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Detailed Record


William Henry Drummond Family Fonds

William Henry Drummond Family Fonds

Physical Description

75 cm of textual records and photographs.



Biographical Sketch / Administrative History

William Henry Drummond, dialect poet and physician, was born in Ireland in 1854. The family moved to Montreal in 1864. Drummond attended the High School of Montreal, but left at age fifteen to study telegraphy. His work as a telegrapher brought him into contact with the habitant farmers and woodsmen whose broken English he was to imitate in his poetry. Drummond entered McGill in 1878 to study Medicine but failed his second year. He received his M.D. from Bishop’s Medical School in 1884. After a short period in Knowlton, Quebec, Drummond set up practice in Montreal. At this time, he became interested in the breeding of Irish Terriers. In 1894, he married May Isabel Harvey of Savanna la Mar, Jamaica. His book,The Habitant, was published in 1897 with an introduction by Louis Frechette. Drummond died in 1907 as a result of a stroke while assisting in a small pox outbreak at Cobalt, Ontario, where he owned mining property.

Scope and Content

Papers consist of personal correspondence, including substantial family correspondence, diaries, journals, engagement books, ledgers, menus, manuscript poems, galley proofs, lecture notes, scrapbooks, and photographs. It includes correspondence, 1874-1935; a diary of Drummond’s trip to Great Britain, 1902; dinner menus, 1902-1903; engagement books, 1902-1906; galley proofs, 1905-1911; Journal of Impressions kept at Savanna la Mar, Jamaica, Windsor and Montreal, 1903-1911; lecture notes taken at McGill, 1878-1882; ledgers containing financial entries and patients’ accounts during Drummond’s practice in Knowlton and Montreal, 1885-1889; notebooks containing manuscripts poems, drafts and clippings, 1894-1909; scrapbooks related to literary topics, including clippings about Drummond’s public readings, and book reviews, 1854-1907 and scrapbooks related to Drummond’s dogs, 1890-1907. There are also some papers of Mrs. W.H. Drummond, including a typescript of her Life of W.H. Drummond; and diaries recording her trips to United States and Canada, 1892, 1903.

Finding Aids

Complete inventory list available online.

Custodial History

The fonds was first left on loan in the custody of the Osler Library, 26 April 1948, by Moira, daughter of W.H. Drummond. Permanent rights were granted to the Osler Library, 8 May 1968, by Surgeon-Commander D.D. Craig, R.N., widower of Moira Drummond Craig. Old accession number 439.


The documents are in English.

Source of Supplied Title Proper

Based on the documents in the fonds.

Retrieval Number




Drummond, May Isabel Harvey
Drummond, William Henry, 1854-1907
McGill University Medical Students and Student Notes
Poetry - Doctors