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Sir John A MacDonald
Being the dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, he had a political career which spanned almost half a century.
This the story of Sir John A MacDonald, Canada's first Prime Minister and one of the fathers of Confederation
John Alexander Macdonald was born in Ramshorn parish in Glasgow, Scotland, on 11 January 1815. His father was Hugh Macdonald, an unsuccessful merchant, who had married John's mother, Helen Shaw. John Alexander Macdonald was the third of five children.
John initially attended local schools. When he was aged 10, his family scraped together the money to send him to Midland District Grammar School in Kingston.
Macdonald needed to start earning money immediately to support his family because his father's businesses were again failing. "I had no boyhood," he complained many years later. "From the age of 15, I began to earn my own living."
British North America had no law schools in 1830; students were examined when beginning and ending their tutelage. Between the two examinations, they were apprenticed, or articled to established lawyers.
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