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Frederick William MacQueen


Macqueen, Frederick William, Woodstock, was born in Woodstock, Ontario, on the 22nd of May, 1850. He is the eldest son of the late Honourable Judge Macqueen, of Woodstock. With respect to his paternal ancestors we find the following, which we reproduce: "David Shank Macqueen was the scion of an old and distinguished Scotch family. The Isle of Skye, from which his father came with his regiment, still retains affection for a home of proportions in her local history. Dr. Johnson, we are told by Boswell, spoke of the Rev. Dr. Macqueen as the most learned man in North Britain, and one of the finest gentlemen of the day. Judge Macqueen was born at Quebec, 12th of September, 1811, and was the son of Captain Alexander Macqueen, by Grace, daughter of the Honourable Thomas Fraser. He received his education at Cornwall, under the Rev. Dr. Urquhart, and afterwards moved to Brockville to study law. This was int he stormy days of 1837-38. From the Report of Services for those years we extract the following:- "While pursuing his legal studies at Brockville, the rebellion of 1837-38 broke out in Lower Canada, and Mr. Macqueen was sent on January 2nd, in a batteau to Cornwall, with a detachment of men in charge of arms for the Glengarry militua. Upon his return from this difficult and hazardous service, he was appointed lieutenant in the troop of cavalry commanded by Capt. Harvey, which he had assisted in rising. He was then sent to Dickenson's Landing to bring up the head-quarters of the 32nd and 83rd regiments, under the command of Captains Markham and Colquhoun. This duty having been done, he assisted, under the authority of Sir John Colborne, commander of the forces, in raising a company of the Queen's Loyal Borderers, in which regiment he was gazetted captain in January, 1838, and served in that corps at Brockville for six months. While in Brockville certain suspicious looking vessels, crowded with men, having appeared off the town, apparently making for Prescott, Mr. Macqueen volunteered as a private marine on board Her Majecty's Steamer Experiment, Liet. Fowell, to follow them, and his services having been accepted, he was on board when she opened fire at Prescott upon the before mentioned vessels, and upon the steamer United States. The enemy having landed at the Windmill, Mr. Macqueen went on shore, and volunteered on the advance guard of the left wing of the attacking force, under the command of the late Col. R. D. Fraser, which advance guard received the first fire of the enemy from behind the stone walls surrounding the butternut orchard at that place." This division compelled the surrender of the rebel commander, who handed his sword to Mr. (then Capt.) Macqueen as trophy of the victory which is still in the possession of the family. Shortly after this Mr. Macqueen was called to the bar, and after a brief practice as a barrister, received the appointment of Judge of the County of Oxford. Speaking of the death of this worthy gentleman, which occurred June 6th, 1883, an eloquent and accurate pen says: "It is unnecessary for us to dwell upon his long services of forty years as the chief magistrate of this county. They are the most endearing mementoes of a life long to be remembered. On Tuesday he was laid to rest in the quiet little churchyard of Huntingford. It was a glorious day of sunshine above, and as those who knew and loved the kind old man looked across the valley to his old home on the hilltop, nestled among the trees he loved so well, one could not but think such a day was in accord with the close of the life of him who had passed away. Judge Macqueen was married to Fanny Muttleberry, M.D., inspector general of Army Hospitals, England, in June 1846, who survived him, together with two sons and four daughters." His son, the subject of this memoir, received a finished education. He first attended the trinity School at Port Hope, and afterwards entered the University of trinity College, Toronto. When about twenty-two, he left college and began the study of law in the office of the Honourable Edward Blake, Toronto, where he remained till 1876. Owing then to his appointment to the clerkship of the First Division Court for the County of Oxford and ill health, he discontinued his legal studies. In 1870 he joined the Queen's Own Rifles, and served as private in Trinity College Company, No. 8, for three years. After his departure from Toronto, he joined No. 6 Company, 22nd Battalion "Oxford Rifles," as a private, and shortly afterwards was appointed staff-sergeant. In 1876 he was promoted to the lieutenancy of No. 1 company, and in 1878 he obtained the captaincy. Since his promotion he has always been specially mentioned in the annual reports of the Canadian militia. Mr. Macqueen is president of the Woodstock Amateur Athletic Association, and was one of the principal organizers of that body. He is likewise secretary and treasurer of the Woodstock Rife Association, and was for five years a director of the Western District Rifle Association, at Loudon. He was for two years financier of the A.O.U.W., and has been receiver from 1882 to the present. He is a Freemason. He has always taken an interest in politics, being a conservative. But he is independent of parties, and looks to the welfare of the country as the end for which all, irrespective of divisions, should strive. By an accident in 1883 he lost his sight, and in accordance with the wishes of his friends, went to London, England, where an operation was performed by the celebrated Dr. Bader. The operation was successful, and he fully recovered his sight, and before returning to Canada he spent about five months on the continent, chiefly in Germany. To show with what skill the operation was performed, we might say that Mr. Macqueen has since been able to take part in rifle matches. In religion he is an Episcopalian.


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