John Murray Bliss (1771 - 1834)

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Nicknames: "Hon. John Murray Bliss"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Rutland, MA, USA
Death: Died in Sunbury County, NB, Canada
Managed by: Jennifer Bliss
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Murray Bliss

Hon. John Murray Bliss, Judge of the Supreme Court and Administrater and Commander-in-Chief of the Province, was born 22 February 1777, at Rutland, Mass. He was married 7 August 1797, at Saint John, New Brunswick, to his cousin Sarah Green upham. Their mother's, Isabelle Murray Bliss and Elizabeth Murray Upham, were sisters. She was the daughter of judge Joshua Upham , of the Supreme Court. She was born 19 February 1777 and died at Bellemonte, the country home of the family, 19 April 1835. She came to New Brunswick with her father in 1786 when she and her sister, Elizabeth, went to live with their aunt and uncle, Judge and Mrs. Daniel Bliss. John Murray Bliss followed the loyalists to New Brunswick while still a youth, studied law with Jonathan Sewel and afterwards with Hon. Jonathan Bliss. He practiced his profession at Fredericton. In 1800 he purchased nine lots on George Street from Rev. George Pidgeon (no relation). In 1803, he purchased, as his residence, Govenor's House on Front Street. In 1806 he inheirted the family estate, Bellemonte", at Lincoln. He represented the county of York in the provencial assembly. In 1809 he was appointed Solicitor General, at which time his income became such as to enable him to "live respectrably". He enlarged the house on Front street and improved "Bellemonte", the estate at Lincoln, making it the finest house for miles around. He was made a justice of the Supreme Court in 1816. It is a remarkable fact that three memberes of the same family sat on the judicial bench at the same time: Hon. Jonathan Bliss, Hon. John Murray Bliss and Hon. Joshua Upham, four Judges being the provincial number. Upon his elevation to the bench, in 1816, he built an entirely new residence "Summer Villa", even larger then Bellemonte, fronting the river on Waterloo Row. At this time he was in his forty-sixth year, renowned for his charm and his courtly manners, a gentleman of much dignity and fine personal appearance and his manly open and independent deportmant commanded universal confidence and esteem.

On the death of president Ward Chipman, in 1824, judge Bliss was sworn in as Administrator and Commander-in- Chief of the Province, holding the office until 17 August ot that year, when Maj. Gen. Sir Howard Douglas the third govenor of New Brunswick arrived.

John Murray Bliss was the most formidable of the privileged circle that ruled New Brunswick. He was connected by marriage to most of the other families who presumed to official status. But his power really rested on an ability to influence deliberations in the legislature through family affinities. He was the center of what lieutenant-govenor Douglas called "this powerful family"

The children of John Murray and Sarah (Upham) Bliss, all born at Fredericton: 1. George Pidgeon b. 27 Apr 1798 2. Mary b. 11 Dec 1799 m. 21 Jan 1819, Capt. John Donald MacQueen.

3. Elizbeth Murray b. 8 Jun 1801 m. 1t Jan 1822 Hugh Johnston jr. Esq.

4. Charles Parke b. 8 Feb 1803, d. 30 Nov 1805 5. Jean Hunter b. 22 Mar 1806 d. 30 July 1826 6. Sophia Isabella b. 21 April 1808. d 21 SEP 1826

Sources: Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America--Aaron Tyler Bliss 1982 Judges of New Brunswick and their Times--Lawrence 1909 The Old Buring Ground, Fredricton, N.B.. -Isabel Louise Hill Fredericton, New Brunswick, British North America--Isabel Louise Hill New Brunswick, A History, 1784-1867--W.S. MacNUTT 1963

Source Citation "Pedigree Resource File," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.2.1/S5MX-56Z : accessed 24 August 2011), entry for John Murray /BLISS,/.

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John Bliss's Timeline

1771
February 22, 1771
Rutland, MA, USA
1797
August 7, 1797
Age 26
St John County, NB, Canada
1798
April 27, 1798
Age 27
Fredericton, NB
1799
December 11, 1799
Age 28
Fredericton, NB
1806
March 22, 1806
Age 35
Fredericton, NB
1808
April 21, 1808
Age 37
Fredericton, NB
1834
August 22, 1834
Age 63
Sunbury County, NB, Canada