James McGill


The statue of James McGill on the McGill campus

The statue of James McGill on the McGill campus

Here is James McGill. Or rather a statue built on the McGill University campus in his honour. After his death, his money paid to found one of Canada’s oldest universities by royal decree. While this statue isn’t actually James McGill, his real body is kept only a couple hundred metres up the hill from where the statue is, along with half of his accountant’s body.

That’s not a joke, actually.

Back in the seventies, when DNA was all the rage, some science students at McGill decided to test James McGill’s remains, which were kept on-campus, in front of the Arts Building. What they found is that there were actually two men’s bodies there, which is in fact, double the expected number. The best explanation that anyone has been able to give is that when McGill’s body was exhumed and moved from what is now the train station to what is now the campus, the people who did it had a hard time distinguishing where one man’s body ended and the body of the next man’s began.

What they should have done is have James McGill taxidermied, and then, when the technology was developed, motorised. That would have certainly prevented the mess-up that ended with him having to share a grave with half of his accountant until Jesus comes back.


    title = {James McGill},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-13,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/13/james-mcgill/}


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "James McGill" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 13 Aug 2009. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/13/james-mcgill/>


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 13). James McGill [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/13/james-mcgill/

One response to “James McGill”

  1. […] everyone: Check out the McGill principal’s report. Why? Because McGill really loves the photo I took of the statue of James McGill. Note the “additional photo credits” on the page I linked to, and on the inside of the […]

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