William Lyall

Photograph of William Lyall

William Lyall was born June 11, 1811 in Paisley, Scotland. He was educated at the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, where he developed an interest in philosophy. Lyall was an ordained minister of the Free Church of Scotland and served several congregations before immigrating to British North America in 1848. Lyall was known as a student of the “philosophy of common sense” and viewed philosophy and theology as inseparable. He published Intellect, the emotions, and the moral nature in 1855, which was one of the first Canadian books in this field. After immigrating to British North American, Lyall taught at Knox College in Toronto, the Free Church College in Halifax, and the Theological Seminary in Truro. Lyall was one of six professors appointed at Dalhousie College when it reopened in 1863, as professor of metaphysics. Lyall remained at Dalhousie until his death in 1890.

Page 136 of the Dalhousie Gazette, Volume 26, Issue 4

The Dalhousie Gazette published this biography and photograph of Lyall three years after his death

Ticket to a metaphysics, esthetics, and belles-lettres class at Dalhousie College

A ticket to one of William Lyall's lectures at Dalhousie College

Letter from Mr. Lyall certifying that James Baxter attended Greek and Latin classes

A letter written by William Lyall to certify that a student attended his course


William B. Hamilton, “LYALL, WILLIAM,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 11, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 18, 2017, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/lyall_william_11E.html.