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James McGill

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James McGill

James McGill (October 6, 1744December 19, 1813) was a Scottish-born Canadian businessman and philanthropist.

One of the Montreal merchants involved in the fur trade south of the Great Lakes from 1770, he diversified his activities into land speculation and by 1810 had abandoned the fur trade altogether. Rumoured to be the richest man in Montreal, he left a great deal of money to charity, including an estate and 10,000 pounds to the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning to found McGill University.

James McGill was buried in the old Protestant Dufferin Square Cemetery but in 1875 his remains were reinterred in front of the Arts Building on the university campus.


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