Thomas Shaughnessy, 1st Baron Shaughnessy

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Thomas George Shaughnessy
Thomas George Shaugnessy.png
Thomas George Shaughnessy circa 1910
Born (1853-10-06)October 6, 1853
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died December 10, 1923(1923-12-10) (aged 70)
Montreal, Quebec
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Bridget Nagle
Signature Thomas Shaughnessy signature.jpg
Shaughnessy House, Montreal, circa 1900. Designed by William Thomas

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.

Biography[edit]

Shaughnessy was born October 6, 1853, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of Irish Catholics, Lieutenant Tom Shaughnessy (1818-1903), "one of the shrewdest detectives and patrolmen" in the early Milwaukee Police Department, and his wife Mary Kennedy (1826-1905). His father was born at Ashford, in Killeedy, Co. Limerick, and like his wife they came to the United States during the Irish Potato Famine, about 1840.

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 Alfred Thomas Shaughnessy, killed in action in 1916 while serving as a captain in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France [2]) and three daughters, including Marguerite Kathleen Shaughnessy for whom the CPR coastal liner SS Princess Marguerite was named.[3] He was the grandfather of the writer and producer Alfred Shaughnessy, best known for serving as the script editor of Upstairs, Downstairs. He is also the great grandfather of actor Charles Shaughnessy (Days of our Lives, The Nanny), who is the fifth and current holder of the title Baron Shaughnessy.

Titles and Honours[edit]

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Business positions
Preceded by
William Cornelius Van Horne
President of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited
1899 – 1918
Succeeded by
Edward Wentworth Beatty
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Shaughnessy
1916–1923
Succeeded by
William James Shaughnessy