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MEN OF' CANADA.   33

THE; HON. EDWARD

BLAKE, O.C., eldest son of William Hume Blake, was born at Bear Creek, county of Middlesex, on the 13th October, 1S33• When Edward was a few months old his father re-moved to Toronto. As a lad he gave evidence of great mental powers. He was an omnivorous reader, had unusual capacity for assimilation, and an excellent memory. He was a successful competitor for the Governor - General's prize, and subsequently entered the Toronto University. He was admitted as attorney in 1856, and the following Michaelmas term was called to the bar. He carried on business for some time alone, and then entered in-to partnership with Mr. Stephen Wavle Jarvis. Thereafter, the name of the firm many times changed. In 1838 he married Margaret, daughter of the late Bishop Cronyn, of Huron.

Ever since 1867 the Reform party re-cognized what a gain it would be to add Edward Blake's ability and high character to its ranks. After much earnest solicitation he consented to their request and was elected to the House of Commons for West Durham. In December, 1869, he became leader of the Provincial opposition. In the Ontario elections of 1871 John Sandfield McDonald's Government lost many supporters. On the assembling of the Legislature, Mr. McKenzie moved a want of confidence and Mr. Blake supported the motion. The ministry being overthrown, Mr. Blake was called to form a govern-

went, a task which he accepted against his inclination. In the autumn he re-signed his leadership to take his seat in the House of Commons. On the down-fall of Sir John A. Macdonald's administration, Mr. Blake entered Mr. Mc-Kenzie's cabinet, without portfolio, but resigned on the following February. In 1875 he accepted office again as :Minister of Justice. In 1877 he re-signed this office and became president of the council. Shortly after the downfall of the administration, he was chosen leader of the Opposition in place of Mr. McKenzie, and was succeeded by Mr. Laurier.

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