Shaughnessy, Thomas George, 1st Baron Shaughnessy, 1853-1923

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Shaughnessy, Thomas George, 1st Baron Shaughnessy, 1853-1923

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Thomas George Shaughnessy, 1st Baron Shaughnessy, KCVO (6 October 1853 – 10 December 1923) was an American-born Canadian railway administrator who rose from modest beginnings as a clerk and bookkeeper for the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad (a predecessor of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad) to become the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, serving in that capacity from 1899 to 1918. In recognition of his stewardship of the CPR and its contributions to the war effort during the Great War, Shaughnessy was elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom on 1 January 1916 as Baron Shaughnessy, of the City of Montreal in the Dominion of Canada and of Ashford in the County of Limerick.

When war broke out in 1914 Shaughnessy gave his full support to the war effort. He organized imperial transport and assisted in the financing of the war effort through loans to the government. Employees were encouraged to enlist. Senior staff were lent to the British and Canadian governments to purchase, organize, and ship supplies overseas. Construction workers were sent to rebuild damaged railways in France and Belgium. The company’s largest and fastest ships were requisitioned as transports and auxiliary cruisers and the company’s machine shops in Montreal and Winnipeg manufactured munitions and military equipment. Shaughnessy suffered enormous personal loss when one of his two sons, both of whom served overseas, was killed in action in France.

Shaughnessy House, his home in Montreal's Golden Square Mile, was designed by Montreal architect William Thomas (architect) in 1876. Though reduced from its original size, it was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1974 and is now part of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The surrounding district is named Shaughnessy Village.[1] Vancouver's prestigious neighbourhood of Shaughnessy is also named after him.

He married Elizabeth Bridget Nagle in 1880. The Shaughnessys had two sons (William James Shaughnessy served as captain and adjutant of the Duchess of Connaught’s Irish-Canadian Rangers; second Baron of Shaughnessy) and three daughters, including Marguerite Kathleen Shaughnessy for whom the CPR coastal liner SS Princess Marguerite was named.

(from on-line entries - Wikopedia and DCB)


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