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Memorable Manitobans: Francis Beverley Robertson (1851-1894)

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F. Beverley Robertson
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Born at Dundas, Ontario on 16 November 1851, son of Thomas Robertson and Frances Louisa Reed, he attended the University of London but left before completing his studies in law. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1877 and practiced with his father and brother at Hamilton. In late 1881, he came to Winnipeg, was called to the Manitoba Bar, and established the law firm of McArthur, Robertson and Dexter. On 19 July 1882, he married Eleanor Mary Spragge at Toronto and resumed law practice with the short-lived firm of Robertson, Andrews, and Howard. In May 1883, he formed a law partnership with Colin Campbell and Horace Crawford that would, years later, become Pitblado LLP. In July 1885, he went to Regina, North West Territories (now Saskatchewan) for what were arguably his most famous cases. He defended Poundmaker, Big Bear, and White Cap from charges arising from the 1885 North West Rebellion but lost all of them. He returned to Winnipeg and continued his law practice until 1889, when he moved back to Ontario. He may have practiced law at Windsor but was probably not active due to declining health. He died at Walkerville, Ontario on 19 December 1894.

See also:

F. Beverley Robertson: The Tragic Life of Poundmaker’s Defence Counsel by Ross D. Petty
Manitoba History, Number 73, Fall 2013


Ontario death registration, Ancestry.

Learned Friends, Reminiscences - Pitblado & Hoskin 1882-1974 by Anna Tillenius, 1974.

This page was prepared by Ross Petty and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 February 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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