Young, George Renny, 1802-1853

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Young, George Renny, 1802-1853

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George Renny Young was a publisher, lawyer, author and politician. He was born in Falkirk, Scotland, on 4 July 1802 to John Young and Agnes Renny. In 1814 he came with his family to Nova Scotia, where he helped to establish John Young and Company with his father and brother William. Young worked for the family dry goods business until 1821, when he started at Pictou Academy. In 1824 he founded a weekly newspaper, The Novascotian. In 1827 he sold the paper to Joseph Howe in order to pursue legal studies in Britain. He became an attorney in 1833 and a barrister in 1834, when he established an insurance practice with William that would last into the 1850s. In 1838 he married Jane Brooking, with whom he had one son, John.

Young entered the Nova Scotia assembly in 1843 as the member for Pictou County. He was a strong and vocal supporter of the reformers, protesting the General Mining Association’s monopoly in the province and supporting the creation of a Halifax and Quebec Railway. In 1848 he became a minister in J.B. Uniacke’s government. In the following years Young’s physical and mental health deteriorated. Although he did not seek re-election in 1851, he continued to voice his political opinions in a series of letters published in the British North American.

George Young wrote articles, books and letters to newspapers on a variety of topics. His first book, The British North American Colonies, was published in 1834. He also wrote a romantic fiction, The Prince and his Protégé, which appeared in a variety of formats in 1844. Young lectured and served as president of the Halifax Mechanics’ Institute. He died in Halifax on 30 June 1853.

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