Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie

Virtual Tour of Ross Bay Cemetery
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2. Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie

This imposing tombstone actually contravenes Begbie’s request that to be buried in the closest cemetery with a simple funeral, with no flowers, and costing no more that $200. Begbie asked that a simple wooden cross be erected over his grave with his name and dates and the inscription “Lord be merciful to me a sinner.” Only the simple epitaph bearing his name, dates of birth and death and the words “Lord be Merciful to Me a Sinner” follow his instructions.

Photo BC Archives Image A-01100

Block: B
Plot: 99/100 W 29


Sir Matthew Begbie, unfairly known as the “hanging judge”, came to the colony of British Columbia in 1858. He served as BC’s first and only judge, often riding on horseback to far-flung gold mining centers such as Barkerville and dispensing justice from tents.