Growing Strong: A Celebration of Black Excellence
A composite of all Black alumni of Osgoode Hall Law School from 1900-2015, created for the Black Law Students' Association's (BLSA) Black History Month 2016 celebrations. Every effort has been made to include those alumni who self-identify as Black. If we have included or excluded someone in error please contact the Osgoode Alumni Office at 416-736-5638.
Abbott, John Caldwell (1821-1893)
Crest. 8.8 x 6.2 cm. Gagnon Supp.2649. Harrod & Ayearst, p. 18; Masson Coll. Vol. I, #3.
Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott Abbott was widely viewed as the most successful lawyer in Canada for many years, as measured by professional income (and when St James Street in Montreal had not yet been surpassed by Toronto’s Bay Street). He began lecturing in commercial and criminal law at McGill in 1853, and in 1855 he became a professor and dean of its Faculty of Law, where Sir Wilfrid Laurier, future prime minister of Canada, was among his students. He continued in this position until 1880. Upon his retirement, McGill named him emeritus professor, and in 1881 appointed him to its Board of Governors. Abbott succeeded Sir John A MacDonald as Prime Minister of Canada on MacDonald’s death in office in 1891, but held the office for only a year due to his ill health. He was our fist Canada-born prime minister. The plate was engraved by Francis Adams, Montreal engraver and lithographer, active from 1853-57. [Motto: Devant si je puis, or Forward if I can].
Ardagh, (John Anderson) (1837-ca. 1900)
Armorial. 11.2 x 7 cm. Not in Harrod & Ayearst; Masson Collection Vol. I, #58.
J.A. Ardagh became a judge in Simcoe County in 1872. He wrote The Voters' lists act, with notes together with some remarks upon the Voters' lists finality act / by the Junior judge of the county of Simcoe, Barrie, 1878.
Aylwin, Thomas C. (1806-71)
Armorial. 10.8 x 7.8 cm. Gagnon I, 4755; Harrod & Ayearst, p. 22; not in Masson Collection. 8 cm. tear at top not affecting image; the “C” was added in by hand.
Thomas Cushing Aylwin was born in Quebec City. He was called to the bar in 1827 and spent most of the next twenty years in politics achieving the post of solicitor-general for Lower Canada in the Lafontaine- Baldwin governments in 1842 and 1848. He was appointed a puisne judge in the Court of Queen’s Bench in 1848 and remained with this post until 1868 when he retired due to his failing health. (Wallace)At the time of his death he owned about 50 books in his library. This is the same bookplate used by his grandfather, Thomas Aylwin, 1729-91, and as the strike appears equal in strength it is not a later strike, but rather one of the leftovers from his grandfather. It is therefore an eighteenth century plate for a nineteenth century collector. Gagnon has erroneously transcribed the motto on the bookplate as JE N'OUBLIERAI PAS in lieu of the actual one, JE N’OUBLIERAI JAMAIS (I won’t forget, as opposed to I’ll never forget). H. & A. have repeated the mistake. He has merely added a manuscript C between THOS. & AYLWIN.
Baldwin, (Dr. William Warren) (1775-1844)
Armorial. 11.6 x 7.2 cm. Gagnon I, 4759; Harrod & Ayearst, pp. 22 & 23; Masson Collection Vol. II, #229.
According to Harrod & Ayearst, this bookplate refers to the father of Robert Baldwin. He arrived in Upper Canada from Ireland in 1799, settling first in Durham County, where he was appointed a lieutenant-colonel in the Durham militia and a justice of the peace before the family resettled in York (not Toronto). He was called to the Bar in 1803 and appointed a district court judge in 1809. He became a bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1807 and served several terms as Treasurer. He was elected MP for Norfolk in 1838. His home in York (Toronto) was called Spadina House from the Indian word spadina, which means a sudden rise of ground such as that upon which the house was built. [Motto: Nec timide nec temere, or Neither rashly nor timidly].
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