Samuel Bickerton Harman
|Samuel Bickerton Harman|
|18th Mayor of Toronto|
|Preceded by||James Edward Smith|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Sheard|
December 20, 1819|
Brompton, London, England
|Died||March 26, 1892
|Alma mater||King's College School
Trinity College, Toronto
|Profession||lawyer, accountant, politician, civil servant|
Harman was born in Brompton, London, England, to Samuel Harman, West Indian planter and office holder, and Dorothy Bruce Murray. After graduating from King's College School in London, he became a clerk with the Colonial Bank at its Barbados branch in 1840, and in 1843 became accountant and later manager of its Grenada branch. He married Georgiana Huson, the daughter of a Barbadian planter, in Toronto in 1842.
He returned to England in 1847 and moved to Upper Canada the following year in order to tend to some investments of his wife's family. By the early 1850s, he was reading law, and was called to the bar in 1855. He would serve as a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada from 1869 to 1871.
Harman was involved in many significant activities concerning Toronto's upper class:
- member of the first synod of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto in 1853, eventually being appointed as its treasurer and than as its registrar;
- helping to form the Toronto Boat Club (the predecessor of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club) in 1852;
- serving on the executive of the Saint George's Society, eventually becoming its president in 1860;
- being a master freemason from 1842, and instrumental in introducing the Knights Templar into Toronto in 1854 (in which he would act as a senior officer until 1882).
When the Institute of Accountants and Adjusters of Ontario failed to secure an Act of incorporation from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Harman was named as its president. His political skills and stage-managing of the Toronto business élite enabled its incorporation as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1883.
Harman held many elected and appointed positions with the City of Toronto:
- alderman for St Andrew’s Ward (1866–1868, 1871–1872)
- Mayor of Toronto (1869–1870)
- assessment commissioner (1872–1874)
- city treasurer (1874–1888)
- An Act to Incorporate the Institute of Accountants of Ontario, S.O. 1883, c. 62
- "Samuel Bickerton Harman". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2005.