Charles Dewey Day

Charles Dewey Day
Born May 6, 1806(1806-05-06)
Bennington, Vermont
Died January 31, 1884(1884-01-31) (aged 77)
While visiting England

Charles Dewey Day, QC (May 6, 1806 – January 31, 1884) was a lawyer, judge and political figure in Canada East.

He was born in Bennington, Vermont in 1806 and came to Montreal in Lower Canada with his family in 1812. The family moved again to Hull in 1828. Charles studied in Montreal, articled in law and was called to the bar in 1827. He practiced mainly in the Ottawa valley and represented lumber merchants such as the Wright family. In 1838, he was named Queen's Counsel.

He spoke publicly against Papineau's Ninety-Two Resolutions in 1834. In 1840, he was appointed solicitor general in the Special Council that administered Lower Canada up until the union of the two Canadas in 1841. In 1841, he was elected to represent Ottawa County in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. During his time in the assembly, he worked to improve education in the province. He was named solicitor general in the Executive Council for the province; Robert Baldwin and other Reformers opposed Day's appointment. In 1842, he resigned to accept an appointment to the Court of Queen's Bench. In 1850, he was appointed to the Superior Court.

From 1852 to 1884, he served as president of the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning in the province. From 1859 to 1865, he helped develop the civil code for Lower Canada. From 1864 to 1884, he served as chancellor of McGill University and helped establish the faculty of law there. In 1868, he represented Quebec when the assets and liabilities of Upper and Lower Canada were divided after Confederation. In 1873, he investigated charges of corruption against the government in the Pacific Scandal.

He died during a visit to England in 1884.


Academic offices
Preceded by
Edmund Allen Meredith
Principal (pro tempore) of McGill University
Succeeded by
John William Dawson
Preceded by
New position
Chancellor of McGill University
Succeeded by
James Ferrier

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