McCaul, John

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Born 7 March 1807 (Dublin, Ireland); died 16 April 1886 (Toronto)
Gold Medal in Classics; Master’s Degree, 1828 (University of Trinity College, Dublin) (entered Trinity in 1820)
1835: LLB and LLD, Dublin
University Examiner in Classics, Dublin
Admitted to holy orders: diaconate 1831; priesthood 1833
Principal of Upper Canada College 1839
Vice-President and Professor of Classics, King’s College 1843 (professor as well of Logic, Rhetoric, and Belles-lettres)
First President of University College (1853-1880) and second President, UofT
Retired 1880
President, Royal Canadian Institute

President and founder, Philharmonic Society (Toronto) (c. 1845)

Rev. John McCaul was a young graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, upon arrival to Upper Canada. He began his term as Principal of Upper Canada College in 1839 at the age of roughly 30 years-old. Previous to this position, McCaul was a classical tutor and examiner at Trinity College, Dublin and an author of classical literature. He was known to be a polished and eloquent speaker with commanding personality.

Ten years following his appointment to Principal of Upper Canada College, he succeeded Dr. Rev. John Strachan as director of the University of King's College.

Responsible for introduction of system of options in undergraduate curriculum – and by extension, the two streams of Pass or General, and Honours; better articulated the linkages between secondary and post-secondary, to ease access; and increased undergraduate program from three years to four.


McCaul, John. Remarks on the classical course taught in Trinity College, Dublin.
___________. Britanno-Roman inscriptions (1862)
___________.Christian Epitaphs of the first century (1868)
Editor, The Maple Leaf (pioneer Canadian monthly)


King, John. McCaul, Croft, Forneri. Toronto: Macmillan, 1914.

Craig, Gerald M. ‘John McCaul,’ Dictionary of Canadian Biography, XI (1881-1890) 540-541.