[ Portrait of Lady Roddick, 2nd wife of Sir Thomas Roddick ]

Robert Harris, Musée McCord Museum, Robert Harris portrayed Amy Redpath between 1890-1910. Like photographer William Notman, Harris captured for posterity the likenesses of many elite, English-speaking Montrealers. For more information about this image please click here

Amy was the first-born child and only daughter of Ada Mills and John James Redpath. Born on May 16, 1868, she spent her infancy in Europe. Before her wedding to the distinguished physician Dr. Thomas Roddick on September 3, 1906 at the age of 38, Amy seemed uninterested in marriage. She never identified any suitors nor expressed any desire for marriage in her diaries. Rather, these journals reveal a strong devotion to her ailing mother and brothers. She took on the role of family matriarch, managing the household and tending to her mother and siblings’ ailments and needs. Amy hired the household staff, paid the bills, organized repairs, renovations, and spring cleaning, and did the family shopping. She had a staff of live-in servants, a handyman, a gardener, a char woman, a sewing girl, and a nurse for Ada. Amy accompanied her mother to medical and dental appointments and kept vigil at Ada’s bedside during particularly difficult days and nights. She even rewrote Clifford’s law lectures to facilitate his studying for exams.

Amy had a passion for languages, literature, and theatre. Throughout her marriage and widowhood, she wrote and published poems and plays. Her days were spent in a round of visiting, shopping, attending lectures, receiving visitors for afternoon tea and dinner, as was fashionable for young women of her social class. Her social space was clearly defined and consisted primarily of the Square Mile, Mount Royal Park, Westmount, shopping along St Catherine Street, and occasional summer rides to the countryside. She traveled regularly to Europe and to upper New York State.

Amy was a generous benefactor of McGill University and donated the Roddick Gates to the institution in 1924 to commemorate her late husband. She also memorialized brothers Clifford and Peter in a donation to the Redpath Library. On her death in 1954, she bequeathed $120,000 to the library. Not having children of her own, she divided the remainder of her estate amongst her surviving niece and nephews.

Diaries, Journals or Reminiscences

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

Notarial document

Photographs, Paintings or Drawings