Judge Taschereau, of the Supreme Court of the Dominion, comes from one of the most eminent families in what is now the Province of Quebec. The progenitor in this country, Thomas Jacques Taschereau, came to Canada in the early part of the 18th century, and in 1726 was appointed Treasurer of the Marine, and obtained the cession of a seignior on the banks of the Chaudiere, of which Judge Taschereau is still in possession. Members of this family have held very high positions in the Government of Lower Canada and in the Dominion. In the judiciary alone, not less than seven of them have been on the Bench, two under the French regime and five since the conquest.
Henri Elzear Taschereau, is a son of Pierre Elzear Taschereau, once a member of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada, and later, of the United Provinces, and of Catherine Henredine, daughter of Hon. Amable Dionne, at one time member of the Legislative Council. He is a cousin of Hon. Jean Thomas Taschereau, late of the Supreme Court of the Dominion, and now superannuated, after a long and brilliant career.
He was born at Ste. Marie de la Beauce, at the Seignorial Manor House, Province of Quebec, Oct. 7, 1836; was educated at the Quebec Seminary; studied law with Justice Taschereau mentioned above; was called to the Bar in 1857, and practiced at Quebec, at first with his cousin Jean Thomas Taschereau, afterwards with William Duval, Esq., and later still with Jean Blanchet, Queen’s Counsel. He was created a Queen’s Counsel in 1867. His position at the Bar, when in practice, was exalted, and on the Bench he honors the ermine.
Mr. Taschereau sat for Beauce in the Canadian Assembly from the general election in 1861 till the Union in 1867, when he was defeated for the House of Commons.
He was appointed Clerk of the Peace for the District of Quebec, on the 30th of September, 1868, resigning three days afterwards; was appointed Puisne Judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, January 12, 1871, and Judge of the Supreme Court of the Dominion, October 7, 1878.
Judge Taschereau is the author of “Criminal Law Consolidation and Amendment Acts of 1869, 32-33 Viet., for the Dominion of Canada, as amended and in force in November, 1874, in the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba; and on the 1st of January, 1875, in British Columbia. With notes, commentaries, precedents of indictments, &c. Vol. I., Montreal, 1874, and Vol. II., Toronto, 1875.” He is also author of “La Code de Procedure Civil du Bas Canada, with annotations. Quebec, 1876.”
In May, 1857, Marie Antoinette, daughter of Hon. R. U. Harwood, member of the Legislative Council and Seignior of Vaudreuil near Montreal, became the wife of Judge Taschereau, and they have five children.