Biography of Thomas C. Patteson

Thomas Charles Patteson, Postmaster of Toronto, is a native of Patney, Wilt shire, England, where he was born on the 5th of October, 1836. He is the son of Rev. Thomas Patteson, and Rose Sewell Deane, his wife, and nephew of Rt. Hon. Sir John Patteson, a Judge of the Queen’s Bench, and afterwards on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Judge Patteson was father of John Coleridge Patteson, Bishop of Melanesia, who was murdered by the natives in 1870. Mr. T. C. Patteson was educated in England, being a Ring’s scholar at Eton, and captain of his division. From that school he went to Oxford, where he obtained a Postmastership at Merton in 1854, and took his degree with honors in 1838. The same year he came to Canada, and after traveling through this country and the United States, was persuaded by the late J. Hillyard Cameron, to remain and study law in his office. He remained in that gentleman’s office about two years, but finished his time under articles to Hon. James Cockburn, Q. C., then practicing at Cobourg, Ont. In 1862, Mr. Patteson was called to the Bar, and admitted as an Attorney and Solicitor the same year. During the ensuing four years he was one of the firm of Ross, Lauder and Patteson, of which the senior member was Hon. John Ross. In 1866 he left this firm and joined Mr. F. W. Kingstone in practice, with whom he remained about a year. In 1867, he was chosen the first Assistant Provincial Secretary, under Hon. M. C. Cameron, a position which he filled until 1872. In this year the leaders of the Conservative party, feeling the need of a representative journal in Toronto, determined upon establishment of the Mail newspaper. Mr. Patteson’s fitness and ability being well known, he was induced to accept the management and chief editorship of the new sheet and to him was intrusted the task of carrying out the enterprise. This position was one that he was peculiarly fitted both by education and natural talent to fill, and his arduous duties were discharged earnestly, thoroughly, and creditably, though at much personal sacrifice of his own interests, until the paper was taken possession of by the mortgagee, and passed into the hands of its present proprietor, Mr. C. W. Bunting, M. P. Under Mr. Patteson’s charge it became one of the leading journals of the Dominion, giving able support to Sir John A. Macdonald’s Government. In February, 1879, he was appointed to the Postmastership of Toronto, in recognition of his services, and as some reward for the sacrifices he had made in the interests of the Conservative party. The duties of this important office he is performing with zealous skill, and to the public satisfaction.

Though all of Mr. Patteson’s writings are characterized as vigorous and forcible, he probably excels as a correspondent, and he has few superiors as a descriptive writer. He has been the English correspondent both of the Globe and Mail newspapers, over the signature of “Quartz,” a name which was accidentally conferred upon him by a printer in the Globe office. Being employed by the Hon. George Brown to give a description of the then much talked of Madoc goldfields, one of his letters ended with the assertion that, “if the precious metal is ever to be profitably mined in the county of Hastings, it will only be by the employment of the proper machinery for crushing Quartz,” and the last word was printed as a signature. He has taken a prominent part in most outdoor sports and amusements; has been a frequent visitor to the western prairies, and has hunted and shot in Kansas and California; has imported a considerable number of thoroughbred mares and horses from the old country, and his animals during a short and somewhat fortunate career on the turf, carried off many valuable prizes. He is interested in stock raising and farming, owning a large farm at Eastwood, county of Oxford, and has been a constant exhibitor at the Provincial shows, taking quite his share of the good things in the, prize list. He played for several years as captain of the Canadian Cricket Eleven, and brought out the English Twelve who visited Canada under Mr. Fitzgerald’s command, in 1872.

Mr. Patteson’s writings in the English press were among the earliest arguments published to prove the possibility of sending horses and cattle across the Atlantic, and he demonstrated the sincerity of his opinions, by personally making large shipments of both horses and cattle to the old country, when freights and insurance premiums were double what they now are.

He was instrumental in organizing the company which built. the Rossin House, after the disastrous fire of 1862, and also aided in the foundation of the United Empire Club.

In 1867 he was married to a daughter of Mr. Ralph Jones, of Port Hope, nephew of the late Mr. Justice Jones.

Mr. Patteson possesses great energy and capability, and his life, so far, has been one of ceaseless activity. Whatever he undertakes, he seems to believe in doing thoroughly and well, and that his career, when completed, will have been a successful one, seems assured.



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