James Beaven, philosopher (b at Westbury, Eng 9 July 1801; d at Niagara, Ont 8 Nov 1875). Educated as an Anglican clergyman, he arrived at King's College, Toronto, in 1843. He published the first philosophical work written in English Canada, Elements of Natural Theology (1850).
Beaven sought a rational basis for belief. His design theory of the universe, emphasizing order in all things, set a trend in Canadian thinking that was continued by his philosophical and literary successors.
Although Daniel WILSON, president of University of Toronto at the time, called him a "dry old stick," Beaven's wit was well known in class. His sensitivity to the environment and concern for native peoples are evident in his travel journal, Recreations of a Long Vacation (1846).