15th General Assembly of Newfoundland

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15th General Assembly of Newfoundland
Colonial Building seat of the Newfoundland government and the House of Assembly from January 28, 1850, to July 28, 1959.
Founded 1886
Disbanded 1889
Preceded by 14th General Assembly of Newfoundland
Succeeded by 16th General Assembly of Newfoundland
Last election
Newfoundland general election, 1885

The members of the 15th General Assembly of Newfoundland were elected in the Newfoundland general election held in October 1885. The general assembly sat from 1886 to 1889.

The Reform Party led by Robert Thorburn formed the government.[1]

A.J.W. McNeilly was chosen as speaker.[2]

Sir William Des Vœux served as colonial governor of Newfoundland until 1887.[3] Sir Henry Arthur Blake succeeded Des Vœux as governor.[4]

In 1887, the Ballot Act was passed which allowed voting by secret ballot as opposed to the previous system of public oral voting. In 1888, a new Elections Act was passed which defined the required qualifications for candidates for the House of Assembly. In 1889, a new Representation Act was passed which redefined the boundaries of electoral districts.[5]

Members of the Assembly[edit]

The following members were elected to the assembly in 1885:[5]

Member Electoral district Affiliation
Stephen R. March Bay de Verde Reform Party
Alexander J.W. McNeilly
James L. Noonan Bonavista Reform Party
Abraham Kean
Frederick White
Alexander M. Mackay Burgeo-La Poile Reform Party
John E. Peters Burin Reform Party
Henry LeMessurier
Alfred Penney Carbonear Reform Party
Daniel J. Greene Ferryland Liberal
George Shea
James Rolls Fogo Reform Party
Robert Bond Fortune Bay Independent
James S. Winter Harbour Grace Reform Party
Charles Dawe
Joseph Godden
John Veitch Harbour Main Liberal
Richard MacDonnell
James McGrath Placentia and St. Mary's Liberal
William J. S. Donnelly
George H. Emerson
George A. Hutchings Port de Grave Reform Party
Albert Bradshaw St. Barbe Reform Party
Michael H. Carty St. George's Liberal
Robert J. Kent St. John's East Liberal
Ambrose Shea
Michael J. O'Mara
Edward Morris St. John's West Liberal
Patrick J. Scott
James J. Callanan
Robert Thorburn Trinity Reform Party
Walter B. Grieve
Ellis Watson
Augustus F. Goodridge Twillingate Reform Party
Smith McKay
Michael T. Knight



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

Electoral district Member elected Affiliation Election date Reason
Twillingate Michael T. Knight Reform Party June 9, 1886 MT Knight named to cabinet, so was required to run again[5]
Bonavista Alfred B. Morine Independent June 12, 1886 JL Noonan named to cabinet, so was required to run again[5]
Carbonear Alfred Penney Reform Party November 1, 1886 A Penney named to cabinet, so was required to run again[5]
Placentia and St. Mary's William J. S. Donnelly Reform Party November 1, 1886 WJS DOnnelly named to cabinet, so was required to run again[5]
St. John's East Thomas J. Murphy Liberal November 6, 1886 RJ Kent resigned seat[5]
St. John's East Robert John Parsons, Jr. Liberal November 12, 1887 A Shea named governor of the Bahamas[5]
Bonavista Donald Morison Reform Party November 10, 1888[nb 1] A Kean resigned seat[5]


  1. ^ First by-election for Newfoundland by secret ballot


  1. ^ Hiller, J. K. (1994). "Thorburn, Sir Robert". In Cook, Ramsay; Hamelin, Jean. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. XIII (1901–1910) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 
  2. ^ "The Speaker of the House of Assembly". House of Assembly. 
  3. ^ "Des Voeux, Sir George William". Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage. Memorial University. 
  4. ^ "Blake, Sir Henry Arthur". Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage. Memorial University. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Elections". Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. pp. 694–96.