Aug 13, 2015

Cicely Helena Manley (1893-1962)

cicely, manley, lawyer, montreal, thorold, sampson, Cicely Helena Manley was born in Morrisburg, Ontario in Aug 1893 to Edward Manley and Maggie Boylan. After a few years in the Montreal area, the family returned to Thorold, Ontario where Cicely grew up. Her birth and baptism certificates have not been located but she received her first communion on Jun 22, 1905 and was confirmed on May 12, 1907 at Holy Rosary RC Church in Thorold. For her secondary education she attended the St Catharines Collegiate Institute.

At some point she returned to Montreal and entered the nursing program at Montreal General Hospital. She practiced this profession for a time and then decided to attend Law School at McGill University, graduating with the class of 1936. She was one of very few woman in law school at that time. Quebec law did not allow women to be called to the bar until 1941 and then they had to have a BA as well as their law degree. Cicely did not have this so she appealed that rule successfully and was called to the bar in 1949. She went on to practice law as well as teach at Marianopolis College. In 1951 she earned the distinction of being the first female lawyer from the province of Quebec to plead in the Supreme Court of Canada.

On Feb 12, 1938 she married one of her fellow law students, Robert Gerard Sampson in Newport, VA. This marriage ended in divorce in 1949.


Cicely died on May 27, 1962 in a Montreal hospital. Her funeral service was held at the Ascension of Our Lord RC church in Westmount, Quebec and she is buried in Abercorn Cemetery, Brome Co, Quebec.

Parents of Cicely H. Manley:
Edward J. Manley (1854-1933)
Margaret Boylan (1857-1894)