William Smith, fourth chief justice of the Province of Quebec (b at New York C 18 June 1728; d at Quebec C 6 Dec 1793). Smith, a Yale graduate (1745), succeeded his father as a judge in New York (1767) and was subsequently chief justice there (1780). He remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. He was a friend of Governor Guy CARLETON
and was named chief justice of Quebec (1786). He is now remembered for his interpretation of the QUEBEC ACT
(1774) and his view that English or French law applied according to whether the litigants were of French or English expression. That position is now seen as having been motivated by political considerations. Smith is also known as an historian of NY state.
JOHN E.C. BRIERLEY