Charles James Townshend

Sir Charles James Townshend (22 March 1844 – 16 June 1924) was renowned Canadian judge and politician.

Life and work

He was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, son of the Rev. Canon Townshend, rector of Amherst, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of the late honourable Alexander Stewart, C.B., formerly master of the Rolls of the Province of Nova Scotia and judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court. Canon Townshend was the son of the late Honourable William Townshend of Wrexham, England. The family were descended from the Townshends of Norfolk, England.

Charles James Townshend was educated at the Collegiate school, Windsor, Nova Scotia, and subsequently at the University of King's College, Windsor, where he graduated with high honours in 1862. His chief studies were classics, mathematics, and French and German. He took the degree of B.A in 1863, and B.C.L.. in 1872.

In the old Nova Scotia militia, he was gazetted captain 1st Cumberland Regiment in 1863, and the next year was appointed adjutant to the same regiment. He continued an active officer until the change made after Confederation reorganizing the whole system, when he retired from further connection with the service.

Townshend was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in April, 1866. He studied law in the office of the Honourable Senator Robert B. Dickey at Amherst. Shortly after Townshend had been admitted to the bar, Senator Dickey retired from practice, and he succeeded to a large and lucrative business. He was a leading counsel in the province for many years, and was engaged in all important cases in Cumberland and in some of the adjoining counties.

In 1881, he was appointed by the Dominion government a Queen's Counsel. In 1874, he was nominated by the Liberal-Conservative convention as local candidate for the County of Cumberland. He contested the seat and was defeated by a small majority, owing to an unfortunate split in the Conservative ranks which resulted in three Conservative candidates taking the field. In 1878, he again contested the county for the local seat in conjunction with Sir Charles Tupper, who ran at the same time for the House of Commons, and with him was returned by a majority of nearly 600. The result of the general elections was to defeat the existing administration in Nova Scotia.

On the formation of a Conservative government under Hon. Simon Hugh Holmes, Charles Townshend was made a minister without portfolio. He remained in the government for four years, when, on Mr Holmes' resignation, he was again made a member of the new government, under the Hon. John Sparrow David Thompson, minister of justice. At the general election in 1882, he was again elected for the County of Cumberland. However, the government was defeated and he resigned office along with his colleagues in July, 1882. Townshend was one of the leading speakers in opposition to the policy of the new government formed by William Thomas Pipes. On the resignation of Sir Charles Tupper of his seat in the House of Commons in May 1884, Townshend was almost unanimously nominated by the Liberal-Conservatives as their candidate for the Dominion. Subsequently, on June 26, 1884, having resigned his seat in the local House, he was elected to the House of Commons by acclamation. On January 29, 1885, he seconded the Address in answer to the Speech from the Throne, and was complimented by both Sir John A. Macdonald and Mr Blake. During the session he spoke on the Franchise bill, taking strong ground against extending the franchise to women, and moved the amendment striking that clause out of the bill, which was carried after a long debate.

He is director of, and solicitor for, the Amherst Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Company, of which he was one of the founders. This business, it may be added, was one of the most successful commercial enterprises in the Maritime provinces. He was solicitor for the Cumberland Coal and Railway Company, the largest colliery in Nova Scotia; and was also solicitor for the Bank of Nova Scotia at Amherst. Mr Townshend admitted J. Medley Townshend, his brother, and Arthur R. Dickey, son of Senator Dickey, into partnership with him in 1878. He was a member of the Masonic order, and of the Grand lodge of Nova Scotia, and was district deputy grand master, and master of Acacia lodge.

In 1875 and 1876, he travelled through Great Britain and visited the principal cities of Europe and the United States. In 1885, he went across the continent to British Columbia.

In church matters, Mr. Townshend was an adherent of the Anglican Church of Canada and was appointed delegate both to the diocesan and provincial synods. He married in April, 1867, Laura, fourth daughter of John D. Kinnear, judge of Probate for the County of Cumberland. His wife died on the 17th March, 1884. In 1887 he married again to Lady Margaret MacFarlane. He resided at Amherst except when absent attending sessions of the legislature, or travelling.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Charles James Fox — The Right Honourable Charles James Fox Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs In office 27 March 1782 – 5 July …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Townshend (disambiguation) — Charles Townshend may refer to: Charles Townshend (1725 1767), Rt. Hon., former Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Fox Townshend (1795 1817), founder of the Eton Society Charles Townshend, 3rd Viscount Townshend (1700–1764), father of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend — Charles Townshend Charles, Viscount Townshend, after Kneller c.1715 20. Dressed in Garter robes. National Portrait Gallery NPG 1755 …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Fox — may refer to: Charles Fox (mathematician) (1897 1977) Mathematician Charles Douglas Fox (1840–1921), British civil engineer Charles James Fox (1749–1806), British politician Charles Fox (composer) (born 1940), film and television composer Charles …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Townshend, 8th Marquess Townshend — The Most Honourable The Marquess Townshend Arms of the Marquesses Townshend Born Charles George Townshend 26 September 1945(1945 09 26) …   Wikipedia

  • Charles — /chahrlz/, n. 1. (Prince of Edinburgh and of Wales) born 1948, heir apparent to the throne of Great Britain (son of Elizabeth II). 2. Ray (Ray Charles Robinson), born 1930, U.S. blues singer and pianist. 3. Cape, a cape in E Virginia, N of the… …   Universalium

  • Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey — The Right Honourable The Earl Grey KG PC Prime Minister of the United Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Townshend, 2. Viscount Townshend — PC (* 18. April 1674 in Raynham Hall, Norfolk; † 21. Juni 1738 in Paris) war ein britischer Politiker der Whig Partei. Er war Secretary of State und leitete ein Jahrzehnt die britische Außenpolitik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Charles Townshend, deuxième vicomte de Townshend — Charles Townshend Charles Townshend (18 avril 1674 – 21 juin 1738), 2e vicomte Townshend, fut un homme d État anglais. Charles Townshend Il était le f …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charles Townshend — (18 avril 1674 – 21 juin 1738), 2e vicomte Townshend, fut un homme d État anglais. Charles Townshend Il était le fils aîné de Sir Horatio Townshend, baronet de Townshend (vers 1630 …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.