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Canadian History
Archibald Henry Macdonald


Guelph, Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding the 1st Provisional Brigade of Field Artillery, Active Militia, Barrister-at-Law and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ontario, was born at Cobourg, on the 21st July, 1848. He is the eldest son of Archibald Macdonald, late judge of the County Court of the County of Wellington, and Jane Ann his wife, who was a daughter of the Rev. David Wright. Judge Macdonald was the eldest son of the late Archibald Macdonald of Cobourg, formerly a captain in H. M. 35th Foot, and colonel of the 4th Northumberland Militia. Lieut.-Col. Macdonald was educated principally at the Guelph Grammar School, and studied law in the office of Judge Ingsmill, now of Walkerton, then practising in Guelph, and his partners, being called to the bar at the head of his class, in Hilary term, 1870, and in the ensuing term admitted as an attorney. Mr. Macdonald first joined the militia as a private in the Guelph Rifle Company, and obtained a 2nd Class Military School certificate, 10th August, 1864; and 1st Class, 8th March, 1865. Soon after he was appointed instructor to the company, with the rank of captain, and he went with his company to the front in March, 1866. He obtained a first class certificate in gunnery from the Royal Artillery School, at Toronto, on the 26th May, 1870. He was commissioned as lieutenant in the Guelph Garrison Battery on the 12th August, 1870, of which he was appointed captain on the 12th April, in the following year. After serving as adjutant in the 30th Battalion Artillery Militia, at the annual drill at Goderich, 1871, the battery was converted into a field battery, "The Wellington", in September, 1871, when Captain Macdonald was appointed to command it, and received as a special case promotion the brevet rank of major on 16th April, 1875. Subsequently the Ontario Field Battery was raised at Guelph, and the batteries were brigaded as the 1st Provisional Brigade Field Artillery, on the 24th March, 1880, when Major Macdonald was appointed to the command, and was given the rank of lieutenant-colonel on the 25th Nov., 1881. He had served on the staff of Deputy Adjutant General Taylor, at London, and at Sussex, N. B. He commanded the detachment of Canadian Artillery sent to the Shoeburyness competitions, in 1883, and has with so much success commanded his brigade that out of five years, from 1879 to 1884, in which prizes for general efficiency were offered to field batteries by the Governor-General of Canada, each of his batteries has twice won the cups. He is president of the Council of the Dominion Artillery Association, and a member of the Executive Committee, and he is also a member of the Council of the Dominion Rifle Association. Lieut.-Col. Macdonald stands high is the records of his townsfolk for ability and integrity; and for the years 1884 and 1885 he has served as alderman for Guelph. In politics, he always has been an unswerving Conservative, and in religion, he is a member of the Church of England. On the 21st October, 1875, he married Alicia, daughter of the late Robert White, of Guelph. We should be by no means surprised if our subject's position as alderman were only a step in the direction of wider political usefulness.


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