Robert Baldwin Sullivan bigraphy, stories - Canadian judge

Robert Baldwin Sullivan : biography

May 24, 1802 - April 14, 1853

Robert Baldwin Sullivan, QC (May 24, 1802 – April 14, 1853), was a Canadian lawyer, judge, and politician who became the 2nd Mayor of Toronto.

He was born in Bandon, County Cork in the Ireland in 1802 and came to York (Toronto) with his family in 1819. He studied law and was called to the bar in 1828. He moved to Vittoria, then the district town of the London District, and married in 1829, but returned to York after his wife's death in 1830. He remarried in 1833.

In 1835, he was elected to town council and was chosen to be mayor. He added a business like atmosphere to council with the official 'robes of office'. The council worked on matters like tax rates, grants and the removal of 'filth and nuisances from the city streets'.

On May 6, 1835, council's committee on draining and paving approved construction of the city's first main sewer on King Street into which all drains and sewers were to be connected.

In 1836, actions by new Lieutenant Governor Francis Bond Head triggered the resignation of the members of the Executive Council for the province. Sullivan accepted an appointment to the council. In the same year, he became the commissioner of crown lands. In 1839, he was appointed surveyor general for the province and became a member of the Legislative Council. Although criticized by many as a turncoat, he was an able administrator.

He supported the union of Upper and Lower Canada and was appointed to the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada. He served briefly as the first Commissioner of Crown Lands for the united province 10 February 1841 – 30 June 1841.

In 1848, he was appointed to the Queen's Bench. He died in Toronto in 1853.


Hon. Robert Baldwin Sullivan married Emily Louisa Delatre, daughter of Lieut.-Col. Philip Delatre, 1st Ceylon Regiment, and his second wife, Amey Scolding December 24, 1833. Emily Louisa was born in Ceylon. The couple had four sons and five daughters. Judge Sullivan died April 14, 1853. His widow remarried June 14, 1875, as his second wife, the Hon. Sir Francis Hincks, C.B., K.C.M.G., formerly Prime Minister of Canada and, subsequently, Governor of the Windward Islands and of British Guiana. Lady Hincks died in Montreal May 14, 1880, aged 64. Sir Francis Hincks died in Montreal, August 18, 1885.Morgan, Henry James Types of Canadian women and of women who are or have been connected with Canada : (Toronto, 1903)

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