1st Manitoba Legislature

The members of the 1st Manitoba Legislature were elected in the Manitoba general election held in December 1870, the first general election for the new province. The legislature sat from March 15, 1871, to December 16, 1874.[1]

1st Manitoba Legislature
15 March 1871 – 16 December 1874
Parliament leaders
PremierAlfred Boyd
September 1870 - December 1871
Marc-Amable Girard
December 1871 - March 1872
Henry Joseph Clarke
March 1872 - July 1874
Leader of the
Edward Hay
Party caucuses
Legislative Assembly
Speaker of the
Joseph Royal
1871 - 1872
Curtis James Bird
Members24 MLA seats
1st session
March 15, 1871 (March 15, 1871) – May 3, 1871 (May 3, 1871)
2nd session
January 16, 1872 (January 16, 1872) – February 21, 1872 (February 21, 1872)
3rd session
February 3, 1873 (February 3, 1873) – July 22, 1873 (July 22, 1873)
4th session
November 4, 1873 (November 4, 1873) – July 22, 1874 (July 22, 1874)
→ 2nd

Lieutenant Governor Adams George Archibald's "Government party" held the balance of power in the assembly with 17 seats. The Canadian Party, also known as the "Loyal party", led by John Christian Schultz, won 5 seats; they demanded swift punishment for the leaders of the Red River Rebellion. Henry Joseph Clarke served as government house leader in the assembly but Lieutenant Governor Archibald performed the functions of Premier.[2] In December 1872, Alexander Morris replaced Archibald as Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.[3]

In July 1874, a government led by Henry Joseph Clarke[1] was defeated by a motion of non-confidence. Marc-Amable Girard was asked to form a government and was allowed to select the members of his cabinet, thus introducing responsible government to the province. On December 1, 1874, all but one member of the Girard cabinet resigned due to ethnic tensions. Robert Atkinson Davis was asked to form a new government which went to the polls later that month.[4]

Joseph Royal served as speaker for the assembly from 1871 to 1872. Curtis James Bird was speaker from 1873 to 1874.[1]

There were four sessions of the 1st Legislature:[1]

Session Start End
1st March 15, 1871 May 3, 1871
2nd January 16, 1872 February 21, 1872
3rd February 3, 1873 July 22, 1873
4th November 4, 1873 July 22, 1874

Members of the Assembly


The following members were elected to the assembly in 1870:[1][5]

Member Electoral district Affiliation[6] Notes
Joseph Dubuc Baie St. Paul Government
John Taylor[nb 1][7] Headingly Opposition
John Norquay High Bluff Government
John Sutherland Kildonan Opposition
Angus McKay Lake Manitoba Government
David Spence Poplar Point Government
Frederick Bird Portage la Prairie Opposition
Alfred Boyd St. Andrews North Government
Edward Hay St. Andrews South Opposition
Marc-Amable Girard St. Boniface East Government
Louis Schmidt St. Boniface West Government
Henry Joseph Clarke St. Charles Government
Thomas Bunn St. Clements Independent
Pascal Breland St. Francois Xavier East Government
Joseph Royal St. Francois Xavier West Government
Edwin Bourke St. James Opposition
Joseph Lemay St. Norbert North Government
Pierre Delorme St. Norbert South Government
Curtis Bird St. Pauls Government
Thomas Howard St Peters Government
André Beauchemin St. Vital Government
George Klyne Ste. Agathe Independent
John McTavish Ste. Anne Government
Donald Alexander Smith[nb 2][8] Winnipeg and St. John Government


  1. ^ Taylor's election was later overturned and Government supporter James Cunningham was declared elected
  2. ^ Smith was forced to resign when serving in both provincial and federal legislatures became illegal in May 1873



By-elections were held to replace members for various reasons:

Electoral district Member elected Affiliation Election date Reason
Winnipeg and St. John Robert Atkinson Davis[9] Opposition April 1874 DA Smith resigned after dual representation abolished[8]



  1. ^ a b c d e "First Legislative Assembly of Manitoba (1871–1874)". Memorable Manitobans. Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  2. ^ "The Establishment of Manitoba's First Provincial Government". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  3. ^ Alexander Morris – Parliament of Canada biography
  4. ^ Swan, Ruth (1994). "Davis, Robert Atkinson". In Cook, Ramsay; Hamelin, Jean (eds.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Vol. XIII (1901–1910) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  5. ^ "First Legislative Assembly of Manitoba" (PDF). Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. Retrieved 2022-03-24.
  6. ^ "Historical Summaries" (PDF). Elections Manitoba. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  7. ^ Russenholt, Edgar Stanford (1968). The heart of the continent : being the history of Assiniboia--the truly typical Canadian community. p. 150. Archived from the original on 2020-01-09. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  8. ^ a b "Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  9. ^ "Robert Atkinson Davis (1841–1903)". Memorable Manitobans. Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2012-09-18.