Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: John McLean (1828-1886)


Born at Portsoy, Banffshire, Scotland on 17 November 1828, son of Charles McLean, he was educated at King’s College (Aberdeen) in 1851 and ordained in the Church of England in 1858. He came to Canada as curate of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, serving to 1866 when he came to Red River as Rector of St. John’s Cathedral and Archdeacon of Assiniboia, also serving as Professor of Divinity and Warden of St. John’s College. He was a college friend of Bishop Machray and his personal choice for these positions.

During the Red River Rebellion, McLean counselled moderation. He frequently served as a go-between in complex negotiations over Riel’s prisoners, and helped convince Riel to spare the life of Charles Boulton. He received honorary degrees from Trinity University, Toronto, Bishop’s College, Lennoxville and Kenyon College, Ohio. In 1877, he was a member of the First Convocation of the University of Manitoba. In 1874 he was consecrated the first Bishop of Saskatchewan.

He died at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on 7 November 1886, leaving a wife and children. He was father-in-law of George McKay.

See also:

John McLean, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XI, 570-72.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 December 2012

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.