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John MacKellar Fonds

John MacKellar Fonds

Physical Description

0.3 cm textual records



Biographical Sketch / Administrative History

John MacKellar (d. 1854) was a British Admiral who succeeded Robert Murray as prison agent at the Office for Prisoners of War located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He held the post from 1804 until approximately 1810. He was the eldest son of General MacKellar, who was employed as chief engineer under General Wolfe.

The manuscript document contained in this fonds is written by John Mackellar and addressed to the Hon. George Cranfield Berkeley (1753-1818), dated 16th June 1807. MacKellar explains his strong reservations about establishing a prison hospital for sick prisoners of war. He warns of high expenses and inconvenience, using the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia hospital as an example of the expenses required.

Melville Island, including Halifax, Nova Scotia, was formerly known as Kavanagh’s Island and used to house French prisoners of war after 1793. The Chesapeake Affair happened six days after this letter was written in 1807 under the command of Admiral G. C. Berkeley.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of a single 3-page manuscript letter document. A detailed description typed by the seller accompanies this item. Original laid paper watermarked ‘1805’.

Finding Aids

Inventory list is available.

Custodial History

Purchased from John Drury Rare Books, Strandlands, Wrabness, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2TX United Kingdom, by the Osler Library in November, 2014.


Documents are in English.

Source of Supplied Title Proper

Title is based on the contents of the fonds.

Retrieval Number





MacKellar, John, d. 1854
Military Medicine