John Reeves

John Reeves, judge (b probably at London, Eng c 1752/53; d there 7 Aug 1829). He studied at Oxford and was called to the bar in 1779.

Reeves, John

John Reeves, judge (b probably at London, Eng c 1752/53; d there 7 Aug 1829). He studied at Oxford and was called to the bar in 1779. In 1791 he became "chief judge" of a new temporary court of civil jurisdiction instituted to correct a defect that had been revealed in Newfoundland's existing judicial system. In this capacity he was in Newfoundland from 10 Sept to 1 Nov 1791. In 1792 he became "chief justice" of another temporary court, "the supreme court of judicature of the island of Newfoundland," and again visited his jurisdiction. In 1793, on the basis of his advice, permanent judicial reforms were legislated for Newfoundland. In the same year Reeves published his History of the Government of the Island of Newfoundland. This pitted local residents against English West Country merchants involved in the Newfoundland trade, a theme to which later historians would frequently return. Though transient, Reeves's connection with Newfoundland was nevertheless influential, both judicially and intellectually.