Born in Boston and a graduate of Harvard College, Cambridge University and of Princeton University (then the College of New Jersey), Jonathan Belcher was appointed Chef Justice of Nova Scotia in 1754. He was descended from an important New England family, his paternal grandfather having been a member of the Council of Massachusetts, his maternal grandfather Lieutenant Governor of New Hampshire, and his father Governor of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey in succession. As member of the Council of Nova Scotia, Belcher was asked to intervene, in July 1755, on the question of the Deportation of the Acadians. In his ruling Belcher called the Acadians rebel subjects of the British Crown and recommended their expulsion. In 1760, when Nova Scotia Governor Charles Lawrence died, Belcher did not succeed him as he would have wanted. Instead, he became Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, a title he held until 1763.