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Canadian History
Hon. Thomas Galt


Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Ontario, Toronto, was born at London, England, on the 12th August, 1815. He is a son of John Galt, a name well known in permanent literature, he being the author of "Laurie Todd," "The Entail," "Sir Andrew Wylie," "The Annals of the Parish," and other works of wide popularity and conspicuous literary merit. The Galt family is an ancient one, and is prominent in Scottish annals. John Galt married Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Tilloch, a prominent citizen of Ayrshire. There were born to this union John Thomas (now Sir), one of the foremost of our political figures, and late high commissioner of Canada at the Court of St. James. The elder brother, John, was registrar for the County of Huron, and died in 1866. He was a man of sterling as well as genial qualities, and widely known and beloved. Thomas Galt was educated in England and Scotland, and in his eighteenth year emigrated to Canada, settling in Toronto. Here he entered into the employ of the Canada Company, remaining in their office for a period of six years. He had by this time come to feel a distaste fro commercial life, and an inclination for law. He became a student in the office of the late Chief Justice Draper; was called to the bar of Upper Canada in Easter term, 1845, and entered immediately upon the practice of his profession. From the very outset the young barrister gave evidence of more than the common share of ability; and for a quarter of a century his position among the members of the legal fraternity was a conspicuous and a commanding one. But his chief strength lay in his wide knowledge of criminal law, and the vigour and clearness which characterized his method of presenting cases. Very naturally his services were in wide demand, and he conducted with unvarying ability some of the most noted cases in the criminal calendar. He was likewise entrusted with the solicitorship of various railways, insurance companies, and other important corporations. In 1858 Mr. Galt as created a Queen's counsel; and in Easter term, 1869, his professional attainments received a fuller recognition by his elevation to the bench as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. A man so distinguished at the bar could not fail to give lustre to the bench; and Mr. Justice Galt has proven one of the most capable and esteemed judges known to our Canadian courts. The judge is a member of the Church of England, and is a constant attendant at the services in St. James Cathedral. He married, in October, 1847, Frances Louisa, daughter of James' Marshall Perkins. By this union there are nine surviving children, five sons and four daughters.


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