Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Macaulay, James Buchanan

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MACAULAY, Sir JAMES BUCHANAN (1793–1859), Canadian judge, born at Niagara, Ontario, Canada, 3 Dec. 1793, was second son of James Macaulay, M.D., who went with the queen's rangers to Canada in 1792, and was afterwards inspector-general of hospitals. James served as an ensign in the 98th regiment. In 1812 he joined the Glengarry fencibles as a lieutenant, and fought during the war with America at Ogdensburg, Oswego, Lundy's Lane, and at the siege of Fort Erie. At the close of the war in 1815 his corps was disbanded, and after studying law he was admitted to the Canadian bar in 1822. He rose rapidly in his profession, and was an executive councillor during the administration of Sir Peregrine Maitland [q. v.] He was first appointed temporary judge of the court of queen's bench, and permanent judge in 1829. On the first establishment of the court of common pleas in December 1849 he was made the chief justice, and continued to preside there until his retirement on a pension in 1856, but afterwards became judge of the court of error and appeal. As chairman of the commission appointed to revise and consolidate the statutes of Canada and Upper Canada, Macaulay helped to reduce the whole statutory law of the country from its conquest to his own time into three volumes, a work of great labour and corresponding value, which he just lived to see completed. He was gazetted C.B. 30 Nov. 1858, and knighted by patent 13 Jan. 1859. He died at Toronto, 26 Nov. 1859. His wife, whom he married in 1821, was Rachel Crookshank, daughter of John Gamble, M.D., surgeon in the queen's rangers. She died 17 July 1883, aged 83.

[Law Times, 19 May 1860, p. 118, 15 Dec. p. 86; Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biog. iv. 73.]

G. C. B.