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John Foster McCreight : first premier of British Columbia Johnson, Patricia Mary 1947

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fhy Mr. Justice McCreight, November 13, 1894. Provincial Archives, Victoria, B. C. JOHN FOSTER McCREIGHT First Premier of B r i t i s h Columbia By Patricia Mary Johnson, B.A. An essay submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts i n the Department of History. The University of Br i t i s h Columbia. April, 1947. t j l u w u > t M ^ L _ ^ ^ X - l/^u-L'ct ^JU^/^<dL±Ze^ ' L ^ ^ L j T o l ^ ^ U L ^ • Ct^ a C, ^h^Cf-xyJt^ r ) ~ U L s ^ ^ J i s ^ u ^ U_j^^tzJc t £ J S~ kl*-t^ ^ J U U ^ (US^b^. c^-JL fc^LJy b k t c ^ h^&JL c^_JL f l t u L ^ C ^ J ^ t ^ L ^ c UQ^JJGJC. V /; • (7 " TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I Introduction to John Foster McCreight 1 II McCreight and his Life 10 III McCreight and the Government 26 IV McCreight and the Bar 39 V McCreight and the Bench 57 VI McCreight and the Church 76 VII McCreight and the Freemasons 92 VIII McCreight and his Personality 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX A - Family Tree. B - Legal Training of McCreight. C - Note on McCreight's Marriage. D - List of Acts Passed by the Legislative Assembly during McCreight !s Premiership. E - List of Books i n McCreight*s Library. JOHN FOSTER McCREIGHT Premier and Judge of the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia. Chapter I. Introduction to the Study of JOHN FOSTER McCREIGHT. (1) F i f t y years ago, John Foster McCreight r e t i r e d from the Supreme Court Bench, ending a long career of public service i n the province of B r i t i s h Columbia. Since that time his memory has slipped into obscurity, and his actions have found l i t t l e recognition. Even his name i s unfamiliar to many students of B r i t i s h Columbia history. Yet t h i s man held two of the most important positions i n the province, that of premier, and Supreme Court judge. He came to Vancouver Island and practised as one of the f i r s t (2) lawyers. He l e f t . t h i r t y - s e v e n years l a t e r when the l e g a l systems were well-established, and members of the bar were numerous. — . (1) 1897. (2) See l i s t i n Howay, F.W. and Scholefield, EflS., B r i t i s h Columbia from e a r l i e s t times to the present, Montreal, S.J. Clark, 1914, v o l . I I , p. 560. He acted as Premier during the doubtful days following the entry of B r i t i s h Columbia into Confederation. He f i n i s h e d h is work i n the province when responsible government had been firmly established, and already ten ministries had headed the (3) government since h i s time. His work i n B r i t i s h Columbia covered a period of great importance, the formative, growing years, when the province was emerging from the status of two disunited colonies to that of a well-established unit linked to Canada by law and by r a i l . Not only did McCreight work i n B r i t i s h Columbia during an important era, but he also associated himself with a great many di f f e r e n t aspects of the l i f e of the time. His p o l i t i c a l career, as Attorney-General, as Premier, and as a private member of the Le g i s l a t i v e Assembly meant that for a time he had great influence i n the government. His l e g a l a c t i v i t i e s , as a barrister-at-law, and l a t e r Queen's Counsel, brought him into touch with many incidents and perso n a l i t i e s i n the l i f e of the growing province. His j u d i c i a l tasks performed i n County and Supreme Courts gave him an authoritative p osition i n the a f f a i r s of men. His church connections, f i r s t with the Anglican and then with the Roman Catholic f a i t h brought him into touch with yet another group of people. His Masonic a f f i l i a t i o n s took him far a f i e l d i n that p a r t i c u l a r sphere of a c t i v i t y . Above a l l his learning, his l e g a l erudition, his supreme regard f o r the law and i t s interpretation, gave him an unchallenged p o s i t i o n i (3) Howay, F.W., B.C. The making of a Province, Toronto, Ryerson, 1928. Passim. as an exponent of jurisprudence and an acknowledged master of i t s practice and procedures. During this his thirty-seven years in Western Canada, McCreight was not only a part of many different ac t i v i t i e s , but also an inhabitant of a variety of places. He came f i r s t to the l i t t l e city of Victoria, the English outpost of the "Honorable Company", designed to be the capital of the new, somewhat turbulent province. He probably fi t t e d f a i r l y U ) well into i t s ac t i v i t i e s , and from his residence at James Bay could view with interest and approval the attempts to create an ordered society, based on law, the English church, and the observance of tradition. Yet f^ets times changed, and even Victoria began to take on a veneer of Canadianism, McCreight moved to the Cariboo. Here amid the remains of the gold rush, in the l i t t l e town of Richfield, he must have f e l t the strong sense of adventure, of recklessness, and of individual struggle which had brought people to that area. He was close to a different l i f e from that of Victoria. He was more truly near to the heart of his adopted country, no longer i n an English colony, but absorbed into the real l i f e of the West. From the Cariboo to New Westminster came the next move. Here again was a different situation. A city more truly Canadian had grown up. It boasted the name of "Royal City" from i t s Brit i s h associations, but i t was f i r s t and foremost "the mainland", then an integral part of Canada. People of the Fraser Valley quickly evolved a way of l i f e of their own, and. (4) Listed in First Victoria Directory, 1868, Victoria, V.I., E. Mallandaine, 1868. 4. New Westminster with i t s eyes on the sea, and i t s finger on the pulse of the "upper country", provided yet another phase of B r i t i s h Columbia's l i f e . Of t h i s again, McCreight must have been a part, and his influence must have been f e l t i n the c i t y which i n turn claimed him. The Court House at New Westminster, housing his l i b r a r y , his picture, and a hundred associations of him, i s s t i l l a monument and a reminder of Judge McCreight. Thus, John Foster McCreight associated himself with many phases of public l i f e , i n varied parts of the province during a c r i t i c a l period of B r i t i s h Columbia's development. Yet h i s name i s not well remembered, except by those c l o s e l y associated with him i n the law. An obvious explanation i s the s c a r c i t y of records. Beyond o f f i c i a l speeches and papers, there i s l i t t l e to be found r e l a t i n g to h i s l i f e and character. (5) The Archives contain his Case Books concerning his j u d i c i a l a f f a i r s , but they are s t r i c t l y l e g a l . There i s the o f f i c i a l ( 6 ) correspondence as Attorney-General, but the l e t t e r s give no glimpse of the writer's personality. There are the annotations i n the law books of h i s former Law l i b r a r y , but again these bear mainly on the l e g a l p r i n c i p l e s involved. As (5) Case Books of Judge McCreight, Archives of B r i t i s h . Columbia. ( 6 ) In the Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. Contrast the l e t t e r s of his successor, G.A. Walkem whose l e t t e r s have a warm personal s t y l e . (7) In the Court House Library, New Westminster. f a r as can be ascertained, there i s no "McCreight correspond-ence" i n the sense that there i s a "Trutch correspondence" or "Douglas l e t t e r s " . He had cut himself o f f from his family, and then from his friends, i n such a way that i t i s doubtful -whether any extensive correspondence with them could be maintained. Some day. i t may be found" that a few of his personal l e t t e r s have been preserved, but again there i s the p o s s i b i l i t y that his reserved nature would prevent him from putting many of his thoughts on paper. This reserve of McCreight's nature is,, possibly, the clue to his u n f a m i l i a r i t y . Even his contempories seem to have f e l t that they never r e a l l y got to know him. Some regarded him as almost unfriendly, secluded and unapproachable. Others recognizing h i s great absorption i n his l e g a l studies, and his preoccupation with such things, spoke of his "quiet (3) but cheerful manner among friends". It seems evident that he was possessed of a r e t i r i n g d i s p o s i t i o n and that t h i s could develop into and be interpreted as an austere aloofness. Such a nature does not endear a man to his fellows. He i s respected, but not loved. McCreight lacked popular appeal i n an age of out-standing pe r s o n a l i t i e s . Neither his nature nor his actions had anything of the a t t r a c t i v e splendour of an Amor tie Cosmos or a Matthew B a i l l i e Begbie. As a law-maker he was far steadier and much more learned than the turbulent Be Cosmos. But he lacked the other's push and i n i t i a t i v e . He was too reticent to forge ahead, and so was over-shadowed (8) Crease, A.D., K.C., V i c t o r i a , B.C., September 194-6, i n a l e t t e r to me. by the memory of the man who succeeded him as premier. . As a judge, he gained l i t t l e of the prominence of Begbie. He had not that superb actor's scope nor his tremendous driving power, nor had he the capacity for adapting himself to the situations of the time and the place as Begbie had. McCreight might be far more "learned i n the law" than Begbie, but that i s not a way of winning public acclaim or l a s t i n g praise. Only on one occasion did McCreight become something of a public hero, and that was on the one occasion that he was involved i n somewhat extreme and dramatic action. This was i n the famous case of (9) Cranford vs Wright, when the s o l i c i t o r s for the p l a i n t i f f , D. Babbington Ring and John Foster McCreight protested against Judge Begbie's summary dismissal of the jury. By way of protest they had t h e i r names removed from the r o l l of lawyers practising on the mainland, and the famous words "Dash your (10) pen across my name", became a sort of symbol of resistance to the a r b i t r a r y methods of Begbie. The complimentary address tended to the lawyers by the c i t i z e n s of New Westminster i s a • (ID most heart-warming document. But t h i s was not the usual behaviour of McCreight, H i s protest had been made on l e g a l grounds. He f e l t that Begbie was tampering with the law. To him the law was something more important than his own popularity. It was predictable, i t was r e l i a b l e , i t was, i n (9) For d e t a i l s see Chapter 4-* @L0) Quoted i n The B r i t i s h Columbian, Volume 2, Number 78, Dec. 20, 1862. (U) Loc. c i t . spite of i t s f l e x i b i l i t i e s and adaptions, r a t i o n a l and absolute. A man of t h i s temperament could not hope to be a popular figure. He stood for learning i n a place and an age where action was more important. He stood for i n t e g r i t y i n a place and an age where success was more important. He stood for d i s c i p l i n e i n an era of self-expression, and for p r i n c i p l e rather than personality. He could never be a "man of his times" as other well-known leaders were. Yet his times needed him most desperately. His own age may not have understood him, the succeeding years may have forgetten him, but he had a very great g i f t to contribute. His l e g a l knowledge was needed, his sense of values was necessary. Above a l l , h i s great i n t e g r i t y and h i s overwhelming exactness was something which must come to balance the easy expediency of the newly formed province. McCreight himself must have f e l t that he had a place i n the society of the time. Though not a vain man, he knew his own worth. He laboured to bring a f u l l knowledge and appreciation of the p r i n c i p l e s of government, of the law and of justice to the province i n which he had made his home. He was not a "great man" i n the accepted sense of the word, but he was undoubtedly a "necessary man". The statute books and the law courts t e s t i f y to that. The t r i b u t e of other lawyers and judges bears i t out. B r i t i s h Columbia cannot afford to forget John Foster McCreight. Part of her structure depends upon the foundation which he l a i d . One cannot leave McCreight as a public figure only, even as a man who did a great work for his province. Behind 8. the curtain of misunderstanding, of obscure record, and of apparent contradiction, one finds a man of most interesting character and undoubted charm. The record of his l i f e i s an absorbing one from the personal point of view. In some respects his character i s a d i f f i c u l t one to analyze. There are some unexplained gaps i n his l i f e , some motivations which can only be guessed at. There are the frequent breaks with the past; the physical breaks occurring when he l e f t Ireland to go to Au s t r a l i a , when he l e f t A u s t r a l i a to go to Vancouver Island, when he l e f t B r i t i s h Columbia to r e t i r e i n England. There are the s p i r i t u a l breaks best t y p i f i e d by his secession from the Anglican Church and his strong adherence to the Roman Catholic f a i t h . There are many contradictions, shown i n his apparent lack of appeal to the people of his time, and yet the rapid growth of a series of "legends" associated with his name. There i s his impatience with the ignorance of some of his l e g a l associates, and yet his painstaking, f r i e n d l y help f o r those who r e a l l y sought the truth. He was marked as a sober, unemotional man, yet he must have had a ce r t a i n s p i r i t of recklessness to make him leave his home i n Ireland to journey f i r s t to the g o l d f i e l d s of A u s t r a l i a i n turbulent times, then to the little-known colony of Vancouver Island i n (12} See Chapter 8. (13) See Chapter 8. (14) F i r s t mentioned i n The B r i t i s h Colonist, Volume 4, Number 31, August 10, I860. (12) (13) Underlying a l l his actions i s something almost undefinable but strangely fascinating. Was i t loneliness, was i t conviction, was.it sottl deep inner philosophy that dictated'his actions? Something must have moved him deeply to make him follow the course of action that he did. It has been suggested that McCreight was a man who had broken with his past, his past i n Ireland, his past i n A u s t r a l i a , and that something from that past s t i r r e d and haunted him. There i s no r e a l evidence for t h i s . In a way i t i s not even a necessary clue to his character. It seems nearer to the t r u t h to suggest that McCreight was a man seeking for the absolute i n t r u t h , i n r e l i g i o n , i n l i f e i t s e l f . He came as close to finding i t as he could i n his l e g a l studies and i n his r e l i g i o u s convictions. As one follows the l i f e of McCreight, that motive seems to stand out c l e a r l y . It i s the key to a fascinating personality, to a remarkable set of standards, to a man who made a r e a l contribution to h i s times. 10. Chapter I I . McCreight and his l i f e . John Foster McCreight was horn i n Caledon, County (15) Tyrone i n 1827, and was baptized i n Caledon Church. His father, Reverend James McCreight was curate of the church (16) from 1825 to 1835, and a monument to him i s to be found there. His mother, Elizabeth Foster was the daughter of the Reverend • (17) William Foster, at one time Bishop of Clogher. Reverend William Foster's brother was John Foster, famous as the l a s t speaker of the I r i s h House of Commons,, (which makes John Foster McCreight his grand-nephew,)„ McCreight's father, the Reverend James McCreight, came from County Armagh and was educated at T r i n i t y College, Dublin, receiving h i s Bachelor of Arts degree i n 1813, and (18) his Master of Arts degree much l a t e r , i n 1832. He spent most of his short l i f e as a curate, at Seapatrick i n County Down, at K i l l e a v y i n County Armagh, then at Caledon i n County Tyrone where he passed ten years and was apparently much loved and respected. In 1835 he became rector and vicar at Keady i n County Armagh, only to die i n the same year at the (15) Information on McCreight»s family and early l i f e Was obtained by Crossle, P., Librarian, Grand Lodge of A.F. and A. Masons of Ireland, Dublin, and sent to Dr. Reid i n A p r i l 1941. (16) Ibid. (17) Ibid. (18) Probably automatically on payment of the fee. 11. age of forty-three. Of his r e l a t i v e s , l i t t l e i s known. Any i n f l u e n t i a l connections for McCreight came from his mother's side. Elizabeth Foster McCreight was one of a family of seven. Her grandfather, Anthony Foster, was Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer i n Ireland from 1766 to 1777, and was a member of Parliament for County Louth. Her uncle d i s t i n g u i s h -ed himself i n Parliament as the Speaker of the I r i s h House of Commons, while her father became a prominent churchman. Even here the parliamentary connection was not broken, as f o r some time Reverend William Foster served as chaplain to the I r i s h House of Commons. He was consecrated a Bishop i n 1789, serving as Bishop of Cork and Ross for a year, Bishop of Kilmore for six years, and f i n a l l y as Bishop of Clogher, i n which position he died i n 1797. Elizabeth Foster's brothers and s i s t e r s a l l seemed to marry well, and they and t h e i r children occupied important positions. Her oldest brother, the Right Honorable John L e s l i e Foster carried on the parliamentary t r a d i t i o n of the family as member of Parliament for County Louth and Baron of the Exchequer i n Ireland.. Her second brother, Right Reverend William Henry Foster, entered the church and was subsequently consecrated bishop. Her four s i s t e r s , Catherine, Anna, Henrietta and L e t i t i a each married. Henrietta became the Countess de S a l i s and was famous i n Court c i r c l e s i n England. L e t i t i a became the wife of John North, noted as being member 12. of Parliament for T r i n i t y College, Dublin. It i s important to note that John Foster McCreight had these connections with the Foster family, they set his background and his t r a d i t i o n . It i s more important to f i n d (19) that four of his cousins emigrated to A u s t r a l i a , and achieved most of t h e i r fame there. John Foster McCreight's own family has been the subject of some invest i g a t i o n . He was the oldest of the children, born eight years before his father died. He had a s i s t e r L e t i t i a who married an Edward Jef f r e y s , and who survived him, as she was a beneficiary to the extent of f i f t y (20) pounds under his W i l l There was a younger brother, William, born i n 1832, recorded as having matriculated i n 1851 at the age of nineteen i n T r i n i t y College, Dublin,,lists. No previous record mentioned another s i s t e r whose name appears i n McCreight's W i l l . She was Anna Dorothea McCreight "who at (21) present resides at Nice, France" (1909), and she was l e f t f i f t y pounds also. In addition to t h i s , probably because she was unmarried, she was l e f t an annuity of seventy-two pounds a year. However, Anna Dorothea McCreight did not receive these benefits. She pre-deceased her brother., and her legacies were removed from the W i l l by a c o d i c i l dated (22) May 2, 1912.-19) For family tree see Appendix A. 20) Last W i l l and Testament of John Foster McCreight; August 20, 1909-21) Ibid. 22) Ibid, C o d i c i l , May 2, 1912. !3. L i t t l e i s known of McCreight's early years. His father died when he was eight years old, leaving a widow with four small children to bring up. There i s every possibility that she would receive some help from her wealthier relations and that they assisted in the up-bringing of the children. The only factual knowledge of the period comes from correspondence with J.D. McCreight, a resident of Metchosin, Vancouver (23) Island. Writing i n 194-0 and 1941, he explained that John Foster McCreight was his grandfather's cousin, and that the former mentioned staying, in his boyhood with this cousin in County Down. J.D. McCreight visited him in Victoria in 1896, and adds that he made no allusions to Australia "though my (24) mother says he was there as a young man". There has been great d i f f i c u l t y in finding where McCreight got his education and legal training. It was taken for granted that he was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and had been called to the Irish Bar. However, Trinity College, (25) Dublin, had no record of him as a student, and the Honorable (26) Society of King's Inns had no evidence of his c a l l to the Bar. Here the matter seemed to end i n apparent contradiction, especially as the records of the Roll of -Barristers of the Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria, Australia stated, (27) "Date of Call, King's Inns, Dublin, Nov. 9, 1852". (23) McCreight,J.D., Metchosin, July 5, 1940, February 8, 1941, to Dr. R.L. Reid. (24) Ibid. (25) See letters in Appendix B. £26)Loc. c i t . (27)Quoted by Mander Jones, P., Acting Mitchell Librarian, Sydney, Sept. 3, 1946 in a letter to me. — „ Then there was McCreight's own application f o r admission to the Bar of Vancouver Island which read, " I , John Foster McCreight, do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am a B a r r i s t e r at Law duly authorized to practice i n the Superior Courts of Ireland, and that I was ca l l e d to the Bar by the Honourable Society of King's Inns i n Michaelmas Term i n the Year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and f i f t y two 1852 and that I am the person named i n the c e r t i f i c a t e now produced".(28) With t h i s evidence, f u r t h e r 2 i n q u i r i e s were made i n Ireland. The following l e t t e r seems to substantiate the o r i g i n a l idea regarding t r a i n i n g and l e g a l standing, The Honorable Society of King's Inns, Dublin. 15/10/46. Dear Madam, On receipt t h i s morning of yours of Oct. 10, I have looked up our minutes, and fi n d that on Nov. 9, 1852, John Foster McCreight was c a l l e d to the I r i s h Bar. He entered King's Inns as a student i n Michaelmas 1 Term/ I848, being at -that time a student of T r i n i t y College, Dublin. There i s no doubt that his claim to be a member of the I r i s h Bar was e n t i r e l y j u s t i f i e d . Yours f a i t h f u l l y , 'Theodore C. Tobias', Under-Treasurer. Miss P a t r i c i a Johnson. (28) Copied from records i n the Court House, V i c t o r i a , and quoted by Ireland, W.E., P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v i s t , March 19, 1946 i n a l e t t e r to me. 15. There i s every reason t o b e l i e v e t h a t McCreight never p r a c t i s e d as a b a r r i s t e r i n I r e l a n d . A f t e r h i s c a l l t o the bar i n November 1852, he must have l e f t almost immediately f o r A u s t r a l i a , as he was admitted t o the bar i n Melbourne, V i c t o r i a , on September 29, 1853. His o f f i c e was l o c a t e d i n (29) Temple Court, Melbourne. I t w i l l be n o t i c e d t h a t McCreight was tw e n t y - s i x years of age when he completed h i s t r a i n i n g , and set out t o make a l i v i n g . H is choice of A u s t r a l i a was almost c e r t a i n l y determined by the f a c t t h a t he had r e l a t i o n s there connected w i t h l e g a l a f f a i r s . Both Vesey F i t z g e r a l d Foster and W i l l i a m (30) S t a w e l l had been i n V i c t o r i a since 18^.2, and both were becoming i n f l u e n t i a l men t h e r e , w h i l e W i l l i a m John Foster was engaged i n l e g a l work i n New South Wales, and yet another c o u s i n , W i l l i a m Fane de S a l i s was a member of the L e g i s l a t i v e C o u n c i l of the same colony. A theory has been advanced th a t (31) some matrimonial entanglement or scandal caused the journey t o A u s t r a l i a , and t h i s i s hard t o prove or refhzte. I t seems q u i t e obvious t h a t McCreight had t o make a l i v i n g as a lawyer, th a t good o p p o r t u n i t i e s awaited him i n A u s t r a l i a and t h a t h i s r e l a t i v e s would urge him t o j o i n them and promise him encouragement. The question of McCreight's marriage has never been solved, i f a s o l u t i o n i s necessary. No record of a l e g a l (29) Quoted by Mander Jones, P. L o c c i t . (30) C l e a r y , P.S., A u s t r a l i a ' s Debt t o I r i s h N a t i o n b u i l d e r s , Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1933, Passim. (31) This was a "pet theory" of Dr. Reid. 16. marriage exists in Australia or in Ireland, and i t seems of his l i f e as a barrister i n Australia. It seems obvious that he went there sure of a welcome, and sure too of finding a place for himself in the legal profession. Very soon after his arrival in Melbourne, he was admitted to the Bar of the Colony of Victoria. He practised as a barrister for six years, and at one time served as Crown Prosecutor in the only an able lawyer, but was among friends. Otherwise no young lawyer, newly arrived in the colony> would have held an important o f f i c i a l position of that type. dealings with his relatives in Australia. But as they obviously influenced his career there i t is important to note something about them. The most colourful, of the group was his cousin Vesey Fitzgerald Foster who arrived i n Victoria in I 8 4 I . He was the son of Elizabeth Foster McCreight's oldest brother, and he i s somewhat d i f f i c u l t to trace as he later changed his name to inherit his mother's property, and became known as Vesey Fitzgerald. He f i r s t engaged in farming i n the Port P h i l l i p region (as Melbourne was then known.) Then (32) Checked by McCallum, C.A., Acting Chief Librarian, Public Library, Victoria, Australia, May 2, 194-6, in a letter to me. ( 3 3 ) See Appendix C. . , ( 3 4 . ) James, G.F., University of Melbourne, quoted by Sage,^^-John Foster McCreight, Ottawa, Xr.ans,ac.tions of the Royal Society of _Canada, Third series, Section II, Vol. xxxiv, 194-0, p. 76 footnote. In 1853 John Foster McCreight began the second stage There are few details available of his personal 17. when V i c t o r i a became a separate colony i n 1851 he was appointed Colonial Secretary. He was apparently somewhat arbi t r a r y i n h i s p o l i t i c a l views, and ran counter to the prevailing sentiments of the colony. In 1854- the famous "Eureka" a f f a i r occurred. Large gold finds had been made at Golden Point near Melbourne and miners flocked to the scene. The governor of the colony, Hotham, described as a s t r i c t m i l i t a r y f i g u r e , attempted to control the a c t i v i t i e s by putting i n claims f o r the government and by charging a license fee. The miners resented t h i s , and made protests. The governor reinforced his demands with troops, and v i o l e n t outbreaks occurred. In the end order was restored, and the leading rebels were brought to t r i a l . They were defended so ably by a liberal-minded lawyer, R.D. Ireland, that they were acquitted, and the whole episode turned the p o l i t i c a l f i e l d over to the "rebels". In fact t h e i r leader, Lalor, became the member of Parliament f o r B a l l a r a t , a p o s i t i o n which he held f o r f o r t y years. Vesey F i t z g e r a l d Foster resigned, taking the blame for the a f f a i r . He. remained i n Melbourne for s i x years but never achieved much prominence, and then returned to Ireland. It was claimed that Vesey became the scape-goat also f o r his cousin, William Foster Stawell. This man was the son of Elizabeth Foster McCreight's s i s t e r , Anna, and although c a l l e d to the I r i s h Bar, did not practiSe i n Ireland. There seems to be a s i m i l a r i t y here with McCreight's own career, 18. though this happened ten years earlier. Stawell arrived in Melbourne in 184,2 at the age of twenty-seven, and soon built up a big legal practice, in addition to taking up farm land or "squatting" as the expression was. He acted as Attorney-General for a short time in the f i r s t Victorian ministry, and as such was partly responsible for the Eureka a f f a i r . In this regard, Cleary perhaps unfairly, states: "(the governor's) chief advisers were two 'ascendancy' Irishmen, William Stawell and his cousin Vesey Fitzgerald Foster. Foster took the obloquy which Stawell earned".(35) Whatever the truth, Stawell did not seem to suffer from the episode, as in 1857 he was appointed Chief Justice, and as a "masterful and sound lawyer, he drafted the (36) Victoria Constitution Act and several Judicature Acts." Once again there i s a similarity with McCreight and his work in B r i t i s h Columbia. Stawell served as Chief Justice for twenty-nine years, at times acting as temporary governor and lieutenant-governor. After his resignation i n 1886 he went abroad and died in Naples. The fact that he was the f i r s t Chancellor of Melbourne University i s an interesting side-light on his character. These two men were the ones with whom McCreight would associate in Melbourne. It is easy to see that their relationship might prove a d i f f i c u l t y as well as an advantage. Both had the reputation for autocracy i n a free, independent society, both were regarded as somewhat prone to__ (35) Cleary, op. c i t . , p. 107. (36) Ibid. p. 116. 19. use t h e i r i n f l u e n t i a l connections to further t h e i r own ends. Stawell especially was a n t i - c a t h o l i c , A s p l n a l l , one time premier of V i c t o r i a remarked, any one wishing a position i n V i c t o r i a "while Mr. Stawell holds o f f i c e should add Orange (37) Theology to the indispensable brogue". Under these circumstances i t i s quite possible that McCreight would f e e l a l i t t l e uneasy. He was undoubtedly an able lawyer, but then there were many splendid I r i s h b a r r i s t e r s p r a c t i s i n g i n the Colony. He was at a disadvantage while pleading before the Chief Justice, his own cousin, whether t h e i r views coincided or not. There i s a f e e l i n g that McCreight would not be e n t i r e l y i n sympathy with Stawell, though he had a somewhat automatic nature himself, and any hint of a "family compact" would be obnoxious to him. There had been enough of that i n the Eureka dealings with Vesey Foster; an incident which McCreight had witnessed and i n which he was almost c e r t a i n l y forced to side with his cousins — an unpopular po s i t i o n for a young lawyer. It seems probable that with the slackening o f f of the gold fever and i t s subsequent l i t i g a t i o n , McCreight f e l t that a change would be for the best. Emigrant Irishmen (38) were too p l e n t i f u l i n V i c t o r i a , , he would go further a f i e l d . 37) Cleary, op. c i t . p. 130. 38) Cleary quotes an a r t i c l e i n the Melbourne "Argus" f o r March 31, 1855, "We have an I r i s h C o l o n i a l Secretary, an I r i s h Attorney-General, an I r i s h Surveyor-General and I r i s h Chief Commissioner of Police, an I r i s h President of the Road Board, and an I r i s h Commissioner of Water Supply." Cleary, op. c i t . p. 136. 20. His destination was obvious. Many of the people attracted to V i c t o r i a by the mines, were following t h i s t r a i l to the west coast of America. Here a small settlement existed, i n need of lawyers., and possessing a s o l i d B r i t i s h connection. Thus McCreight came probably by way of San Francisco to Vancouver Island. He arrived i n V i c t o r i a i n i860, and started his law practice. As most of McCreight's work was done i n B r i t i s h Columbia, i t i s only necessary at t h i s point to give the b r i e f e s t d e t a i l s of h i s l i f e there. From 1860 to 1880, he l i v e d i n V i c t o r i a , r esiding on Michigan Street, and having (39) his law o f f i c e s on Government Street. He acted as junior f o r a well-known b a r r i s t e r , D. Babbirigton Ring, l a t e r Member fo r Nanaimo, but did not seem to be i n partnership, as Ring's o f f i c e i s l i s t e d f i r s t at Fort and Douglas Streets, and then (4-0) Langley Street. . iAn 1862 subscription l i s t to the Royal * ( 4 1 ) Hospital, V i c t o r i a includes "Mr. M c C r e i g h t — $5.00". From 1871 u n t i l 1875 he was connected with p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s , then returned to his extensive law pract i c e . In 1880 he was made a judge, and after that time did not reside i n V i c t o r i a for more than b r i e f periods of time. That he entered into the l i f e of the c i t y during these years i s shown not only i n h i s l e g a l and p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s ' b u t i n his work for Christ Church Cathedral and for the Masonic Lodge, both of (39) F i r s t Victoria-Directory, 1868. (40) Ibid. (41) Daily B r i t i s h Colonist, January 18, 1862. 21. which w i l l be dealt with in f u l l later ptf^ From 1880 to 1883, McCreight's position as Supreme Court Judge took him to Cariboo. He resided at Richfield, near to the Court House, apparently able to enjoy even a small community. Mrs. S i l l i t o e , wife of the Anglican bishop, describes the place which she visited with her husband in August, 1881. Wfeen &fter remarking that they reached the residence of Judge McCreight at Richfield, she goes on: "We had just one week to stay in the Cariboo, and we began our v i s i t very l a z i l y , for our f i r s t evening was spent sitting over a f i r e and talking with our host. Although i t was August, there were >sharp frosts every night, and there seemed l i t t l e prospect for the strawberry crop i n the garden outside, for the plants were only just coming into blossom, while the f i r s t radishes of the season had that day been pulled for us." (42) As to McCreight's other friends in the Cariboo the directory i s the only guide. The di s t r i c t registrar for the Supreme Court was S.F. Wooton, the Sheriff, George Byrnes, the Government Agent and Gold Commissioner at nearby Barkerville was J. Bowron, and the Reverend Father J. (43) McGuickan the Priest at St. Joseph's Mission, 150 Mile House. Richfield had only the Roman Catholic church. The Anglican (Reverend C. Blanchard) and WeseLyan were at Barkerville. In 1883, McCreight moved to New Westminster where he had been appointed resident judge. This fact i s borne out (42) Quoted by Goweia, H.H., "A Memoir of Acton Windeyer S i l l i -toe", London, Longmans Green, 1899, p. 66. (43) B.C. Directory 1882-1883, Victoria, R.T. Williams, 1882. Passim. 22. by a statement of the Grand Jury on November 24, 1883,which ends with: "We trust that your residence among (44) us w i l l be pleasant to your Lordship". Apart from his judicial activities, and his pre-occupation with his law books, much of McCreight's time was taken up with his beloved horse LALLY. For many years he rode every day, sometimes alone, sometimes in company with his (45) friends. Among the latter was Mrs. Moresby, whose husband was connected with the New Westminster Court, and whose son was articled to a law firm in New Westminster at this time. Later, when the horse became somewhat decrepit, McCreight le<i-it out each day for exercise. Some people claimed that he had no friend except the horse, and there is a well-known legend that he grazed i t i l l e g a l l y on the Penitentiary grounds, and pftrfed a man to keep him from turning i t in. Early in 1892: "Mr. Justice McCreight l e f t for San (46) Francisco this morning for his health". His stay was f a i r l y extensive, as there i s no report of him u n t i l July 3 when he resumed his judicial duties. The next year he took another t r i p , this time further a f i e l d : "Mr. Justice McCreight l e f t today for Montreal en route to the Old Country. His Lordship carries with him the best wishes of a host of friends for a safe and pleasant journey". (47) 44). Mainland Guardian, November 24, 1883. A5) Moresby, W., K.C., Victoria, B.C., Oct. 22, 1946 in a t. letter to me. A6) The Daily Columbian, Jan. 2, 1892. £7) The Daily Columbian, Jan. 4, 1893• 23. His stay was apparently not prolonged, for on July 4 (48) he was again presiding over the Supreme Court. In October of 1897 he i s listed as "returning from (49) Victoria today", and this i s the last mention of him by name. A month later a writer to the paper was objecting to the "appointment of Mr". P.E. Irving of Victoria who has been selected to f i l l the boots vacated by Honorable Mr. Justice McCreight. What a tremendous amount of space there w i l l be ( 5 0 ) in those boots". It i s known that McCreight was getting deaf before his retirement but he was apparently very active when he reached his seventieth year. Upon retirement he received a pension from the Federal Government, and this continued u n t i l his death. Some confusion exists about his activities immediately after retirement. Gosnell announced that McCreight: "returned to Ireland whither his wife had already (51) preceded him", but as there i s no record of his wife, the other part of the statement needs authentication. It is known definitely that he visited Rome arid spent some time there. By 1909 he was residing at Hastings in England, closely associated with the Society of Pious Missions, a hostel run by the Roman Catholic church, for elderly men, many of them priests. It i s believed that McCreight was not (48) Ibid, July 4, 1893. (49) Ibid, Oct. 1 4 , 1897. (50) Ibid, Nov. 29, 1897. (51) Gosnell, R.E., "Premier of B r i t i s h Columbia", Vancouver Daily Province, March 8, 1921. 24. i n the hostel i t s e l f , but in the house of a Mrs. Mary Jane Fisher who lived nearby. That Mrs. Fisher and her daughters must have been very kind to an elderly man i s evident from the bequests they received i n McCreight»s Will. Mrs. Fisher (52) herself received f i f t y pounds, f i f t y pounds went to each of her daughters, Elizabeth "otherwise Lizzie", Harriett "otherwise Nattie", Ellen "otherwise Nellie Wilson", and Jane (53) "otherwise Jannie". Elizabeth must have been the favourite, or possibly she looked after McCreight personally. She was appointed one of the executors of the Will, and later was l e f t (54) an additional f i f t y pounds, then a further two hundred and f i f t y pounds that would have gone to McCreight's sister Anna (55) had she not died. Another record available of Elizabeth Fisher was in a communication received from the law firm that drew up the Will. The firm of Young, Coles and Langdon of Hastings stated: "We confirm that we acted for the above named Deceased, and also for the Executors of his Will. One of the Executors has since died, and we have not heard of the other Executor for many years". (56) f\ A letter received from the present Rector of the i Catholic Church at Hastings confirms that Miss Fisher i s (57) s t i l l alive. McCreight had apparently become somewhat eccentric in his last days. His Will shows the mind of a man constantly '52) Codicil, April 20, 1911. [53) Last Will and Testament, Aug. 20, 1909. .54) Codicil, June 19, 1911. J55) Codicil, May 2, 1912. ,56) Young, Coles and Langdon, Hastings, Jan. 4 , 1944, i * 1 & letter to me. (57) Rev. H. Treacy,P.S.M., Feb. 20, 1947 in a letter to me. 25. changing his ideas and desiring in his own small way to make his wishes f e l t . The terms are set out in great details, new names and revocations of former bequests constantly occur, and there are four codicils. It i s reported that McCreight became well-known for extravagant gifts to the children of the neighbourhood, again considered a sign of eccentricity rather • than good*heartedness. Mr. A. de B. McPhillips makes this point: "From some information given to me by the Reverend Father O'Connor, P.S.M., who knew the late Judge well in Hastings, England, i t would seem that i n his later years he became something of a philanthropist, taking great interest in under-privileged children of the town and spending Considerable sums of money on their behalf. Father O'Connor informed me that i t was not-at a l l out of the way for the Judge to round up a goodly number of children from poor houses and have them outfitted with clothing and shoes, the total cost of which often ran to a somewhat staggering amount". (58) McCreight died on November 18, 1913 at the age of eighty six and was buried under the auspices of the Pious Society of Missions. His estate amounted to 3619 pounds. (58) A. de B. McPhillips, Vancouver, Sept. 27, 1946 in a letter to me. 26. Chapter III. McCreight and the Government John Foster McCreight was not a politician by nature, but he must have been interested i n the evolution of government which was taking place i n B r i t i s h Columbia. He had practised law on the mainland as well as Vancouver Island, and had seen the advantages of joining these colonies. The union of 1866 was important from a lawyer's point of view, quite aside from i t s p o l i t i c a l implications. The two separate colonies had each organized their own judicial systems, and at the time of the union, Needham was Chief Justice of Vancouver Island, and Begbie that of the mainland. By the Courts Declaratory Ordinance of 1868, the two separate judicatures were to be continued, while the Supreme Courts Ordinance of 1869, stated that two separate Chief Justices should remain, Needham on the Island, Begbie on the mainland. Each was to take precedence over the other in his own area, but in the event of a vacancy, provision was made for the merging of the courts. Thus i t came about, that when Needham resigned in 1870 (to become Chief Justice of Trinidad), Begbie became Chief Justice of the united colony of B r i t i s h Columbia. The union also made possible the right of a lawyer to practiSe in both island and mainland courts i f he were already practising in one — a fact that had a direct bearing on 27. McCreight's own case. In general, i t would seem that McCreight would be an advocate f o r union from the l e g a l point of view, i n spite of his personal disregard for Judge Begbie, who ultimately would be the Chief Justice under whom he had to act. It i s known that McCreight did not stop at the idea of union. In 1868 his name i s found i n the l i s t of members of the Confederation League, although he did not take ail v/ery active part i n t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s . In favouring Confederation, i t i s possible, that he looked for some c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of government and l e g a l control. McCreight was emphatically not a p o l i t i c a l reformer, but he would^as a keen student of the law, work for any movement that favoured a strongly c o n s t i t u t i o n a l form of government. B r i t i s h Columbia,as a separate colony, would be too much a prey to separatist movements, annexationist ideas, or the domination of some l o c a l tyrant. The behaviour of Begbie i n the period p r i o r to 1868 was enough to make McCreight wish f o r a court of appeal nearer than the Privy Council i n England. Confederation would provide t h i s , and an organized governmental framework into which the colony could f i t . In 1871, following the completion of Confederation, the new Lieutenant-Governor arrived i n the Province. Joseph William, Trutch had d e f i n i t e ideas upon his position, and from the f i r s t showed that he thought the province incapable of responsible government. It i s true that t h i s had not been 28 possessed by the c o l o n i a l governments, and that practice was needed to lay the way for f u l l p r o v i n c i a l status. On the other hand, there was evidence of an intense f e e l i n g that steps towards t h i s must be taken rapi d l y . The reform group, Amor de Cosmos, John Robson and others were popular and vociferous. Trutch proceeded to set up a provisional Executive Council, to act u n t i l an ele c t i o n could be held. The three members, Charles Good, Benjamin Pearse, and Edward Alston, had a l l held o f f i c e under the c o l o n i a l government. The l a t t e r was replaced by Trutch on August 24 ?/ith John Foster McCreight who was to act as Attorney-General. Why Trutch chose McCreight i s a debatable point. Obviously he needed a good lawyer, and regarded McCreight as . (59) "the leading b a r r i s t e r here", a selection based "on account . (60) of the profundity of his l e g a l erudition". Then again he needed a respected l o c a l figure, but not a man with p o l i t i c a l propensities l i k e l y to be opposed to his own ideas of very cautious progress. That McCreight was held i n high esteem by the people of V i c t o r i a i s evident. An a r t i c l e i n the Colonist 1 of 1897, written at the time of his retirement makes t h i s (61) cl e a r . (59) Trutch to Macdonald, August 22, 1871, quoted by Sage, John Foster McCreight, Ottawa, Royal Society Transactions, Sec. I I , Vol. xxxiv, 1940, p. 175. (60} Daily B r i t i s h Colonist, Oct. 27, 1872. (61) "So high was the public esteem and confidence i n Mr. McCreight that the lieutenant-governor a c t u a l l y passed over the leading men of the time and c a l l e d upon t h i s lawyer ...", V i c t o r i a Daily Colonist, Nov. 18, 1897. 29. Then again i t i s possible that Trutch regarded McCreight as a somewhat conservative person, c e r t a i n l y not i n favour of "reform" ideas. McCreight's whole background and family connections lead one to expect t h i s attitude, though perhaps not quite i n the extreme somewhat b i t t e r l y expressed by the reformer Robson when i n October 1872 he wrote of McCreight as "one whose history i n t h i s country had been c h i e f l y remarkable for the uniformity of his shrinking from every public movement, and the morbid antipathy with which he regarded those l i b e r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s he was thus so strangely c a l l e d upon to work." (62) Elections were held l a t e i n 1871, and McCreight accepted a " r e q u i s i t i o n " , and was returned as a member of the F i r s t Legislature of the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, representing V i c t o r i a . He was selected by Trutch to form a ministry, and so became the f i r s t Premier of the province. It i s probable that Trutch had no Intention of relinquishing his control, a fact which made him attend a l l meetings of McCreight's Executive Council. He regarded the executive i n a somewhat possessive sense, writing to Macdonald that he had "done a l l I could to place my ministry f a i r l y before the House and before the country". (63) It i s probable, too, that McCreight did not r e a l l y resent t h i s contr*ol. His main interest was i n l e g a l matters, and h i s contribution was to be the setting up of a statutory framework for B r i t i s h Columbia. A new province, needing a (62) Daily B r i t i s h Colonist. (63) Trutch to Macdonald, quoted Sage, l o c . c i t . p.178. 30. set of new laws — surely t h i s was a lawyer's dream. The fact that McCreight had such a b i l i t y and erudition was indeed fortunate for B r i t i s h Columbia, and for Trutch. This interest i n the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l side of government perhaps explains McCreight's decision to work with Trutch. It may also explain his r e f u s a l to f i g h t the reform group when they out-voted him a year l a t e r . Once the statutes were made, and the government i n working order, McCreight's r e a l use to the l e g i s l a t u r e was over. He worked f o r no p o l i t i c a l cause, he r e a l l y represented no p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t s . His cause was the law, his interests those of l e g a l t r a d i t i o n , correctness and s o l i d i t y . McCreight i s regarded as a poor statesman, c e r t a i n l y as one that sank into i n s i g n i f i c a n c e compared with Trutch, Robson and de Cosmos. A l l that i s true, and he would have been the f i r s t to admit i t . As a lawyer^ not as a premier^ McCreight would be remembered. His main contribution during his period i n the government was his enactment of fundamental statutes of the province. The McCreight ministry r e f l e c t s t h i s attitude i n that i t contained three lawyers. John Foster McCreight was (64) Premier and Attorney-General, Alexander Rocke Robertson, (65) P r o v i n c i a l Secretary, George Anthony Walkem, Commissioner of Lands and Works, and Henry Holbrook as " u n o f f i c i a l member". (64) Appointed Puisne Judge i n 1880 at the same time as McCreight. (65) Called to the Bar i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n 1863, having not been previously accepted by Begbie as he was a "Colonial," i . e . Upper Canada, b a r r i s t e r . (66) Commissioner of Lands and Works from Nov. 14, 1871 to -Jan. 19, 1872 when Walkem was appointed. 31 The f i r s t session of the Legislature was from February 15 to A p r i l 11, 1872. The f i r s t words recorded by the Journals of the Leg i s l a t i v e Assembly were those of John Foster McCreight, Attorney-General, reading a proclamation regarding the summonsing and proroguing of the House, and (67) c a l l i n g for the el e c t i o n of a speaker. James Trimble, a member for Victoria^was elected. The Lieutenant-Governor made his opening speech on February 16, and immediately a f t e r i t important l e g i s l a t i o n was introduced. On February 21 the Premier introduced the following acts: 1. Act for continuing the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly of B r i t i s h Columbia i n case of demise of the Crown. 2. Le g i s l a t i v e Assembly Pri v i l e g e s B i l l . 3. C i v i l L i s t Repeal B i l l . .4. Oaths to Witness B i l l . 5. Consolidated Revenue Fund B i l l . 6. Notaries Appointment B i l l . (68) On the following day were introduced: 7. An Act to amend the Road Ordinance of 1869. 8. Ah Act to remove doubts as to the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia and the Judges thereof over the Persons and Estates of Idiots and Lunatics. (this b i l l was defeated) 9- An Act respecting s e c u r i t i e s to be given by o f f i c e r s of B r i t i s h Columbia. 10. Act to enable the Lieutenant-Governor to appoint Justices of the Peace and Coroners. (69) Other equally basic laws necessary for the transaction of a f f a i r s i n the province came i n the following (67) Journals of the Le g i s l a t i v e Assembly of the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vol. 1, Feb. 15, 1872'. Hereafter c i t e d as J.L.A. B.C. (68) J.L.A. B.C., Vol. 1, Feb. 21, 1872. (69) Ibid, Feb. 22, 1872. 32. weeks. These included the Ele c t i o n Regulations B i l l , the Legal Professions B i l l and on February 26, that well-known statute^ the Public Schools B i l l . An attempt of Robson and Beaver^ to provide a b i l l excluding Chinese from employment on public works was defeated on February 27. Private B i l l s occupied the f i r s t part of March, then on March 27 came proposals regarding the Qual i f i c a t i o n s of Voters, El e c t i o n Regulations Amendments, County Courts, Regulation of B i r t h s , Deaths and Marriages. Several messages from the Lieutenant-Governor are recorded, usually suggesting some change i n a b i l l on c o n s t i t u t i o n a l grounds, the only flaw i n McCreight»s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l knowledge probably being a much greater f a m i l i a r i t y with B r i t i s h procedure than with Canadian. For example:, "The Lieutenant-Governor returns to the Le g i s l a t i v e Assembly a B i l l i n t i t l e d 'An Act to e s t a b l i s h a Consolidated Revenue Fund for B r i t i s h Columbia with regard to which he c a l l s the attention of the Assembly to the fact that Section 3 of the B i l l i s not i n conformation with Section 5-4 of the B r i t i s h North America. Act which by v i r t u e of Section 90 of the Said Act extends and applies to the Legislature of t h i s Province. He therefore suggests that the said t h i r d Section should either be struck out or so amended as to conform to the B r i t i s h North America Act i n t h i s respect." (70) On the other hand was Trutch, showing a l i t t l e i personal favouritism when he suggested that the Public Schools Act should not contain a section providing that the (70) J.L.A. B.C., Vol. 1, A p r i l 3, 1872.' 33. Superintendent must be "an experienced and successful Teacher of at least f i v e years' standing, and holding a f i r s t class c e r t i f i c a t e from some College, School or Board of Education i n some other Province or Country where a Public Schools system has been i n operation". (71) Perhaps McCreight and his colleagues had aimed too high, and Trutch was merely being p r a c t i c a l i n a pioneer community. At the close of the Session on A p r i l 11, Trutch gave his assent " i n Her Majesty's name" to 30 b i l l s , while 4 were reserved u n t i l they had been referred to the Federal (72) Government. 1 The session had been successful while f a i r l y non-controversial. McCreight had shown himself to be a sound student of c o n s t i t u t i o n a l practice, and had drawn up and (73) established a formidable l i s t of necessary laws. The second session opened on December 17, 1872, but i n a very d i f f e r e n t atmosphere from that prevailing i n February. John Robson and Amor de Cosmos had combined forces, and regarding themselves as the " l i b e r a l " or "reform" group, were pressing for immediate action for responsible government. Their main opposition was to Trutch, who s t i l l acted somewhat l i k e a c o l o n i a l governor. Their d i s l i k e was naturally extended to McCreight, working with and for Trutch, (71) Ibid, A p r i l 4 , 1872. (72) For l i s t of Acts see Appendix D. (73) The fact that McCreight would enjoy drawing up and wording a law.is obvious. 34-and to those of McCreight's ministry; "a body of men who had uniformly been opposed to the principles and practice of responsible government". (74) They accused McCreight's government of f a i l i n g "to i n i t i a t e a single measure of sufficient public importance to merit the (75) character of an act of sound statesmanship", an accusation obviously untrue. The measures introduced had been most necessary to the province, although perhaps they had done l i t t l e to promote the attainment of responsible government as such. The Lieutenant-Governor's speech was read when the session opened. Then two days later a resolution was drawn up i n reply. Paragraph 4 became supremely important... "That we receive with pleasure his excellency's congratulations on the fact that, far from the prognostications of the failure of Responsible Government in this Province, which were indulged in at the time of the Union, having been verified, the administration of public affairs has been i n the main satisfactory to the people i n general". (76) This was too much for the "reform group" to swallow. On the motion of Humphreys and Bunster an amendment was proposed: "While entertaining the fullest confidence in that form of administration known as Responsible Government, s t i l l we believe that the administration of affairs has not been satisfactory to the people in general".(77) (74) De Cosmos in the Victoria Daily Standard, Dec. 16, 1872. (75) Ibid. (76) J.L.A. B.C., Vol. 2, Dec. 19, 1872. (77) Ibid. 35. This was tantamount to a vote of want of confidence, and i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to see how the members sided. There were 11 votes for the amendment — Robson, De Cosmos, Smith, Hughes, Anstey, Bunster, Booth, Ash, Smithe, Cogan, and Humphreys. Against i t were 10, McCreight, Walkem, Robertson, Holbrook, Todd, Beaven, Hunter, Robinson, Duck and Barnston. The fact that Mara and Semlin, both Government supporters, were not present brought about a defeat f o r McCreight. He re a l i z e d that t h i s was not just an unfortunate occurrence. It was a matter of basic p o l i c y . I f he remained i n o f f i c e , he would have a p o l i t i c a l struggle upon his hands. He would have to f i g h t every inch of the way against a group of popular, energetic "reformers". Whether McCreight r e a l i z e d that they more tr u l y represented the p o l i t i c a l sentiment of the times than his group did cannot be proved. His a l a c r i t y i n resigning indicates that f a c t . It indicates also his desire to be free of p o l i t i c a l turmoil now that his fundamental task of setting up laws was well on i t s way. The following day McCreight stated to the House that: " i n consequence o f the adverse vote o f yesterday, the Government had tendered t h e i r resignation to His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, that they only hold o f f i c e u n t i l t h e i r successors were appointed, and that they did not propose to do any Government business i n the Assembly". (78) The House adjourned on December 23, and when i t met again on January 6, 1873, Amor de Cosmos bore the t i t l e of "Honourable". McCreight was n o W a private member. (78) J.L.A. B.C., Vol. 2, Dec. 20, 1872. Just before McCreight's resignation, an interesting incident occurred in regard to his relations with Robson. As Robson was the man really responsible for the criticism, a question was asked McCreight by one of his own supporters (Beaven), as to whether Robson had ever been asked to join the government with a seat i n the cabinet. McCreight's reply was a lengthy one, and has been dealt with by Dr. Sage i n his (79) account of McCreight»s premiership. The fact that i t illustrates McCreight*s honesty of character and his cautious, correct style rather well justifies i t s reproduction here: " I have my answer; and while on grounds of public policy or as a breach of personal confidence, an answer might be refused, yet I cannot have the slightest hesitation i n giving an answer i f the Honorable member does not object. In order to answer this question f u l l y , i t i s necessary that I should inform the house that I had several conversations with the Honorable member for Nanaimo, on the general subject of his support of the Government. One took place on the 24th November, 1871, when I offered the Honorable member for Nanaimo a seat as an unofficial member of the Executive Council. He declined to accept a seat without a portfolio. This I positively stated I could not give him. Another conversation took place on the 5th day of December,. 1871 when the Honorable member agreed to give my Government his independent support i n and out of the House i n consideration that I would give him a p o l i t i c a l situation i f I should think i t afterwards advisable to create an additional portfolio, I was to give him an appointment1which would be f a i r to him and to the Province. On the 4th of January, 1872, I had another conversation with the Honorable member for Nanaimo when he requested my permission to let him state in a leading a r t i c l e i n the Colonist newspaper that I had offered him a portfolio. This I informed him I could not consent to, as i t was contrary to the fact." (80) (79) Sage, lo^. c i t . p. 179. (80) J.L.A. B.C., Vol. 2, Dec. 20, 1872. 37. For the remainder of the Session, McCreight confined himself to work on parliamentary committees and to l e g i s l a t i o n for the c i t y he represented, introducing on January 10 an "Act to Authorize the Corporation of the City of V i c t o r i a to construct Waterworks". Prorogation came on February 21, 1873. The t h i r d Session of the Legi s l a t i v e Assembly began on December 18,. 1873 and lasted u n t i l March 2, 1874. McCreight's name does not appear often i n the proceedings, though on January 12 he asked leave to introduce a b i l l i n t i t l e d "An Act to Amend the 'Legal Professions Act, 1863'". His next enquiry was of a l e g a l nature when he asked for information on the r e f u s a l of the government to compensate (81) Mr. A.C. E l l i o t t , "late High Sh e r i f f of B r i t i s h Columbia" f o r his loss of o f f i c e . Apart from these, committee reports seemed to be his most important work. His l a s t appearance i n the House was the fourth Session, from March 1 to A p r i l 22, 1875. Two items of interes t appear here. One i s the fac t that McCreight introduced a b i l l "to render i n e l i g i b l e as members of the Pr o v i n c i a l Assembly persons accepting or holding o f f i c e s or (82) employment under the Dominion Government". This act, i r o n i c a l l y enough, was the one which debarred de Cosmos, his former opponent, from membership — both the federal and pr o v i n c i a l houses, and so removed him from the B r i t i s h Columbia l e g i s l a t u r e . The other record of, McCreight shows his pre-occupation with l e g a l aspects of the government i n presenting reports of the committee on Standing Orders, and (81) J.L.A..B.C., Vol. 3, Feb. 2. 1874. (82) J.L.A. B.C., Vol. 4, March 12, 1875. 38. in recommending that the New Westminster Tax Sale B i l l was a matter for the Supreme Court so that evidence could be heard, (83) and not a B i l l for the House. From then onwards there i s no mention of McCreight in the Legislature. His laws established, his parliamentary-term "expired, he turned away from politics and concentrated on his extensive law practice. (83) J.L.A. B.C., Vol. 4, April 10, 1875. 39. Chapter IV. McCreight and the Bar. John Foster McCreight was admitted to the Bar of Vancouver Island on June 26, i860. Two years l a t e r , he was admitted to the Bar of B r i t i s h Columbia, on November 30, 1862. The next month, however, his name was removed, at his own request, from the r o l l of b a r r i s t e r s admitted to practise on the mainland. But i n 1867, aft e r the union of the colonies an Ordinance was passed allowing a l l b a r r i s t e r s who were pra c t i s i n g i n one colony the right to practise i n both. Thus McCreight's work could again extend beyond Vancouver Island. On A p r i l 2, 1873 McCreight was appointed a Queen's Counsel, and continued his extensive law practice u n t i l 1880, when he was elevated to the Bench. As a lawyer, McCreight showed himself at his best. Not only had he the t r a i n i n g for the profession, but he had the temperament also. The law and i t s i n t r i c a c i e s appealed to his a n a l y t i c a l mind, and stimulated a l l his powers. His knowledge of the subject was extensive, and frequent remarks showed that his l e g a l s k i l l was recognized and admired by his contemporaries. The cases i n which he acted were many and varied, but a l l point to his a b i l i t y , h i s erudition, and his profound interest i n the t e c h n i c a l i t i e s of the subject. The cases are important too i n that they show something of the l i f e of the times and the problems that confronted the early 4 0 . s e t t l e r s on the west coast. The f i r s t case i n which McCreight gained any notice from the press was t r i e d at the Court of Assizes i n V i c t o r i a (84) on August 9, I860. This was Regina versus R. Lewis, charged (i>c) with shooting a Hydah Indian named "Johnson". The Attorney-General, G.H. Cary,prosecuted, while the counsels for the defendant were D. Babbington Ring, and his junior, John Poster McCreight. Of the two, McCreight c e r t a i n l y made the better showing. By his handling of the testimony given by the Indian witnesses, he was able to show that the evidence was i n s u f f i c i e n t to convict Lewis, and the defendant was found "not g u i l t y " . The next case reported took place i n November (85) before the Supreme Court. Here McCreight appeared on behalf of a prisoner, E. Hammond King on the return of a Writ of Habeas Corpus. The prisoner, he claimed, had been held without warrant from November 6 u n t i l November 12, supposedly on a case of contempt of court, a r i s i n g from a charge of assault. In a long speech, McCreight supported his claim quoting "Burns .Justices v.v. p.p.1202", "Drake's Quarter Sessions, p. 899", and "Bailey on Convictions p.p.81". Then "The learned Counsel concluded by again c i t i n g his a u t h o r i t i e s , and said that i n the whole of the law books his Lordship would not f i n d a sigtjle instance to warrant the Court of Petty Sessions imprisonment for a contempt of Court; and believed his Lordship, i f he remanded the prisoner to j a i l , would have to decide, as no English judge had ever before decided". (86; ,84) B r i t i s h Colonist, August 10, I860. .85) Ibid, November 13, i860. k86) Loc. c i t . 4.1. Such assured knowledge would have i t s e f f e c t , and the .decision was reserved. McCreight's cases i n 1861 showed great variety, and a glance at t h e i r t i t l e s i s int e r e s t i n g . A report of January 20, shows Ring and McCreight successfully defending William Millington t r i e d f o r the murder of Robert Coombs, with Cary (87) and Crease prosecuting. The next month found them appearing on behalf of Doctor Runsey, the medical attendant at the time of the death of a cert a i n Edward Portman who died under (88) suspicious circumstances " i n an American Saloon"-. In the Supreme Court two weeks l a t e r , Ring and McCreight parted company. In the case of Cresson versus L i t t l e , for recovery of a sum of money, the p l a i n t i f f represented by Ring, won his case, while the defendant, represented by McCreight had to pay. This i s one of the very few cases, and a t r i v i a l one at (89) that, i n which McCreight l o s t : In A p r i l , Ring and McCreight were colleagues once more, when they represented the p l a i n t i f f (90) i n the Supreme Court Case of N i c o l versus B e l l . Then the next (91) month,"instructed by Mr. Dennes" they represented the p l a i n t i f f i n a Church Reserve Suit brought by the Roman (92) Catholic Church against the Church of England clergy. . Four (87) B r i t i s h Colonist, Jan. 20, 1861. (88) Ibid, Feb. 5, 1861. (89) Ibid, Feb. 21, 1861. (90) Ibid, A p r i l 27, 1861. (91) George Edgar Dennes, S o l i c i t o r of V i c t o r i a . (92) S » * . May 10, 1861. . .. 42. days later, McCreight appeared in the Police Court on behalf of Loewenberg, charged with trespassing on a government reserve and "quoted authorities to show that the case could be settled (93) in Police Court". In June, McCreight, once more with Ring, appeared i n the Supreme Court, acting for the Hudson's Bay (94) Company. A case i n Equity i n the Supreme Court brought in some well known local figures. In the suit of Wilcox versus J.D. and A.F. Pemberton, the p l a i n t i f f , represented by McCreight, charged that the Pembertons had hurt his business by keeping a bar across the Victoria Bridge. He asked for an injunction to restrain them from so-doing. The defendants, represented by H.P.P. Crease, and later Cary, declared that the bridge was old and unsafe, and urged that the authorities should destroy i t . At f i r s t the case was reserved, but i t was later reviewed, and (95) a settlement effected. Two days later, McCreight was again in Court. In the case of Reinhart and Sutro versus Jones he "was heard in support of the application and quoted numerous (96) authorities", and the decision was in the defendant's favour. In October, occurred a Police Court case which attracted wide attention because of i t s bearing on the colour question in the colony. "The Theatre Rumpus", as i t became known, was o f f i c i a l l y classed as "a conspiracy to create a (97) riot in a theatre", and the Crown, represented by Ring and [93) Ibid, May 14, 1861. 94) Ibid, June 5, 1861. 95) Ibid, Aug. 15,1861. 96) Ibid, Aug. 17,1861. [97) Ibid, Oct. 15, 1861. Dennes, proposed to prosecute J*M.- McCrea and Edward Boyce, represented by McCreight and Pearkes. Apparently, the a f f a i r started as a t h e a t r i c a l performance by two v i s i t i n g singers, Madame Ballaguy, and F e l i x Ledeirer, the l a t t e r refusing to speak English but having an interpreter to translate his French. The audience at the theatre had been large, and included a number of negroes. It was claimed that the defendants t r i e d to bribe the performers not to sing before negroes — the f i r s t recorded attempt to create a colour d i s t i n c t i o n . When t h i s f a i l e d , and the performance began, they allegedly disrupted matters by throwing onions at the a r t i s t s , and had to be removed by force. McCreight sought to prove that the a f f a i r had been much exaggerated. He declared that i n McCrea's case "there i s no proof of conspiracy, and I am sure he would be the l a s t person to throw a m i s s i l e at a lady". (98) He sought to prove that McCrea had only hissed and t o l d F e l i x not to sing, c e r t a i n l y not a matter of conspiracy or r i o t . On account of cer t a i n complexities, the case was referred to a higher court, and on November 14, McCreight made application, for the f i r s t time i n the colony's history, for a (99) "jury de medietate linguae". The case was resumed at the Court of Assizes on November 20, with the Attorney-General (Cary)prosecuting, and McCreight defending. The p l a i n t i f f (98) Loc. c i t . (99) As a l l concerned i n the case were American C i t i z e n s , a jury of 6 B r i t i s h and 6 Foreigners (Americans) was granted. asked for a postponement, as a star witness, George L i t t l e , had been car r i e d away by mistake on the mail steamer. It was suggested that McCrea had "fixed t h i s " , but no postponement was granted. F e l i x Ledeirer, when asked whether McCrea had offered him f i f t y d o l l a r s i f he would not sing before negroes, r e p l i e d , "Non". When asked by McCreight "Did you intend to take the f i f t y d o l l a r s and not sing, but Madame Ballaguy pushed you up i n a corner and t o l d you she would box your ears i f you did not go on the stage with her?" (100) $o which F e l i x again r e p l i e d , "Non", amid the laughter of the Court. In t h i s way McCreight reduced the whole a f f a i r to an absurdity, the jury agreed that there had not been a r i o t , the matter was r i d i c u l o u s , and the defendants "not g u i l t y " . An e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t type of case attracted attention at the end of the year. On December 27, i n the Police Court, McCreight acted as counsel f o r Captain George T. Gordon, late Treasurer of the Colony, charged with Treasury (101) defalcation. Apparently the matter did not concern a large sum, and was recognized to have been a probable error on the Captain's part. After evidence had been heard McCreight remarked: "In short, the amount of Captain Gordon's offence, so far as these two sums are concerned, i s i n entering them on the 14-th of December, and i n setting down a figure 1 instead of 4" . (102) 100) B r i t i s h Colonist, Nov. 21, 1861. 101) Ibid, Dec. 27, 1861. 102) Loc. c i t . 4-5. He l a t e r suggested: "I suppose any of the gentlemen at the head of departments here, not being conversant with business, make occasional errors i n th e i r accounts?" (103) The case went on to the Assizes, and i n January, the Captain was found g u i l t y , but with a recommendation of mercy. As some evidence was c o n f l i c t i n g , McCreight asked the judge (Chief Justice Cameron) f o r an arrest of judgment, and "addressing the Court i n support of the motion, claimed that according to law the indictment should have stated that the (104)' prisoner committed a larceny". He t r i e d h i s best to gain a release on t h i s l e g a l t e c h n i c a l i t y , and gained great applause (105) for a "perspicuous and able argument". As a re s u l t of t h i s plea, the prisoner was discharged, but was re-arrested on the street soon after leaving the court. The new t r i a l , t h i s time for embezzlement of public funds, came up i n A p r i l . The jury, however, reached no conclusion, as they continued to argue the prisoner's motives, rather than the f a c t s . That the money had not been taken with felonious intent, but by an error, was f u l l y recognized. As no agreement was reached, Captain Gordon was kept i n prison under the terms of the (106) Bankruptcy Act, and i t was some time before arrangements were made for his release. A case which occurred i n A p r i l , 1862, threw a l i g h t on one great a c t i v i t y of the colony. McCreight appeared for (103) Loc. c i t . (104) B r i t i s h Colonist, Jan. 25, 1862. (105) Loc. c i t . (106) B r i t i s h Colonist, A p r i l 11, 1862. 4-6. Wells, Fargo and Company, the famous Cariboo packers, i n which the p l a i n t i f f asked f o r a warrant to search the premises of Marchand, a former assayer, f o r gold bars claimed by the Company. The warrant was granted, and Marchand was (107) found g u i l t y of theft a week la t e r . -The most spectacular t r i a l i n which McCreight participated took place at the end of 1862. This was the famous case of Cranford and Wright at the Assizes i n New Westminster. The case created widespread inter e s t as i t dealt with the transporting of supplies from the coast to the Cariboo, and affected men of a l l sorts, from V i c t o r i a to Williams Creek. The case brings out c l e a r l y another phase of McCreight as a lawyer. On Vancouver Island, he had been pra c t i s i n g before the Honorable David Cameron, the Chief (108) -Justice, who had never been a b a r r i s t e r , and who would e a s i l y r e a l i z e that McCreight knew a great deal more about the law (109) than he did. Now that he had come to a case on the mainland, McCreight found himself before Judge Matthew B a i l l i e Begbie, who not only had (supposedly) a competent l e g a l education, but an over-ruling w i l l and d i c t a t o r i a l manner. Sidney P e t t i t , i n his excellent study of Begbie, mentions the fact that the (107) Ibid, A p r i l 18, 1862. (108) Since 1856-had been granted that t i t l e . (109) "Where the Hon. Mr. Cameron found his great d i f f i c u l t y was i n rulings during the course of a t r i a l — r u l i n g s which must be made quickly and which require l e g a l education and experience. It i s said that these were oftentimes contradictory and were revised and reversed as the t r i a l progressed." Howay and Scholefield, op.-cit. p. 661. 47. l a t t e r received his l e g a l t r a i n i n g i n London, but "had l i t t l e experience i n England, and had never come to know the law very (110) well". He mentions again "Begbie rs ignorance of law and his (111) b u l l y i n g methods". This was almost cert a i n to lead to d i f f i c u l t i e s . McCreight knew the law, Begbie was a law unto himself, and neither would be w i l l i n g to compromise — McCreight on p r i n c i p l e , Begbie on the grounds of authority and vanity. The clash came i n December, 1862, and throughout the lengthy t r i a l Begbie and McCreight were much i n the lime-light. The fact that the f u l l e s t reports available appeared i n The B r i t i s h Columbian, a paper whose editor, John Robson, had his (112) own private grudge against Begbie, probably exaggerates the proceedings. But i f t h i s bias can be taken into consideration, the happenings do well i l l u s t r a t e Begbie's summary methods, and McCreight's insistence on l e g a l correctness and his stress on the dignity of the bar and a l l that pertained to i t . The case opened at the Assizes on December 6, with Ring and McCreight for the p l a i n t i f f , Cranford, and Cary and Walker f o r the defendant, Wright. The newspaper had (113) prophesied "a b r i l l i a n t display of l e g a l talent on both sides". The d e t a i l s of the case have been f u l l y dealt with i n Mr. (114) P e t t i t ' s study of Judge Begbie, and i t i s only necessary to (110) P e t t i t , S., S i r Matthew B a i l l i e Begbie, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Arts i n the Department of History, October, 1945. (111) Ibid, p. 53-(112) And who was i n j a i l f o r an offence against Begbie during most of the t r i a l . (113) B r i t i s h Columbian, Nov. 26, 1862. (114) P e t t i t , op. c i t . , pp. 119. 48. give the b r i e f e s t of backgrounds f o r the t r i a l . Robert C. Cranford had arrived i n V i c t o r i a from San Francisco i n A p r i l , 1862, with a consignment of goods which he hoped to s e l l i n the gold-mining centre of Williams Creek. His brother John P. Cranford followed him, but claimed that he was not associated with him as a partner. Robert Cranford then negotiated with G. B. (Gus) Wright, a well known packer, to transport his goods from V i c t o r i a to L i l l o e t , from whence another company (W. Haskell Company) would take them on to Williams Creek. A sat i s f a c t o r y agreement as to rates of transport and terms of cre d i t seemed to have been reached. Robert Cranford then proceeded to L i l l o e t to await the goods. However they did not arrive on time, and aft e r waiting two weeks, the Haskell Company took another load and l e f t . When the goods f i n a l l y did a r r i v e , they were incomplete, besides being too l a t e to get to Williams Creek i n time for that season. On t h i s account Cranford refused to pay the charges, claiming that Wright had been sending his own goods-through i n plenty of time, while delaying Cranford's. He had argued that his b i l l f o r damaged and delayed goods would more than cover costs of f r e i g h t . In September Wright had pressed f o r payment, then proceeded to ask the Magistrate at L i l l o e t (A. C. E l l i o t t ) i f he could proceed against the Cranford brothers for debt. This request was granted, and Wright then asked f o r the arrest of the Cranfords on the grounds that they owed him,^ 1719,15s,3d, for goods sold and delivered to them. Robert Cranford was 49. arrested at L i l l o e t and John Cranford at Williams Lake, and the two were t r i e d i n the Supreme Court at L i l l o e t before Begbie i n October. Wright pressed for payment of the debt (this t r i a l was Wright versus Cranford Brothers), while the Cranfords based t h e i r defence on the plea that John Cranford was not a partner, so not l i a b l e for his brother's debt, and that the memorandum of the contract had been altered by Wright.- They also claimed that they now owed nothing to Wright, rather he owed them $4,000.00. The t r i a l ended with a verdict for Wright, and the Cranford brothers were imprisoned, with a debt of $9500.00 to Wright. Many t e c h n i c a l i t i e s arose i n connection with t h i s t r i a l , but Begbie over-rode them a l l . F i n a l l y the Cranfords began proceedings against Wright for breach of contract, and t h i s was the. case that came to the New Westminster Assizes. McCreight opened the case by claiming that Wright was g u i l t y of a breach of contract, and grave mis-conduct i n the whole a f f a i r . Begbie interrupted to t e l l McCreight that i t was disgraceful for him to cast imputations on the defendant. McCreight, unused to such a tone, declared that he was not a f r a i d of any disgrace attaching to him, and (115) "that he did not require to be taught his duty". McCreight then repeated that i t was not a charge of larceny, but imputed considerable and grave mis-conduct to Wright. Here Begbie again interrupted, and asked that Ring withdraw the case from McCreight — an action which Ring declined to take. (115) B r i t i s h Columbian, Dec. 13, 1862. 50. "Mr. McCreight then proceeded by stating to the jury that whatever the opinion of the learned judge might be, he f e l t i t his duty to state the fa c t s , and to draw the attention of the jury to the inferences which he ,considered any reasonable man (116) to deduce from these f a c t s " . The case proceeded f o r eleven days, during which time Begbie frequently l o s t h is temper and showed himself impatient of the-constant quoting of authorities by the p l a i n t i f f s ' counsels. "At the end of the p l a i n t i f f s ' case, he indicated that he would give a decision of non-suit (meaning that the case was r e a l l y awarded to Wright), but t h i s was hotly contested by Ring and McCreight, who declared that there was a case. Bggbie declared to Ring: "I do not know how to stop you, unless I order you to be removed out of Court". (117) Later he began an apology to Ring, who would not accept i t unless i t were tendered to McCreight also. Whereupon McCreight arose, and seemingly with a l l the t r a d i t i o n of law and order behind him declared: "that he had been most grossly insulted, that i t was inexpressably irksome to have anything to do i n his (Honor's) Court, and that His Honor would not dare to use the language outside the Court room that he had used i n i t . " (118) The case was resumed, and a l l the evidence heard, but when time came fo r charging the jury, Begbie refused to read over his notes on the case, and gave only a b r i e f charge, instead of a detailed summing up. (116) Loc. c i t . (117) B r i t i s h Columbian, Jan. 21, 1863. (118) Loc. c i t . 51. The jury was out for t h i r t y hours, unable to reach a unanimous decision. On th e i r return, McCreight suggested that a majority verdict could be adopted, quoting the precedent of Linaker versus Ballou i n the event of the jury f a i l i n g to agree. To t h i s Begbie refused to agree. Ring suggested that with further assistance and advice from the judge on any necessary point of law a decision might be 1 effected, but Begbie, agitated and angry^proceeded to discharge the jury. Then came the famous dramatic scene. Ring^addressing the Registrar of the Court^ said: "Mr. Matthew have you the book i n Court which contains the name of the B a r r i s t e r s who practise i n t h i s Court?" To which Mr. Matthew r e p l i e d i n the affirmative. "Then dash your pen across my name." McCreight made a similar request, and together the (119) two counsels l e f t the Court room. The Cranfords were sent back to prison, and prepared yet another s u i t , t h i s time before the Supreme Court of Vancouver Island, apparently hoping for better treatment from Judge Cameron. The matter never reached the Court, as an announcement on A p r i l 15, 1863 stated that "the dispute had been amicably s e t t l e d to the s a t i s f a c t i o n of friends of both (120) parties". McCreight and Ring, i n the meantime, were regarded as public heroes, and on the evening of t h e i r withdrawal from Court, were waited upon by a deputation requesting them to (119) B r i t i s h Columbian, Dec. 20, 1862. (120) Daily B r i t i s h Colonist, A p r i l 15, 1863. 52. attend a public meeting i n t h e i r honour i n the Colonial Theatre i n New Westminster. Here, with Mr. F e r r i s i n the chair, a "Complimentary Address" was delivered to them " i n view of the firm and manly a b i l i t y with which they repelled the i n s u l t s heaped upom them by the Court during the Cranford Suit and i n order to mark public disapproval of the extra-(121) ordinary course of Judge Begbie". The address was as follows: "Gentlemen, the Citizens of New Westminster having c a l l e d a public meeting for the purpose of discussing recent events v i t a l l y a f f e c t i n g the administration of j u s t i c e i n t h i s Colony, beg leave to offer t h e i r sincere expression of regret at the course which you have f e l t yourselves bound i n honour to adopt upon the discharge of the jury i n Cranford versus Wright. ' They would further state that though they f e l t deeply pained by your withdrawal from the Bar, and consequent loss of your professional services, yet they cannot but express t h e i r gratitude for the boldjand courageous, yet under the circumstances, 1 respectful demeanour which throughout you have observed to the Bench. They further sincerely trust that they may at no distant day be honoured by your presence, when a recurrence of such extraordinary scenes as were l a t e l y witnessed w i l l be impossible." (122) New Westminster, December 18, 1862". The whole a f f a i r did mark a stage i n Judge Begbie's regime, and he must have r e a l i z e d that he had gone too f a r . As time passed he became much l e s s autocratic i n court, and paid more careful attention to the t e c h n i c a l i t i e s of the law. The occasion brought out very c l e a r l y c e r t a i n of McCreight 1s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . He also was autocratic by nature, and t h i s (121} B r i t i s h Columbian, Dec. 20, 1862. (122) Loc. c i t . was shown not on personal grounds, hut on behalf of his position. He was a b a r r i s t e r , a learned counsel; he represented the law. To him such a representative was almost sacred, cer t a i n l y deserving of respect, and immune from rough language, and unconventional treatment. Order and dignity, t r a d i t i o n and precedent were part of his world. Personal animosity, undignified behaviour, departure from l e g a l i t y of proceedings must not f i n d t h e i r way into the court. He opposed Begbie not because of h i s personal behaviour, but because he departed from correct court procedure, and because he t r i e d to manipulate the lav/. It has been said that Begbie was a law unto himself, and t h i s , i n McCreight's eyes was sacrilege. The law was the law, and as such i t must remain. McCreight would r e s i s t with a l l the forces at his disposal any attempt to dis-enthrone i t . He would use his own autocratic bearing, h i s command of withering language, his knowledge of l e g a l precedent, and f i n a l l y his great personal i n t e g r i t y i n hi s b a t t l e to preserve the law. When McCreight showed anger i t was "righteous anger", directed l e s s against Begbie as an i n d i v i d u a l , as against a person who dared to tamper with age-old law.'and custom. There i s a f e e l i n g that McCreight despised Begbie, despised him for his ignorance of the law and i t s methods'. He despised too a 1 judge who would permit so many i r r e g u l a r i t i e s . The Cranfords had pleaded that t h e i r e a r l i e r arrest and t r i a l i n L i l l o e t had been most unconventional. Robert Cranford was lodged i n a j a i l that would not lock, and was himself forced to pay for a constable 54-to guard him. The s h e r i f f looking f o r him had l o s t his horse, (123) Cranford had to pay for one to replace i t . Such incidents swept aside by the judge as commonplace i n a pioneer region, must have irked McCreight with t h e i r unfairness, and t h e i r lack of l e g a l authority. Legal t e c h n i c a l i t y meant so much to McCreight, to Begbie i t was a waste of time. Perhaps McCreight was unadaptable, but with him these things were a matter of p r i n c i p l e . Law to him was a search for -absolute truth, and i n a l l dignity and s i n c e r i t y i t s r i t u a l must be maintained. After the union of the colonies i n 1866, McCreight resumed the right to practise on the mainland, but his cases there were not numerous. New Westminster was losing i t s pos i t i o n i n favour of V i c t o r i a , and even the newspaper moved (124) for a time to that c i t y . Judge Cameron had been replaced on (125) Vancouver Island by Chief Justice Needham, while Begbie continued on the mainland. A case which occurred i n V i c t o r i a i n 1869 before Judge Needham, showed the type of work i n which McCreight delighted. The matter of l e g a l t e c h n i c a l i t i e s was h i s great i n t e r e s t , and the case of Regina versus Anderson gave f u l l (126) scope for t h i s . The Attorney-General (Crease) prosecuted, (123) B r i t i s h Columbian, Jan. 7, 1863-(124) March 16, 1869. (125) 1865 to 1870. (126) H.P.P. Crease was Attorney-General on the mainland from 1861, and continued as Attorney-General for the united colony u n t i l 1871 when McCreight succeeded him. 55. while McCreight defended the prisoner who was charged with i n c i t i n g seamen to desert. McCreight's case rested upon a l e g a l point. The offence, i f i t had been committed, was punishable not by indictment i n the Assize Court, but by summary proceedings before a magistrate. The matter was not a common law offence, but one created by statute, which defined the penalty as a ^10 f i n e before a magistrate. To support the argument — "a great many authorities were quoted (127) pro and con by the learned Counsels on both sides", and the prisoner was discharged. In Crease, i t was f e l t that McCreight had a worthy opponent, as of a l l the other b a r r i s -ters i n the colony, he was probably second only to McCreight i n a b i l i t y and l e g a l knowledge. Crease became a judge i n 1870, being the f i r s t Puisne Judge appointed i n the colony. In 1880 he presided at another famous t r i a l with which McCreight was associated, that of McLean and Hare. By t h i s time McCreight having served as Attorney-General, then Premier, was the top-ranking lawyer of the province, and Queen's Counsel, conducting the prosecution. The t r i a l was held at the New Westminster Assizes, and McLean and Hare, two half-breeds (and notorious horse-thieves) were indicted for the murder of John Ussher of Kamloops. McCreight whose speeches were often subject to (128) praise apparently surpassed himself on t h i s occasion, and the prisoners were found g u i l t y . Their appeal came up eight months l a t e r again i n New Westminster. This was the same (127) Daily B r i t i s h Colonist, May 29, 1869. (128) Mainland Guardian, March 17, 1880. 56. court i n which McCreight eighteen years e a r l i e r had been so roundly insulted by Begbie. Even now Begbie and McCreight (129) had a sharp interchange of words. Then McCreight was a junior counsel, but had made a s t r i k i n g plea 6n behalf of his c l i e n t s . Now he was the Crown's counsel, assisted by his own (130) junior, E . Harrison. But he was s t i l l the McCreight who knew the law, who loved precedent, and who: "quoted from Russell on Crimes p. 666", "from Grimsby on Confessions". (131) The prisoners were s t i l l g u i l t y , and were sentenced to hang. The proceedings were conventional and d i g n i f i e d . The law with Crease and McCreight to aid i t , had come into i t s own i n New Westminster Court House. And to New Westminster Court House within three years' time McCreight was to return as Resident Judge. He was appointed Puisne Judge on November 26, 1880 — the law was his to administer. (129) Colonist,- June 9, 1880. 1130) E l i Harrison, c a l l e d to the Bar i n 1873. (131) Nov. 13, 1880. Colonic? 5 7 . Chapter V. McCreight and the Bench In 1878 l e g i s l a t i o n was passed providing that the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia should consist of a Chief Justice and f i v e Puisne Judges. The s t i p u l a t i o n was also made that two judges should reside i n V i c t o r i a , one i n New Westminster, one i n the Cariboo, and one i n Kamloops. At the time of t h i s act, there were only three judges i n the province, the Chief Justice, Matthew B a i l l i e Begbie, and two puisne judges, Henry Pering Pellew Crease, and John Hamilton Gray. Accordingly, on November 26, 1880 two new puisne judges were appointed, Alexander Rocke Robertson and John Foster McCreight. It was decided that Begbie and Crease (132) would reside i n V i c t o r i a , Gray at New Westminster, Robertson (133) at Clinton, and McCreight at R i c h f i e l d . It i s important to note that the judges of the Supreme Court, although referred to as Puisne Judges, a l l possessed f u l l powers. The term i s simply a s u r v i v a l of an English statutory term meaning "newly created". In the (134) Supreme Court there were (and are) no grades of judges.. The Chief Justice had precedence and the d i r e c t i o n as to which (132) Which he refused to do, so there was no resident judge u n t i l McCreight went there i n 1883. (133) Rather than Kamloops — although he spent some months i n each before his early death i n 1881. (134) For t h i s sketch of the duties of judges I am indebted to C.G. White, D i s t r i c t Registrar, Supreme Court of B.C., V i c t o r i a . 58. judge should preside at a certain place at a certa i n time, but he had no superiority. When the Supreme Court sat i n " F u l l Court" a l l the Supreme Court Judges were usually present. As the province was divided up into j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t s , County Courts were set up. But at the same time, no County Court Judges were created. This meant that the Supreme Court Judges had to s i t i n the County Courts, and usually they t r a v e l l e d from one court to another on c i r c u i t when the Assizes were held. The policy of having a resident .judge i n each of the four d i s t r i c t s , did lead to some confusion. McCreight protested b i t t e r l y about being expected to reside in the, C*<r\boo j u;J>i/e afi S«./>*«.«n« Coo»t J«-<*f« he fc>*$ to v i s i t V i c t o r i a for F u l l Court occasions, so naturally kept (135) his chambers there. As time went on, more judges were appointed, and County Court Judges were added to those already attached to the Supreme Court. In t h i s way, the two groups could be kept" separate, and Supreme Court Judges could give most of t h e i r time to Supreme Court cases. The f i r s t mention of McCreight's elevation to the Bench came on November 30, 1880, when the Colonist reported: "We understand that Mr. McCreight and Mr. A.R. Robertson, Queen's Counsels, have been appointed Supreme Court Judges i n t h i s province, the headquarters of one to be at Clinton, the other at Kamloops.(136) It i s further stated that both the positions have been accepted. The salar i e s are $4000.00 each". (137) On December 17, McCreight resigned from the po s i t i o n (138) of Treasurer of the Law Society. The Law Society i n turn gave (135) McCreight to Crease, Dec. 2, 1881, from R i c h f i e l d . (136) Should have been Clinton and R i c h f i e l d . (137) Daily B r i t i s h Colonist, Nov. 30, 1880. (138) Ibid, Dec. 17, 1880. a dinner i n honour of the new judges at the Driard House, (139) where an evening of "song and sentiment" was enjoyed. On January J±? 1881, the two new judges were sworn i n , and received the congratulations of the Law Society. Each wrote a l e t t e r of thanks to the Society, and these l e t t e r s were published i n the newspaper. They are an int e r e s t i n g contrast. That of Robertson i s an elaborate document, flowery i n phrasing, and c o r d i a l i n tone. That of McCreight i s a simple, reserved expression, probably very sincere, but cer t a i n l y not expansive. Robertson wrote: "I had the pleasure l a s t week of receiving your l e t t e r conveying to me the congratulations of the Law Society of B r i t i s h Columbia on my recent appointment to the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia. I beg to express through you to the members of the Society my gr a t e f u l appreciation of t h e i r kindness and the compliments conveyed by your l e t t e r . It i s a source of great s a t i s f a c t i o n to me to f e e l that my re l a t i o n s with the members of our profession have always been so c o r d i a l , and that I f e e l assured that the same good f e e l i n g w i l l always e x i s t . If I should be so happy as to succeed i n discharging my duties e f f i c i e n t l y , I f e e l assured my success v / i l l be la r g e l y due to the assistance I s h a l l receive from the Bar. With renewed expression of thanks, I am, dear s i r , yours sincerely, (140) Alexander Rocke Robertson." With t h i s contrast McCreight's l e t t e r : "I have had sincere pleasure i n receiving the very king^communication of the Law Society of B r i t i s h Columbia. My anxious wish i s that r e l a t i o n s with i t s members may continue to be of the same pleasant character as heretofore, and that I may have t h e i r c o r d i a l assistance i n the (139) Ibid, Dec. 30, 1880. (140) Ibid, Feb. 17, 1881. discharge of my duties, and that under the guidance of Providence I may he enabled to perform them as I ought. Believe me, yours f a i t h f u l l y , John Foster McCreight." (141) On February 23, 1881, McCreight appeared at a Supreme Court s i t t i n g for the f i r s t time. This was the occasion of a F u l l Court, with Begbie, Crease, and Robertson also present. In May, he was s t i l l i n V i c t o r i a at the Assizes. By June 1881, he had moved to the Cariboo, and although h i s cases were not numerous, they were varied, and r e f l e c t e d the (1A2) l i f e of the region. A case of August 12, 1881 dealt with the estate of Peter Brown who died intestate. A n a t u r a l i z a t i o n case followed. Then the case of Houseman v. Peebles (143) regarding a contract for supplies, followed by R. v. Moses, for sale of liquor to an Indian. A further case concerned a horse "working f o r i t s keep", then a contract for mules owned by a Chinaman who required an interpreter. In October, McCreight presided over the County Court at Kamloops (Robertson was i l l at the time i n V i c t o r i a ) , at Soda Creek, (144) and at Quesnel, then returned to R i c h f i e l d for the winter. (141) Loc. c i t . The f i r s t t r i a l recorded by McCreight i n his Case Books, took place i n V i c t o r i a on Feb. 12, 1881, that of Meyer v. Grant. The notes on the case are extensive, but s t r i c t l y t echnical, and i n such appalling handwriting that l i t t l e can be deciphered. (142) Case Books of Judge McCreight, Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. (143) "Houseman sold Boyd 2 4 t h May 1880, 580 l b s . of hams at 35 cents h a l f hams, ha l f shoulders, hams worth more i n May than Sept. 2 | cents higher i n May than Sept." i s note on the side of the page — Case Books of Judge McCreight — 1881-1882. (144) McCreight to Crease, Nov. 26, 1881, from R i c h f i e l d . 61. No more are recorded u n t i l the f o l l o w i n g May. " In t h i s matter of l a c k of eases, McCreight wrote s e v e r a l l e t t e r s t o Crease during the w i n t e r months of 1881 and 1882. F i v e l e t t e r s have been preserved i n the Crease c o l l e c t i o n , and prove most r e v e a l i n g , both of McCreight's d i f f i c u l t i e s and of h i s character. He had apparently been anxious t o go t o V i c t o r i a , but could not do so without an assignment from the C h i e f J u s t i c e . He wrote: " I t would not be precedent f o r me t o leave t h i s p l ace now. I know you f e e l a t the same time the u s e l e s s nature of my l i f e i s very disagreeable t o me. However I read law a l l day and I never was i n a b e t t e r c l i m a t e or as good f o r study and I can wait t i l l the time comes i f ever when the, Assembly may t h i n k i t proper (145) t h a t I should sometimes a c t as a Supreme Court Judge." He goes pn t o suggest t h a t the government was t r y i n g t o cause h i s r e s i g n a t i o n : (146) "They may f r e e z e him (a judge) out i n more senses than oneff He f e l t , t o o , t h a t the problem was not e n t i r e l y p ersonal. He was a Supreme Court Judge, yet he had t o r e s i d e i n h i s s p e c i f i e d d i s t r i c t — there was an anomaly here. " I can't but t h i n k t h a t law i s I n i t s i n f a n c y i n (147) Canada, "and he suggested that the Law So c i e t y should examine American C o n s t i t u t i o n a l Law f o r p a r a l l e l s i t u a t i o n s . He made the p o i n t that the three senior judges (Begbie, Crease and Gray) were doing too much County Court work, wh i l e judges l i k e h i m s e l f and Robertson, i n i s o l a t e d areas, had f a r too 145) Loc. c i t . 146) Loc. c i t . 147) Loc. c i t . The whole matter of c o n t r o l of judges of the Supreme Court by the p r o v i n c i a l or dominion government was being argued a t t h i s time. Howay claims t h a t McCreight took no part i n t h i s , but these l e t t e r s show th a t he provided Crease w i t h many suggestions. The a u t h o r i t y of the p r o v i n c i a l government was confirmed i n 1883. 62. l i t t l e to occupy t h e i r time. Writing a few days l a t e r he said: "Robertson and myself are of course materially interested. If you (Crease) are d i s t r i c t e d f o r V i c t o r i a , I become nearly an intruder when I go to my Chambers there, and i f on the other hand i t i s held that a Supreme Court Judge of the Province i s to discharge the duties that f a l l to the Supreme Court of the Province, our l o c a l residence I think, w i l l come to an end". (148) Robertson's death occurred at t h i s point, and a f t e r expressing regret for his passing, McCreight went on to urge ,that the matter of " d i s t r i c t i n g " a judge might be taken up at The matter of too l i t t l e work had apparently not been overlooked by the a u t h o r i t i e s . It was suggested that McCreight could issue mining licenses, and see to Revenue and debt c o l l e c t i o n . This he apparently refused to do, wondering whether: "the Government could tax my salary, they might do i t i n view of my refr a c t o r y d i s p o s i t i o n " . ( 1 4 9 ) Although McCreight blamed the Government, i t i s possible that he meant his old enemy, Begbie. This personal bitterness, a f e e l i n g that he had been slighted and pushed out of the way, continued. In r e f e r r i n g to Robertson's death he wrote: "I suppose they w i l l be thinking of f i l l i n g up poor A.R. R's place. It was offered to me and indeed accepted before by arrangement with me, he took i t , and I t h i s place. I knew and guessed they would send some person to t h i s place who might be as well away".(150) Ottawa. 148 McCreight to Crease, Dec. 2. 1881. McCreight to Crease, Dec. 10, 1881. McCreight to Crease, Dec. 23, 1881. Then i n the same l e t t e r : "There i s no debt c o l l e c t i n g even to be done here how i n the County Court. I s h a l l have a pretty strong case i n the shape of s t a t i s t i c s for going down next winter — a f t e r a l l I am a Judge of the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia, not a Supreme Court Judge f o r Cariboo D i s t r i c t " . The same f e e l i n g i s clear i n the next l e t t e r : "I should be glad to be somewhere where I can be of use. There has been no County Court here for 2 months and nobody seems to want one. One thing I don'fe" think even a p o l i t i c i a n could suggest my staying here another winter. The other day an attempt was made to show there were less than 50 people here. I somehow think they w i l l be slow to f i l l up the vacant judgeship. They must see they are i n a f i x . Gray refuses to go to New Westminster, and they can'& t e l l what I may do, nor can I". (151) Apparently many other people r e a l i z e d McCreight's impatience. Crease must have encouraged his views, and a Colonist a r t i c l e of January 1882, seemed to think the time had come for a change. McCreight wrote: (152) "I see Higgins suggests that some people say I seemingly think of r e t i r i n g from the Bench and returning to P o l i t i c s . Well as Blanchard says- the weather i s fro s t y so the pumps won't draw here. I think I am pretty well r e t i r e d from the Bench up here but s t i l l I never wish myself i n p o l i t i c s . " (153) After the winter was over, things probably improved. In May and June, 1882, McCreight was on c i r c u i t again, v i s i t i n g Quesnel on June 7. A murder t r i a l involving a Chinaman on a gold claim occupied the l a t e summer, and the Case Book records numerous remarks such as "Green — going 151) McCreight to Crease, Jan. 21, 1882. 152) Editor of the Colonist. 153) McCreight to Crease, Jan. 21, 1882. 64-at Chinaman or vice versa, and "a man going to f i g h t wouldn't (154) keep both pick and shovel on l e f t shoulderII" In September 1882, occurred a mining claim t r i a l — the Cascade Mining Case, which along with the Dulton v. Ah Hing case at Kamloops, and the Aurora v. Gulch Company case at Cariboo f»«to a series of famous mining cases. The Case Books contain detailed copies of these t r i a l s , apparently i n the handwriting of P.AE. Irving (who succeeded McCreight as Puisne Judge). The f a c t that some small c h i l d has used the book to draw and scribble i n , makes i t a l l the more int e r e s t i n g . In November, 1882, McCreight apparently got his wish, and went to V i c t o r i a . In the County Court there he (155) presided at a n a t u r a l i z a t i o n case on November 2. Then he presided over the Supreme Court for a very lengthy session, at the Assizes for several days, then back to the Supreme Court again. I f he was to be i n V i c t o r i a , he would have to work hard there. He apparently returned to the Cariboo for a short time during the winter, as a case concerning theft of a Chinaman from a hotel there i s l i s t e d . By March 1883 he was back i n V i c t o r i a again, for a case between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Enterprise Company. In A p r i l 1883 he was at Clinton, then back to V i c t o r i a by May, and again i n August. His l i f e was strenuous with i t s constant journeyings, and the route from V i c t o r i a to the Cariboo, by way of the Fraser River and Cariboo Highway long and t i r i n g . But at least he could not f e e l that he was useless. By the next winter he 154) Case Books of Judge McCreight, 1881-1882. 155) Colonist, Nov. 3, 1882. 65. had been appointed Resident Judge i n New Westminster, so there was no longer any fear of i s o l a t i o n or lack of work. McCreight only resided continuously i n the Cariboo from June 1881 to October 1882, a matter of about 16 months. After that time his v i s i t s would be b r i e f , interspersed with returns to his permanent home i n V i c t o r i a . This may account for the fact that he i s l i t t l e remembered i n the Cariboo. When he di d l i v e there, he resented the i s o l a t i o n , when he could get away, he did so as much as possible. In that way he was never r e a l l y part of the place, and l e f t no permanent mark upon i t . request was not granted, and various judges continued to v i s i t the c i t y to hold court from time to time. However by November'1883, Judge McCreight received his appointment to New Westminster, and presided at the County Court there on ; November 7, hearing cases of F. Hendry v. Moodyville Sawmill, and those of J. Wintemute v. Wellington Packing Company, Ladner Packing Company, and Delta Canning Company. In the case of Knox v. Woodward, where a carter had been sued for payment due on a load of potatoes, "His Honor i n rendering judgment said he looked upon the defendant as a common c a r r i e r simply, and that he could not be held responsible for the debts due to the p l a i n t i f f for goods carried and delivered by him." At the Assizes the following week, i n 156) Mainland Guardian, Jan. 15, 1881. 157) Mainland Guardian, Nov. 7, 1883. From a study of these cases i t seems evident that (157) 66. the case of Regina v. Robertson, a half-breed, charged with murder, "His Lordship i n b r i e f l y charging the Grand Jury,> said the cases, although involving serious charges, must be l e f t i n a great measure to the j u r i e s , who would be judges of the (158) , • f a c t s " , a very d i f f e r e n t attitude from that of Begbie to his j u r i e s . At the close of the Assizes, the Grand Jury Presentment concluded with t h i s statement: "The Grand Jury cannot meet your Lordship for the f i r s t time as resident Judge for t h e i r J u d i c i a l D i s t r i c t without expressing to your Lordship th e i r g r a t i f i c a t i o n at the settlement of a long vexed question that has been a source of much trouble and loss to us; and our pleasure that a gentleman of your high standing and l e g a l a b i l i t y has been selected for the position of Supreme Court Judge i n t h i s D i s t r i c t . We trust that your residence among us w i l l be pleasant to your Lordship". (159) Throughout the following winter, McCreight was busy i n the New Westminster Court. There were County Court s i t t i n g s i n December, Supreme Court sessions i n February, then County Court again i n February and March. In May, the Judge paid a v i s i t to San Francisco, and experienced a (160) serious i l l n e s s while away. Possibly t h i s was the reason behind a curious news item which appeared i n the V i c t o r i a paper during the summer: "It i s understood that Mr. Justice McCreight has been r e t i r e d on a pension of $3000.00, and Mr. Justice Walkem (161), w i l l be transferred to New Westminster, that two (158) Ibid, Nov. 14, 1883-(159) Mainland Guardian, Nov. 24, 1883-(160) Colonist, May 8, 1884. (161) Puisne Judge since 1882. county court judges w i l l be appointed, and that the f i f t h seat on the Supreme Court Bench w i l l not be f i l l e d " . (162) The rumour apparently was unfounded, and on August 22, McCreight was back i n the Supreme Court and Court of (163) Appeal i n V i c t o r i a . His residence i n New Westminster continued, as he i s reported a r r i v i n g i n V i c t o r i a from that (164) c i t y i n September. During the winter, he was again active i n the New Westminster Court, presiding at the Assizes f o r the (165) murder t r i a l of Rodgers. The case was controversial and "His Lordship read copious extracts from the law, to show why or (166) why not an adjournment should be granted". In the end the case was removed to V i c t o r i a , as there was "too much l o c a l (167) prejudice". The next month, McCreight held County Court t r i a l s at Chilliwack, then was back i n New Westminster f o r the usual sessions i n 1885. The Case Books record a variety of t r i a l s f or 1885 and 1886, some i n New Westminster, some for the Supreme Court i n V i c t o r i a . They note as a special event, the f i r s t County (168) Court held i n Vancouver on A p r i l 7 , 1887. Vancouver was regarded as a part of the Westminster d i s t r i c t u n t i l 1891 (169) when a new j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t was created. During t h i s period, f l62) Colonist, July 30, 1884-163) Colonist, Aug. 23, 1884• Jl64) Colonist, Sept. 21 , 1884-;165) Mainland Guardian, Nov. 12, I 8 8 4 . 1 I 6 6 ) Loc. c i t . [167) Loc. c i t . Jl68) Case Books of Judge McCreight, 1886-1887. (169) Daily Columbian, Jan. 24, 1891. ' 68. there were no outstanding cases. The Case Books for the years 1887 to 1893 are missing, while the newspaper reports contain only routine matters at the Supreme Court, and the Assizes, County Court cases i n New Westminster were now being handled by Judge Bole. McCreight maintained his a b i l i t y to make clear speeches, and masterly summaries, while his exactness of expression i s well i l l u s t r a t e d i n such remarks as. those at the t r i a l of a man accused of perjury: "The jury have considered your case c a r e f u l l y and found a verdict of g u i l t y . The offence of perjury i s a very serious one and I think you must be sent to the penitentiary f o r 3 years, though I could have sent you for 14. There are some points, however, 'reserved i n your case which may come up i n a new t r i a l " . (170) I The use of the expression " I think" was apparently t y p i c a l of McCreight's judgments and his extreme regard for the t r u t h . Mr. Moresby mentioned that a favourite expression of the judge's, especially when presiding at criminal t r i a l s was (171) "my conscience i s troubling me", while Mr. Crease stressed the point that "on the Bench he displayed a c e r t a i n amount of diffidence. It was c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of him and his reverence for the saying 'stare d e c i s i s ' that he hesitated to express himself with any certainty u n t i l he had studied a l l l e g a l (172) decisions". Yet another example of t h i s comes from Mr. Bowes, a former member of the B r i t i s h Columbia Bar: "His desire to do ju s t i c e was almost Excessive, but f o r the- law of the Chief Justice (Sir M.B. Begbie), he had profound d i s t r u s t , a d i s t r u s t which led him to fear for the fate of the Chief i n a future state. A wrong decision was (170) Daily Columbian, Nov. 20, 1891. (171) Moresby, W.C., V i c t o r i a , B.C. Oct. 22, 1946 i n a l e t t e r . (172) Crease, A.D., V i c t o r i a , B.C., Sept.;1946 i n a l e t t e r . an actual sin he told me. His eccentricities increased with age, and at last he retired, leaving behind . him the memory of a learned and kindly man, whose wish to be absolutely correct led sometimes to strange and i r r i t a t i n g vacillations, but those were really due to his anxiety to do right. The manager of the old Bank of B r i t i s h Columbia told me amusing stories.of the doings of Judge McCreight before he went on the Bench, and was counsel for the Bank. The learned counsel would, after much consideration, give an opinion; then he" would ring up the manager te l l i n g him not to act on i t u n t i l he, as counsel, had considered i t further. Then he would get another opinion more or less confirming the f i r s t — then further notice to delay action, and so on, u n t i l at last a f i n a l opinion in nearly a l l cases confirmed the f i r s t " . (173) The point is often made that McCreight had a remarkable memory for cases, and "could cite off-hand, with the report reference, any one or more of them applicable to the issues (174) before the court". This aptitude for reference quotations, and exactness of opinion are well illustrated i n a case that cameeaee up in New Westminster in 1892. A smallpox epidemic was raging in Victoria, and a certain George Bowack, held in quarantine by the Vancouver Health.Authorities had applied for release on the grounds of a writ of habeas corpus. In refusing the writ McCreight wrote the following explanation: "Maxwell on Statutes, 1st Edition, Page 187, a general late law, does not abridge an earlier special one. And 3 App. Ca. 952, 953,966 and 969, containing the observations of the Law Lords.. ... I was told that the decision of Crease, J. (Judge Crease) i n Victoria covered the question as to the Provincial Regulations governing the present case. I am by no means sure that the case before him i s the same as the present which (173) Bowes, J.H., Vancouver Province, Jan. 8, 1938. (174) Murphy, D., Judge of Ye Olden Time, The Advocate, Vancouver Bar Association, June 1946, Vol. 4, pt.3, p.86 70. i s Bowack's alone, and r e l a t i n g to his detention on land. No report of his decision was produced and I must repeat what the late Master of the R o l l s said, that fhe could not act on a case unless a report of i t was produced'. Crease, J. may have thought that, on the.evidence, he could not dissolve the injunction he had granted and I may observe that i n habeas corpus applications, each judge or court i s free to act, subject, of course, to the decision of the Court,of Appeal. As an i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s i n -the Court of Exchequer 4 Meeson W i l l s and Wilsby p. 32 In Q.B. 9, Add. and E l l . when the same case i s reported as Leonard Watson's case. The writ i s therefore, refused." (175) During 1893, McCreight was absent from his duties for seven months, with much of his work i n New Westminster being taken by Judge Bole. On his return, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to f i n d him engaged i n cases involving neighbouring muni c i p a l i t i e s . The t e c h n i c a l i t i e s of such c o n s t i t u t i o n a l questions must have delighted him, and a case concerning tax c o l l e c t i o n and surcharge between the Municipality of Surrey (176) and the P r o v i n c i a l Auditor gained prominence. A great deal (177) of McCreight's work dealt with Chamber Cases, and there are mentions of those dealing with orders for costs, probate, and payments out of court. Liens, l i q u i d a t i o n s , and w i l l s are also alluded to i n the Case Books. Toward the end of 1893 a famous murder t r i a l was held at the New Westminster Assizes. A man named Stroebel was accused of murdering J. Marshall of Huntingdon i n the (175) Daily Columbian, July 23, 1892. (176) Daily Columbian, July 4 , 1893; (177) Non-jury cases, where only a judge's decision i s required, held i n the judge's chambers, not In the court. 71. Fraser Valley, with the Attorney-General, T. Davie, prosecuting. Also concerned i n the case was L i z z i e B a r t l e t t engaged to marry Stroehel, who turned out to be "a h o s t i l e (178) and adverse witness". There was a great deal of c o n f l i c t i n g evidence presented by various members of the families concerned, but: "His Lordship l a i d i t down that i t was an old point i n law that any statement made by the prisoner against himself was admissable as evidence, but. any statement made by him or any r e l a t i v e i n his favour could not be admitted". (179) Some confusion existed as to the lo c a t i o n of the crime, and "His Lordship read the section of the act upon the point of juries going to view the l o c a l i t y . He remarked the spot would very l i k e l y be very wet at t h i s time of the year". (180) Arrangements were made for the jury to v i s i t the scene of the crime the following day, t r a v e l l i n g by t r a i n . When the prosecuting attorney asked i f the Judge.would accompany them he r e p l i e d : "I have no objection. I s h a l l be as well there as here I suppose". (181) The s h e r i f f was then directed to provide the necessary accommodation for the party — including gumboots for a l l . At t h i s point, McCreight's well-known propensity for fresh a i r asserted i t s e l f : "The heat i n the room during the afternoon was frequently very great, and His Lordship (178) Daily Columbian, Nov. 16, 1893-(179) Ibid, Nov. 17, 1893. (180) Loc. c i t . (181) Loc. c i t . (182) According to Mr. Moresby "He always i n s i s t e d on plenty of fresh a i r and i n the winter months i n s i s t e d upon the windows i n the Court House being raised." 72. several times ordered the windows to he opened. This caused a current of cold a i r to descend on the jury who wrapped themselves up i n t h e i r overcoats". (183) The l a s t mentioned garments were probably much i n evidence the following day when the party assembled for the t r i p to Huntingdon. An amusing description i s given of the procession to the station, with s p e c i a l mention of the gum-boots : "His Lordship and the Attorney-General wore these usef u l a r t i c l e s " . (184) The t r i a l lasted for seven days, but the jury reached no agreement, so was discharged. The case went to V i c t o r i a , and af t e r a twelve day t r i a l , Stroebel was found g u i l t y and sentenced by Judge Walkem to hang. It was most unusual f o r Judge McCreight to allow any l i g h t e r note to creep into the solemnity of his court, but on the discharge of the New Westminster jury, an amusing incident occurred. The foreman asked that the jury men be granted double time for the Sunday on which they had been s i t t i n g , and the following conversation ensued: McCreight: I w i l l do a l l I can. I am only a machine ' to carry out the law you know. Foreman: Then we w i l l have to depend on the l i b e r a l i t y of the Attorney-General. McCreight: I am a f r a i d he also, i s only a machine. (great laughter) S h e r i f f : Order i n the Court. Attorney-General: I have been looking into the matter and f i n d the jury i s not e n t i t l e d to pay on Sunday, but I have arranged you w i l l get one day's pay. Foreman: If that i s the case, the jury w i l l be s a t i s f i e d with the gumboots. (renewed laughter) S h e r i f f : Order i n the Court. (183) Daily Columbian, Nov. 17, 1893-(184) Daily Columbian, Nov. 18, 1893. McCreight (smiling): Well, you ought to get those. Attorney-General: The Government has no use f o r -gumboots, so you had better keep them. (185) With that they had to be content. 1894- was a busy year f o r McCreight with two notable cases worth recording. The f i r s t of these took place i n October i n County Court, i n the appeal of Kitchen v. Paisley. The defendant who was returning o f f i c e r for Chilliwack Riding, was charged with i n s e r t i n g i n the Voter's L i s t the names of unqualified persons " w i l l f u l l y and wrongfully" — the term (186) " w i l l f u l l y " being taken by McCreight to s i g n i f y "corruptly". The i n d i s c r e t i o n could not be proved, but h i s Lordship commented upon the somewhat unorthodox behaviour of the Returning O f f i c e r : "He could not understand Mr. Paisley committing so many i r r e g u l a r i t i e s such as l e t t i n g h i s clerk s i t f o r him at the Court of Revision as he (Mr. Justice McCreight) might as well ask Mr. Falding or Mr. Cambridge (clerks^of the court) to s i t on the bench and act as his substitute". (187) The conviction was quashed, but Paisley had to pay costs because of the i r r e g u l a r factors mentioned. The other case was of quite a d i f f e r e n t character, but interesting because of the l i g h t i t throws upon the varied troubles of the times. At the F a l l Assizes was the case of Regina vs. Johnny the Boss, Francis Fish, Big William, Mary, John, Johnson, Charlie Hyack, Abozsek Jack, Togche, Frank, Ten Quart Jim, Ten Quart Dak, Jack, Montie, Joseph, Polly and Susan ~ a l l Indians charged" with piracy. 185) Daily Columbian, Nov. 18, 1893. 186) Daily Columbian, Oct. 31, 1894. 187) Loc. c i t . 74-They had apparently been hired as crew of a sealing ship bound for the Kodiak Islands, but when the t r i p had been somewhat prolonged, and the salmon began running on the Fraser, they had i n s i s t e d upon returning home, and had "revolted and t r i e d (188) p i r a t i c a l l y to run away with the schooner". Throughout the case, McCreight strove to guarantee a f a i r t r i a l to the Indians and to understand t h e i r mentality. He stated that t e c h n i c a l l y a number of the Indians were passengers rather than crew, and as such could not be charged with piracy — "remarking that (189) Susan could c e r t a i n l y not be regarded as a seaman". He seemed to think that much of the blame lay with the drunken master of the schooner. F i n a l l y he remarked "witnesses may (190) l i e , circumstances cannot", and as a res u l t of his summary, only s i x l i g h t sentences were given, and the rest of the group were declared not g u i l t y . The cases recorded f o r 1895, 1896 and 1897 followed the usual pattern. More and more of McCreight's work concerned Chamber Cases dealing with such problems as land t i t l e s , bank matters, and rent recoveries. Times were changing, Begbie was dead, (1894), a n d Crease had r e t i r e d (1896). McCreight was the "grand old man" of the Bench, exact;, eccentric, hard of hearing, and approaching his seventieth year. He s t i l l journeyed to V i c t o r i a for s i t t i n g s (191) (192) of the F u l l Court, accompanied often by Mr. Justice McColl, (188} Daily Columbian, Nov. 19, 1894-(189) Loc. c i t . (190) Loc. c i t . (191) Daily Columbian, Feb. 1, 1897. (192) Angus John McColl, Puisne Judge 1896, Chief Justice 1898. 75. the new Supreme Court Judge. The l a s t case that McCreight recorded i n his Case Book was on November 17, 1897 when (193) "Coram; Self, Drake and McColl" sat i n F u l l Court i n the case of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway v. Parker granting them leave to appeal. His retirement came into effect that day and he was succeeded by Paulus A l r M i l i u s Irving as Puisne Judge residing at New Westminster. A l e t t e r to the editor of the l o c a l paper h a l f humourously commented on the change: ".I see that Mr. P. AE-Irving of V i c t o r i a has been selected to f i l l the boots vacated by the Honorable Mr. Justice McCreight. What a tremendous amount of space there w i l l be i n those boots". (194) (193) Case Books of Judge McCreight, Aug. 1897 - Nov. 1897. (194) Daily Columbian, Nov. 29, 1897. 76. Chapter VI. McCreight and the Church o Ulster Protestantism formed the r e l i g i o u s background of John Foster McCreight, with both his father and his grand-father ordained as clergymen i n the Anglican Episcopal church i n Ireland. He was himself baptized into the same f a i t h , and la t e r became a steady supporter of the Anglican church. Of ,his r e l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n s i n Ireland and Au s t r a l i a there i s no record, but on Vancouver Island he became a member of the congregation of Christ Church Cathedral. This Anglican church originated i n V i c t o r i a i n 1853, when i t s building was begun by the Hudson's Bay Company. 'In 1855 the Reverend Edward Cridge arrived from England to become ' - (195) the t h i r d Hudson's Bay Company Chaplain, and f i r s t rector of the Colonial church. In 1856 the new church was dedicated, and i n 1859 on the a r r i v a l from England of Bishop George Hills, i t was named Christ Church Cathedral. The diocese over which the new bishop was to preside included both Vancouver Island and the mainland of B r i t i s h Columbia, and was to be known as the "Bishoprick of B r i t i s h Columbia", with the bishop taking the t i t l e of "Lord (196) Bishop of B r i t i s h Columbia". The usual powers were granted (195) Preceded by - 1836 Reverend Hubert Beaver — Chaplain to Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver. - 18^9 Reverend R.J. Staines — Chaplain to Hudson's Bay Company at Fort V i c t o r i a . (196) Letters Patent of the Diocese of B r i t i s h Columbia — from a copy made by Slater, G.H., V i c t o r i a . -77. to the bishop, with an oath of obedj^nce to be made to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Under the new bishop, Reverend Edward Cridge was appointed Dean and Rector. In 1869, Christ Church Cathedral was destroyed by f i r e , but was r e - b u i l t almost at once, and the new building was consecrated i n 1872. As soon as Bishop H i l l s arrived, and the diocese was organized, a Church Committee was formed for Christ Church Cathedral. McCreight was one of the o r i g i n a l members, then became People's Warden from 1869 to 1873, and again i n 1875 and 1876. When a Synod was organized for the diocese McCreight was a lay delegate, representing h i s church there from 1874 to 1883. At f i r s t the diocese represented the whole province, but i n 1879 a d i v i s i o n was made. Vancouver Island and adjacent i s l a n d became the diocese of Columbia, the lower mainland the diocese of New Westminster, and the Northern mainland, the diocese of Caledonia. This b r i e f sketch shows that McCreight was an active participant i n church work. Even when he must have been most occupied, holding the p o s i t i o n of Premier of the Province, he s t i l l maintained the appointment as a Church Warden. It i s known, too, that he was a great personal f r i e n d of Bishop H i l l s , and f u l l y concurred i n his somewhat "high church" views. In 1874 occurred a most s i g n i f i c a n t event. Dean Cridge, the rector of the church, f e l t that he could neither serve under Bishop H i l l s , nor agree with his doctrines. The 78. causes of his d i s a f f e c t i o n were many. Fundamentally i t seems to have been the diverging trends of a "low church" man from a "high church" man. Cridge objected to the r i t u a l i s t i c practices and doctrine of the Bishop, and to the organization of a Synod for the diocese. To him, r i t u a l was wicked "Popery", a Synod was an authoritarian substitute for the (197) -l o c a l self-government of each congregation. In June 1874, at a meeting of the Church Committee, Cridge l i s t e d his reasons f o r dissent as: (1) An attempt to introduce disputable doctrines and practices into the congregation. (2) An endeavour to force the Christ Church congregation into a Synod without t h e i r consent and contrary to t h e i r wishes.(198) Bound up with these objections, was the f e e l i n g that Cridge had c e r t a i n r i g h t s i n connection with the church, i t s administration, and i t s property. At the height of the controversy, he sent a request to the Governor-General and to the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the Deeds of Trust of the Cathedral. This document i s a s i g n i f i c a n t one. Drawn up i n 1864 as an indenture between the Governor and Company of the Hudson's Bay, Governor Kennedy of Vancouver Island on the one hand, and the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop H i l l s (197) Cridge stated i n a l e t t e r to the Bishop on January 10, 1874, "I believe that every congregation, with i t s accepted pastor, i s a complete church (the word and sacraments being duly administered therein); that a diocese i s no necessary part of a church". Christ Church Cathedral Minute Book (hereafter C.C.C.M.B.), "Vi c t o r i a , January 10, 1874, p. 104-(198) C.C.C.M.B., June 17, 1874- p. 141, i n i t i a l e d "E.C." 79. on the other, i t bears the signatures of: "G. Columbia A.E. Kennedy, Governor C T . Cantuar Thomas Fraser f o r Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay". (199) It granted to the bishop and h i s successors the land on which the church was b u i l t (and which had been the property of the Hudson's Bay Company), also the s i t e and buildings of the parsonage, and the bishop's residence. It stipulated that (.200) part of the rents should go to pay the f-600 stipend of the Reverend Edward Cridge "provided that the said Edward Cridge and each of his successors of the said incumbency s h a l l be deemed for the purpose of t h i s deed to continue incumbent thereof u n t i l he s h a l l die or resign or be removed from the said Rectory and incumbency. Provided also that no such removal s h a l l take place except for f a i l u r e to conform to the Doctrine, Worship, D i s c i p l i n e , and Government of the said United Church of England and Ireland, and that every such removal s h a l l be subject to such appeal and review as are (201) provided." The document was possibly the ordinary one for such cases, but the mention of Reverend Edward Cridge by name, the special provisions for him, and the right of appeal, do point to the fact that he was a Hudson's Bay Chaplain before (199) Trust Deeds r e l a t i n g to Christ Church Cathedral, V i c t o r i a , from a copy by Slater, G.H. (200) Or could be increased to/800. (201) Trust Deeds r e l a t i n g to Christ Church Cathedral. 80. he was a church rector. He had "the Company" s o l i d l y behind him, i f he l e f t the church. Many of the old stalwarts would leave with him. This i s an interesting s i d e - l i g h t on the "family — company — compact" influence i n V i c t o r i a . Even i n 1874- the Company's influence was s t i l l f e l t . Cridge belonged to them, they would take care of him. H i l l s had no association with the Company; they regarded him as an outsider. It was easy to see where. McCreight's sympathies would l i e . He apparently admired the r i t u a l i s t i c doctrines of the bishop, a not uncommon thing among students of r e l i g i o n of his day. The Oxford Movement had a great appeal for scholarly minds, and McCreight, once he had formed a b e l i e f , would adhere to i t unwaveringly. Then again, McCreight had no connections with the church before H i l l s ' time, and ce r t a i n l y no claim to belong to that select group of "Company men" — the Douglas-Helmcken aristocracy. F i n a l l y McCreight had a strong regard for law and authority. The bishop was the representative of the authority of the church, so he was to be obeyed. It would be partly a matter of personal l o y a l t y , c e r t a i n l y a matter of personal conviction, McCreight would take the bishop's part, and would condemn Cridge for his "rev o l t " — meanwhile deploring i t s very necessity. McCreight's part i n the controversy i s , as Mr. (202) Slater expressed i t that "of the power behind the throne". He was never vociferous, never u n f a i r . - He t r i e d to be co n c i l i a t o r y , and to keep the dignity of things at a time (202) Slater, G.H., V i c t o r i a , Dec. 1, 194-6 i n a l e t t e r . 81. when tempers were' hot, and men expressed themselves b i t t e r l y . The f i r s t mention of the a f f a i r came i n January 16, 1874-, when a meeting of the Church Committee passed a resolution "that the Committee of Christ Church Cathedral having read the l e t t e r from the Rev. Dean Cridge .to the Right Rev. the Bishop of Columbia published on the 10th of January 1874-i n the Standard and Colonist on Synod, do not acquiesce i n such a l e t t e r and regret i t s publication". (203) The members at the meeting were Trutch, Williams, Siffken, who (204-) (205) voted against the resolution, and Jackson, Wooton, Crease, (206) (207) Pearse, Mackay, Ward and McCreight, who voted for i t . As a consequence of t h i s resolution, a l e t t e r was sent to Dean Cridge as follows: "Government Street, 20 January, 1874-. Dear S i r , In pursuance of my promise I send you a tr a n s c r i p t of the Proceedings of the Church Committee meeting of the,^16th Jany. instant, as I earnestly wish that the whole matter may now drop. I should have been glad i f you had not asked me for them, and I trust they may not create any f e e l i n g between you and any of the members of the congregation. I should look upon t h i s as one of the greatest misfortunes a r i s i n g from t h i s unhappy controversy. With sincere regards and hope that what ever w i l l be done, simply as a matter of conscience and duty may not offend, Believe me, Yours f a i t h f u l l y , ( 2 0 8 ) J.F. McCreight " (203) C.C.C.M.B., Jan. 16, 1874-, p. 104.. (204.) A lawyer. (205) H.P.P. Crease, a judge. (206) A surveyor. (207) A banker. ( 2 0 8 ) C.C.C.M.B., p. 107. 82. In spite of McCreightl.s wish that the matter might be ended, there was only'a temporary peace. In March, 1874 the Church Committee drew up a Voting L i s t for a convention to be elected from members of the congregation — t h i s convention to appoint the Synod delegates. On A p r i l 4, a congregational meeting passed the following resolution with Crid 4 e MeCrekght protesting: "That i n the opinion of t h i s meeting i t i s expedient that delegates from the congregation of Christ Church should be elected for the proper convention f o r a Synod". (209) At the next Church Committee meeting a l e t t e r from Dean Cridge was read, i n which he stated his reasons for opposing the Synod, and hinted that much of the congregation was not i n favour of i t . However the Synod elections went on as planned and the Lieutenant-Governor (Trutch), R. C. Jackson, B. W. Pearce, C. T. Dupont, W. C. Ward, and J. F. (210) McCreight were elected. But the Dean had r a l l i e d h i s forces. The Church Committee might oppose him, but a large part of the congregation d i d not. Here lay his strength, i n his group of personal friends, ex-company o f f i c i a l s , and those who favoured his doctrine. At the Annual Vestry meeting of the church, W. C. Ward who had served as Rector's Warden received no nomination,, and his position was taken over by A. F. Pemberton, a supporter of the Dean. McCreight who had served, as People's Warden was opposed by Williams who (211) ' defeated him 41 to 32. At the next meeting, McCreight resigned from the Church Committee, and was followed by (209) C.C.C.M.B., A p r i l 4 . 1874, P- 117-121O0 Daily Colonist, A p r i l 14, 1874. CZIi; C.C.C.M.B., A p r i l 15, 1874, p. 128. 83. Pearse and Crease. The friends of the Dean were now i n control and announced: "We beg to say that taking a l l circumstances into consideration, we do not wish that the congregation of Christ Church should i n any way be connected with the Synod as proposed to be constituted, or be represented therein." (212) Apparently to j u s t i f y his position, Bishop H i l l s wrote an a r t i c l e f o r the paper explaining h i s stand on the whole matter. The Committee objected to t h i s , and wrote to the bishop stating t h e i r displeasure. From the bishop's residence came the reply: "I am not aware that i t f a l l s within the province of the Church Wardens to interrogate the Bishop of the Diocese as to the authority of addresses which he may issue." (213) j This did nothing to help. The matter was getting beyond the point where c o n c i l i a t i o n could be effected. The Committee ranged i t s e l f s o l i d l y behind the Dean, and proceeded to defy the Bishop. It "declared i t s e l f as altogether Protestant and (214) opposed to Ritualism", and c r i t i c i z e d a sermon on r i t u a l i s m preached by a v i s i t i n g Archdeacon. It went a step further i n open defiance of the bishop, when i t refused to receive h i s Annual V i s i t a t i o n u n t i l r e p l i e s had come, to the protest sent to Ottawa and Canterbury. In fact the next stage was open r e b e l l i o n when, on July 2, the Rector's Warden stated that the Bishop, hy his -behaviour, appeared to have seceded from the Church of England, and ceased to be the Bishop of Christ (215) Church — an open i n s u l t , and contradiction of the l e g a l (212) C.C.C.M.B., A p r i l 29, 1874, P- 137.. (213) C.C.C.M.B., p. 138 (214) C.C.C.M.B., p. 139. (215) C.C.C.M.B., July 2, 1874, P- 143. 84. facts of the case. A statement made by the Warden, A. F. Pemberton, well i l l u s t r a t e s the attitude of the "Company group" toward the Bishop; "I had been Church Warden of Christ Church several years before your a r r i v a l i n Vancouver Island and after nearly ten years service i n that capacity (1856-1866) resigned my o f f i c e ..." (216) then goes on to mention many of the reasons — H i l l s ' r i t u a l i s m , land disputes and so f o r t h — but the "several years before your a r r i v a l " was the main point. Faced with t h i s uncompromising attitude, the bishop was' forced to take decisive action. In July the following l e t t e r was sent to Cridge: "Bishop's Close July 14, 1874-My dear s i r , Ten days having elapsed without any intimation of regret or apology for your conduct i n reference to and on the occasion of my v i s i t a t i o n at the Cathedral i n the 3rd. i n s t . I am forced to the painf u l necessity of i n s t i t u t i n g proceedings for your defiance of the Episcopal authority and of the laws of the church, contrary to your ordination vow and your oath of Canonical obedience. Deeply pained to be compelled to take t h i s course, I now offe r you, before formal steps are begun the opportunity of acknowledging your f a u l t , expressing your regret and submitting yourself i n future to lawful authority. I am, etc. G. Columbia." (217) The Bishop then proceeded to revoke Cridge's licenc e to preach, and announced that he would take the services himself i n the Cathedral. To t h i s , the Wardens re p l i e d with cold politeness that they had already arranged (216) C.C.C.M.B., p.'143. (217) C.C.C.M.B., p. 146. for Cridge to take the services. Cridge himself remained at his post, writing to the bishop that "Suspension or deprivation i s a matter of coercive l e g a l j u r i s d i c t i o n , and not a mere s p i r i t u a l authority". (218) The Bishop took the matter up at once, declared that the law-f u l authority was the Supreme Court, and i n s t i t u t e d proceedings against Cridge to remove him from his po s i t i o n . In t h i s McCreight was of great assistance, as he could conduct the l e g a l proceedings of the matter. The Church ,Committee, sure of th e i r p o s i t i o n , began to r a i s e funds f o r the Dean's (219) l e g a l expenses. The case came up before Judge Begbie. It was charged that Cridge had vi o l a t e d the doctrines and d i s c i p l i n e of the church on eighteen separate charges, a l l but two of which were proved. The fact that he had defied the authority of the Bishop was stressed, and an injunction was granted forbidding him to preach as a minister of the Church of England. In consequence, Cridge, "not being able conscientiously to r e f r a i n from ministering, contemplated attaching himself to the Reformed Episcopal Church l a t e l y organized i n Canada and the U.S.A." (220) Then the: "Minister, and Church Wardens, the whole of the Church Committee, the greater part of the congregation, and of the Sunday School, with the Superintendent and most of the Teachers, nearly a l l the Choir, with the .Organist, and the Sexton l e f t Christ Church i n consequence of the proceedings against t h e i r minister and worshipped i n Pandora Street Church". (221) (218) C.C.C.M.B., p. 1 4 7 . (219) C.C.C.M.B., Sept. 18, 1874, -p. 151. (220) C.C.C.M.B., Oct. 27, 1874, P- 153. (221) Memorandum A.F.-P. (Pemberton), C.C.C.M.B., p. 154. 86. The memorandum does not add that Cridge remained i n the Christ Church Rectory, claiming his ri g h t to that property under the Trust deeds. This caused a second Court Case, t r i e d before (222) Judge Gray, aft e r which Cridge was evicted, and the property restored. By November 1874, the storm was over. A sadly depleted l i t t l e congregation met at Christ Church to elect a new committee and wardens. Ward was again chosen Rector's Warden, and Dupont People's Warden. McCreight once again became a member of the Church Committee. Apparently funds had suffered as a r e s u l t of the break, for Trutch, Crease and McCreight are each on record as contributing $50.00 to (223) expenses. The following year, McCreight returned.to his old pos i t i o n of People's Warden, and during 1879 "contributed (224) $25.00 towards the deficiency". The Synod had continued i t s work, and at the Vestry Meeting of A p r i l 19, 1883, McCreight, now a Judge, was present and was again elected lay represent-ative to the Synod. The l a s t mention of McCreight came a year l a t e r . At the Annual Vestry Meeting, A p r i l 17, 1884, i t was moved by Jackson, seconded by Ward "that Mr. Justice Crease be appointed as Lay Delegate to the Synod from the Cathedral i n the place of Mr. Justice McCreight who has seceded from the (225) church". This l a s t statement f i x e s the date of McCreight's withdrawal from the Anglican Church as somewhere between A p r i l 1883 and A p r i l 1884. It coincides with his removal from the '222) Honourable J.H. Gray, Puisne Judge, appointed 1872. '23) C.C.C.M.B., Nov. 4, 1874> p. 157. . 24; C.C.C.M.B., p. 161. w225) C.C.C.M.B., A p r i l 17, I 8 8 4 . 87. Cariboo to New Westminster as he was l i v i n g i n the l a t t e r (226) place by. November, 1883. The Cridge episode, and his part i n i t , were an important phase i n McCreight's s p i r i t u a l l i f e . It has been mentioned that McCreight favoured r i t u a l i s m and so-called "high church practices" — perhaps not a very far step from the Roman Catholic Church. Again i t can be seen that McCreight stood for authority, for d i s c i p l i n e , for absolutism i n b e l i e f . The Cridge revolt would seriously challenge the authority of the Anglican church, i t could c e r t a i n l y make a man doubt whether that authority could be maintained. The Roman Catholic Church would permit of no such defection. In i t s confines, authority would be absolute, f a i t h unwavering. To a man of McCreight's temperament, the answer seems obvious. Shaken i n his respect for the authority of his church, leaning towards practices not popular with i t — and above a l l , driven by a clear l u c i d mind, and a re l e n t l e s s conscience, he could not f a i l to doubt, then to question. The doubts and questions must have tormented him exceedingly, but he could not put them by. Slowly, strongly, uncompromisingly, he would work out a formula, he would take a d e f i n i t e stand. He was a man who must choose one way or the other — a doubtful position was of no use to him. F i n a l l y he decided to leave a church which could no longer s a t i s f y him — i t would have been strange had he not done so. Great stress has been put on the personal factors that encouraged him to enter the Roman Catholic Church. This (226) Mainland Guardian, Nov. 24, 1883. 88. takes the story of McCreight to the Cariboo Country where he l i v e d between 1880 and 1883. In the l i t t l e town of R i c h f i e l d there was only a Roman Catholic Church, administered by the Fathers of St. Joseph's Mission at 150 Mile House. Of these p r i e s t s , the most outstanding was the Reverend Father J. McGuickan O.M.I. He had been sent to establish a mission near (227) Williams Lake i n 1869, and had been most successful i n his work among the Indians. During the period that McCreight was i n the Cariboo, Father McGuickan was a c t i v e l y at work i n the v i c i n i t y . There i s every reason to believe that he became a great personal influence i n McCreight's l i f e . He was, apparently, a scholarly man, but with great energy and executive a b i l i t y . It i s known that he l a t e r became president of Ottawa College — so he must have been a man of learning and character. - It i s probable that McCreight f e l t lonely during his stay i n the Cariboo. In a l e t t e r to Judge Crease written i n November 1881, he deplores "the useless nature of my l i f e " . 7'However, at the same time he goes on to say: "Meanwhile I can be of use i n getting a clergyman for the people", (228) and i n January 1882 mentions Blanchard, the Anglican clergyman from B a r k e r v i l l e . Apparently his interest i n Roman Catholicism came af t e r that date. There i s every reason f o r believing that the i s o l a t e d l i f e , and McGuickan's personality would be factors i n (227) Morice, A.G., History of the Catholic Church i n Western Canada, Toronto, Musson, 1910, Vol. 2, Passim. (228) McCreight to Crease, Nov. 26, 1881 from R i c h f i e l d . Letter i n the Crease c o l l e c t i o n , Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia. 89. leading McCreight to study the new f a i t h , and f i n a l l y to adopt i t . The fact that Father McGuickan's home church was St. Peterfe i n New Westminster i s perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t . The contacts would be maintained when McCreight came to l i v e i n New Westminster i n November, 1883. The St; Peter's Church of that day was located i n New Westminster at the corner of Columbia and Blackwood Streets. The building was l a t e r burnt down, and the present church i s of more recent construction. The only other mention of Father McGuickan comes i n 1897 just a month afte r McCreight's retirement. A writer i n the Daily Columbian regrets that Father McGuickan, "for many years a (229) resident of t h i s c i t y and president of Ottawa College", i s broken down i n health and reported to be dying. The point i s often made that McCreight was a very (230) ardent Roman Catholic, almost to the point of bigotry. This i s natural, considering his type of mind. Once he had made a change, once he had accepted the new f a i t h , he would cleave to i t with a l l the strength of a concentrated personality. McCreight did nothing by halves, he desired to be exactly r i g h t . It i s claimed that his conscience troubled him owing to his strong r e l i g i o u s convictions, a fact which i s c e r t a i n l y i n keeping with his character. In spite of his r e l i g i o u s views, he continued to be extremely impartial i n his work. There never was an occasion where i t could be suspected that his judgment was swayed by his r e l i g i o u s views. Dr. Reid quotes one case to which the Roman Catholic Convent at New Westminster was a party, and 229) Daily Columbian, Dec. 11, 1897. 230) Judge Sullivan, New Westminster, Dec. 5, 194.6. 90. McCreight's decision, as judge, was against the Convent. "He regretted the necessity, but as he t o l d the Registrar of the Court, also a member of the same church, 'I know the " Mother Superior w i l l be very angry at me, but the law i s the law and must be obeyed, no matter whose feelings are hurt'". (231) After McCreight r e t i r e d i n 1897 he spent- some time i n Rome. By 1909 he was established i n Hastings, England, near the Pious Society of Missions Hostel, for aged men — many of them elderly p r i e s t s . That he was s t i l l c l o s e l y associated with the Roman Catholic Church i s shown by his W i l l , o r i g i n a l l y drawn up on August 20, 1909. The executors who were appointed included two p r i e s t s , the Reverend Dominic C r e s c i t e l l i , Rector of the Roman Catholic Church, High Street, Hastings, and the Reverend John Davis, High Street, Hastings (probably the address of the P.S.M. Hostel). The t h i r d executor was a s o l i c i t o r , Frederick George Manley Wetherfield, Gresham Buildings, London. In a c o d i c i l of June 20, 1911, (232) the l a t t e r was replaced as executor by Miss Elizabeth Fisher, 85 High Street, Hastings — the address at which McCreight himself resided. The bequests of the o r i g i n a l W i l l apart from those to his two s i s t e r s , and to the four daughters of Mrs. Fisher, include <^ 50 to the Reverend Dominic C r e s c i t e l l i , and ^ 50 to (231) Reid, R.L., John Foster McCreight, Proceedings of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge A.F. and A.M. of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver, 194-1, P' 174-. (232) His legacy of je-150 was cut to^'50 by the same c o d i c i l . 91. the Reverend John Davis. Then there were bequests of£ 100 each to the Superior of the Convent of Notre Dame des Missions (The Hermitage, The Croft, Hastings), and to the Superior of the Convent of Marie Reparatrice (Hastings Lodge, Old London Road, Hastings), with a s t i p u l a t i o n that the money "be (232a) applied i n each instance as i n the past". In memory of his r e l i g i o u s connections i n B r i t i s h Columbia, he lefty^lOO to the Roman Catholic Bishop of New Westminster i n B r i t i s h Columbia, "to be applied for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church as the Bishop s h a l l think f i t " . A c o d i c i l of June 19, 1911 willed^.50 to the Reverend Father Bernard McCoul of the Roman Catholic Church, High Street. A l l remaining property, " r e a l and personal, estate and e f f e c t s " , was l e f t to Father C r e s c i t e l l i and Father Davis for the reduction of the debt existing on the Roman Catholic Church, High Street, Hastings, or otherwise exclusively f o r i t s benefit. McCreight's estate amounted t o ^ 3 6 l 9 , when the other legacies had been paid, so taking death duties into account, the church at Hastings probably received over.^2000. (232a) A letter from the present rector of the Roman Catholic Church at Hastings dated Feb, 20, 1947 states: "He paid for the heating of the church in winter. At the Convent of the Reparatrice Nuns, he converted part of i t , which was formerly a Hydro Baths into a Club room for Catholic women's organizations. He was most generous to the poor". V 92. Chapter VII. McCreight and the Freemasons No study of John Foster McCreight would be complete without an account of his connection with the Freemasons. During the period of his residence i n V i c t o r i a , between 1859 and 1880, he was ac t i v e l y associated with the work of the Order, and rose to great prominence i n i t s ranks. It i s probable that he was fa m i l i a r with Freemasonry i n Ulster, where many of the Protestant gentry were a f f i l i a t e d with Masonic Lodges. Possibly members of his own family had been Freemasons. However that may be, i n 1866 he was i n i t i a t e d as a member of V i c t o r i a Lodge, Number 783, was made Senior Warden of his Lodge i n 1867, and Worshipful Master i n (233) the following year. The V i c t o r i a Directory for 1868 l i s t s the o f f i c e r s of the V i c t o r i a Lodge as: I. (sic) F. McCreight, W.M.; Jos. Blackbourne, S.W.; J.W. Trabey, J.W.; G. Brown, Treas.; W. Leight, S e c ; Chaplain ; S.L. Kell y , S.D.; J.G. Mackay, J.D.; R. Plummer, D.C; P. Medana, organist; J. Ragazzoni, T.G.; J.N. Thain, Tyler. (235) Although at f i r s t there was no Grand Lodge of B r i t i s h Columbia, there was a D i s t r i c t Grand Lodge, consisting of the lodges i n the province, under the Grand Lodge of England. (233) Details supplied by Slater, G.H., V i c t o r i a , who now i s active i n compiling Masonic history i n B.C. (234) The mistake i n the i n i t i a l s i s understandable. McCreight's signature made the " J " look very l i k e an " I " . (235) F i r s t V i c t o r i a Directory, V i c t o r i a , Mallandaine, 1868. 93. McCreight, having completed his term as Master of his own Lodge, became Senior Grand Warden for the D i s t r i c t Lodge. It i s at t h i s time that an incident took place which well i l l u s t r a t e s McCreight's sense of ju s t i c e and his implacable obstinacy. Owing to his work i n the law courts, he was a very busy man, and could not attend a l l meetings of the o f f i c e r s of the Grand Lodge. Under the existing r u l e s , any o f f i c e r f a i l i n g to attend a meeting'was l i a b l e to a f i n e , graduated i n amount according to his rank, the f i n e for McCreight's absence would be f i v e d o l l a r s . In consequence, when he f a i l e d to attend a c e r t a i n meeting, the fine was imposed. McCreight refused to pay i t . He considered i t unfair, and remained adamant i n his r e f u s a l . The Grand Master of the D i s t r i c t Lodge referred the matter to McCreight's own Lodge. The members discussed i t , and f i n a l l y had to pay the f i n e out of (236) t h e i r own funds. McCreight continued to be held i n high regard by the Masons of the province, and i n 1871 when the Grand Lodge of B r i t i s h Columbia was formed, he was elected Deputy Grand Master, and Chairman of the Board of General Purposes. He refused r e - e l e c t i o n the following year, probably on account of his preoccupation with a f f a i r s of government, as t h i s was his period as Premier of B r i t i s h Columbia. However he s t i l l attended meetings of the Grand Lodge, and i n 1873, no longer head of the government, he was elected Deputy Grand Master once more. In t h i s capacity he represented the Grand Master i n 1873 at the laying of the corner stone for the new Masonic H a l l at (236) The d e t a i l s are given by Reid, op. c i t . , p. 175. 94-Nanaimo. In 1874- a special honour came to McCreight. It was announced that "R.W. Bro. J.F. McCreight, D.G.M." had been appointed the representative of the Grand Lodge of England i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The following year, at a meeting of the pr o v i n c i a l Grand Lodge i n V i c t o r i a , he presented his credentials as representative, was greeted with great honour, and occupied a seat on the dais. Up u n t i l 1879 he took part i n regular Masonic a c t i v i t i e s , but his name appears on the l i s t of members of the V i c t o r i a Lodge for the l a s t time i n (237) that year. On A p r i l 7, 1881, he applied f o r his dimit by his Lodge, and t h i s was granted. He gave a l l his jewels to his Lodge, and thereafter had no connection with Freemasonry. His severance of the connection with the Craft was probably due to h i s change of r e l i g i o n . It i s known that he l e f t the Anglican Church sometime between 1883 and 1884-, and i t i s obvious that such a step would not be a sudden one. The point i s not quite clear because he l e f t the Freemasons i n A p r i l 1881, hut did not go to the Cariboo, where his conversion to Roman Catholicism took place, u n t i l June of the same year. Nor did he formally leave the Anglican Church u n t i l a f t e r A p r i l 1883. It seems probable that he was wavering i n h i s allegiance to the Anglican Church before he ever l e f t V i c t o r i a . It seems, too, that his departure from V i c t o r i a , now that he was a judge and could no longer reside there permanently, made a suitable occasion for a break which he knew would have to come at some time. There i s a p o s s i b i l i t y that he f e l t some (237) Reid, op. c i t . , p. 176. 95. sort of impatience with his Masonic associates. He was not a man who mixed e a s i l y with people of every type, and h i s autocratic reserve would prevent him from enjoying the f r a t e r n a l a c t i v i t i e s to the f u l l . Dr. Reid, i n his excellent study of McCreight as a Freemason, stresses the r e l i g i o u s change. That c e r t a i n l y had some influence on him, but the fact that he s t i l l represented the Anglican Church i n the Synod i n A p r i l , 1883, seems to indicate that t h i s was not the entire reason. It i s true that i n severing his connections with Freemasonry, McCreight had a great deal to lose. He was respected by a l l members of the Craft, and would, without doubt, have become P r o v i n c i a l Grand Master i f he had remained. But against t h i s was McCreight's conscience — an implacable foe to any compromise. If he were to turn his thoughts to a new f a i t h , then he must break, irrevocably, the t i e s that bound him to the past. Yet i t meant that McCreight, now a man of over f i f t y would deliberately lose touch with h i s friends and associates, and have to start afresh i n finding companions and a f f i l i a t i o n s . No wonder he was regarded as "a lonely old man", interested only i n law books. The strength of his convictions had forced him to turn h i s back on. the associations of his e a r l i e r l i f e , now he had only himself and his inner thoughts on which to depend. Freemasonry had provided him with a great i n t e r e s t , and had given him extensive opportunities. It must have remained as a somewhat sad memory to him — a l b e i t to some degree, a test of the strength of his w i l l . 238) Minute Book, Christ Church Cathedral, A p r i l 19, 1883. (239) 96. Chapter VIII. McCreight and his Personality In the New Westminster Court House hangs a picture of John Foster McCreight i n his j u d i c i a l robes. It shows a quiet-faced a r i s t o c r a t i c man, shrewd, but never harsh, reserved but very kindly. The white whig of a judge cannot obscure the broad, scholarly forehead, and the white beard and moustache do not hide a firm, but calm mouth. Bushy white eyebrows only accentuate a pair of most discerning and honest eyes. The p o r t r a i t i s that of a man of great character, of a man with "a good face". Only the deeply etched l i n e s round the mouth seem to indicate someone given to much thought, to p a i n f u l mental struggles, and to stern inner resolution. He was apparently a t a l l man, "fine looking, '(240) a t h l e t i c and of a high determined character". Those who had known him recognized his outstanding q u a l i t i e s , and he was described as: "a learned, bold, conscientious and successful lawyer, and a thoroughly honest man". (24-1) His great learning has always been the subject of comment. He was the "acknowledged l o c a l authority on matters (24-2) of law", and his phenomenal memory as well as his great industry placed him head and shoulders above the other lawyers of his day. Magistrate Edmonds of New Westminster remembered that McCreight could quote whole cases i n Court, (240V Colonist, Nov. 19, 1897. (24-1) Loc. c i t . (242) Loc. c i t . 97. as he had a remarkable photographic memory. Mr. Moresby who worked f o r the Judge between 1892 and 1897, stated: "that there was no question that Mr. Justice McCreight had a profound knowledge of the law and was recognized as one of the ablest j u r i s t s that we had i n Canada". (2-43) His great industry i s well i l l u s t r a t e d by an anecdote contributed by Mr. Arthur Crease, son of the late Mr. Justice Crease who was associated with McCreight i n the Supreme Court: "As an i l l u s t r a t i o n of his industry I may refer to an occasion of a t r i a l before S i r Matthew Begbie I believe, when he was counsel for the defendant and George Hunter Carey, credited with some b r i l l i a n c e but less.industry had to reply to an argument by McCreight f o r t i f i e d by every case available. Carey said, "my learned f r i e n d has adduced to your. Lordship every known authority bearing on t h i s case whether i n favour of his case or mine, so I w i l l now devote myself to the fa c t s " . (2-44) His great industry was not confined to h i s own e f f o r t s , he believed that a l l those connected with the law must work for what they would get. Mr. Justice Murphy t e l l s an in t e r e s t i n g story of McCreight's rules for successful preparation of a b r i e f , and i t i s given here i n f u l l : "Judge McCreight once instructed a young lawyer (245) how preparation f o r a Chamber application should be made. I had the story from the vic t i m himself, who at the time of his t e l l i n g was probably the most widely known and most popular person i n B r i t i s h Columbia. He had made an application i n Probate to Judge McCreight. The matter was somewhat involved and my f r i e n d admitted he (243) Moresby, W.C., V i c t o r i a , Oct. 22, 1946 i n a l e t t e r (244) Crease, A.D., V i c t o r i a , Sept. 1946 i n a l e t t e r . (245) No name i s given, but Dr. Lamb suggested that i t was possibly Richard McBride. 98. had floundered rather badly. The judge, an old-time friend of the applicant's family, f i n a l l y adjourned the hearing, and requested him to come to his room after Chambers. On doing so, the learned judge addressed him thus: 'Tom" — (I c a l l him so because that was not his name) f I have known you since you were a lad. You want to be a lawyer.. Well here's how you do f i t . Take t h i s book home with you t h i s evening'; and he handed him a copy of the then standard work on probate practice. The judge went on, 'About an hour after your dinner, ask your mother to make you a large pot of strong coffee and to leave i t on the kitchen stove over a good f i r e . Then go to your room taking t h i s book with you. Dampen a towel i n cold water and wrap i t around your head. Then s i t down and read the book through c a r e f u l l y , starting at the opening page. To do t h i s w i l l take you most of the night. When you get sleepy go to the kitchen and drink one or more cups of coffee. Keep a good f i r e on so that the coffee w i l l always be hot. If your head gets warm, remove the towel, dampen i t again i n cold water — the colder the better — and replace i t around your head. Repeat these performances as often as necessary to keep you wide awake and your head perfectly cool. Then come back tomorrow morning and renew your application'". (246) This passage reveals the kindliness of a great lawyer wanting another to succeed i n the work that he loved so well. It shows too an exact clear brain i n the d e t a i l of the instructions. Its tone i s rather patronizing, but that was McCreight's nature. It gives an almost fussy, homely touch to a somewhat aloof figure — the man who knew how to keep the coffee hot, and yet keep his head cool. There i s the f e e l i n g that McCreight himself had spent many nights i n such study. But to him the study was a joy as well as a task. As he grew older, and withdrew more and more from his associates, he spent long hours poring over (246) Murphy, pp. c i t , p. 86. 99. (24-7) h i s law volumes. His c o l l e c t i o n of books was extensive, and they a l l showed marks of constant use. As Judge Murphy explained: "Whoever now owns Judge McCreight's l i b r a r y has l i t t l e need to resort to modern aids to research so far as cases decided up to the time of his retirement are concerned. The lucky owner w i l l f i n d noted i n the judge's handwriting i n the report of each case every comment or reference made to i t subsequent to i t s decision". (24-8) A study of these books i s most illuminating. Each-one contains the name "J.F. McCreight" and the date received on the f i r s t page. Every book contains numerous annotations, i n ink or p e n c i l , sometimes, l i m i t e d to a case reference, some-times giving a b r i e f comment, sometimes a lengthy comparison or explanation. A stressed paragraph i s marked with a spe c i a l sign " »X» ". Most of the books had obviously been sent out direct from t h e i r London publishers, while a few had belonged to D. Babbington Ring, and one i s marked as "given by A.E.B. Davie to John Foster McCreight". Sometimes newspaper clippings, bearing on famous cases, are glued into the front of the books. The comments are not always easy to read. As Moresby said: "His handwriting, however, was generally abbreviated, and i t was d i f f i c u l t to decipher same. In fact at times he had d i f f i c u l t y i n doing so himself". (249) A few of the books are somewhat ink-stained, possibly mute witnesses of the incident related by Gosnell of (250) a "peppery young lawyer from the East" who was intolerant of (247) For l i s t of those preserved i n New Westminster Court House Library see Appendix £, (248) Murphy, op. c i t , p. 86. (249) Moresby, W.C. i n a l e t t e r . (250) Probably G.A. Walkem. 100. McCreight's great knowledge.and somewhat impatient c r i t i c i s m , and i n a f i t of temper hurled an open ink-bottle i n the di r e c t i o n of the judge, only to have i t splash over the law (251) books on the shelves behind. That a man of such superb knowledge should at times become impatient with the ineptitude of his juniors i s only natural. McCreight might appear to be cold and reserved, but he had a certa i n hotness of temper — t h i s was obvious i n h i s clashes with Begbie. He did not suffer fools gladly, a point which the l a t e Dr. Reid i l l u s t r a t e d from h i s own early experience i n the New Westminster Courts: "It was d i f f i c u l t for us youngsters to practise law before him, he knew so much more than we did,.and he had l i t t l e patience with our ignorance. He would hardly give us time, i n our fumbling way, to get our case properly before him. As soon as he saw a point to be decided, he would jump from h i s chair, reach for a volume of reports (English Law Reports), open i t at a case, and slap i t on the desk saying, 'you w i l l f i n d the law on that point i n that case, Mr. ' We found i t embarrassing at times". (252) From such incidents, the picture i s made clearer that of a man who was deeply immersed i n h i s chosen profession, and who considered i t to be of paramount importance to the exclusion of other i n t e r e s t s . His great love for his studies perhaps obscured the k i n d l i e r and more human q u a l i t i e s which he possessed. He i s regarded as being aloof and unapproach-able. "He was very austere: he would pass by on the street without a 'good day'" reported Mrs. Haynes, a resident of (251) Gosnell, R.E., Premier of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver v Daily Province, Feb. 22, 1921. (252) Reid, op. c i t , p. 173-101. V i c t o r i a who came out as the wife of one of the Royal (253) Engineers. While Magistrate Edmonds of New Westminster explained that although he practised before McCreight, McCreight never spoke to him, or anyone else on the street. Mr.. Justice. Murphy took the view that McCreight was not so (254) much austere as lonely, while Mr. Crease mentioned his "quiet but cheerful manner among friends but i n Court whether at the Bar or on the Bench, he displayed a cert a i n amount of - (255) dif f i d e n c e " . He also spoke of "a f r i e n d l y expression of face which his close clipped g r i z z l e d beard and mustache did not conceal". It seems from t h i s that McCreight was a very reserved man. His outward attitude was that of calm superiority and withdrawn dignity. Inwardly he was a f r i e n d l y , cheerful person, but f a r too absorbed i n his own thoughts to take much notice of other people. He. was possessed of a speculative type of mind, and the law gave i t much scope. In l a t e r years, the l i f e of his mind was the most true one to him, so he presented a somewhat detached appearance, sometimes mistaken for snobbishness. Without a doubt, he d i d f e e l more at home among people of his own type — those who were learned and s l i g h t l y a r i s t o c r a t i c . He was not a democrat i n the modern sense of the word, that was why he d i d not f i t into the l i f e of his times. Authority was worth more to him than personality, exactness more than i n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n . (253) Told to Slater, G.H., V i c t o r i a . (254) In a l e t t e r dated Sept. 12, 1946. (255) In a l e t t e r dated Sept. 1946. 102. It has been said that McCreight never forgave Begbie for the i n s u l t s heaped upon him i n the law courts during the Chief Justice's early hectic days. Mr. P e t t i t recounts an anecdote that does put t h i s i n a better l i g h t for both the men concerned: "As old men McCreight and Begbie meet on Bird Cage Walk. One spoke to the other, so they stopped and made up a quarrel that had probably begun during the Cranford v. Wright case". (256) He also made the point i n his study of Begbie that: "He (Begbie) had been fearless and honest, as his old enemy McCreight admitted. McCreight indeed held him to be impartial. This was more than 30 years after the Cranford Case, and the honest Irishman had come to r e a l i z e that what he had once considered p a r t i a l i t y was more a defect of judgment than of character". (257) Mention of B i r d Cage Walk, the s i t e of the Leg i s l a t i v e Buildings of early V i c t o r i a , brings to mind the home of John Foster McCreight. Although he l i v e d for a short time i n the Cariboo, and for many years i n New Westminster, he occupied for over twenty years a house i n V i c t o r i a on Michigan Street not f a r from B i r d Cage Walk, but quite a long t r i p across the James Bay bridge to the Law Courts. The matter of his residence leads on to the natural one of h i s immediate family. Did McCreight ever marry? No marriage record has been found i n Ireland, A u s t r a l i a or B r i t i s h Columbia. No one who knew MCCreight remembers a wife or any reference to her. Yet a legend persists that he had a wife, (256) P e t t i t , i n a l e t t e r dated Oct. 10, 194-6. (257) P e t t i t , quoting Beck, A.E., "Sir M. Begbie", Vancouver Sunday Province, n.d. 103. separated from him, and l i v i n g i n "the Old Country". Gosnell reporting on McCreight's retirement uses t h i s phrase. The only other piece of evidence comes i n an account of a b a l l given by Governor Seymour at New Westminster i n I864. Many guests were present from V i c t o r i a , as a sp e c i a l steamer had been chartered, and a board-walk l a i d from the dock to the . governor's residence so that a l l might ar r i v e dry shod. Among the l i s t of guests appear the names "Mr. and Mrs. McCreight", but with no i n i t i a l s given. Furthermore, aft e r descriptions of the dresses worn by the most important l a d i e s , including the wife of the Governor of Vancouver Island: "Mrs. Kennedy's dress was composed of r i c h maize s i l k , trimmed with black lace. Her head dress was formed of a wreath of pansies and black lace lappets, pearls and diamonds".(258) appears t h i s item: "Mrs. McCreight wore an elegand dress of white, trimmed with black lace, and a head dress of white geraniums". (259) Unless the newspaper was i n error as to the name, or unless there was another "Mr. and Mrs. McCreight" — i t seems" possible that McCreight did marry. It also seems l i k e l y that his wife l e f t him soon afterwards. Her costume sounds l i k e that of a young woman. No record of her death can be found. If she existed at a l l , she must have separated from her husband who possessed a d i f f i c u l t temperament and have gone her own way. No mention i s ever made of her i n the papers before or aft e r that time. (258) North P a c i f i c Times, Nov. 12, 186A. (259) Loc. c i t . 104-One other incident i n McCreight 1s l i f e concerns the period just a f t e r his removal from the Cariboo. In 1884, he suffered a most unusual and serious i l l n e s s . The f i r s t mention of t h i s came i n a despatch to the Colonist on May 7 from San Francisco: "Judge McCreight of V i c t o r i a , B.C. was b i t t e n to-day by some insect on the arm.. The member swelled and became so p a i n f u l that i t was necessary to remove the unfortunate gentleman to St. Mary's Hos-p i t a l , where he i s l y i n g to-night i n a dangerous condition". (260) Apparently t h i s report was not e n t i r e l y correct. A few days l a t e r Captain G.C. Walker of the ship "Queen of the P a c i f i c " returned from San Francisco, and gave another story. He said he had seen Mr. Justice McCreight at Lick House, after his a r r i v a l there from V i c t o r i a . McCreight was suffering from a swelling i n his hand which had to be opened by a surgeon. He then f e l t the wound to be.better so l e f t o f f the bandages. As a r e s u l t , the wound got cold, and the-swelling extended and "he was reduced to a p i t i a b l e state of bodily and mental su f f e r i n g . " (261) It happened that Mr. Alex Dunsmuir was i n San Francisco, and when he heard of McCreight's distress he c a l l e d a doctor, and had the sufferer removed to hos p i t a l . Here: "Mr. McCreight's statement made somewhat incoherently i s to the effect that while examining a plant i n the garden of Lady Douglas some weeks ago, he was stung on the hand by an insect, the virus from which entered h i s system and now. threatens h i s l i f e . Mr. McCreight's mental condition i s also said to give his friends great anxiety and i t i s feared that he w i l l hardly l i v e to (260) Colonist, May 8, 1884. (261) Colonist, May 10, I884. 105. (262) return to the c i t y " . Whether the gravity of the i l l n e s s was exaggerated, or McCreight made a swift recovery i s not known, but the report of the following day i s almost an anti-climax: "Judge McCreight of V i c t o r i a , B.C. i s better and l e f t f or V i c t o r i a t h i s morning on the Portland Steamer". (263) Thus, he did l i v e to return to V i c t o r i a , and i t was not u n t i l twenty-nine years l a t e r , at the age of 36, that he died. The c i t y of V i c t o r i a , with i t s sta t e l y Parliament Buildings whose Archives house his picture, i s a reminder of McCreight and his work i n the government of the province. As a p o l i t i c a l f igure, he was not a success. It i s true that his posi t i o n as the f i r s t premier under the domination of Trutch was a d i f f i c u l t one, and that his setting up of necessary l e g i s l a t i o n was done e f f i c i e n t l y and with dignity. That he could not have continued to head the government was obvious. He cared l i t t l e f o r the people he represented, he was no part of the movement for responsible government. He was an i n d i v i d u a l i s t doing a necessary piece of s k i l l e d work. He never could have been and never wished to be representative and leader of his people. In his connections with the church, the same t r a i t was evident. He stood for a personal conviction of order and authority against a mass movement of the people. There i s a fe e l i n g that the same thing may have been true i n his masonic r e l a t i o n s . He was a man of authority and position, he gave orders well. He was not a (262) Loc. c i t . (263) Colonist, May 11, 1884-106. member of a group on equal terms with others. His whole background was too autocratic for that. On the Bench he found himself i n a much desired position. He could instruct others, and t h i s he proceeded to do, though with the dignity and perfect courtesy of the t r a d i t i o n a l a r i s t o c r a t . When opposition became too great or too vocal, he reacted unfavourably towards i t . A c e r t a i n querulousness was evident, apparent at the beginning of his j u d i c i a l career when he thought that he had been pushed into the background. ' He was a man s t r i v i n g for perfection, and sure that he could come closest to i t by his own means. In one sense he was an egoist, concentrating upon himself and his own powers. But he was quite sincere i n hi s b e l i e f that his a b i l i t y and knowledge were a great asset to the develop-ment of the law. As a student of the law he was at his best. His store of l e g a l knowledge was his greatest contribution to the l i f e of his times. The c i t y of New Westminster with i t s rambling Court House and sunny Law Library, containing his well-loved law books, i s a monument to what he wished so much to be - - a great j u r i s t . 0 "So that, whenever the history of these times s h a l l be written there w i l l be no greater honour or inducement that can be presented for the tra i n i n g and encouragement of thorough lawyers i n t h i s province, of the best s t y l e and class, than the honored and exalted name of John Foster McCreight". ( 2 6 4 . ) Add to t h i s the memory of a man of p r i n c i p l e , with the courage of his own hard-won convictions, a man who sought (264) Written at the time of his retirement —. Colonist, Nov. 19, 1897. 107. for perfection i n an imperfect world, and who found the nearest approach to i t i n the absolutism of the law. This completed the picture of that l i t t l e known but fascinating personality — John Foster McCreight. BIBLIOGRAPHY PRIMARY SOURCES I. Correspondence 1. Bailey, K.C., Registrar, T r i n i t y College, Dublin, January 25, 194°. Letter to me regarding presence of John Foster McCreight at T r i n i t y College, Dublin. 2. Crease, A.D., Treasurer, B.C. Law Society, V i c t o r i a , B.C., September 16, 194°' Letter to me describing McCreight who was a personal f r i e n d of the Crease family. His father S i r H.P.P. Crease was a l e g a l and j u d i c i a l contempory^fof McCreight. 3. Crossle, P.., Librarian, Grand Lodge of A.F. and A. Masons of Ireland, Freemasons' H a l l , Dublin,. C. 2. (1) A p r i l 18, 194-1- Letter to'"Dr. R.L. Reid regarding McCreight's family connections, references for which include Foster's Peerage, Dictionary of-National Biography,- L e s l i e "Armagh Clergy" (1911), Burke "Colonial Gentry" (1891). (2) October'25, 194-6- Letter to me regarding source of information on McCreight's l i f e i n Ireland. 'i 4. Edmonds, H.L., Senior Magistrate, Court House, New Westminster, B.C., September 9 and September 17, 1946. Letters to me regarding personal knowledge of McCreight , and d i s p o s i t i o n of McCreight's law l i b r a r y . Magistrate Edmonds practised as a lawyer before Justice McCreight. His father was a pioneer resident of New Westminster and active i n public a f f a i r s . 5. H i l l s , Reverend Charles T., Clergyman, Vancouver, November 20, 1946. Letter to me regarding the l a t e Bishop H i l l s from his grandson. 6. Ireland, Willard, P r o v i n c i a l L i b r a r i a n and A r c h i v i s t , V i c t o r i a , March 19, 1946, August 6, 1946, November 22, 1946. Letters to me quoting i n f u l l McCreight's application to the bar of B r i t i s h Columbia, and giving information obtained from records i n the Archives, and suggesting further material. 7. Jones, P h y l l i s Mander, Acting M i t c h e l l Li b r a r i a n , M i t c h e l l Library, Sydney, Au s t r a l i a , September 3, 1946, December 23, 194°. Letters to me quoting evidence of McCreight's l e g a l a c t i v i t i e s i n A u s t r a l i a . 8. Lamb, W. Kaye, Librarian, University of B.C., April 10, 1946. Letter to me giving information regarding McCreight obtained from the late Mr. Justice Archer Martin who insisted that the correct pronunciation of the name was McCrate (not McCrite.) 9. Lebourdais, Louis, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Quesnel, B.C., December 9, 194-6. Letter to Mrs. Long of Williams Lake regarding McCreight in the Cariboo. December 11, 194-6. Letter to me regarding judicial records at Richfield. Mr. Lebourdais has an extensive knowledge of early Cariboo history. 10. Long, Violet, Williams Lake, B.C., December 9, 194-6. Letter to me regarding local knowledge of McCreight during his stay in the Cariboo. Mrs. Long was formerly -on the staff of the Provincial Library in Edmonton, and has interviewed many old-timers in the vicinity of Williams Lake and 150 Mile House regarding McCreight. 11. Lund, T.C, Secretary, Law Society, Chancery Lane, London, October 25, 1946. Letter to me regarding legal status of McCreight. 12. McCallum, C.A., Acting Chief Librarian, Melbourne Public Library, Melbourne, Australia, August 2, 1946. Letter to me regarding record of McCreight — Australia. 13. McCreight, J.D., Metchosin, B.C., July 5, 1940, February 18, 194-1. Letters to Dr. R.L. Reid regarding his relationship with McCreight who was a cousin of his grandfather, and whom he visited in Victoria. 14. McPhillips, A. de B., Solicitor, Vancouver, February 28, 1941. Letter to Dr. R.L. Reid regarding his meeting in Rome with a Reverend Father O'Connor, P.S.M. who knew Reverend Dominic C r e s c i t e l l i , one of McCreight's executors. September 27, 194-6. Letter to me regarding the last days of McCreight. 15. Matthews, J.S., City Archivist, Vancouver, October 5, 1946, November 12, 1946. Letters to me regarding material and pictures on McCreight. 16. Menendez, L.A., District Registrar, Court House, New Westminster, B.C., September 17, 1946. Letter to me regarding McCreight's law books. 17. Meredith, Elmore, Publisher of the Advocate, Vancouver Bar Association, Vancouver, October 15, 1946. Letter to me regarding material on McCreight in Law Society "~ f i l e s . 3. 18. Moresby, William, Bencher of the Law Society of B.C., Victoria, B.C., October 22, 194°. Letter t o m e about his personal knowledge of McCreight for whom he worked when articled to a law firm in New Westminster i n the nineties. . His mother was a personal friend of McCreight and often went riding with him during the eighties in New Westminster. 19. Murphy, Hon. Denis, retired Judge, Vancouver, September 12, 194°. Letter to me containing personal memories of McCreight. Judge Murphy has written a series of articles for the B.C. Law Society on early judges of B.C. 20. O'Brien, CM., K.C, Vancouver, October 4, 1946. Letter to me regarding McCreight's career, accompanied by a memorandum containing a brief account of the chief events in his l i f e . 21. Pettit, Sidney, Assistant Professor of History, Victoria College, Victoria, B.C., October 10, 1946. Letter to me containing information on McCreight obtained from his study of Begbie, Chief Justice of B.C. during McCreight's judgeship (Begbie died 1894, McCreight retired 1897.) 22. Plaskett, Reverend Frank., retired Clergyman, New Westminster, B.C., December 5, 1946. Letter to me regarding Catholic churches in New Westminster and McCreight's religious a f f i l i a t i o n s . 23. Record Keeper, Principal Probate Registry, Llandudno, Wales, February 2, 1946. Letter to me regarding McCreight's Will. October, 1946. Photostat copy of McCreight's Will. 24- Slater, G. Hollis, 1024 Parington Street, Victoria, 1941. Several letters to Dr. R.L. Reid giving information on McCreight's Masonic connections and af f i l i a t i o n s with Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, the latter gained from a study of the church committee minute books. December 1, 1946, December 7, 1946. Letters to me containing extracts from the" Christ Church committee minute books regarding Bishop H i l l s and Dean Cridge, together with a tabulated history of chief events and people connected with the Anglican Church in Victoria from 183.6 to 1892. Mr. Slater is continuing the late Dr. Reid's work as Masonic historian. 25. Tobias, T.C, Under/Treasurer, Honourable Society of King's Inns, Dublin, January 24, 1946. Letter to the, _ Registrar of Trinity College, Dublin, regarding records 4-of McCreight's admission to the I r i s h Bar. November 15, 194°. Letter to me giving d e f i n i t e evidence of . McCreight's admission"to the I r i s h Bar. 26. White, C.G., D i s t r i c t Registrar, Court House, V i c t o r i a , B.C. October 9, 1946. Letter to me regarding McCreight's l e g a l career, together with a memorandum explaining the grades and duties of judges i n B.C. 27. Young, Cole, and Langdon, S o l i c i t o r s , Hastings, England, January 4, 1944* Letter to me i n regard to W i l l and Executors of McCreight. Other Records 1. McCreight Papers, AttorneyrGeneral's Correspondence 1872, Archives of B.C. It i s intere s t i n g to note the s t r i c t l y business s t y l e of these l e t t e r s as contrasted with a more f a m i l i a r s t y l e of the succeeding Attorney-General (Walkem). 2. Case Books of Judge McCreight, Archives of B.C., thi r t e e n of these containing records and notes of cases t r i e d 1880-1897 i n McCreight's own handwriting. 3. Last W i l l and Testament of John Foster McCreight, probated, Lewes, England, December 5, 1913. 4. Journal of the Leg i s l a t i v e Assembly of the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, V i c t o r i a , King's P r i n t e r , Volume 1, February 15 to A p r i l 22, 1872; Volume 2, December 17, 1872 to February 21, 1873; Volume 3, December 18, 1873 to March 2, 1873; Volume 4, M a r c h ! to A p r i l 22, 1875. These cover the period of McCreight's p o l i t i c a l career as Premier, Attorney-General and private member for V i c t o r i a . 5. Sessional Papers of the Leg i s l a t i v e Assembly of the Province of- B r i t i s h Columbia, V i c t o r i a , King's Printer 1872-1875, Records, l e t t e r s and s t a t i s t i c s covering McCreight's p o l i t i c a l career. 6. Directories: (a) F i r s t V i c t o r i a Directory, 1860. V i c t o r i a , E. Mallandaine, I860. No record of McCreight. ( 5. (b) B r i t i s h Columbian and V i c t o r i a Guide, 1863. V i c t o r i a , Howard and Barnett, 1863. No record of McCreight, but i n t e r e s t i n g d e t a i l on court cases of the time. (c) F i r s t V i c t o r i a Directory and B r i t i s h Columbia Guide, 1868, V i c t o r i a , E. Mallandaine, 1868. McCreight i s l i s t e d as barrister-at-law wich o f f i c e on Government Street and residence at James Bay. He i s also l i s t e d " I . ( s i c ) F. McCreight, W.M. V i c t o r i a Lodge number 783" under Masons. (d) B r i t i s h Columbia Directory, 1882, V i c t o r i a , R.T. Williams, 1882. McCreight i s l i s t e d as Supreme Court Judge, residence R i c h f i e l d . Father McGuickan i s l i s t e d as.missionary at 150 Mile House, attached to St. Peter's Church, New Westminster. 7. Gosnell, R.E., Year Book of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1911, V i c t o r i a , Authority of the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, 1911. L i s t s of administrations with dates. 8. Warden's Minute Books, Christ Church Cathedral, V i c t o r i a , 1869, 1870 to 1887. Extracts from these, p a r t i c u l a r l y 1874, were copied verbatim (with notes on handwriting) by G. H o l l i s Slater. Parts are written by McCreight, and there are frequent references to him. 9. Letters Patent of the Diocese of B r i t i s h Columbia and Trust Deeds r e l a t i n g to the Christ Church Trust, V i c t o r i a , B.C., 1859. A verbatim copy was sent to me by G. H o l l i s Slater, as background for the H i l l s , Cridge a f f a i r . I I I . Periodicals 1. B r i t i s h Colonist, V i c t o r i a , B.C. Volumes 2 to 7, June 1859 to June 1862. Daily B r i t i s h Colonist, 1870 to 1880,. 1885 to 1890. 2. B r i t i s h Columbian, New Westminster, B.C. Volumes 1 to 9, 1861 to 1869. 3. Daily Columbian, New Westminster, B.C. Volumes 10 to 23, 1891 to 1897. 6. 4» Inland Sentinel, Yale, B.C. Volumes 1 to 4, May 1880 to 1884. 5. Mainland Guardian, New Westminster, B.C. Volumes 22 to 32, 1880 to 1885. 6. Victoria Daily Colonist, November 19, 1897, appreciative ar t i c l e on McCreight. 7. Gosnell, R.E., Premier of Br i t i s h Columbia. Vancouver Daily Province, February 22, 1921. Shottf" history of McCreight — not very accurate. 8. Murphy, Honourable Denis, Judge of Ye Olden Times, The Advocate, Vancouver Bar Association, Vancouver, B.C. Volume 4> part 1, February, 194-6; part 2, April, 194-6; part 3, June, 194-6. These contain the history of Begbie, Crease, and McCreight, and a most useful table of a l l judges of early times in B.C. IV. Secondary Sources - Books - Pamphlets 1. Cleary, P.S., Australian Debt to Irish Nation-builders, Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1933. Contains a good account of McCreight Australian relations, especially Sir William Stawell who became Chief Justice of Victoria, Australia. 2. Cockburn, G.H., Essay on Source Material of B.C.'s Church History, Vancouver, -Anglican Theological College of the University of B.C., 1934-• A source book which I used for material on Bishop H i l l s and Dean Cridge. 3. Forde, .History of the Bar in Victoria. 4-. 'S©weiij'H;i:H. A memoir of Acton Windeyer S i l l i t o e , London, Longmans Green, 1899. A reference of Bishop Sillitoe»s v i s i t to McCreight i n the Cariboo. 5. Howay, F.W., Br i t i s h Columbia, the Making of a Province, Toronto, Ryerson, 1928. Background material on the government of Br i t i s h Columbia. 6. Howay, F.W. and Scholefield, F.S., B r i t i s h Columbia^ from Earliest Times, Montreal, S.J. Clark,. 1914. 7. Volume 2, "Bench and Bar". This chapter deals with part of McCreight's l e g a l h i s t o r y . 7. Morice, A.G., History of the Catholic Church i n Western Canada, Toronto, Musson, 1910. A record of the a c t i v i t i e s of Father McGuickan i n the Cariboo. 8. P e t t i t , S.G., Mathew B a i l l i e Begbie, Judge of Briti s h Columbia, 1858 to 1866. University of B.C., thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Arts, 1945. This excellent study of Begbie provided material on McCreight as a lawyer, and showed "the strong contrast between Begbie '-s attitude to the lav? and that of McCreight. 9. Reid, Rohie L., R.W. Brother John Foster McCreight, Proceedings of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge A.F. and A.M. of B r i t i s h Columbia, 70th Annual Communication, 1941, Vancouver, 1941* A most important a r t i c l e dealing with McCreight's l i f e , p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s Masonic career. Dr. Reid practised before McCreight i n the New Westminster Courts. 10. Sage, Walter N., John Foster McCreight, Ottawa, Royal Society of Canada, Section I I , Volume xxxiv, 1940. A study of the p o l i t i c a l career of McCreight, and the f i r s t study to throw any l i g h t on a l i t t l e known figure. 11. Turner, H.G., History of the Colony of V i c t o r i a , Longmans Green, 1904. Reference to the l e g a l and p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s of McCreight's cousins i n Aust r a l i a during the period i n which McCreight himself resided i n A u s t r a l i a . V. Interviews 1. B e l l , E.R., Notary Public, Ladner, B.C. December 10, 1946. Information on types of judges and courts helped to interpret t e c h n i c a l i t i e s of McCreight's cases. 2. Edmonds, H.L., Magistrate, New Westminster. September 28, 1946. Magistrate Edmonds knew McCreight personally, and not only gave me many glimpses of him, but also showed me his books, picture and chambers i n the New Westminster Court house. 8. 3. Gardiner, G., old-time resident of V i c t o r i a , December, 194-6' Mr. Gardiner remembered McCreight and gave personal anecdotes of him. if. Lamb, W.'Kaye, Librarian, University of B.C., "November, 194-5. Dr. Lamb, through his-association with New Westminster, and with Dr. Reid, was able to t e l l me many d e t a i l s of McCreight i n his l a t e r years. 5. Menendez, L., D i s t r i c t Registrar, New Westminster, September 21, 1946- Was well acquainted with McCreight's law l i b r a r y and discussed the annotations made by McCreight i n the law books. 6. Moresby, William,. K.C., V i c t o r i a , January 31, 1947-Mr. Moresby was born i n New Westminster and a r t i c l e d to a law firm there; knew Judge McCreight. His family were personal friends of the Judge. 7. Stride, Charles, old-time resident and photographer of New Westminster, January 1, 194? • Discussed pictures of the Court House and the judges who had served at New Westminster. 8. Sullivan, Judge Harry, Court House,' New Westminster, December 3, 194°. Judge Su l l i v a n now holds the position that Judge McCreight had i n New Westminster, and being of the same f a i t h , was able to throw some l i g h t on McCreight's adherence to Roman Catholicism. APPENDIX A - McCreight's Family McCreight's Father James McCreight (Walkinshaw Grove, County Armagh) Mary Chambers (Dublin) l Rev. James McCreight - Elizabeth Foster j John Foster McCreight L e t i t i a William Anna McCreight McCreight McCreight M.E.Jeffreys McCreight's Mother Anthony Foster (M.P. County Louth) Elizabeth Burgh (Dublin) John Foster (Last speaker of Irish Parliament) Wflliam Foster Margaret Foster (Bishop of Clogher) M. Henry Maxwell M. Catherine Leslie (Bishop of Meath) John Leslie Foster (M.P. County Louth) Vesey Fitzgerald Foster (Vesey Foster Fitzgerald Colonial Secretary, Victoria, Australia. Rev. Wm. Henry Foster Catherine Anna Henrietta Foster Poster Foster Elizabeth Foster L e t i t i a Foster Hon. William Sir Wm. William John Foster Foster Fane de Judge of Stawell Sails, Supreme Court, Chief Member of John  Foster  McCreight N.S.W. Australia. Justice Legislature, of N.S.W., Victoria, Australia. Australia. APPENDIX B Legal Training of McCreight. (1) University of Dublin Registrar's Office T r i n i t y College Dublin January 25, 1946-Dear Madam, I have made a l l the enquiries possible, and can f i n d no evidence that John Foster McCreight was ever a student at T r i n i t y College. I passed on the inquiry to the King's Inns and enclose t h e i r reply. Yours f a i t h f u l l y , K.C. Bailey Registrar. Miss P. Johnson, B.A. (2) The Honorable Society of King's Inns, Dublin 24/1/46. Dear S i r , In reply to your l e t t e r of Jan. 17 I can f i n d no trace i n our Records of any John Foster McCreight, either as student or Member of the Bar. Yours f a i t h f u l l y , T.C. Tobias, Under-Treasurer. K.C. Bailey Esq., F.T.C.D. (3) Letter of Nov. 15, 1946 contradicting these appears i n the text. APPENDIX C Mr. Justice Murphy i n a l e t t e r which he did not wish to be quoted wrote: "When a law student, I heard, that the Judge was married, but was separated from his wife who was i n the Old Country". September 12, 194-6. APPENDIX D Acts Passed by the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly during McCreight*s Premiership. The f o l l o w i n g were given assent i n Her Majesty's name on A p r i l 11, 1872:-1. An Act t o d e f i n e the P r i v i l e g e s , Immunities and Powers of the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly. 2. An Act t o e s t a b l i s h a Consolidated Revenue Fund f o r the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia. 3. An Act t o f u r t h e r amend the 'Road Ordinance 1869'. 4 . An Act to continue the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly of B r i t i s h Columbia i n case of Demise of the Crown. 5. An Act t o r e p e a l ' C i v i l L i s t Act 1871'. 6. An Act t o enable the Lieutenant-Governor t o appoint N o t a r i e s P u b l i c . 7. An Act t o amend the manner of t a k i n g the V e r d i c t of a Jury i n C i v i l Cases. 8. An Act t o provide f o r I n q u i r i e s concerning P u b l i c m a t e r i a l . 9. An Act t o enable the Lieutenant-Governor t o appoint J u s t i c e s of the Peace and Coroners. 10. An Act t o amend the 'Gold Mining Ordinance 1867'. 11. An Act regarding the C h i e f Commissioner of Lands. 12. An Act r e s p e c t i n g P u b l i c Schools. 13. An Act r e s p e c t i n g Breeding Stock. 14. An Act r e s p e c t i n g the s e c u r i t y t o be given by o f f i c i a l s . 15. An Act t o amend and e x p l a i n the 'Marriage Ordinance 1867'. 16. An Act t o amend the ' E l e c t i o n Regulations Act 1871'. 17. An Act t o make p r o v i s i o n f o r a b e t t e r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of J u s t i c e i n B r i t i s h Columbia. 18. An Act t o amend the 'Game Ordinance 1870'. 19. An Act t o make p r o v i s i o n f o r b e t t e r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of J u s t i c e i n B r i t i s h Columbia. 20. An Act t o remove doubts as t o the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia. 21. An Act r e s p e c t i n g r e g u l a t i o n of B i r t h s , Deaths and Marriages i n B r i t i s h Columbia. 22. An Act t o amend the schedule of the C o n s t i t u t i o n a l Act 1871. 23. An Act t o a l t e r and amend the course of descent of Real E s t a t e . 24.. An Act t o make p r o v i s i o n f o r a b e t t e r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of J u s t i c e i n B r i t i s h Columbia. 25. An Act t o a l t e r and amend the C o n s t i t u t i o n a l Act 1871. 26. An Act t o amend the Land Ordinance 1870. - 2 -27. An Act t o c a r r y i n t o e f f e c t the recommendations of the Commission on 'Tax Sale Repeal Ordinance (1867) Amendment A c t 1 , and t o give r e l i e f i n c e r t a i n cases. 28. An Act re s p e c t i n g Probate. 29. An Act re s p e c t i n g m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . 30. An Act t o make P r o v i s i o n f o r the r e g u l a t i o n i n B r i t i s h Columbia of c e r t a i n F o r e i g n Companies. The f o l l o w i n g were reserved u n t i l the pleasure of the Governor-General of Canada:-1. An Act t o amend 'Naval and M i l i t a r y Settlement Act 1863'. 2. An Act t o impose a W i l d Land Tax. 3. An Act t o amend ' Q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and R e g i s t r a t i o n of Voters Act 1871'. 4. An Act t o render l e g i t i m a t e , c h i l d r e n born out of l a w f u l wedlock, whose parents now are or may h e r e a f t e r , under c e r t a i n r e s t r i c t i o n s , be married. APPENDIX E - . L i s t of Judge McCreight's Books i n the Court House Library, New Westminster, B.C. Adolphus & E l l i s - Reports of cases 30 vols . (Jos. Needham, Temple, 1843 - above the name J.F. McCreight.) Atkyns - Reports 3 vols. Barnewall & Adolphus - Reports 5 vo l s . Barnewall & Alderson - Reports 5 vols. Barnewall & Cresswell - Reports 10 vols . B.C. Supreme Court Rules Bingham - New Cases 6 vo l s . Bingham - Reports 10 vols. Bright - Law of Husband and Wife Burrow - Reports 5 vols . Byles - B i l l s of Exchange Campbell - Reports 4 vo l s . Canada Supreme Court - Reports 25 v o l s . Canadian Law Journals 20 vols . Canadian Law Times 9 vo l s . Carver - Carriage of Goods by Sea Cases on the B.N.A. Act 2 vols. Chitty - Law of Contracts Chronological*Table of Statutes 3 vols . Clark - Colonial Law (D. Babbington Ring, The Temple - above the name of J.F. McCreight) Clerk & Lundsell - Law of Torts ("Our law of Torts has for i t s main purpose t h i s precept, 'Thou shalt do no hurt to thy neighbour"». - written on front page) Coke - Reports 4 vo l s . C o l l e c t i o n of Statutes Common Bench Reports 6 vols. Consolidated General Orders Crompton & J e r v i s - Reports 12 v o l s . De 6 e x , MacNaghten - Reports 8 v o l s . De 6 e x , Jones - Reports 12 v o l s . Dowling - Reports 18 v o l s . D r a f t of the Revised Statutes of Canada 2 v o l s . East - Reports 16 v o l s . E q u i t y - Leading Cases Exchequer - Reports 14 v o l s . Exchequer Court of Canada 3 v o l s . F i s h e r - Common Law Digest 5 v o l s . Forsythe - C o n s t i t u t i o n a l Law Gale - Law of Easements Grant - Chancery Reports 29 v o l s . Hare - Reports 17 v o l s . H a r r i s o n - Digest od Cases Hurlstone & Norman - Reports 7 v o l s . Hurlstone & Coltman - Reports 3 v o l s . Index of Cases Jacob - Reports 3 v o l s . Keen - Reports 2 v o l s . Law Journals 94 v o l s . Law Reports - i n sets 265 v o l s . Lushington - Admiralty Reports Manning - Reports MacNaghten - Reports MacNaghten - S e l e c t Cases Maule & Selwyn - Reports 6 v o l s . Maxwell - I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Statutes Meeson - Reports 16 v o l s . Mylne & C r a i g - Reports 7 v o l s . Mylne & Keen - Reports 3 v o l s . New - C r i m i n a l Law Ontario - Appeal Reports 9 v o l s . Ontario - Reports 26 v o l s . P h i l l i p s - Reports 2 v o l s . P r a c t i c e Reports 16 v o l s . Reports 16 v o l s . Revised Reports 26 v o l s . Robinson - Admiralty Reports 3 v o l s . R u s s e l l - Crimes R u s s e l l - Reports 5 v o l s . R u s s e l l & Mylne - Reports 2 v o l s . R u l i n g Cases 8 v o l s . Saunders - Reports 3 v o l s . (G. H. Cary above name of 1 J.F. McCreight) Scott - Common Law Simon - Reports 2 v o l s . Smith - Law of Landlord & Tenant Smith - Manual of Equity Statutes of B.C. 16 v o l s . Statutes of Canada 35 v o l s . - 4 -Story - Law of Agency Strange - Reports 2 v o l s . Swanston - Reports 3 v o l s . Swabey - Admiralty Reports Taunton - Reports 8 v o l s . Taylor - Evidence 2 v o l s . T a y l o r - Mediaeval Jurisprudence Upper Canada - Appeal Reports 6 v o l s . Upper Canada - E r r o r & Appeal 3 v o l s . Upper Canada - Common Pleas 16 v o l s . Upper Canada - Queen's Bench Reports 20 v o l s . Vesey -r Reports 22 v o l s . W i l l i a m s - Executors 2 v o l s . W i l l i a m s - Reports 3 v o l s . W i l l s - C i r c u m s t a n t i a l Evidence Wilson - J u d i c a t u r e Act (given by A.E.B. Davie t o J.F.M.) Wotherspoon - Province of Quebec Miscellaneous 50 v o l s . T o t a l 1023 volumes. 

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