Canadian-born students until 1914

With Canada as the next port of call on the Queen’s Baton Relay (27.04.2014), International Story editor, Clare Mackintosh, shares just a few of the highlights of her research on the University’s links with that vast country:

As part of my Club 21 Commonwealth placement, my project was to research 10 biographies of Canadian born students who attended the University of Glasgow until 1914.

There has been a long connection between Canada and Glasgow, with nearly half of the institutions in higher education until the 20th century having had Scots involved in their foundation, such as the establishment of McGill University, founded in 1821 by University of Glasgow alumnus James McGill. The University continues to maintain and develop these historical links, and is currently setting up a Scottish-Canadian Studies Program.

Therefore, during my research, I came across a variety of different students who came from very different backgrounds, but all with the same strong Canadian-Scottish connections: From the son of a farmer , like medical graduate James Fleming Goodchild, to a daughter of a clergyman, fellow medical graduate Caroline Jane Maclennan.

The stories were individual and varied: Harvard Turnbull and Anstruther Abercrombie Lawson were just two students whose stories stood out. McGill engineering graduate Harvard Turnbull came to Glasgow  for further study in 1902. After taking courses at Glasgow in Naval Architecture and Senior Drawing, Turnbull entered the shipbuilding business back in his native Canada, and his knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, The Harvard Turnbull Company, which dealt in railway, marine and contractor supplies. Anstruther Abercrombie Lawson lectured at the University in Botany between 1907-10 while undertaking postgraduate study. He graduated DSc with his paper on special morphology of the Coniferales and was subsequently appointed the foundation Professor of Botany at the University of Sydney.

Short Arts courses were also very common among Canadian/born students, many of them studying Arts and Social Science subjects as English Literature, Moral Philosophy and Political Economy for one year before returning to Canada, showing the strong educational exchanges between the countries.

I have found this placement extremely interesting and beneficial to my knowledge of the University as a whole. It was also a good opportunity to learn the skills required to gather information from primary sources on each particular student and to compile their biography. I would definitely recommend this placement to anyone, particularly those who have a keen interest in history.

By Clare MacKintosh, MA History

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by | April 27, 2014 · 3:30 pm

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