George Stephen (1829-1921)
George Stephen, 1st Lord Mount Stephen
He emigrated from Scotland to Montreal and was the first Canadian to be elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom. He was the financial genius behind the creation of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was President of the Bank of Montreal and is remembered as one of the greatest philanthropists of his time: he built a new wing at the Montreal General Hospital, donated generously to various hospitals in Scotland and gave over £1.3 million to the Prince of Wales Hospital Fund in London, working closely with George V. He and his first cousin, Lord Strathcona, purchased the land and then each gave $1 million to the City of Montreal to construct and maintain the Royal Victoria Hospital. In 1888, he retired to England, living between Brocket Hall and 17 Carlton House Terrace. His first wife is credited with introducing the canoe to Scotland. From starting life as a bare-footed stable boy, he became the richest man in Canada and closely associated with George V, whose wife, Queen Mary, was a lifelong friend and confidante of the second Lady Mount Stephen.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 21/03/2019 and last updated on 21/03/2019.