Quesnel & District Museum and Archives

Judge Begbie's Pot

Judge Begbie Photo (A-08953) courtesy of Royal British Columbia Museum

This cooking pot belonged to Judge Begbie and was used by him when he was on circuit.

Mathew Begbie was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Colony of British Columbia in 1858 and continued to serve in this capacity until his death in 1894, although his title changed as the government structure evolved from colony to province.

He has become a legendary figure in part due to his stature- 6 ft. 5 inches, but more for his ability to gain the respect of people from all nations and backgrounds and to keep the peace through fair judgments.

He traveled on foot and on horseback hundreds of miles enforcing justice.

Begbie was known as a man of great vigour and stamina, qualities that enabled him to travel through the wilderness of B.C. by horse and on foot. Each year he travelled a circuit, holding court in virtually every settled area in the colony. Court was often held in the tent he slept in but he always wore his judicial robes and wig.

Map    Click here to see Begbie's 1861 map of his route to the Cariboo.