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Joseph Curran Morrison

MORRISON, Joseph Curran, Canadian jurist, born in the north of Ireland, 20 August, 1816; died in Toronto, 6 December, 1885. He was the eldest son of Hugh Morrison, of the 42d Highlanders, and was educated at the Royal Belfast institution, and at Upper Canada college, Toronto. He studied law, was called to the bar in 1839, and entered into a partnership with William Hume Blake. In May, 1843, he became deputy clerk of the executive council of Canada, which post he resigned in 1847, and was elected to the Canada assembly for West York. In 1851 he was defeated for this constituency, but he was elected for Niagara in 1852, and in 1853-'4 held office in the Hincks-Morrin administration as solicitor-general for Upper Canada. In April, 1856, he became a member of the executive council, and in May receiver-general in the Tache-Macdonald administration, and also a member of the board of railway commissioners, he was re-elected in the following August, and after the retirement of Mr. Tache he retained office under the Macdonald-Cartier government, he was appointed in 1856 a member of a commission for consolidating the statutes of Upper Canada, was an unsuccessful candidate to parliament in 1857 and 1858, and in January, 1859, became registrar of Toronto. This office he resigned in 1860 to take the place of solicitor-general in the Cartier-Macdonald administration, which he retained till 18 March, 1862, when he was appointed puisne judge of the court of common pleas. On 24 August, 1863, he was promoted to a judgeship in the court of queen's bench, where he remained till he was transferred on 30 November, 1877, to the court of appeal. He achieved greater distinction at the bar than in politics, and was identified with many important cases, both civil and criminal. He took an active part in the agitation for the secularization of the clergy reserves, and the abolition of seigniorial tenure. Judge Morrison was an active promoter of the cause of education, for twenty-eight years was a member of the council of public instruction for Upper Canada, for almost an equal length of time a member of the senate of Toronto university, and during fourteen years chancellor of that institution. He was warm-hearted, genial, and hospitable, and universally popular.--His brother, Angus, Canadian legislator, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1822, came to Canada when he was twelve years old, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and served as a bencher of the Law society for several years. He was elected to the parliament of Canada for North Simcoe in 1858, and represented that constituency till 1863. He was elected for Niagara in 1864, and again to the Dominion parliament in 1867. In 1874 he retired from the representation of Niagara, and was an unsuccessful candidate for center Toronto. In 1876-'7 he was mayor of Toronto.

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