James Robert Gowan

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Sir James Robert Gowan
James Robert Gowan.PNG
Senator for Barrie, Ontario
In office
January 29, 1885 – February 1, 1907
Appointed by John A. Macdonald
Personal details
Born (1815-12-22)December 22, 1815
Cahore, County Wexford, Ireland
Died March 18, 1909(1909-03-18) (aged 93)
Barrie, Ontario
Political party Liberal-Conservative
Residence Island in Lake Muskoka.

Gowan was taken from the owner, Sir James Robert Gowan, and Eilean is the Gaelic word for island. Many people assume that the island is named after the owner’s daughter, but he and his wife had no children.

Sir James Robert Gowan, KCMG, QC (December 22, 1815 – March 18, 1909) was a Canadian lawyer, judge, and senator.

Born in Cahore, County Wexford, Ireland, the son of Henry Hatton Gowan and Elizabeth Burkitt, he was educated privately in Dublin. In 1832, he emigrated to Canada and settled outside of Toronto. In 1833, he became a student in the law office of James Edward Small and later practiced law there. He married Anne Ardagh in 1854. They had no children. In 1843, he was appointed judge of the newly created Simcoe District, the largest jurisdiction in Upper Canada. He was the youngest judge ever commissioned in the British empire at the time. He retired in 1883. In 1885, he was appointed a Senator on the advice of John Alexander Macdonald representing the senatorial division of Barrie, Ontario. A Liberal-Conservative, he served for 22 until his resigning in 1907.

He was created a C.M.G. in 1893 and knighted in 1905.

He was related to Ogle Robert Gowan, Emily Gowan Murphy née Ferguson, and Thomas Roberts Ferguson.

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