(1843–1901). Born Nicholas Francis Davin in Kilfinane, Ireland, he spent six years of his youth as an ironmonger's apprentice before going to London in 1865 to read law at the Middle Temple, supporting himself through shorthand reporting in the House of Commons press gallery. Called to the bar in 1868, he continued an active career in journalism, serving as correspondent to London and Dublin papers during the Franco-Prussian war, and then becoming editor of the Belfast Times. In 1872 he brought his combined talents in law and journalism to Toronto, where he joined the editorial staff of George Brown's Globe; he later switched to the opposition Mail, which accorded more closely with his Conservative sympathies. Davin won public acclaim as a lecturer, and his celebrated address, British versus American civilization (Toronto, 1873), was published as the second in a series of pamphlets put out by the Canada First group. In 1874 he was called to the Canadian bar and made his legal reputation in Canada with his defence of the man accused of murdering George Brown in 1880.
From The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature in Oxford Reference.