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John. A. Macdonald (1815 - 1891)

John. A. Macdonald, who became Canada’s first prime minister at Confederation, began the study of law in 1830 under George Mackenzie, a prominent Kingston lawyer.  Three years later he came to Hallowell (now Picton) to manage the law practice of his cousin, Lowther P. Macpherson, who was in ill-health.  During his stay here, Macdonald became the first secretary of the Prince Edward Young Men’s Society in 1834 and served as secretary of the Prince Edward District School Board.  The latter position constituted his earliest experience in the field of public administration.  Macdonald returned to Kingston in the summer of 1835 where he set up his own law practice.


44.00743°N, 77.14187°W, in front of the Naval Marine Archive, at 205 Main Street, Picton.


-    A statue of Macdonald, ‘Holding Court’, by Ruth Abernathy used to stand on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road from this plaque, but it was removed into storage in 2021.
-    Hallowell became part of Picton in 1837.
-    Another Prince Edward County site associated with John A. Macdonald is the mill at Glenora, where he lived with his family before going to Kingston.

Sir John A.'s activities in Picton as a young man.... READ MORE


The Rev. William Macaulay


In 1803 William Macaulay, son of a United Empire Loyalist, received a crown grant of some 400 acres of land in this vicinity. Born in Kingston, Macaulay was educated under the Rev. John Strachan and at Oxford University. Ordained in 1818, he used his own funds to finance the construction of this church, St. Mary Magdalene, which began in 1825.  Macaulay also donated land for the District court-house and gaol. The resultant settlement, which through his influence was named Picton, after Sir Thomas Picton, a distinguished British soldier, was incorporated with the adjacent community of Hallowell in 1837. Macaulay is buried in this churchyard.


44.00862ºN, -77.13201697490132ºW at Macaulay Heritage Park, 23 Church Street, Picton


Macaulay Heritage Park website


Macaulay's contributions to Picton.... READ MORE