John Solomon Cartwright

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John Solomon Cartwright QC (September 17, 1804 – January 15, 1845) was a businessman, lawyer, judge, farmer and political figure.

He was born in Kingston in 1804, the son of Richard Cartwright, who died while John was still young, and Magdalen Secord, sister-in-law of Laura Secord. After studying law at Toronto and Oxford University he articled in the offices of John Beverley Robinson and was called to the bar in 1825. In 1827, after the death of his mother, he continued to study law at Lincoln's Inn in London; he returned to Kingston in 1830.

In 1832, he became the first president of the Commercial Bank of the Midland District. In 1834, he became a judge in the Midland District and he was named Queen's Counsel in 1838. In 1836, he was elected to the 13th Parliament of Upper Canada representing Lennox and Addington and represented it again in the 1st Parliament of the Province of Canada. He attempted to ensure that British institutions would be preserved in the new union. In 1834, he proposed a form of juvenile reform school that he called "Juvenile Houses of Refuge"; this resolution was not implemented. In 1844, he travelled to England to attempt to prevent the movement of the capital from Kingston to Montreal. He was also lieutenant-colonel in the local militia.

Cartwright is credited in having a major effect on the architecture of public buildings in Kingston by choosing or helping influence the selection of architects. Also, in Napanee, it is said that every public building including schools and churches was built on land donated by Cartwright.

Up until 1843, his estate of 881 acres (3.57 km2), Rockwood Villa, near Kingston, included a large farm with high quality livestock; he sold off some of his property as building lots at that time. In 1845, he died at his home of tuberculosis. He had married Sarah Hayter Macaulay, daughter of James Macaulay, by whom he left a family of seven children. His sister-in-law was Harriet Dobbs Cartwright and he was the uncle of Sir Richard John Cartwright.

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