Charles Dow Richards

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Charles Dow Richards
Charles Dow Richards.jpg
Charles Dow Richards as Chief Justice
20th Premier of New Brunswick
In office
May 19, 1931 – June 1, 1933
Monarch George V
Lieutenant Governor Hugh Havelock McLean
Preceded by John B. M. Baxter
Succeeded by Leonard P. D. Tilley
MLA for York
In office
October 9, 1920 – August 10, 1925
Serving with John A. Young, Samuel L.B. Hunter, James K. Pinder
Preceded by William C. Crocket
Succeeded by B. H. Dougan
In office
June 18, 1930 – June 2, 1933
Serving with B. H. Dougan, Marcus Lorne Jewett, James M. Scott
Preceded by Riding re-created
Succeeded by Stewart E. Durling
MLA for Fredericton
In office
August 10, 1925 – June 18, 1930
Preceded by Riding created
Succeeded by Riding dissolved
Personal details
Born (1879-06-12)June 12, 1879
Southampton, New Brunswick, Canada
Died September 15, 1956(1956-09-15) (aged 77)
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Grace Bolton (m. 1907)
Children 1 daughter
Alma mater University of New Brunswick
Occupation lawyer, judge
Profession politician

Charles Dow Richards (June 12, 1879 – September 15, 1956), born in Southampton, New Brunswick, was a judge and New Brunswick politician.

He served as Conservative house leader and then Minister of Lands and Mines under Premier John B. M. Baxter. In 1931 he became premier and tried to deal with the Great Depression without much success. His two-year administration, in the depths of the Great Depression, instituted public bidding on crown land and fishing rights. In 1933 he left politics when he was appointed to the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, serving as its Chief Justice from 1946 to 1955.

As Justice, Richards sentenced the last man to be executed in Charlotte County. He did not accept the jury's request "that mercy be shown to the accused," 22-year-old Thomas Roland Hutchings, and sentenced him to hang at St. Andrews, New Brunswick on Wednesday, December 16, 1942 for the rape and murder of Bernice Connors.

Personal life[edit]

Initially a schoolteacher, Richards was admitted to the bar at age 33. Richards married Grace Bolton. The couple had one daughter, who married a descendant of Philemon Wright.

He is best remembered not so much as a politician but as a dignified, scholarly lawyer and distinguished judge. Charles Richards died in 1956 and was buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredericton.


Legal offices
Preceded by
John B. M. Baxter
Chief Justice of New Brunswick
Succeeded by
John B. McNair