Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Henry James Tennant (1839-1913)

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Henry James Tennant
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Customs agent, MLA (1883-1886).

Born at Dover, Kent, England on 2 July 1839, a son of Thomas and Catherine Tennant, brother of Joseph Francis Tennant, he immigrated to Canada around 1860. On 24 August 1862, he married Margaret Annie Keenan (1846-1869) at London, Ontario and they had two children, Thomas Emmett Tennant (1863-?) and Anne Mary Tennant (1868-?). His wife died of tuberculosis and he went to Ireland, marrying Hanora O’Connell (1850-?) on 9 October 1869, at Fermoy, Cork. They had two sons: Joseph William Tennant (1870-?) and Edward Vincent Tennant (1872-?) before the family returned to Canada by 1876 and settled at Emerson. There, five more children were born: Henry James Tennant (1876-?), Frederick Brandan Tennant (1879-?), Katherine Nora Tennant (1881-?), Abraham Joseph Lawrence Tennant (1884-?), and George Norman Tennant (1886-?). In 1880 he was appointed Clerk of the Emerson County Court, serving also as a provincial immigration agent from June to November 1886. Elected to the provincial legislature in the 1883 general election, he was defeated in a re-election bid in 1886. He was the Mayor of West Lynne in 1888. By 1893, he had moved to Coutts, Alberta where he was a customs agent. He died there on 8 November 1913. His body was returned to Winnipeg for burial in the St. Mary’s Cemetery.


“The Legislature,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 June 1887.

“Collector of customs dead,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 November 1913, page 20.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

Henry James Tennant, RootsWeb.

We thank Connor Mah for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 February 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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