Cameron, David
b. 1804
d. 1872-05-14
David Cameron, chief justice of Vancouver Island from 1853-64, was born and raised in Perthshire, Scotland, and went to Demerara in 1830 to oversee a sugar plantation.1 While there, he married Cecilia Eliza Douglas Cowan, a sister of James Douglas.2 After suffering serious financial losses, Cameron and his wife moved to Vancouver Island in 1853, where he became agent for the Hudson's Bay Company's coal fields at Nanaimo.3 In September 1853, Douglas established the Supreme Court of Civil Justice and then nominated Cameron as chief justice for Vancouver Island.4
Opponents of Douglas immediately denounced the appointment, arguing that Cameron had no legal training and was too closely connected to Douglas and the Hudson's Bay Company.5 Despite these objections, the Colonial Office established the court and regularized Cameron's appointment.6 Douglas appointed Cameron to the Council of Vancouver Island on 6 July 1859.7 Antagonism toward Cameron continued until Douglas was replaced by Governor Arthur Edward Kennedy and Cameron was persuaded to accept an annual pension of £500 from colonial funds, which the House of Assembly promptly voted.8
Cameron then retired to his country estate “Belmont” on the west side of Esquimalt Harbour, serving as a justice of the peace, a member of the board of education, and a candidate for the BC legislature (he lost by three votes).9 He died at Belmont on 14 May 1872.10
  • 1. William R. Sampson, Cameron, David, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Ibid.
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Douglas, James

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Esquimalt Harbour


Vancouver Island