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John Molson is born

Today in Masonic History John Molson is born in 1763.

John Molson was a Canadian brewer and entrepreneur.

Molson was born in the village of Moulton near Spalding, Lincolnshire in England.

Molson's father had inherited property called Snake Hall which included a house and outbuildings on 38 acres. When Molson's father passed away in 1770 the land was bequeathed to Molson's mother and upon her death was to be given to Molson. Molson's mother passed away just two years later.

After the passing of his mother, Molson was placed in the custody of various relatives and was boarded to a Mr. Whitehead who was responsible for his education until the age of 16.

At the age of 18 in 1782 Molson immigrated to Canada. The ship he traveled on was lost at sea and Molson was rescued from the ocean.

In 1786 Molson returned briefly to England. While in England Molson picked up the book Theoretic Hints on an Improved Practice in Brewing. Molson returned to Canada with a money and a plan.

From 1788 to 1800 Molson's business grew quickly. In part this was due to a large influx of British Loyalists moving to Canada from the United States increasing the demand for beer.

In 1801 Molson married his former housemaid. The couple would have four children, three surviving to adulthood, all four were born before the wedding. All three surviving children would take an active role in Molson's businesses, including the brewery.

At the beginning of the 1800's Molson's brewery had grown tenfold. He used the money he was making form he brewery to buy into new technologies for the brewery as well as investing in the Montreal area where he was living.

Molson would invest his money in creating the first steam ship in Canada. The steam ship, Accommodation, would be a financial loss for Molson. He would quickly turn that around though when he would take apart the Accommodation and create the Swiftsure which would be rented out to the British Army during the war of 1812. Also during the war of 1812 beer sales climbed rapidly further adding to Molson's fortune.

In 1815 Molson would be elected to represent Montreal East in the legislative assembly. He won on the promise of building a wharf for Montreal. Molson successfully got funding for the wharf and at the same time built a hotel adjacent to the wharf. Molson's hotel was for the wealthy and featured boat rides on the St. Lawrence River and Montreal's first library. The hotel would later burn down, only the library books would be saved. Molson would rebuild the hotel and after the second time the hotel burned down decided not to rebuild.

In 1817 Molson was offered a chance to buy into the Montreal Bank. He initially refused because some of the other investors had been involved with bank failures in the United States. When the investors involved in the previous failures sold their shares Molson came on board and would serve as the bank's president. In 1822 the bank would receive a charter from Britain and would change it's name to the Bank of Montreal.

In 1819 Molson became ill and it was through this illness that he discovered that the only hospital in Montreal had 30 beds in it. Molson when to the Assembly to ask for funding to build a 200 bed hospital. His request was refused. News of his plan though had already spread and donations were already coming in. In may of 1819 Montreal General Hospital opened.

Around 1825 Molson bought several steamships and started the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company.

Molson's would not see his final project completed a railway from Montreal to New York City. It was the first railroad constructed in Canada. However it would not be completed, for various reasons, until after Molson passed away in 1836.

Molson was a member of St. Paul's Lodge No. 374 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.