Halliburton, Sir Brenton

Sir Brenton Halliburton, army officer, lawyer, politician (bap at Newport, RI 27 Dec 1774; d at Halifax 16 July 1860). By relationship and marriage an integral part of Nova Scotia's elite, he advanced rapidly: was admitted to the NS Bar, 1803, appointed a supreme court judge 1807, member of the COUNCIL OF TWELVE 1815 and chief justice 1833. Though generally moderate in religious matters, politically he was an out-and-out Tory, and this raised suspicions that his ideology might colour his judicial conduct. Presiding over Joseph HOWE'S trial for criminal libel in 1835, he expressed the opinion that Howe was guilty which, although right in law, the jury refused to accept. Not brilliant as a judge, he was at least highly competent and in 1851 even Howe called him a "capital judge." His last honour was a knighthood conferred in 1859. Taking it for granted that the chief justiceship was a lifetime position, he died still in office in his 87th year.