History of the Bar of the County of Middlesex, Ontario, Canada

What Judge Hughes has written of the Early Bar of Middlesex and my continuation of it, is the result of a conversation between the then President of the Middlesex Historical Society and me. We both thought it very desirable that Judge Hughes should undertake the work because his memory enabled him to cover a greater number of years than anyone now living, and his associations and connections with the members of the Early Bar gave him a perfect knowledge of them all.

What I have written does not pretend to give any full reference to the Bar of to-day. It is better to leave that until a future time. I have made fuller references to those whose lives have closed. "Death's pale flag" has "advanced" too frequently among the members of the Bar, and while the usefulness of their lives is still fresh in our memories it is best to record the facts. If this is done from time to time it will serve a good purpose and preserve a record that will be interesting at least to the future members of the Bar of Middlesex.

These records should be as just and accurate as possible. The Middlesex Historical Society will welcome and preserve any additions, corrections or criticisms which may be offered. I have written almost entirely from memory, aided by a paper I wrote some years ago. There are, no doubt, facts left out which should be recorded, and there will be some errors. Whoever takes the subject up in the future will have the benefit of any information now supplied.

After these papers were read at the Historical Society they were published in The Advertiser, and it was suggested that they might as well be published in pamphlet form as a keepsake. If they serve to keep alive old faces and old memories the object sought will be attained.


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I came to the London District in May, 1835, a lad, and was sent by my brother-in-law, the late John Wilson, who had adopted me, to the Grammar School, then taught by Mr. F. H. Wright, B.A., a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. At that time, the late Mr. Ephraim J. Parke, Mr. Thomas Parke, jun., and Mr. Thomas Scatcherd, were fellow-pupils. The London district had for some years been very attractive to persons seeking homes, and caused some of the best agriculturalists and mechanics in the province, and many from the United States to settle in and about London. It was attractive for lawyers, as well as tradespeople. The territories now constituting the counties of Norfolk, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Bruce, Middlesex, Elgin and part of what is now the County of Brant, that is to say, the townships of Burford and Oakland, formed the London district.