Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BETHUNE, James, Canadian lawyer, born in Glengarry, Ontario, 7 July 1840; died 18 December 1884. He was descended from two old Scottish families, and was the great-grandson of Angus Bethune, a loyalist, who removed from the United States and settled in Glengarry in 1778. James Bethune entered Queen's College, Kingston, and, after a two years' course there, attended University College, Toronto, where he was graduated in 1861. Concurrently with his University pursuits, he studied law, first in Cornwall and afterward in the office of Edward Blake, Toronto, and was called to the bar of Upper Canada in 1862; and to the bar of Quebec in 1869. He began practice at Cornwall, and in 1872 was elected to represent the county of Stormont in the legislature of Ontario; was reelected at the general elections of 1875, and represented this constituency until June 1879, when he declined to become a candidate. In November 1870, he removed to Toronto, and, in conjunction with Edward Blake, S. H. Blake, and J. K. Kerr, established the firm of Blake, Kerr & Bethune. Subsequently he joined Messrs. F. Osier and Charles Moss, and formed the firm of Bethune, Osler & Moss. On the elevation of Mr. Osier to the bench, the firm was known as Bethune, Moss, Falconbridge & Hayles, and as such became one of the most successful legal firms in Canada. Mr. Bethune was elected a bencher of the law society of Ontario in 1875, and was for some years lecturer for that body.
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