John Louis Taylor

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This article is about the state supreme court justice. For the US Representative from Ohio, see John L. Taylor.
John Louis Taylor
JohnLouisTaylor.jpg
First Chief Justice of the State of North Carolina
In office
January 1, 1819 – January 29, 1829
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Leonard Henderson
Sixth and Tenth Grand Master of Masons of North Carolina


Freemason

In office
1802 (first tenure) 1814 (second tenure) – 1804 (first tenure) 1816 (second tenure)
Preceded by William Polk (first tenure) Robert Williams (second tenure)
Succeeded by John Hall (first tenure) Calvin Jones (second tenure)
Personal details
Born March 1, 1769
London
Died January 29, 1829
Raleigh, North Carolina
Resting place Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC
Alma mater College of William and Mary, read law under George Wythe
Occupation Jurist
Signature
Notes:[1][2]

John Louis Taylor (1769–1829) was an American jurist and first Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Born in London, he is the only foreign-born Chief Justice in state history. He was brought to America at the age of 12 and attended William and Mary College.

Taylor was elected to represent Fayetteville, North Carolina in the North Carolina House of Commons in 1792, 1794 and 1795. He became a state Superior Court judge in 1798 and turned over most of his law practice to his brother-in-law, young William Gaston, who later became a North Carolina Supreme Court judge and U.S. Congressman.

Before 1818, several North Carolina Superior Court judges met en banc twice each year, to review appeals and disputes from their own trial courts. This was eventually called the "Supreme Court." Taylor sat as part of this Court often and in 1810 was chosen as its Chief Justice. When the North Carolina General Assembly decided to create a full-time, distinct Supreme Court in 1818, the legislators chose three men to make up the new Court: Taylor, Leonard Henderson, and John Hall. The three met and elected Taylor to once again assume his title of Chief Justice. He served on the Court until his death, near Raleigh, in 1829. Taylor is buried in Historic Oakwood Cemetery.

Taylor was a prominent Freemason and served as Grand Senior Warden of North Carolina, while William R. Davie was Grand Master, and he himself served as Grand Master from 1802–1804 and from 1814-1816.[3] He was a member of Phoenix Lodge No. 8, A.F. & A.M., Fayetteville, North Carolina.[4]

Works[edit]

His publications include:

  • The North Carolina Law Repository (two volumes, 1814–16)
  • Term Reports (1818)
  • On the Duties of Executors and Administrators (1825)
Legal offices
Preceded by
none
Chief Justice of North Carolina Supreme Court
1818 - 1829
Succeeded by
Leonard Henderson

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Officers of the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of North Carolina, the first 100 years". Raleigh, North Carolina, USA: Grand Lodge of North Carolina. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  2. ^ "Portrait of Chief Justice John Louis Taylor". Raleigh, North Carolina, USA: North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  3. ^ List of Grand Lodge of NC Officers
  4. ^ An Address Delivered to Phoenix Lodge No. 8 at the Dedication of their Present Lodge Building by James Banks, June 24, A. L. 5858, A. D. 1858