On today’s date in 1820, former prime minister John Abbott was born in Lower Canada.
During the 1970s, Shell Canada featured Abbott in its medallion set, The Prime Ministers of Canada 1867-1970, which included 15 medals, featuring each Canadian prime minister between 1867 and 1970. The set was issued for distribution from Shell dealers across Canada.
Abbott was Canada’s third prime minister, serving for seventeen months between June 1891 and November 1892. A graduate of McGill College, Abbott was called to the bar in 1847 and taught at McGill from 1853, serving as dean of the law faculty between 1855 and 1880. He sat in the House of Commons from 1857 until he was appointed to the Senate in 1887, except for the period between 1874 and 1880.
Abbott entered the Cabinet in 1887 as government leader in the Senate and minister without portfolio. That same year, he became mayor of Montreal, where he would serve until 1889. In 1891, he succeeded John A. Macdonald as prime minister.
He died in Montreal in 1893 at the age of 72.