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Robert Armour, Registrar of the West Riding of Durham, is a native of Donne, Perth. shire, Scotland, dating his birth March 10, 1818, his parents being Samuel and Margaret (Douglas) Armour. The Armours were Huguenots, driven from France in the times of Catholic persecution. His mother’s branch of the Douglas family descended in a direct line from “Black Douglas,” who figures conspicuously in Scottish history.
In 1820, the father of our. subject, with his family, emigrated to Canada in company with the father of Sir John Alexander Macdonald, and one or two other families from the same part of Scotland, and succeeded the late Bishop Strachan as teacher of the district school at York, or Toronto. He was a Church of England clergyman; in 1826 removed to Peterborough, and for seven years served there as a church missionary; in 1833 removed to the township of Cavan,county of Durham, and there preached until his death, in 1853. He was a self denying, hard working man, toiling in a new country to build up the Redeemer’s kingdom, and during his faithful labors in the parishes mentioned above, established two or three churches. Among his children still living, are John Douglas Armour, of the Queen’s Bench, and the subject of this sketch.
Robert finished his education as a private pupil of the Rev. Dr. Bethune, of Cobourg, late bishop of Toronto: studied law a while in Cobourg; finished in Toronto, with Hon. Henry Sherwood, late Attorney General of the Province; was sworn in as an attorney-at-law in 1840, and after practicing a few years in Cobourg and Port Hope, settled in Bowmanville, 1851, being called to the Bar at Michaelmas term, 1847. He is still in practice here. On the 2nd of December, 1859; he was appointed registrar, a life office which he is filling to the satisfaction of the public. He is also returning officer of elections. For a number of years he was a commissioner of the Lunatic Asylum at Toronto.
In 1837, on the breaking out of the rebellion, he volunteered as a private in a Cobourg company, and in January, 1838, aided in cutting out the steamer “Caroline,” and sending her a blaze over the Falls of Niagara.
Mr. Armour is a member of Jerusalem lodge of Free Masons, Bowmanville, and has been warden of St. John’s Church, of this place, and a delegate to the Synod.
May 8, 1848, Marianne, daughter of Rev. Mr. Burton, formerly of Lower Canada, was married to Mr. Armour, and they have six children living, and have buried two.