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Biography of Hon. Thomas Galt

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The subject of this sketch, a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Ontario, is worthy a place in these annals, aside from his distinction as an eminent Judge, as an old settler in Toronto, having resided there continuously since 1833. He is a native of London, England, and was born August 12th, 1815. He is descended from an old Scotch family, and some of his ancestors were well known men of eminence in their day. His father was John Galt, Esq., whose name many will recognize as that of a well known and popular novelist. Some of his best known works were: “The Entail,” “Laurie Todd,” “Sir Andrew Wylie,” ” The Annals of the Parish.”

John Galt had married Elizabeth Tilloch, daughter of Alexander Tilloch, a prominent man of Ayrshire, and they became the parents of John Galt, Thomas Galt, and Alexander Tilloch Galt. The eldest son, John, for many years prior to his death, in 1866, was Registrar for the county of Huron, and was widely known and respected as a sterling man, and a genial companion. Alexander, the youngest son, now Sir Alexander Galt, G. C. M. G., has for many years been one of Canada’s leading public men, more particularly distinguished for the marked ability which he has displayed as Finance Minister, Thomas Galt spent his early life and received his school education in England and Scotland; in his eighteenth year he emigrated to Canada, and settled in Toronto, when he entered the employ of the Canada Company; remained in their office about six years, at the end of which time he became a student at law with the late Hon. Chief Justice Draper; was called to the Bar U. C. Easter Term, 1845, and immediately entered upon the practice of his profession. For nearly a quarter of a century he occupied a prominent position at the Bar, and from an early period in his professional career, was entrusted with the solicitorship of various railways, insurance companies, &c. As a criminal lawyer, he stood in the front rank, having been engaged in very many of the most celebrated cases during his practice at the Bar.

In 1858 he was made a Queen’s Counsel, and in Easter Term, 1869, his distinguished abilities were further recognized by his elevation to the Bench as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Ontario. That his appointment was a judicious one, has been fully verified by the experience of the ten years which have intervened since then. Judge Galt belongs to the Church of England, and is a constant attendant at the services in St. James’ Cathedral. He was married in October, 1847, to Frances Louisa, daughter of James Marshall Perkins, and from this union there are nine surviving children, five sons and four daughters.

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