Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Bowes Coyne (1878-1965)

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James Bowes Coyne
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Lawyer, judge.

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James Bowes Coyne
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Born at St. Thomas, Ontario on 24 August 1878, son of James Henry and Anna Matilda Coyne, he was educated at the public schools and Collegiate Institute of St. Thomas, Upper Canada College, the University of Toronto, and Osgoode Hall. He was called to the Ontario Bar and started practising law at St. Thomas in 1904. He was called to Manitoba Bar the next year, when he became a partner in the firm of Aikins, Robson, Fullerton & Coyne. The firm later became Aikins, Fullerton, Coyne & Foley; later, Coyne, Hamilton & Martin; and still later, Coyne, McVicar & Martin.

He served as Counsel and Crown Counsel for many Commissions, was as a Bencher for the Law Society of Manitoba (1916-1925), and a Member of the Council of the Manitoba Bar Association. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1916. He wrote many articles on legal matters. In December 1946, he was appointed a judge on the Manitoba Court of Appeal.

On 23 September 1908, he married Edna Margaret Elliott (?-?, daughter of Dawson Kerr Elliott) and they had three children: James Elliott Coyne, Sally Coyne (wife of W. P. Gowin), and John McCreary Coyne. He was a member of the Carleton Club, Manitoba Club, Winnipeg Golf Club, Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club, Liberal Party, and the Methodist Church. A Director of Burrows and Company, Winnipeg Golf Club, and R. J. Whitla & Company, Coyne was a prominent member of the 1919 Citizens’ Committee of 1,000. He had written in October 1918 that the Winnipeg Trades and Labor Council was dominated by “acknowledged Bolsheviki.”

He died at his Ottawa, Ontario home on 16 June 1965 and was buried in the Beachwood Cemetery, Ottawa.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“Nine new K.C.’s,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 May 1916, page 5.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 July 1965, page 16.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

“Free Press Necrology Files,” Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 16, University of Manitoba Archives]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 27 January 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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