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McLennan, Francis

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McLennan, Francis

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Dates of existence

1857-1940

History

Francis McLennan (9 Aug. 1857-25 Dec. 1940) was born in Chicago, Illinois, the fifth child of Hugh McLennan and Isabella Stewart McLennan. Francis McLennan attended the High School of Montreal and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire before entering Harvard University, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1879. While at Harvard, McLennan was the editor of the “Harvard Advocate,” the “Harvard Lampoon,” and was a member of the Porcellian Club. After completing his degree, McLennan returned to Montreal where he learned bookkeeping at his father’s business until October 1881, when he began the study of law at McGill University and in the law office of Wotherspoon, Lafleur and Heulker. McLennan completed his Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1884 and was admitted to the bar in June 1885. In 1887 he entered into a partnership with John Cassie Hatton, forming the firm of Hatton and McLennan. McLennan later headed his own firm of McLennan, Howard and Aylmer. In 1903 he was named King’s Counsel. After practicing law for twenty-one years, McLennan retired from the profession due to health considerations.
In addition to his work in law, Francis McLennan was one of the founders of the McLennan Travelling Libraries. Additionally, he was a member of the original committee appointed to administer the Redpath Library at McGill University and continued to serve for more than forty years. He contributed time and resources, particularly books, to the Redpath Library, as well as to the McCord Memorial Museum, the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, Dalhousie University, and the College of Newfoundland. McLennan’s own large collection of books was eventually willed to McGill. He was also a Governor’s Fellow from 1905 to 1918 and a Governor from 1917 to 1931 of McGill University, and in 1921 received an honorary L.L.D. from the University at its centenary convocation. He was also a member of the Shakespeare Club in Montreal.
McLennan married Alma Stuart, daughter of Chief Justice Andrew Stuart and Dame Charlotte-Elmire Aubert de Gaspe of Quebec on 9 September 1896. The couple lived in Montreal and the city formerly known as Loretteville.

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