D. Babbington Ring: Tshuanahusset's Lawyer

[ David B. Ring, Described as a Good Fighter ]

David B. Ring, Described as a Good Fighter, Colonist, 1885, BCA, B-04372

D. Babbington Ring was the Glasgow-born lawyer who acted for Tshuanahusset. He arrived in Victoria in 1859, already 55 years old. Although he served as member of the colonial assembly and council for Nanaimo, 1861-3 and 1868-70, Ring was known as something of an eccentric and probably existed on the margins of colonial polite society. He had a running feud with then Attorney General George Carey, whom he physically threatened, and he was once challenged to a duel by one of Carey's supporters.

He defended several aboriginal defendants, including Jim, who was tried for murder in 1866 and found not guilty, and Charlie (Kal en ru san) who was found guilty of murder in 1867. Both of these cases were heard before Judge Needham. He was one of the more sympathetic members of the assembly when it came to aboriginal people. Ring also defended Clark Whims when he was tried for arson. Married twice, and survived by his second wife Harriet Annabelle nee Kine, it seems that he came to Vancouver Island alone. An attack of paralysis obliged him to quit work and he retired to England where he died, January 17, 1875, age 71.

Nesbitt, Jim, "Old Homes and Families," The Daily Colonist , December 6, 1953.
London Law Times , March 13, 1875.
Hendrickson, James ed., Journals of the Colonial Legislatures , (Victoria: Provincial Archives of BC, 1980).
BCA, GR 2035, Mflm B-9802, Supreme Court, Bench Books of Criminal Cases held before Judge Joseph Needham.

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