John Bower Lewis

John Bower Lewis, QC (March 18, 1817 January 24, 1874) was the second mayor of Bytown in 1848, the first mayor of Ottawa from 1855 to 1857, and a member of the 2nd Canadian Parliament from 1872 to 1873.[1]

John Bower Lewis
John Bower Lewis
2nd Mayor of Bytown
In office
Preceded byJohn Scott
Succeeded byRobert Hervey
1st Mayor of Ottawa
In office
Preceded byHenry J. Friel
Succeeded byEdward McGillivray
Personal details
Born(1817-03-18)March 18, 1817
Paris, France
DiedJanuary 24, 1874(1874-01-24) (aged 56)
Political partyConservative Party of Canada
Spouse(s)Anna Eccles (1840); Helen Street (1843); Elizabeth Susan Wilson (1856)

He was born in Paris, France in 1817 and came to Canada with his family in 1820. He studied law in Toronto, was admitted to the bar in 1839, and became a Queen's Counsel in 1867.

He was elected to the first council for Bytown in 1847 and became mayor in 1848. After Bytown was renamed to Ottawa in 1854, he became its first mayor. He was police commissioner for the city in 1863. In 1872, he was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative in the two-member riding of Ottawa City but resigned in 1873 due to the Pacific Scandal.

He died in Ottawa in 1874; he was the city solicitor and was also campaigning for reelection to the House of Commons at the time of his death.


There is a John Bower Lewis and family fonds at Library and Archives Canada.[2] Archival reference number is R5348.


  1. Dave Mullington "Chain of Office: Biographic Sketches of Ottawa's Mayors (1847-1948)" (Renfrew, Ontario: General Store Publishing House, 2005)
  2. "Finding aid to John Bower Lewis and family fonds, Library and Archives Canada" (PDF).