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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor



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James Irvine

IRVINE, James, Canadian statesman, born in England, 3 January, 1766; died in Quebec, 27 September, 1829. He was the son of Adam Irvine, who emigrated from Scotland to Canada soon after the conquest. James was a member of the firm of Irvine, McNaught and Co., merchants of Quebec. While on his way to England in 1797 he was captured by the French, and was held as a prisoner of war until 13 September, 1798. He was appointed in 1805, by letters patent, a warden of the Trinity house, and was a member of the legislative council, and of the executive council of Lower Canada. In 1822 he was commissioned president of the court of appeal of the executive council, during the absence of the chief justices of Montreal and Quebec, and in 1824 he was appointed arbitrator for Lower Canada, to adjust the duties between that province and Upper Canada. He served in the militia of the province, was on duty with his regiment in the war of 1812, and retired with the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1822.--James's son, John George, Canadian soldier, born in Quebec, 31 December, 1802; died there, 1 November, 1871, passed his early life in business in Quebec. In 1837 at the beginning of the rebellion in Canada he was appointed a captain in the Royal Quebec volunteers; in 1838 was gazetted a lieutenant-colonel and deputy quartermaster-general; in November, 1851, provincial aide-de-camp to the governor-general, and principal aide-de-camp 2 October, 1868. He was acting adjutant-general to attend on the Prince of Wales during his visit to Canada in 1860.--John George's son, George, statesman, born in Quebec, 16 November, 1826, was educated in a private school in Quebec, and admitted to the bar of Lower Canada in 1848. He became a queen's counsel in 1867, and represented Megantic in the Canada assembly from 1863 till the union, when he was returned to the Dominion parliament, and continued to represent that county till the general election of 1872, when he declined re-election. He represented the same constituency in the legislative assembly of Quebec from the union till 1875, when he was "defeated, bat was re-elected in 1878. He was a member of the executive council of Quebec in 1867, was solicitor-general from that date until 1873, and attorney-general in 1873-'5. He has been professor of common law in Morrin college, Quebec, director of the Union bank of Lower Canada, government director of the North Shore railway, chancellor of Lennoxville university in 1875-'8, and was appointed judge of the vice-admiralty court of Quebec in 1884.--Another son, Matthew Bell, Canadian soldier, born in Quebec, 7 January, 1832. He was educated in Quebec high school, and joined the commissariat department of the British army in 1848. He served in western Australia, Turkey and the Crimea, the West Indies, Spain, and on the Red river expedition, and for his distinguished services in the Ashantee war was awarded a medal and clasp. He was appointed deputy adjutant commissary-general in 1854, assistant commissary-general in 1865, assistant comptroller in 1870, deputy comptroller in 1873, deputy commissary-general in 1875, and was retired with the honorary rank of commissary-general on 1 April, 1881. He became a companion of the orders of St. Michael and St. George in 1870, was made a companion of the bath for the Ashantee campaign in 1874, and elected a member of the Protestant board of school-commissioners of Quebec in 1885.--Another son, Acheson Gosford, Canadian soldier, born in Quebec in 1837, became major in the Quebec rifles, served in the Red river expeditionary force in 1870, was promoted lieutenant-colonel in 1872, and was subsequently in command of a provincial battalion of infantry on service in Manitoba. He became assistant commissioner of northwest mounted police in 1876, was commissioner in 1880-'6, a member of the executive council of the Northwest territory in 1882-'6, and served during the rebellion of 1885.

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