Poetical Works of Robert Burns - Joseph C. McLean

Joseph C. McLean


Rev. Joseph C. McLean (1860-1933)

Joseph C. McLean was born on 5 July 1860 in De Gros Marsh, Kings County, Prince Edward Island to Duncan McLean and Christie McDonald. He had six siblings: Susanna (1851), John (1853), Stephen Roland (1854), Catherine (1856), Donald (1858), and Mary (1865).

He studied under Reverend Francis J. MacDonald as a young boy, before matriculating to Prince of Wales College. He also attended Saint Dunstan’s College from 1877 to 1880. Upon graduation, Joseph went to the Seminary in Quebec and on 13 June 1886, he was ordained by Cardinal Taschereau in the Old Cathedral of Quebec.

After his ordination, Joseph was appointed to the parish of East Point and St. Margaret of Scotland’s church until 1890. From 1890-1900 he served at St. George’s church, PEI. He was then assigned to Summerside for a while but eventually made his way to back to Kings County, acting as Pastor of St. Mary's Parish in Souris from 1919-1933.

It was during his time as Pastor of St. Mary's that a devastating fire gutted the Church on 10 March 1929. The only thing to survive the fire was the sandstone walls.

Within two months of the disaster, on 10 May 1929, Joseph collected tenders to rebuild St. Mary’s Church, and building was begun before the end of the month. The new St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church of Souris PEI was officially opened with a blessing service which occurred on 7 September 1930.

Reverend Jospeh also acted as an administrator at Saint Dunstan’s College in 1931, and was also appointed the Vicar General of the Diocese by Bishop O’Leary.

Rev. Joseph C. McLean fell ill sometime in July of 1932 and, on 8 July 1933, he passed away. His obituary in the Charlottetown Patriot described him as a man who “enjoyed the friendship and esteem of all creeds and will be sadly missed.” (pg. 1)

The UPEI Provenance Collection includes the book The Poetical Works of Robert Burns, which includes the following inscription: Rev. Joseph C McLean, from his God child, Mary M. McInnis. With best wishes for 1890. The book also includes Joseph's signature.

Other Rev. Joseph C. McLean books in the UPEI Provenance Collection:

Breen, Rev. A. E. A Harmonized Exposition of the Four Gospels. Rochester, N.Y. : The John P. Smith printing house, 1899-1904. [J. C. McLean signature dated 1905.]

Butler, Rev. Alban. The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints. New York, N.Y.: D. & J. Sadlier, 1864. Twelve volume set within four books. [Jos. C McLean signature in all four books]

Chateaubriand, Viscount de. The Genius of Christianity. Baltimore, Md. ; J. Murphy Company, 1884. [Jos C McLean signature]

Emerson, Edwin Jr., A History of the Nineteenth Century Year by Year. New York : Dodd, Mead and Company, 1902. Vol 1-3. [J.C. McLean signature and dated Dec. 1903, in all three volumes]

Clarke, Richard F. Logic. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1889. [JasCMclean signature. Also Right Reverend Jos. C. McLean, P.A. with + Mrs. McLean written below.]

Gerard, James W. Face to Face with Kaiserism. Toronto: McClelland, Goodchild and Stewart, 1918. [Mgr. J.C. McLean signature]

Heard, Albert F. The Russian Church and Russian Dissent. New York : Harper & Brothers, 1887. [Mgr. J. C. McLean signature]

Herlihy, C.J. The Celt Above the Saxon. Boston : Angel guardian press, 1904. [Msgr. J.C. McLean signature]

Howley, M.F. Ecclesiastical History of Newfoundland. Boston, Mass. : Doyle and Whittle, 1888. [Mgr. J. C. McLean signature]

Irving, Washington. Mahomet and his Successors. New York : Hurst and Co., 1849. [Jos C. McLean signature and Mgr J.C. McLean signature]

McKinnon, John. A Sketch Book: Comprising Historical Incidents, Traditional Tales and Translations. St. John, N.B.: Barnes & Co., Limited., Printers, 84 Prince Wm. Street, 1915. [J.C. McLean signature.]

Parkman, Francis. A Half-Century of Conflict. Boston : Little, Brown, and Company, 1894, vol 1-3. [JC McLean signature and Mgr. J.C. McLean signature]

Parkman, Francis. Pioneers of France in the New World. Boston : Little, Brown, 1894. [Mgr. J.C. McLean signature]

Pope, Joseph. Correspondence of Sir John MacDonald. Toronto : Oxford University Press, 1921. [J.C. McLean signature]

Rickaby, Joseph. Manuals of Catholic Philosophy. 1889. [Jas C. McLean signature and Right Reverend Jas C. McLean, P.A.]


1881 Census of Canada. Census Place: Lot 55, Kings, Prince Edward Island; Roll: C_13164; Page: 59; Family No: 222.

1891 Census of Canada. Census Place: Lot 44, Kings, Prince Edward Island; Roll: T-6382; Family No: 188.

Baptismal Records of Prince Edward Island. Year: 1860. Place: St. Georges. Record book no: 1. Pg. 215. Accessed through the Public Archives and Records Office of Prince Edward Island.

“Souris.” The Charlottetown Guardian. 14 July, 1932. Pg. 10. Accessed through Island Newspapers

“St. Dunstan’s.” The Charlottetown Guardian. 28 May, 1931. Pg. 10. Accessed through Island Newspapers

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. Souris, PEI: S.I., 2001.

“Tenders.” The Charlottetown Guardian. 2 May, 1929. Pg. 2. Accessed through Island Newspapers

“Well Known Priest has Passed Away.” The Charlottetown Patriot. 8 Jul, 1933. Pg. 1. Reel # 105. Microfilm Collection, University of Prince Edward Island.


Photo from the Souvenir Booklet of the Celebration of the Landing of the Scottish Catholics on Prince Edward Island in A.D. 1772 and After, 1922, p.26.

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