William Edward O'Brien

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William Edward O'Brien
Source: Library and Archives Canada

William Edward O'Brien (March 10, 1831 – December 21, 1914) was a lawyer, farmer, editor and political figure in Ontario, Canada. He represented Muskoka and Parry Sound in the House of Commons of Canada from 1882 to 1896 as a Conservative member.

He was born in Thornhill, Upper Canada, the son of Edward G. O'Brien, an immigrant from Ireland, and was educated at Upper Canada College. In 1864, he married Elizabeth Loring, a descendant of United Empire Loyalist Joshua Loring.[1] He was called to the Ontario bar in 1874. O'Brien was an unsuccessful candidate for a seat in the House of Commons in 1878. He was a lieutenant-colonel in the militia and commanded a regiment during the North-West Rebellion of 1885. In 1889, O'Brien introduced a motion in the House of Commons that the Jesuit Estates Act, which had been passed by the Quebec assembly, be struck down by the federal parliament; that motion was defeated.[2] He was defeated when he ran for reelection in 1896.

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