Adolphe-Basile Routhier

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Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier

Adolphe-Basile Routhier.png
Routhier in c. 1890
Born(1839-05-08)May 8, 1839
Saint-Benoît (Saint-Placide), Lower Canada
DiedJune 27, 1920(1920-06-27) (aged 81)
Saint-Irénée-les-Bains, Quebec, Canada
Resting placeCimetière Notre-Dame-de-Belmont
Occupation(s)lawyer, author, judge, and professor
Known forWriting the lyrics of the original French version of the Canadian national anthem "O Canada"
TitlePresident of the Royal Society of Canada
PredecessorFrank Dawson Adams
SuccessorAlfred Baker
Clorinde Mondelet
(m. 1862)

Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier FRSC (May 8, 1839 – June 27, 1920) was a Canadian judge, author, and lyricist. He wrote the lyrics of the original French version of the Canadian national anthem "O Canada". He was born in Saint-Placide, Quebec, to Charles Routhier and Angélique Lafleur.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Routhier was born and grew up in Saint-Placide, Quebec, on his family's farm. He attended Séminaire de Ste-Thérèse, and later studied law at Université Laval.[2][3] He graduated and was called to the Quebec bar in 1861.


Routhier practised law in Kamouraska until he was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 1873 (as Chief Justice from 1904 to 1906) and Admiralty of the Exchequer Court of Canada (from 1897 to 1906).[4][3]

Routhier ran as a Conservative candidate for the riding of Kamouraska in several federal elections, but he was never elected.[4][5]

Routhier wrote a number of books under the name Jean Piquefort.[6]

Routhier's poem "Ô Canada" was commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Théodore Robitaille for the 1880 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony.[7]

In June 1914, Routhier was one of the three judges appointed to conduct the Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the Canadian Pacific steamship Empress of Ireland, which had resulted in the loss of 1,012 lives.[8]


Routhier married Clorinde Mondelet on November 12, 1862, in Quebec and had one son.[4]


Many sites and landmarks were named to honour Basile Routhier. They include:

Selected publications[edit]

  • Les Echos, P. G. Delisle, 1882.


  1. ^ "Saint-Placide (Municipalité)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  2. ^ John Robert Colombo (1978). The Poets of Canada. Hurtig Publishers. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-88830-150-5.
  3. ^ a b Canada. Parliament. Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on the National and Royal Anthems (1967). Minutes of Proceedings: June 8, 1967- Feb. 15, 1968. R. Duhamel. p. 2.
  4. ^ a b c Hébert, Yves (1998). "Routhier, Sir Adolphe-Basile". In Cook, Ramsay; Hamelin, Jean (eds.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Vol. XIV (1911–1920) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  5. ^ Brian Thompson (2015). Anthems and Minstrel Shows: The Life and Times of Calixa Lavallée, 1842-1891. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 218-219. ISBN 978-0-7735-4555-7.
  6. ^ Kuitenbrouwer, Peter; Spires, Ashley (2015). Our Song: The Story of O Canada, the Canadian National Anthem. Scholastic Canada. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-4431-3372-2.
  7. ^ "Full history of 'O Canada'". Department of Canadian Heritage. January 5, 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  8. ^ Marshall, Logan (2014) [First published 1914]. The Tragic Story of the Empress of Ireland. New York, New York: Penguin Group US. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-698-15132-1. Retrieved January 27, 2015.

External links[edit]

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by President of the Royal Society of Canada
Succeeded by