William Johnstone Ritchie

Judge

1813 – 1892

91

Who was William Johnstone Ritchie?

Sir William Johnstone Ritchie was one of the first judges appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada and became the second Chief Justice of the court, and the second-longest serving Chief Justice to date.

Ritchie was born in Annapolis, Nova Scotia to Thomas Ritchie and Elizabeth Wildman Johnstone. He graduated from the Pictou Academy and went to study law in Halifax in the office of his brother, John William Ritchie. He was called to the bar of Nova Scotia in 1837 but moved to Saint John, New Brunswick, and was called to the bar of that province the following year.

In 1846 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. In keeping with his pledge to resign if a fellow Liberal candidate failed to win a by-election, he gave up his seat in 1851, only to be re-elected three years later. In 1855 he left politics to accept an appointment to the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, and 10 years later he was named Chief Justice of New Brunswick. He was appointed to the newly established Supreme Court of Canada on September 30, 1875 and became its chief justice on January 11, 1879. He served on the Supreme Court for 17 years until he died on September 25, 1892.

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Born
Oct 28, 1813
Annapolis Royal
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Religion
  • Anglicanism
Nationality
  • Canada
Profession
Education
  • Pictou Academy
Died
Sep 25, 1892
Ottawa

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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