Mabel Cartwright’s great grandfather on her mother’s side of the family tree was Dr James Macaulay who was born in Scotland in 1759. This is part IV of six stories highlighting the lives of Mabel’s family.
SOURCE: Toronto Family History
James Macaulay joined the Queen’s Rangers as surgeon’s mate in 1779 and served with the regiment throughout the American revolution. He transferred to the 33rd Foot in 1785 and four years later was appointed surgeon of the New South Wales Regiment on the recommendation of his former commanding officer, John Graves Simcoe. When Simcoe began planning his staff for the loyalist province of which he was to become lieutenant governor, he did not forget his “old Surgeon,” whom he described as “a young man attached to his Profession, and of that docile, patient, and industrious turn … that will willingly direct itself to any pursuit.“ Macaulay was appointed surgeon on 1 Sept. 1791 and the following year accompanied Simcoe to Upper Canada.
With his first wife, Elizabeth Tuck Hayter (1770-1809), James had eight children. In tribute to his friend and commanding officer, John Graves Simcoe, James named his first Canadian-born son John Simcoe Macaulay. The youngest daughter was Sarah Hayter Macaulay (1809-1866) who became Mabel’s grandmother. Sadly, Sarah’s mother died 17 days after giving birth to her.
In 1817, James married Rachel Crookshank Gamble (1774-1840). When he died on 1 Jan 1822, James Macaulay left a powerful legacy of military and political service in Upper Canada. He also left behind extensive land holdings.
An assiduous collector of land grants for himself and his family, before 1800 he had received 1,600 acres as part of his military allotment, a town lot in York and 1,200 acres for his wife, and 600 acres for each of his four children. But his most important acquisition was a 100-acre park lot north of the town along Lot (Queen) Street west of Yonge Street; this area, on which he would later begin to lay out lots, became known as Macaulay Town and was absorbed into the city of Toronto in 1834.
James’ second son, James Buchanan Macaulay, was born 3 Dec 1793 in the fledgling loyalist settlement of Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake). After being schooled in Cornwall, he became an ensign with the 98th Foot stationed at Quebec. He was a lieutenant during the War of 1812 and was wounded in the left hip at Sackets Harbor, New York. After leading a charge across the frozen St Lawrence River into American artillery fire, he received a commendation. James also fought at Lundy’s Lane, Fort Erie and briefly commanded the garrison at York. Following the war, he studied law with Attorney General D’Arcy Boulton (Mabel Cartwright’s 2nd great grandfather) and was recognized for three and a half decades of superlative legal work with a knighthood in 1859.
James Buchanan Macaulay ended his days in what the young attorney general, John A. Macdonald*, paying tribute to him at a retirement dinner in 1856, had called “an untiring assiduity.” The Upper Canada Law Journal that year noted the “ample monuments” represented by Macaulay’s judgements in the law reports and observed quite accurately that he was the sort of figure whom “men of all parties looked up to as a pattern of judicial purity.” He had, in short, as that journal recorded at his death, quite simply “grown with the country.” A shy, retiring man, hesitant in speech but fluent and eminently rational in his reports, charges, and judgements, Macaulay had developed vast experience in watching over and guiding the new society. His opinions and recommendations were sought on a wide range of issues affecting the machinery of government, his citizenship and private life were exemplary, and his military youth suitably dashing. To his equally reticent wife, who survived him until 1883 when she died in England at the home of a married daughter, Macaulay left the family home in Toronto, Wykeham Lodge, and an estate worth $40,000. To the province he left a legacy of quiet public service and principled professionalism.
*Canada’s first Prime Minister
Since beginning work on Mabel Cartwright’s family tree in May this year, I’ve found 739 of her family members. So far, 38 of the men in Mabel’s family held titles, whether it be professional (doctor, church minister) or due to political awards and/or military achievements (Hon., Sir, Esq., Lieutenant).
James Secord (Mabel Cartwright’s great grand uncle) and his heroic wife, Laura Ingersoll Secord
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