(Hon.) John Costigan (P.C.)
1835 – 1916
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Hon. John Costigan

Privy Council, Canada – Senator – M.P. – M.L.A.
Victoria Country

Born, February 1, 1835, at St. Nicholas, Quebec and of Irish Ancestry. Son of John & Bridget Dunne

Educated at the Public School of St. Nicholas, Quebec and at the College of St. Anne.

Located at Grand Falls, N.B., and engaged in general country business. Appointed a Justice of the Peace, and a Justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas. Appointed Registrar of Deeds and Wills for Victoria County on Augist 7th, 1857, vice William T. Wilmot, Esq.

Married [——–], 1855 to Miss Harriet Ryan, daughter of J.H. Ryan, Esq., Grand Falls, N.B. By this marriage there was a family of five children. {2 sons & 3 daughters}

First elected to the House of Assembly of N.B. as member for Victoria County at the general election of June 1861. Re-elected at the general election of 1865, on the issue of Confederation, to which he was opposed.

At the general election of May, 1866, he suffered defeat upon the same issue, and subsequently retired from local politics.
At the first General Election for the House of Commons on September, 1867, he was elected as member for the constituency of Victoria. Re-elected at the next nine general elections of 1872, 1874, 1876, 1882, 1887, 1891, 1896, 1900 and 1904, and sat continuously until 1907, when he resigned his seat on being appointed to the Senate of Canada.

On May 23, 1882, he was sworn in a member of the privy Council of Canada, and received the portfolio of Minister of Inland revenue in the Administration of the Right Honorable Sir John A. MacDonald, which position he held until November 24, 1892.

He subsequently held the portfolios of Secretary of State of Canada and Receiver General from December 5, 1892 to December 12, 1894, Minister of Marine and Fisheries, December [1], 1894 to July 12, 1896. Served in the Administration of the Right Honorable Sir J.C. Abbott, Sir J.S.B. Thompson, Sir Mackenzie Bowell, and Sir Charles Tupper, retiring when the Conservative Party went out of power on July 12, 1896.

On January 15, 1907, was appointed to the senate of Canada, which position he held until his death.

He died, September 29, 1916 at Ottawa, Ontario, aged eighty-one years.

Survived by his widow and three children. Buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Baker Brook, Madawaska County, N.B.

Mrs. Costigan died April 18, 1922, age ninety years.

In Politics:
 a Conservative
In Religion: a Roman Catholic.

1: Son – John Ryan
Lawyer – Calgary, Alberta – Son: Gerald Costigan
2: Son – Harry
Winnepeg, Manitoba
3: Dau – Theresa
Married [ ], Walter Armstrong, Ottawa. (Federal Civil Service. St. John, (ottawa). Died December 25, 1935, aged 79 years.

MC1156 – Graves Papers

For more detailed information on John Costigan, please visit the Dictionary of Canadian Biographies at:


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