William Dummer Powell
“The first professionally trained lawyer appointed a judge in what is now Ontario, Powell was born in Boston and educated abroad. He opened a legal practice in Montreal in 1779 and quickly gained a reputation as a brilliant advocate able to conduct cases in French and English. Powell was appointed sole presiding judge of the Court of Common Pleas here in the District of Hesse in 1789. When the district courts were abolished five years later, he was instrumental in establishing the province’s Court of King’s Bench. Steadfast in his adherence to the principles of English Common Law, Powell resisted political pressure throughout his career. In 1816 he was appointed Chief Justice of Upper Canada.”
Ontario Heritage Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.