Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Spry, William

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Edition of 1900.

SPRY, William, jurist, b. in England; d. in Barbadoes, W. I., in September, 1772. He married a niece of the Earl of Chatham, and on 25 Sept., 1764, arrived with his family at Halifax, Nova Scotia, having been appointed judge of the vice-admiralty court over all America, which had been recently constituted by act of parliament. In the proclamation that announces the opening of the court he is styled “The Right Worshipful William Spry, Doctor of Laws.” The other officers of the new court were: vice-admiral, the Earl of Northumberland; registrar, the Hon. Spencer Percival; marshal, Charles Howard, gent. These officers probably expected to fulfil their duties by deputies. Judge Spry opened his court at Halifax on 9 Oct., 1764. Its creation had been opposed in the colonies, and the passage of the stamp-act the next year, with the accompanying disturbances, probably prevented its extension to other provinces. Judge Spry was appointed governor of Barbadoes in June, 1767, and died in office.