Denis-Benjamin Viger

Denis-Benjamin Viger (August 19, 1774 – February 13, 1861) was a 19th-century politician, lawyer, businessman in Lower Canada. He was a leader in the Patriote movement.

Denis-Benjamin Viger
Denis-Benjamin Viger by Théophile Hamel
Joint Premier of the Province of Canada (Canada East)
In office
Preceded bySir Dominick Daly (acting)
Succeeded bySir Denis-Benjamin Papineau
Personal details
Born(1774-08-19)August 19, 1774
Montreal, Lower Canada
DiedFebruary 13, 1861(1861-02-13) (aged 86)
Montreal, Quebec
RelationsDenis Viger (father)
Pierre Foretier (father-in-law)
Occupationlawyer, businessman

Viger was part of the militia in the early 19th century and then a captain in the War of 1812. He retired from the militia in 1824 with the rank of major.


Viger was born in Montreal to Denis Viger and Périne-Charles Cherrier. His father had represented Montreal East district in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada from 1796 to 1800. In 1808, he married the 30-year-old daughter of Pierre Foretier, Marie-Amable Foretier. They had one child who died in 1814.

He was elected to the Legislative Assembly for Montreal East in 1808 and 1810, then in Leinster in 1810 and 1814 and in Kent in 1816, 1820, 1824 and 1827.

Prominent in the Patriote movement and denounced as the owner of seditious newspapers, Viger was imprisoned in 1838 when martial law was imposed in Lower Canada; refusing to post bail in protest of the repressive martial law and demanding a regular trial, he was not released until May 1840.

In 1841, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada representing Richelieu. From December 12, 1843 to June 17, 1846 he was one of the Joint Premiers of the Province of Canada. He was elected in a by-election to represent Trois-Rivières in 1845 but resigned in 1847. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1848 but lost his seat for nonattendance in 1858. Viger died in Montreal in 1861.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • "Denis-Benjamin Viger". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
  • "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
  • Ancestors of Denis-Benjamin Viger (french)