Biography – William R. Mulholland

Principal in 1869

Upon the death of Alexander Forrester in 1869, John Calkin was appointed Interim Principal of PNC. It appeared that Calkin would likely be appointed Principal, but instead, the government of the day appointed William Mulholland who had been teaching Mathematics.

It wasn’t long before there were complaints from the students about Mulholland’s leadership and behaviour. These concerns were sent to the government and an inquiry was established which resulted in Mulholland’s removal from the position and the permanent appointment of Calkin as Principal. He remained in that office from 1869 to 1900.

John Grant’s paper “The Students are getting very restless”: Student Power at the Provincial Normal School, 1869 – 1879 provides a detailed examination of this series of events in 1869 as well as another situation in 1879.
A very brief biography of Mulholland is available at:
A more complete biography is found in The Provincial Normal School, Truro, Nova Scotia, A Biographical Record 1855 – 1869 by Carol Campbell and James F. Smith, 2018. ISBN 978-0-9739436-7-2