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William Darling

Darling, WlIlIam, Montreal, deceased, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1819, and when he was in his twenty-first year, came to Canada, establishing himself shortly afterwards at Montreal, where so distinguished and honourable a business career awaited him. His father having adopted commerce in Edinburgh, the son resolved to try his fortune in the same sphere of activity in our new country. He entered into the iron and hardware trade, and remained connected with the same till the time of his death, achieving a wide rneasure of success. Mr. Darling married Miss Davidson, of Edinburgh, and there were eight children by the union, two of whom died in infancy. Two girls grew to maturity, one of whom married Dr. G. W. Ross, of Montreal, and died suddenly, within a year of her marriage, the other died unmarried. Four sons grew up with their father's business, and were associated with him as partners. William and James remained in Montreal, Andrew and Thomas J. went to Toronto, and took charge of the business there, white William Darling, the subject of this memoir, continued up to the time of his death a partner in both firms. Be was the eldest brother of Henry W. Darling and Robert Darling, of Toronto, and of Thomas and Adam Darling, of Montreal. The business of the two houses which Mr. Darling controlled, reached every part of the several. provinces, and while its style never changed, its methods of operation always brought credit to the deceased founder for honourable and upright dealing. Since 1840, he has been constantly and prominently identified with the commercial and political interests of Montreal. For many years he was a member of the Council of the Board of Trade, and for severaI terms its president. When the Merchants Bank was in trouble several years ago, such was the confidence of his fellow business men in Mr. Darling’s clear-sightedness, that he was called by unanimous voice of the shareholders, to take part in the management of the bank. It was largely due to Mr. Darling’s influence that George Hague was called to this bank, and the deceased merchant was thereafter Mr. Hague’s right-hand man. In 1878, Mr Darling was the Liberal candidate for Montreal West, when he was defeated by M. B. Gault. Mr Darling was an intimate friend of the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, Hon. Edward Blake, and the late Hon, L. H. Holton On commercial law, his opinion was regarded as second to that of no lawyer in the Dominion, and he was largely concerned with Mr. Abbott in framing the Insolvency Act that was repealed in 1879. He was selected by the Mackenzie government as commissioner to expropriate lands for the enlarged Lachine canal, and so well was his work appreciated, that on the change of government Sir John Macdonald retained him in that position till his duties were completed. He died at his residence at Hochelaga, on the 18th of November, 1885, of inflammation of the lungs. The character of Mr. Darling was the very highest, and he was a man of splendid abilities. Modesty is often associated with men of the highest worth, and this was eminently so in the case of Mr Darling, and as pointed out by a leading newspaper after his death, his shyness often kept him in the back ground, when his talents would have taken him to the front. At a meeting of the directors of the Merchants Bank of Canada, the following resolution was passed :— "That the directors of the Merchants Bank of Canada desire to place on record. their deep sense of the loss the bank and mercantile community have sustained in the death of their late esteemed colleague, Mr. William Darling. His large experience and sound judgment were uniformly used in the advancement of the interests of the bank, and his assiduous attention to the many important matters brought before the board greatly contributed to the position the bank now occupies in the cornmunity. The directors beg to convey to the widow and family of the deceased, their sincere condolence on the loss they have sustained, and for the purpose of duly conveying to them this mark of appreciation and sympathy, direct that a copy of this minute, duly engrossed and signed, be forwarded by the president and general manager on behalf of the bank. Andrew Allan, president; G. Hague, general manager." The Council of the Board of Trade of Montreal, passed the following: "Resolved—that the Council of the Montreal Board of Trade, fully recognizes the valuable and varied services so untiringly rendered to the commercial and trade interests of this city, by the late William Darling, Esq., during the many years in which be served as a member of the council, and afterwards as president of the board, and the council now records its deep sense of the loss sustained by Montreal in his decease; that a copy of this resolution be cornmunicated to the bereaved family, together with an expression of the sincere sympathy of the council. Permit me to say, that I personally share in the regrets of the council, and tender also my respectful condolence. I am, dear sir, yours sincerely, W. J. Patterson, secretary; William Darling. Esq." Mr. Darling was often consulted by his brother merchants, and was frequently called as arbitrator between them, as well as for the government in disputes that would otherwise have been carried before the higher courts in the Dominion. He was much devoted to farming and gardening, and these occupations he carried on to some extent at his residence, Bloomfield House, Hochelaga.

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