216 Mackenzie Avenue
British Columbia Tourism Region : Kootenay Rockies
- After Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie (1819-94), Chief Justice of British Columbia, the famous 'hanging judge' ,
- who by firmness, impartiality, and sheer power of personality maintained British law and order when the mining camps of the Cariboo and other gold-mining areas were flooded with American riffraff, fresh from the lynch-law camps to the south.
- The son of a colonel in the Royal Engineers, Begbie was a highly civilized man who spoke both French and Italian (he had visited Italy) and had a taste for music.
- He received his MA from Cambridge in 1844 and in the same year was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn.
- After some years as an impoverished young lawyer and a man-about-town in London, he decided to emigrate, possibly as a consequence of a disappointment in love.
- In September 1858 he was appointed 'Judge in Our Colony of British Columbia.'
- Tall (six foot four), his long black cloak swirling behind him, his eyes gleaming between the stylish rake of a gaucho hat and the carefully trimmed lines of his Van Dyke beard, Begbie was a commanding figure. He never held court unless attired in the ro
- Inevitably he became the centre of numerous stories and legends.
- Vacationing in Salt Lake City, he met an American who had served on a jury in the Cariboo and who remarked, 'You certainly did some hanging, judge.' To which Begbie pungently replied, 'Excuse me, my friend, I never hanged any man.
- I simply swore in good American citizens, like yourself, as jurymen, and it was you that hanged your own fellow-countrymen.' Both Begbie and J.C. Haynes have been credited with warning the gold miners at Wild Horse Creek:
- 'Boys, if there is any shooting at Kootenay, there will be hanging at Kootenay.' Begbie believed in flogging too. 'My idea is that if a man insists upon being like a brute, after a fair warning, & won't quit the Colony, treat him like a brute & flog him.
- Angered by the acquittal of a holdup man, he said to the prisoner, 'The jurymen say you are not guilty, but with that I do not agree.
- It is now my duty to set you free and I warn you not to pursue your evil ways, but if you ever again should be so inclined, I hope you select your victim from the men who have acquitted you.'
- Begbie became Chief Justice of mainland British Columbia in 1869 and Chief Justice of all British Columbia in 1870. He was knighted in 1875. Sir Matthew died in Victoria in 1894.
- Mount Cartier named after Sir George-Étienne Cartier (1814-73), the leading French-Canadian champion of Confederation.
- Clachnacudainn Range - after the lozenge Clachshaped rock that for centuries was the palladium of Inverness in Scotland.
- Clach-na-Cudainn (Stone of the Tubs) was so named since the women of the town rested their tubs on it when bringing water from the river.
- With permission from G.P.V and Helen B. Akrigg 1997 British Columbia Place Names. UBC Press.
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