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The Hon. Samuel George Wilson Archibald was born on February 5, 1777 in Truro, Nova Scotia, the third son of Samuel Archibald and Rachel Todd. He was educated at Haverhill and Andover until 1796 and served as a protonotary of the Supreme Court and clerk of the peace for the district of Colchester before taking up the study of law in the Halifax office of Samuel Bradstreet Robie.
In 1805, Archibald was admitted as an attorney and barrister and in 1817 he was appointed, alongside William Halliburton, to Nova Scotia's first King's Counsel. He also served as surrogate general for the colony's vice admiralty court in 1818. In 1819, Archibald (unsuccessfully) prosecuted Richard John Uniacke, Jr., who took part in the last fatal duel in Nova Scotia. Archibald set up an oat mill in Truro in 1822. In addition, he served as Chief Justice for Prince Edward Island from 1824 to 1828, although he never resided on the island.
Archibald was elected to the House of Assembly for Halifax County from 1806 to 1836 and for Colchester County from 1836 to 1841. He was elected to the office of Speaker in 1825 and also served as Attorney General from 1832 until he left the Assembly in 1841 to become Master of the Rolls.
Archibald married Emma Dickson in 1802, with whom he had fifteen children. After her death in 1830, he married widow Joanna Brinley and had three daughters. Archibald died of a stroke on January 28, 1846.