William Caven, Presbyterian minister, educator (b at Kirkcolm, Scot 26 Dec 1830, d at Toronto 1 Dec 1904). Immigrating to Canada in 1847, Caven studied at United Presbyterian Seminary at London, Canada West, and entered the ministry in 1852. In 1865 he was called to the Chair of Exegetical Theology in Knox College, Toronto, became principal in 1873, and led the college into full affiliation with University of Toronto. He remained as principal until his death.
In 1875, as moderator of the General Assembly of the Canada Presbyterian Church, he was involved in the negotiations which united the Free Church and Kirk in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Later, he was also a strong advocate of interdenomination Protestant union, in part because of the seeming threat of Roman Catholicism. Caven's ecumenicism in the late 1880s and 1890s must be seen in the context of his strong opposition to the JESUITS' ESTATES ACT of 1888 and to denominational schools in Manitoba in the 1890s.