William Paul McClure Kennedy

William Paul McClure Kennedy, historian, jurist, educator (born 8 January 1879 in Shankill, Ireland; died 12 August 1963 in ​Toronto, ​ON).

William Paul McClure Kennedy, historian, jurist, educator (born 8 January 1879 in Shankill, Ireland; died 12 August 1963 in Toronto, ON). Kennedy was educated at Paris, Vienna and Berlin, and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he majored in modern history, jurisprudence and constitutional law. He came to Canada in 1913 and taught English at St Francis Xavier. In 1915 he was hired by the University of Toronto as lecturer in English and history. Kennedy was a special lecturer on federal institutions in the department of political economy in 1922, and became professor of law and political institutions in 1926. Largely through his efforts a separate department of law was created in 1930, and he became its first head.

Kennedy was founder-editor of the University of Toronto Law Journal and a prolific author. Through such books as The Constitution of Canada (1922) he influenced a generation of students with his "Actonian" view of nationalism. He advised many government commissions, including the federal Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations (1937). He was respected rather than liked; his colleagues found him "mercurial" and "somewhat erratic."


Further Reading

  • C. Berger, The Writing of Canadian History (1976).