James Lundrigan, Conception Bay fisherman (fl 1818-30). In 1819 Lundrigan and fellow fisherman Philip Butler were involved in a court case which gave great impetus to the agitation for representative government. The men were tried at a surrogate court by the captain of one of His Majesty's Ships, in Harbour Grace. Lundrigan, who did not appear on a summons, was held in contempt of court and sentenced to receive 36 lashes on his bare back, which he was given until he fainted under the severity of the punishment. In November 1820 a committee of 13 with Patrick Morris as chairman passed a resolution condemning the cruel punishment inflicted for such trifling causes; the committee began to pursue such legal and constitutional means necessary to have the law which sanctioned such arbitrary proceedings repealed.
Prowse, the historian, contends that the case of Lundrigan and Butler were taken up solely for the purpose of being used as a lever to obtain a Legislature for the colony. In 1824 "An Act for the Better Administration of Newfoundland" was passed which established the Supreme Court of Newfoundland. This put an end to the centuries-old tradition of naval officers holding courts of civil jurisdiction.