Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
August 2004

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia

William Renwick Riddell




Damien-Claude Bélanger

Department of History

McGill University


Jurist and historian, was born in Hamilton Township, Canada West. He was educated at Victoria University, Cobourg, Ontario, and at Osgoode Hall. Called to the Ontario Bar in 1883, Riddell practiced law first at Cobourg and later in Toronto. In 1906 he was appointed a judge of the King's Bench division of the High Court of Justice of Ontario. Elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1917, he received a number of honorary degrees during his long and distinguished career. In 1925 he was transferred to the Appellate division of the Supreme Court of Ontario, a position he would hold until his death in 1945. A prolific author primarily concerned with legal and historical subjects, William Renwick Riddell wrote dozens of articles and pamphlets on the history of Canadian-American relations and on the comparative constitutional evolution of Canada and the United States. Though his work frequently emphasized the common aspects of North America's constitutional and historical development, he did not hesitate to rate the Canadian experience as superior to the American one.


© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College