Judge Thomas Ritchie (1777–1852), long a leading figure in town, was born in Annapolis Royal, the son of John Ritchie MPP and his second wife Alicia Maria LeCain. He was admitted to the bar in about 1795 and entered public life in 1806, elected as one of the county representatives in that year.
He was re-elected to the provincial legislature without opposition until hiselevation to the bench in 1824. Married three times, Judge Ritchie had three sons who were also prominent jurists:
Hon. John William Ritchie (1808–1890) and Hon. Joseph Norman Ritchie (1834–1904), both judges of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, and Sir William Johnstone Ritchie (1813–1892), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.