George Duncan Ludlow


Justice of the New York Supreme Court of Judicature, 1769-1808

George Duncan Ludlow, the last of the colonial judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature, was born on Long Island in 1734. His grandfather, Gabriel Ludlow, had emigrated from Somerset, England in 1694. The family was wealthy, and George received an excellent education. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and rose rapidly within the profession. His practice was confined to commercial cases and he was constantly employed either as an arbitrator or an adjustor. He rapidly amassed a fortune and retired early to a handsome estate on Long Island.

Shortly after his retirement, he was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and on December 14, 1769, he was commissioned as a judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature. Disappointed that he had been passed over in favor of William Smith for the office of Chief Judge of New York, he resigned from the bench. During the Revolution he was loyal to the Crown and at the close of the war, his property, including an estate of 140 acres in Hyde Park, passed to the State under the Confiscation Act of 1779.

On April 11, 1783, Congress officially declared an end to the Revolutionary War and on June 19, 1783, Ludlow sailed for England. With other loyalists, he sought office from the Crown, and in April 1784, received a royal appointment as Chief Justice of Nova Scotia and was also appointed to the Council. Ludlow died in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on November 13, 1808.



Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Vol. 4.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

Lawrence, Joseph W. The Judges of New Brunswick and Their Times. 1907.


Product added to cart

No products in the cart.