David Mills (Canadian politician)

David Mills, PC (March 18, 1831 May 8, 1903) was a Canadian politician, author, poet and puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

David Mills

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Bothwell
In office
Succeeded byJohn Joseph Hawkins
In office
Preceded byJohn Joseph Hawkins
Succeeded byJames Clancy
Senator for Bothwell, Ontario
In office
Appointed byWilfrid Laurier
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
Nominated byWilfrid Laurier
Preceded byJohn Wellington Gwynne
Succeeded byWallace Nesbitt
Superindents-general on Indian Affairs
In office
October 24, 1876  October 8, 1878
Preceded byDavid Laird
Succeeded byJohn A. Macdonald
Personal details
Born(1831-03-18)March 18, 1831
Orford Township, Upper Canada
DiedMay 8, 1903(1903-05-08) (aged 72)
Ottawa, Ontario
Political partyLiberal
Alma materUniversity of Michigan

He was born in Palmyra, in southwestern Upper Canada (now Ontario). His father, Nathaniel Mills, was one of the first settlers in the area. Mills served as superintendent of schools for Kent County from 1856 to 1865. He then attended the University of Michigan School of law, graduating with honors in 1867 with an LL.B degree.

He published The Present and Future Political Aspects of Canada in 1860 and The Blunders of the Dominion Government in connection with the North-West Territory in 1871.

Mills was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) in the 1867 federal election and re-elected in four subsequent votes until being defeated in the 1882 election.

He returned to Parliament through an 1884 by-election. He was re-elected in subsequent elections until his defeat in the 1896 election despite this being the election that brought the Liberals back to power.

He served as Minister of the Interior in the Cabinet of Alexander Mackenzie from 1876 to 1878. Sir Wilfrid Laurier appointed Mills to the Senate of Canada after he lost his Commons seat in 1896, and appointed him to Cabinet as Minister of Justice and Leader of the Government in the Canadian Senate. He resigned from the Senate and Cabinet in 1902. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on February 8, 1902, and served on the Court for one year until his death in 1903.


    • "David Mills". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
    • Selected poetry of David Mills
    • David Mills – Parliament of Canada biography
    • Supreme Court of Canada biography
    Parliament of Canada
    Preceded by
    Sir Oliver Mowat
    Leader of the Government in the Senate of Canada
    Succeeded by
    Sir Richard William Scott
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