Former Parliamentary Librarian

Martin Joseph Griffin

Parliamentary Librarian 1885 – 1920

A trained lawyer, Martin Joseph Griffin had a great love of literature, particularly 18th Century English literature. This passion and expertise led him to his role as editor of the Halifax Express from 1868 to 1874 and editor of the Toronto Mail from 1881 to 1885. While Parliamentary Librarian, he also wrote a weekly column of literary criticism for the Montreal Gazette.

Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, he was educated at St. Mary’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He received honorary degrees (LLD) from both Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, and McGill University, Quebec.

Mr. Griffin was the Parliamentary Librarian during the 1916 fire that destroyed the original Centre Block.

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St. John’s, Newfoundland

Professional Background

Lawyer, editor and literary critic

Prime Ministers During Service

  • Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Borden
  • Rt. Hon. Sir John Abbott
  • Rt. Hon. Sir John Thompson
  • Rt. Hon. Sir Mackenzie Bowell
  • Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Tupper
  • Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier
  • Rt. Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald