William Higgins (high constable)
|High Constable of Toronto|
|Preceded by||Position Created|
|Succeeded by||George Kingsmill|
Higgins was appointed High Constable of the Home District in 1826, a position that included being inspector of police for York, Upper Canada at a salary of ₤40 a year. When the City of Toronto was incorporated in 1834, the new city council unanimously appointed Higgins High Bailiff, including the responsibility of being city inspector, with a salary of ₤125 a year while remaining High Constable (as well as the only constable) for the region.
Higgins' term ended in scandal when he was implicated in the death of a man during election day anti-Tory rioting by largely disenfranchised Irish Catholic minority which was put down by a party of Protestant Orangemen, led by Higgins. Mayor William Lyon Mackenzie, in his role as chief magistrate, held a police court investigation and laid charges against Higgins. He was exonerated by the grand jury in April 1835 but, by that point city council had already chosen not to reappoint him.
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