history1Group of lawyers and their families, L’Orignal c.1890.

A Short Legal History of Prescott & Russell

June 1, 1613 L’Orignal visited by Samuel de Champlain. He found no lawyers.

November 27, 1674, the seigneurie de l’Orignal (or L’Orignac) is granted to François Prévost. (Subsequently becomes the property of the Baron de Longueuil.)

1791 the seigneurie de Longueuil is separated from the future Province of Quebec upon the creation of Lower Canada and Upper Canada boundaries; and, it eventually becomes the Township of Longueuil. Since municipal amalgamations in 1998, this rural neighbourhood is part of Champlain Township.

April 11th, 1816 The first Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace is held at L’Orignal at the Schoolhouse (exact location uncertain).

January 13th, 1818 Bela Fenn Frost becomes the first “lawyer” to be disciplined in L’Orignal. He goes on to serve a distinguished yet varied career as counsel, accused person, High Constable, Grand Juror, County Clerk and tax collector, occasionally serving several of these functions on the same day.

January 10th, 1822 The Court of General Quarter Sessions agrees to install punitive stocks in front of the Courthouse, and authorizes an expenditure of £2.

January 15th 1823 The Court of General Quarter Sessions agrees to build a stone Courthouse in L’Orignal, seat of the United Counties of Prescott & Russell. Expenditure of £50 is authorized. The Courthouse continues in use today.

The Crown Attorneys of L’Orignal

  • Edward Taylor Dartnell
  • David Pattee (1860)
  • John Maxwell (Student 1874. Called to the Bar Easter 1877. Ceased to practice 1918)
  • John Butterfield (Student 1867. Called 1875)
  • Camille W. A. Marion
  • William Hall
  • Henri Proulx
  • Rommel Masse (1980 to 1987)
  • Robert Pelletier (1987 to 2005)
  • Ronald Laliberté (2005 to 2013)
  • Julie Bourgeois (Acting 2013 to present)

The Magistrates,
Provincial Court Criminal, Ontario Court Judges

  • Raoul Labrosse (October 3,1934 to ? )
  • Léopold Lalonde
  • William Hall
  • Joffre Archambault
  • Louis P. Cécile
  • Roch Lalande
  • Jean Legault (present)

The District and County Court Judges who Presided at L’Orignal

  • Peter Friel (fl 1856)
  • James Daniel (fl 1865)
  • Judge Louis Adolphe Olivier (Appointed April 1888. Died October 11th 1889 at a school reunion in Ottawa, age 39.)
  • Peter O`Brian (Appointed 1889. Retired 1900.)
  • Judge J-Albert Constantineau (Appointed to the Bench July 26, 1900.)
  • Colin C. O`Brian (1916 to 1936)
  • C.W.A. Marion
  • Omer Chartrand
  • Robert Cusson
  • Michel Z. Charbonneau (present)

The Early Lawyers of L’Orignal

  • Peter O`Brian (Called to the Bar in 1857)
  • Rupert Mears Wells (Fourth Speaker of the Ontario Legislature)
  • John Maxwell
  • John Butterfield
  • Colin G. O`Brian
  • W.A. Hall
  • Albert Constantineau (Called to Bar in 1890.)
  • Herbert William Lawlor
  • Henri Proulx (Called 1932.)