The Honourable William Alexander Henry

William Alexander Henry was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on December 30, 1816. He was the son of Robert Nesbit Henry and Margaret Hendricken. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where he was educated by Thomas Trotter. He studied law in the office of Alexander McDougall in Antigonish and was called to the bar in 1841. The previous year, he had been elected to the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia. He was defeated in the 1843 elections but was re-elected in 1847. Five years later, he entered the Cabinet, and in 1854 was named Solicitor General. He changed political affiliation in 1857 and was named Solicitor General again, under a different administration, in 1859. Appointed Attorney General in 1864, he was asked to represent Nova Scotia at the conferences on Confederation held in Charlottetown and Quebec City that year and in London, England, in 1866. He is one of the Fathers of Confederation. After his defeat in the 1867 federal election, he returned to private practice in Halifax and was elected mayor of the city in 1870. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on September 30, 1875 and served on the Court for 12 years. Justice Henry died on May 3, 1888, at the age of 71.