Tupper was the second son of Sir Charles Tupper and served in his father's Ministry as Solicitor General of Canada. Tupper practiced law before being elected as a Conservative MP in 1882. He was appointed Minister of Marine and Fisheries by John A. Macdonald in 1888 and kept that position in subsequent Conservative cabinets until 1894 when he became Minister of Justice in the government of Sir Mackenzie Bowell and attempted, unsuccessfully, to resolve the Manitoba Schools Question by drafting a bill to restore Separate School education for Catholics in Manitoba. Tupper resigned in January 1896 to protest Bowell's leadership which largely failed on this question. He returned as Solicitor General in the short-lived government of his father later that year. Tupper remained an MP until his retirement from politics in 1904 after which he moved to Vancouver to practice law.