Andrew Bonar Law (1858-1923)

Andrew Bonar Law

The Rt. Hon. Andrew Bonar Law, P.C., M.P. Andrew Bonar Law is the only person from outside of the United Kingdom to ever have been Prime Minister of Britain. Born near Rexton, New Brunswick, he never lost touch with his native land, being friends with Canadians such as Sir Robert Borden and Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook. Bonar Law is buried in Westminster Abbey under the inauspicious inscription "Sometime Prime Minister." Library and Archives Canada, Artist: C.W. Walton, C-006374

Andrew Bonar Law was the only Canadian ever to be Prime Minister of Britain. Born in 1858, in New Brunswick, he later moved to Glasgow after the death of his mother. In Scotland, he became involved in the family's iron-working business. At the turn of the twentieth century, Bonar Law was elected to the British Parliament. In 1911, he became head of the Conservative Party and after the outbreak of the Great War formed a coalition government with Herbert Asquith.

Bonar Law was a good friend of Sir Robert Borden and he maintained close relations with Canada as Secretary of State for the Colonies. After the 1916 election, that brought in the government of David Lloyd George, Bonar Law was appointed to the higher position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Bonar Law became Prime Minister of Great Britain, briefly and reluctantly, from October 1922 to May 1923, after Lloyd George's tenure. Bonar Law later died in October 1923. A collection of correspondence from Andrew Bonar Law can be found in Library and Archives Canada.

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