Jonathan Belcher (jurist)
Portrait by John Singleton Copley
|Governor of Nova Scotia|
|Preceded by||Charles Lawrence|
|Succeeded by||Montague Wilmot|
|Chief Justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court|
|Succeeded by||Charles Morris|
July 23, 1710|
|Died||March 30, 1776
Halifax, Nova Scotia
|Relations||Jonathan Belcher, father|
|Religion||Church of England|
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. 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. Prior to Belcher’s arrival Nova Scotia had no formally trained law officers. 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. 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.
He died in office in 1776. He is buried in Old Burying Ground (Halifax, Nova Scotia).
Belcher married in King's Chapel, Boston on 8 April 1756 to Abigail Allen. A salver (silver platter) given to them on their wedding day is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They had five sons and two daughters.
- "Belcher, Jonathan (BLCR732J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Buggey 1979
- Bakan, Joel (2010). Canadian constitutional law. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-55239-332-1.
- Early American Silver in The Metropolitan Museum of Art By Wees, Beth Carver, Harvey, Medill Higgins, p. 112
- Nova Scotia Historical Society. 1914, p. 25
- Buggey, S: - "Jonathan Belcher". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2016.
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