John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the first prime minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, he had a political career which spanned half a century. Macdonald was born in Scotland; as a lawyer he was involved in several high-profile cases and became prominent in Kingston, which elected him in 1844 to the legislature of the Province of Canada. By 1857, he had become premier under the colony's unstable political system. In 1864, when no party proved capable of governing for long, Macdonald agreed to a proposal from his political rival, George Brown, that the parties unite in a Great Coalition to seek federation and political reform. Macdonald was the leading figure in the subsequent discussions and conferences, which resulted in the British North America Act and the birth of Canada as a nation on 1 July 1867. Macdonald was the first Prime Minister of the new nation, served 19 years. In 1873, he resigned from office over the Pacific Scandal, in which his party took bribes from businessmen seeking the contract to build the Canadian Pacific Railway.
However, he was re-elected in 1878, continuing until he died in office in 1891. Macdonald's greatest achievements were building and guiding a successful national government for the new Dominion, using patronage to forge a strong Conservative Party, promoting the protective tariff of the National Policy, completing the railway, he fought to block provincial efforts to take power back from the national government in Ottawa. His most controversial move was to approve the execution of Métis leader Louis Riel for treason in 1885, he died in 1891, still in office. Historical rankings have placed Macdonald as one of the highest rated Prime Ministers in Canadian history. John Alexander Macdonald was born John Alexander Mcdonald in Ramshorn parish in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 10th or 11th of January 1815, his father was named Hugh, an unsuccessful merchant, who had married John's mother, Helen Shaw, on 21 October 1811. John Alexander Macdonald was the third of five children. After Hugh's business ventures left him in debt, the family immigrated to Kingston, in Upper Canada, in 1820, where there were a number of relatives and connections.
The family lived with another, but resided over a store which Hugh Macdonald ran. Soon after their arrival, John's younger brother James died from a blow to the head by a servant, supposed to look after the boys. After Hugh's store failed, the family moved to Hay Bay, west of Kingston, where Hugh unsuccessfully ran another shop, his father, in 1829, was appointed a magistrate for the Midland District. John Macdonald's mother was a lifelong influence on her son, helping him in his difficult first marriage and remaining a force in his life until her 1862 death. John attended local schools; when he was aged 10, his family scraped together the money to send him to Midland District Grammar School in Kingston. Macdonald's formal schooling ended at 15, a common school-leaving age at a time when only children from the most prosperous families were able to attend university. Macdonald regretted leaving school when he did, remarking to his secretary Joseph Pope that if he had attended university, he might have embarked on a literary career.
Macdonald's parents decided. As Donald Creighton wrote, "law was a broad, well-trodden path to comfort, influence to power", it was "the obvious choice for a boy who seemed as attracted to study as he was uninterested in trade." Besides, Macdonald needed to start earning money to support his family because his father's businesses were again failing. "I had no boyhood," he complained many years later. "From the age of 15, I began to earn my own living." Macdonald travelled by steamboat to Toronto, where he passed an examination set by The Law Society of Upper Canada, including mathematics and history. British North America had no law schools in 1830. Between the two examinations, they were articled to established lawyers. Macdonald began his apprenticeship with George Mackenzie, a prominent young lawyer, a well-regarded member of Kingston's rising Scottish community. Mackenzie practised corporate law, a lucrative speciality that Macdonald himself would pursue. Macdonald was a promising student, in the summer of 1833, managed the Mackenzie office when his employer went on a business trip to Montreal and Quebec in Lower Canada.
That year, Macdonald was sent to manage the law office of a Mackenzie cousin who had fallen ill. In August 1834, George Mackenzie died of cholera. With his supervising lawyer dead, Macdonald remained at the cousin's law office in Hallowell. In 1835, Macdonald returned to Kingston, though not yet of age nor qualified, began his practice as a lawyer, hoping to gain his former employer's clients. Macdonald's parents and sisters returned to Kingston, Hugh Macdonald became a bank clerk. Soon after Macdonald was called to the Bar in February 1836, he arranged to take in two students. Oliver Mowat became
Thomas McKay was a Canadian businessman, one of the founders of the city of Ottawa, Ontario. McKay was born in Perth and became a skilled stonemason, he emigrated to the Canadas in 1817, settled in Montreal. He became partners with John Redpath and their firm did the masonry work on the Lachine Canal near Montreal, they went on to build the locks on the lower section of the Rideau Canal, between the Rideau River and the Ottawa River at Bytown. McKay built two stone spans for the Union Bridge, the first bridge across the Ottawa River between Hull and Bytown; the Commissariat building built by McKay in 1827 during the construction of the Rideau Canal now serves as home to the Bytown Museum and is the oldest surviving stone building in the city of Ottawa. McKay was one of the few business leaders to remain in Bytown, he bought land at the intersection of the Rideau River and Ottawa River and laid out a town, which he named New Edinburgh. McKay built a gristmill on land there, he encouraged Scottish immigrants to come to the area and it became a prosperous industrial centre.
He was an Elder and Trustee of St. Andrew's congregation of the Church of Scotland, responsible for the acquisition of The Glebe lands for St Andrew's, he was a founding trustee of Queen's College. Thomas McKay became quite wealthy and in 1837 he bought 1100 acres east of the village. On the western edge of this new land he built in 1838 for himself a limestone Scottish Regency mansion which he named Rideau Hall, and, today official residence of the Governor General of Canada, he built Earnscliffe to house his daughter and son-in-law. The remainder of McKay's lands became the village of Rockcliffe Park. McKay brought the first railroad to the Ottawa area with the Prescott and Bytown Railway that had its terminus at a station near Sussex Drive just south of New Edinburgh. McKay entered politics serving on Bytown's city council, the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada from 1834 to 1841. From 1841 until his death in 1855, he served on the Legislative Council of the United Province of Canada. Thomas McKay was interred in the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.
In New Edinburgh, the MacKay United Church is named in his memory. Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
Gothic Revival architecture in Canada
Gothic Revival architecture in Canada is an influential style, with many prominent examples. The Gothic Revival was imported to Canada from Britain and the United States in the early 19th century, rose to become the most popular style for major projects throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the Gothic Revival period lasted longer and was more embraced in Canada than in either Britain or the United States, only falling out of style in the 1930s. The late 19th and early 20th centuries was the period when many major Canadian institutions were founded. Throughout Canada many of the most prominent religious and scholastic institutions are housed in Gothic Revival style buildings. In the 1960s and 1970s several scholars, most notably Alan Gowans, embraced Canadian Gothic Revival architecture as one of the nation's signature styles and as an integral part of Canadian nationalism. While abandoned in the modernist period, several postmodern architects have embraced Canada's neo-Gothic past.
Gothic Architecture is a name given in retrospect to many of the major projects of the High Middle Ages. As this period covered the 13th and 14th centuries, there are no authentic Gothic buildings in Canada; the style was quite out of favour in the 17th century, when Europeans first began erecting structures in Canada, the style is absent from the early settlements in New France and the Maritimes. In the 18th century, a growing spirit of Romanticism and interest in the Medieval past led to a revival of Gothic styles in Britain; the style made its way to Canada in the early 19th century. One of the first appearances is in an 1811 proposal by Jeffry Wyatt for a new legislature in Quebec City. One of the first major Gothic Revival structures in Canada was Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, designed in 1824 by the Irish-American James O'Donnell; the largest church in North America upon its completion, it was one of the first architectural works of international note to be built in Canada. It was one of the first Catholic Gothic Revival structures, as the movement would not spread from Britain to France and continental Europe until several years later.
As the most prominent church in the colony its form was much imitated by local church builders, who constructed miniature versions of the basilica across Quebec. Protestants embraced the style; as early as the late 18th century, certain Gothic elements had appeared in a church in Nova Scotia, though the Georgian and Neo-classical styles remained dominant for several decades. The first stone neo-Gothic structure in the Maritimes is St. John's Church in Saint John, New Brunswick, it dates to 1824, the same year work began on Notre-Dame. In the 1830s and 1840s four prominent neo-Gothic Churches were built in Quebec City, representing each of that city's major Protestant denominations. By the 1840s the Gothic Revival style had become universal among Anglicans and used for most other Christian denominations as well; as in much of the English speaking world the lancet windows and buttresses of the Gothic Revival style soon became permanently associated in most people's mind with ecclesiastical buildings.
It was soon embraced for secular purposes as well, such as government buildings and universities. Canadian universities modeled themselves on the great British universities and Cambridge, this extended to embracing the Collegiate Gothic architecture used in their construction. Two of the first Gothic Revival colleges were Trinity College in Toronto and Bishop's University in Quebec. In the half of the 19th century, Gothic Revival architecture became the dominant style for major Canadian buildings; as the style became accepted and popular, architects became more willing to experiment and modify its conventions. While previous Gothic Revival architects had attempted to recapture the style of the Middle Ages, the new architects retained the Medieval motifs, but recombined them in new ways. One of the most important examples of this style anywhere in the world were the Parliament Buildings designed by Thomas Fuller. While the style and design of the building is unquestionably Gothic, it resembles no building constructed during the Middle Ages.
The forms were the same. The Parliament Buildings departed from Medieval models by integrating a variety of eras and styles of Gothic architecture, including elements of Gothic architecture from Britain, the Low Countries, Italy all in one building. In his Hand Book to the Parliamentary and Departmental Buildings, Joseph Bureau wrote, "The style of the Buildings is the Gothic of the 12th and 13th Centuries, with modification to suit the climate of Canada; the ornamental work and the dressing round. The plain surface is faced with a cream-colored sandstone of the Potsdam formation, obtained from Nepean, a few miles from Ottawa; the spandrils of the arches, the spaces between window-arches and the sills of the upper windows, are filled up with a quaint description of stonework, composed of stones of irregular size and colour neatly set together." This style was embraced for religious architecture. In most towns in Ontario, in many parts of the newly settled west and the Maritimes, elaborate High Gothic churches were built.
Unlike in the earlier era, the French Catholic church in Quebec did not embrace this style. During this period the church leadership favoured a neo-baroque style more linked to the architecture of New France; the Victorian High Gothic period saw a willingness to combine the neo-Gothic with other styles. Two important examples of a mix between Gothic and Romanesque styles are University College in Toronto and the British Columbia Parliament
British High Commission, Ottawa
The British High Commission in Ottawa, Ontario is the main diplomatic mission of the United Kingdom in Canada. It is located at 80 Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa, across the street from the National Arts Centre and not far from Parliament Hill; the current building was designed by Eric Bedford. The site had been home to the Union Hotel, founded in the 1850s but demolished in 1962; the High Commissioner's position was created in 1928 after the Balfour Declaration of 1926 and was the first such posting for Britain. The present High Commissioner is Howard Drake, appointed in June 2013; the UK has Consulates-General in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. It has Honorary Consuls in St. John's, Quebec City, Winnipeg; the High Commission represents the British Overseas Territories in Canada. The High Commissioner resides at a manor on the Ottawa River. Canada–United Kingdom relations Diplomatic missions in Canada List of High Commissioners from the United Kingdom to Canada UK and Canada Trade Office in Calgary to become Consulate
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Agnes Macdonald, 1st Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe
Susan Agnes Macdonald, 1st Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe was the second wife of Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Agnes was born near Spanish Town, Jamaica, to The Hon. Thomas James Bernard, of Bellevue, south of Montego Bay, her mother, Theodora Foulks Hewitt, was the daughter of William Hewitt of Jamaica, descended from a brother of James Hewitt, 1st Viscount Lifford. She was raised both in England. After her father's death she came to Canada with her mother to live with her brother, Hewitt Bernard, a lawyer and private secretary to political leader John A. Macdonald, it was through him that she met Macdonald for the first time in 1856. It was in 1866, in London, where Miss Bernard had been with her mother that she again met her husband-to-be, there to prepare the British North America Act, they married on 16 February 1867, had one daughter, Margaret Mary Theodora Macdonald, born handicapped, both mentally and physically. On the first voyage of the transcontinental voyage of the Canadian railroad, Macdonald built Agnes a platform on the cowcatcher of the train and had a chair nailed to it so she could see the land united by the train.
During her stay in Canada with her husband, she became intimately acquainted with many of the intricacies of the political and historical events of the country. Lady MacDonald Drive in Canmore, Alberta is named after her. After her husband's death in 1891 she was raised to the peerage in his honour as Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe, in the Province of Ontario and Dominion of Canada. By 1896 she left her home at Earnscliffe to go back to England. Despite the weight of years, her participation in social and philanthropic work was active, she died in England in September 1920, aged 84, was buried in the Ocklynge Cemetery in Eastbourne, a town on the south coast of England. The barony became extinct on her death. Spouses of the Prime Ministers of Canada Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
A manor house was the main residence of the lord of the manor. The house formed the administrative centre of a manor in the European feudal system; the term is today loosely applied to various country houses dating from the late medieval era, which housed the gentry. They were sometimes fortified, but this was intended more for show than for defence. Manor houses existed in most European countries where feudalism existed, where they were sometimes known as castles, so on; the lord of the manor may have held several properties within a county or, for example in the case of a feudal baron, spread across a kingdom, which he occupied only on occasional visits. So, the business of the manor required to be directed and controlled by regular manorial courts, which appointed manorial officials such as the bailiff, granted copyhold leases to tenants, resolved disputes between manorial tenants and administered justice in general. A large and suitable building was required within the manor for such purpose in the form of a great hall, a solar might be attached to form accommodation for the lord.
Furthermore, the produce of a small manor might be insufficient to feed a lord and his large family for a full year, thus he would spend only a few months at each manor and move on to another where stores had been laid up. This gave the opportunity for the vacated manor house to be cleaned important in the days of the cess-pit, repaired, thus such non-resident lords needed to appoint a steward or seneschal to act as their deputy in such matters and to preside at the manorial courts of his different manorial properties. The day-to-day administration was carried out by a resident official in authority at each manor, who in England was called a bailiff, or reeve. Although not built with strong fortifications as were castles, many manor-houses were fortified, which required a royal licence to crenellate, they were enclosed within walls or ditches which also included agricultural buildings. Arranged for defence against roaming bands of robbers and thieves, in days long before police, they were surrounded by a moat with a drawbridge, were equipped with gatehouses and watchtowers, but not, as for castles, with a keep, large towers or lofty curtain walls designed to withstand a siege.
The primary feature of the manor house was its great hall, to which subsidiary apartments were added as the lessening of feudal warfare permitted more peaceful domestic life. By the beginning of the 16th century, manor houses as well as small castles began to acquire the character and amenities of the residences of country gentlemen, many defensive elements were dispensed with, for example Sutton Place in Surrey, circa 1521. A late 16th-century transformation produced many of the smaller Renaissance châteaux of France and the numerous country mansions of the Elizabethan and Jacobean styles in England. Before around 1600, larger houses were fortified for true defensive purposes but as the kingdom became internally more peaceable after the Wars of the Roses, as a form of status-symbol, reflecting the position of their owners as having been worthy to receive royal licence to crenellate; the Tudor period of stability in England saw the building of the first of the unfortified great houses, for example Sutton Place in Surrey, circa 1521.
The Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII resulted in many former monastical properties being sold to the King's favourites, who converted them into private country houses, examples being Woburn Abbey, Forde Abbey, Nostell Priory and many other mansions with the suffix Abbey or Priory to their name. During the second half of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and under her successor King James I the first mansions designed by architects not by mere masons or builders, began to make their appearance; such houses as Burghley House, Longleat House, Hatfield House are among the best known of this period and seem today to epitomise the English country house. Nearly every large medieval manor house had its own deer-park adjoining, emparked by royal licence, which served as a store of food in the form of venison. Within these licensed parks deer could not be hunted by royalty, nor by neighbouring land-owners nor by any other persons. During the 16th century many lords of manors moved their residences from their ancient manor houses situated next to the parish church and near or in the village and built a new manor house within the walls of their ancient deer-parks adjoining.
This gave them space. The suffixes given to manor houses today have little substantive meaning, many have changed over time, thus a manor house may have been known as "Heanton House" in the 18th century and in the 19th century as "Heanton Court" and as "Heanton Satchville". "Court" was a suffix which came into use in the 16th century, contemporary topographers felt the need to explain the term to their readers. Thus the Devonshire historian Tristram Risdon clarified the term at least three times in his main work, Survey of Devon: "This now lord of these lands Sir Robert Basset hath his dwelling at Heanton-Court, in this parish, an adjunct importing a manor-house in the lord's signiory". "This Nutwell Court, which signifies a mansion-house in a signiory, came to the family of Prideaux". and regarding the manor of Yarnscombe: "Their house is called "Court", which implieth a manor house, or chief dwelling in a lordship". The biographer John Prince, (1643–1723