Memorable Manitobans: Hugh Jamieson Borthwick (1824-1916)
School inspector, missionary.
Born at Midlothian, Scotland on 26 July 1824, the son of John Borthwick and Elizabeth Jamieson, he was educated at Cauvions Institution, Midlothian and at Edinburgh University. He came to Canada in 1845 and taught school first in Longueuil, Canada West, and later in Indiana, Ontario, as tutor to the family of David Thompson, M.P. He served as assistant to Rev. J. G. Geddes, the rector of Christ Church, Hamilton, was appointed first principal of York County Grammar School, Newmarket; later, principal of Queen’s College school, Kingston; Carlton Senior Grammar School, Ottawa; and was Ottawa City school inspector. Graduating in theology, Queen’s University, he was ordained in the Presbyterian church, serving as missionary to lumber camps in the backwoods of the Ottawa Valley.
In April 1848, he married Marion Taylor (1832-1913) of Leith, Scotland. They had five children, including son John Taylor Borthwick and Elizabeth Bryne Borthwick (1852-1938, wife of Wilmot Freeman Morden). In 1876 he was appointed by the Home Missionary Committee for the Presbyterian Church in Canada as missionary to Manitoba. He served the Pembina Mountain district until 1911. He was the first school inspector for southern Manitoba. He went into partnership with Neil Fox, with whom he bought the Morden Herald from Edward A. Bailey and was its Editor for four years. In 1877, he was a member of the First Convocation of the University of Manitoba.
He died at Morden on 28 July 1916 and was buried in the Morden Hillside Cemetery.
The Canadian Album: Men of Canada or Success by Example, Vol. III, Bradley, Garretson & Company, Brantford, Ontario, 1894.
A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.
Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
Elizabeth Bryne Borthwick Morden, FindAGrave.
We thank Darryl Toews for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 7 February 2022