(1822–96). Of middle-class Irish Catholic origins, born in County Cork, Anglin emigrated to Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1849. There he founded the Freeman newspaper and through its pages spoke on behalf of Irish Catholics for over three decades. In 1861 he was elected to the NB assembly and eventually became a potent opponent of the Confederation movement. As a cabinet member of the anti-Confederate government in 1865 he was subjected to a disreputable campaign that impugned his loyalty. Although embittered by the smear tactics, Anglin accepted the 1866 pro-Union electoral decision. He served as an MP (1867–82) within the emerging Reform (Liberal) Party and was speaker of the Commons during Alexander Mackenzie's administration (1873–8). In 1883 he moved to Toronto, where his journalistic and political activities continued but his prominence declined. Throughout his life he remained an articulate, if rather priggish, participant in public life. His leadership over nearly a half-century assisted Irish Catholics in becoming acculturated within Canadian society. His son Frank became chief justice of the Supreme Court and his daughter Margaret became an internationally renowned actor.
From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: History of the Americas.