Leonard Percy de Wolfe Tilley

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Leonard Percy de Wolfe Tilley bigraphy, stories - Canadian judge

Leonard Percy de Wolfe Tilley : biography

May 21, 1870 – December 28, 1947

Leonard Percy de Wolfe Tilley (May 21, 1870 – December 28, 1947) was a New Brunswick lawyer, politician and the 21st Premier.

Tilley was born in Ottawa, the son of Samuel Leonard Tilley, one of the Fathers of Confederation, and grew up there and in Fredericton. He was educated at the University of New Brunswick and then studied law at Dalhousie Law School. Tilley articled in law with Sir Frederick Barker, was called to the bar in 1893 and set up practice in Saint John. He also served as a captain in the militia and was Chief Recruiting Officer for the province in 1914.

Tilley was elected to the provincial legislature in 1916 as a Conservative MLA and became a cabinet minister in 1925 under Premier John B. M. Baxter. In 1931 Baxter’s successor, Charles D. Richards made Tilley Minister of Lands and Mines, a position he held until succeeding Richards in 1933 as Premier. The Conservative government, despite two changes in premiers, was unable to deal with the Great Depression or maintain public confidence and Tilley’s government was defeated in the 1935 election.

After leaving politics, Tilley became a county court judge for King and Albert Counties serving from 1935 to 1945. He also served as Admiralty Judge for New Brunswick.

Tilley died in Saint John at the age of 77.