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Friday, August 26, 2011

A Closer Look 9 - John Foster McCreight

This photo was originally identified as Matthew Baillie Begbie in error. Visitor Stephen Aberle pointed out that it didn't look like Begbie so I checked around and discovered that it appears to be a photo of John Foster McCreight, the first Premier of British Columbia. Sorry for the misleading information.

This text is the original post: Matthew Baillie Begbie (later Sir Matthew) was sworn in as Chief Justice at the same time (1858) as James Douglas was sworn in as governor of the Colony of British Columbia for the same reason - to establish British sovereignty and rule of law in the colony, especially in the previously lawless area of the Cariboo Gold Rush. Baillie was very much a renaissance man. In addition to his work as a judge, he drafted laws and had numerous other activities. He was an avid naturalist and opera singer and spoke several of the languages of the Native Peoples well enough to conduct trials in them without the use of an interpreter. He was popular and respected and must have been a very interesting man. You can find out more about him by clicking HERE and HERE.

5 comments:

JoJo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoJo said...

Nice wig though. lol

Stephen Aberle said...

What is the source of this photograph? I don't think it's Begbie. Sure doesn't look like any of his other photos.

Benjamin Madison said...

Hi Stephen - I took this photo in the Legislative Assembly Building. The original is hanging on a wall in a hallway there. You're right - it's not Begbie, it's John Foster McCreight, BC's first Premier. I suspect the mis-identification is a simple mistake on my part but it is also possible the photo itself was mislabeled - I'll check next time I'm near the Legislature. In the meantime, thanks for noticing this and commenting.

Stephen Aberle said...

Thanks, Benjamin! I think it's cool that you dug up stuff about Begbie -- and about McCreight and early politics in BC in general. I've been interested in Begbie's character and history for decades, since I served (theatrically) in the '80s of the last century as his assistant in a historical presentation at the Richfield Courthouse near Barkerville, whither he travelled frequently during his circuit court days.