Family tree

Stephen Binney

Father and mother: Hon. Hibbert Newton Binney and Lucy Creighton

Dates: 1805-1872

Married: Emily Pryor in 1828. See marriage records.

Children: William Grant Binney (1829-1835) died young
Hibbert Stephen (1832-1842) died young
Lucy Parker Jacobs (née Binney)
Emily Dibblee (née Binney)
Charles (1839-1839) died young
William Pryor Binney
Irwine Whitty Binney

Other facts: See biography from Dictionary of Canadian Biography
He was the seventh child of his parents and became involved in the business life of Halifax. When the first civic elections were held on 15 May 1841, Binney was elected a councillor; the councillors subsequently chose him as the city’s mayor. However, he fell foul of Lord Falkland (appointed lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia in 1840) over a visit to Halifax by Duc de Joinville. There are two accounts of this row on this website. One subtitled A pompous Gentleman describes the row as being entirely Stephen Binney's fault. The other, an account of the election of the first Halifax City Council from the Halifax Regional Municipality website, suggests that Falkland was furious when Halifax Council tried to stop the Duc's ship from docking because there was smallpox on board, and so then deliberately slighted the mayor. I'll leave you to read both accounts and make your own mind up! One factor for his behaviour may be that since he was the first mayor, there was no precedent for how he should behave. Since he called himself 'Lord Mayor', he may have been modelling himself on the Lord Mayor of London.

Stephen Binney
Family photo
shows grave of Stephen Binney
and his wife Emily

Later on, Stephen Binney took a congratulatory address from the council and citizens of Halifax to Queen Victoria on the birth of a son. This should have gone through Lord Falkland. While he was away, the council appointed another councillor, Edward Kenny, to replace him. The Halifax Regional Municipality account (used to be online but seems to have disappeared) says that at this point Stephen Binney became bankupt. He certainly left Halifax for Moncton, New Brunswick. It is notable that the obituary of Rt Rev Binney although mentioning other relatives, keeps quiet about Stephen Binney, who was his uncle. Irwine Binney's obituary, on the other hand, mentions the bishop. It also proudly describes Stephen Binney presenting his address to Queen Victoria, even though this seems to be what (temporarily) ruined him.

Stephen Binney managed to re-establish himself in business in Moncton. The Moncton City Council Bank of Names (used to be online but has disappeared) describes him as "one of the town’s most successful shipbuilders and businessmen." In 1843 he purchased for £600 half an acre of land with a wharf and shipyard in Lewisville, one mile northeast of "The Bend" (now Moncton), where his home, luxurious for the day, still stands. As well as being active in shipbuilding, Binney owned a wholesale business in lumber, flour, and feed. He was largely responsible for the establishment of St George’s Anglican parish, of which he and Bliss Botsford, a noted lawyer and politician, became first wardens in 1852.

Stephen Binney also took an active interest in railways; he, Edward Barron Chandler and Amos Edwin Botsford were delegates at the Portland railway convention in 1850, and Binney backed those who wanted the Intercolonial Railway to pass through Moncton. Frederick Lewis Dibblee (future husband of Emily, Stephen's daughter) worked on this railway.

From Provincial Archives of New Brunswick:
Moncton Times of December 11 1889: In October 1844, the late Stephen BINNEY came to the Bend from Halifax, N.S. Before coming to Moncton he had for many years carried on a large business at Halifax and was elected its first mayor in 1841. Whilst engaged in business in Halifax, he supplied a number of lumberman, shipbuilders etc. at Miramichi, Richibucto, Salisbury and the Bend. Coming to the Bend to look after his business interests, he was favorably impressed with the place and finally settled here engaging in shipbuilding and lumbering. Mr. Binney took large contracts from parties in the West Indies. He in turn gave small contracts to the country people to supply the staves. Mr. B. died in January 1872, age 67. He had a large family, all born in Halifax where many of the children are buried, four only coming from their native place to the Bend, two sons and two daughters. Three children are still living. The eldest son, William P. BINNEY died in Syr.., Greece on 13th March 1888 where for many years he held the position of British consul and also manager of the Eastern Telegraph Company. Irwine W. BINNEY, the second son is Collector of Customs.
Saint John Daily Telegraph of January 19 1872: The 'Moncton Times' records the death 15th inst. of Stephen BINNEY, Esq., formerly of Halifax, N.S., but for 24 years a resident of Moncton (West. Co.) Mr. BINNEY sic was the first Mayor of the City of Halifax and his father, Hon. H.N. BINNEY, one of the first Legislative Councillors of Halifax.

See a letter from Stephen Binney for a glimpse of his character, and a letter from Lucy Binney, his daughter, which describes his last illness and his funeral. Stephen Binney's will leaves practically everything to his wife, which unfortunately means we don't know how much this was. His wife's will gives more clues, and there is a discussion about it here.

See biographies from Dictionary of Canadian Biography:
- Stephen Binney
- Lord Falkland
- Joseph Howe
- Edward Kenny
- Bliss Botsford
- Edward Kenny
- Edward Barron Chandler
- Amos Edwin Botsford

From Genealogy of the Binney Family in the United States collected by Charles J. F. Binney (published in 1886):
Stephen Binney of Moncton, N.B., merchant, son of Hibbert Newton [Binney] and Lucy (Creighton) Binney, of Halifax, born in Halifax, N.S., Feb. 22, 1805; died Jan. 15, 1872, in his 67th year; married Oct. 15, 1828, Emily, daughter of William Pryor, Esq. She was born April 5, 1808. He probably removed from Halifax to Moncton, after 1842, as three of his children died in Halifax (one in 1842) and were burried there.
He was elected first mayor of Halifax,N.S., May 20, 1841. He was a merchant and ship-owner, one of his vessels a few years since (about 1847-9), was named "Stephen Binney."
Mrs Emily (Pryor) Binney resides 1884, with her son Irwine Whitty Binney, in Moncton, N.B.