Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott, P.C., Q.C., K.C.M.G., B.C.L., D.C.L. was the third Prime Minister of Canada from June 16, 1891 to November 24, 1892.
He received a B.C.L. (Bachelor of Civil Law) from McGill University in 1854 and was a successful lawyer. A pillar of Montreal's English business community, he later became mayor of Montreal in 1887 to 1888.
After long service in the Canadian House of Commons, he was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1887 and joined Sir John A. Macdonald's cabinet that year as Minister without Portfolio. He also served as Leader of the Government in the Senate from May 12 1887 - October 30 1893 (including his term as Prime Minister). Valued for his legal and administrative skills, he soon became one of its leading members.
When Prime Minister Macdonald died in office, Senator Abbott reluctantly accepted the plea of the divided Conservative party that he should lead the government. In his eighteen months in office he revitalized the government and the party. He later attempted to turn government over to John Thompson, but this was politically unfeasible due to anti-Catholic sentiment (Thompson was Catholic). Abbott's health failed and he retired to private life in 1892, whereupon Thompson finally became Prime Minister. Abbott died less than a year later.