Leonard Percy de Wolfe Tilley

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Leonard Percy de Wolfe Tilley
Leonard P. D. Tilley speaking on Parliament Hill in 1927
21st Premier of New Brunswick
In office
June 1, 1933 – July 16, 1935
MonarchGeorge V
Lieutenant GovernorHugh Havelock McLean
Murray MacLaren
Preceded byCharles D. Richards
Succeeded byAllison Dysart
MLA for Saint John City
In office
June 20, 1912 – October 9, 1920
Serving with John Edward Wilson, John R. Campbell, Charles B. Lockhart, Frank L. Potts, William Francis Roberts
Preceded byRobert Maxwell
Succeeded byRobert Thomas Hayes
In office
August 10, 1925 – June 27, 1935
Preceded byWalter E. Foster
Succeeded byA. P. Paterson
Personal details
Born(1870-05-21)May 21, 1870
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
DiedDecember 26, 1947(1947-12-26) (aged 77)
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Political partyConservative
SpouseLaura Tremaine Richardson (m. 1903)
RelationsDeWolf family

Leonard Percy de Wolfe Tilley (May 21, 1870 – December 26, 1947) was a New Brunswick lawyer, politician and the 21st premier of New Brunswick.

Tilley was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada the son of Samuel Leonard Tilley, one of the Fathers of Confederation, and Alice Starr (Chipman) Tilley (1844-1921). He grew up in Ottawa and Fredericton. Tilley was educated at the University of New Brunswick and then studied law at Dalhousie Law School. He 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.

During the federal Liberal-Conservative Party's 1927 national convention in Winnipeg, Tilley was chosen to nominate R. B. Bennett as one of six leadership candidates. Bennett was an old friend with whom he had attended both elementary school and university. Tilley's endorsement of Bennett was blunt and prescient: "I nominate a gentleman whom, I believe, will be a winner." Bennett won the leadership race and became Prime Minister three years later.[1]

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, New Brunswick, Canada at the age of 77.[2]


  1. ^ Boyko, John (2012). Bennett: The Rebel Who Challenged and Changed a Nation (2nd ed.). Fredericton, New Brunswick: Goose Lane Editions. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-86942-669-2.
  2. ^ "Judge J. L. Tilley, Former Premier Of NB, Dies". The Ottawa Journal. 26 Dec 1947. p. 6. Retrieved 24 December 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
New Brunswick provincial government of Charles D. Richards
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Charles D. Richards Minister of Lands and Mines
Frederick W. Pirie
New Brunswick provincial government of John B. M. Baxter
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
  President of the Executive Council