From: "National Encyclopedia of Canadian Biography"
By Jesse Edgar Middleton and W. Scott Downs, editors, The Dominion Publishing Company, Toronto 1935
William Douw Lighthall, K.C., LL.D., F.R.S.C., F.R.S.L., etc., distinguished member of the Quebec bar and for many years a well known figure in the life of the Dominion, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, December 27, 1857, a son of William Francis Schuyler Lighthall and Margaret Wright McIntryre. His father, who was born in 1827 and died in 1920, was a notaire and long dean of his profession in Montreal and the Province of Quebec.
William Douw Lighthall was educated at the High School of Montreal (Dux., 1874) and McGill University, from which he was graduated with honours in 1879, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Although he had already completed one year in medicine, he now determined upon a legal career and pursued studies at McGill University leading to the degree of Bachelor of Civil Laws, which he received in 1881. Two years he took the further degree of Master of Arts and in 1921, in recognition of his notable career, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.
In 1881 Dr. Lighthall was called to the Quebec Bar and has since been
engaged in practice at Montreal as a barrister and solicitor. He is now
a member of the firm of Cahan, Lighthall, Lighthall
and Henry, and counsel for many well known estates and corporations.
His interests, however, have
Dr. Lighthall is also the author of many published volumes, including
"Thoughts, Moods and Ideals" (verse, 1887); "The Young Seigneur, or Nation
Making" (1888); "Montreal After 250 Years"
(1892); "The False Chevalier" (a romance, 1898); "The Glorious Enterprise"
(1902); "Canada, A Modern Nation" (1904); "The Master of Life" (a romance,
1907); "The Person of Evolution" (philosophy); "Old Measures" (collected
verse, 1922); and many other writings, literary, historical and philosophical.
He originated and edited "Songs of the Great Dominion" (Windsor Series,
1891); and "Canadian Poems" (Canterbury Poets, 1891). Dr. Lighthall is
a Fellow of the Royal Society of
On October 1, 1890, at Montreal, William Douw Lighthall married Cybel
Charlotte Wilkes, daughter of John Aston Wilkes,
eldest son of the Rev. Dr. Henry Wilkes, and
Alice Sabine. Dr. and Mrs. Lighthall are the
parents of three children: 1. Alice Margaret Schuyler
Lighthall, born in
In 1893 W.D. Lighthall carried through the necessary legal formalities, gratuitously, for the incorporation of the Montreal Women's club.
Canadian Who's Who 1936-1937 and Who's Who Among North American Authors 1927-1928
Return to Notable Montrealers
Back to the homepage