Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Pyne Pennefather (1833-1913)

Army officer, physician.

Born at Poona, India on 31 May 1833, the youngest and only surviving son of Captain J. P. Pennefather, he attended Trinity College, Dublin. In 1854, after surgical training, he joined the East India Company. In 1859 he obtained his medical degree from Trinity. He practised medicine in London, England for some years and was instrumental in establishing a free dispensary for the treatment of diseases of the ear.

He came to Manitoba in April 1880, and settled near Holland, where he purchased land from the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1885 he was appointed medical officer of the Winnipeg Light Infantry. Following the North-West Rebellion he practised medicine at Winnipeg. He wrote the memoir Thirteen Years on the Prairies in 1892. In 1903 he returned to Holland to establish a sanatorium, and was also a Police Magistrate there. He came back to Winnipeg in 1906.

In 1857 he married Mary Fitzgerald of Glin, Ireland, and they had a daughter and four sons, including Richard F. Pennefather and Percival W. Pennefather.

He died at Winnipeg on 14 April 1913. He is commemorated by Pennefather Bay in Winnipeg.

See also:

John Pyne Pennefather by Keith Wilson, Canadian Biographical Series, 1991.


Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Dr. Pennefather, noted old-timer, called by death,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 April 1913, page 3.

Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 December 2015

Memorable Manitobans

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