CCHA, Report, 18 (1951), 109-120
William Hales Hingston, M.D. (1829-1907)
THE REV. WILLIAM H. HINGSTON, S.J.
William Hales Hingston was born on June 29th, 1829, on a farm at Hinchinbrook, Lower Canada. His father, Samuel James Hingston one of the Hingstons of Anglish, Co. Cork, had come out to Canada from Ireland in August, 1805, with H. M. 100th Regiment of Foot. In 1818 Lieutenant James Hingston retired from the army on half-pay. While in Ireland he had married in Dublin, in 1801, Miss Winifred Cavendish. Soon after his coming to Canada he was joined in Montreal by his wife and two small children. The first Mrs. Hingston died in Montreal. We then read in the old registers that Lieutenant S. J. Hingston, of H. M. 100th Regiment, “by licence from His Excellency, Sir George Prévost, Baronet, Captain General and Governor in and over the Province of Lower Canada,” was united in marriage on April 15th, 1815, in old St. Gabriel’s Church, Montreal, with Mary Eleanor McGrath, daughter of Owen McGrath and of Margaret Carey, both parents having come out from County Cork.
In 1823 Hingston obtained from the Crown a parcel of land situated along the Chateauguay River, in the township of Hinchinbrook, Lower Canada, not far from the present town of Huntington. He had taken a fancy to the property over which he had shot and fished. Subsequent grants of land further increased the Hingston holdings. But it must be confessed that the retired officer was no startling success as a backwoods farmer. He had too many servants and employees. He retained his military coat, was rarely seen except on horseback, hunted and fished, and died at the age of fifty-six of pneumonia caught while stalking deer on his own land. He had kept up his interest in military affairs, had organized and commanded the Fourth Battalion of the Beauharnois Regiment, and then, as Lieutenant Colonel, the First Battalion. He was also Justice of the Peace for the Montreal District.
He was buried with military honors at a spot selected by him on his own farm for a family burying ground. When he died in 1831, he left his widow lands encumbered by debt, three children by his first marriage, and a young family of five by the second. William Hales was the elder of two boys, the three elder children being girls. But Mrs. Hingston was fully equal to the task. With the help of a small income of her own, but chiefly through good management, she bought more property, worked the farm economically, paid off her late husband’s debts, and brought up her family.
CHILDHOOD AND EARLY EDUCATION
Mrs. Hingston played a large part in her elder son’s life. William was intensely attached to his mother, and his affection for her partook of veneration. While she lived there seemed no room in his heart for any other woman. She died in his home in Montreal, in 1866, and he was wont to say that only then did he “grow up.” The Hingston children received their primary education in the local school in Hinchinbrook taught by Mr. John Rose, later Sir John Rose. The girls were afterwards sent to the Academy of the Congrégation de Notre Dame in Montreal, and William at the age of twelve went to Montreal College, or Petit Séminaire of the Sulpicians, the only Catholic college in Montreal. He was to be at college only two years. Towards the close of his second summer holidays his mother asked him one day what his plans were for the future. “I cannot afford to give all my children a classical education,” she explained, “and I must treat all my children alike. However, if you can assure me that you intend to go on for the priesthood, I will make special sacrifices for you.” “Mother,” the boy of fourteen replied, “I would certainly feel very happy and very honoured if God were to call me to the priestood, but I am too young to make such a decision. “If, therefore, you require a decisive answer, it will have to be ‘No.’” Thus William’s formal education ended far the time being. He came to Montreal and was apprenticed to a druggist with whose family he lived. But he had other ambitions. Surreptitiously the youth studied at night long hours after the household had gone to sleep, received coaching in Latin from his old teachers at Montreal College, and matriculated into McGill, first in pharmacy, then in medicine.
On graduation from McGill in 1851, Dr. Hingston left at once for two years of post-graduate studies in Europe. He took full advantage of every opportunity, attended clinics of leading medical men in many countries, beginning in Ireland; worked unbelievably hard, practiced rigid economy — living when alone, he told us, mostly on bread and water, though when in company with others he never gave the impression of being short of funds. He secured medical diplomas in Prussia and in Bavaria, and in Austria the coveted distinction of membership in the Royal Leopold Academy. In London he took his licentiate in the Royal College of Physicians, but he stayed longest in Edinburgh where he won his fellowship in surgery, and best of all, became the personal assistant of Sir James Y. Simpson, reputed to be the world’s greatest surgeon of his day. Only four years previously, Simpson had first suggested the use of chloroform for general anaesthesia, thus greatly widening the field of surgery and making practicable operations which previously had been considered well nigh impossible.
Had the young Canadian doctor listened to the great Scots surgeon’s earnest solicitations that he stay in Europe, his fortune would have been made. But there was his mother to be considered, and he relinquished these brilliant prospects and returned to Canada to open practice in Montreal.
APPEARANCE AND PHYSIQUE
We may pause in our recording of events, to take a look at the outward appearance of the man whose life we are considering. Dr. Hingston was tall (just over six feet) broad-shouldered, slim waisted, straight as an arrow, and athletic. He was an extraordinarily handsome man with a magnificent head and fine masculine features, and he carried himself with great grace. The adjectives we find recurring in all of the notices that appeared of him at his death are “charming,” “dignified,” “handsome,” “distinguished” and “courtly”; and the nouns are “kindliness,” “stateliness,” “graciousness,” “impressiveness.” There was no stiffness, no self-consciousness in his manner, but complete simplicity. His firm lips and serious thoughtful face made upon some the impression of his being severe; but the least acquaintance showed him to be kindly in the extreme. His looks and manner were the truthful outward expression of himself. He was a man whose very appearance inevitably attracted attention and commanded respect. Even those who almost any day could see him on the street would turn to watch him as he walked by, and at medical conventions he became at once a centre of attraction.
He retained until almost the end his robust good health, kept all his teeth, and at seventy could operate without glasses. He put into practice a few simple health rules: he ate very sparingly, never smoked, avoided strong drink, took much physical exercise and plenty of sleep. Until well on into middle age, he would occasionally indulge in walks of twenty, thirty, or even forty miles or more. But his preferred form of exercise was riding, for it combined exercise with visits to his patients. Before he could afford a carriage, he kept two saddle horses, his own and one for his groom. He loved to follow the hounds with the Montreal Hunt, but this form of relaxation took up too much valuable time to be indulged in often; yet he did manage to collect a row of fox-masks, and was what the Irish call a “straight rider to hounds.” Rowing was another form of exercise be loved, and not infrequently, when he could not get away from his work in time to catch the steamer, he would hire a skiff and row down the sixteen miles from Montreal to his country house below Varennes.
BEGINS MEDICAL PRACTICE
Dr. Hingston began practice in 1853. In the second year of his practice occurred the dreadful cholera epidemic of 1854, in which the district of Montreal called Griffintown and Point St. Charles, peopled by Irish immigrants, was the most seriously affected. The devotedness of their doctor is legendary. At every hour of the night as of the day Dr. Hingston was on call. He seemed to be ubiquitous, hurrying from house to house. He spent days without lying down on his bed, but falling asleep on horseback from exhaustion, or stretching out for a brief snatch of sleep on the floor by the cot of a cholera patient.
On September 10th, 1875, in St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto, Archbishop Lynch officiating, took place the marriage of Dr. William Hales Hingston, Mayor of Montreal, with Margaret Josephine, second daughter of Colonel the Honourable Donald Alexander Macdonald, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. It was a very grand social affair, both in the cathedral and at the reception in Government House. Notables attended from many parts of Canada. The brides father had previously been a member of the cabinet of the Hon. Alexander MacKenzie, before becoming the second Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; while the bride’s uncle, John Sandfield Macdonald, Prime Minister of United Canada before Confederation, became with the advent of Confederation the first Premier of Ontario and Attorney General, though holding at the same time in the Dominion Government the portfolio of Solicitor General. Through her mother, Catherine Fraser of Fraserfield, the future Mrs. Hingston was closely related with those Highland Scots of Glengarry and adjoining counties whose names are perpetuated in Canadian history.*
Dr. Hingston’s achievements in surgery are the items of his life that have been featured in encyclopedias and in medical literature; but they must be of very moderate interest today since surgical knowledge and technique have made such gigantic strides of late, benefiting as it has not merely by experience gained in surgery itself but also by advances made in very many other departments of science, in biology, in biochemistry, in electricity and radiology, and literally in a hundred other departments of applied science. However, we must not make the mistake of viewing the achievements of sixty or eighty years ago, in the light of present day knowledge, but in the circumstances of the times in which they were made.
I take the following convenient summary from the pages of the British Medical Journal of 1892, volume 2, in which occurs an extended editorial comment on the paper on surgery read by Dr. Hingston before the British Medical Association. I quote verbatim: “The tongue and lower jaw, he reminds us, were first removed together in Canada, the unnominate and gluteal arteries were first ligatured in Canada, and he mentions also that to Canada and Montreal belongs the credit of the first nephrectomy, although he modestly does not say that it was Dr. Hingston himself who was the first to remove the tongue and lower jaw, and that it was himself also who preceded Simon of Hidelberg by several months, and the French and British surgeons by much larger periods, in removing the human kidney. Dr. Hingston’s position as surgeon to the Hôtel Dieu has afforded him great opportunities of which he has availed himself, for he has performed there many operations on the brain and spleen, and has done good work in every department of surgery.” This quotation from the British Medical Journal and this brief summary may perhaps suffice. To these “firsts” in world surgery, could be added a much longer list of surgical operations never before performed in Canada, some going back even to the early years of his practice, as for instance, in 1861 his resection of the elbow joint.
THE GENERAL PRACTITIONER
Besides surgery there is another side to Dr. Hingston’s medical career. He was par excellence the family physician. My brother Donald once remarked to me that it was as family doctor that our father was best known, at least in Montreal, and certainly most beloved. I would like to make clear why this should be. But here it is that the limitations of space press most heavily upon the biographer. It would be comparatively easy by means of telling anecdotes to depict in Dr. Hingston the family physician of a generation or two ago, when the doctor appeared more than a mere medical expert and became with the years the family’s friend and most trusted adviser. That type of medical man would not be easy to find today, at least not in large cities. It no longer happens that the eminent surgeon who has in the forenoon performed a half-dozen major operations, one or two of which may have been rare and difficult, on patients who have been sent to him from a distance, while he has lectured meanwhile to students on the operation being performed, should after a light lunch devote the early part of the afternoon to office consultations, dispose of a waiting-room full of patients, and then after all that go out on a round of visits to patients in their homes. That is simply not done, but that is what Dr. Hingston did for fifty-three years.
Specialization in medicine and still more in surgery is today the rule, and this has become a practical necessity; yet specialization is often achieved at the expense of something vastly important. It was Dr. Hingston’s considered opinion that no one should make surgery his exclusive career, until he had been ten years in general practice. The following warning which he gave to the British Medical Association in 1892 was commented upon approvingly by the great medical and surgical journals of several countries. Dr. Hingston said in part:
“When in our profession, men of energy devote themselves to any branch of knowledge, and apply their minds thereto with continued attention, they cease to realize, that beyond and around them there are other branches of our art which partake of the same nature, and which cannot be divorced from each other without mutual injury. Nowadays, it is difficult for men even of superior intellect and of liberal knowledge to avoid being drifted away into one or other of the narrow rivulets leading from or flowing out of the general mainstream of surgery, and becoming so absorbed in the pursuit of partial truth as not to perceive that it is wanting in many parts; that it is incomplete, unfinished and defective, and can only obtain wholeness when facts are arranged and when phenomena, however distinct they may appear to be, are brought under a common law. No separate department of surgery, when isolated from its surroundings for the purpose of enquiry can, of itself become an art. I cannot emphasize this too strongly.”
DEVOTION TO AN IDEAL
Dr. Hingston devoted to this profession every moment of his time. He felt that he literally owed himself to his patients, that they had always the first claim upon him, and no other activity must ever be allowed to interfere with this his first duty. To him, the practice of the healing art appeared not as a means of livelihood but as a noble calling. The fees he charged his patients were always ridiculously small. For the great bulk of his work he asked no earthly remuneration. Yet, he treated the unnumbered poor with the same kindly consideration as he did the richest and accounted himself more than well repaid by their prayers and by the example they so often gave him of patience in suffering and of confidence in God. He allowed himself no annual holidays. In several years he took off not even one full day. He purchased in 1884 on the south shore of the St. Lawrence some sixteen miles below Montreal an old seignioral house beautifully situated and there his family spent their vacations. He loved the spot and every tree on it and the home life at “The Cape.” Yet for him the summer holidays consisted in a bare two nights a week, when he could slip away after office hours to take the river boat, or the train to the country, only to be up the next morning at six to catch again the same boat or train back to his work in town. On Sunday after hearing a very early Mass, he would make the river steamer, reach Varennes at nine o’clock to be driven down to his family and breakfast, only to leave again after tea. That was his summer régime for thirty years; and even this slight relaxation the doctor would deny himself if one of his patients needed his care.
Dr. Hingston’s influence in the medical profession was very wide and deep. In the first place, as professor of clinical surgery in four different medical schools — Bishop’s, Montreal School, Victoria, Laval — over a period of forty-seven years, he profoundly influenced the lives and characters of many generations of future physicians and surgeons who went all over Canada and the United States. He was a born teacher, lucid, forceful, always interesting. He gave advice that went beyond the immediate matter in hand, for he always beheld in his patient the whole man, not simply a fracture case, not merely a being composed of a body alone. His side remarks on the upholding of professional standards, on dealing with medical confrères and with different classes of patients, on respecting womanly modesty and reserve, and on many other kindred topics took into account man’s present condition and immortal destiny and the implications of that destiny, and not simply the circumstances of the present life. The few remarks I have been able to find preserved in newspaper clippings of addresses to graduating classes tell of his insistence on the duty of study, on hard work, and on the development of the power of observation. Here is a sample: “You have studied in your text-books typical cases, and you have had the benefit of listening to physicians and surgeons of long experience. But you cannot acquire experience at second hand: you must acquire your own. No case, you will find, is in every point a typical case. Diseases do not run exactly the course that the text-book indicates. There are very many factors that influence the ailment and consequently the treatment you must give. Note these things in your memory, study your cases and you will enrich your mind with that knowledge which experience alone can bring. — Good luck to you.”
Dr. Hingston’s influence in the profession was exercised in many other ways. He wrote easily and extremely well and contributed to medical journals numerous reports on rare and interesting cases. He was in demand as a lecturer in Canada and abroad and in his later years attended important medical conventions in several countries — in England, the United States, Mexico, France, Spain and elsewhere. Everywhere he made a deep impression by his contributions and still more by his personality.
If I might single out the two services to public health in Canada which were in my opinion the most important, I should say that the creation of Boards of Public Health — of the Montreal Board of Health, first, and of the Provincial Board of Health afterwards — was one; and that compulsory vaccination was the other.
Through the exercise of great tact and determination he carried through the setting up of the Montreal Board of Health, the first of its kind in Canada. The conspicuous services rendered to the citizens of Montreal by this Board led to the establishing of the Provincial Board. The example set in Montreal led in its turn to the establishment of similar municipal and provincial boards throughout Canada. In 1885 by compulsory vaccination he ended a terrible epidemic of smallpox.
It would be impossible to give a list of Dr. Hingston’s medical activities and affiliations. He helped to organize the Bishop’s College School of Medicine in Montreal, took part in organizing the Womens’ Hospital, and then some years later the Montreal Western hospital, of which he was a charter member, Governor, and for many years head of the Medical Board. He became in turn professor of clinical surgery in Montreal School of Medicine and Surgery, in Victoria University Medical School, in Bishop’s and finally and until his death in Laval School of Medicine and Surgery. He was governor of Laval University. He began as surgeon of St. Patrick’s Hospital, an institution opened in 1852 by the Hôtel Dieu nuns to care for the Irish sick and paid for with the monies found in the belongings or on the persons of the thousands of Irish immigrants who had died in Montreal, victims of ship fever. This Irish Catholic Hospital was amalgamated in 1860 with the Hôtel Dieu (that venerable institution which dates back to 1644) and two wards, St. Patrick’s and St. Brigid’s were founded for the Irish sick. Of this hospital Dr. Hingston was surgeon for forty-six years and Surgeon-in-Chief for thirty-seven years.
Dr. Hingston also was chiefly responsible for the re-organization of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Montreal, of which he was many times president, and at all times one of its most active members in reporting cases, in lecturing, and in leading in discussions. He was at different times president of the Association of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Quebec, Vice-president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, President of the surgical section of the Pan-American Medical Association, and of many other bodies both national and international.
In the midst of all these activities, (1885) he found time to write a book, The Climate of Canada and its Relation to Health and Life, a book which was widely praised for its charm of style no less than for its interesting information. He also took his full share in the activities which prominent citizens are called upon to perform. He was for some time president of the Montreal Street Railway; a Director for many years, and then President for many years more and until his death, of the Montreal City and District Savings Bank, an institution established primarily to encourage thrift and to receive the savings of the poor. Under Dr. Hingston’s wise and vigorous direction the bank increased the number of its branches, so that many were heard to express the regret that he had not been able to devote his whole time to finance, so wise and far. seeing were his counsels. He took a great interest in everything connected with healthy sport and encouraged snow-shoeing and lacrosse, assisted the Montreal swimming club, and had the city make over for their use a portion of St. Helen’s Island.
MAYOR OF MONTREAL
In 1875, he was waited upon by an important delegation headed by Sir Francis Hincks who bore a petition signed by hundreds of the leading citizens asking him to run for Mayor, and was elected by a record majority. Elected to a second term by acclamation he refused a third, but he was able to state on election day that the compaign had cost him not one second of his time and not one farthing of his money. In his reminiscences Senator L. O. David, who had been for many years Clerk of the City Council of Montreal, wrote of the perfect dignity and courtesy that had marked all the meetings of the Council during the mayoralty of Dr. Hingston.
Yet many critical events happened during those two years. I shall mention but two. One is known as the Guibord affair which would require a paper to itself. By display of extraordinary tact and firmness, the Mayor averted bloodshed and what might easily have become the beginning of civil war in Lower Canada, and earned the grateful appreciation of the Governor General, Lord Dufferin, and the thanks of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
On another occasion also he quelled an incipient riot in the nick of time to avert bloodshed. It was in the winter of 1875-76. There was much unemployment and much suffering and a crowd of unemployed demanding bread marched on the City Hall where they had smashed the windows a few months before. The riot act was about to be read. The Mayor’s Deputy holding in his shaking hands the Riot Act was in the act of going out on the isteps to read it to the crowd. At that moment Dr. Hingston arrived on the scene. “Here, take this Mr. Mayor and read it, so that we may then lawfully give orders to the police to fire, before the building is invaded,” and he tried to thrust the paper into the Mayor's hands. Dr. Hingston waved the paper aside. “These men are not criminals,” he said. “They are poor fellows whose families are starving. It is the bounden duty of our City Council to find them work,” and leaving the hall, he went out and showed himself before the angry crowd, fearless and sympathetic. There was immediate silence. He addressed to the men before him words which evinced much sympathy but no fear, and we read that ere his voice had died away, the crowd had quietly dispersed. A few hundred remained in the neighborhood and craved permission to accompany him home, to prevent, as they said, wicked persons doing him harm. The doctor thanked them warmly for their solicitude, but declined as unnecessary their proferred protection and drove home alone. There was a sequel to this action. He had pledged his word as Mayor, and he intended that the city should honour it. Work was to be given and not a dole. The magnificent Mount Royal Park of today can be considered in a way a memorial to that near riot. Work was made for the unemployed in building the approaches and roads through the park, in cutting paths and in erecting shelters and a lookout, in planting shrubs and flower gardens. The city had thus kept faith with its unemployed citizens, had relieved the distress without incurring financial loss. Mount Royal Park became an asset to the city, a boon to its citizens and an attraction to tourists.
In December 1895, reluctantly and out of a sense of sheer duty, Dr. Hingston became a candidate for Parliament in a by-election to be held in St. Ann's Ward. The Manitoba School Act had violated the constitutional rights of Catholics in that Province, and the judgment handed down by the Privy Council left it to the Federal Government to afford redress. A Remedial Bill had been brought in by the Conservative party and it was meeting with violent opposition throughout the country. Dr. Hingston felt it his duty to uphold the party that had courageously committed itself to implementing the decision of the Privy Council and of doing justice to the Catholics of Manitoba. To his own humiliation and to the intense surprise of almost everyone Dr. Hingston was defeated. He could talk principles, but he could not promise jobs or other favours. What really brought about his defeat was the rumour set on foot by his opponents that Dr. Hingston’s election to the Lower House would stand in the way of his nomination to the Senate, which was his proper place and that a vote against his going to the Commons was a vote for his appointment to the Upper House. As a matter of fact, the following year Dr. Hingston was called to the Senate.
THE FAMILY MAN
Did space permit I would dwell upon something more intimate; upon Dr. Hingston’s family life. He belonged to numerous clubs, was charter member of several, yet rarely visited any of them, and he found his pleasure as well as his relaxation in his home. He was very affectionate and his affection was of the demonstrative kind and he loved the marks of endearment which were bestowed on him. He was deeply pious yet in his own reserved way, and was a daily attendant at Mass and a very frequent communicant in those days when frequent communion was rare even among pious Catholics.
Honours of all kinds came to him. Universities conferred on him honorary degrees; Queen Victoria, a knighthood; Pope Pius IX, the title of Knight Commander of St. Gregory the Great; Leo XIII, the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice; the medical profession, every mark of honour it could bestow. The British Medical Association on the occasion of its Fourth Centenary conferred upon the outstanding medical man in leading countries an Honorary Fellowship. They asked Dr. Hingston to honour their Association by accepting the Honorary Fellowship for Canada.
His attitude to honours was made clear in what he said immediately after his election as Mayor, that they were never to be sought, yet often could not be refused. I remember him confiding to me that a hint had been given him unofficially that a further and great honour would be forthcoming if he would but make some gesture to serve as an occasion for the conferring of it. He declined with courteous thanks, but inwardly he was quite annoyed. “Honours should seek the man,” he told me, “not the man the honours.”
Some years before his marriage a nun of the Hôtel Dieu, whom he revered as being a holy person, seeing this doctor whose piety was so exemplary and who showed no inclination for marriage, kept repeating to him that he could not be in his right place, but must be cut out for the priesthood. This reiterated remark finally worried Dr. Hingston, and he sought counsel of his friend saintly Bishop Bourget. The Bishop’s reply was: “Doctor, I have many excellent priests, but few outstanding laymen. You he one of these; that is your vocation.”
DEATH AND FUNERAL
Dr. Hingston died as he would have wished to die, in harness. He was in his seventy-eighth year. Taken ill in his office on the afternoon of February 18th, 1907, he reluctantly consented to have the remaining waiting patients dismissed. In the late evening his condition became alarming. At midnight his medical son Donald summoned Dr. Guerin, Head Physician of the Hôtel Dieu, and the latter asked that Dr. Bell, Head Surgeon of the Royal Victoria be also called in case the ailment required surgical action. The sudden illness defied diagnosis but was thought to be gastero-enteritis induced by ptomaine poisoning. At the bedside consultation Dr. Hingston, the patient, characteristically, presided. Early in the morning the nurse noticed a change in the patient’s breathing. A priest was hurriedly summoned. Dr. Hingston with full consciousness, but too weak to speak or even open his eyes, received the last Sacraments. Two hours later at a few minutes to nine o’clock, his breathing stopped; while at that same moment in the Hôtel Dieu the first of his patients far operation that morning was being wheeled into the operating room.
Even in death Dr. Hingston continued to give edification. He had his own decided ideas about death and these were faithfully carried out. It always shocked him that death should be made an occasion for display. To him death is the punishment of sin. Death is serious and must not be smothered in flowers. He was a lover of flowers but their beauty, he often said, has no place beside a corpse. Not a flower appeared at his funeral but cards of thousands of Masses instead. The simple hearse and the cheap coffin contrasted with the magnificent display of affection from the thousands who lined the streets, and the crowds who could not find entrance into the vast edifice of St. Patrick’s and stood outside on a bitterly cold February morning.
In that universal mourning there was no distinction between Catholic and Protestant, between rich and poor, between men of French, Irish, English, Scotch or other descent. He had been the friend of all, had recognized no enemy, had held no grudge and had striven to do good to every one. Church dignitaries of every denomination publicly expressed their admiration and their deep regrets. The Jews let it be known that across Canada in all their synagogues prayers had been offered for Dr. Hingston, their friend.
Dr. Hingston’s grave is marked by a massive pyramidal cross designed by the artist Philippe Hébert. There is room on the base for names. The cross itself bears in high relief the one word “CREDO.” But that one word says all. It is a fitting epitaph for one who with singular dignity and singleness of purpose through a long life endeavoured to live his Faith.
*Despite the twenty years difference in age between bride and groom she twenty-six, he forty-six, the marrige was a singularly happy one. Margaret Macdonald possessed experience beyond her years. Her mother having died when Margaret was only fourteen and her eldest sister only sixteen, it soon devolved upon the two older daughters to receive and entertain her father’s many guests in Alexandria, Ottawa anti Toronto. Dr. Hingston’s beautiful, very pious and charming wife soon came to be known in Montreal as the friend of the poor, of orphans, of the aged and of the deaf and blind, the devoted admirer and helper of every religious Sisterhood; as always ready to appear as patroness, or as active worker in every good cause. The splendid Catholic Sailors’ Club of Montreal owed much to her in its hard beginnings. The Catholic Girls’ Club of Montreal, The City Parks and Playgrounds Association and a long list of charitable, religious, civic or social good works acknowledge their indebtedness to her. On a wider field the Catholic Women’s League of Canada marked their appreciation of the help received from her by creating for her the post of Honorary President, a post abolished after her death. Another national body, the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire was born in her drawing-room and she presided at its organizational meeting. Lady Hingston outlived her husband thirty years, and these final years were among the most filled of her long and active life. She died in 1936 in her eighty-eighth year.