Jonathan Belcher (jurist)

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Jonathan Belcher
Portrait by John Singleton Copley
Governor of Nova Scotia
In office
Monarch George III
Preceded by Charles Lawrence
Succeeded by Montague Wilmot
Chief Justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court
In office
Succeeded by Charles Morris
Personal details
Born (1710-07-23)July 23, 1710
Boston, Massachusetts
Died March 30, 1776(1776-03-30) (aged 65)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Relations Jonathan Belcher, father
Religion Church of England

Jonathan Belcher (July 23, 1710 – March 30, 1776) was a British-American lawyer, chief justice, and Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, the second son of Jonathan Belcher and Mary Partridge, Belcher entered Harvard College, where in 1728 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1731 he proceeded to Master of Arts, also at Harvard. In 1730, he entered the Middle Temple, London, to read law, and in 1734 was called to the English bar. In the mean time he had been admitted as a fellow-commoner to Trinity College, Cambridge, where in 1733 he received another Master's degree in mathematics.[1] He later received a third Master's degree from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).

In 1754, Belcher was sent to Nova Scotia to become the first Chief Justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, and he also served on the Nova Scotia Council. On July 28, 1755, he published a document which concluded that deportation of the Acadians was both authorized and required under the law.[2] He died in office in 1776. From 1761 to 1763, he was also Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. He negotiated the peace that led to the Burying the Hatchet ceremony in Nova Scotia.



  1. ^ "Belcher, Jonathan (BLCR732J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Bakan, Joel (2010). Canadian constitutional law. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-55239-332-1. 

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