PARKIN, JOHN BUCKWORTH, criminal lawyer; b. 1816 at Dewsbury in Yorkshire, Eng., of the marriage contracted on 15 Sept. 1814 by the Reverend Edward Parkin and Sarah Cullen; d. 16 Dec. 1875 at Quebec.
John Buckworth Parkin arrived in Canada with his parents in September 1819. He attended the school at Chambly run by his father, the Church of England minister there; then in 1834 he went to England to study law and arts. Trained in classics and with a good knowledge of English and French literature, Parkin was called to the Quebec bar on 23 Feb. 1837, after working at Montreal in the office of the future judge William King McCord*.
For a short while Parkin was in turn a circuit court judge, a commissioner of bankruptcy, an acting judge in the superior court, and president of the Quebec bar (1862); above all he acquired a great reputation as a defence counsel in criminal cases. At Quebec, where he lived, his name was linked particularly with three trials. In January 1858 he managed to have Captain John Charles Rudolph cleared of a charge of manslaughter; Rudolph was in command of the Montréal on 26 June 1857 when it was destroyed by fire off Cap Rouge near Quebec causing the death of about 250 persons. Thomas Crozier, an English soldier who killed a sergeant in July 1862, was found guilty only of manslaughter. Parkin obtained the same verdict for Robert Murphy, a carter who had killed a policeman in 1875. This was his last victory. He died on 16 Dec. 1875 at Quebec.
He married Katherine Bradley, by whom he had seven children, among them a son, Edward Bradley Parkin, who also became a lawyer. A few days before his death Parkin was converted to Roman Catholicism, and received a Catholic burial in St Patrick’s Church.
Le Canadien (Quebec), 20 nov. 1875. Morning Chronicle (Quebec), July 1862, 17 Dec. 1875. Quebec Mercury, July 1857, January 1858. P.-G. Roy, Les avocats de la région de Québec, 339. Storied Quebec (Wood et al.), IV, 283–84. Charles Langelier, “J.-B. Parkin, c.r.,” BRH, III (1897), 82–89, 98–106. T. R. Millman, “Edward Parkin, first S.P.G. missionary at Chambly, 1819–1828,” Montreal Churchman, XXVII (1939), no.6, 16–17; no.7, 7, 19.