Robson and the other Davie
- 4 March 1895: became Premier when Davie resigned
- Apparently, he was not so good with money: “Throughout the period that Turner was minister of finance (1887–98), the provincial budget was in deficit each year and by the time he left office the gross public debt had climbed to nearly $7,500,000, a sevenfold increase from 1886.”1
- He was also criticized for using his political position for personal gain, being involved in a number of business enterprises during his time as Premier; for being at the “beck and call of powerful corporations”1 and for refusing fair representation of the mainland (especially Vancouver)
- He lost power in July 1898 in a controversial election – the election appeared to be a draw between Turner’s non-party government and the non-party opposition; Lieutenant Governor Thomas Robert McInnes demanded Turner’s resignation, which he didn’t want to give at first, but then gave, making him the leader of the Opposition against Premier Semlin’s government
- June 1900: was reinstated as the minister of finance and agriculture under the newly elected Premier Dunsmuir
- 3 September 1901: resigned from provincial politics and became the agent general for BC in England, a post at which he served until he was removed in 1915 to be replaced by recently retired BC Premier Sir Richard McBride, who died in 1917, at which time Turner was re-appointed to this post; Turner then resigned from this post in 1918
- 9 December 1923: died in Richmond, England
In summary, he was bad with money, seems to have been using his political power for personal financial gain. Otherwise, pretty boring.
Image credits: Accessed from Wikipedia. In the public domain. w00t!