The Honorable George William Burton, the senior Justice of Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal for the Province of Ontario, is a native of Sandwich, in the County of Kent, England, where he was born on the 21st of July, 1818, being the second son of the late .Admiral George Guy Burton, R. N., of Chatham, Kent, England.
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He was educated at Rochester, in his native shire, under the late Dr. Whiston, the able author of a work on Cathedral Trusts and their fulfillment, which resulted after many years of litigation in the removal of the abuses which he so ably exposed.
Our subject came to this country in 1837, and at once began the study of law under the late Mr. Edmund Burton, then practicing at Ingersoll, in the County of Oxford, Upper Canada. He was called to the Bar in 1841, and began the practice of his profession at the City of Hamilton, then a small town at the head of Lake Ontario, where he continued until his appointment to the Bench; having built up one of the most successful practices west of Toronto, then and now the capital and the seat of law and learning.
He was created a Queen’s Counsel about the year 1862, and was nominated as a Bencher of the Law Society from about the year 1856, and was re-elected when that body became elective by the profession in 1871. His legal ability received further recognition by his appointment as Judge of the Appeal Court, upon its constitution in 1874, with the late Hon. W. H. Draper, C.B., as Chief Justice, since which time his residence has been at Oak Lodge Toronto.
During his professional career Judge Burton had great experience as a railway lawyer, and was engaged as Counsel in a number of important railway cases affecting the interests of the city of Hamilton; and was also City Solicitor for that city for a quarter of a century, and legal adviser to the Canada Life Assurance Company, one of the most successful Life Companies on this Continent, for about the same period. Shortly after his elevation to the Bench, that Company paid him the compliment of electing him as a Director.
He was always a most pronounced Reformer, with liberal views in both politics and religion.
The Hon. Justice was married on the 9th of June, 1850, to Elizabeth, daughter of the late Dr. Perkins, of Kingston, Jamaica, and niece and adopted daughter of the late Col. Charles
Cranston Dixon, of the 90th Regt.