“Loyalist Trails” 2005-39 November 20, 2005

In this issue:
2006 Fall Loyalist Mohawk Valley Trip
Ordering The Founders of Hay Bay Church
Louisa Billopp Portrait by Robert Field
Victoria Memorial Square Restoration Project
      + Slaves of Wiliamsburg Township
      + Video, photographic and audio recordings from Jeremiah French Dedication


2006 Fall Loyalist Mohawk Valley Trip

Just a remainder! Edward Kipp and George Anderson are planning another four-day Loyalist Fall Trip to the Mohawk Valley October 1-4, 2006 to visit historic sites associated with our Loyalist ancestors.

Interpreters will welcome you to Johnson Hall, the historic Johnstown Quadrangle, the historic Schenectady Stockade District, the Schenectady Historical Society, Fort Johnson, the Mabee Historic Farm, the Snell’s Bush Church, Schoharie Creek Crossing, the 1745 Van Alstyne House, Fort Klock, Nellis Tavern, the Stone Arabia Trinity Lutheran and the Dutch Reformed Churches and their cemeteries, and the Oriskany Battlefield. The complete trip itinerary is available on the UELAC website under Special Projects. Douglas Grant kindly set up this trip web page. Rodney Craig is also helping with registration.

The bus will pick up people in Ottawa and Cornwall, Ontario. The number of people is limited to 55. There are now nine registered for the trip. This trip will cost $490.00 in Canadian Funds per person based on sharing double accommodation. Single accommodation will cost $685.00. A deposit of $250.00 ($290.00) is due upon registration. The balance is due July 1, 2006.

Registration includes transportation, accommodation and site admissions. Meals will be arranged at an extra cost. Participants should have their own extra travel health insurance and carry a valid passport or two other pieces of photo identification. Cheques are payable to Sir Guy Carleton Branch UELAC.

If you are interested, please contact: George Anderson, 64 Saginaw Cres, Nepean, ON, K2E 5N7 (613) 226 -6348: andrew1@magma.ca; or Edward Kipp, 6242 Paddler Way, Orleans, ON, K1C 2E7, (613) 824-1942 Ekipp@magma.ca

…George Anderson, UE

Ordering The Founders of Hay Bay Church

I received a letter today from Bill Lamb and in it are instructions about ordering the book “The Founders: The Twenty-two Persons who Established the Old Hay Bay Church in 1792”

Softbound, 140 pages, with map and illustrations

No 4 in the Hay Bay Series. ISBN 0-9733313-1-3

Price: $20 + $5 p&h

To order, send cheque to:

Old Hay Bay Church

c/o Mrs. K. Staples

R.R. #2, Napanee ON K7R 3K7

For inquiries, email {staples AT ihorizons DOT net}

…Bill Lamb

Louisa Billopp Portrait by Robert Field

The subject of the portrait, Louisa Billopp, born in Saint John NB, was the daughter of Colonel Christopher Billopp of Staten Island NY, a prominent member of the British establishment who opposed the separation of the United States from Great Britain. His ancestor, Captain Christopher Billopp, who had close connections to the King, acquired land on Staten Island and built Bentley Manor ca. 1676. It was there in Bentley Manor that the first (and only) peace conference was held between the Americans and British, in August 1776.

The Billopp’s resettled to Saint John, New Brunswick at the end of the revolution.

The artist, Robert Field, came to North America after the Revolution and painted a number of portraits in New England and the Canadian Maritime colonies, before moving to Jamaica where he died about 1813. His portraits are owned by collections in Nova Scotia, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The UELAC looked into making some contribution towards the acquisition of this portrait by the National Gallery of Canada, part of Library and Archives Canada, at our last Council meeting but decided not to take action at this time.

Eva.Major-Marothy, of the Portrait Gallery of Canada, has recently written to us as follows: “The owner of the Billopp portrait has decided to take her to an auction house so the fundraising efforts will come to a halt for now.” We can only hope that the smile of good fortune will work the magic to keep the portrait in Canada as part of our Loyalist heritage.


Victoria Memorial Square Restoration Project

The old military burial ground at Victoria Memorial Park at Portland and Niagara Streets [a few blocks north and east of Fort York in Toronto] is the first European cemetery in the City of Toronto. It was created in 1793 by Lt. Governor John Graves Simcoe shortly after the establishment of the Garrison at York and the founding of the town. The cemetery was located a short distance north-east of the garrison and on the east side of the Garrison Creek. It provided a burying ground for soldiers of the Toronto Garrison and their dependants.

The first burial to take place in the cemetery is considered to be that of Katherine Simcoe, infant daughter of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe. Katherine died in 1794. Marcus Van Steen, in his book, Governor Simcoe and His Lady, recounts the death of Katherine and states that a year after her death, a small marble tombstone, brought from England, arrived and was placed over the child’s grave. It carried only the words: “Katherine Simcoe, January 16. 1793 – April 19, 1794. Happy in the Lord”.

The Military Burying Ground that forms part of Victoria Memorial Square today was opened in 1794 or thereabouts. It functioned until early 1863 as a place of interment for an estimated 500 soldiers, their wives and children and a few civilians. Located some distance from the both the original and second Fort York, it was at first just ‘a clearing in the brushwood.’ Later, after the forest cover had been removed for defensive reasons from the Ordnance Reserve, the cemetery was a picket-fenced enclosure there.

Early burials in the Town of York were recorded, at least in part, by the Reverend George Stuart. Between 1800 and 1807 (when the graveyard at St. James church was opened) Stuart reported 61 burials, all of which were (probably) in the military burying ground.

Victoria Memorial Square is in the process of being restored. More information is available at Wellingtonplace.org.


Slaves of Wiliamsburg Township

I am looking for some information on the Loyalists of Williamsburg Township who had slaves who accompanied them from the United States. I would appreciate any information you could send me. I will be contact Lynne Cooke for more information and (just for information purposes). I am the President of the St. Lawrence Branch.

…Carol Goddard {carol DOT goddard AT sympatico DOT ca}

Video, photographic and audio recordings from Jeremiah French Dedication

I am looking at the possibility of creating a video production of the Loyalist Day Dedication of the grave marker for Lt Jeremiah French in Cornwall, ON, on June 19, 2005. I am trying to collect any and all images, photographic, video or audio, from any source of the Dedication to see if the project may be viable.

W. (Bill) C. French, French Family Foundation

908 Town and Country Boulevard, Suite 230, Houston, Texas 77024,

713-365-9009, fax 713-365-0005, wcfrench@hal-pc.org