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20th Century Portraits Catalogue

Andrew Bonar Law (1858-1923), Prime Minister and businessman

Born in New Brunswick, Canada but moved to Scotland in 1870; at the age of twenty-seven Bonar Law became a partner in the company of William Jacks & Co., an iron merchants, and was well respected by the Glasgow business community by the late 1890s; he stood as the Conservative candidate for the Blackfriars and Hutchesontown division of Glasgow and won the seat in 1900; on entering parliament he relinquished his partnership in Jacks and embarked on a full-time political career; became leader of the Conservative Party in 1911; when a new government was formed in 1916, Bonar Law became chancellor of the exchequer, leader of the House of Commons and the effective deputy premier; in 1919 he spent time in Paris with the British delegation at the Versailles conference; Bonar Law became Prime Minister in 1922 but resigned in 1923 after being diagnosed with an incurable cancer of the throat; he died in October 1923.