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The Right Honourable
 Sir William Johnstone Ritchie 
Kt.


In office
January 11, 1879 – September 25, 1892
Appointed by John A. Macdonald
Preceded by William Buell Richards
Succeeded by Samuel Henry Strong

In office
September 30, 1875 – January 11, 1879
Appointed by Alexander Mackenzie
Preceded by None
Succeeded by John Gwynne

Born October 28, 1813(1813-10-28)
Annapolis, Nova Scotia
Died September 25, 1892 (aged 78)
Ottawa, Ontario
Spouse(s) Martha Strang
Grace Vernon Nicholson
Religion Anglican

Sir William Johnstone Ritchie (October 28, 1813 – September 25, 1892) was one of the first judges appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada and became the second Chief Justice of the court.

Ritchie was born in Annapolis, Nova Scotia to Thomas Ritchie and Elizabeth Wildman Johnstone. He graduated from the Pictou Academy and went to study law in Halifax in the office of his brother, John William Ritchie. He was called to the bar of Nova Scotia in 1837 but moved to Saint John, New Brunswick, and was called to the bar of that province the following year.

In 1846 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. In keeping with his pledge to resign if a fellow Liberal candidate failed to win a by-election, he gave up his seat in 1851, only to be re-elected three years later. In 1855 he left politics to accept an appointment to the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, and 10 years later he was named Chief Justice of New Brunswick. He was appointed to the newly established Supreme Court of Canada on September 30, 1875 and became its chief justice on January 11, 1879. He served on the Supreme Court for 17 years until he died on September 25, 1892.

Ritchie was twice married. He first married at Rothesay, Scotland on September 21, 1843 Martha Strang. She was the daughter of John Strang, a shipping merchant from St. Andrews. Martha Ritchie died in 1847. A son and a daughter where born to this marriage. Ritchie married secondly at Saint John, New Brunswick on May 5, 1856 Grace Vernon Nicholson (1838- 1911). She was the daughter of the late Captain Thomas L. Nicholson and his wife Amy (née Vernon) and stepdaughter of Vice-Admiral William Fitzwilliam Owen, R.N. Seven sons and five daughters where born to this marriage.

Sources

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert Parker
Chief Justice of New Brunswick
1865-1875
Succeeded by
John C. Allen



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