John Horne Blackmore

Last updated

John Horne Blackmore
John Horne Blackmore.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Lethbridge
In office
October 14, 1935 March 31, 1958
Preceded by John Smith Stewart
Succeeded by Deane Gundlock
Personal details
Born(1890-03-27)27 March 1890
Sublett, Idaho
Died2 May 1971(1971-05-02) (aged 81)
Political party Social Credit
ProfessionTeacher, Principal

John Horne Blackmore (March 27, 1890 – May 2, 1971), a school teacher and principal by training, was the first leader of what became the Social Credit Party of Canada, a political party in Canada that promoted the social credit theories of monetary reform.


Life and career

Born in Sublett, Idaho, Blackmore was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1935 election as Member of Parliament representing Lethbridge, Alberta, for the fledgling Social Credit movement, which had swept to power in Alberta in the 1935 Alberta provincial election weeks earlier. He was chosen the party's parliamentary leader. In 1939 Social Credit merged into William Herridge's New Democracy movement with Herridge acknowledged as the new party's leader. However, Herridge failed to win a seat in the 1940 federal election and in the subsequent parliament Blackmore led the New Democracy MPs, all former Social Crediters, who had been elected.

Blackmore remained party leader until 1944 when Social Credit held its first national convention and acclaimed Solon Earl Low as leader. Blackmore remained an MP until he was defeated in the 1958 election in which Social Credit lost all of its MPs.

Blackmore was the first Mormon to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons and was excommunicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1947 for "teaching and advocating the doctrine of plural marriage" at secret meetings in southern Alberta. At such meetings, men debated whether Mormon leaders were wrong to have renounced Joseph Smith's revelation regarding polygamy. Though not a polygamist himself, Blackmore urged Parliament to repeal the anti-polygamy law and succeeded in removing specific references to Mormons in the law. His nephew, Winston Blackmore, is the leader of Canada's largest polygamist group and was charged by the RCMP with polygamy in 2009. He challenged the law's constitutionality. [1]

Blackmore was criticized for his views on Jews, and the Encyclopaedia Judaica said he "frequently gave public aid and comfort to anti-Semitism". [2] In 1953, it was reported that Blackmore was distributing the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion from his parliamentary office. [3]

Blackmore is a relative of author Flora Jessop and her sister, Ruby Jessop. [4]

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  1. "Polygamy issue runs deep in the Blackmore family" by Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun, 17 February 2009
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Bramham, Daphne (03/12/2005). "Escape from Polygamy". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 08/02/2013.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Party created
House of Commons leader
of Social Credit

Succeeded by
Solon Earl Low
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
John Smith Stewart
Member of Parliament Lethbridge
Succeeded by
Deane Gundlock