Neville Parker Papers
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1784 - 1860 (Creation)
40.5 cm of paper documents
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This collection of legal documents came to the Charlotte County Archives in 1987, from a brick house at the corner of King and Montague Streets in St. Andrews. Owned and operated as an antique shop by Mrs. Wainman-Wood, who had recently died. They were discovered by Mrs. Helen Langley, an estate agent handling the sale of the property. She consulted Mrs. Mary Brownrigg, a member of the board of the Ross Memorial Museum, who advised her to bring them to the Charlotte County Archives.
The House is known to have been built by Dr. Samuel Frye, about 1830 and was occupied by Elizabeth Margaret Sheddon Wyer Parker, wife of lawyer Neville Parker, who returned from Fredericton to live in her native St. Andrews after her husband's death in 1869. Mrs. Parker herself died in 1887. These papers must have lain in the attic since that time; others may have been removed, as closely related documents, that must have been with them, are contained in the Grace Helen Mowat Collection in the Charlotte County Archives.
These legal papers come from Neville Parker's student days, in the office of Ward Chipman Jr., in Saint John; his own practice in St. Andrew's 1820 to 1824; and his partnership with his brother Robert, and later with William Jack, before he became a judge.
The small collection of early papers have been listed separately, as they are concerned with the business of Ward Chipman, and were retained by Parker. Some are originals, some appear to be in Chipman's own hand, the rest were written by Parker and others.
The arrangement of Parker's own papers has been made alphabetically, according to client, unless a case is known to have come to court, when the customary practice of listing the plaintiff first has been followed, so that other court records can be located is necessary. Many of these are original documents. However, there were instances when it was impossible to determine whether or not a dispute resulted in litigation.
Most of the papers are concerned with clients' business and personal affairs, and it would seem that Parker practiced more as a solicitor than as a barrister. However, they are not necessarily representative of his practice as a whole, and unless a much larger collection of his papers is discovered, only the court records themselves would show how frequently he appeared.
The estate papers are mostly drafts written by Parker, which he kept for his own files. They are very untidy with many corrections, and the name of a second client was inserted in some drafts, suggesting he didn't bother to make a file copy for that person.
Papers from the Bank of New Brunswick, when Parker was Solicitor, are included as a separate series, and more detailed listings were made for other papers of particular interest. These include business papers of Robert Rankin, also an exceptionally long series, dealing with the settlement of the estate of John Thomson, a wealthy merchant in Saint John, who died intestate, and a search had to be made for the heirs. in addition there is some material of special interest from Charlotte County.
Scope and content
The Neville Parker Papers range most from 1820 to 1836 with some outlier documents from before and after. The papers contain information on clients, payment information, shipping information, correspondence, and client estate business.