Born October 2, 1798 in Ireland, James Beaty immigrated to Canada in 1818. He married Sarah Ann Armstrong in 1822. He never remarried after her death. He was elected to the 1st Canadian Parliament on September 20, 1867 under the Conservative Party. He was re-elected in 1872 for the 2nd Canadian Parliament, his final term in federal politics. He was a member of the Disciples of Christ Christian denomination, active in establishing new congregations. In 1852, James Beaty established the Toronto Leader newspaper. Beaty was a champion of unions, and when the typographers of Toronto went on strike in 1872, this put him in direct opposition to George Brown and the Globe Newspaper. He was sometimes referred to as James Beaty, Sr. A nephew of the same name, James Beaty (1831-1899), would also serve as a Member of Parliament from 1880 to 1887. Beaty died March 5, 1892 in Toronto (Parkdale). His funeral was held at his residence on Fuller Street.