Biography of Byron M. Britton, M.A. Q.C.
Byron M. Britton, one of the leading barristers in the eastern part of the Province of Ontario, is a son of Daniel and Nancy (Moffatt) Britton, and was born at Gananoque, County of Leeds, September 3, 1833. His father, a merchant in that place, was born in New Hampshire, as was likewise his grandfather. His mother was a native of the State of New York.
Byron was educated at Victoria College, Cobourg, where he was graduated in 1856. He read law at first with Hon. P. M. VanKoughnet of Toronto, afterwards Chancellor, and finished at Belleville; was called to the Bar in September, 1859, and on the first of December of that year opened an office in Kingston, where he has been in steady practice for twenty years, his business having become years ago, quite extensive. He practices in all the courts of the Province and in the Supreme Court of the Dominion, and possesses in rare combination, those qualities requisite for a first class solicitor and counsela fine mind, an acute perception, strong nervous temperament, thorough acquaintance with law and general literature, great energy and wonderful industry. As a speaker he is fluent, and strikes one most by an earnest interest in his client’s welfare. His strength in this respect might be said to be almost his only weakness, his earnestness and nervousness sometimes producing irritability of temper. When called to the Bar he almost immediately took a front position, and may be ranked as one of the soundest lawyers, and most successful counsel in Canada.
Mr. Britton was created Queen’s Counsel in 1875; and was elected a Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario the same year, and reelected in 1877.
He was Chairman of the School Board of Kingston, for some years; a little later represented Sydenham Ward in the City Council, a few terms, and was Mayor in 1876. He is a Director of the Ontario Loan and Savings Society; he is thoroughly identified with the general interests of the city.
In politics Mr. Britton is a Liberal, firm, unwavering, and has much influence with the party. He is an adherent of the Methodist Church of Canada, and a Trustee of one of the local bodies of that denomination, bearing a high moral, as well as professional character.
The wife of Mr. Britton was Miss Mary Holton, daughter of the late Hon. L. H. Holton, MP., Montreal. They were united in marriage, December 22, 1863, and have eight children.