John Foster McCreight

John Foster McCreight, QC (* 1827 in Caledon, County Tyrone, Ireland; † 18 November 1913 in Hastings, England ) was a Canadian politician, lawyer and judge. From November 13 1871 to December 23, 1872, he was the first Prime Minister of the Province of British Columbia.


After attending a boarding school in Winchester McCreight studied law at Trinity College, Dublin and in 1852 obtained the admission as a barrister. A little later he emigrated to Australia and opened a law firm in Melbourne. For unknown reasons he seven years later moved away from there and came in 1860 after a long journey in Victoria.

Victoria was then the capital of the colony of Vancouver Iceland and experienced because of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, a rapid economic recovery. McCreight opened there was another year of office. In 1866 he joined the Freemasons who nominated him in 1873 to her Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. He also became active in the Anglican Church. He built his activity in church and lodge a network of relationships, but was initially not politically active.

This changed on July 20, 1871 with the accession of the United Colonies of Vancouver Iceland and British Columbia to the Canadian Confederation. In the transitional government McCreight served as Attorney General. In the first election to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in October of that year he was elected a deputy of the city of Victoria. On November 13, 1871 him Lieutenant Governor Joseph William Trutch appointed the first prime minister of the province.

McCreights appointment was explicitly directed against Amor De Cosmos, the driving force behind joining the Federation, as it was considered rebellious and had a quick temper. But McCreight seemed the task not to be grown: Henry Crease, a judge on the province of the Supreme Court, described him as " bad-tempered and queer, alternately trusting and extremely suspicious, extremely stubborn, excessively persistent in unimportant things, publicity-shy and not at all interested in politics. "

Nevertheless McCreights tenure was productive. His government submitted within one year 54 before new laws, 36 of which could be put into effect. On 13 December 1872, he lost a no-confidence vote and resigned his parliamentary seat he held until 1875. In 1880 he was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, where he served until 1897. He then returned to England and spent his last years in Hastings.