James McGill is an important figure in Canada's history in his own right. The bequest made in 1813 for the founding of a university of which one college was to bear his name only increased that significance. The political tensions of Lower Canada delayed implementation of his plans for sixteen years; and then it was only by incorporating the Montreal Medical Institution as Faculty of Medicine that in 1829 a beginning could be made. Thirty years after his death, the Faculty of Arts was finally established, but not until the trustee-body known as the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning was moved from Quebec City to Montreal and established as its board of governors did McGill College begin to revive and hold out promise of a respectable future.
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