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Andrew Bannatyne

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Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne October 31, 1829 – May 18, 1889 was a Canadian politician, fur trader and leading citizen of Winnipeg, Manitoba

Bannatyne was born on the island of South Ronaldsay, Orkney, in Scotland and was three years old when his father, a British government fisheries official in Stromness, died He joined the Hudson's Bay Company as a 14-year-old apprentice clerk and set sail for Canada His family had had a long association with the company Bannatyne's great-grandfather was governor of a Hudson's Bay Company district in Rupert's Land, his grandfather had been governor of York Factory, and his uncle was chief factor of the company He was assigned to Sault Ste Marie for two years, joining his uncle, and was then transferred to Fort Garry

From 1846, Bannatyne was stationed at Norway House, Rupert's Land, in what is now Manitoba as a junior clerk at the trading post He quit the company when his contract expired in 1851 in order to get married and go into business for himself in the Red River Colony where he was arrested by the Hudson's Bay Company for illegal trading, which was a violation of the company's monopoly over the fur trade He was released in a decision by the company's London office and established what became the largest merchant and outfitting company in the Red River Colony with Alexander Begg Bannatyne became possibly the wealthiest and most influential citizen in Red River Colony

He was appointed magistrate in 1861 and became a member of the Council of Assiniboia in 1868 which was the appointed administrative body of Rupert's Land

During the Red River Rebellion Bannatyne agreed to serve as postmaster in the Louis Riel's Provisional Government of Red River Settlement in 1869 on the condition that the rebel government seek terms with the Dominion of Canada

After Manitoba was created as a province in 1870 the first session of the Manitoba legislature was held in four rooms of Bannatyne's Winnipeg house

In 1871, he was appointed Winnipeg's first postmaster and also helped establish the freemasons in Manitoba

He was appointed to the Temporary North-West Council in 1872 In the 1874 federal election, he was defeated in his bid for a federal parliamentary seat in Selkirk being narrowly defeated by Hudson's Bay Company official Donald A Smith, but was elected in 1875 to the Canadian House of Commons as the Liberal MP for Provencher filling a vacancy caused by the expulsion of Riel from the House of Commons and his banishment from Canada He retired from politics in 1878

Bannatyne helped organize the Winnipeg General Hospital and was involved in other business and philanthropic ventures in Winnipeg He was the first president of Winnipeg's Board of Trade and first president of the Manitoba Club

After becoming a very rich man, Bannatyne was virtually wiped out when the land boom crashed in 1882 His heavy indebtedness worsened his already poor health and he began to winter in the southern United States in order to ease his constitution

He died in Minnesota in 1889 while returning from Texas

Bannatyne Avenue and École Bannatyne in Winnipeg are named after him

There is a Bannayne Drive in Toronto former North York west off Leslie Street north of York Mills


  1. ^ a b c BANNATYNE, ANDREW GRAHAM BALLENDEN, Dictionary of Canadian Biography
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne 1829–1889: First Citizen of Winnipeg by Dr Ross Mitchell, Manitoba Pageant, Autumn 1965, Volume 11, Number 1
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne 1829–1889, Manitoba Historical Society
  4. ^ google maps

External links

  • Parliamentary biography
  • Manitoba Historical Society – Andrew Graham Ballenden Bannatyne
  • Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

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