Memorable Manitobans: Lewis St. George Stubbs (1878-1958)
Lawyer, judge, MLA (1937-1940), MLA (1941-1945), MLA (1946-1949).
Born at Turks Island, British West Indies on 14 June 1878, son of Alfred Stubbs and Mary P. Durham, he was educated at Denniston College (Stafford, England). During the Boer War, he served wtih the Cambridge University Continent. Coming to Manitoba in 1902 and attending the University of Manitoba, he was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1906, afterwards practicing law with the firm of Rothwell, Johnson & Stubbs. In 1908, he went to Birtle as a successor to Charles Julius Mickle Mickle, practicing law there until 1922 when he was appointed a county court judge for the Eastern Judicial District, based in Winnipeg. He was a candidate in the 1921 federal election and came in a distant third place behind Thomas Alexander Crerar.
Stubbs assisted Frederick John Dixon in preparing his defence against charges of sedition in 1919. He came to wide public prominence in 1929 when, as a surrogate court judge, he refused to grant letters of administration in the estate of Alexander MacDonald to Macdonald’s daughter and her husband, John Alexander Forlong. He was overruled by the Manitoba Court of Appeal, prompting Stubbs to hold a public meeting calling on the Manitoba Legislature to invalid the higher court’s ruling. He was dismissed from the bench in 1933, officially for “judicial misbehaviour,” but probably more for advocating unpopular views, particularly the view that justice be dispensed by an independent judiciary to both rich and poor without distinction. In 1936 he was elected an MLA and became a political gadfly, being re-elected in 1941 and 1945, but defeated in 1953.
On 23 November 1904, he married Mary Anne Wilcock (c1883-?), with whom he had seven children: Lillian Mary St. George Stubbs (1905-?, wife of Charles S. Lindberg), Roy St. George Stubbs, Constance St. George Stubbs (1909-?, wife of John S. Cruickshank), Olive St. George Stubbs (1910-?, wife of Mark Diamond), Harold St. George Stubbs, Gerald St. George Stubbs (1914-1989), and Stanley St. George Stubbs (1915-?).
He died at Winnipeg on 12 May 1958 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
1921 Canada census, Ancestry.
“Colorful Barrister, L. St. G. Stubbs dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 May 1958, page 9.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 November 2022