Frederick De St. Croix Brecken

Frederick De St. Croix Brecken

Served during the following dates: 1863-00-00;1867-00-00;1870-00-00;1872-00-00;1873-00-00

BRECKEN, Q.C., FREDERICK DE ST. CROIX, lawyer, public servant, and business person; b. 9 December 1828 in Charlottetown, son of the Honourable John Brecken and Margaret Leith de St. Croix; m. 28 September 1858 Helen Leith Boyd Emslie of Kingston, Ontario, and they had five children, Fred K, Arthur, Leith, Helen Amelia, and Fanny Constance (died in infancy); Anglican; d. 14 October 1903 in Charlottetown.
Brecken, a Conservative, was first elected to the House of Assembly in the general election of 1863 for the district of Charlottetown Royalty. He was re-elected in the general elections of 1867, 1870, 1872, and 1873, and in a by-election held in September 1873. He was defeated in the general election of 1876. He served as Attorney-General and Advocate General from April 1859 to January 1863. He again served as Attorney-General from September 1870 to April 1872 and from April 1873 to August 1876.
When the Island joined Confederation in 1873, a special federal election was held to determine Members of Parliament for the new province. Brecken was unsuccessful as a candidate for Kings County. However, in the 1878 federal election, he was elected to the House of Commons for the district of Queen's County. Although Brecken was initially declared elected in the general election of 1882, his opponent, John T. Jenkins*, was declared elected following an official recount. Brecken subsequently won the seat due to a decision of the provincial Supreme Court in February 1883. Brecken resigned his seat in 1884 to accept an appointment as Postmaster and Assistant Inspector for Prince Edward Island.
Brecken came from a family with a long political history. His father, John Brecken, served as a Member of the House of Assembly from 1830 to 1834, and as a member of Executive Council and Legislative Council from 1834 until his death. Brecken’s grandfather, Ralph Brecken, served as a Member and as the Speaker of the House of Assembly. Col. Joseph Robinson, Brecken’s great-grandfather, an Assistant Judge of the province, was Speaker of the House of Assembly in 1790.
For most of his life Brecken lived in Charlottetown, although he did reside for a time in London, England, and Ottawa. He was educated at Central Academy in Charlottetown. Brecken studied law with Sir Robert Hodgson before attending Lincoln’s Inn and the Inner Temple in London. He was called to the Bar in 1852. Until 1874 he was a partner with the firm Haviland* and Brecken, and later a partner with the firm Brecken and Fitzgerald. In 1884 Brecken became the postmaster of Charlottetown and provincial post-office inspector, serving in this position until his death. He was also a director of the Charlottetown Gas Company.
Throughout his life Brecken attended the Anglican Church, and became a member of the Executive Committee of the Diocesan Church Society. Additionally, he was a Trustee and Governor of Prince of Wales College, and served as a Trustee of the Lunatic Asylum. Frederick Brecken died 14 October 1903.
Brecken was married in Saint John, New Brunswick. Helen Brecken, the daughter of Captain Emslie of Her Majesty’s 83rd Regiment, was born in 1839 and died 3 October 1906.

References: CDP pp. 70-71; CPG 187b. 1879; DCB XIII. p 110; Daily Patriot 3 October 1906, Islander 4 November 1859; PARO: Brecken Family File; MNI Commission Book #2558-5 p. 97; MNI-Census 1881; MN1-Charlottetown Manuscript p. 14; MNI-Hutchinson’s pp. 83, 259, 260. Guide to abbreviations

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