I visited the Castle of Allan N. MacNab in Hamilton with Mr. Rajan his wife Ms. Sajini and his brother Mr. Sajan.
Allan Napier MacNab was born inNiagara, Ontario, Canada, to Allan MacNab and Anne, daughter of Capt. Peter William Napier, R.N., the commissioner of the port and harbour of Quebec. When he was a year old, McNab was baptized in the Anglican church in St. Mark's Parish of Newark. His father was a lieutenant in the 71st Regiment and the Queen's Rangers under Lt-Col. John Graves Simcoe. After the Queen’s Rangers were disbanded the family moved around the country in search of work and eventually settled in York (Toronto) where MacNab was educated at the Home District Grammar School.
As a fourteen-year-old boy he fought in the War of 1812. He probably served at York and also certainly as the point man in the Canadian forlorn hope that headed the Anglo-Canadian assault on Fort Niagara. The 20 local men eliminated two American pickets of 20 men each with the bayonet before taking part in the final assault (Captain Kerby of the Incorporated Militia Battalion was reportedly the first man into the fort).
After the war he studied law in Toronto and was admitted to the bar in 1824. In 1826 MacNab moved from York (Toronto) to Hamilton, Ontario where he established a successful law office, though it was chiefly through land speculation that he made his fortune. There was no Anglican church in Hamilton in those early days, so MacNab attended a Presbyterian church until Christ Church was established in 1835. In 1830 he was elected to represent the city in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, a position he held for some 27 years.
As a member of the legislature, MacNab opposed the reform movement in Upper Canada led by William Lyon Mackenzie. When Mackenzie led the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837, MacNab was part of the British militia that moved against Mackenzie at Montgomery's Tavern in Toronto on 7 December, dispersing Mackenzie's rebels in less than an hour. On 29 December, MacNab and Captain Andrew Drew of the Royal Navy commanding a party of militia, acting on information and guidance from Alexander McLeod, attacked Mackenzie's supply ship at Navy Island. The sinking of the SS Caroline became known as the Caroline affair.
MacNab then led a militia of his own against the rebels marching towards Toronto from London, led by Charles Duncombe. Duncombe's men also dispersed when they learned MacNab was waiting for them. In 1838 he was knighted for his zeal in suppressing the rebellion. He served in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, leading the province from 1854 to 1856. He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1860 representing Western division and served until his death. When Parliament met at Montreal, MacNab took apartments at Donegana's Hotel.
A successful entrepreneur as well as politician, MacNab, with Glasgow merchant Peter Buchanan, was responsible for the construction of the Great Western Railway (Ontario).
MacNab was married twice, first to Elizabeth Brooke, who died 5 November 1826, possibly of complications following childbirth. Together they had two children. His second marriage was to Mary Stuart, who died 8 May 1846. Mary was a Catholic, and the couple's two daughters, named Sophia Mary and Minnie, were raised as Catholics.
McNab died on 8 Aug 1862 at his home, Dundurn Castle, in Hamilton. His deathbed conversion to Catholicism caused a furor in the press in the following days. The Toronto Globe and the Hamilton Spectator expressed strong doubts about the conversion, and the Anglican rector of Christ Church declared that MacNab died a Protestant. MacNab's Catholic baptism is recorded at St. Mary's Cathedral in Hamilton, at the hands of John Farrell, Bishop of Hamilton, on 7 August 1862.
When the 12th Chief of Clan Macnab died, he bequeathed all his heirlooms to Sir Allan MacNab, Bart., Prime Minister of the Province of Canada, whom he considered the next Chief. When Sir Allan’s son was killed in a shooting accident in the Dominion, the chieftain ship of Clan Macnab passed to the Macnabs of Arthurstone.
Allan MacNab married his second wife, Mary, daughter of Mr. Sheriff Stuart, of the Johnstown District, Ontario. The couple's eldest daughter Sophia, Countess of Albemarle was born at Hamilton, Ont. Sophia married, at Dundurn Castle, Hamilton, 15 November 1855, the Right Honourable William Coutts Keppel, Viscount Bury, afterwards William Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle, who died 1894. Sophia was the mother of Arnold Allan Cecil Keppel, 8th Earl of Albemarle (born in London. England, 1 June 1858), and of eight other children. One of her sons, the Honourable Erek Keppel served an Equerry to The Duke of York after 1893, and was in Canada with His Royal Highness, in 1901. Residence: 53 Lowndes Square, London, S. W., England (Information courtesy Wikipedia).
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