Newfoundland, Reeveland: Chief Justice John Reeves as a conservative reformer, 1791-1793

Post, Andy (2019) Newfoundland, Reeveland: Chief Justice John Reeves as a conservative reformer, 1791-1793. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis argues that John Reeves’s political conservatism is essential to understanding how his job as Law Clerk to the British Privy Council’s Committee for Trade and Foreign Plantations influenced his simultaneous appointment as Chief Justice of Newfoundland. Historians of Newfoundland have only recently begun to rediscover Reeves as a leading Tory theorist of the 1790s, but largely continue to regard his politics as separate from his colonial career. However, a closer examination of Reeves’s time as Chief Justice from 1791 to 1793 reveals his agenda of justifying constitutional reforms according to a Tory Administration’s policy of discouraging colonial settlement. This explains his sense of the Supreme Court’s role in enforcing that policy, his efforts to imbue the new Supreme Court with a legislative function, and his efforts as a propagandist as the author of the deceptively populist and violently royalist History of the Government of the Island of Newfoundland.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13831
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 280-330).
Keywords: Newfoundland, Supreme Court of Newfoundland, Fishing Admiral System, Toryism, Newfoundland nationalism, Political history, Constitutional history, Legal history, British politics, 1790s, Historiography, History of Newfoundland, John Reeves, Naval government, Colonial history, Beothuk, APLP, Benjamin Lester
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: April 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reeves, John, 1752?-1829--Political and social views; Conservatism--Newfoundland and Labrador--History--18th century; Newfoundland. Supreme Court--History--18th century.

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