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Memorable Manitobans: James Colebrooke Patterson (1839-1929)

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James Colebrooke Patterson
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Lawyer, politician, Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba (1895-1900).

Born at Armagh, Ireland in 1839, son of Rev. James Patterson, he was educated in Dublin and came to Canada in 1857. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1876 and practised at Windsor, Ontario. He served as the Reeve of Windsor for ten years, a member of the Ontario Legislature from 1874 to 1878, and a member of the House of Commons from 1878 to 1895. As Federal minister of militia and defence, he sought to strengthen the nation’s permanent force and was responsible for the construction of fortifications at Esquimalt. He was Secretary of State in 1892. He sought to promote the growth of Canadian literature by founding the Canadian Magazine. In September 1895, he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, holding the position until 1900, being succeeded by D. H. McMillan. He later led a commission to investigate British ownership of lands in the Canadian Arctic. He died at his home in Ottawa on 17 February 1929. He is commemorated by Paterson Street in Winnipeg. The papers from his Lieutenant Governorship are at the Archives of Manitoba.


“And now, ‘tis over,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 September 1895, page 1.

“J. C. Patterson, once Manitoba governor, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 February 1929. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]

“Former Lt.-Governor Patterson is dead,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 February 1929, page 1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 June 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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