Edward James Jarvis (1788 - 1852)

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Birthplace: St John, St John County, NB, Canada
Death: Died in Charlottetown, Queens County, PE, Canada
Occupation: Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island
Managed by: Karen Irving
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Edward James Jarvis

Source: The Loyalist Collection, Harriet Irving Library, University of New Brunswick

Edward James Jarvis was the youngest son of Munson Jarvis and his wife Mary Arnold, who came to Saint John as Loyalists in 1783. Edward studied at King's College in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1809. He was admitted to the New Brunswick bar in 1811 and continued his legal studies in London, England. In 1816, he returned to Saint John where he practised law, and in 1817 he married Anna Maria Boyd. During the next few years he received several official appointments. In 1822, Lieutenant Governor George Stracey Smyth appointed him clerk of the House of Assembly, assistant judge of the Supreme Court, and member of the Council. As a result of the protests of Solicitor General, William Botsford, and his supporters, who felt the assistant judgeship should go to the Solicitor-General, the appointment to the bench was overturned by the British government. Jarvis went to Britain to press his case, and in compensation he was made the King's Assessor in Malta. He remained in this position until 1827 when he was appointed Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island, and continued in this office until his death in 1852. Jarvis always tried to remain politically neutral and conducted his court in a strict and professional manner. Financial worries, and in the later years, ill health, continually plagued him. His first wife, Anna Maria Boyd, was the daughter of Dr. John Boyd of Saint John, an influential member of the town's elite. His second wife was Elizabeth Gray, the daughter of Prince Edward Island's provincial treasurer, Robert Gray, a former captain in the King's American Regiment, which had been commanded by Col.Edmund Fanning during the American Revolution. Edmund Fanning was Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island from 1786 until 1805.

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Edward Jarvis's Timeline

St John, St John County, NB, Canada
April 29, 1817
Age 29
September 8, 1821
Age 33
Saint John, NB, Canada
May 15, 1823
Age 35
May 20, 1825
Age 37
February 22, 1831
Age 43
PE, Canada
Age 55