Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Matthew Ryan (1810-1888)

Journalist, judge.

He was born 24 December 1810, at St. John’s, Newfoundland. As a journalist he contributed articles to the St. John’s papers. In 1842 he moved to Montreal and wrote for the Times. In 1844 he joined the editorial staff of the Pilot. He studied law, and in 1849 was called to the Bar of Lower Canada. He accepted an appointment under the Lafontaine-Baldwin administration. Until 1858 he remained in the Civil Service, acting as corresponding Clerk of the Province. He was also private secretary to Sir Francis Hincks, the Inspector General of Public Accounts.

In May 1875, he was appointed one of two commissioners to investigate claims of the half-breeds in Manitoba to land granted by Act of Parliament.After the completion of this investigation he was appointed one of three stipendiary magistrates for the North-West Territories, with a seat in the Council. He was removed from office in 1881.

Ryan died in St. Boniface Hospital on 12 June 1888, and was buried in St. Boniface Cemetery.

His presentations for the Manitoba Historical Society:

Unpublished MHS address, read 27 March 1885.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Page revised: 25 April 2008

Memorable Manitobans

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