ONTARIO Toronto 1889 The Mail 29.7mm aluminum medal 8.24 grams holed with suspension ring by P.W. Ellis & Co Leroux 1562
Obverse: floral wreath, THE MAIL / EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL / 1889
Reverse: WM. E, O'BRIEN, M.P.. J. A. BARRON, M.P., N. CLARKE WALLACE, M.P., JOHN CHARLTON, M.P., G.R.R. COCKBURN, M.P., F. C. DENISON, M.P., P. MACDONALD, M.P., DALTON MCCARTHY, M.P., ALEXANDER MCNEIL, M.P., JULIUS SCRIVER, M.P., JAMES SUTHERLAND, M.P., RICHARD TYRWHITT, M.P., J. W. BELL, M.P., MARCH, 28, 1889
This medal shows The Toronto Mail allying itself with the Equal Rights Association, an organisation that criticized Catholic interference in politics and what it saw as the subservience of politicians to the Roman Catholic Church. In March 1889, as one of the “noble thirteen” who supported William Edward O’Brien’s motion to disallow the Jesuits’ Estates Act. This Quebec legislation was particularly offensive to Ontario Orangemen because it authorized the pope to help adjudicate the settlement of the confiscated estates. Mass protest meetings swept Ontario; The Toronto Mail struck this medal commemorating the courage of the thirteen in defying their party caucuses.
The Mail was founded in 1872 by Thomas Charles Patterson. Patterson had been Postmaster of Toronto and was asked by the federal Conservative Party to become publisher of the newspaper. Patterson remained proprietor and editor until it changed hands with John Riordan (major creditor of the debts owed by The Mail) and Christopher William Bunting with the former assuming ownership.
Riordan died in 1884, but control of the paper when to his brother Charles Alfred Riordan in 1882 with Bunting remaining as director of the Mail.
It was the city's conservative paper until it declared itself independent of any political party in 1886. That prompted Prime Minister John A. Macdonald to found the Toronto Empire in 1887. The Mail eventually returned to Conservative roots when it merged with the Toronto Empire to form The Mail and Empire in 1895. Bunting and Charles Riordan remained with the new paper, but Bunting died in 1896 and Riordan selling his stake in 1927 to Izaak Walton Killam.
The Mail and Empire merged in 1936 with The Globe to form The Globe and Mail.