By Patrick Brode

John Beverley Robinson (1791–1863) was once one in every of higher Canada’s most well known jurists, a dominating impression at the ruling élite, and a number one citizen of nineteenth-century Toronto who owned an enormous tract of land on which Osgoode corridor now stands.

The loyalists had based a colony company in its devotion to the Crown, with little room for dissent. As a real loyalist son, knowledgeable through John Strachan, Robinson tried to guide top Canada towards emulation of what he looked as if it would be Britain’s excellent aristocratic society.

As a tender ensign within the York defense force, he defended his sovereign at Queenston Heights, and as performing attorney-general he prosecuted traitors who threatened to undermine the colony. Later, as attorney-general and de facto chief of the meeting through the 1820s, he attempted to mildew the govt. to the British shape. yet components he by no means understood—the impression of yankee democracy and liberalism within the Colonial Office—ensured that higher Canada could by no means be a ‘new Albion.’

Robinson used to be appointed leader justice in 1829, and his judicial occupation spanned thirty-three years, within which he insisted the courts have been subservient to the legislature and demonstrated precedents pointing out their function will be constrained to the enforcement of current legislation, without self sufficient artistic functionality. His lengthy provider at the bench represented either a maintenance and a strengthening of the British culture in Canadian law.

In this biography, early Toronto comes alive in the course of the eyes of a strong man—firm in his ideals, beautiful to girls, revered via his fellows—who sought to mildew society to his personal beliefs. For historians, attorneys, and scholars of jurisprudence who search an knowing of the roots of criminal perform in nineteenth-century Ontario, it's crucial reading. 

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Apparently, the lieutenant-governor was not entirely satisfied with D'Arcy Boulton's performance,13 and might require Robinson to take up his duties as solicitor-general. However, in a few months Strachan was able to reassure his protege that the issue of his recall had been put to rest;14 no doubt the doctor had used his good offices on his friend's behalf. Strachan began to urge Robinson to consider seeking a career at the English bar. ' However, if the young barrister insisted on returning to Upper Canada, then 'a tempting offer will be made you, or it will be attempted - viz, to place Mr.

22 Robinson could easily have condoned the arbitrary enforcement of martial law, and thereby earned the gratitude of the military and assured the security of the capital. Yet he realized that martial law arbitrarily imposed by the executive without the assembly's consent was a violation of the British constitution, the constitution Robinson and his comrades were fighting to preserve. He warned de Rottenburg that not only would he not assist in the enforcement of martial law but that he was 'obliged to acknowledge its illegality and to say as I now do that measures of the nature contemplated must rest entirely upon the responsibility of Your Honour's military command/23 Moreover, the acting attorney-general took the view that many of the individuals who had been seized by the military and who were currently wasting away in the York jail were probably the victims of private 22 Sir John Beverley Robinson vendettas.

After the required pause of ten days, Robinson initiated the proceedings before each of the justices in turn. Although Chief Justice Scott acquitted the first accused for lack of evidence, it soon became clear that the Crown's case against most of the accused was overwhelming. After two weeks of trials, fourteen convictions and one plea of guilty were entered by the court. While the justices condemned all the convicts to This Outpost of England' 25 death, Drummond stayed execution until he could examine recommendations from Robinson and the chief justice as to whether clemency should be granted.

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