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The Last Pastor. 


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<1^7ip iv. ** ^ 

Entered aooording to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year 1887, by 
W. Deysdale & Co., in the OflSce of the Minister of Agriculture. 

(iAZBTTB Printing Company, Montekau 


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several generations of christians, formerly worshipping in the 

St. Gabriel Street Chitrcii, hut who, having accomplished 

their warfare, are now at rest ; 

AND, especially, 


ministry in the old CHURCTI, during the last TWENTY YEARS 





This memorial volume has swelled to dimensions far 
beyond the original intentions of the author. So far as 
paper and printer's ink are concerned, at least, subscribers 
get a great deal more for their money than was promised 
them. The plan of the work, which was to discuss 
such public questions as the Church in St. G-abriel Street 
had special connection with, and to give an account of 
the persons who filled office in the congregation, has been 
adhered to; but the details have covered more space 
than was apprehended. On taking counsel with friends, 
whose judgment I deemed reliable, I was led to believe 
that sketches of those who had taken a leading part in 
the church, for a hundred years, would add to the interest 
and value of the publication. These biographical notices 
have mainly contributed to the increased bulk of the 

It may well be thought surprising that the records of 
so humble an edince should furnish materials for a book 
of 800 pages ; but the variety of incidents centering in 
the quaint little church was quite remarkable, and the 
number of persons of note who had a more or less inti- 
mate relation to it, was very great. In the old world, a 
structure only a hundred years old would have no special 
reverence paid it ; but with the rapid developments 


which our city and country have witnessed, a century 
counts for much ; and most readers will probably admit 
that it would be a pity that the events recorded and the 
persons described in these pages, should have been alto- 
gether forgotten. 

I do not expect every reader to peruse the entire volume. 
Some will value it on account of the original documents 
bearing on the history of the country which it contains, 
and which it was thought desirable to make public. Others 
will pass these parts by without ever glancing at them. 
To Montreal readers, generally, the brief sketches of former 
well-known citizens, herein presented, will probably be 
the most attractive feature of the book ; but even in this 
part of it, persons outside the city may take an interest, 
as many of those whose careers are sketched, belonged to 
Canada at large, as well as to Montreal. I cannot pretend 
to faultless accuracy in these brief narratives. It would 
be scarcely possible to have avoided mistakes in giving 
details of the lives of several hundred persons ; but I can 
at least claim to have left unused no sources of informa- 
tion regarding them that I knew to be within my reach, 
and I hope that these biographies will be found, in the 
main, reliable. My function has been to ascertain facts, 
to show their mutual relations, and interpret them aright 
if possible. I am not to be held responsible for the facts 
themselves, but only for the manner of narrating them. 
Many things happened in connection with the old church 
which one could wish had never come to pass ; but they 
were not to be undone by being suppressed. It is the 
business of the historian not to describe events as they 


ought to have been, but as they were. In this spirit, I 
have done my work. I have spoken of men and things 
as I understand them to have been— nothing extenuated, 
nor aught set down in malice. 

The engravings in this volume, of which there are 
two more than were promised to suscribers, are the 
handywork of George H. Matthews, of the Boston Wood 
Engraving Company, and have been pronounced good 
by competent judges. It is to b-j regretted, in the cause 
of superior art, that Mr. Matthews, after giving Montreal 
a trial for a year, did not find patronage sufficient to 
encourage him to remain with us, and so has returned to 

There have been many excellent men and women con- 
nected with the St. Gabriel Street Church besides those 
herein mentioned,— persons probably as worthy of having 
been held in grateful remembrance. But the subjects of 
these sketches were not, for the most part, of my choosing. 
The ministers, as the chief centres of the life of the church 
during their several pastorates, have, of course, most space 
given to them. Then, as it was my plan to describe the 
office-bearers, the elders, the members of the temporal 
committee, the deacons, and the trustees, were already 
selected to my hand. They had commended themselves 
to their fellows in the church in the several generations, 
for their zeal and supposed ability to promote the inter- 
ests of the congregation. Besides them, a few individuals 
whose outstanding qualities, or conspicuous careers, gave 
them a claim to notice which vvrill not be challenged, have 
been assigned a place in this volume. 

I had occasion to notice generous and public-spirited 
acts on the part of former citizens. Since those remarks 
were written, the whole world has been called on to 
admire the splendid gift to the city, in commemoration 
of the Queen's Jubilee, of Sir George Stephen and Sir 
Donald A. Smith, of $1,000,000 for Hospital purposes. 

I have to express my acknowledgments to many friends 
who have encouraged me in this undertaking. To all the 
subscribers I owe thanks, as they have so far guaranteed 
the expenses involved in the publication. I have been spe- 
cially indebted to the Hon. Justice Cross, the Hon. Alex- 
ander Morris, the Rev. Dr. Snodgrass, and Mr. T. S. Brown, 
Mr. Jas. Tasker, to the proprietors of the Montreal Gazette, 
Montreal Herald, and Montreal Witness, to the librarians of 
the Parliamentary Library at Ottawa, of McGrill College, 
and of the Fraser Institute, to " Hochelaga Depicta," and 
" Ville Marie," by Alfred Sandham, published by George 
Bishop & Co., to the Rector of Christ Church, to the min- 
isters of the several Presbyterian Churches of the city, — 
and to numerous other persons who have kindly fur- 
nished particulars regarding their ancestors and relatives. 

I trust this volume may be deemed worthy of a place 
on the shelves of citizens generally, irrespective of creed, 
as containing information regarding the century, 1786 to 
1886, that they would all wish to possess and preserve. It 
is only in a loose sense that the narrative can be called a 
" history." It would more accurately be designated a col- 
lection of raw materials, some of which may be useful to 
the historian ; but such as it is, it is offered for the candid 
perusal of the public. The first issue of the volume is 

limited to subscribers, but arrangements have been made 
to supply additional copies to new subscribers, whose 
names will be duly embraced in a future issue, if it shall 
be demanded. And now I take farewell of my readers. 
If they experience half the pleasure in glancing over 
these pages, that I have had in writing them, my labour 
of love will not have been in vain. 

St. G-abriel Manse, 
Montreal, July 16th, 1887. 



• PAGE, 

Montreal Cradled in Religion — Cartier, Champlain and Maisonneuve 
Religious Men — The Early Jesuit Fathers— The Huguenots in 
Canada — Company of Hundred Associates — The St. Sulpicians... 1 


Montreal, not only beautiful and well situated frciu a Military Point 
of View, but also commands the Trade of the northern portion of 
the Continent — Ontario's desire to possess the Island of Montreal 
— Earliest Trade, that in Peltries : its influence — Formation of 
North-west Company — Relations between Commerce and Religion 
— Connection of the Army with the First Establishment of the 
Scotch Church in Montreal — The old 78th Regiment, a link be- 
tween " Prince Charlie " and the Scotch Church in Montreal. ... 13 


Connection of the Church with the American War of Independence — 
Rev. John Bethune, the Founder of the Scotch Congregation in 
Montreal — The old 84th Regiment, or " Highland Emigrants " — 

f The U. E. Loyalists— Mr. Bethune settles in Williamstown, so 
called after Sir William Johnson — His Character and Work — 
Father of the Late Dean and of the Late Bishop of Toronto .... 25 


Social, Civil and Commercial Condition of things in Montreal a Cen- 
tury ago — Presbyterian Church has kept pace with the Growth of 
the City — The Scotch in Montreal, before 1786, worshipped with 
the English Church Congregation — Rev. John Young, a Scotch 
Licentiate, with American Ordination— Settled in Montreal in 
1791, as " Stated Supply " — A Link between the Congregation 
and the Presbyterian Church of the United States — Mr. Young's 
Weakness and Misfortunes 39 



Rev. John Young's Gifts and his success in strenatliening tlie Presby- 
terian cause in Montreal — The social life of the time in the city — 
Anomalous position for Minister and Congregation, he never 
having been inducted — Discontent with his ministry — Mr. 
Young's resignation and departure — His subsequent honorable 
career — The ' Recollet Church ' — Hospitality of the Recollet 
Fathers towards the Scotch in giving the use of their Church — 
The St. Gabriel Street Church built in 1792 —The Protestant 
Church at Borthier— Original Trust Deed of St, Gabriel Street 
Church — The old Church and the Champ de Mars 55 


The Ten Trustees of St. Gabriel Street Church — Adam Scott, William 
Stewart, Duncan Fisher, William England, Alexander Fisher, 
William Hunter, Thomas Oakes, John Empey, and John Russel 
— The Original Subscri])tion List for the erection of the Church 
— Remarks on the same 69 


Notices of the leading subscribers to the Church Building Fund — The 
Fur Merchants — Alexander Henry, Forsyth-Richardson & Co., 
Sir John Johnson, James McGill, Andrew Todd, Joseph Frobisher, 
George McBeath, Francis Winter, James Dunlop, John Gregory, 
Wm. Murray, John Lilly, Auldjo & Maitland, James Woolrich, 
and the Employees of the Company, Sir Alexander MacKenzie, 
Nicholas Montuur, Robert Grant, Peter Pangman, William Mc- 
Gillivray, Simon Eraser, Cuthbert Grant, Angus Shaw, Roderick 
McKenzie, Robert Thompson, William Thorburn, James Finlay, 
David Grant, Alex. Eraser and Peter Grant 814 


The remaining subscribers to the Building Fund — Benaiah Gibb, 
Richard Dobie, James Logan, William Forbes, James Cowie, John 
and James McDowall, James Strother, Thomas Busby, Hon. John 
Molson, Richard Brooke, John Finlayson, Simon Clarke, Donald 
McKercher, John McArthur, John Fisher. John Hunter, William 
Russel, George Stansfleld, Jacob Marston, Alexander Simpson, 
Thomas Sullivan, John Neagles, John J. Deihl, Andrew Winkle- 
foss, Alexander Robertson, Jonathen A. Gray, John Gray, Dr. 
Blake, Samuel Adams, David Smith, and Joseph Howard 113 


' , ., ^ PAGE 

Subscribers to tbe Debt in 1800— William Logan, Joseph Provan, John 
Stephenson, Philip Ross, William Demont, John TiOckhart Wise- 
man, James Birss, William Ireland, William Manson, Thomas A. 
Turner, John Blackwood, John Ferguson, William Martin, Robert 
Aird, John Aird, R. McClement, James Smith, Richard Warffe, 
Captain Chisholm, Thomas Porteous, Nicol Fletcher, John Mittle- 
berger, John McCord, David Ross, Peter McFarlane and James 
Henderson 130 


Rev. James Somerville's Birth, Education and Licensure— Comes to 
Canada— Chosen successor lo Mr. Young — His Literary and 
Scientific Tastes — His Marriage — Originates Natural History 
Society and Montreal General Hospital— His Benefactions and 



Rev. J. Somerville recommended by Rev. Dr. Spark— First trouble 
over the Possession of the Keys of the Church— Mr. Somerville's 
Letter on the situation — His Ordination and Induction •— The 
Second Presbytery of Montreal— Rev. Robert Forrest and Rev. 
Robert Esson, Secession Ministers from Scotland— Erection of ' 
St. Peter Street Church— Mr. Esson's Address on the occasion— 
The Difliculty t bout getting Registers by all except ministers of 
the Churches ot Rome and of England— The Character of the 
Adherents of St. Gabriel Street and St. Peter Street Churches 
respectively i 168 


Right Rev. John Strachan, Bishop of Toronto— A Candidate for St. 
Gabriel Street Church in 1802— His Letter of Application— His 
birth, education and position in Scotland— His relations to the 
Presbyterian Church— His subsequent career in Canada 183 


Friendly relations between the English and Scotch Churches in Mon- 
treal—Rev. D. C. Delisle, the first Protestant Clergyman in the 
City— Succeeded by Rev. James Tunstall, and he by Rev. Jehosha- 
phat Mountain, D.D.— Mediaeval Claims of Church of England 


resisted by theChuich of Scotland— Christ Church Congregation 
worship in St Gabriel Street Church from 1803 to 1814 — Opening 
of the first Christ Church 201 


The Business of the Church transacted by the Elders — The Rules and 
Regulations, framed in 1804, gave proprietors of pews supreme 
control — A Committee constituted the Executive of the Congrega- 
tion, with largo powers— Those Rules and Regulations denounced 
after 1844, as Erastian by Mr. Esson — Revised and altered essen- 
tially in 1845— The last By-Laws, drawn up in 1807 215 


The new names that appear on the subscription list to Mr. Somerville 
in 1803 — James Grant, Isaac Todd, John Shuter, Archibald Mc- 
Millan, George Piatt, John McKinstry, James Kyle, Jacob Hall, 
William Skakel, George Skakel, Alexander Skakel, William Gra- 
ham, John McKindlay, John Porteous, William Porteous, Andrew 
Porteous, Finlay Fisher, James Smith, John Ogilvy, Wm.Stewart, 
Andrew Patterson, Jasper Tough, James Laing, Alex. Allison, 
Alex: Davidson, John Reid, Hon. Judge Reid, Simon McTavish, 
Thos. Blackwood, Wm. Hallowell, John Catanach, and F. Guner- 
man, Thomas Thain 230 


The New Englanders connected with St. Gabriel Street Church, — The 
BaggB, Elijah Brown, James Chapman, James Charlton — The 
De Witts, Horatio Gates, Bezaliel Gray, Thomas ringland,Laban 
Folger, Jonathan Hagar, The Halls, Thomas Harris, Jonathan 
Hart, Samuel Hedge, Joshua Henshaw, Horace Hibbard, The 
Lymans, Uriah Mitchara, Nahum Mower, Simon Myers, Zenas 
Nash, David Nelson, Moses Northropp, J. W. Northup, Jonathan 
Parkins, Cornelius Peck, Nathan Pierce, Abner Rice, M. Savage, 
Isaac Shay, Robert Street, Nathan Strong, Zabdiel Thayer, Simon 
Thomson, Benjamin Throop, Daniel E. T ylee. The Wadsworths, 
The Waits, The Whitneys and Josiah Winants— The War of 
1812 affects them — Items connected with the victory of Waterloo, 
1815 — Baptism of negro slaves and Scotch Indian half-breeds. 
Other members belonging to this period, — George Gillespie, Robt. 
Gillespie, The Armours, John Fleming, James EUice Campbell, 

■■' ' XI 


William Blackwood, Hugh Brodie, Lieutenant-Colonel William 
Mackay, Archibald Norman Mcljeod, John McDonald and James 
Brown 251 


Rev. Henry Esson, M.A.,— His birth, Education, and call to Montreal 
— His high culture and social qualities — His early theological 
views — His connection with education and the Clergy Reserves 
question — His marriage — His ideas about an Established Church 
— The change in his notions of preaching the Gospel — Joins the 
disruption movement in Canada — Appointed Professor in Knox 
College — His Death — Dr. Willis' estimate of his character and 
work 276 


Lord Selkirk, Sir Gordon Drummond, Lord Dalhousie, Rev. Dr. Urqu- 
hart, Thomas Torrance, John Torrance, Hon. Justice Torrance, 
Rev. E. F. Torrance, George Garden, Andrew White, James RoUo, 
Rev. Dr. Wilkes, Hon. Thomas Mackay, Hon. James Ferrier, 
Rev. Dr. Douglas 297 


Re-adjustment of the relations of the Pastors, Messrs. Somerville and 
Esson, to the Congregation, in 1822 — Rev. Edward Black called 
and settled — Financial condition of the Church from 1835 to 1829 
embarrassing — The unfounded rumours regarding Mr. Esson's 
character — The Congregation divided, and result disastrous— Dr. 
Hamilton's account of the scene at the Church door, March 6th, 
1831— Names of the adherents of Mr. Black and Mr. Esson re- 
spectively — Matters at issue settled by arbitration — The good that 
came out of the evil 333 


The circumstances leading to the establishment of St Paul's Church 
— The award of the clerical arbitrators — The Synod's action 
thereon — Delay in accepting it — Award of the lay arbitrators—^ 
St. Paul's Congregation organized — Meet in the Baptist Church 
— Build St. Paul's — Kindly relations resumed between the two 
Ministers and their Congregations 351 




Henry MoKen/ie— Norman Bothune — Jaiuos Carsiiel — John Brown, 
Dr. William Bobertson— Hon. George Moflatt — A. L, MaoNider, 
Dr. Stephenson — Archil)al(l Hume — William Scott — Hon. Peter 
McGill — John Smith — Sir Hugh Allan — Alex. Glans — Joseph Ross 
— James Potts — Charles Bowman — Kenneth Dowie — Dougald 
Stewart — William Kerr — John Redpath — John Simpson — Robert 
Simpson — John McKenzie — Hon. L. Gugy — Archibald Ferguson. 366 


The Clergy Reserves Controversy — Policy of the Crown to Establish 
the Church of England in Canada — The Oxford Movement 
favoured the idea — Dr. Strachan's Ecclesiastical Charts — Claims 
of Niagara and Quebec congregations first put forward — Mr 
Esson, the great Champion of the Clmrch of Scotland's rights — 
J. C. Grant's Mission — Dr. Lee'e "Queries"— Answers obtained — 
Church of Scotland General Assembly's Action on the subject — 
Upper Canada Legislature upholds Presbyterian Claims — At- 
tempts to control education in Lower Canada by Church of 
England resisted by Mr. Esson— Church of Scotland's rights 
granted in 1840 398 


Hon. James Leslie — Campbell Sweeney, Robert Sweeney, Campbell 
Sweeney, Jr. — Dr. Caldwell — D. P. Ross— William Peddie— Colin 
McDougall — John Jamieson — Charles Tait — Francis Hunter, Sr. 
Francis Hunter, Jr. — J. C. Grant — James Scott — James Logan — 
William Suter — Roderick MacKenzie— Kenneth Walker— Thomas 
Ross — James Court — Benjamin W^orkman — Alexander Workman 
— William Workman — Thomas Workman— John Dougall — Geo. 
Johnston— Archibald Ferguson 421 


The Free Church Controversy— Resolutions of the Synod in 1841, 1842 
and 1843 — Meant to avert a disruption here — Influences brought 
to bear in the meantime — Points of Agreement in 1844 — Final 
catastrophe — A divided Church — Mr. Esson's Address to his Con- 
gregation — Resolutions of Congregation and Session— Protest 
Served by Minority 453 



The leaders in the congrejjtation on the side of the Presbyterian 
Churcli of Canada, — Hon. A. Ferrie, Wm. Murray, Rev. Dr. 
Donald Frasor and Aloxandor Fraser,Wm. Gunn, Robert Smith, 
Alexander Urquhart, James Tamer, Andrew Wilson, Archibald 
Macfarlane, W. C. Cormack, James Macfarlane, Robert Dalgleish, 
Wm. Hutchison, David Roa, Andrew Simpson, John Sutherland, 
George Middlemiss and Charles Mearna — The 27 protesters on 
behalf of the kirk, — Andrew Shaw, John C. Lilly, Robert Esdaile, 
James Tyre, Wm. Laverock, Donald Ross, Walter M. Peddle, 
Ferdinand IMacCulloch, Wm. Muir, Wm. Skakel, Daniel Gorrie, 
Town Major Macdonald, Daniel Fisher, Robert Macfarlane, Alex. 
Ferguson, Wm. McCulloch and John Blac^kwood 474 


The Free Church Committee, members for a time of St. Gabriel Street 
Church — They organize Cot6 Street Church — Archibald McGoun 
— The MacKay Brothers — The Free Church Deputies, Revs. W.C 
Burns, J. McNaughton, and J. Bonar, preach in St. Gabriel Street 
— Rev. W. Leishman called and Onlained in St Gabriel Street 
Church — His ministry brief and one of trials — The U. P. Congre- 
gation worship in St. Gabriel Street— Rev. Dr. Taylor— Warden 
King — Rev. Dr. Gray — Robert Davie — G. A. Pyper — David Wylie 
and William Rowan - 512 


Rev. William Rintoul, M.A.— Sketch of his career— His illness and 
Death — Rev. Dr. Burns' Tribute to his memory— Rev. William 
Reid, D. D., of Toronto— Rev. George Smellie, D. D., of Fergus — 
Rev. David Inglis, D.D., LL.D.— His work in Montreal — His sub- 
sequent career 531 


Rev. J. Crombie, M.A.— Rev. A. F. Kemp,LL.D., settled as Pastor— His 
birth and training — His ministry in Montreal— Subsequent career 
—John McCallum— Dr. McLagan— Wm. McBean— Edw. Moore 
—Donald McLean— Angus Mcintosh— H. B. Picken— Geo. Selkirk 
—Robert Gardner — Andrew Mitchell— Archibald Moir— Hector 
Munro— Dr. W. P. Smith— William D. McLaren, -Peter Dods— 
Archd. Swan— Alex. McGibbon— Jas. Brown— Matthew Hutchi- 



■on — David Rodger— Goorge Cruikshank — James Soultliorp— 
"William Brown — W. F. Lightliall — George Irving — James 
Rol)ertson 551 


The Free Church movement in Canada onded in a secession, not a 
disruption — The cautiousness of the Cimrclies avoiding litigation 
— The defects in St. Gabriel Street. Church Title Deed — Ita Forms 
claim to belong to the Church of Scotland — Petition to Lord Dal- 
housie in 1825 — The Synod formed at the instance of St. Gabriel 
Street congregation which, if so, in fact, became incorporated in 
it — The legal questions involved — Those free to enter into a com- 
pact, not always free to go out of it — The Lawsuits — The Cobourg 
Case — The St. John's, Leith, Case — The Compromise — The action 
of the St. Gabriel Street congregation — Action of the Presbytery 
in connection with the Church of Scotland — Knox Church quit 
the old edifice, and the Church of Scotland is re-instated — The 
question of Session Records and Registers 575 


The names by which the Church has been known — The congrega- 
tion re-organized — Petition to Canada Presbyterian Church of 48 
members and four adherents — They fall in with the reorganized 
congregation — List of families 'ms remaining — Rev. Robert 
Campbell, A.M., D.D., inducted— iMrst Board of Trustees— The 
Registers and Records — Alexander Bertram — James Duncan — 
Henry Lunan— James LilUe — Charles Eaplin — W. L. Haldimand 
— William Patton — Andrew B. Stewart — First elected Kirk- 
session— Douglas Brymner— List of Trustees since 1867 — Andrew 
McNeice — David Strachan — John Whitlaw — Alexander Sclater — 
Rev. Alex. Campbell, B.A 601 


The relation of St. Gabriel Church to the Union question — The Con- 
test in the Quebec Legislature over the Union Bill — The Privy 
Council's Judgment on Temporalities Act, and subsequent Legis- 
lation — Commutation of Ministers' Claims on the Clergy Reserves 
— List of commuters — Correspondence with the Government — 
William Darling — Bishop Strachan's parting shot — The qvad es- 
tablished position of Roman Catholic Church in Quebec Province 640 




Centennial Celebration, March, 1880 — Sermons in St Gabriel Church 
by Principal Grant and Dr. Wilkes, March 7th — Reunions in St. 
Gabriel Church — Conversazione in Presbyterian College — Ad- 
dresses at the Great Anniversary meeting, March 12th, 1886, in 
Knox Church— Sermons by Dr. Reid, Archdeacon Evans, and Dr. 
Douglas, in St Gabriel Church, March 14th, 1886 683 


Other Presbyterian Churches in Montreal, in 1886— Knox — St An- 
drew's — American — St Paul's— Erskine —Crescent Street — St 
Matthew's— Calvin — St Mark's — Chalmers' — Stanley Street — 
Taylor— Melville— St. John's— The Saviour's 743 

Farewell to Old St. Gabriel's— The New St. Gabriel's 781 


By Ri:v. Roiikut Cami'mem,, ISI.A., D.D. 


Aitkoii, MfH. .lohn. .Moiitnml 1 

AloxiUidor, Cliiirles. " .... 1 

Allan, Aloxiiiulor. . " .... 1 

An^'us, R. B " .... 1 

Armour, .lohn Hamilton, O. 1 

Arnolt, William Montreal.... 1 

Arhi.son, William... Cornwall, O. 1 

Baillio, A Montreal 1 

Bain .Tas.. l'»l)l»' j Toronto ... . 1 

LiVjrary (. 

l>ain, Janu'8 R Montreal .... 1 

Bain, Rev. W., D.D..Kinji8ton 1 

Barohty, Rov. Jas... Montreal .... 1 

Barker, Charles " .... 1 

Ba.stian, W. L " .... 1 

Beckinjrham, John. " 1 

Beers, Dr. W. G.... " .... 1 

Bellbouse, J. G " .... 1 

Bennett, Rev. .T-, Ulmonte. ... 1 

X-'.i^ • • • • • j 

Berriman, John .... Montreal .... 1 
Bertram, William.. " .... 1 

Bertram, Isa L " .... 1 

Betlnmo, Strachan. . " 1 

Bethune, Norman.. " 1 

Bickerstafl", M.S.... " 1 

Bissett, Mrs. A " 1 

Blssett, James. . • Machine 1 

Blair, Mrs. John Montreal 1 

Bonner, John " 1 

Boodle, R. W. Mont- 
Book Club " .... 1 

Brodie, Robert " .... 1 

Brodie, W illiam .... Quebec 1 

Brophy , Robert .... Montreal .... 1 

Brown, David " 1 

Brown, Tho8.S " .... 1 

Brown, R. G '' .... 1 

Brown, James " .... 1 

Bruce, Mrs. David . . " .... 1 


Bnrncl, Rev. J. S. ..Martintown 
Burnett, James. . . . Montreal. . . 


Bynl, Charles Montreal... 

Caldwell, .^1 ary Montreal . . . 

Cameron, Rev. D. G-.Dunjrannon 

Campbell, Rov. A. ■[ ^''^ w 1\*!' 
Camjihell, Dr. F. W. . Montreal. . . 

( iimi)bell, 1*. E ( "ornwall . . 

( 'antlie, James jMontreal . . . 

Carmichael, Rev. J..Laskey 

Carmichuel, Rev. 1 , n • 
J p • V J.erthier . . . 

Clarke, A. C Montreal • • . 

Cle-horn, W 

Clelland, William.. 

Clifr, John 

Cook, Rev. J.. D.D . .Quebec . . . . 
Cooper, Mrs. Jas. . . . Montreal . . . 
Cormaek, Rev. Jas . . Laehino .... 

Coull, Rev. Geo Montreal . . . 

Crossby, P. A " 

Cruikshank, Rev. 1 « 

W.R ]■ 

Cruikshank, Geo... " 
Cruikshank, W. G.. 
Cunniu}j;ham, D. ... " 
Cunningham, Sarah. " 
Cunningham, D. L.. " 
Gushing, Chas.jN. P. 

Darling, Mrs. W., Sr.Montreal. . • 
Darling, William ... " 
Darling, Andrew ... *' ..-. 
Davidson, W. C... 
Davidson, George . • Kingston — 

Dawes, T. A Lachine 

Denny, A Cornwall . . . 

Dewey, Rev. P. M. .Montreal 





Dick, John Quobec . 

Dingwall, .Inmex. . . .CornwuU 
Donunlme, U()l)ert. .Moiitroul 
Donat?hiu', .lolin. . .. " 
Druiiiinond, (leo. A. " 
Druinirioiul, Daniel . Petite ('6te 
Diiclos, Uev. I''. G. . . liryson. . . 
Duncan, Duviil L. . . Montreal. 

Knox Col logo. . J 

Dinilop, < i. C Montreal . 

Dunlop, John " 


Ennis, J. H. ••• 
Esdaile, R. M . 

Esplin, George " 

Esson, Mrs. rrof. . .Toronto . 
Evane, Ven. Arch . . Montreal 
Ewing, William.... " 
Ewing, William, Jr. " 
Ewing, A. S 

Farquhar, J. M Montreal 

Ferguson, r. J " 

Finnie.J. T., M.D.. 
Fisher, Arthur, M.D. " 

Fleck, A. W Ottawa.. 

Forbes, Geo. C Montreal 

Forbes, Mrs. R " 

Forsythe, Robert. . . " 

Foulds, A. R Martintown 

Foulis, "William .... Montreal . 
Eraser, James " 

Gabler, Mrs. Theo.. 
Gault, .lames R. ... 

Gibb, Alex 

Gordon, James 

Graiiam, Thomas . . . 

Grant, Angus 

Grant, W. H 

Grant, V.R. Prin... 

Greene, E. K 

Greenshields, E. B . . 
Greenshielils, Sam . . 
Greensliields, E. M. 
Griffin, Martin J., ) 
Parlia't Library j 

Montreal . 


Ottawa. . . 
Montreal . 

Kingston , 
Montreal . 

Ottawa . 

Haldimand, W. L. . . Montreal . . 

Hamilton, A " 

Harper, James Cornwall . 

Hart, Col Montreal. 

Hart, Rev. Prof.... 

Hontlerson, Jolin. . 
Hendorson, .lame.s . 

Heritage, Mrs. IJ. | 

Herring, Mrs. W. . . 
Higgiiis. .Ino. (ioo. . 
Hodge, Matthew. . . 
Hcxlgson, Joiiatliun 
Hogg, MrH. Walttjr., 
Hood, Mrs. David . 
Hoo<l, JIugh W.... 

Hood, John 

Houston, Rev. Ham. 

Hunter, John 

Hutchison, John. . . 
Hutchison, J 

Jack, Rev. T. dial- \Maitland, ) 

mers J N.S / 

Jeffrey, A Longue P'nte 

Johnson, W. \V . • . . Montreal .... 
Johnston, James... " • .... 
Johnston, Christina. " .... 
Jordan, Rev. Louis H., B.D 


WinniiH^g . . . 


Petite CottK . 
Dnunm'd- ) 

viiio.... r 


Montreal. • .. 

Longue P'nte 

Kingston . 
Montreal. . 


f Callicoon, 
I N.Y . . . 


Kerr, Robert. ... 


Kerr, Robert 


Kinciiid, Mrs. . . . 


Kinghorn, ( i. M . 


K ydd, Samuel L. . 


Laidlaw, Rev. R. 

J .Hamilton 

Laing, Rev. Robert. Halifax .. 

Lam ), John .... 

.. .Ottawa .. 

Laniont, Rev. H 

' > Marsden 

. . . 

Lanskail, A. D. . 

. . . Montreal . 

Laurie, David . . 


Learmont, J. B.. 

. . . . 

Leitch, James-.. 

. . . Cornwall 

Lewis, John.... 

. . .Montreal. 

Lewis, John. ... 

. . . . 

Liddell.J. W.... 

. . . Cornwall 

Lighthall. W. F. 

. ..Montreal. 

Lindsay, W. Tayl 

or. " 

Linton, Wm.... 

Lochead, Rev. J. 

S..Parkhill . 

Loudon, Ja». A . . 

. . . Cornwall . 

Longhead, John. 


Love, Rev. A. T. 

. . . Quebec . . 

Low, John 

..Quebec .. 


a<u(>iiui\i, 1.11111. ) *T ^ I 

j) \ . . . . [ Montroal 


Lunan, Mrs. My Montreal. 

Lyiu'h, Mfh. (ioo. J. " 

Mar»««in,I)r. I). H. A. " 
Macdonald, Uinht \ nt.^vi-,. 
Hen. Sir.Ino. ;\. [""H^'V.. 

Macdoiiald, Hon. 

I). A 

Macdonaltl, A. (). 1 „ 

do I/tv ( 

Macdonald, Mrs. IJr. " 

M^fi^JJ^i^l-^yj' ' }Broc^^^^^ 

Ma(;(iillivray, (i. H..William8t'vvn 
Mack, Win., M.r.l'..('ornwall .. ■ 

Mackay, Hn^'li Montreal. • • 

Mackenzie, Hector. " 
Mackie, Rev. .John. Kingston .. 

MacNisli, Rev. N., \ „ 

LL.D / 

Macpherson, Alex . . Montreal. . . 
Macjjliorson, Alex. . " 
Maoi)lier8on, R. D.. " 
MacTavish, P. M... 

Malcolm, A. R " 

Marsh, John " 

Mathews, Rev. 1 r\„„K„„ 

G. D., aD-.-./Q^^^ec-'- 
Mathieson, R. T>.,\ Montreal 

advocate / Montreal.. 

Mattice, C'. J Cornwall . . . 

McAllister, And. . . . Montreal. . . 
Mc Arthur, Colin. ... " 
McArthur, James . • Martintown 
McCabe, T., Patent \ Ottawa 

OlHce |Uttawa.... 

McCallnm, R. N. . . . Montreal. . . 
MoCord, David R... 
McCurdy, Rev. E. A..New Glasgow 
McDonald, Alex . . .Montreal. • . 

McFee, Coll 

McGlbbon, Alex . . . Regina 

Mcintosh, Thomas. .Montreal. • . 
Mcintosh, H. E.... " 

Mclntyre, John.... " 
McKay, Thomas . . . Montreal . . . 

McKeracher, 1 Howiok 

Rev. a W..../ ttowick. 


McLaren, Wm. D . Montroiil .... 

McLean, Rev. D. J Arnprior 

Mclxiun, Rev. Alex..H()i)ewell ... 

Mclit^ilau, Hon. A.VV.Ottawa 

McUtnnani Kwen. . . Montreal .... 
MclAuman, Far- ) ("harlotten- 1 

quliar D / burg, ().. ( 

McLennan, D. F. . . Willianiat'wn 

McMillan, E. D. . . . Montreal 

McNaughton, Arch. " .... 
McNaughton, Mrs. 1 „ 

A. E / 

McNaughton, A . . . . Cornwall .... 

McQueen, Miss Montreal. . . . 

McCiuoen, John F.. " 

McRae, F. A " .... 

McVVilliam, Wm... Quebec 

Moldruni, .lamoa . . . Montreal. . . . 
Midland, James H. " .... 
Molson, J. H. R.... 

Mooney, J. H " .... 

Moore, William " .... 

Moore, James " .... 

Morris, John L " .... 

Morris, Hon. A .... . Toronto 

Morrison, D Cornwall .... 

Morton, Henry Montreal .... 

%^j5t, Rev- /. B., I j^i^g^^^^ 

Mowatt, W. W Montreal .... 

Muir, Rev. J. B. . . . Huntingdon. 
Muir, Mrs. Wm. . . . Montreal. . . . 
Munro, Hector. . .. " .... 

Murphy, John " •-.• 

Murray, Alex " .... 

Murray, H. Esson . . " .... 

Murray, Miss " .... 

Murray, James " .... 

Nelson, Alex Montreal .... 

Nelson, Alex '' .... 

Newman, L. H " .... 

Ogilvie, Hon. A. W. .Montreal. . . . 

Ogilvie, W. W 

Orkney, Miss " .... 

Osborne, James .... Hamilton, 0. 
Osborne, Mrs. Wm • " " . 

Paterson, A. T Montreal 

Patterson, J. M " 

Patterson, A. W. . . . " 
Patterson, Rev. Jas. " 
Patton, William.... " 


Peck, Thomas 

Perkins, Mrs " — 

Phillips, Mrs. Geo.. 

Picken, J.B " 

Pilkington, Miss iChelten- 1 
A., The Grove, [■ ham, 
Douro Road ... J f^ngland. J 

Porteous, Rev. Geo. . Toledo — 

Porteous, Arch. C. . .Cornwall ... 

Pringle, .Judge A. F. " — 

Pringle, R. A 

Pringle, George .... " — 

Ramsay, R. A Montreal . • . . 

Ramsay, Mrs. Hew.. " — 

Queen's University. Kingston.. . 

Reed, William Montreal. . . 

Reid, Rev. W., D.D..Toronto 

Richardson, Mrs . . . Montreal . • . . 

Riddell, A. F 

Rintonl, W. H 

Robertson, .Tames . . 
Robertson, Andrew. 
Robertson, John A. 

Robertson, J " 

Robertson, R. F.... 
Robertson, Duncan . Lachine . • • 
Roddick, T.G.,M.D. " 

Ross, P. S 

Ross, Geo., M.D.... " 
Ross, Rev. Prof Kingston . . 

Sclater, William Montreal. • 

Scott, Thos. A 

Scrimger, Rev. Prof. " 

Shaw, R " 

Shaw, Jas. G 

Shepard, Mrs. T. . . . " 
Sleeth, David, Jr.. . " 
Smith, Rev. J. K., 1 ^„i. 
D.D. ;|Galt 

Somerville, C. D. . . . Montreal. . . 


.... 3 



Stephen, Sir G., Bart " 
Stewart, McLeod . . . Ottawa . . 
Stewart, Robert, Jr. Montreal 
Stewart, Thomas . . . 

Stewart, John 

Stewart, James .... 
Stevenson, Mrs. Jas. " 
Stevenson, A. W . . . " 

Stow, Mrs Parkdale 

Strachan, Jessie L. .Montreal 

Stuart, John A " 

Stuart, E. J " 

Sutherland, J. Burt. " 

Tasker, James Montreal 

Taylor, John M.... " 
Taylor, Albert E.... 

Taylor, C 

Tempest, J. W 

Teekey, Joseph " 

Thom, James " 

Thom, P. V 

Thomson, Malcolm. " 
Tyre, R. W Montreal 




Warden, Rev. R. H.Montreal . 
Watson, Rev. Jas. . .Huntingdon. 

Watt, Arch Montreal 

Weir, Robert " 

Wells, Samuel W.. 
Wesl. Theol. Coll., 

per Itev. Prof. 

W. I. Shaw 
Wheeler, Dr 
Williamsor., Rev. \ -ir,- „„*„„ 

James, LL.D...}^^"g«t«"' 

Wilson, J. C Montreal . 

Wilson, R. C 

Workman, Alex .... Ottawa . . 

Coll., 1 

Prof. [ 

.... J 





Hants,Eng. 1 

Page ix. 





























In contents of chapter xi. r. Easton for Esson. 
xiv. r. 1867 for 1807. 
xix. r. 1825 for 1835. 
In Frechette's sonnet, 3rd I, from the last, read et for est ; and 

in 2nd I. from the last, dixe for dire. 
5th /. from bottom, r. Viviers for Vivieres. 
12th /. r. Daritry for Danby. 
6th /. from bottom, r. pour for ponr. 
last I. r. occasion, 
8th L r. Damd for Judge Ogden, and in the 10th I- of same page 

r. siKter for second daughter. 
4th l. r. mter for daughter. 
Ist /. delete and. 
2nd I. r. Im for he. 

last I. r. an advocate, for a general merchantj^ 
18th /., Lrumniond Street, Montreal, was called rather after the 
name of his second wife by Mr. Kedpath, who ceded the land 
for it to the Corporation. 
" 314. 14th l; insert after 1822, "Another daughter, Amelia, was 

married to Tliomas Orr Gibb of Quebec." 
" 370. 13th /. from bottom, r. 1800 for 1880 ; and 7th I. from bottom, 

oniixirda for towards. 
" 383. 9th I. from li^ ittom, r. Gerrard ; and 7th I. from bottom, Oringan 
for Coringan. 
388. 9th I. r. honour for honours. 
391. 12th L from bottom, r. of for in, before Canada. 
400. 15th l. r. term for true, before Protestant. 
411. 6th l. from bottom, r. is for in, before the village. 
426. 4th I. from bottom, r. Court for cour. 

426. 6th t. from bottom, insert, " Mrs Brown, Mrs. James Rose's 
mother, another daughter, survives." 
' 431. 9th/. insert Department after Works. 
" 478. 9th I. from bottom, r. 21 st for 3l8t. 
" 488. 12th /. r. Cailhrnn-Shire. 
" 502. 10th I. r. of before Orwell for at. 
" 507. 10th /. r. brother for cousin. 

" 510. 7th I. r. Adam Thom, and Stepmother's hrotlier for uncle. 
*' 615. 7th I. r. Sutherlandshire for Ross-shirc ; and 2nd I. from bottom, 
insert, after endowed, " a chair in." 
543. 6th /. from bottom, r. 1868 for 1808. 
559. 6th /. r. got after they for get 

562. lltb I. from bottom, r. Painley for Paisly. ^ 

574. 15th I. from bottom, r. John for David, before Morris. 
581. 5th /. r. duly for only, after been. 
588. 12th /. insert nominally after although. 
592. 2nd I. r. heading for bearing, 
« 672. 11th /. r. be for be. 

" 699. 20th L from bottom, insert the before historic ; in 10th I. from 
bottom, insert of the before founder ; in 6th I. from bottom 
delete then before listened. 
" 724. Read Heid for Keed. 
" 729. 2nd 1. 1 . 1803 for 1805. 


" 756. 11th I. from bottom, r. Langholm for Canonbie ; and 7th I. from 
bottom, 1865 for 1863. 

•* 759. 6th I. from bottom, insert Robert Weir after William Ross. 

" 761. 14th L r. 1885 for 1855. 

*' 764. 12th I. insert the late before Dr. Mackay. 

" 765. 5th I. from bottom, r. Darrach for Darroch. 

" 773. 15th I. r. Hckard for Richard. 

'' 782. 10th I. from bottom, r. are for were. 

Speaking of John Auldjo, me"tioned p. 99, a correspondent (T. F.), who 
saw him in Geneva in 1885, and describes him as not a very dignified 
representative of Her Majesty, — "a goodly part of his long white beard was 
yellow, as an Irish gentleman would say, — cau^e thereof tobacco juice " — 
informs me that Mr. Auldjo held the office of British Consul at Geneva. 
He is since dead. 


The names of the following subscribers were accidentally omitted in 
the first issue : 

Blackwood, Miss Montreal. 

Dunton, R. A., Notary 

Heine, Rev. G. Colborne, B.A... 
Molson, Jno., " Belmont Hall " 

Rodger, T. A., M.D 

Smyth, Rev. W. J., Ph. D. 






Alford, George, Quebec, 1 

Baird, Mrs. Alex Montreal ^ 

Baird, Andrew Appleton, Ont 

Baird, John " 

Beattie, John Montreal 

Bell, Robert Carleton Place, Ont.. . . 

Brown, Mrs. C. H Montreal 

Brown, John Carleton Place 

Bryce, Rev. Prof, LL.D Winnipeg. 

Bryson, Mrs. Greorge Fort Coulonge, C^ue. 

Campbell, Mrs. Archd Perth, Ont 

Campbell, Donald J Drummond, Ont 

Campbell, Peter D. " 

Campbell, Duncan D. " 

Campbell, John Quebec 

Carmichael, Mrs. M Montreal • 


Cavers, Peter Bathurst. Ont 

Chandler, F. C Montreal 

Chfrsnut, Robert " 

Con, Hugh Carleton Place, Ont., 

Cram, John F. 

Cram, Peter 

Croskery, Kobert Perth, Ont. 

Davison, James Montreal 

Dawson Bros " 

Drummond, James Petite Cote, Que., 

Ellegood, Rev. Canon Montreal . • . . 

Ferrier, John Burgess, Ont. 

Fisher, Charles Montreal 

»•••• «••• 

Gillies, James Carleton Place, Ont.. . . 

Gillies, David " 

Glossop, Mr Perth, Ont 

Gray, James " " 

Hart John Perth, Ont . . . 

Hart C. T Montreal . . • • 

Harte, James A Montreal 

Henderson, John Petite Cote, Q.. 

Hood, John Montreal 

Hossack, G. C Quebec 

Houston, W., Ontario Parlia- 
mentary Library Toronto 

Irving, George Pte. aux Trembles, Q.... 

Jamieson, John, M.P. Almonte, Ont, 

Johnston, Mrs. Jas,, " Ailsa ". ..Montreal 

Kerr, William Longue Pointe, Q., 

Lampard, J. A Montreal., 

Lawson, J " 

Jjockerbie, Alexander, " 

Lognon, Mrs " 

Mackay, Hon. Justice Montreal 

MacTavish, John " ... 

MacTavish, Donald Drummond, Ont 

Malloch, Edward Glass Perth, " ... 

McArthur, Alexander Scotland 

McCrae, Donald M Montreal 

McCuUoch, Ferdinand Montreal '. 

McDonald, Rev. Duncan, M.A... Carleton Place, Ont... 

McDonald, John " " 

McEwan, Dr Appleton, Ont 

McGinnis, William M!ontreal 

McGregor, Peter C, B. A Almonte, Ont 

McGregor, James Drummond, Ont 


Mcintosh, Wm. J Montreal 1 

Mcintosh, John St. Michel, Que i 

McNee, Peter, jr Bathurst, Ont. 

McNiece, Wm. J Montreal 

McNiece, Thomas " 

Mechanics' Institute " ..... 

Meighen, William Perth, Ont 

Miller, Duncan Appleton, Ont 

Miller, James Quebec 

Miller, Archibald. '• 

Noble, Charles Montreal. 

Paul, John Almonte, Ont . 

Penny, William Montreal, . . . • . 

Eedpath, Mrs., "Terrace Bank" Montreal 

Robb, John " 

Robertson, Jane Quebec 

Robertson, A " 

Robertson, Mrs. J Almonte, Ont. 

Ross, Captain William Montreal 

Ross, Rev. James, B.D Perth, Ont . . . 

Rowan, Mrs Montreal 

Shaw, James Drummond, Ont 

Sleeth, David, sen Montreal 

Smeall, James Pointe aux Trembles- 
Smyth, Thomas Quebec 

Steen, Mrs Montreal 

Stephenson, Mrs Carlton Place, Ont 

Stirling, John Montreal 

Stewart, A. B " 

Stewart, James Drummond, Ont. 

Strang, John Quebec 

Stuart, Rev. James G., B. A . . . Balderson, Ont 

Taylor, Henry Perth, Ont 

Trenholme, Mrs Longue Pointe, Que. 

Warnock, James Montreal 

Weir, William " 

White, Stephen " 

WilHs, Henry Quebec 

Wilson, Isaac Burgess, Ont-. 

Win6eld, R Quebec 

Wylie, James Almonte, Ont. 





Scotch Presbyterian Church, 



Montreal Cradled in Religion — Cartier, Ciiamplain and Maisonnbuvh 
Religious Men — The Early Jesuit Fathers — The Huguenots ix 
Canada—Company of Hundred Associates— The St. Sulpicians. 

Dans leurs excursions, ton chant presque lea p61es, 
Nos pfires, & travers fleuves, monts et marais, 
Avec leurs vieux fusils gel^s sur leurs 6paules, 
Passaient, semant partout le germe du progres. 

Sur le flanc des rochers, ou du fond des for^ts 
Leur baguette faisait surgir des m^tropoles. ... 
C'est par eux, Montreal, que tu nous apparais, 
D^sormais le front ceint d'un bandeau de coupoles. 

Salut, pages oil I'art a, d'un savant pinceau, 

Su, presque pas ^ pas, retracer le berceau 

D'un grand centre aujourd'hui peupl6 de fortes races 1 

Est que chacun, devant ce pass6 disparu, 

Se dire, en contemplant le chemin parcouru, 

Nos aieux 6taient grands : sachons suivre leurs traces ! 

bonnet by Louis FrSchette in " Le vieux Montrial," published by H. Beau- 
grand, Esq., in 1884. 

Montreal may be said to have been cradled in religion. 
When Maisonneuve first visited the portion of the is- 
land in which the city stands, we are told, he made his 


way through the thick woods that grew then around the 
base and along the sides of the mountain, until he reached 
the summit, and there, in the presen<;e of the friendly 
Indians, erected a cross, and by this symbolic act, formally 
took possession of the district in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Earlier still, Jacques Cartier had, in his own sailor fashion, 
striven to sow the seeds of Christian truth among the 
savages. His commission from Francis I. set forth the 
objects of his enterprise to be Discovery, Settlement, and 
the Conversion of the Indians, '* men without knowledge 
of God or use of reason." The first Indian chief he met in 
the woods at Hochelaga was induced to kiss the cross 
which Cartier carried ; and of the same revered symbol 
he made fr oquent use in his dealings with the natives. 
And we read in the recently published collection of 
manuscripts relating to New France, that on 3rd May, 
1536, — the same day that Cartier set sail for St. Malo with 
Donnacona and other Indian captives — he set up, with 
great ceremony, a cross thirty-five feet high, on which 
was fastened the royal escutcheon bearing, in Roman 
letters, these words : — " Franciscus Primus Dei Gratia 
Francorum Rex Regnat." He thus claimed Canada for 
I'rance and Christ. 

For more than a hundred years afterwards, little or 
nothing was done to redeem the pledge thus given by the 
gallant French navigator. Meantime, changes of vast 
moment were coming about in Europe, and extraordinary 
activity began to prevail in both civil and ecclesiastical 
affairs. Religion revived in the Church of Rome, after 
the Protestant secessions took place in the sixteenth cen- 
tury ; and under the impulse which it received from the 
devotion and zeal of Fran9ois Xavier and the other early 
Jesuit missionaries, and especially from the Council of 
Trent, it sought to lengthen its coids and strengthen 
its stakes, by seeking to establish itself among the heathen 


nations to which it could gain access. Eeligious consid- 
erations were a large factor in the motives of thoK3 who 
resolved to build a town at the foot of Mount Royal. 
Previous attempts to establish a French settlement on 
this spot had failed, although Champlain and others had 
recognized how advantageous the situation was from both 
a commercial and a military point of view. The ardent 
desire of the Jesuit missionaries to convert the heathen 
succeeded, where the pursuit of gain on the part of traders 
and the motive furnished by the perception of soldiers of 
the importance of the place from strategic considerations, 
failed. After all is said, facts show that men may be 
more profoundly moved by religious enthusiasm than by 
any other force that can be brought to bear upon them. 

It was on the 18th of May, 1642, that Christian civiliza- 
tion gained its first substantial footing on the island of 
Montreal. At the time when Charles I. was engaged in 
the political struggle with the Commons of England, a 
few months before the arbitrament of the sword was 
called in to decide the constitutional questions at issue, 
Paul de Chomedy, Sieur de Maisonneuve, as representing 
the Fifty Asijociates to whom the King of France granted 
the island for the purposes of colonization, laid the 
foundations of Montreal. The event is thus graphically 
described by Parkman : — 

" Maisonneuve sprang ashore and fell on his knees. 
His followers imitated his example ; and all joined their 
voices in enthusiastic songs of thanksgiving. Tents, 
baggage, arms and stores, were landed. An altar was 
raised on a pleasant spot near the land ; and Mademoiselle 
Mance, with Madame de la Peltrie, aided by her servant 
Charlotte Barre, decorated it with a taste which was the 
admiration of the beholders. Now all the company 
gathered before the shrine. Here stood Vimont in the 
rich vestments of his ofiice. Here were the two ladies 

■with their servant ; Montmagny, no very willing specta- 
tor; and Maisonneuve, a warlike figure, erect and tall, 
his men clustering around him. They kneeled in rever- 
ent silence as the Host was raised aloft ; and when the 
rite was over, the priest turned and addressed them — 
' You are a grain of mustard seed, that shall rise and 
grow till its branches overshadow the earth. You are 
few, but the work is the work of God. His smile is on 
you, and your children shall fill the land.' " 

No fair-minded Protestant will withold the tribute of 
admiration from the Jesuit Fathers who, with cross in 
hand, traversed the forests of Canada, bearing the cross in 
a still higher sense, undergoing as many perils and hard- 
ships as those which the Apostle Paul himself enumer- 
ates, all that they might bring the savage aborigines to 
embrace the faith of their Church. Granted that they 
were chargeable with the faults usually ascribed to their 
order, and that they were intolerant of any rivals in the 
New "World, even from among the other clergy of the 
Church of Eome, still their zeal and courage and enter- 
prise, the self-denial they practised, and the trials they 
endured, in the prosecution of their sacred calling, are 
worthy of all praise. To tl eir enthusiasm it w^as due 
that the French colony was planted on this spot; and 
their characteristic devotion to the Virgin was displayed 
in the name selected for the new town — Ville-Marie. 

Judging from the number and grandeur of the churches 
which adorn the city, one may conclude that the senti- 
ment in which Montreal was founded still maintains its 
hold upon the community. It is pre-eminently a city of 
churches. Strangers are alw^ays struck with this marked 
feature in its architectural aspect; and the American 
humorist, " Mark Twain," was perhaps justified in drawing 
attention to the large group of ecclesiastical buildings 
that surrounds the Windsor Hotel, when he said, in a 

speech at a public dinner, that he never was in a city 
before where one could not throw a brickbat without 
breaking a church window. " Our Laureate," Louis 
Frechette, gracefully speaks of the steeples of the city as 
" un bandeau de coupoles " — a chaplet of cupolas encir- 
cling the city's brow. 

Not that all the pioneers of Christian civilization in 
Canada of French origin, whom F'reohette so justly cele- 
brates as "grands a'ieiLt:,^' great ancestors — whose foot- 
steps their posterity should delight to trace — were Jesuits 
or inspired by Jesuit teachers. As we shall see, the 
Recollets and Sulpician Fathers were also early in the 
field, and contributed their fair share to the cherished 
memories of those brave days of old. Besides, a few of 
the enterprising and high-spirited Huguenots — De Monts, 
the De Caens, the De La Tours, the Kirkes, Chauvin, Bernon 
and other French Protestants — " helped to raise our cities 
on the sides of rocks, or, as if with magic wand, to cause 
them to spring forth from the depths of the forest, and, 
otherwise, to sow the seeds of progress." But the senti- 
ment that impelled most of the distinguished sons of 
France who at this early period aided in the colonization 
of Canada, was no doubt correctly voiced by Champlain, 
the bravest, most energetic and constant oi them all in 
his faith in the future of our country, and a devout 
Roman Catholic, when he declared '* that the salvation of 
one soul was of more value than the conquest of an 

The religious character of Montreal may be said to have 
been completed and rendered permanent, so far as human 
arrangement can make anything permanent, by the ces- 
sion of the whole island to the Sulpicians of Paris in 
1644. The " Company of One Hundred Associates," an 
organization formed under the advice and patronage of 
Cardinal Richelieu, prime minister of Louis XIH., had not 


mado good what was expected of it in the way of 
promoting the interests of the colony. Although the 
Cardinal's " Company " embraced several (-lergyraen, and 
undertook to establish three priests in every settlement, 
and to set apart glebes for maintaining the " Catholic 
Church in New France," the traders in the Association 
failed to second the designs of the priests, to make the 
promotion of religion its first object ; and the efforts of 
the clergy were still further thwarted by the breaking 
out of war between France and England, and the taking 
of Quebec by Sir David Kirke in 1629. It was after the 
restoration of Canada to France, which took place in 
1632, that the new company, numbering fifty persons, to 
promote the views of which Maisonneuve crossed the 
sea, was organized. This association was imbued with 
more decided religious feelings than the " Company " 
which preceded it had been. Its members all belonged 
to the higher class of French families, and were animated 
with a lofty zeal for the salvation of the native tribes, as 
well as for the extension of the Roman Catholic Church. 

But more than high motives and consuming zeal was 
required for permanent success in such an undertaking. 
Men and means were needed ; and, above all, matured 
plans, patiently wrought out, and backed up by a society 
in which there was a continuance of zeal and order. 
These requirements were met in the Fathers of St. Sul- 
pice, who have continued to this day to be the lords of 
the soil, and have displayed much worldly wisdom, as 
well as hospitality of mind, towards all and sundry that 
have settled on the island, so long as their seigniorial 
rights were acknowledged and their dues were received. 

In the year 165*7, the Abbe Quelus, with other deputies 
from the parent Seminary at Paris, arrived in Montreal 
with a view to taking over the island, the ownership of 
which the order had acquired, and founding a branch 

seminary in the colony. The Sulpicians acted on the 
80und principle, which the Protestant churches have heen 
slow to recognize, that missionary work in any country 
can be carried on most successfully by agents t'^ained on 
the spot. 

The domain which was placed at their disposal for 
educational purposes amounted to 250,191 acres. The 
Sulpicians were then a comparatively new society in the 
Roman Catholics Church. The order was founded by Jean 
Jacques Olier, who was born at Paris in 1608, and died 
the year the branch seminary was planted in Montreal. 
He went through a course of study at the College of the 
Sorbonne, attending the lectures of St Vincent de Paul 
there, intercourse with whom gave the direction to his 
life which it afterwards took. He resolved to throw him- 
self into the work of training an orderof priests whom he 
hoped to inspire, at once with a love of study, and with 
a consuming desire for the salvation of the souls com- 
mitted to their care. His earliest essay in this direction was 
made in 1641, at Vaugerard, a Faubourg of Paris, where 
he was first settled as a cure. In 1642, he was appointed 
to the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris, and in 1645 he 
founded a seminary on a larger scale than that which he 
had previously set up at Vaugerard, and called it after 
the parish of whi(;h he was cure. Sulpitius, the Saint to 
whom both the parish and the seminary were dedicated, 
and whose f4te is held on the 17th of January, was an 
eminent bishop of Bourges, in the seventh century, chap- 
lain to Clotaire II., and was praised for his distinguished 
piety and zeal by Bossuet and Fenelon. Branches of the 
seminary were established at Nantes, Vivieres, au Puyen, 
Velay, and Clermont en Auvergne, as well as at Montreal, 
for the education of ecclesiastics. Under the wise and 
easy superintendence of Abbe Olier, the seminary grew 
rapidly in influence and usefulness . His administration. 


of his own parish was a model for the young priests receiv- 
ing training under his care. He laboured hard to reform 
the morals of the people, provided institutions for the 
relief of the sick and needy, and asylums for orphans, as 
well as schools for the children of the parish. And it may 
bo said that the good Abbe's hopes have been in a large 
measure realized, in the history of the Seminary which he 
founded. For two hundred and forty-five years, it has in- 
dustriously striven to train a high-toned clergy for France 
and Canada. It has always been a fair exponent of the 
spirit prevailing in the Church in those two countries. 
Reflecting the views of the Archbishop of Paris, for the 
time being, and of the higher clergy, the parent seminary 
has been, by turns, Ultramontane, Molinist, and Grallican. 
It was suppressed in 1*792, at the same time as all the other 
religious communities in France. In 1802, the original 
structure was thrown down by the revolutionists ; while 
the Church of St. Sulpice near by was turned into a Temple 
of Victory, in which the orgies of the new religion were 
carried on, and Bonaparte, on one occasion, held a banquet. 
For eighteen years, the Seminary occupied temporary quar- 
ters, and in 1820, commodious buildings, in which the 
institution still prosecutes its work in Paris, were erected. 
It is of importance to all the citizens of Montreal to have 
some knowledge of the great corporation that exercises 
feudal lordship over them. At the head of the Seminary 
in this city always have been placed gentlemen of far- 
seeing intelligence and high bueiness capacity, who have 
contributed to make it the mighty power it is in the Do- 
minion. I speak of them, of course, only in their civil 
relations. In those relations their policy has been uniformly 
liberal and enlightened. They have made no difierence 
between Frenchmen and Englishmen, Catholic and Protes- 
tant. Their business has been to build up a large and pros- 
perous city at the foot of Mount Royal, and they have 


welcomed men of every nalion and creed "who desired to 
share in the enterprize of making Montreal rich and great, 
by becoming rich and great themselves. 

Like the parent institution in Paris, the branch here has 
also had its seasons of trial. In 1661, the King of France 
had issued letters patent on behalf of the Seminary, and 
gave orders that tithes of all lands on the Island of Mon- 
treal should be paid to the corporation. The tithe was fixed 
at " one-thirteenth of the natural and artificial labour 
of the people." When, on the eighth day of September, 
1760, the Marquis de Yaudreuil, representing France, sur- 
rendered Montreal to Greneral Amherst, acting for Great 
Britain, he stipulated that the interests of the Seminary, 
among other institutions, should not suffer by the change 
in the ownership of Canada. 

Article xxxii of the conditions of capitulation provided 
that the communities of nuns should be preserved in their 
constitution and privileges, and be exempted from lodging 
any military, and guarded from trouble in their religious 
exercises, as well as from intrusion into their monasteries. 
Article xxxiii reads thus : — " The preceding article shall 
likewise be executed with regard to communities of Jesuits 
and RecoUets, and of the house of the priests of St. Sul- 
pice at Montreal. This last, and the Jesuits, shall preserve 
their right to nominate to certain curacies and missions as 
heretofore." The answer returned by General Amherst 
was: — "Eefused, till the King's pleasure be known." 
Article xxxiv was as follows : — " All the communities and 
all the priests shall preserve their movables, the property 
and revenues of their seigniories, and other estates which 
they possess in the colony, of what nature soever they 
may be. And the same estates shall be preserved in their 
privileges, rights, honours, and exemptions." This was 
granted by the British representative. 

Article xxxv also related to the rights of the religious 


communities already established in the city : — " If the 
canons, priests, missionaries, the priests of the ceremony 
of the foreign missions, and of St. Sulpice, as well as the 
Jesuits and Recollets, choose to go to France, passage 
shall be granted them in His Britannic Majesty's ships ; 
and they shall all have leave to sell, in whole, or in part, 
the estates and movables which they possess in the colo- 
nies, either to the French or to the English, without the 
least hindrance or obstacle from the British Government. 
They may take with them, or send to France, the produce 
of whatever nature soever it be, of the said goods sold, 
paying the freight as mentioned in the 26th Article. And 
such of the said priests as choose to go this year, shall be 
victualed during the passage, at the expense of his Bri- 
tannic Majesty, and shall take with them their baggage." 
To this the British Greneral replied : " They shall be 
masters to dispose of their estates, and send the produce 
thereof, as well as their persons, and all that belongs to 
them, to France." 

From the last article, it may be inferred that the affairs 
of the Seminary had at this moment reached a crisis, and 
that there was great uncertainty as to whether it would 
not abandon Canada altogether. The priests did not know 
what attitude their Protestant conquerors would assume 
towards them and their institutions. However, they re- 
solved to await the revelations of the future. Their fears, 
if they ever had any, soon gave place to hope and confi- 
dence. The treaty of Paris, concluded on the 10th day of 
February, 1V63, confirmed the concessions which Amherst 
had made in the name of his Sovereign. The Seminary 
held its ground, with the result which we behold to-day : 
it is generally regarded as the wealthiest and most influ- 
ential corporation in the Dominion. 

But besides the work of training priests in the Grand 
S^minaire, the Society has done its share of lay education 


as well. In 17*73, the Sulpician Fathers founded the Petit 
S&minaire, which originally stood in what is now Jacques 
Cartier Square, and was known as St. Raphael's College. 
In 1806, it was removed to the premises which it vacated 
about twenty-five years ago, bounded by William Street 
and College Street, the latter street being named after it- 
Its title was then changed to the " College of Montreal," 
that by which it is now designated, in its extensive and 
commodious buildings on the south-east side of Mount 
Royal. Both the classical and theological departments are 
accommodated in this large establishment. 

The Seminary of St. Sulpice established also, in 1789, 
and still maintains, at a large annual expense, some excel- 
lent primary schools in the city and parish of Montreal. 

The Treaty of Paris left doubts as to the legal status of 
the Seminary, with regard to its Seigniorial rights in the 
soil. These doubts continued to be entertained for eighty 
years after the conquest. In 1827, there was some un- 
easiness in Montreal ecclesiastical circles, occasioned by 
rumours that the Government intended to possess itself 
of the feudal lordship claimed by the Seminary over the 
Island, allowing an annuity to the Society instead. The 
Quebec Gazette made the following authoritative announce- 
ment: — "That during the space of fifty years past the 
Crown lawyers of Grreat Britain had advised His Ma- 
jesty's Government that the claim of the Seminary could 
not be sustained against the paramount rights of His 
Majesty — on two grounds — as not being themselves a 
lawful corporation, and as holding originally from a 
Society resident in a foreign country. 

" That while the claims of His Majesty have never been 
enforced, neither have they been relinquished. They have 
merely remained in abeyance, nor is it likely that any 
steps to establish them would even now be taken, had not 
such a course been imposed upon the Government by cir- 


oumstances which render it imperative that the question 
should be settled, in whom lies the title to the Seigniory 
of Montreal, in the Seminary or in the Crown. Since the 
passing of the Act relating to the change of tenure of 
Seigniorial to free and common soccage, several individuals 
have petitioned the Grovernment, praying a commutation 
of the tenure of property held by them at Montreal, in con- 
formity to the provisions of said Acts. As these applica- 
tions brought forward, in a tangible shape, the question of 
the right of the Crown in the Seigniory of Montreal, it has 
been thought necessary to refer the whole question to His 
Majesty's Grovernment at home. 

" Such are the facts on which the rumour is founded, 
and we are authorized to say that the whole matter will 
be settled with the utmost fairness, and that whatever 
may be the result, it is by no means designed to bar any 
claim which the Seminary may have on the good faith, 
justice, or liberality of His Majesty's Government, but 
these claiins will be considered with the most large and 
liberal regard." 

The question of right of title was finally set at 
rest in 1840, the Sulpician Fathers being confirmed 
in the possession of their ancient privileges. Thus not 
only the city but the entire Island of Montreal to-day 
possesses an ecclesiastico-civil status that is now denied 
even to Rome. This circumstance must nev'>- be over- 
looked, for it has been far-reaching in its influ ice. Mon- 
treal's first lessons in Christian civilization were taken 
under the auspices I have just described — among the best, 
it may safely be said, that the France of the period could 
furnish — and every Protestant Church, as well as every 
other institution in the city, has felt the powerful sway 
of " the gentlemen of the Seminary." 










Montreal, not only bjsautiful and well situated from a Military 
Point op View, but also naturally commands thh Trade op the 
northern portion op the Continent — Ontario's Desire to possess 
THE Island of Montreal — Earliest Trade, that in Peltries : its 
Influence — Formation of North-west Company — Relations be- 
tween Commerce and Religion — Connection of the Army with the 
First Establishment of the Scotch Church in Montreal — The 
Old 78th Regiment, a link between " Prince Charlie " and thb 
Scotch Church in Montreal. 

Beautiful for situation is Montreal. The view from 
the side of the mountain is a perpetual feast to the eyes 
of the inhabitants. It has not the rugged grandeur of 
Quebec, but there is a soft picturesqueness about it, which 
affords great delight to the casual visitor, and is a source 
of constant joy to the citizens. The striking feature of 
Montreal is the hill in the background, from which it 
derives its name. Visitors from rival cities sometimes 
affect to make light of the mountain, of which we are so 
proud, and talk of it as a mere mound ; but though it is 
only 700 feet above the level of the St. Lawrence flowing 
near by, it is well entitled to the enthusiastic attachment 
of the citizens, as it of old excited the admiration of 
Jacques Cartier, and received from him the highest com- 
pliment which, as a courtier, he could bestow, when, in 
honour of his sovereign, he called it Mount Royal. It is 
to Montreal what Arthur Seat is to Edinburgh ; as indeed 
the crest on its north-east corner which gives to the Allan 
Mansion its title " Ravenscrag " is a good miniature of 
Salisbury Crags, which adorn the brow of " Edina, Scotia's 
darling seat." The majestic river rolling swiftly by, with 


the solid Victoria Bridge overarching it — the green prairie 
lying beyond and stretching away to the south and east, 
with here and there a conical hill or low mountain range, 
or a village with its glittering spire, until vision is lost 
in the dim outlines of the Green Mountains and Adiron- 
dacks — while towards the south-west and west the eye 
rests on Lake St. Louis and the great Ottawa threading 
its way through hills and woods to join the greater St, 
Lawrence, — it is an education in the beautiful to look 
from the top of the mountain on this scene. The view 
northwards consisting of varied plain and woodland and 
water, and bounded by the bold Laurentians, completes a 
picture once seen never to be forgotten. The landscape 
as seen from Mount Royal is different now, of course, from 
what it was in 1535, when " east, west and south, the 
forest was every where, while the broad blue line of the 
great St. Lawrence gleamed amidst it all." Yet the essen- 
tial features have remained the same. Cartier was so 
enchanted with the beauty of the scene that, when he 
returned to France, he urged that an immediate settle- 
ment should be made at the foot of the mountain. 

Yet the beauty' of the situation, much as it might move 
the soul of a cultured and sentimental European, was 
not enough to secure prosperity to the town which was 
founded, on this site recommended by Cartier, a hundred 
years afterwards. It was in those days a question of the 
first importance, what facilities a place afforded for defence 
against the attacks of the savage Indians, who were then 
the only inhabitants of the country. And the next ques- 
tion was, would it conduce to the interests of commerce 
to build a tow^n in the locality indicated. A favourable 
conclusion could not but be come to with regard to either 
of these considerations. For the purposes of both pro- 
tection and trade, Montreal was well situated. It was 
long a military centre, although we have fallen on better 


times, when the Champ de Mars is given up to the games 
of youth and the noisy laughter of children, rather than 
to the tread of regiments and the music of fife and drum. 

But Montreal has pre-eminently developed into a com- 
mercial city. Nature designed for it this distinction. 
Notwithstanding all that railways have achieved, water 
carriage still furnishes the cheapest and easiest mode of 
transporting merchandise from place to place. As a rule, 
great cities have always grown up in the neighbourhood 
of good harbours on the sea coast, or on large navigable 
rivers and lakes. Mariners, military men and missionaries 
early perceived the advantages for trade possessed by 
Montreal. A glance at a map of the continent shows that 
from the head of the island, navigable water courses spread 
out like a fan over hundreds of thousands of miles in the 
interior, all of which get an outlet to the sea by the St. 
Lawrence. The trade of half North America must sooner 
or later obey the laws of nature and pass through this 
port. Montreal may geographically belong to the Province 
of Quebec, but its real interests are more bound up in the 
portion of the continent lying west of it. Sea-going 
vessels have to halt at the foot of the Lachine B-^pids, and 
break bulk here, so that our merchants must have the 
handling and distributing of a large part of the wholesale 
trade of the continent. 

The intimate relation in which Montreal naturally 
stands to the country lying westwards has always been 
perceived, and has, at various times, caused an agitation to 
be got up for having it politically joined to Ontario, as 
commercially, it is largely dependent upon that Province. 
Had the island been included in Upper Canada, when the 
separation between the two provinces took place in 1791, 
as the British citizens of that day wished, no serious vio- 
lence would have been done to natural geographical 
boundaries ; although it is a ^branch of the Ottawa that 


sweeps around the island at St. Ann's, and the great 
Rivers Ottawa and St. Lawrence were regarded in a 
general way as the dividing lines between the two sec- 
tions of the Canada of that period. A line drawn from 
Pointe Beaudette across to the Ottawa having been 
named as the westernmost boundary of Lower Canada, 
seeing that French families were residing that far up the 
country, thus disregarding the barriers which nature had 
laid down, because the French were then the most numer- 
ous, the people of Upper Canada, when they began to be 
strong enough to make their voice heard in the country, 
might well be excused, if they put forth efforts to recover 
territory that ought to have been included in their Pro- 
vince, — the Counties of Vaudrouil and Soulanges — and 
the island of Montreal in addition. Accordingly, in 1832, 
a public meeting was held in Toronto (then York) to take 
into consideration a proposed petition to be presented to 
the Legislature of Upper Canada, asking that the Island 
of Montreal should be annexed to the Province, thereby 
providing a seaport for Upper Canada. This meeting took 
place on the 17th October, Hon. W. Allan in the Chair. 
The Hon. Gr. H. Markland, then Attorney-General, along 
with the Solicitor-General, Hon. C. A. Hagerman, were 
appointed to draft an address on the subject. The reasons 
adduced in favour of the proposed annexation were : — 
" The Lower Province had two seaports, while they 
had none. 

" The trade of Montreal was almost wholly dependent 
upon Upper Canada, from the fact that that Province was 
inhabited almost exclusively by British, who imported 
goods from the Mother Country, while three-fourths of 
the population of Lower Canada were French, and manu- 
factured for themselves articles of domestic use. 

" Instead of receiving directly the duties levied on 
their own imports, they had to await the pleasure of the 


Lower Canadian olHoials, before the proportion was settled 
and paid over.'' 

The i)otitioners, therefore, asked that changes should 
be made in tht^ l)oundaries of the Provinces, so as to in- 
clude Montreal in Upper Canada. 

Nothing- came of this agitation, although it was revived 
by the British portion of the citizens of Montreal in the 
troublous times of 1837-8, and mutterings to the same 
effect were heard when so many of our French com- 
patriots lost their head a few months ago over the fate of 
poor Louis Riel. And it may safely be said that nothing 
short of a revolution would induce the majority of the 
people of the Province of Quebec to allow the annexation 
to Ontario to take place ; for who would provide the funds 
necessary for carrying on the governmental machinery, 
if the merchants of Montreal could no longer be reached 
by taxation ? 

The trade of the City had a humble beginning. Peltry 
was for a long period the only traffic deemed important ; 
and the cargo of a few canoes, though of considerable 
value, did not furnish tonnage to make it worth while 
for many vessels to cross the Atlantic and share in the 
traffic. The first depot of the fur trade established was 
at Tadousac— then Three-Rivers became the westernmost 
trading post ; but in the course of a few years, Montreal 
monopolized the peltry business. It was geographically 
the natural centre of the trade, as the great waters of the 
continent, over which the Indians paddled their canoes 
in search of fur-bearing animals, nearly all converged at 
this point. In the month of June, the dusky natives be- 
gan their course eastward, their frail barks laden with the 
spoils of the winter's chase and the spring's trapping. The 
number of Indians who resorted to the City increased, as 
the reports of those who visited it extended the know- 
ledge of what was doing there. The account of the re- 



coption they had mot with, tho sight of the things they 
had reciuved in exchange tor their goods, ail (contributed 
to increase this trallic, so that whenever they returned 
with a fresh supply of furs, a now nation or tribe gener- 
ally came with them. Thus, by d(^gre(>s, a kind of fair 
was opiMK'd, to which the several tribes of the (.continent 
resorted. The fair was held annually from the beginning 
of June till the latter end of August. The skin of the 
betivers was chielly sought after. It far surpassed in im- 
portance, at that early period, all oth(?r furbearing ani- • 
mals ; and hence it occupies the place of honour on the 
armorial bearings of our country. Governor Dongan of 
New York wrote in 1687 : — " It will be very necessary for 
us to encourage our young men to goe a beaver hunting 
as the French doe." And he suggested that Country Forts 
" should be erected for the securing of the beaver trade 
and keeping the Indians in community with us." 

Comparatively limited in volume though this trade 
was, it had a great deal to do with shaping the history 
of the North American continent. It was the desire of 
the English merchants residing in New York and the 
New England States, then British territory, to secure con- 
trol of the peltry traffi.c that brought them into collision 
with the French in Canada. With this view, they made 
a league with the Iroquois Indians, while the French 
obtained the alliance of the Hurons and Algonquins and 
other tribes lying within the bounds of Canada. The 
French Governor DeNonville wrote to the government 
which he represented : — " Canada is encompassed by many 
powerful English colonies, who labour incessantly to 
ruin it by exciting all our savages and drawing them 
away with their peltries, for which the English give 
them a great deal more merchandize than the French, 
because they pay no duty to the king of England." The 
fur trade was the all absorbing interest, for more than one 


hundred and fifty yoars, in the valley of the .^t. Lawrence 
and the vast reo-iou bordering on Hudson's Bay. During 
a ('onsidera])lo portion of that time, there was a rivalry be- 
tween the l<:nglish and Fnuich for the <!ontrol of thc^ traffic, 
and this led to collisions and ill feeling, which issued at 
last in the conquest of Canada by Great Britain in ItOO. 

The first colonists from France, we have seiMi, made 
religion subordinate to commerce, although the; leaders, 
like Cartier, Champlain and Montmagny wore all devout 
men. T\n\ company which sent out Maisonneuvc, we 
have also seen, desired that the conversion of the Indians 
to Christianity should be deemed the first concern of the 
French settlers. But the representatives of this new 
organization soon got entanirled in the meshes of the fur 
trade, as those who preceded them had been. The mis- 
sion and the beaver were too frequently associated by the 
early French missionaries. They made the fur trader and 
the proselytizer one. There is no doubt that wherever 
this traffic extended, there was but too much need of 
the humanizing influence of Christianity ; but so long as 
the missionaries traded in furs, the gentle influences of 
religion were not felt. " The trouble was that the French 
supplied the Indians with brandy, of which they were 
and are inordinately fond, in order to secure their trade, 
while the English offered the counter attraction of rum. 
The effect, as described by DeNonville, was to convert the 
savages into demons, and their cabins into counterparts 
and theatres of hell." 

Soon after the entire valley of the St. Lawrence came 
under British sway, by the capitulation of Montreal, the 
merchants of this city, among whom were many Scotch- 
men, as we shall see, resolved to unite in organizing a 
company for prosecuting the fur trade. An association 
with this end in view was formed in 1Y84, and took the 
name of " The North-west Company of Montreal." The 
stock of the company was at first divided into sixteen 


shares, without any capital being deposited, each share- 
holder furnishing a proportion of such articles as were 
necessary to carry on the traffic. Some of the traders in 
the Northwest showed themselves adverse to this attempt- 
ed union of interests, and a few of them joined together 
and established a competing association. As was to be 
looked for, jealousies showed themselves among the agents 
of the rival organizations ; and these led to collisions, 
which sometimes ended in bloodshed. At length, in 
1789, the discontented traders and the Northwest com- 
pany came to an understanding, united their interests, 
and founded a commercial establishment on a sound 
basis, divided into twenty shares, a certain portion being 
held by the merchants in Montreal, the remainder by the 
traders in the Indian country. The adventure for the 
year amounted to ^£40,000, but in nine years from that 
date, or in 1*798, it reached treble that sum. In 1798, the 
number of shares was increased to forty-six, and so rapid 
was the growth in power and wealth of the corporation, 
that the array of employees enlistad in its service rose to 
upwards of four thousand. 

But what has all this account of the trade of Montreal 
to do with the history of the Scotch Church in St. Grabriel 
Street ? A great deal to do with it, as we shall find. 
Commerce is said to be the handmaid of Religion. It 
must be confessed that the love of gain has often been 
more enterprising than the love of souls — and that the 
interests of trade have consequently been frequently in 
advance of those of the Grospel. Not invariably. Dr. 
Livingston penetrated regions in the interior of Africa, 
as a herald of the Cross, which even the Arab ivory mer- 
chants had not reached. And the early history of Canada 
furnishes illustrious examples of missionary zeal outrun- 
ning the keen pursuit of wealth. The Jesuits were the 
discoverers of the lakes, and rivers, and territories lying 
far inwards on this continent ; and it was zeal for the 


conversion of the heathen that was their inspiring motive. 
"When father Le Jeune found a few of the feebler Indian 
children from the neighbouring wigwams coming to him, 
even by fits and starts, to receive instruction, at Quebec, 
in 1632, he wrote to his superior in France, to say that he 
would not exchange his little school of savages for the 
best university of Europe. That was a temper of mind 
worthy of a professed follower of Jesus. 

But there is no question that men's cupidity has often 
influenced them to venture where their benevolence 
would scarcely have induced them to go. And if the 
trader has paved the way for the missionary, let us thank- 
fully acknowledge his good offices in this regard. The 
policy of merchants, I shall not say their true interests, 
have occasionally come into collision with the interests 
of the Christian Eeligion in new fields ; but, frequently, 
there has been a friendship between the representatives 
of commerce and those of the G-ospel that has been mu- 
tually helpful. Honest trade and Christianity ought to 
be able to get on very well together. It was so in Mont- 
real. After the city passed into the hands of the British, 
many Protestants settled in it, and the peltry business 
was soon monopolized by them. According to the prin- 
ciples in which the Scottish traders had been educated, 
the next thing they thought of was the setting up of a 
church and school. It was in this sentiment that the 
first Presbyterian organization originated, on the 12th of 
March, 1786. 

But there was another factor which also entered into the 
problem of the period. It has sometimes happened in the 
case of Grreat Britain that war as well as commerce has 
helped forward the cause of Christianity. It may seem 
incongruous that the Gospel of peace should be indebted 
for its success to the profession of arms ; yet many in- 
stances could be adduced to show that the setting up of the 

■■ 22 .■>;:■■•■■.,. 

British flag has been the signal for planting also the banner 
of the cross. The English and Scottish Churches both owed 
their establishment in Montreal to the British soldiery that 
garrisoned the city after the conquest, and, when quit- 
ing the army, took up their abode in it. The same was 
true of Quebec. Rev. George Henry, ex-chaplain to a 
Scotch Regiment, organized the first Presbyterian Church 
in old Canada, in a large loom in the Jesuits' Barracks, 
Quebec, in the year lt65. 

Among others who engaged in the fur trade of the 
North-West company were retired officers and privates of 
the Scottish Regiments that had been concerned in the 
taking of Quebec and Montreal. Some of them were 
Highland gentlemen of high degree. It is not easy to 
realize it, but it is nevertheless a fact, that a few of those 
who were' present at the organization of the first Presby- 
tei'ian Congregation, in a room on Notre-Dame Street, on 
the 12th of March, 1786, had, as youths, been actually en- 
gaged in the fight at Culloden, in 1746 ; and several of them 
were the children or descendants of those brave men who 
stood by the side of " Prince Charlie " on that fated field. 
From that day forward, the power of the chieftains, we 
know, was broken — clanship in the Highlands was 
doomed. The exuberant vigour of the mountaineers could 
not remain pent up, but must find vent for itself in some 
other direction than in waging deadly warfare with the 
Sassenach, or in maintaining feuds with neighbouring 
septs. William Pitt helped to solve the difficulty, by get- 
ting the clans to organize regiments for service under the 
House of Hanover, to be officered by their chieftains and 
the other gentlemen of the respective districts. That 
great minister never devised a more successful stroke of 
policy. The Highlander rushed into battle at the shrill 
notes of the Pibroch as cheerfully as the more stolid South- 
ern hurried to breakfast at the sound of the gong. These 

regiments proved at once the most serviceable and reliable 
in the British army, covering themselves with glory 
whenever a chance offered. None of them made a more 
brilliant record than the gallant 42nd or Black Watch, and 
the old TSth or Fraser Highlanders. These two regiments 
played a prominent part in the British campaign against 
Canada. The 42nd, commanded by G-eneral Murray, after 
whom they were called "the Murray Highlanders, " was 
a Perthshire regiment, raised in the land of TVaverly. This 
gallant corps had been terribly cut up, owing to the 
blundering of Abercrombie at Ticonderoga, in 1*758 ; but 
every man of them sold his life dearly, as might be ex- 
pected. The capture of Montreal was a bloodless victory 
in which these brave sons of the mist shared ; and they 
have distinguished themselves on so many battlefields, in 
the century and a cj^uarter w^hich has since elapsed, as to 
have well earned the memorial that it is now proposed 
to erect to them near Aberfeldy, where the regiment was 
first embodied, and the eulogy which the gallant G-eneral 
Lord Wolseley has lately pronounced upon them : — 
" When in action with the Royal Highlanders, we need 
take no trouble about the part of the field where they 
are engaged, for I have always then realized that what 
men could do, they would accomplish. Officers and men 
work together with an entire and mutual confidence in 
one another that ensures success. Whenever I go on 
active service, I always try to have this splendid regi- 
ment with me, because I can rely upon it at all times and 
under all circumstances. Whenever I see the red hackle 
of the Black Watch, I feel I have there not only good 
friends, but also staunch comrades, who will stand by 
me to the last. Perthshire has good reason to be proud 
of its regiment, for it is, without any doubt, one of the 
finest that has ever worn the Royal uniform." - : - 
The 78th Regiment of that time was not the same corps 


that now goes by that number, the gallant Rosshire Buffs, 
the splendid fellows who relieved Lucknow, whom the 
people of Montreal had the honour of having among them 
from 1867 to 1869, and who used to fill St. G-abriei Street 
Church to overflowing at the G-arrison service, but was 
composed chiefly of Inverness-shire Highlanders, and so 
were known as " the Eraser Eegiment," because so large- 
ly made up of members of that clan. They, too, had suf- 
fered severely in previous campaigns, having lost nearly 
three hundred in killed, wounded and prisoners at Fort 
Du Quesne, through bad generalship ; but they met their 
fate as men, without flinching. They had also occupied 
a distinguished place in the force with which Wolfe had 
conquered Montcalm on the plains of Abraham. 

When Canada was confirmed as a British possession by 
the treaty of Paris in lt63, the brave soldiers who had 
achieved its conquest were offered a home in it, as many 
of them as chose to remain ; while the head-quarters of the 
regiments returned to Britain. A large proportion of the 
Highlanders elected to stay in this country and had lands 
assigned them ; many of the officers settling in Montreal 
or the neighbourhood, while the men took up their resi- 
dence in the mountain regions around Murray Bay and 
Riviere-du-Loup, where their descendants are to be found 
to this day. When the North- West company was organ- 
ized, several of the retired ofiicers of the 42nd and 78th 
Regiments joined it. This service suited the adventur- 
ous spirit of the Grael, not less than the army or navy ; 
and not a few of those to whom no military career at 
home offered, resolved to try their fortunes in this new 
sphere of activity which opened up to them. These 
were the men, for the most part, whose spiritual inter- 
ests were sought to be promoted by the organization of a 
Presbyterian Church in Montreal, 



Connection of tiie Ciiukcii with 'niB American War of Independence — 
Rev. John Betiiune, tub Foindeij of the Scotch Congkegation 
:; IN Montreal — The old 84Tn Regiment or "Highland Emkirants" — 
The U. E. Loyalists— Mr. Betiiune settles at Williamstown, so 
callfjD after Sir AVi lliam Johnston— His Character and "Work 
— Father of the Late Dean and of the Late Bishop of Toronto. 

"We have seen how the commencement of Presbyterian- 
ism in Montreal is linked with the most romantic period 
of Scottish history, throuj^h the Murray and Fraser High- 
landers, who formed the nucleus of the original congre- 
gation. The old Church had large associations also with 
the most stirring events in American history. The Rev. 
John Bethune, who had the honour of first planting the 
blue banner of the covenant in this city, had taken part 
in the conflict betwixt Great Britain and her colonies, and 
had suffered in the cause of loyalty. 

Born in the island of Skye, in 1751, and educated at 
King's College, Aberdeen, Mr. Bethune emigrated with 
some of his kindred to South Carolina, and, being a licen- 
tiate of the Church of Scotland, he obtained the chaplaincy 
of a regiment of the Royal Militia in the Carolinas, com- 
posed of Scottish settlers, on the breaking out of the 
revolutionary war. The royal cause did not succeed, as 
we know ; and with many other loyalists, he was made a 
prisoner, and for a time had to endure great hardships at 
the hands of the rebels, victorious against the authority 
of Greorge III. In due season, an exchange of prisoners 
took place, and on regaining his liberty he made his way 
to the steadfast Province of Nova Scotia, and tock up his 


residence iu Halifax. He did not long remain idle there. 
He was largely instrumental in organizing " the Highland 
Emigrants," a corps made up iu part of Gaelic speaking 
settlers in Nova Scotia, and of the disbanded soldiers of 
the old *78th and 42nd Regiments, of whom an account 
has been already given, as haA^ng settled on the banks of 
the lower St. Lawrence. It embraced also some ex-members 
of the Montgomery Regiment, who remained in Canada 
when their term of service had expired. This fine body 
of men was mustered in 1775, and regimented in 1778 
under the number of the 84th, but they went generally 
by the title of " Highland Emigrants." Mr. Bethune was 
appointed chaplain. These brave veterans gave a good 
account of themselves whenever an opportunity offered. 
They constituted the chief strength of the spirited defence 
of Quebec against the attack of the United States troops 
under Montgomery, when that gallant general fell on the 
31st December, 1775. After the independence of the re- 
volted colonies was acknowledged by Great Britain in 
the treaty of peace, the preliminaries of which were 
arranged on the 30th November, 1782, the " Highland 
Emigrants " were disbanded, and returned to their peace- 
ful avocations as agriculturists and traders. Mr. Bethune 
took up his residence in this city. A man of a noble 
countenance, as the accompanying engraving shows ; of 
dignified presence and engaging manners, as well as of a 
chivalrous spirit, he soon attracted to himself his fellow- 
countrymen resident in Montreal and vicinity. As a 
loyalist, who had suffered for his king and native land, 
he exercised great influence among the British portion of 
the citizens of all creeds. And he was not the only 
refugee from the United States who took up a residence ; 
in Montreal. A certain number of the New England i 
people had come over to Canada as traders before the J 
War of Independence had broken out. These remained 

loyal to Great Britain ; and a good many more from the 
same quarters, who sympathised with the mother coun- 
try in the struggle, emigrated northwards, and some of 
them cast in their lot with their brethren already resident 
in this city. As they had rendered themselves obnoxious 
to the Republicans, among whom they formerly lived, 
by their devotion to the cause of the British Empire, for 
the unity of which they stood out, they w^ere, therefore, 
distinguished by the title of United Empire Loyalists. 
They were a tried people, as a minority exposed to the 
active opposition of the majority always is; sturdy in 
their opinions, and stalwart in their character — the mate- 
rial of which political martyrs are made — for such they 
were. The U. E. Loyalists also naturally rallied around 
Mr. Bethune, as one of the most distinguished of their 
number. Such was the order of men that came to the 
front when the ex-chaplain of the 84th Regiment pro- 
posed to organise a Presbyterian congregation in Mont- 
real. A good many of the Highlanders belonged to the 
Episcopal Church, and some of them were Roman Catho- 
lics ; but when their high-spirited and patriotic fellow- 
countryman appealed to them for sympathy and help, 
their national sentiment was stronger than their denomi- 
national attachment, and they rallied around Mr. Bethune, 
first, and, afterwards, around Mr. Young and Mr. Somer- 
ville, his successors, almost everyone of them subscribing 
to the building fund of the St. Grabriel Street Church, 
and subsequently becoming the proprietor of a pew in it. 
These Highland gentlemen were as open-handed as they 
were brave and patient in enduring hardships. Ten 
guineas was a considerable sum for men to subscribe in 
those days, but that is the amount which stands opposite 
the name of each of the " G-entlemen of the North-west 
Company," as they are styled in the subscription list in 
our possession. 


Mr. Bethuue continued preaching to his small but in- 
teresting congregation, from March 12th, lt86, till May 
6th, 1Y8*7, when he removed to Upper Canada. Want of 
support was one of the grounds of his leaving Montreal, 
but the main reason probably was his wish to enter upon 
the possession ol the land, assigned to him and other 
IT. E. Loyalists, who had fought for their King. The same 
liberal provision was made for those who had served in 
the war with the revolted States, fighting for the Crown, 
that had been made at the conclusion of the conflict with 
the French in Canada, viz : — 

To a field ofiicer, a grant of 5,000 acres ; to a captain, a 
grant of 3,000 acres ; to a subaltern, a grant of 2,000 
acres ; to sergeants, other non-commissioned officers and 
privates, a grant of 200 acres each.^ In pursuance 
of this policy. Governor Haldimand was instructed, in 
1788, to grant patents of land, on applicants taking the 
usual oath of allegiance, and subscribing a declaration 
acknowledging the three Estatet of Great Britain as the 
supreme legislature of the Province. The American 
loyalists settled along the banks of the St. Lawrence and 
around the Bay of Quinte. The 84th Regiment, after being 
on the list of His Majesty's army for five years, was dis- 
banded, and, therefore, had not the remotest connection 
with the 84th of to-day, any more than the old t8th 
Eraser Highlanders had with the famous Mackenzie Regi- 
ment, now known by the same number, " The Eoss-Shire 
Buffs." The retired officers and men of the " Highland 
Emigrants" that chose to accept land in Upper Canada, 
were also provided with lots along the St. Lawrence, 
which most of them took possession of in 1*784. Mr. 
Bethune, as chaplain, ranking with a captain, w^as entitled 
to 3,000 acres. And besides what was thus voted to the 

• At the end of the French war, privates got only 50 acres. 


U. E. Loyalists themselves, the further premium was put 
upon adherence to the royal cause, that " th«>ir children, as 
well those born thereal'ter as those already born, should, 
upon arriving at the age ol' twenty-one years, and females 
upon their marriage within that age, be entitled to grants 
of two hundred acres each, free from all expense." As 
Mr. Bethune had some children already, and afterwards 
had a numerous family, the amount of land falling to him 
and his ofFspring must have been large, although in those 
days such property in even splendid townships like Lan- 
caster, Cornwall and Charlottenburg, did not count for 
much. He took up his residence in the latter township, 
at the place called Williamstown, after Sir William 
Johnston, one of the heroes of the war with France, 
whose influence with the Indians was so dominant and 
unfailing. lie, too, had been assigned land in Glengary, 
and had built a mill on the " Eiviere Raisin," at this 
point. But though Mr. Bethune went to reside upon his 
property, he did not forget his ministerial vows : he re- 
sumed professional work in the new sphere to which 
Providence had led him. He was a faithful and zealous 
missionary, and to this day the fruits of his vigour and 
efficiency remain, in the large and prosperous congrega- 
tions organized by him, not only at Williamstown, but 
also at Martintown, Cornwall and Lancaster. He bap- 
tized, altogether, 2379 persons during his ministry in 
Grlengary. In no part of Canada, perhaps, was the Pro- 
testant population kept so well consolidated, as in the 
district to which Mr. Bethune ministered : very few de- 
nominations have even yet acquired a foothold in it — 
thanks to the high influence, both intellectual and spir- 
itual, which he exercised at the formative period of the 
history of Glengary. 

He and his partner, Veronica Wadden, who was Swiss 
by birth, struggled bravely against poverty and the pri- 


vations manifold, incidental to " lifo in tho bush, having 
littlo more to live upon than his half pay as a retired 
chaplain," and brought up their large family of six sons 
and three daughtt-rs, instilling into their minds high 
principles, and imparting to them that culture whi(;h, 
emanating from so many Scotch manses, has led on ch^rgy- 
men's sons to distinction and honour. 

His patriotism, of which he hnd given such striking 
proof in his youth, grew with Iiis advancing life, and 
helped to deepen in the whole district that loyalty which 
has ever characterized thi; men of Glengary. We iind 
his name second on the list, on the loyal address present- 
ed to Lieut. General Sir G-ordon Drummond, President of 
the Province of Upper Canada, on the 21st December, 
1814, at the conclusion of the second American war, 
Bishop Macdonnell's name being the first. 

The mention of Bishop Macdonnell suggests the in- 
sertion of an interesting incident of those days, illustra- 
tive of the kindly sentiments which the Gaelic-speaking 
residents of Glengary, Protestant and Roman Catholic, 
cherished towards each other. Some dispute had arisen 
between Mr. Bethui.v and his parishioners, as still some- 
times happens in the best regulated congregations, which 
they failed to settle by themselves. The happy thought 
occurred to some one to submit the diificulty in question 
to Bishop Macdonnell, their respected Roman Catholic 
neighbour of St. Raphael's, and this course was mutually 
agreed on. After the hearing of parties, the worthy pre- 
late, who might he expected to give the benefit of the 
doubt to his Protestant confrere, by way of upholding the 
the principle of authority, not only gave judgment in his 
favour, but gave the people a good lecture on the duty of 
respect and obedience which they owed to their eccle- 
siastical superior. And my informant tells me that the 
congregation received the exhortation in good part, and 


the breach betwixt them and their pastor was heak^d. 
This incidiiiit shows that the happy rehilions subsisting 
betweea Roman Catholics and Protestants, seen in the 
occupation of the Recollets Church in Montreal by the 
latter, was g-eneral at that time throughout the country. 
And it is pleasant to note that the Highlanders of Glen- 
gary still live in an atmosphere of i)eace and good will, 
although dillering in their religious views. It is not 
many years since St. Andrew's Hall, Martintown, in 
which Presbyterian religious service is held on Sabbath 
evenings, was placed by llev. J. S. Burnet and his con- 
gregation at the disposal of llev. Father Gauthier, the 
Roman Catholic Priest of Williamstown, for the holding 
of a concert on behalf of the work of his parish ; and it 
was not only patronized by the Presbyterians of the dis- 
trict, but the St. Andrew's Choir actually had a place on 
the Programme. 

After Mr. Bethune's removal to Glengary, there remains 
no record of any subsequent connection with the congre- 
gation he left behind in Montreal, except on two occa- 
sions : once, when his son Alexander Neil, afterwards 
Bishop of Toronto, was baptized by Rev. John Young, 
on the 7th September, 1800 ; and, again, when he took 
part with Rev. Dr. Sparks, of Quebec, in the ordination of 
Rev. James Somerville as minister of the St. Gabriel Street 
Church, on 18th September, 1803. 

He died on the 23rd September, 1815, deeply regretted 
by the community amongst which he had lived and 
laboured so long. 

The following tribute was paid to his memory in the 
Montreal Gazette a few days after his decease : " Died 
at Williamstown, . . . after being long in a weak state 
of health, the Rev. John Bethune. . . . Mr. Bethune, 
at an early period of his life, left Scotland with his parents 
for the purpose of settling in the colonies of America. 


When these colonies rebelled, he and many others were 
reduced to much distress by their steady loyalty and by 
their firmness and attachment to the Grovernment. At 
this time was probably laid the foundation of that disease 
which has ultimately caused his death. During the 
rebellion he was appointed chaplain to the 84th Regi- 
ment, with which he did duty till the peace was con- 
cluded. He then settled in Canada, where he lived re- 
spected and beloved by all who knew him. 

" Mr. Bethune was a man remarkable for the mildness 
and agreeableness of his manners, but at no time defi'uent 
in that spirit which is requisite for the support of a Christ- 
ian and a gentleman. He understood what was due to 
' the powers that be,' without losing sight of that respect 
which was due to himself. He has left a widow and 
numerous family ; but the place they hold in society will 
show that as a husband and father he must be numbered 
among those who have done their duty well." 

In after years a very tasteful monument to his memory 
was erected by his six sons, the inscription on which is 
very much admired for its chasteness, and the warmth 
of respect and tenderness of affection which it breathes. 
I give it entire. 

One side has : — " Sacred to the memory of the Rev. 
Jno. Bethune, Pastor of the congregation of the Kirk of 
Scotland in Glengary. He departed this life at Williams- 
town on the 23rd September, 1815, in the 66th year of 
his age, and the 44th of his ministry." 

Another side has : — "This monument is erected as a 
mark of filial affection to his memory by his six sons, 
Angus, Norman, John, James, Alexander, Donald." 

The third side bears : " That he was a faithful steward, 
the peace and happiness of his flock are the most certain 

" That he was eminently endeared by those conciliating 


endearing qualities which united society in the closest 
bonds of unanimity and friendship, his numerous con- 
gregation, who shed the tribute of unfeigned sorrow over 
his grave, have borne the most honorable testimony. 

" That he was open, generous and sincere, those who 
participated in his friendship can afford the most satis- 
factory evidence. 

" That he was a kind and affectionate husband, a 
tender and indulgent parent, the love and unanimity 
of his numerous family furnish the most undeniable 

Happy the sons that had such a father, and honoured 
the father that had sons to appreciate him. Mr. Bethune's 
influence upon Canada did not terminate with his decease 
in 1815. He lived for more than half a century afterwards 
in his sons, and still lives in an honoured and useful pos- 
terity. No stronger proof could be afforded of the even 
balance of his nature, and of the gentleness, tempered 
with wisdom, that characterized him, than his success in 
training up a large family of sons, all of whom afterwards 
did credit to his memory, and proved worthy of their 
revered sire. 

Several members of his family had a connection, in 
after years, with the congregation which their father had 
organized. His eldest son Angus, who was born in 1Y83, 
entered the service of the North-west Company when a 
young man ; and, on his return from a lengthened sojourn 
in the Red River country, in 1815, had a son baptized by 
Rev. James Somerville, the mother of the child being an 
Indian woman. This indicates that he must have been 
himself a member of the congregation. 

The books of the church show that Norman, the first 
of Mr. Bethune's children born in Grlengary, became the 
proprietor of a pew in 1809 ; and he and his younger 
brother James entered into a partnership with Alexander 


Henry as auctioneers in 181 Y. Norman (3ontinued his con- 
nection with the old Church till the dissension occurred 
in 1831. Mr. Bethune's daughter, Christie, who was mar- 
ried to Robert Henry, a merchant, on the 2nd November, 
1817, with her husband, afterwards attended the " Scots 
Church " in St. Grabriel Street. Still another member of Mr. 
Bethune's family became connected with the congregation. 
This was his youngest daughter, Ann, born 21st May, 1798, 
who was married to Mr. Henry McKenzie on the 23rd 
May, 1815, and whose son, Simon McTavish McKenzie, 
we are happy to have with us yet worshipping in the 
church of which his father was an honoured elder, and 
his grandfather was the founder. 

But the two most eminent members of his family 
became clergymen of the Church of England in Canada. 
These were John, his third son, and Alexander Neil, 
already mentioned, the fifth, — the former, the late Very 
Reverend the Dean of Montreal ; and the latter, the late 
Right Reverend Bishop of Toronto. This is one of the 
many points of contact between the St. Gabriel Street 
Church and the Protestant Episcopal Church in this 
country. Several circumstances conspired to bring about 
the entrance of Mr. Bethune's two sons into the English 
Church. The chief of these, undoubtedly, was the influ- 
ence of their school teacher, the late Bishop Strachan. 
Mr. Strachan was ordained by Bishop Mountain, on the 
22nd May, 1803, and settled at Cornwall immediately 
afterwards. In the autumn of the same year, he opened 
a school in that town, which afterwards obtained a just 
celebrity. Amongst his first pupils at Cornwall was 
John Bethune. Mr. Strachan was a famous instructor of 
youth. He had enlarged views as to the proper scope of 
education, and succeeded in inspiring his pupils with 
a love of letters, as well as in awakening into full activity 
their intellectual powers. His own mental gifts were of 


a high order-he was endowed with acuteness, activity 
energy and a genius for government. He put an indelible 
impress upon all the pupils that passed through his 
hands. The intellectual force which |he centred upon 
them dominated their subsequent career. Havino- left 
the Presbyterian communion himself to join the Epis^copal 
Church, as we shall have occasion to notice more fully by 
and by, he became a redoubtable champion of prelacy 
and very likely considered he was doing God service 
when he sought to bring others to adopt his new views.' 
No one, so far as I know, ever accused him of deliberately 
setting himself to gain over to the Episcopal Church 
the sons of his worthy neighbour and friend, Eev. J 
iJethune ; but ingenuous youth are easily moulded un- 
consciously by a master-mind like Dr. Strschan's. And 
It was all the easier to influence them in this direction 
that they inherited from their father highly conservative 
leelmgs, deep attachment to the mother coantry, and a 
profound veneration for British institutions. Add to 
these considerations the fact that the Church of England 
had got the start of the Church of Scotland n Canada • 
had a larger number of clergymen, who occupi( d a higher 
position in the country, and werc better provided for°out 
ot the public purse, it is known that Dr. Strachan 
pointed these facts out to clergymen of the Church of 
feeotland, and to private members of that Church as a 
reason why they should cast in their lot with the Ano-li- 
can communion ; and it is not likely that he would with- 
hold his views from the young students whose opinions 
he was privileged to shape. 

Whatever was the ground occupied by these two young- 
men, in preferring to take Orders in the Church of Enff- 
laud rather than in that of their father, they were worthy 
01 the high positions which they achieved, and were 
ornaments of the church of their choice. For that matter 


both of them might have become bishops : as it is well 
known that the late Dean of Montreal declined overtures 
made to him to place him over the Diocese. Both of them 
were accurate scholars, as all Dr. Strachan's capable pupils 
were; both of them were for a time teachers themseU^es, 
as so many of the greatest men in the Churches of Eng- 
land and Scotland have been ; and both of t'-em have left 
to their children the heritage of a spotless name. 

The Reverend John Bethune was ordained by Bishop 
Mountain at Quebec, in 1814, the year before his father's 
death, and was first settled at Augusta, near Brockville, 
as the following announcement intimates that he taught 
the Grovernment school, established in the village of 
Augusta. " The Public School, for the District of Johns- 
town, U.C, will be opened on August 1st next. Augusta, 
l*7th April, 1815. John Bethune." 

He seems to have subsequently been in charge of the 
Church, at Brockville, because in the year 1818 he became 
Rector of Christ Church, Montreal, in exchange with Rev. 
Mr. Leeds, who remained at Brockville. In features, he 
strongly resembled his father. There is an admirable por- 
trait of him in the Vestry House of Christ Church, below 
which is the following inscription : 

" Johannes Bethune, S.T.R 

Parochice Regiomontanse annos quatuor et c[uinquaginta 
Rector, JEdis Christi Cathedralis in urbe Regiomontana, 
Annos Duodeviginti Decanus, natus est die quinta Jan- 
naurii, A. S. MDCCXCI. In pace decessit die vicesima 
secunda Augusti, A.S. MDCCCLXXII." 

In 1835, he was appointed Principal of McGrill College, 
at the termination of the lawsuit the relatives of Hon, 
James McGrill's widow had carried on to set aside the 
will by which the estate of Burnside, together with 
^£40,000 was left by that gentleman to form a University 


in Montreal. It was the wish of the founder, as well as 
of the Grovernors, that Rev. Dr. Strachan should be the 
first Principal ; but his position as Rector of Toronto and 
Archdeacon of York was so important that he would not 
give it up for even this office, so attractive to one pos- 
sessing his tastes, and the filling of which would have 
realised the dream of his youth. Unable to accept the 
position himself, there was no one whom he would 
more naturally desire to see at the head of the new in- 
stitution than his friend and former pupil, Dean Bethune. 
The College question, however, was not yet settled, and 
before the University could be got on a satisfactory foot- 
ing, a new charter had to be procured in 1852. This in- 
volved the resignation of Dr. Bethune, and the recasting 
of the governing body of the College. 

The Rev. A. N. Bethune was for many years Rector of 
Cobourg, and the attempt to make King's College at 
Toronto an Anglican Institution, pure and simple, having 
failed, when the Diocese of Toronto resolved to institute 
au independent Theological School at Cobourg, Mr. 
Bethune was appointed the first Professor of Theology. 
When it was determined, in 1866, to appoint a coadjutor 
bishop to aid the now aged Dr. Strachan, the choice of the 
Synod lay on Mr. Bethune — a result most gratifying to 
the venerable prelate — who, in declaring Mr. Bethune 
elected, added : " and I hope that his future life will be 
what his past has been, — just, and holy, and upright, in 
every respect, worthy of the high station to which he 
has been called." Less than a year afterwards Dr. 
Bethune succeeded to the See of Toronto, owing to the 
death of his senior. Dr. Strachan. Thus two Scotchmen, 
both trained Presbyterians, and both of them having 
some slight relation to the old St. G-abriel Street Church, 
Montreal, filled in succession the office of Anglican Bishop 
of Toronto. 


In taking leave of the founder of the Presbyterian 
cause in Montreal, it may be interesting to some to know 
that Mr. Bethune's grandson, the son of Angus already 
mentioned, Dr. Norman Bethune of Toronto, has lately 
connected himself with the communion to which he by de- 
scent belongs, after worshipping for many years in the 
Anglican Church. This is what Darwin would have 
called a|?return to the original type. It is still more in- 
teresting to learn that one of his sons is now prosecuting 
his studies with a view to the ministry of the Presby- 
terian Church. 


Social, Civil and Commkrcial Condition of things in Montrkal a Cen- 
tury AGO — Prksbyteuian Church has kept i'acu with the Growth 
OF the City — The Scotch in Montreal, before 1786, worshii'ped 
with the English Ciurch Congregation — Rev. John Young, a 
Scotch Licentiate, with American Ordination — Settled in jNIon- 
AiBAL in 1791, AS "Stated Supply" — A Link between the Con- 
gregation and the Presbyterian Church of the United States — 
Mr. Young's Weakness and Misfortunes. 

The Reverend John Bethune's effort to establish a Pres- 
byterian Church in Montreal was not altogether successful, 
yet it paved the way for ultimate success. The beginning 
was small, but so also was the beginning of the city. It 
is difficult for those who have seen Montreal only within 
the last thirty years to realize .how humble a town it was 
a hundred years ago. Let me mention one or two things 
which indicate the backward state of matters socially and 
commercially in the year 1Y86. 

A mail for England was despatched only once a month, 
and it went by way of New York, taking about four 
weeks on the way, whence it was carried by packet-ship, 
and four months had to elapse before an answer could be 
had from across the Atlantic ; now we have a daily mail 
for Great Britain, besides that we are in momentary com- 
munication with all parts of the world by telegraph. The 
incoming mail was put off" the New York packet at Hali- 
fax, whence it came overland to Montreal, which it took 
a month to reach. In 1*789, it was publicly intimated by 
the postal authorities ; " Letters for any part of the con- 
tinent of Europe are to be sent under cover to a correspon- 


dent in Loudon, otherwise they cannot be forwarded from 
this Province." 

The Civic Government of the period was paternal 
enough, as the following proclamation shows : — 

"City and District of Montreal,, 

AVednesday, 1st Januarj', 1789. 

" At a meeting of His Majesty's Justices of tlie Peace this day, it is ordered 
that tlie price and assize of bread, for tlio pi-osent month, be as follows : — 

The white loaf of 4 lbs., at 9d. or 18 sols. 
The brown loaf of 6 lbs., at lOd. or 20 sols. 

And that the several bakers of the city and suburbs do conform thereto and 

mark their Dic?d with the initial of their name. 


" By order of the Justices. 

"J. Reid, 

" Clerk of Peace." 

Here is an advertisement of the same year : 

"Montreal, 1st April, 1789. 

To RE Sold, 

"A stout, healthy nep;ro man, about 28 years of ajze — is an excellent 
cook, and very lit for working on a farm, Enquire of the Printer." 

A primitive condition of affairs, sure enough, is disclosed 
by these facis. 

The trade of the city, we would now say, was exceed- 
ingly insignificant. The entire carrying capacity of the 
ships annually entering at Quebec did not exceed 12,000 
tons and a very small proportion of these vessels made 
their way to Montreal. The exports of furs and other co- 
lonial produce from Quebec, in the year 1^86, were valued 
at .£445,116 sterling less than tw^o millions and a quarter 
dollars, of which this city's share can be imagined as 
trifling. The amount of wheat leaving Quebec in lYSY 
was 200,000 bushels. To see what our commercial pro- 
gress has been in the century, compare these figures with 
the trade returns for Montreal alone during the year 1885. 
There entered this port last year, 441 ocean steamships 


with a tonnage of 619,64V, and 188 sailing vessels, 
carrying 64,207 tons ; while 5,003 inland vessels visited 
the harbor with a tonnage of 724,975. The imports en- 
tered at the harbor office were valued at $37,042,659 and 
the exports at $25,209,813. And this does not embrace 
the inland traffic done by railways centring in the city. 

The population of the oAty in 1805 was only 12,000, and 
we are therefore safe in saying that in 1786 it did not 
reach half that number. 

The story of the progress of the Presbyterian Church 
from the day on which Mr. Bethune began a regular ser- 
vice a(?cording to the forms and practice of the Church of 
Scotland, up to the present time, is, therefore, in reality, 
the story of the advancement of Montreal, from a small 
walled town to the great and beautiful city which it has 
become, gradually spreading over the whole island. The 
growth of Presbyterianism has kept pace with that of the 
community. The seventeen Presbyterian congregations, 
all told, of to-day, are a good showing of work achieved 
in the century. The little seed has become a tree of goodly 

From May, 1787, till 1790, there exists no record of ser- 
vices held according to the Presbyterian forms. During 
this period all the Protestants in the city seem to have 
worshipped together, attending the services of the Hev. 
David Charbrand Delisle, who was st3ded "Rector of the 
Parish of Montreal and Chaplain to the Grarrison." When 
the Bishop of Nova Scotia visited Montreal in 1789, — before 
the advent of Bishop Mountain to Quebec — an address 
was presented to him by the Church Wardens and a Com- 
mittee of the Protestant inhabitants of Montreal, who went 
as far as Pointe aux Trembles to meet him ; and amongst 
the names are to be found many of those who were after- 
wards forward in the erection of the Scotch Church. 
Among others who up to 1790 supported the Church of 


England wore William England, William Hunter, Adam 
Scott, John Russell and Duntan Fisher, who were after- 
wards appointed trustees for the Presbyterian Church, 
their names being mentioned in the original deed; as 
well as Joseph Provan, Thomas Busby, liobert Aird, Alex- 
ander Fisher and Finlay Fisher. Mention is made in the 
Hunter Manuscript, from which we gather a good deal of 
our information respecting those early days, of occasional 
services held by Scotch military chaplains ; but they do not 
appear to have kept up regular public worship or to have 
dispensed ordinances. 

The gentleman,to whom the credit has to be given of get- 
ting thePresbyterian cause placed on a solid and permanent 
footing, was the Rev. John Young. Like Mr. Bethune, 
though born and educated in Scotland, he had come as a 
young man to America and w s settled for some time in 
the United States. Born at Beith, Scotland, he was 
licensed by the Presbytery of Irvine on the 29th Novem- 
ber, 1785. As it is of consequence to have a full and 
accurate knowledge of this minister's status when he 
came to take up his residence in Montreal, and of his rela- 
tions to the Church of Scotland and to the Presbyterian 
Church in the United State&, I give extracts from the 
official records : — 

" Irvine, 29th ]^ov., 1*785, P. M. 

After Prayer, — " The Presbytery, now considering that 
Mr. John Young had gone through all the pieces of trial 
prescribed by Act of Assembly, to their satisfaction, they 
resolved to license him to preach the Gospel as a Proba- 
tioner of this Church, He being called in, and having 
answered the questions appointed to be put to probationers 
by the 10th Act of Assembly, 1711, and having signed the 
formula of said Act, the Presbytery, after suitable admoni- 
tion, did, and hereby do, unanimously license the foresaid 


Mr. John Young to preach the Gospel qf Christ, as a pro- 
bationer within their bounds and elsewhere, as he may 
be regularly called." 

Mr. Young's next appearance is in the State of New 

"At South Hanoveii, June 19th, 1*787. 

"The testimonials of Mr. John Young, a probationer 
from the Presbytery of Irvine, having been approved by 
the Synod, were read, and he was received under our care. 
Mr. Young was appointed to visit the vacancies, north- 
ward and westward of Albany." 

The above extract and the three extracts which follow 
are taken from the minutes of the Presbytery of New 

" At Goshen, October mh, lt87. 

" A call from Cambridge, and another from Schenectady 
and Currie's Bush, were brought in and put into Mr. 
Young's hands, and he declared his acceptance of the 

"October 18th. 

*' The Presbytery appointed Mr. Young for an Exegesis. 
An Christus qua Mediator sit adorandus ?" 

" At Elizabeth Town, May lih, 1788. 

"The Presbytery examined Mr. John Young on his ex- 
perimental acquaintance with religion, and his views in 
entering the ministry; with which they were unani- 
mously satisfied ; and accepted his sermon delivered at 
the opening of Presbytery, and his Exegesis now delivered, 
as parts of trial ; and examined him in Hebrew, Greek 
and Latin, I^gic, Uhetoric, Geography, Astronomy, Natural 
and Moral Philosophy, Church History and Government, 
and Systematic and Casuistic Divinity ; and sustained the 


" Mr. Yonii"' adopted tho "Westminster Confession of 
Faith, and approved of the Directory." 

" May 8th. 

"The Presbytery hearing" there were didieulties in the 
conj^regation of Schenectady, resi)ecting arrears due to 
their former minister, appointed Dr. Uodgers to write to 
them, and Mr. Mi^Donald to meet with them and seii that 
all matters b'' arranged previous to Mr. Young's ordina- 
tion, which is to be at Schenectady the second Thursday 
in August ; Mr. King to preach. Dr. Ilodgers to preside, 
and Dr. McWhorter to give the charge." 

SCHENECTADY, August 14th, 1788. 

" '" ne Presbytery proceeded to the ordination of Mr. 
Young, and in the absence of Mr. King, Mr. Schenck 
preached from Acts x. 29, last clause, and Mr. Young, 
having publicly adopted the Confession of Faith of this 
Church, and declared his assent to the form of govern- 
ment, worship and discipline, the Presbytery set him apart 
to the work of the Ministry, by prayer and imposition of 
hands ; and, with the mutual consent of both parties, 
installed him pastor of the United Congregations of 
Schenectady and Currie's Bush. Dr. Rodgers concluded 
the whole with a charg(» to the pastor and people ; and 
Mr. Young took his seat, and Mr. James Sliuter sat as his 

It follows that Mr. Young was a minister of the Presby- 
terian Church of the United States, rather than of the 
Church of Scotland. It is the act of ordination, not the 
licensure, that confers ministerial status. License leaves 
the licentiate, according to the order of the Presbyterian 
Church, still " a layman," — to use a convenient word, to 
which some have objection from an ecclesiastical point of 


The namo of Mr. Young appears oorasioniilly in the 
minutes until the reference, in October, 171)0, to the 
" newly erected Presbytery of Albany," which embraced 
him and his charge. 

The Presbytery of New York was, at its own instance, 
divided by the Synod, and a new Presbytery of Albany 
set off from it, on the 8th of October, 1700. 

At the first meeting of the Presbytery of Albany, within 
the bounds of which Mr. Young's congregation lay, held 
in November, 1790, he requested that the pastoral relation 
between him and the people of his charge should be 
dissolved. Meantime a serious charge was brought against 
him, and it was while it was hanging over his head that 
he paid his first visit to Montreal. Plis absenting himself 
in these circumstances, without previous permission 
obtained from the ecclesiastical authorities, showed if not 
cowardice, at least, a want of judgment, that was enough 
to weaken his cause and create a prejudice against him. 
Notwithstanding this, Mr. Young, after due investigation, 
was honourably acquitted. 

At the same meeting, in December, 1790, the "Presby- 
tery proceeded to enquire into the conduct of Mr. Young 
in abruptly leaving his charge, in the sight of the slander- 
ous accusations," referred to above, " and taking a journey 
into Canada without the knowledge of his people, the 
leave of the Presbytery or the advice of his brethren." 
His conduct was adjudged " unfaithful and untender to 
his flock and tending to subvert Presbyterial discipline 
and order." The Presbytery resolved to " call Mr. Young 
to a solemn acknowledgment and to require profession of 
his unfeigned sorrow and repentance of his behavior in 
the whole of that affair." Mr. Young having complied, 
the Presbytery then " agreed that after a solemn admoni- 
tion from the chair he should be re-admitted to his seat," 
— which was done. It was after this, and at the same 


meeting, that he was released from his charge at Schenec- 
tady and Currie's Bush, the reason assigned being a 
" deficiency in the payment of his salary." He continued 
to preach, however, by appointment of Presbytery to the 
same people, as " stated supply," till the next meeting in 
March. This evidently implies that in neither the Pres- 
bytery nor the congregation there rested a shadow of 
suspicion respecting his moral character. 

At the meeting of the Albany Presbytery, in March, 1791, 
he declined a call from the churches at Currie's Bush (now 
Princeton) and New Scotland. In September, 1*791, " he 
reported himself by letter as preaching in Montreal in 
Canada, and requested to be appointed ' stated supply ' to 
a church in that place." From other sources, we learn 
that on the 18th day of that month, " the Sacrament of 
the Lord's Supper was administered by him, in accordance 
with the usages of the Church of Scotland, in the 'Kecol- 
let ' Roman Catholic Church." He, therefore, 1 and an 
organized congregation here, ready to receive ordinances 
at the hand of a visiting minister. Mr. Bethune, in virtue 
of his commission as an ambassador of Christ and of his 
orders as a Presbyterian minister, had, without advice or 
sanction from a Presbytery, in the exceptional circum- 
stances in which he was placed, erected a charge in Mon- 
treal, which, from that time forward, could claim all the 
rights and privileges of a congregation. In the early his- 
tory of any country or church, anomalies of necessity arise. 
Congregations, Ministers and Presbyteries must, in such a 
case, get on their feet the best way they can. We shall 
find instances of the elasticity of our Presbyterial proce- 
dure right along the history of our Church in Canada ; 
but this is no argument against the propriety or desir- 
ableness of insisting strictly upon the observance of the 
rules, which long " usage has shown to be required to 
secure that things within the House of Grod shall be done 


decently and in order, whenever it is practicable to 
enforce them." 

The Presbyterian congregation in Montreal resolved to 
ask the Presbytery of Albany to take them under its care, 
no doubt persuaded to this action by Mr. Young. I quote 
at length from the records of that court, kindly placed at 
my disposal by the clerk, Rev. J. N. Crocker of Saratoga. 

" Salem, N.Y., Sept. 9th, 1791. 

" A petition from a Presbyterian congregation at Mon- 
treal in Canada was also laid before the Presbytery, re- 
questing to be taken under their care/ and to have Mr. 
Young appointed a' stated supply ' till the next meeting of 
Presbytery in March. The Presbytery, agreeable to their 
request did enroll them among the congregations under 
their inspection, and Mr. Young was appointed a ' stated 

supply.' " 

"Albany, Sept. 4th, 1792. 

"The Presbtery, taking into consideration that no 

accounts have been received by them from Mr. Young at 

Montreal, for a year past, ordered Mr. Warford to prepare 

a draft of a letter to Mr. Young and report on Thursday 


" Ballston, Feb. 20th, 1793. 

" A letter from Mr. Young, their ' stated supply' at Mon- 
treal, and also another from the Presbyterian congregation 
in which he preaches, were laid before the Presbytery, in 
which each of them requested a dismission from the Pres- 
bytery, in order to join a Presbytery about to be formed 
in Canada. The Presbytery, however willing to grant 
their request, judged that a dismission to join a body not 
in existence was irregular. They, therefore, ordered Mr. 
McDonald to write a letter to Mr. Young and another to 
the congregation, informing them that the Presbytery 
would, with cheerfulness, dismiss them as soon as they 


should name the body to which they desired to be dis- 
missed, and that he send to them an extract of this 

" Teoy, June 25th, 1*793. 

" A letter from Mr. Young, dated at Montreal, was read, 
in which he informed the Presbytery, that a Presbytery 
had been lately erected in that country under the name 
of the Presbytery of Montreal, and requested a dismission 
from them to join that body. The Presbytery, having 
taken under consideration the remote and local situation 
in which Mr. Young was placed, agreed to grant his 
request, and they did and hereby do dismiss Mr. John 
Young from his connection and subordination to the Pres- 
bytery of Albany, to join thePresbytery of Montreal ; and 
they hereby recommend him to their friendly atten- 
tion as a minister of the Grospel in regular standing with 
them, and ordered the clerk of the Presbytery to furnish 
Mr. Young with a certified copy of their decision." 

A petition from the vacant congregation of Montreal, 
under the inspection of the Presbytery, was laid before 
them, stating that a Presbytery under the title of "The 
Presbytery of Montreal had lately been established in 
Canada, that they found it would be peculiarly convenient 
for them in their seclusion to be under their care, and 
requesting a dismission that they might be regularly 
receivedby the Presbytery of Montreal. The Presbytery, 
sensible of the justice of the observations contained in 
their petition, agreed to grant their request, and they did, 
and hereby do, dismiss the congregation of Montreal 
from their inspection, and do hereby reecommend them to 
the care and kind patronage of the Presbytery of Montreal, 
as a society of regular and reputable standing in the 
Presbytery ; and they ordered the stated clerk to transmit 
a certified copy of their decision to that congregation." 


It is a notable fatt that the two first Presbyterian 
ministers that officiated in Montreal were Scotchmen,, 
who came to the city by way of the United States. That 
fact seems remarkable to us now. But it ought to be 
remembered that the separating lines between the two 
sections of the continent were not then so clearly drawn 
as they are to-day. It was only seven years before Mr. 
Young came to Montreal that the Independence of the 
United States had been acknowledged by Great Britain. 
There had been previously a constant accession to the 
pulpits of America from England, Scotland and Ireland, 
and the sense of community of religious interests did not 
and could not cease all at once, by reason of any i)olitical 
change that took place. Even now, people in Great Britain 
and Ireland speak of going to America, when they mean 
Canada. This tendency must have been much stronger a 
hundred years ago, when Canada was little known and 
had but a few English-speaking inhabitants, while the 
Eastern and New England States Were already fairly 
well settled. 

Besides, the Gospel of Christ knows no political boun- 
daries, as it takes account of no nationality or tongue. 
And it is to the praise of all the Evangelical Churches of 
the lately constituted United States that they did not over- 
look the claims of Canada to enjoy the preached word, 
notwithstandmg its firm refusal to join the Federal 
Republic. Loyalist and Ilepubli(;an are one in Christ. 

The keen political feeling excited by the Revolutionary 
War had not yet subsided, when preachers from "across 
the line " were found penetrating the Canadian forests in 
search of the new settlements, holding forth the Word of 
Life, showing that in Jesus Christ there is neither Jew 
nor Greek, that the Church is a more comprehensive in- 
stitution than the State, and that it disregards barriers, 
whether natural or artificial. 


"We gratefully recognize the fact that the congregation 
worshipping in St. G-abriel Street Church received its 
first formal Presoyterial status from the Church across 
the border. I have been unable to ascertain whether Mr. 
Bethune was ordained in Scotland or in the Carolinas, and 
therefore cannot say whether he was a minister of the 
Church of Scotland or not, but, in any case, he came to us 
through the States, and Mr. Young's orders were clearly 
American. We glory in the distinction of having once 
belonged to this great Church. Groing back a step, indeed, 
it might be claimed, that the Presbyteries that ordained Mr. 
Young and Mr. Bethune, if he were ordained in America, 
derived their orders from Scotland. The early synods of 
the Presbyterian Church in the United States take up that 
position. Here is an extract from the minutes of the 
Synod of New York, on the 2*7th September, lYol. 

" We do hereby declare and testify our constitution, 
order and discipline to be in harmony with the Established 
Church of Scotland ; we declare ourselves united with that 
Church in the same faith, order and discipline." 

Again, in 1753, we find the Synod re-affirming this 
position : — 

" In the colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland, Virginia and Carolina, a great number 
of congregations have been formed upon the Presbyterian 
plan, which have put themselves under the Synodical 
care of your petitioners, who conform to the constitution 

" the Church of Scotland, and have adopted her stan- 
dards of doctrine, worship and discipline. . . . The 
young daughter of the Church of Scotland, helpless and 
exposed in this foreign land, cries to her tender and 
powerful mother for relief." 

The Presbyterians of the United States, writing to the 
Governor of Virginia, in 1*750, said that " they were of the 
same persuasion as the Church of Scotland." 


Mr. Bethune and Mr. Young had therefore a true Pres- 
byterian succession. And it may be said that the Presby- 
terian Church of the United States has been faithful to 
the principles thus avowed, as received from the mother 
country. Indeed, it is more conservative of the traditions 
of the elders than the Churches of Grreat Britain are. It 
would seem'as if Colonial Churches were always more 
tenacious of ancient forms and usages than the parent ones. 
Consequently a severer type of Presbyterianism is to be 
found in Ireland and the United States than in Scotland, 
at the present time. 

The connection of the St. G-abriel Street Church with 
the Presbytery of Albany was of but short duration, we 
have seen. Of the Presbytery of Montreal, which the 
congregation and Mr. Young were dismissed to join, we 
have no information. It has left no records behind it of 
i:s meetings or acts — none, at least, that have hitherto 
been discovered. But there has been a tradition in Can- 
ada that it was composed of Dr. Sparks of Quebec, Mr. 
Bethune of G-lengary and Mr. Young of Montreal, to- 
gether with the representative elders from the respective 
charges which they served. 

It does not seem to have been in existence in 1800, — at 
least, to have exercised its episcopal functions at a time 
when a wise and vigilant oversight would have been of 
the utmost value to the cause of religion, not to say of 
Presbyterianism, in Montreal. 

Mr. Young was a man of no great strength of character. 
We have seen that his first visit to this city was by way 
of a temporary escape from some difficulties into which he 
got in his pastoral charge over the line. Being a weak 
brother at the best, his isolation, all the time he served this 
church, from brethren who might counsel and fortify him, 
was most unfortunate. The wine merchant seems to have 
been, relatively, a more important personage then than 
now, judging by the number of men of high standing that 


engaged in the business at that time. Dining out was the 
rule with the wealthier citizens. There were no news- 
papers, exchanges or clubs in those days, where men might 
congregate and gather intelligence of what was going on 
in the world ; and this means of mental occupation and 
gratification was compensated for, a hundred years ago, by 
social intercourse. Conversation over the walnuts and 
the wine was what books and journals are to the people 
of this generation. The minister was expected to grace 
the tables of his rich parishioners ; and it would have 
taken a gentleman of much personal dignity and strength 
of will to dominate the tendencies of a high-strung, hard- 
drinking society, such as that in which he, to a considera- 
ble extent, moved. Mr. Young was not possessed of the 
fibre, either intellectual or moral, to exercise a wholesome 
control over the excesses of the time. Instead of conquer- 
ing the evils of his surroundings, he was in some degree 
conquered by them. 

In 1801, complaints began to be made that he did not 
always act with discretion. At this point, the good offices 
of a Presbytery, if they could have been secured, would 
have been of immense advantage to the cause of decency 
and order. It seems conclusive that there was no Pres- 
bytery in existence to which he and the congregation 
owed allegiance, that it was left with a committee of the 
congregation, composed partly of the Session and partly 
of the Managers of the temporal affairs of the church, to 
inquire into the rumours afloat injuriously affecting Mr. 
Yonng's character, and to deal with them. This was a 
most embarassing situation for a congregation to be placed 
in, while it was ruinous to the clergyman's influence. 
For, vvhether he is acquitted or condemned, a minister's 
usefulness is gone, when the members of his own con- 
gregation are called upcjn to in\ estigate charges affecting 
his moral character. It is a first principle in Presbyterian 
government that neither a congregation nor a session can 


sit in judgment upon a minister. He can be properly- 
tried only by his peers in the Presbytery or Supreme 

That the charges against Mr. Young were, up to Novem- 
ber, 1800, not regardtid as having bla.stcd his character so 
as to untit him lor the duties of his oIii(;e, is clear from 
the fact that he continued to oiliciate in the church up to 
9th August, 1802 ; and that when a vote was taken 
whether he should retire or continue to supply the pul- 
pit, on the 10th day of November, 1800, the great majo- 
rity expressed a wish that he should remain. 

Mr Young was never technically minister of the church, 
and this fact made the irregularity of the congregation in 
putting him upon his trial less than it would otherwise 
be. As has been already said, he received an appoint- 
ment as "stated supply " from the Presbytery of Albany ; 
but this was after the arrangement had been made 
between him and the congregation. He never received 
what is known as " a call " from the congregation, 
nor was he inducted into the pastorate by the Presbytery. 
It was, in fact, a private arrangement he had made with 
the people, and it was to last as long as it suited both 
parties. Had he been formally installed as pastor, the 
procedure taken by the session and temporal committee 
would have been a violation of Presbyterian principles 
and practice. 

The difference betwixt the position of "stated supply " 
and that of pastor is well put in the evidence given in 
the suit, Kemp vs. Fisher, by Rev. C. H. Taylor of Ballston 
Centre, then clerk of the Presbytery of Albany : — 

"The said Rev. Mr. Young was never installed or 
inducted in said St. G-abriel Street Church by the Presby- 
tery of Albany : and in regard to his relation to said 
Presbytery, he never was pastor of said Church, but was 
merely, for a stated time, fulfilling towards the Church 
the functions of a regular pastor. The relation of a pastor 


to a Church is, according to our constitution, indissoluble, 
save by the action of the Presbytery ; but that of 'stated 
supply,' although recognized by the Presbytery, is one of 
voluntary arrangement between the clergyman and the 
congregation, and endures so long as it is mutually con- 
sented to by them. Taking a congregation under the care 
of a Presbytery gives it all the rights and privileges of 
a part of the Presbytery, while so under their care : and 
that connection remains — unless regularly dismissed — 
which appears to have been the case with the Church at 
Montreal. The said Rev. Mr. Young was not regular 
pastor of said church at Montreal during the time it was 
under the care of the Presbytery of Albany, not having 
been installed, as I have already mentioned. A resignation 
of a clergyman, addressed to the church or congregation 
for which he officnated, would, ac(3ording to our rules, be 
inefficacious to destfoy, or put an end to, his relation to 
such church and congregation, if a regular ' pastor,' but 
if a ' stated supply ' only, it would put an end to his con- 
nection. But a ' stated supply ' is often and, indeed, gen- 
erally, for a stated time ; and in such case, it becomes the 
duty of the congregation to receive the clergyman for that 
time, — and the duty of the clergyman to fulfil that time, 
otherwise it would be disrespectful to the Presbytery. But 
the arrangement is, in its nature, of a temporary character." 
The only acts of jurisdiction, then, exercised by the Pres- 
bytery of Albany over the congregation of St. G-abriel 
Street Church, during the twenty-one months it was under 
their care, was the appointment of Mr. Young as " stated 
supply," from September, 1791, to March, 1*792, and then 
dismi sing him and the congregation in June, 1793. Mr. 
Young appears to have remained as " stated supply " at 
his own risk, from 1793 till 1802, and when there appears 
to have been no Presbytery to take action in the prem- 
ises, perhaps there was nothing left for the congregation 
to do but to take the law into their own hands. 


Rev. Jons YouNfi's ohts anm) his svocess in stkexgthhnino tub Prksiiy- 


— Anomalous i-osition koii Minihteu and CoNdiiEr.ATioN, he never 


Young's Resignation and Departure — His subsixjubnt iionouraislk 
CAREER — The 'RiroLLBT CiiuRcn' — Hospitality oe the Rix'ollet 
FathEjUS towards the Scotch in giving the use oe their Churcii — 
The St. Gai'.riel Street Church built in 1792— The Tkotestant 
Church at Bbrthibr — Original Trust Deed of St. Gabriel Strei-tt 
Church — The old Church and tub Champ db Mars. 

Although Rev. John Young does not appear to have 
been always able to exercise self-denial, he must have 
possessed many estimable qualities, or he could not have 
maintained his position in Montreal for eleven years. The 
social tendencies, which were his weakness, made him 
popular with many ; so that he was able to accomplish a 
good deal during his incumbency in the way of getting a 
churcli erected and entirely paid for, and consolidating 
the congregation. He must have been endowed with 
energy and business capacity, as well as gifts of speech. 
And had he been fortified by the companionship and 
counsel of brethren in the ministry, he might have been 
a very useful pastor. As illustrating the solitariness of his 
situation, we find him, in the year 1800, baptizing his own 
daughter, which is at least an unusual thing for a Presby- 
terian clergyman to do, although there was no irregularity 
in the act. There was much in his situation that was in- 
teresting, as there is in the position of any missionary in 
a new district. He had it in his power to mould the re- 
ligious character of the young community. The sense of 


Tospoiifiibility which attaches to one in these rircum- 
stancos adds dignity to his olHce. The setth^rs for hun- 
dreds ot'mih^s around Montreal ])rou<^ht their children to 
him lor baptism, and he made occasional missionary tours 
among them, with the view of coniirming them in the 
faith and cheering them in the midst of the hardships and 
privations of life in the back-woods. He seems to have 
had occasion also to minister to the spiritual necessities of 
the aborigines. The following makes rather curious 
reading to-day : — 

" Jenny, the Red Bird of the tribe of the Hurons, aged 
twenty-four years, was baptised this twenty-fifth day of 
July, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hun- 
dred and ninety-six, by 

" John Young, 

Mr. Young's geniality seems to have enabled him to 
maintain happy relations with the other Christian people 
of Montreal. For instance, he appears to have officiated 
at baptisms and funerals for the Anglican clergyman of' 
the city at that time, Rev. S. J. Mountain, as his name 
is inserted in several Acts in the Registers of Christ 
Church, during the years 1Y98-99 and 1800. 

Symptoms of dissatisfaction with Mr. Young's lainistry 
began to show themselves in the year 1800. Whether it 
arose from a want of appreciation of his professional 
services, or because rumours had reached a portion of the 
congregation that Mr. Young's conduct was not always 
becoming, does not appear. The question seems to have 
reached a crisis in November of that year, for a congrega- 
tional meeting was held on the 10th of that month, for 
the purpose of testing the sentiments of the people towards 
him. There was no Presbytery to take the matter in 
hand, and so a short and easy method was adopted, as the 
following minute shows : — 


" At a mootinof of tho Prosbytoriaii Pon<^regiitioii of this 
city, hold iii their church, the 4th instant, a numl)or of 
those present expressed a wish for another ( lergynnui, to 
which the Key. Mr. Young-, being present, replied, he had 
not the least ob,ections to retina on an annuity, provided a 
majority of his congregation wished it." 

" Therefore all those of the said ciongregation who wish 
Mr. Young to retire from his present charge, on the fore- 
going conditions, will please to signify it by signing their 
names hereto, adding dissatislied ; and those for him to 
continue will signify it by adding satisfi(}d." 

Montreal, 10th November, 1800." 

The result of this vote showed that Mr. Young had yet 
a strong hold on the confidence and esteem of the con- 
gregation. .The following voted for his continuance : — 
John Lilly, Adam Scott, William Hunter, Ivichard Wartl'e, 
Wm. Grilmour, John Cuthbortson, James Laing, Robert 
Buchanan, James Strother, William Martin, James Logan, 
Alexander Chisholm, Hugh Tulloch, William Thompson, 
Peter McFarlane, B. Gibb, Mrs. Finlayson, James Hender- 
son, Philip Ross, G-eorge Martin, Thomas Hunter, Duncan 
McNaughton, James MuDowall, Plugh M(^Adam, John 
Watson, John McKay, J. Gottfried Glagau, David McCosh, 
Robert Algie, Arthur Gilmour, Thomas Prior, Thos. Reid, 
Chas. Falconer, William Graham, Jos. Provan, Jean Mc- 
Dougall, John Telfer, James Stevenson, John Hunter, 
Thomas Taylor, Donald McKercher, William England. 
Only six voted for procuring .another clergyman. They 
were the following : Isaac Todd, John Russell, John 
Mc Arthur, John Fisher, who appends this remark to his 
signature, " being firmly of opinion it will turn eventually 
for the good of Mr. Young," — Alexander Henry, William 

As showing that his surroundings in Montreal had an 
unfavourable influence upon his habits, we follow his 


career with satisfaction after he left the city. He proceeded 
first to Newark, now Niagara, in Ontario, in the autumn 
of 1802, where he officiated for a time. He afterwards 
ministered to a congregation near Lake Champlain ; 
thence he removed to Lunenburgh in Nova Scotia, and 
finally was settled at Sheet Harbour, in that Province, 
where he died in 1825, the Kev. John Sprott of Musquo- 
doboit, officiating at his funeral, who wrote to a friend in 
Scotland that "his death w as much lamented by that infant 

We have seen that Mr. Young was never installed as 
minister of the St. Grabriel Street congregation ; but in 
point of fact, he came to be looked upon as if he had been. 
All things considered, his incumbency must be regarded 
as a long one, nearly eleven years altogether, he being 
without the protection and fortifying afforded by the per- 
manent pastoral relation. In this fact we have satisfactory 
evidence that he must have possessed not a few points 
of worth and popularity. The tone of his last commun- 
ication to the congregation, addressed to Mr. Beuaiah 
Gribb, is sad enough : — 

" Montreal, 1th. August, 1802. 

Sir, — I hereby resign all claim to the Presbyterian 

Church ; hoping you, and all concerned, will do what 

you can to collect what is due to me as minister of said 

Church, previous to this day; and I expecl, my old friends 

of the Presbyterian congregation, dearly beloved in the 

Lord, will give me a sum not less than one hundred 

pounds, which may enable me to land my family in my 

native land. May peace be within your walls, prosperity 

within "^ir borders. 


Your humble servant in the Lord, 

Mr. B. Gibb." 



The conf]^regation treated Mr. Young very handsomely, 
in response to this appeal. They presented him with 
i}105. 148. lOd., over and above his claim for salary. 

A great deal of interest gathers around the eleven years 
that Mr. Young spent in connection with the St. Gabriel 
Street Church. It was under his regime that the oft-men- 
tioned display of religious hospitality on the part of the 
Recollet Fathers took place. Their church, of which we 
present an engraving, was put at the disposal of the Scotch 
Presbyterians in 1791, as it had been, for twenty years up 
to 1Y89, at the service of the English Church ; and on the 
18th of Saptember, 1*791, the Sacrament of the Lord's Sup- 
per was administered in it, as has been already stated, ac- 
cording to the practice of the Church of Scotland. The 
" Society of Presbyterians," as they were then called, 
continued to occupy the old Recollet Church from the 
date mentioned until their own edifice in St. Gabriel 
Street was ready for divine worship. The Fathers politely 
refused any remuneration for the use of their church, but 
were induced to accept of a present from the congrega- 
tion, in acknowledgement of their kindness, consisting of 
two hogsheads of Spanish wine, containing 60 odd gallons 
each, and a box of candles, — amounting in all to £ 14 2s. 4d. 
Mr. Hunter, in his manuscript, closes the narrative with 
the quaint remark — " they were quite thankful for the 
same." Again, in 1809, when the present roof was put 
upon the St. Gabriel Street Church, and the steeple and 
bell were erected, the Scots' congregation assembled for 
public worship, for two months or more, in the E-ecollet 
Church. This reads wonderful in these days, when the 
lines are so strongly drawn betwixt Protestants and Ro- 
man Catholics. But this exhibition of neighbourliness is 
not without its parallel elsewhere. At several places on 
the continent of Europe — in Switzerland, if I remember 
rightly — I learned, when travelling in that part of the 



world in 187Y, that Protestant and Roman Catholic services 
were held alternately in the same edifice. The same 
thing was true of several parishes in France : notably of 
Mount Beliard in Alsace, the country which gave Farel to 
the Reformation. Such displays of toleration and sym- 
pathy show that men are better than their creeds, and 
belie the cynical maxim of Rousseau, that " it is impossible 
to live at peace with people whom one believes to be 
eternally lost." 

The fact that it was not a singular act of religious tol- 
eration and friendliness, on the part of the Recollets, does 
not detract anything from the magnanimity of their con- 
duct. They were not equally disposed on one occasion 
to show kindness to certain Jesuit Fathers, when the lat- 
ter knocked at the door of their convent in Quebec. 

As the Recollets were the first missionaries and teach- 
ers that arrived in Canada, and showed so liberal a spirit 
towards Protestants, they are entitled to be noticed at 
some length. They belonged to the order of St. Francis, 
and were also known as " Freres mineurs de Vetroite observ- 
ance de St. Franpois.'' The term Recollets indicates their 
characteristic aim, which was to secure a scrupulous 
observance of the rules of the founder. They were the 
third section of the Franciscans that attempted to bring 
about a reform in the order — the " Capuchins des religieux 
du tiers ordre"" behig an earlier branch of reformers of the 
same fraternity. They gave themselves up to study and 
meditation, and endeavored to revive a taste for letters in 
the monastic institution to which they belonged, — (Latin) 

The founder of this reformed order of Franciscans was 
Juan de La Puebla y Sitomayor, Comte de Belalcazar. 
He was a Spaniard, as his name indicates, and initiated 
this Lchool of monks in 1484. The order was introduced 
into Italy in 1525, and into France, at Nevers and Tulle, 


in 1592, and at Taris, in 1^03. In 1532, they were sanc- 
tioned, and erected into apartico.lar congregation by Pope 
Clement VII. Previous to the French Revolution, they 
had 168 convents in France, and these were divided into 
seven provinces. The order furnished many chaplains to 
the armies of the Roman Catholic states, and they ottered 
their services for missions to India and other heathen 
countries, as well as Canada. Four of them accompanied 
Champlain on his third voyage to this continent, in 1612, 
nine years after their establishment in Paris. These four 
pioneers were joined by two others in 1625, and by sev- 
eral more in after years. The first school in Canada was 
opened at Three Rivers, in the year 1616, by Father 
Pacific Duplessis, of this order— the second school at 
Tadousac, in 1618, by Father Joseph C. Caron. Besides 
these, they instituted quite a number of elementary 
schools for boys in the country parishes as well as in 
Vercheres, Quebec and Montreal. In 1620, the Recollets, 
under the French King's authority, established a convent 
at Quebec, to which the famous Prince de Conde made a 
liberal donation. At the conquest, in 1760, their lands, 
with those of the Jesuits, were taken possession of by the 
crown. The last of the order, Pere Louis (Demers), or- 
dained in 1757, died at Montreal in 1813. 

Their church and monastery occupied the space bound- 
ed by Notre Dame Street and Lemoine Street, in one 
direction, and McGill and St. Peter Streets, on the other 
sides. Upon the extinction of the order in Canada, this 
property passed into the possession of the British Govern- 
merit. It was afterwards conveyed to the Hon. Mr. 
Grant, in exchange for St. Helen's Island, which previ- 
ously belonged to him. The Fabrique purchased it of 
Mr. Grant, and assigned the church to the Irish Roman 
Catholics for their use, after their numbers had greatly 
increased by immigration ; and they continued to occupy 

it until St. Patrick's Church was opened on ITth March, 
184t. The original buildings were entirely of rubble 
and masonry, like most of the edifices of the period ; and 
when they ceased to be occupied, they soon gave tokens 
of decay, so that the front, facing on Notre Dame Street, 
had to be taken down. The old French Parish Church 
being removed from where it stood, across Notre Dame 
Street, extending into what is now Place D'Armes, in 
1830, its cut stone front was transferred to the Recollet 
Church. The venerable structure was demolished in 
18G6, to make way for the exigencies of commerce ; and 
all that remains now to jemind us that the order ever 
existed in Montreal, is the street which bears their name. 
Sic transit gloria mundi. » 

Rev. John Young's name must ever be associated with 
the history of the St. Gabriel Street Church. It was a 
substantial work he achieved, when he moved theProtestant 
citizens of Montreal to erect this edifice for the worship of 
the Church of Scotland. It marked an era in the history 
of Canada. It declared that the British people had come 
to stay. It was the first Protestant edifice for public 
worship, properly speaking, in the province. A little 
church, which still stands, it is true, had been erected six 
years earlier by Hon. James Cuthbert, Seignior of Berthier, 
a Scotch Presbyterian ; but it appears to have been of a 
private character — like the chapels attached to the de- 
mesnes of noblemen in Great Britain — for the religious 
instruction of the retainers and dependants of the lord of 
the manor. I fancy this must have been the status of 
the church in question, because no notice was taken of it 
in the historical reviev/s and statements relating to Pres- 
byterianism in Canada, prepared early in this century by 
Dr. Sparks, Dr. Harkness, Mr. Esson and others. This 
church had also a bell which is older than that which 
hangs in the steeple of the St. Gabriel Church. But 

63 ' 

in the absence of evidence that the Cuthbert chapel was 
anything more than a private one, we shall, in the mean- 
time, hold to the long cherished opinion that the Scotch 
Church in St. Gabriel Street was the first Protestant 
one built in the Province of Quebec. 

Mr. Cuthbert, indeed, claimed for his church the dis- 
tinction of being the first erected after the taking of 
Canada by the British. I give the inscription on the 
marble slab set in one of the outer walls : — 

'' This chapel was erected for Divine worship by the 
Hon. James Cuthbert, Esq., Lord of the manor (Seignior), 
of Berthier, Lanoraie, Danby, New York, Maskinonge, and 
the first built since the conquest of New France, 1760, and 
in memory of Catherine Cuthbert, his spouse, who died 
March the 7th, 1785, aged 40 years, mother of three sons 
and seven daughters, nineteen years married. Caroline, 
one of her daughters, is interred in the west end of this 
chapel, near her mother. She was a good wife, a tender 
mother. Her death was much lamented by her family 
and acquaintances. 

"Anno Domini, 1786." . 

The following paragraph, taken from the " Canadian 
Antiquarian," published in Montreal in 1877, supports 
the claims of the Berthier Chapel to the seniority : — 

" This chapel was built in 1786 by the Hon. James 
Cuthbert of Castle Hill, Inverness, Scotland, first English 
Seignior of Berthier, and named St. Andrew's ; and there 
seems to be no doubt that it was the first erected for Pro- 
testant worship in Canada. The services were con- 
ducted for some years, after the Presbyterian form of 
worship, by a clergyman who came out from Scotland 
and lived in the Seignior's family as tutor." 

It might be claimed for this chapel that it was the 
first Protestant edifice erected in Lower Canada, 


but not tho first in tho vvholo of old Canada, for in 
Upper Canada, a mission chui.-h had been built by 
the Imperial Government for the Mohawk Indians, near 
Brantfjrd, in 1782, in recog-nition of their friendly alliance 
with Grreat Britain during the Ami^rican lievolutionary 
War — an ivlliance which cost them their possessiojis on the 
Mohawk River, New York State. The bell in this Indian 
church was cast by " .Tno. Warner, Flei Street, London, 
1786"; so that it is also older than the St. Gabriel Church 
bell. But neither can the Mohawk Church nor bell be 
exactly said to have existed for the accommodation of the 
ordinary public. 

On the 2nd of April, 1792, the lot on St. Gabriel Street, 
then known by the name of St. Philippe Street, was pur- 
chased from Madame Hertel for the sum of one hundred 
pounds (Halifax currency). As the terms of the deed be- 
came afterwards a subject of prolonged legal scrutiny, we 
give entire so much of it as has been subject of controversy, 
in the French language, in which it is written : — 

" D'un certain Acte de vente par feu Dame Marie Le- 
compte Dupre, veuve de feu sieur Hy polite Hertel, Ecr., 
tant en son nom qu'au nom qu'elle agit, re9U par MM. 
Th. Papineau et son confrere, le dernier jour d'avril, mil 
sept cent quatre-vingt-douze, a MM. Adam Scott, William 
Stewart, Duncan Fisher, William England, Alexander 
Hanna, Alexander Fisher, William Hunter, Thos. Oakes, 
John Empy et John Russell, tons citoyens de cette ville, 
membres du comite elu par tons les membres de la con- 
gregation Presbyterienne, etablis en cette ville et lieux 
circonvoisins, acceptant ponr la gloire de Dieu et le ser- 
vice Divin a I'usage des membres de la dite congregation 
Presbyterienne et leurs successeurs, a I'avenir, selon et 
conformement a I'usage de I'eglise d'Ecosse, telle qu'elle 
est etablie par la loi en Ecosse a ete extrait, ce qui suit 
a volontairement reconnu et confesse avoir vendu, cede, 


qiiitt6, trausporte ot dSlaisse, taut on son nom qu'au nom 
qu'olle agit, des maintenaiit ct a toujours un terrain et 
emplacement, svis et sitae en cette ville, rue St. Philippe, 
de la (jonsistance de tout le terrain qui pout se trouver 
appartenir aux dites parties veuderesses, conforraement 
aux anciens titres, tout presentoment rerais aux dit ac- 
quereurs, tenant le dit terrain par-devant a la rue St. Phi- 
lippe, par-derriore aux terrains de K.R.P.P. .Tesuites, d'un . 
cote a Mad. veuve Bcaubassin, d'autre cote au terrain oc- 
cupe par les remparts de cette ville, qui paraissent meme 
anticii^er sur le terrain presentement vendu." 

It will be noticed that a sentence in the deed says : 
" d autre cdte an terrain occupe par les remparts de cette ville qui 
paraissent mime anticiper sur le terrain presentement venda.'' 
This is an important clause. It has been a very general 
impression that the Presbyterian congregation, in 1*792, 
obtained a strip of land from the British Grovernment on 
the Champ de Mars side, twelve feet in width, so as to 
make the lot wide enough for building the church on, and 
the lawfulness of their tenure of this strip, has been 
called in question. The fact seems to be, on the contrar]'', 
that the Champ de Mars had encroached {paraissent mime 
anticiper sur le terrain) on the lot which was bought from 
Madame Hertel, and it is doubtful if the St. G-abriel Church 
authorities ever gained possession of all the land con- 
veyed to them by their deed. 

The walls of the city, constructed in 1*724, had been 
built for the most part on private property,surrendered by 
the owners, as needed for the common security, without 
recompense, but with the understanding that if ever the 
walls were taken down, the lands on which they stood 
should return to the rightful owners, their heirs or assigns. 

Before the end of last century, the enterprising Mer- 
chants of Montreal felt that they needed more elbow-room 
than vras afforded them by the then circumscribed limits 


of the city, which did not ombraco an area much exceed- 
ing 100 acres. They felt "cribbed, <'abiued and confined " 
by the walls which King Louis had beiiu at the trouble 
of erecting. Accordingly, they, in 1707, petitioned the 
Legislature to have the walls demolished. In 1801, an 
Act was passed for this purpose, one section of the pream- 
ble of which read : "Whereas, it is just and reasonable 
that the laud which the said walls and fortifications now 
occupy, and which docs not belong to His Majesty, should 
be delivered up to the lawful proprietors thereof, their 
heirs or assigns." The Act admitted the right of recovery 
and possession to all those whose claims, on examination 
by the Court of King's Bench at Montreal, might be 
found good. 

The settlement of claims, under this statute, required 
several years to effect, and in the meantime the Act was 
continued until finally the walls were entirely removed. 

The congregation seem to have thought that they did 
not occupy all the land they were entitled to; for on 4th 
May, 1803, they appointed a committee, consisting of Dun- 
can Fisher and "William Martin to look into the matter, 
and take such steps as might be requisite to secure the 
rights of the church : — 

" It is resolved that the said Duncan Fisher and "William 
Martin be and are hereby appointed syndics, trustees and 
attorneys for the members of the said committee, for the 
express purpose of claiming all the ground which the 
wall and fortifications, heretofore built and erected for the 
better defence of the city of Montreal, occupied in the 
extent of the ground appertaining to the said Presbyterian 
Church and congregation, and for that effect to employ 
such attorney and counsel as they may be advised. ""^ 

*The claim was not settled at date, October 7th, 1808, as D.F. and 
W.M. got leave of court then to have an attorney in the cause named in 
the place of Robt. Russell, Esq., deceased. 


"Whethor anything over oamo of this appliration does not 
appear from the do(3iimonts relating to the church at pres- 
ent known to exist. Bnt the" mere fact that more was 
claimed than has been occupied at least disposes of the 
allegation that the church encroached on the property of 
the Government on the Champ de Mars side. 

The " Scotch Church," " the Protestant Presbyterian 
Church," or " the Presbyterian Church of Montreal," by 
all of which designations it was at one time or another 
known, was built in 1792 Messrs. Telfer and Mcintosh 
executing the mason work, and Mr. Joseph Perrault the 
carpenter work. The roof cost iI125, and the ceiling and 
flooring £62 10s. The entire cost of the edifice, as it stood 
originally, was i;851 Os. 9d. Its size is 60 feet by 48, and 
it has accommodation for 050 sitters. The following was 
the arrangement of the seats : — 

17 Square Pews, seating each 6 102 

60 Long Pews in the middle, 5 300 

18 " " " cross, 6 78 

32 Gallery Pews to contain, say 170 

Total 650 

In 1809, a new roof was put on the church, the steeple 
was erected, and the bell procured, at a cost of iJ725 Is. 8d. 

Still further improvements in the interior were effected 
in 1817, the present gallery being then put up, at a cost 
of <£620 7s. Id. Three chandeliers, imported by Benaiah 
Gibb, cost .£72 9s. 6d.=^ The building, then, when com- 
pleted as it is now, at the end of twenty-five years, re- 
quired an outlay of ^£2,268 19s. (Halifax currency), or 
about $8,000 of our money. 

* These chandeliers have had rather an interesting history. When 
gas was introduced into St. Gabi'sl Street Chuich, the chandeliers passed 
into the hands of Knox congregation, Cormvall; and now they are 
holding up the light in a third church, that of New Glasgow, Quebec. 


It was opened for Divine service by Mr. Young on the 
^th October, 1792. The masons did good honest work — 
the mortar was well tempered, as was discovered when a 
door was made through the farther end in 18Y4 — it being 
next to impossible to break up the wall, the rubble stone 
imbedded iu the mortar offering greater resistance to the 
crowbar than hewn stone would have done. The timber, 
too, has proved of good quality, as it has stood solid under 
the tread of thousands of footsteps for nearly a hundred 
years. It has certainly no pretentions to architectural 
style, yet it has a quaint appearance of antiquity which 
attracts attention. It would pass for one of the Scottish 
Parish Churches of the Reformation period, so far as its 
exterior is concerned. Inside, it has a bright and cheerful 
appearance, and possesses excellent acoustic properties, 
although the seats are uncomfortably narrow and straight 
in the, back. 


{Montreal "Star," SqJt. 25,1886.) 

Oh, ancient church, how many, many days, 

God's people have come up, and met in thee ! 

How many a clea'" and heartfelt melody 

These walls have aeard and echoed to His praise. 

Here many a feeble soul has cried to God, 

For strength to cope with trials, dark and fierce, 

For grace to bow beneath the grievous rod, 

For heavenly beams the earthly night to pierce. 

And many a weary heart has hero found rest, 

And peace, that boon the world can ne'er bestow. 

And here gained strength for many a fearful test, 

Through which, unhelped by Him, they could not go. 

Like painted portraits on ancestral halls, 

Sweet, serious memories throng around thy walls. 

Montreal, September 22nd, 1886. 


The Ten Trustees of St. Gabriel Street Cht'Rcii — Adam Scott, William 
Stewart, Duncan Fisher, William England, Alexander Fisher, 
William Hunter, Thomas Oakes, John Emi'e\-, and John Russel 
— The Origin A.L Subscrh'Tion List for the Erection of the Church 
— Remarks on the same. 

The church in St. Gabriel Street had a strong hold on 
the religious, social and public life of Montreal, at least 
during the first fifty years of its existence. Its founders 
and early supporters gave it a status of great influence. 
A century ago, as now, the Scottish traders constituted a 
very important section of the population of the city. They 
ranked with the foremost in enterprise and wealth. They 
were, indeed, the leaders in all public matters, as well as 
in the domain of social life. The ten trustees, in whom 
the property of the church was first vested, represented 
the several walks of industry then pursued in the city. 

The following minutes show us the organization effected 
in Mr. Young's time : — 

Montreal, 8th May, 1*791. 

"The members of the Presbyterian congregation of 
Montreal, having been regularly called from the pulpit, 
this day met for the purpose of electing a committee to 
manage the temporals of said congregation. The follow- 
ing gentlemen were unanimously chosen : Messrs. Eichd. 
Dobie, Alex. Plenry, Adam Scott, William Stewart, Bancan 
Fisher, "William England, Alex. Hannah, Alex. Fisher, 
John Lilly, "William Hunter, Peter McFarlane, G-eorge 


King, John Robb, Thos. Oakes, John Empie, John Russel." 
Of these, nine were to be sufficient to form a quorum. 

Montreal, 11th May, 1791. 

" The committee having met, proceeded to elect their 
officers. Mr. R. Dobie was unanimously appointed Presi- 
dent ; Mr. Adam Scott, Vice-President ; Mr. William 
Hunter, Treasurer, and Mr. John Russel, Clerk." 

This was the committee which continued in office until 
the year 1800. 

On the 25th May, 1*791, the committee appointed Mr, 
Duncan Fisher to purchase a lot of ground on which to 
build a church. 

Mr. Fisher having finally settled for the purchase of 
the lot from Madame Hertel, Mr. Scott, Mr. D. Fisher, Mr. 
Hannah, Mr. Oakes and Mr. Russel were appointed a 
committee to settle with a carpenter. 

Out of the committee of sixteen members appointed to 
manage the temporalities of the church in 1791, ten were 
afterwards chosen as trustees, to hold the property in 
behalf of the congregation. 

Adam Scott, the first named in the deed, was, at that 
time, a prominent merchant in the city of Montreal. From 
him, the hinges, screws, stove-fixtures, paints and oils, re- 
quired for the building, were procured on the 30th July, 
1792. He had been a contributor to Christ Church, and, 
indeed, a Churchwarden in 1789, and attended its services 
in the old Jesuits' Chapel, in the interval that elapsed 
between the departure of the Rev. John Bethune, in 
1787, and the arrival of Rev. John Young, in 1790. He, 
with Alexander Hanna and John Russel, signed the con- 
tract, made with Joseph Perrault, for the roofing and 
flooring of the church, in February, 1792. 

His name appears on the subscription list for build- 
ing the church, as seen below, for ten guineas. He does 


not appear, however, to have been in circumstances in 
later years to afford much pecuniary help to the congrega- 
tion, although, up to 1809, pew No. 27 stood in his name 
in the treasurer's books. 

Prominent in the congregation from the beginning, and 
the first vice-president in 1791, he was chairman of the 
committee for the management of the temporal affairs of 
the church, from 1800 to 1803, and, as such, had to 
preside over the investigation into the charges brought 
against Rev. John Young, to which reference has been 
already made. His name appears second on the list 
of those who, in November, 1800, favoured the retention 
of Mr. Young. In his capacity as chairman of the 
Temporal Committee, he was also the first to sign the 
petition to the Government, in 1802, for the continuance 
to Eev. James Somerville of the =£50 a year, which the 
Government had formerly paid to Rev. John Young, for 
services rendered to the military in the garrison. Ke 
reached the promised good old age of three score years 
and ten, dying 20th December, 1818, from concussion of 
the brain, the consequence of having fallen down stairs. 
He lived only two days after the accident. Rev. James 
Somerville offici ited at his burial. For several years before 
his death, he ceased to take a prominent part in the affairs 
of the congregation. 

William Stewart, whose name appears next on the list 
of the trustees, was also a merchant in the city. He is 
said to have been a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and came 
to Canada to push his fortune, while still a young man. 
Like all the rest of the trustees, he contributed ten guineas 
to the building fund of the church. He does not seem to 
have taken a prominent part in the work of the congrega- 
tion afterwards. He died on the 3rd of December, 1797, 
aged 44 years. His widow, Isabella Cowan, married Mr. 


William Hunter, a co-trustee, and one of his daughters 
Isabella, was the first wife of the late Sheriff Boston, to 
whom she was married in 1814. She died in 1821. 
Another daughter, Jane, born in 179*7, never married, and 
lived with Mr. J. S. Hunter's family until her death a 
few years ago. He held pew No. 17 in the church. 

Duncan Fisher, whose name appears third on the trust, 
was for many years the leading spirit in the congregation. 
A native of Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland, he, with three 
brothers, Alexander, John and James, and a cousin, Finlay, 
settled in Montreal, shortly after the conclusion of the 
American war of Independence. In the deed of the church- 
pew No. 34, which he held, he is designated Duncan Fisher, 
" cordwainer," and he appears to have had the mental 
activity that has usually characterized the guild to which 
he belonged. He was a zealous Presbyterian, although 
he, with commendable catholicity, supported the English 
Church, and attended its services, before the Scotch Church 
was fully established in the city, — his name appearing as a 
contributor to its funds as early as 1785. Besides the dis- 
tinction of being one of the original trustees of the Church, 
he was chosen an elder at the first nomination, occupying 
that position in 1792. This office he discharged with much 
fidelity up to the time of his death. He, too, subscribed 
ten guineas towards the erection of the church in 1792 ; 
and, when an effort was made, in 1800, to wipe out the 
debt remaining upon the building, he subscribed five 
pounds more. His name stands at the head of the call to 
Rev. James Somerville, along with a promise to pay two 
guineas annually towards his support. It was he who 
conducted the correspondence with the Presbytery of 
Albany, with reference to the securing of Rev. John Young 
as stated supply, and led in the other transactions that took 
place between the congregation in the St. Gabriel Street 


Church and that Reverend Court. He signed all the 
original deeds of pews given to subscribers, on behalf of 
the session, which at first managed the temporal as well as 
spiritual affairs of the congregation. He was charged by 
the session, in 1794, with the administration of the poor 
fund of the Church. He was session clerk in 1802, at the 
time when Mr. Young's affair was under consideration,' 
but he'took no part in that business, nor did he vote for or 
against Mr. Young, when the question of that gentle- 
man's resignation was brought before the congregation. 
On all other occasions, whenever any important matter 
had to be dealt with, he invariably occupied the foremost 
place. It was so, we have seen, when a syndic was needed 
to deal with the Government respecting the ground be- 
longing to the Church, supposed to have been appropriated 
in building the ramparts of the city ; and when the seces- 
sion took place, in 1803, and the party opposed to the 
calling of Mr. Somerville carried off the keys of the 
church, he was one of those appointed to take measures to 
secure the rights of the congregation. His name appears 
more frec^uently than any other in the church books. He 
died on the 5th July, 1820, aged sixty-seven years. 

The entire community of Montreal, as well as the Scotch 
Church in St. Gabriel Street, owed not a little to this public 
spirited Highlander. His influence did not die with him. 
His descendants are to-day occupying, and have, since 
his decease, occupied positions of honour and usefulness 
in the community. It was Mr, Fisher's good fortune to 
marry a woman of great personal worth, Catherine Embury, 
and she had a large share in stamping upon the family the 
superior character which they afterwards displayed. She 
was the daugh^^er of Rev. Philip Embury, the pioneer of 
Methodism in America ; and being a devout woman and 
deeply attached to the peculiarities of the system in which 
she had been trained, she asserted such ascendency over the 


minds of her children, that they all, in after years, joined 
the Methodist church. Mr. Fisher's eldest daughter mar- 
ried Rev. John Hick, a Methodist preacher of some note. 
Mr. Fisher's eldest son, Daniel, a merchant in St. Paul 
Street, met with a sad death by an explosion of gunpowder, 
in 1826. He was a man of high character, and a leading 
member of the Methodist Church of Montreal, which then 
stood at the corner of St. James and St. Frau(^ois Xavier 
Streets, on the site of the present Medical Hall. After his 
death, a memorial tablet was affixed to the wall of the 
church, which was removed to the new church on St. 
James' street, when it was erected in 1845, where it may 
be seen, and it will, no doubt, accompany the congregation 
to their more splendid edifice in St. Catherine Street, now 
in course of erection. The inscription is as follows : — 

" Sacred to the memory of the late Daniel Fisher, Esquire, 
merchant of this city, and one of the Trustees of this chapel, 
towards the erection of which he was a munificent con- 
tributor. The inflexible integrity which marked his mer- 
cantile transactions ; the exemplary manner in wh'c^h he 
discharged his relative duties ; the secresy and liberality 
of his benefactions to the indigent, were the fruits of that 
religion, under the influence of which, in his last affliction, 
he was patient, and in death victorious. He died Decem- 
ber vi, MDCCCXXVI, in the xxxixth year of his age. 

"The Trustees have erected this monument as a tribute 
of respect to departed worth." 

The second daughter was married first to William 
Hutchison, a merchant in St. Paul Street, and after his 
decease to the late William Lunn. From this daughter the 
Lunn, Dr. G-. W. Campbell, and Judge Cross connec- 
tion is descended. 

Mr. Fisher's second son, John, followed his father's 
business, first in Montreal and afterwards in Quebec. His 


Tepresentatives to-day are Dr. Arthur Fisher, of Sherhrooke 
street, and his sons, Roswell C. Fisher, advocate, and 
Sidney A. Fisher, M.P., for Brome. The late T. W. Eitchie's 
family are also descended from Duncan Fisher, their 
mother being a daughter of John, just mentioned. 

Elizabeth, Mr. Fisher's third daughter, was married to 
the late John Torrance, and had a numerous family, and 
through her, the large John Torrance connection, including 
Sir A. T. Gait's family, and the families of the late Eev. 
Dr. Mathieson and the late Robert Esdaile, must also be 
counted in among Duncan Fisher's posterity. 

James, Mr. Fisher's third son, married a sister of the late 
William Lunn, who still resides in Hamilton, Ontario. 

The most distinguished of Mr. Fisher's family was 
Duncan, who married the widow Budden, mother of Mr. 
E. H. King, formerly President of the Bank of Montreal. 
Duncan Fisher, Jr., was a Q.C., and occupied a promin- 
ent place at the Bar of Lower Canada. The late Justice 
Smith was his partner. Duncan was always regarded by 
the family as its brightest member, and was much respected 
by the community for his great legal talents. He died 
December 27th, 1845, aged 45 years. The late Judge 
Torrance studied his profession in the office of Mr. Fisher, 
who was his uncle ; as did also Justice Cross, who is 
married to his niece. 

It may be truly said that old Duncan Fisher and his 
excellent spouse, Catherine Embury, have been greatly 
honoured and blessed in their posterity. 

"William England, whose name stands next on the trust, 
was a native of Scotland, who arrived in Montreal before 
1*789, as in that year he attended the services of Christ 
Church and was a subscriber to its funds. He was a cooper 
by trade, and the house still stands, at the corner of Dor- 
chester and St. Dominique streets, which was once his 


shop. A few years ago it had repairs made to it which 
changed its external appearance ; but thb walls are the 
same that he occupied in prosecuting his business, which 
was then and for fifty years afterwards, a leading industry 
of the city. The coopers were amongst the most influen- 
tial and prosperous of Montreal's citizens, in the days 
when potash, flour and the other produce of Ontario, were 
all forwarded in bulk, to be here prepared for shipment 
to the markets of the old world. Every large mercantile 
house had its own cooper. 

Mr. England subscribed ten guineas towards erecting 
the Church in 1792, and two pounds fur liquidating the 
debt remaining on the building in 1800. Pew No. 5 
belonged to him. 

With Duncan Fisher and Wm. Hunter, he was appointed 
an elder in 1792, and was session clerk in 1794. His name 
was also associated with Mr. Fisher's on the original deeds 
of pews granted in 1V92. He voted for the retention of 
Mr. Young in November, 1800, and, as a member of the 
Temporal Committee at the time, he took part in the 
Young investigation. He died December 29th, 1822, in 
the 84tli year of his age. The Herald's obituary notice 
remarked : — "The deceased vas for a long term of years 
resident here, and enjoyed a reputation for integrity and 
industry that procured him a very general esteem." 

Mr. England formed one of the minority opposed to the 
calling of the Rev. James Somerville, in 1803, and seceded 
with a few others to organize a new congregation with 
Eev. Robert Forrest as minister. From that time forward 
his name does not appear on the records of the St. Gabriel 
street Church ; but it is interesting to notice that his 
grandson, Alexander England, became connected with the 
Church in St. Gabriel Street a few years ago, and at his 
death, in 1885, he received burial at the hands of the present 
writer. He was born at Norway House, his father, James 


England, sou of William above mentioued, being in the- 
employ of the N. W. Co. His mother was an Indian 

Alexander Ilanna or Hannah — for it is sometimes spelt 
in the one way and sometimes in the other, — whose name 
comes next in the deed, was a merchant in Montreal. He 
was one of the three to sign the contract with Perrault, 
for the wood work of the Church. He also subscribed ten 
guineas towards the undertaking. • He died on 20th July, 
1798. It is believed that he was a native of Galloway, 
Scotland ; but had emigrated to the colonies south of the 
line 45^, prior to the commencement of the revolutionary 
war. His British feeling was too stout to allow him to 
avow allegiance to the stars and stripes, and so he joined 
the loyal exodus to Canada, settling in Montreal. He 
owned pew No. 18. 

Alexander Fisher, the sixth of the Trustees, was a brother 
to Duncan Fisher, the elder. He kept a hostelry in St. 
Mary street. He subscribed ten guineas towards the 
building fund, but we find no further trace of his 
name in connection with the Church. He died before the 
year 1800, leaving several children. One daughter was 
the second wife of Rev. John Hick, already mentioned. 
His two sons, John and Daniel, became afterwards prom- 
inent as citizens and general merchants. It was John 
who occupied a foremost place in the contendings for the 
Church of Scotland interests, from the year 1844 onwards. 
Further mention will be made of him by and by, as well 
as of his brother Daniel, and their descendants. He occu- 
pied pew No .26. 

William Hunter was another of the Trustees. He was 
one of several brothers, natives of Kilmarnock, Scotland, 
who came to Montreal in the eighteenth century, and 

became general merchants. He subscribed ten guineas 
for the erection of the Church, and five pounds in 1800, 
when the debt on the original cost of the building was 
extinguished. He was one of the three first elders of the 
Church, and was Session-Treasurer from the time of Mr. 
Bethune on till he left the congregation. He had been 
a contributor to Christ Church in 1789. When the first 
Protestant Burying-Ground was formed in 1799, he was 
chosen as one of the five first trustees. He was a warm 
friend and supporter of Rev. John Young ; but when the 
congregation resolved, in 1803, to extend a call to Kev. 
James Somerville, he led the opposition, being in favour 
rather of Rev. Robert Forrest. He kept a diary in which 
he noted the ecclesiastical events of his time, and to it 
we are indebted for a good deal of our information, 
regarding the early efforts to plant the Presbyterian 
Church in Montreal. He owned pew No. 2. 

Mr. Hunter married Mrs. Stewart, widow of William 
Stewart, the second of the Trustees, of whom an account 
has been already given. William Stewart Hunter, Notary, 
father of James Stewart Hunter, Notary, and grandfather 
of Herbert Story Hunter, of this city. Notary, was a son of 
this marriage. 

Mr. Hunter's subsequent ecclesiastical career was con- 
nected with what is now St. Andrew's Church, and so 
we have no farther concern with him. His brother 
Robert, however, continued tc belong to the Church in 
St. Gabriel Street. 

Thomas Oakes was an Englishman by birth. He had a 
Tinsmith's shop in St. Paul Street, where his family 
carried on the same business long after his decease. Mrs. 
Oakes was still managing the business in 1822. He and 
his family occupied pews 70 and 101, up to 1813. His wife 
was a German, Elizabeth Mittleberger. Mr. Oakes's name 


also appears with a subscription of ten guineas after it, 
towards the fund for erecting' the Church. He signed the 
call to Mr. Somerville in 1803, and undertook to pay two 
guineas a year for that gentleman's support. 

John Einpi'y was the next Trustee named in the Deed. 
So far as (;an be ascertained, he was a member of a United 
Empire Loyalist family which still resides in the County 
of Stormont, Ontario. He was, therefore, with Mr. Han- 
nah, a representative on the trust of the; refugee element 
of the Montreal population. "VVe have seen that the 
American loyalists rallied naturally around Rev. John 
Bethune, and Mr. Empey appears to have belonged to this 
class. He occupied pew No. Sf\ But his connection 
with the congregation must have terminated shortly 
after the erection of the Church, as the last time his name 
appears on existing documents, is as a subscriber of six 
guineas to the building fund. He probably removed to 
Upper Canada soon afterw^ards. 

John Russel, the last named of the ten Trustees, was a 
merchant in the city. His wife was Grizzell McKenzie. He 
was a contributor to the funds of Christ Church in 1789. 
Xhe first "Clerk " of the Committee, he held that office 
from 1^91 to 1800, and, when the committee was re- 
organized that year, he was re-appointed secretary. He 
was prominent in the business of building the church. 
He was one of the Trustees of the first Protestant Burying- 
Ground, chosen in 1799, but on the ground of absence 
from the Province, his place was filled by William Martin, 
9th October, 1801. He was also a member of the com- 
mittee for enquiring into the rumours affecting Rev. 
John Young, in 1802. He was one of the six who voted 
for the retirement of Mr. Young in November, 1800. His 
name stands at the head of the Trustee list of subscrip- 
tions for the erection of the Church, for the sum of ten 


guiiu^as. His doath came about in a molannholy manner. 
Haviiif? gou(^ to Groat Britain to purchaso jyoods, ho was 
roturnini^ to Montreal by way of Lake Chaniplain on 
board a barge, when, by the vessel's lurehinj^ against a 
boom, he was thrown overboard, and was drownt^d. His 
remains were aftewards recovered and interred at Point 

His widow returned with her young family to Tain, 
Ross-shire, Scotland, from which she and her husband 
had come. She married Rev. Mr. Mackenzie, Minister of 
Tongue. Mr. Russel's son. Hector, returned to Montreal, 
when he grew up, and <'ontinued his father's business, 
which was long one of the largest establishments in the 
city, known by the name of " Hector Russel and Com- 
pany," and "Russel, McKenzie and Company." Colin 
Russel was a nephew of John's. Two other Russels 
connected with the Church about the same time were 
brothers of his — William, who subscribed five guineas 
towards the building fund, and Robert, who was an 
advocate, and was charged with guarding the rights of 
the congregation in the matter of the Champ-de-Mars 
encroachment. The family occupied pew No. 97, but 
they gave it up in 1809. 

Such were the men chosen to represent the Presbyterian 
community at the important epoch in its history, when 
it was about providing for itself a local habitation. The 
selection was truly catholic in its character, and in pru- 
dent keeping with the situation at the moment, as well as 
an earnest of the iiture history of the congregation, then 
rallying around the eu'eiprise of building a church. 

The list of contributprs to that enterprise, illustrates 
still more fully the catholic temper of the founders of the 
Presbyterian cause in Montreal. It is headed — 




" N.B. — Wlim till' I'ncH are madt; Ihctj mil he mid (if Pnhlic Sale, and every 
mbfcriber who Un/H a I'eie »hall he (dloved the money he han f,aid hy mhscrip- 
tim, on nccount of the price of mid J'ew." 

Alox. llonry Twenty pounds. 

rortiytli, RicharilHon & Co Twenty i)ound8. 

J. Johnson, Biirt Twelve pounds. 

Juniea Mcdill Ten guineas. 

Andrew Todd Ten guineas.. 

.To8ei)h Frobialior Ton guineas. 

George jNIeBeath Ten guineas. 

Francis Winter Nine pounds. 

James Dunlop Ten guineiis. 

John Gregory Ton guineas. 

Williiun M urray Ten guineas. 

John Lilly Ten guineas. 

Auldjo it Maitland Ton guineas. 

H. O. & Woolrich Five guineas. 

James Morison One guinea. 


Alex. McKonzio Five guineas. 

Nicholas iMontour Five guineas. 

Robert Grant Five guineas. 

Peter Pangman Five guineas. 

William McGillivray Five guineas. 

Simon Eraser Three guineas. 

Cuthbert Grant Three guineas. 

Angus Shaw Three guineas. 

Rodk. McKenzie Three guineas. 

Robert Thompson Three guineas. 

William Thorburn Three guineas. 

James Finlay Three guineas. 

David Grant Three guineas. 

A)' X. Eraser Three guineas. 

Peter Grant Three pounds. 

J. bt. Germain Fifteen shillinga 

John Russel Ten guineas. 

Dincan Fisher Ten guineas. 

William Stewart Ten guineas. 

William England - Ten guineas. 

Adam Scott Ten guineas. 



William Hunter Ten guineas. 

Alex. Fisher Ten guineas. 

Alex, Hannah Ten guineas. 

Thomas Oakes Ten guineas 

Benaiah Gibb Ten guineas. 

Richard Dobie Ten guineas. 

Jamee Logan Ten guineas. 

John Young Ten guineas. 

Forbes & Cowie Ten guineas. 

John and James McDowall Seven guineas. 

Joseph Howard Two pounds. 

John J. Deihl Two guineas. 

James Strother Five guineas. 

Thomas Busby Five guineas- 

James Porter Five guineas. 

John Molson Five guineas. 

Richard Brooks Two guineas. 

John Finlayson Five guineas. 

John Empey Six guineas. 

Simon Clarke Five guineas. 

Donald McKercher , Five pounds. 

John McArthur Five guineas. 

John Fisher Eight pounds. 

John Hunter Eight pounds- 
William Russel Five pounds. 

George Stansfield Five guineas. 

Jacob Marston Four pounds. 

Alex. Simpson Two guineas. 

Samuel Adams Six guineas. 

John Neagles One guinea. 

Thomas Sullivan One guinea. 

Andrew Winclefoss One guinea. 

Jonatlian A. Gray One guinea. 

Francis Deslard One dollar. 

D. A. Grant Two pounds. 

John Cxray One guinea. 

Alex. Robertson ... .Two pounds. 

David Smith Four pounds. 

Dr. Blake One guinea- 

This was carrying into effect a resolution passed by the 
committee on the 20th April, lt92 : — " Agreed that the 
church should be built by subscription, and that when 


the pews in the church would be finished, they would be 
sold at auction to the highest bidder, and each subscriber's 
money would <?o on account of, his seat." 

One general observation may be made at this point : 
the congregation began to build upon a broad national 
and religious basis. Among the foregoing subscribers we 
find John Gregory, Joseph Frobisher, Benaiah Gribb, 
Thomas Oakes, John Molson, James Woolrich, J. A. 
Grjay, Thomas Busby, R. Brooks and John Gray, English- 
men ; Sir John Johnson, Andrew Todd, Thomas Sul- 
livan, Isaac Todd and John Neagles, Irishmen ; John J. 
Deihl and Andrew Winclefoss, Germans ; J. St. Germain 
and Fran9ois Deslard, Frenchmen ; Hannah, Empey and 
Peter Pangraau, New- England loyalists ; the others being 
Scots either by birth or descent, some of them Highlanders, 
and some Lowlanders. To have people co-operating for 
Church purposes and worshipping together, who were 
trained in separate schools, with their diversities of 
usage and different shades of opinion, although they 
were all Protestant, involved the prin^jiple of toleration. 
So that from the start the congregation had in it ele- 
ments that secured catholicity of sentiment. In its 
infancy it drew to itself material strength and susten- 
ance, as well as inspiration, from a considerable number 
of sources, and each of these helped to shape the subse- 
quent history of the St. Gabriel Street Church. 


Notices of thh leading sunscRinERs to the Chuech Biildixg Fund — The 
Fur Merchants, — Alexander Henry, Forsyth-Richardson & Co., 
Sir John Johnson, Jambs McGill, Andrew Todd, Joseph Frobisiier, 
George McBbath, Francis Wintef, James Dtinlop, John Grecjory, 
Wm. Murray, John Lilly, Auldjo & Maitland, James Woolrich, 
AND the Employees OP the Company, Sir Alexander MacKenzie, 
- Nicholas Montour, Robert Grant, Peter Pangman, William Mc- 
GiLLiVRAY, Simon Frasbr, Cuitibbrt Grant, Angus Shaw, Rodk. 
McKbnzib, Robert Thompson. "William Tiiorburn, Jambs Finlay, 
David Grant, Alex. Fraser and Peter Grant. 

Alexander Henry, whose name appears at the head of 
the list of subscribers, was then, and afterwards, a promi- 
nent citizen, and a justice of the peace. He was one of 
the first English traders who, in the prosecution of the 
trade in peltries, ventured as far as Michillimakinac, the 
headquarters of the French fur traders. This was before 
the signing of the Treaty of Paris, and, consequently, he 
had to encounter the risks involved in penetrating to 
a region in which French influence was still strong. The 
Sauteux Indians, occupying- the surrounding country, 
were sworn enemies of the English, and did the bidding 
of Pontiac, the French G-eneral. Mr. Henry passed the 
winter 1*762-3 at Sault Ste. Marie, in order to master the 
language of the Savtteux. He had afterwards many 
adventures and hairbreadth escapes. He would have 
perished in the massacre of Michillimakinac, had it not 
been for the good offices of Mme. De Langlade, who gave 
him shelter and concealment in a granary. On another 
occaston he owed his life to the kind interposition of an 


interpreter, Jean Baptiste Cadot. In 1765, he entered 
into partnership with Cadot, whose wife was of the 
Sauteux tribe. They carried on a profitable trade, 
penetrating even to the mouths of the Saskatchewan. 
He returned to Montreal in 1116, and published his 
" Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian 
Territories between the Years 1*760 and 1*766." 
Being asked to head the subscription list to the church 
in 1*792, we may suppose that he was esteemed the 
greatest of the fur magnates at that time. But he must 
have spent his fortune before his death, as there is evi- 
dence that he was comparatively poor in his later years. 
He occupied the position of King's auctioneer, in which 
office he was joined by Norman and James Bethune, in 
181*7. For a time he seems to have attended the services 
of Christ Church, during the later years of Mr. Young's 
incumbency of the St. Gabriel Street Church, as his 
name appears on the record of that congregation in 1*799. 
And in this connection, it is significant that he voted 
for the retirement of Mr. Young, in 1800 ; while his 
name is absent from the subscription taken for liquida- 
ting the debt in that year. He contributed a guinea, 
however, to the fund for enabling Mr. Young to remove 
his family. He was a liberal supporter of Mr. Somer- 
ville, subscribing three pounds annually towards his 
stipend. He afterwards reduced the amount to one 
guinea, which seems to imply that his means had got 

There were two Forsyth's, in the firm, " Forsyth, 
Richardson & Co.," who appear second as subscribing 
twenty pounds towards erecting the church, Thomas and 
John. They were young Scotchmen, from Aberdeen, 
who early crossed the sea in search of fortune. In this 
they were eminently successful. They stood foremost 


among the commercial houses of the city, at the f :id of 
last century, and during the first thirty years of the pre- 
sent century. Their- business was a general one ; but like 
all the other merchants of the period, they dealt largely in 
furs, which was the most lucrative branch of their trade- 
Thomas Forsyth removed to Kingston, in Upper Can- 
ada, where he carried on business until his death. Al- 
though the firm always tiubscribed handsomely, when- 
ever an effort had to be put forth on behalf of the Pres- 
byterian church, the Forsyths, individually, do not seem 
to have taken any part in the work of the church. 
Thomas appears to have had decided Episcopalian lean- 
ings, as his name is found prominent in the records of 
Christ Church, of which he was a warden, in 1822. 

Hon. John Forsyth, although showing le^s capacity for 
public enterprises than his more distinguished partner, 
Mr. Richardson, yet took a small share in some of the 
undertakings of the period. He was a director of the 
Bank of Montreal, as well as of the Montreal Fire Insur- 
ance company, in 1820. He was appointed a legislative 
Councillor in 1826. Having acquired a competency, he 
returned to Scotland, where he spent the evening of his 
days in well-earned repose. 

But the junior member of the firm, Johli Richardson, 
who was a native of Banffshire, Scotland, was a man 
of energy and action par excellence. The Montreal of the 
period owed more to him a great deal, than to any other 
of its citizens ; for whenever anything was to be done, 
requiring skill and energy for its accomplishment, John 
Richardson was the man whom his fellow-citizens called 
to the front. The late Mr. John Dougall, speaking to the 
writer, a few months before his death, of Montreal sixty 
years ago, when he knew it first, singled out three of the 


citizens as men greatly beloved and trusted, Hon. John 
Richardson, Hon. Geo. Moffat, and Hon. Peter McGill ; 
and added that the public have not perhaps been as well 
served since, as it was by these three men in succession. 
With Joseph Frobisher, he represented the East "Ward 
of the city, in the first Parliament of Lower Canada. He 
was one of the commissioners for removing the old walls 
of the city, from 1802 onwards. He got a bill passed for 
the construction of a canal to Lachine, as early as 1795-6, 
although he did not see the work commenced till 1821, 
on the 17th of July, in which year, he turned the first 
sod, at the commencement of the work. He was chair- 
man of the company that secured the completion of the 
undertaking, in 1825, at a cost of $440,000. And in this 
connection, it is believed that his singleness of mind, and 
fear of being reproached with self-seeking, actually proved 
detrimental to the best interests of the community. The 
canal ought to have been carried down to Hochelaga, 
through what is now Craig street ; but he opposed the 
project lest it should be said that he promoted it for the 
purpose of enhancing the value of his own property, 
which lay in the Quebec suburbs. 

He was named second on tne list of gentlemen appoint- 
ed by His Excellency Sir Gordon Drummond, in 1815,. a 
committee to obtain subscriptions in aid of the families of 
the slain at Waterloo. 

He was one of the six commissioners for building the 
Nelson monument. He was chairman of the committee 
that prepared the articles of the association of the Bank 
of Montreal, published in the Montreal Herald, in May, 
1817. He was a director of the first Montreal Savings 
Bank, as also a trustee for improving the highway to 
Lachine, and a justice of the peace to administer oaths to 
half-pay officers of the district of Montreal. He took the 
oath as a Legislative Councillor at Quebec, the 31st 
January, 1821. 



"With Hon. "William McGillivray and Samuel G-errard, 
he formed a <;ommittee to purchase the land on which the 
General Hospital now stands, which was then a nursery ; 
and when, in 1821, it was resolved to erect a building on 
it, he was appointed chairman of a committee to superin- 
tend its construction, — and when it was got fairly under 
weigh, he was chosen its first president. His eldest 
daughter was married to Judge Ogden, and, after his 
decease to the late T. B. Anderson, President of the Bank 
of Montreal. His second daughter, Eweretta, was married 
to Alexander Auldjo. She died in 1808. < 

Besides that the firm to which he belonged was always 
foremost in aiding every good work connected with St. 
Gabriel Street Church, he subscribed personally three 
pounds annually towards the stipend of Mr. Somerville, 
to whom he showed a strong attachment to the end of 
his days. The firm occupied pews 6 and 47. 

It was a fit memorial of him which his friends erected, 
in the "Kichardson wing of the General Hospital," on 
which is the following inscription : " This building was 
erected, A.D. 1832, to commemorate the public and pri- 
vate virtues of the Honorable John Richardson, a distin- 
guished merchant of this city, and member of the Execu- 
tive and Legislative Councils of the Province. He was 
first President of the Hospital, and a liberal contributor 
to its foundation and support. He was born at Portsoy, 
North Britain, and died the 18th of May, 1831, aged 16 
years." The firm, " Forsyth, Richardson & Co.," received 
a grant of 1073 acres of land, in the Township of Onslow, 
from Sir R. S. Milnes, Governor, in 1805. 

Sir John Johnson, baronet, of Johnson Hall, Tryon 
County, N. Y., finally of Mount Johnson, County of 
Rouville, Canada, the third subscriber, who gave twelve 
pounds for the church building, was the son of the 


famous " Indian Tamer," Sir William Johnson, " The 
Tribune of the Six Nations," as he was called, from his 
great influence over that league of Indians, during the 
war between France and Great Britain, for the possession 
of Canada. By his father's side, he was descended from 
the ancient Irish family, the MacSeans, or MacShanes. 
His mother was a Warren, sister of Admiral Sir Peter 
Warren, K.B. It was under Sir Peter's auspices that he 
came to America, in 1*734, when he was only 19 years of 
age. Settling first in New York, he was afterwards sent 
by his uncle, the Admiral, to take charge of some pro- 
perty which that gentleman had acquired through his 
wife, in the Mohawk Valley. Young Johnson set him- 
self to learn the language of the Indians who occupied 
the district, and to master the elements of their character. 
In this he was eminently successful. The Indians took 
a liking to him, and he profited by their partiality, and 
rapidly added to the wealth which he inherited from his 
uncle, on the Admiral's decease, by the trade in furs 
which he carried on. A good anecdote is told of the tact 
and far-reaching skill which he displayed, in dealing 
with the Indians. When a great chief was on a visit to 
"Johnson Hall," Sir William's residence, his attention 
was arrested by a beautiful rifle, at which he stood gazing 
with greedy eyes. The chief said nothing at the time, 
but he came back the next day, and related to Johnson 
how he had dreamt that while he w^as visiting at the 
castle, the grand " pale face" had made him a present of 
the beautiful gun that stood in the hall. Sir William 
took the hint, and the redskin went away happy with 
the coveted weapon. But all was not over ; the " pale 
face" chuckled with delight, no doubt, while laying a 
plan to get even with the cunning chief. Sir William, 
in due time, returned Hendrick's visit, and while they 
were smoking the pipe of peace together, he went on to 


t-^ll that he too had a dream. He dreamt that while he 
was visitiDg the Mohawk chief, that great hero had made 
him a present of a large tract of land, lying contiguous 
to the Johnson property, naming its dimensions. As the 
story goes, Hendrick, not to be outdone in generosity, 
there and then made over the land in question, but signi- 
ficantly added : " me dream no more — ' pale face' dream 
too big." 

When the hostilities between Great Britain and France, 
which led to the conquest of Canada, br^ke out, Johnson's 
military skill and great influence with the Iroquois stood 
England in good stead. He was rewarded with a baron- 
etcy and a grant of c£5,000, in recognition of the victory 
he gained over Baron Dieskau, at Lake George, in 1755. 
But his greatest military achievement was the taking of 
Fort Niagara, on 25th July, 1759 — a success that contri- 
buted not a little to the fall of Montreal in the following 
year. On Sir William's death, in 1774, he was succeeded 
in both the baronetcy and in influence with the Indians, 
by his son, Sir John, who inherited Lis father's military 
instincts and insight into character. He took sides with 
the mother country, when the colonies revolted, raised 
two battalions in Canada, and with his large Indian fol- 
lowing, was able to inflict serious injuries upon the 
revolutionary forces. It was Sir John that commanded 
the British loyalists and Indians at Oriskany, and in other 
minor engagements. On a,ccount of his loyalt3'- he was 
treated with great injustice by the authorities of the State 
of New York. They confiscated his land and mansions, 
as well as the property of the other loyalists of the dis- 
trict, 700 of whom accompanied Sir John to Canada. 
And one of the most barbarous incidents of that fratricidal 
war, was the cruel incarceration, for several weeks, of 
Lady Johnson, making her suffer on account of the mili- 
tary proceedings of her husband, contrary to all the rules 


of war. It was he who led the Mohawks from the State 
of New York to their Canadian possessions on the Grand 
River., near Brantford, granted them by the British Gov- 
ernment. At the conclusion of the war, he was made 
Superintendent General and Inspector General of Indian 
affairs, with Montreal as his head-quarters. He erected 
a country house, " St. Mary's," at Mount Johnson, on the 
Richelieu, He was made Colonel-in chief of the six 
battalions of militia that were enrolled in the eastern 
townships. Sir John, as Right Worshipful the Past 
Grand Master of Canada, laid the foundation stone of the 
General Hospital, with Masonic honours, on 6th June, 
1821. He had married, in 1^73, Mary, daughter of Hon. 
John "Watts, for some time President of the Council 
of New York. The family occupied Pews No. 33 and 
34 from 1804 to 1814. Lady Johnson died at Montreal, 
on *7tli August, 1815, amid the regrets of the entire com- 
munity, with whom she was a favourite. The following 
tribute was paid to her memory in the Hefrald : 

" Died on Monday, in her 61st year, the lady of Sir 
John Johnson, baronet. This amiable and accomplished 
lady formed, for many years, one of the brightest and 
most distinguished ornaments of the city. To a mind 
highly cultivated, were united all those personal graces 
that exalt and adorn her sex. She was a truly sincere 
and pious Christian, and an affectionate and tender parent. 
To her respectable and inconsolable family, her loss will 
be irretrievable ; and her memory will ever be held in 
esteem and respect by all who were honoured with her 
acquaintance. Her remains were deposited in the family 
vault, at Mount Johnson, on Wednesday last." 

Sir John was knighted by King George, in 1*765, while 
his father was yet alive, so that there were two knights 


in Johnson Hall at the same time ; and the patent which 
perpetuates the baronetcy in the family, contains a clause 
which gives the title of " Knight" to the eldest son on 
his attaining his majority, — an extraordinary clause, as 
knighthood, as a rule, is not hereditary, but is conferred 
for special services, and terminates with the life of the 
recipient. He owned the ^Seigniory of Argeutouil. Sir 
John took his seat as a member of the Legislative Council 
of Quebec, 24th January, 1797. 

He was chairman of the committee appointed for build- 
ing the Nelson monument, having John llichardson and 
John Ogilvie, among others, for colleagues. He died at 
Montreal, on the 4th January, 1830, and as he was born 
in 1741, he must have been 89 years of age. His remains 
were taken across the river by the Indians in canoes, and 
conveyed to Mount Johnson, where they were interred 
in the family vault, with all the ceremonies which the 
Iroquois observe at the burial of their chiefs. Sir John 
had seven sons. 

He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest sur- 
viving sou. Sir Adam Gordon Johnson, who, dying with- 
out an heir, was succeeded by the present occupant of 
the family title, Sir William George Johnson, of Twicken- 
ham, England, son of John Johnson, of Point Oliver, 
Montreal, a younger brother of Sir Gordon's, who died 
before the latter. A niece of Sir John's, became Lady 
Clyde, a granddaughter married Alexander Count Bal- 
main, Russian Commissioner at St. Helena, and others of 
his descendants made distinguished alliances. 

Next on the list appears the name of James McGill, for 
ten guineas. It may safely be said that he is now the 
most famous of all the persons that took part in the erec- 
tion of the old church. He had views in advance of his 
day. His was not the petty ambition of merely enrich- 


ing his own family, as is tho case with too many citizens 
— looking to thi'ir children to uphold the dignity and 
lustre of their name after they are gone. As he made his 
own wealth, so he disposed of it himself, in a way to 
bless his adopted country for all time, while those who 
left large fortunes for their sons and daughters are forgot- 
ten, and their wealth has been long since dissipated. 
Hon. James M(-'Gill was born in Glasgow on the 6th 
October, 1*744. His eyes were turned towards the setting 
sun, as were those of many brave, adventurous Britons, 
of the day. There was romance, as well as gain, in con- 
nection with the fur trade at that period, and the young 
Scotchman's heart was attracted towards it. He lived in 
what is now the United States, before the revolution, but 
came north, and with his brother Andrew as his partner, 
established a business in Montreal prior to 17^5. He 
was one of the twelve citizens who signed the capitula- 
tion of Montreal to Richard Montgomery, " Brigadier-Gen- 
eral, Continental Army," on 12th November, 1*775, after 
General Carlton withdrew to Quebec and left the city to 
its fate. Six Englishmen and six Frenchmen acted on 
behalf of the citizens on the occasion. The other five 
Englishmen were John Porteous, Richard Huntley, John 
Blake, Edw. W. Gray and James Finlay. 

As Mr. McGill was very prosperous in business, and 
was of a frank, social temperament, and had married a 
French lady, the widow of a Canadian gentleman, he 
stood high in the esteem of people of all ranks, nationali- 
ties and creeds. Consequently, he was chosen to repre- 
sent the West Ward of the city in the first Parliament of 
Lower Canada, which met l7th December, 1792, after the 
granting of the Constitutional Act by the British authori- 
ities, in 1791. He had for colleague, J. B. Durocher. He 
had a turn for public affairs, and so he was appointed one 
of the Commissioners for removing the old walls of the 


city in 1802. He became early a member of the Legisla- 
tive Council, and was Chairman oi* the Executive Council 
in 1812. He was honorary Colonel commanding the 
Montreal volunteers in the war of 1812, and rose to the 
rank of Brigadier-General during the progress of hostili* 
ties. He is described as tall, with a commanding iigure, 
handsome in youth, with a tendency to corpulency in 
advancing years. He was a prominent member of what 
• was known as the " Beaver Club," an association of the fur 
magnates of the time. He attended the services of the 
Protestant congregation of Montreal Ijefore the Scotch 
church was started, as all the young Protestant Scotch- 
men living in the city at that period did, and later, when 
St. G-abriel Street Church was built, and ordinances were 
established in it, he, with many others of his countrymen, 
continued a certain connection with the English church, 
so that it is difficult to make out to which of the organi- 
zations they actually belonged. But there can be no 
doubt that at this time, Mr. McGill counted himself a 
Presbyterian and a member of the St. Gabriel Street 
Church. As such, he signed the call to Mr. Somerville, 
and put his name down for three pounds a year towards 
that gentleman's stipend. He occupied pew No. 16, and 
his brother Andrew had also subscribed five pounds 
towards removing the debt from the building in 1800. 
Andrew McGill continued to maintaiii a connection with 
the church, Mr. Somerville officiating at his funeral. 
James McGill resided in what was known as Burnside 
House, which was demolished in 1860. He died 12th 
December, 1813, aged 69 years, respected and universally 
regretted by all his fellow citizens. He left his estate of 
Burnside, together with i)40,000 in money, to found a 
university, a college of which was to bear his name. 
This was the beginning of the University of which Mont- 
real is so proud, and which is receiving from time to time 


such substantial tokons of the afFection and confidenoe of 
our wealthy citizens. Public-spirited and thoughtful 
men perceive how much nobler a use Mr. McGill put his 
property to than any of his contemporaries ; and they are 
foljov'ing the intelligent example which ho set. Mont- 
real testified its estimation for this patriotic, benevolent 
and esteemed citizen by affixing his name to one of its 
noblest streets. 

Andrew Todd was a member of the firm of A. & I. 
Todd, merchants. At an early period, Andrew Todd had 
secured a monopoly of the fur trade on the Mississippi 
River, which he acquired from Casondelet, the Governor 
of New Orleans, who jealously guarded his rights in the 
premises. On this occasion he acted for the house in 
subscribing ten guineas. On all subsequent occasions, 
his brother Isaac took the lead in public matters, pertain- 
ing to both church and state. 

Joseph Frobisher, whose name stands next, subscribing 
ten guineas, was a member of the distinguished firm of 
" Benjamin & Joseph P"'robisher, " that joined Simon 
McTavish in forming the ' North-west Company " in the 
the winter of 1*783-4. Mr. Frobisher was the first to pen- 
etrate ih. great North-west as far as the Churchill River. 
Up^to 1^74, the Indians in that region used to carry their 
furs to Hudson's Bay, but Mr. Frobisher met them on 
the way and induced them to trade with him. He 
remained two seasons in the country, enduring great 
hardships, having to depend upon what the woods and 
waters afforded for subsistence. He returned in It'TG, 
having secured what was in those days counted a compet- 
ent fortune, in his two years' transactions with the 
Indians. His biother, Benjamin, who died in VlS*l, 
made his way still farther west, being the first to reach 


Isle a la Croix. In 1*798, Joseph Frobisher retired from 
active commercial life. He was an Englishman and a 
prominent member of the *' Protestant (congregation of 
Montreal," being a vestryman in 1789, as James McGill 
also was. He was a member of the committee for the 
erection of the first Christ Church. With John Richard- 
son as his colleague, he represented the East Ward of 
the city in the first Parliament of Lower Canada, in 
1*792. His son was chosen to represent the St. Laurent 
district in the year 1804, and Joseph issued a card of 
thanks to the electors on his behalf. Along w^ith John 
Gray, Daniel Sutherland, and others, he formed the first 
company, in 1801, for the construction of water works 
for the city. He received a grant of 11,550 acres in the 
Township of Ireland from Governor Milnes in 1802 ; an(1 
in the adjoining township of Inverness there is a hi 1 
called after him, still known as "Frobisher hill," Fs 
residence " Beaver Hall," so designated in allusion ,0 
the business which its proprietor prosecuted, was bur it 
in 184*7, but it has given its name to one of the clpsfiic 
quarters of the city. Joseph Frobisher was in his t'ay 
one of " the characters " of the commercial metropoli^ of 
Canada. The firm, " McTavish, Frobisher & Co.," held 
a pevv' in the church up to 1805. 

Of George McBeath, owner of pew 95, and William 
Murray, who subscribed ten guineas each, and of Francis 
Winter, who bought Few 94, and whose name is down 
for nine pounds, nothing more can be gathered than 
that they were traders connected with the North-west 
Company. Mr. McBeath was Master of St. Peter's Lodge 

of Freemasons. 


James Dunlop, who subscribed ten guineas, was one 
of Montreal's earliest "merchant princes." He kept a 
general store in St. Paul street, dealing in liquors and 


groceries, as well as dry goods. He was named with 
Hon. James Richards, James Reed, and Rev. John 
Strachan, a trustee of the estate of Hon. James McGill. 
He took an active part in the military movements con- 
nected with the American War in 1812, serving as Major 
under Colonel James Caldwell and Brigadier-General 
McGill. He presided at a public dmner in honor of King 
George's birthday, June 5th, 1815. Shortly before this he 
remitted c£30,000, the largest bill of exchange ever sent 
from the colony up to that date. He died on the 28th 
August, 1815, aged 60 years. The following notice of 
him appeared in the Herald at the time of his decease :— 

"Died after a most severe illness of several weeks, 

James Dunlop, Esquire. This gentleman settled in Mont- 
real in lt77, and has since been deeply engaged in mer- 
cantile pursuits, on a most extensive scale. To a vigorous 
constitution were united unremitting industry, strict 
probity of character in his transactions, and enlarged 
views of commercial affairs. These first requisites enabled 
him to amass a fortune, supposed to be greater than ever 
was acquired by any individual of this country." 

His name appears for jEIO at the head of the special 
subscriptions, taken in 1800, for liquidating the debt on 
the original building. He contributed £b to the special 
Young fund in 1802, and subscribed =£5 annually towards 
Mr. Somerville's salary. He was also one of those who 
signed the manifesto in favor of Mr. Somerville, July 
23rd, 1803. He gave £10 for the steeple and bell fund 
in 1810. He occupied pews 19 and 99 in the St. Gabriel 
Street Church. 

John Gregory, also a contributor of ten guineas, was 

another of the fur magnates of Montreal. "When the 

North-weet Company was formed, some trouble arose over 

the allotment of shares to the partners, and a rival com- 



pany was started, with Mr. Gregory at its head. The 
original company, however, proved too strong in capital 
and numbers for its junior competitor, and alter a brief 
and bitter rivalry, an amalgamation of the two was 
effected, in 1*787. From that time onward, Mr. G-regory 
was one of the most influential partners of the North-west 
Company. He gave £S for the fund for Mr. Young's 
family, and subscribed c£5, in 1810, to remove the debt 
incurred in buying the bell and erecting the steeple. He 
retired from partnership in the house of McTavish, Fro- 
bisher & Co., December 11th, 1806. In 1802, he obtained 
from Sir H. S. Milnes a grant of 11,550 acres of land in ■ 
Arthabasca. Mr. Gregory died February 22nd, 1817, aged ; 
60 years, and was characterized in the Herald's obituary \ 
notice as one of Montreal's most respected citizens. His 
son, Colonel Gregory, married a daughter of Hon. John 
Forsyth. , 


John Lilly, a subscriber of ten guinoas, was also a ' 
prominent member of the community, and a Justice of 
the Peace. He owned and farmed the property above 
Shorbrooke Street stretching up towards Fletcher's fieldi 
with the present Lunn mansion as his summer residence. 
Mr. Hugh Brodie, senior, was his farmer for a time. 
One of his daughters was married to Thomas Boston iu 
1806. He contributed ten pounds to the debt in 1810, 
also two pounds to the Young fund, and subscribed 
three pounds a year for Mr. Soraerville's stipend. He gave 
four pounds to the steeple and bell fund. He occupied 
pew 21 in the church. He died October 5th, 1822. The 
following obituary notice appeared in the Herald : — "Died, 
John Lilly, Esq., at the advanced age of 83 years. He 
was one of the oldest British merchants in the city, having 
arrived here in 1763, and supported, during his long resi- 
dence of 59 years, the character of a good subject, a vir- 
tuous citizen, and an exemplary Christian." 


Auldjo & Maitlaud were a firm of general merchants, 
dealing not only in dry goods, but also in ales and spirits. 
Alexander Auldjo, the senior partner, afterwards married 
Eweretta Jane, daughter of Hon. John Richardson. They 
were members of St. Gabriel Street Church, as may be 
inferred from the fact that their son John was baptized by 
Mr. Somerville in 1805. Mrs. Auldjo died in 1805, rnd 
shortly afterwards he removed to England with his two 
sons, Thomas and John. It was this John Auldjo who 
was the first Enij-lishmau to make the ascent of Mt. 
Blanc, an adventure which gave him a high reputation 
as an enterprising tourist. He published an account of 
his experience, which led soon afterwards to many 
further successful attempts to scale the monarch of the 
Alps. The firm acted as agents for the Pelican Life 
Insurance Company, as well as for the Phoenix Insurance 
Company, of London, England, — the company which is 
still doing busi7iess in Montreal, under the management 
of R. W. Tyre. The firm was afterwards enlarged by 
the addition of George Garden. Alexander Auldjo was 
elected a member of the temporal committee in 1809, 
when he was made vice-president. He was again chosen 
in 1810, and appointed president. He contributed ten 
pounds to the debt in 1810. He and George Garden, 
members of the firm, occupied pews t2 and Y3. George 
Auldjo, of the same firm, also married one of Mr. Richard- 
son's daughters, on the 5th of October, 1816. 

James "Woolrich, of the firm of Hall, Odber & "Wool rich, 
was a Yorkshireman. They kept a dry goods store in 
St. Paul Street. He was one of the Directors of the 
first Savings Bank that was instituted in the city. 
Besides the five pounds contributed by the firm to 
which he belonged, he afterwards gave one pound for the 
removal of the debt in 1800, and a guinea to\/ards the 


Young fund. He occupied pew 46 in the church, but his 
name appears in 1817 as one of the wardens of Christ 
Church. Like many others on the list of pew -holders and 
contributors, he seems to have maintained some sort of 
connection with ooth congregations. 

All these were gentlemen of means in 1792. Now-a-days 
they would not be counted wealthy. Half a million is 
to-day of less account in Montreal, probably, than one-tenth 
of that sum was a century ago. For the most part, they 
had made their money in the fur trade, or at least added 
that branch of business to their ordinary transactions. 

But the fifteen succeeding subscribers were the " G-en- 
tlemen of the North-west," by way of eminence, at this 
time. They were the men who, as employees of the North- 
west Company, were pushing the fur trade far across the 
continent, even to the Rocky Mountains and the shores of 
the Arctic Sea. A braver or more enterprising group of 
men there probably was not then alive, and their names 
deserve to be recalled with admiration and gratitude. 

The first of these gentlemen who had just begun to 
make fame and fortune by their personal prosecution of 
the fur trade, to subscribe five guineas, was Alexander 
Mackenzie, afterwards Sir Alexander, the foremost High- 
lander of them all, and the most adventurous. He was 
born at Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, 
about the year 1V60, and came to Canada while still a 
lad, entering the counting house of John Grregory, where 
he remained five years. When Gregory and McLeod re- 
solved to start a company to compete with that at the 
head of which were the firm of Simon McTavish, and B. 
& J. Frobisher, they induced Alexander Mackenzie, who 
had set up business for himself at Detroit, and Peter Pang- 
man, to join them. These two young men threw them- 
selves into the enterprise with great enthusiasm, and their 


activity and success made the stronger rival firm heartily 
agree to the union of the two young companies, in lY8t. 
It was to the interest of the North-west Company to reach 
the remotest Indian settlements in order to tap the trade 
in peltries, which used to find its way to the posts of the 
Hudson's Bay Company. In this way the traders became 
also discoverers. After a time, however, they seem to 
have acquired such a taste for new scenes that they sought 
adventure for its own sake. The whole of the North-west 
and British Columbia bear testimony to the perseverance 
and valour of the Highlanders, who were the first white 
men to traverse those vast territories, which were before 
a terra incognita. 

It was in June, 1Y89, that Mackenzie started from Fort 
Chipewyan, at the west end of Lake Athabaska, which 
he calls " Lake of the Hills," on that journey of explora- 
tion which has rendered his name forever famous. "With 
a small band of faithful followers, some of them white 
men and some of them Indians, he pursued a north-west 
course, until at last he struck the great river to which he 
gave his name, and followed its windings until he found 
it emptying into the Polar Sea, — a river longer even than 
the mighty St. Lawrence, though the great lakes be 
counted in. 

In October, 1 792, he undertook a second journey of dis- 
covery, the object of which was to explore the Peace 
River. He tranced it across the Eocky Mountains, and 
being so far, he learned from the Indians that the distance 
to the Pacific Ocean was not great, and he resolved to 
reach it, which he did in the succeeding season, being the 
first European who ever crossed from sea to sea, the whole 
breadth of the American continent to the northward. It 
took him eleven mouths to complete his voyage from Fort 
Chipewyan. He tried to leave a token of his visit to the 
Pacific coast, which might attract subsequent visitors : 


" I now mixed up some vermilion in melted grease, and 
inscribed in large characters, on the south-east face of the 
rock on which we had slept last night, this brief memo- 
rial : ' Alex'r Mackenzie, from Canada, by land, the 
twenty-second of July, one thousand, seven hundred and 
ninet3'^-three.' " He afterwards published an account of 
these two journeys under the following title : — 

" Voyage from Montreal, on the River St. Law- 

COUNTRY: London, 1801." Sir Alexander Mackenzie thus 
became one of the pioneers of the literature relating to the 
North-west Territories and British Columbia, as well as 
the first to accomplish the overland journey. Sir Alexander 
had a child baptized by Rev. James Somerville, 29th 
September, 1805, and he continued to occupy pew No. 3 
till the year 1808, when he removed to Scotland, where 
he resided until his death. His mansion stood until last 
spring at the head of Simpson Street, when it was pulled 
down by Mr. William Smith. Sir G-eorge Simpson, from 
w^hom the street takes its name, occupied the house after 
Sir Alexander Mackenzie. 

Nicholas Montour, whose subscription of five guineas 
follows, was a Frenchman, as his name implies. He was 
chiefly identified with Peter Pangman and Cuthbert 
Grrant, in fighting the Hudson Bay Company's encroach- 
ment on the territory, occupied for fifteen years by the 
North-w^est Company. He signed the warning, issued in 
1815, to the Highlanders whom Lord Selkirk had brought 
into the Red River district, signing it as " Bonhomme " 
Montour. The next year he was with Alexander Mac- 
Donnell, the chief factor at Portage la Prairie, when the 


news of the death of Governor Semple and the routing of 
his followers reached there, and he and one Latour were 
ordered to get horses and set out, with instructions to 
detain all the settlers till MacDonnell should arrive. He 
received a grant of 11,500 acres of land in "Wolfstown, from 
Sir K. S. Milnes, Governor, in 1802. 

Peter Pangman,known in the Northwest as "Bostonnais," 
becaase, though of German descent, he came from the 
United States to Canada, had formerly a trading con- 
nection with Peter P(md, Ihe murderer of Mr. Wadin, 
a Swiss Protestant trader in the North-west, (presumably 
the father or brother of the wife of Rev. John Bethuue). 
Pond was arrested and taken to Montreal, where he was 
tried, but acquitted, on account of the want of jurisdiction 
on the part of the Court. When set at liberty, he fled to 
the United States. With Alexander Mackenzie, Mr. Pang- 
man had entered the employ, in the first instance, of 
the Gregory-McLeod combination, of which, indeed, he 
was the originator, but was afterwards as zealous in 
furthering the interests of the united company. He 
was engaged in the raid upon the Selkirk settlement 
in June, ]815, when the cannon sent from England, 
for the defence of the Red River colony, was seized 
and carried off by servants of the North-w^est Company. 
He joined Cuthbert Grant, "William Shaw and Nicholas 
Montour in warning the settlers to leave. In the indict- 
ment brought against him, when he, with Cuthbert 
Grant and others, was put upon his trial for this 
offence, he is styled a "clerk of the said Company." He 
was, however, at Portage la Prairie at the time. The only 
man of the North-west Company's retainers killed on Frog 
Plains on that occasion, was a cousin of his, and he is said 
to have exclaimed, on hearing of his death, "My cousin is 
killed, and I will be revenged. The affair shall not end 


here. They shall all be killed, for so long as these English 
are let go they will always be coming back, as they did 
last year ; and so sure as they return they will always 
cause disturbances." 

On 28th March, 1*796, he was married by Eev. John 
Young, to Grace MacTier. Rev. James Somerville after- 
wards baptized a child for them. As showing his gallant- 
ry, Mr. Pangman called his residence, near Mascouch*^ 
after his wife, " Grace Hall." On the 3rd November, 1Y94, 
he bought the seignory of Lachenaie from Jacob Jordan. 
He died on the 28th of August, 1819. His daughter, Jane, 
married George Henry Monk. The late Hon. John Pang- 
man, who was called to the Legislative Council in 1838, 
and was a member of the association of seigniors formed 
for securing the rights of that body, when these were sub- 
ject to agitation in the Province, and who died in 1867, 
was his only son. Peter Pangman was himself connected 
w^ith the Church of England, but Mrs. Pangman was 
strongly attached to the Church of Scotland and its ser- 

- * 

Hon. William McGillivray, whose name follows for five 
guineas, occupied afterwards an important place, both in 
business circles and in the public affairs of the Province. 
In 1806, he became the head of the firm of MacTavish, 
McGillivray & Co,, having as his partners, Duncan 
McGillivray, his nephew, Wm. Hallowell and Roderick 
Mackenzie. He was the chief director of the affairs of the 
company, during the period of its conflict with Lord Sel- 
kirk, in regard to possession of the Red River District. 
At the time when Lord Selkirk requested Sir Gordon 
Drummond, then Administrator of the Government, to 
send a small military force to protect the Red River colo- 
nists from the persecution of the servants of the North- 
west Company, he was a member of the Executive Coun- 


cil, and his influence is supposed to have prompted Sir 
Gordon's refusal. Col. Harvey, the Governor's secretary, 
wrote to the Company that His Excellency had been at 
pains to question Mr. McGillivray very closely, and that 
gentleman had answered " in such a manner as would 
have removed from His Excellency's mind all traces of 
any impression uufav^ourable to the honorable character 
and liberal principles of the North-west Company, had 
any such impression existed." 

Fort "William, which was erected in 1805, was so called 
in his honor. It was the head-quarters of the North-west 
Company's operations. It was here the deliberations of 
the Directors took place in August, 1814, over which Mr. 
McGillivray presided, that are supposed to have issued in 
the subsequent attack on Lord Selkirk's colony by the 
servants of the Company, the following year. Mr. Mc- 
Gillivray, with Kenneth Mackenzie and Simon Eraser, was 
put under arrest, in August, 1816, by Lord Selkirk, who at 
that time was clothed with magisterial powers, as respons- 
ible for the death of Governor Semple and the destruction 
of the Red River colony, in the previous month of June. 
But as the North-west Company was all powerful -i the 
Province of Quebec at the time, and its members con- 
trolled the deliberations of the Governor-in-Council, the 
issue of the struggle was in favor of Mr. McGillivray and 
his colleagues. His sister was married to Hon. Justice 
Reid, and this was supposed to have helped him, too, in 
relation to his alleged offences against the law. In 1802 
he received a grant of 11,550 acres of land, in the town- 
ship of Inverness, from Sir R. S. Milnes, then Governor. 
He was Lieut-Colonel of the corps of "Yoyageurs " that 
took Detroit in the war of 1812. He is also remembered in 
our Ntrth-west Territories by the McGillivray River. He 
was Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons in 1823. 

He was a liberal supporter of St. Gabriel Street Church, 
although his name also appears in connection 


Church, throughout this period. He had no pew standing 
in his own name, but as a prominent member of' the 
North-west Company, which owned pews 23 and 24, he 
probably found accommodation in them. He contributed 
ten pounds for extinguishing the debt, in 1809, and five 
pounds to the steeple and bell fund in 1810. He died in 
the year 1825. 

Several of the subscribers to the building fund belonged 
to the Church of England, we have seen. There was a 
beautiful catholicity among the citizens of those days. It 
is peculiarly gratifying to be able to say that Roman 
Catholics also lent a helping hand on this occasion. 
When St. Andrew's Churc^h, Quebec, was erected, the 
building committee solicited a subscription from the 
Roman Catholic Bishop of Quebec, who replied, in terms 
of great courtesy, regretting that the many claims upon 
him did not admit of his complying with their request. 
It does not appear that the building committee of the St. 
Gabriel Street Church sought assistance from the recog- 
nized authorities of the Roman Catholic Church in the 
city at that time, but at least one member of that com- 
munion was liberal enough, both in sentiment and in 
practice, to put his money into a Protestant church. This 
was no other Ihan the celebrated Simon Fraser, the dis- 
coverer of the river in British Columbia which bears his 
name. He came to Canada and entered the service of the 
North-west Company the year in which the church was 
built, and seems to have felt called upon to take his share, 
with the other employees of the Company, in helping on 
this public enterprise, which, in its turn, could not but 
be serviceable to the commerce of the city. Many of the 
Frasers of Invernesshire, with Lord Lovat at their •head, 
were Roman Catholics, and to this section Simon belonged, 
who subscribed three guineas to the erection of St. G-abriel 
Street Church. 


He proved ono of the most enterprising of the agents of 
the North-west Company. Venturing beyond the Rocky 
Mountains, by way of extending the commercial interests 
which he represented, he struck the Eraser River, and 
sailed down it to the Pacifi(^ Ocean. Little did he dream 
that he was tracing out a future highway for the com- 
merce of the world, and that in less than eighty years 
afterwards, the steam engine should be rushing through 
the valley of that river, bearing travellers from the Atlan- 
tic to the Pacilic along at the rate of forty miles an hour. 

In 1816, he was put under arrest by Lord Selkirk, being 
charged with complicity in the death of Governor Sem- 
ple, and in the attempt to drive the colonists away from 
the Red River. 

But the man who had the largest share in the unfor- 
tunate collision between the Selkirk settlers and the ser- 
vants of the North-west Company, was Cuthbert Grant, 
who also subscribed three guineas to the building fund 
of St. Gabriel Street Church. He must have been a young 
man at the time. Of a Highland father and an Indian 
mother, h(^ was sent to Montreal to school, as several of 
the Scotch half-breeds were, and he had already been 
several years in the service of the great fur-trading organ- 
ization when, in 1Y92, he made this contribution to the 
the Scotch Church, for Sir Alexander Mackenzie tells us 
that Cuthbert Grant had penetrated as far as the Slave 
River in 1*786, six of his voyageurs having been drowned 
at one of the portages. 

He was as brave as he was fertile in devices for pro- 
moting the interests of his employers. He wielded a very 
powerful influence over all the Indians and Half-breeds, 
on account of his blood connection with them, coupled 
with his native ability. His name is at the head of the 
warning issued to the Selkirk settlers, bidding them 


vaoate the Rod River colony. The document served 
on them ran thus : • " All settlers to retire immediately 
from Red River, and no traces of a settlement to remain." 

(Signed) Cuthbert Grant, 


"W11J.IAM Shaw, 

" BoNHOMMK " Montour. 
June 25th, 1815. , • 

.John Poison, a farmer in the Red River District, gave 
to Prof Bryce, of Manitoba College, "Winnipeg, the follow- 
ing description of Cuthbert Grant : " He was a very 
stout, heavy man, but not short. I cannot say who was 
his first wife, but his last was a McGill. She was half 
Scotch. . . . The first that I knew of him here was 
at the time of the troubles. He came with the Bois- 
Brules' brigade. I think settlers have to thank him that 
things went so easily as they did. He did not go at all 
by his orders, which were much worse. Though he was 
opposed to the settlers, he was their best friend." 

He was known far and wide among the hunters and 
trappers of the North-west. As one of the most enter- 
prising and energetic agents of the Company, he bad been 
placed in charge of many of their expeditions, and was 
known as " Warden of the Plains." 

He was the chief director in the attack upon the Selkirk 
colony in June, 1816, in which Governor Semple lost his 
life, and many of the settlers were killed, but he dis- 
claimed responsibility for the foul murder of Mr. Semple 
after his surrender. Grant put him in charge of one of 
his subordinates, he said, with instructions to convey him 
to Fort Douglas. Shortly afterwards an Indian, who, he 
said, was the only rascal they had, came up and shot the 
wounded Governor in the breast, killing him on the spot. 
The fort was delivered up to Grant, who gave receipts on 


each shoet of the inventory made, signing his name as 
"acting ibr the North-west Company." The liois-Brulefc;, 
who acted under his orders, boasted " that Grant was a 
brave man, and had committed himself well in the engage- 
ment." He was seized on American territory by Lord 
Selkirk, in 1817, and carried to Fort William, which was 
then in possession of his lordship. He had a sou baptized 
by Mr. Young in 1798. 

There were three other Grants among the " gentlemeu 
of the North-west," who subscribed to the building fund, 
Robert giving hve guineas, David three guineas, and Peter 
three pounds ; but we find little further record of them, 
in connection with either the church or the state. David, 
in an entry of the register for 1796, is spoken of as '* an 
Indian trader." Peter was a factor in the North-west 
Company, and spent the greater part of his life in the 
Indian country. When he retired, he settled at St. Anne's, 
bout de Visle. He afterwards removed to Lachine, where 
he died in July, 1848, aged about 85 years. He bought 
pew 51 in 1816. 

Angus Shaw subscribed three guineas. There is not 
much to be gathered from existing documents concerning 
him, either. He was Major of the "Voyageurs," who, 
under Lieut. -Colon el McGillivray, took Detroit in 1812. 
He had a daughter, Anna, nine years old, baptized by 
Mr. Young in 1797, the mother being mentioned, not by 
name, but as an " Indian woman." His name appears in 
connection with Christ Church in 1802. 

Hon. Roderick Mackenzie, whose name occurs next as 
subLjribing three guineas, occupied a position only a little 
les^ prominent than that held by his distinguished kins- 
man, Sir Alexander, and he had a more intimate connec- 
tion with the District of Montreal. When Sir Alexander 


Mackenzie set out on his journey of discovery over the 
Eocky Mountains, in 1Y92, he left Roderick in charge of 
Fort Chipewyau, and here he remained in charge during 
the absence of the factor, for eleven months. He was 
married in 1805, by Mr. Somerville, to Rachel Chaboillez, 
of Montreal. A son of theirs, Roderick Charles, was born 
in 181G, and baptized by Mr. Somerville. In 1806, with 
William and Duncan McGillivray, and William Hal- 
lowell, he became one of the four chief partners of the 
North-west Company. In 1819, he was raised to the rank 
of a Legislative Councillor in Quebec, and thus the influ- 
ence of the commercial community with which he was 
connected became still more dominant in the political 
affairs of the Province. He continued to take part in the 
deliberations of that body up to the time of his death. 

One of his sons, Alexander, entered the British army 
and rose to the rank of Lieut.-Colonel ; and the daughter 
of Col. Mackenzie, Louise Rachel, married, in 1856, the 
Honorable Louis Francois Roderick Masson, P., C, the 
present Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec ; and thus the 
Mackenzie name and property passed into another family. 

Mr. Mackenzie's partner was a French Roman Catholic 
lady, and her influence has finally conquered, so far as the 
religious question is concerned. 

Although living in Terrebone, where his elegant man- 
sion was situated, he continued to be interested in the 
fortunes of the Scotch Church in St. Grabriel Street. He 
subscribed, in 1803, three pounds annually towards Mr. 
Somerville's stipend, and this amount he continued to pay 
up till 1810. 

James Finlay, a subscriber of three guineas, was one of 
the pioneers of the fur trade. Long before the formation 
of the North-west company, he had established a reputa- 
tion for himself as a man of courage and enterprise. He 


was the first of the English traders to penetrate the inte- 
rior of " the lone land " as far as Neepawie, on the Sas- 
katchewan River, which he did in the year 1768. Twenty- 
four years afterwards, we find him occvipying one of the 
outposts of the Company, for Sir Alexander Mackenzie 
mentions his being in charge of the newly established 
depot on the Peace River, in 1*792. His name is per- 
petuated by one of the northern tributaries of the Peace 
River, called after him, Finlay River. 

He was one of the twelve " most respectable citizens,'' 
six English and six French, who drew up the articles of 
capitulation presented to General Montgomery, in Novem- 
ber, 1775, after the withdrawal of General Carlton and 
all his forces, with the view of proceeding to the defence 
of Quebec. He was a prominent Freemason. Ho was a 
visitor to St. Peter's Lodge in 1771, and from 1786 
onwards till his death was a member of the Lodge, and 
frequently held in it the office of Master. 

Mr. Finlay contributed five pounds for the removal of 
the debt on the Church, in 1800. But, while Scotch by 
birth and Presbyterian by faith, it is to be presumed that, 
like so many of his countrymen when they leave Scot- 
land, he was tolerant of other churches, and inclined 
especially towards the Anglican commmunion, acting as 
a Church-warden of Christ Church, in 1796. 

Alexander Eraser, who also subscribed three guineas, 
was probably an ex-officer of the old 78th Regiment, and 
a relative of Simon Eraser's, at St. Ann's. And Robert 
Thompson was, it is believed, a brother of David Thomp- 
son, " the astronomer of the North-west," as he was 
called, who discovered the Thompson River in British 
Columbia, and was the first to follow the Columbia River 
from its source to the Pacific Ocean. He was subsequently 
employed exploring the vast regions lying beyond the 


Columbia River. On the part of the British Government, 
he wras engaged as astronomical surveyor, on the commis- 
sion for defining the boundary line between the United 
States and the British possessions, beyond the Rocky 

This completes the list of the fur traders who lent a 
helping hand to the enterprise of erecting the first Pres- 
byterian Church in this city. They were gentlemen of 
remarkable endurance, of tried courage, and clear insight 
— the pioneers of that grand heritage, the North-west, 
upon which we have lately entered — and therefore we 
should not willingly let their names die. 



The remaining sudscriubrs to thu Building Fund— Benaiah Gibb, Rich- 
ard DoiJiB, James Logan, AVilliam Forbes, James Cowib, John and 
James McDowall, Jambs Strothbr, Thomas Busby, Hon. John 
MoLsoN, Richard Brooks, John Finlayson, Simon Clarke, ]Jonald 
McKerchei{, John McArthur, John Fisher, John Hunter, William 
RussBL, George Stansfibld, Jacob Marston, Alexander Simpson, 
Thomas Sullivan, John Neaglbs, John J. Deiiil, Andrew Winklb>- 
Foss, Albxandbu Robertson, Jonathan A. Gray, John Gkay, Dr. 
Blake, Samuel Adams, David Smith and Joseph Howard. 

Benaiah Gibb, senior, whose portrait appears on the 
opposite page, subscribed ten guineas in 1Y92, and again 
two guineas in 1800, for the building fund. There are 
few names entitled to be held in higher honor in Mont- 
real, than that of Benaiah Gribb, founder of the Gibb 
firm, which still carries on business here, in the gentle- 
men's outfitting line. Although born in Northumber- 
land, England, May 6th, 1*755, he was of Scottish origin, 
the family being descended from the Gibbs, baronets, of 
Fifeshire, Scotland. He came to Montreal in 1*7*74, and 
the following year opened his first shop in the city, when 
its population numbered only a few thousands. 

For upwards of thirty years, he took a very prominent 

part in the affairs of the St. Gabriel Street Church. He 

was elected a member of the temporal committee in 1800, 

and again in 1804, when he was made its Vice-President, 

after the new rules and regulations went into force. He, 

with William Martin and John Fisher, signed all the 

deeds issued at this time. He had been a member of the 

Young investigation comm.ittee, and contributed five 


pounds for the removal of that gentleman's family to 
Niagara, in 1802. As a member of the temporal commit- 
tee, he signed the resolution in favor of Mr. Somerville, 
in May, 1803, and subscribed three pounds annually to 
his support. He signed the memorial to the Grovernment. 
in 1802, asking the continuance of the fifty pounds for- 
merly allowed Mr. Young, as a consideration for services 
rendered to the troops. He lent ten pounds for lifting 
off the debt remaining in 1810, which was afterwards 
returned to him. He, with his son Thomas, contributed 
ten pounds to the steeple and bell fund. The pew he 
first occupied was No. 49, but afterwards he and his 
family sat in No. 9. The late Miss Gribb, his daughter, 
remained in the church until the disruption in 1844, and 
afterwards. Mr. Isaac J. G-ibb also attended occasionally. 

Mr. Gribb's first wife was Catherine Campbell, who 
died in 1804. His second wife was Eleanor Pastorius, 
to whom he was married by Mr. Somerville, on the 26th 
December, 1808. He retired from active business in 1815. 
His sons. Thomas and James Duncan, along with Joseph 
Kollmyer, succeeded him. In 1820, he was a Director of 
the Savings Bank. In 1824, the Jubilee of his coming 
to reside in this city was observed by an entertainment 
which he gave to a large number of his friends, that 
furnished occasion of kindly reference to his public and 
private worth on the part of several of his fellow citizens. 
The following report is taken from the Herald : 

Intbrbsting Jubilee. 

"On the evening of the 27th inst., our worthy and highly respected 
fellow subject and citizen, Benaiah Gibb, Esquire, gave a splendid enter- 
tainment to nearly fifty of his friends, amongst whom were several of 
the first circles in this community. The supper tables were loaded witli 
the richest delicacies which the season could produce, and the whole was 
served in a manner to render the most perfect gratification to the guests. 


The occasion of this /i^le was, that upon the day it took place, Mr. Gibb 
liaci completed a residence in Montreal of fifty years, during which 
lengthened period he has sustained the enviable character of an honest 
man, and one whom the breath of calumny has never approached. 

" After supper, a very impressive address, written by Mr. Gibb for this 
occasion, was read by a gentleman present, in which were detailed some 
memorable events of liis life, and a pious acknowledgment for the mani- 
fold blessings wliich have been dispensed to him by Divine Providence. 
In tlie address are the following bequests, which are highly honorable to 
the benevolent character of a man who has always been a contributor to 
charitable institutions, viz: £10 to the poor of the Protestant Episcopal 
church; £10 to the Roman Catholic poor; £10 to the poor of the Presby- 
terian congregation in St. Peter street ; £10 to the poor of the Scotch Kirk 
in St. Gabriel street ; £10 to the poor of the Wesleyan congregation, and 
£10 to the funds of the Montroal General Hospital. The address closed 
with the memorable Patriarchal prayer, — 'Lord, let now thy servant de- 
part in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.' 

"Colonel Evans then rose, and in a very neat and appropriate speech, 
complimented the venerable host on his present comfortable retirement 
from the busy path of life, and i)ropo3ed that the health of Mr. Gibb be 
drunk, with three times three, which was done with enthusiasm by all 
present. The Rev. Mr. Easton next addressed the company. He said 
he had been well accjuainted with Mr. Gibb for upwards of twenty years, 
during which time he had frequent occasion to call on him for charitable 
purposes, and he declared that in no one solitary instance did he quit 
the mansion without receiving even more than he expected. 

" Such events as the one above mentioned, seldom take place, and we 
trust that the excellent character of the person who caused it, will justify 
the motive which induced us to give it publicity. Many excellent songs 
and duets were sung during the evening, and the band of the 70th Regi- 
ment added much to the enjoyment of the company, who broke up highly 
delighted at their entertainment, and with feelings of the warmest de- 
scription for their friend, about two o'clock in the morning." 

The prayer of Simeon, quoted on this occasion by Mr. 
Gibb, had an answer, for which he had not long to wait. 
He died on the 18th March, 1826, aged 11 years, — the Eev. 
Edward Black, then a colleague of Mr. Esson and Mr. 
Somerville, officiating on the occasion. 

The well known notary, Isaac J. Gibb, formerly 
senior partner of the firm of Gibb & Hunter, who now 
resides at Como, is descended from a collateral branch 


of the Gibb family ; while Charles Gibb, of Abbotsford, 
the distinguished agriculturist aud horticulturist, who 
recently visited Russia, with a view to selecting and 
importing hardy fruit trees from that country, suitable 
to our climate, is a grandson, being a son of James Duncan. 
One of Mr. Gibb's daughters, Elizabeth, married James 
Orkney, of the firm J. & R. Orkney ; and her daughter, 
Miss Orkney, now occupies the Gibb mansion in St. 
Catherine street, alongside the new St. Gabriel Church. 
Another daughter, Ann, never married, and died a few 
years ago. Mr. Gibb was a Freemason. 

But it is by the munificent donation of Benaiah Gibb, 
the younger, to the Art Association of Montreal, that the 
family's name is to be perpetuated in the city. Like James 
McGill, in founding McGill College, Benaiah Gibb, by 
the liberal provision he made at his death, for the educa- 
tion of the citizens of Montreal, in the refining and elevat- 
ing principles of Art, erected for himself a monument 
more durable than marble. The collection of pictures 
which he bequeathed to the Association, together with 
the bronzes, of a total value of $28,685, formed a splendid 
nucleus for a permanent exhibition of works of Art, to 
which the Association has gone on adding from time to 
time, providing one of the greatest attractions of life in 
Montreal. In addition to the treasures of Art of his own 
collecting, thus devised in trust, for the instruction and 
pleasure of present and future generations, he left a lot of 
land, valued at $9,600, and $8,000 in money, for erecting 
a gallery in which they might be preserved and exhibited. 
The noble building, the Art Gallery, of which the citi- 
zens are so proud, we therefore owe to the late Mr. 
Gibb's enlightened generosity. A brass tablet, in the 
hall of the gallery, erected by the Association, commemo- 
rates his munificence : 
' ■ *' This Art Gallery owes its existence to the liberality of 


Bonaiah Gibb, Esquire, who died in this city, ou the 1st 
of June, 18*77. By his will, he devised and bequeathed to 
the Art Association, the land upon which this building 
stands, !|8,000 in money, over 90 oil paintings, and 8 valu- 
able bronzes. The Association has placed this Tablet 
here in honor of the donor, and as a small token of respect 
and gratitude to him, and to aid in perpetuating the 
memory of his generosity and public spirit. 1881." 

The present members of the Gibb firm, Alexander and 
E. M., are descended from a brother of the original 
Benaiah's, who established the nearly related House, in 
the Royal Exchange, London, England. A great grand- 
daughter of Mr. Gibb's, is married to Kev. Arthur French, 
Curate of St. John the Evangelist Church, Montreal. 

Richard Dobie, whoso name succeeds as subscribing 
ten guineas, was a rich merchant of the period. When 
the members of the Presbyterian congregation of Mont- 
real, " having been regularly called from the pulpit," 
met on the 8th of May, 1Y91, " for the purpose of electing 
a committee to manage the temporals of said congrega- 
tion," Mr. Dobie's name was at the head of the list of six- 
teen chosen ; and he was afterwards made chairman of 
the committee. This was the committee that remained 
in office until the 17th of August, 1800. He signed the 
call to Mr. Somerville, contributing three pounds a year 
to the salary. He was a member of St. Peter's Masonic 
Lodge in 1772, and occupied afterwards more than once 
the office of Master. He died on the 25th March, 1805, 
aged 74 years. He owned pew No. 20, which his heirs 
continued to occupy so long as a record can be traced of 
the individual holders of pews. 

James Logan, who subscribed ten guineas, for the erec- 
tion of the St. Gabriel Street Church, was the grandfather 


of the late Sir William Logan. He was a native of Stir- 
lingshire, Scotland, and came to reside in Montreal, a])out 
the year 1784. He 'was a baker by trade ; and by thrift 
and attention to business, he prosj^ered greatly, and laid 
the foundation of that success which his sons and grand- 
sons subsequently achieved. He died on the 17th Jan., 
1806, being 80 years of age. He subscribed one 
pound for the debt in 1800, and was also chosen an 
elder during Mr. Young's incumbency. He was the 
James Logan who was associated with William England 
and William Hunter, fellow elders with him, in obtain- 
ing possession of the keys of the church, in 1803. He, 
therefore, seceded with the Forrest adherents. 

William Forbes, who subscribed ten guineas, was the 
senior partner of the firm of Forbes & Cowie, coopers. 
He was chosen an elder in Mr. Young's time. He was 
elected a member of the temporal committee in 1800, and 
gave a guinea that year to the churcii debt. He contri- 
buted one pound to the Young fund. He signed, as an 
elder, the resolution declaring that the congregation re- 
mained firm in their purpose to call Mr. Somerville, in 
1803, and subscribed two guineas a year towards that 
gentleman's stipend. With Duncan Fisher and William 
Martin, he signed the protest served on Mr. William Hun- 
ter, in the matter of the church keys. He died shortly 
afterwards, having received mortal injuries at a fire. He 
occupied pew 31, which his family continued to hold till 
his widow died in 1812. 

James Cowie, who with William Forbes subscribed ten 
guineas, was a cooper by trade, and appears to have been 
ready to take his share in every good work. He contri- 
buted to the fund for wiping out the debt, as well as to 
that raised for Mr. Young's family. He was one of those 


who signed tho resolution declaring adhesion to Mr. 
Somerville in 1803, and subscribed a guinea annually to- 
wards that gentleman's support. He occupied pew 41, 
until his death in 1812, His son, James Cowie, junior, 
who prosecuted the same business as his father, purchased 
pew 78, in the year 1809. 

John and James McDowall, who contributed jointly 
seven guineas for erecting the church, were prosperous 
merchant tailors, of the city. Each of them subscribed 
two pounds a year for the Somerville stipend. In 1807, 
pew No. 38 was purchased by James. In 1809, he gave 
ten pounds for removing the debt, and in the following 
year, three pounds for the steeple and bell. He stood by 
Mr. Young at the November meeting, 1800, and always 
proved the minister's friend. 

James Strother, whose name comes next, subscribing 
five guineas for the building fund, was a native of Wools, 
Northumberland, England. He came to Canada as a lad, 
to be put to school to acquire the French language. He 
married Jane G-rant, one of the 700 United Empire 
» Loyalists, who left iheir ail in the Mohawk Valley, in 
company with Sir John Johnson, making their way to 
Canada, where they would be free to maintain the con- 
nection with the grand old mother country, which they 
so highly prized. He was appointed issuing commissary 
for the Montreal military district, in 1796, and held the 
position for 46 years. He resided in St. Mary Street, and 
owned a good deal of property in the Quebec suburbs, 
much of which was destroyed by the disastrous fire of 
1852. With Robert Gilmore, he took an active part in 
promoting a petition to the Legislature, to establish a 
" House of Industry" in Montreal. He was an ardent 
supporter of the Presbyterian cause. He voted for re- 


tnining Mr. Younj^ in Novombor, 1800, and contributed 
a pound to the debt the same year. He also gave a pound 
to the fund for Mr. Young's family, in 1802. He sub- 
scribed two guineas annually for Mr. Somerville's sti- 
pend, and gave three pounds for the steeple and bell. In 
1807, he purchased pew No. 71, which remained in pos- 
session of his family up to 1844. 

There is one feature of interest about this subscriber, 
that does not obtain regarding any of his contemporaries : 
his daughter yet resides among us, and is able to take an 
intelligent interest in all that is going on in both church 
and state. Mary Ann iStrother, married to Kobert Unwin, 
in 1842, has a recollection of worshipping in the old 
church, so long ago as 1807. And yet she had the satis- 
faction of being present at the Centennial services, in the 
old edifice, in March last. She was also present at the 
inauguration of the new St. Gabriel Church, on the 2Gth 
September, 1886. To her the writer is indebted for a 
large amount of information regarding old persons and 
events ; and he has found her statements always borne 
out by documentar]'- evidence, so accurate is her memory, 
at the advanced age of 84 years. Through her we can 
almost grasp the citizens of the last century by the hand, 
so vivid is her portraiture of the people of three genera- 
tions ago. She has a distinct recollection of seeing as 
worshippers in the church, Hon. John Molson, Hon. Wm. 
McGrillivray, Hon. Justice Reid, the Earl of Selkirk, and 
his son, the Earl of Dalhousie, and Sir Alex, McKenzie. 

Thomas Busby, the subscriber of five guineas, was an 
early settler in Montreal. He was an Englishman, and 
attended the services of the " Protestant congregation of 
Montreal, under Mr. Delisle, in 1785." He signed the 
address to the Bishop of Nova Scotia in 1789. Besides 
this contribution to the original building fund, he gave 


a pound afterwards for clearinf^ off the debt. Ho was 
a real estato agent, and had in his hands the management 
of the property of the Grants of Longueuil. He does not 
seem to have occupied a pew in iho, church, although 
worshipping in it, with other members of Christ Church, 
for eleven years, lie was a warden of Christ Church in 

Hon. John Molson, the founder of the Molson family 
in Montreal, was also a subscriber to the building fund, 
to the amount of five guineas, and for thirty years after- 
wards, took a lively interest in the prosperity of the con- 
gregation. He came of a good old English family, in 
Lincolnshire. His first visit to Canada was made in the 
year 1782, when he was only eighteen years of age. He 
resolved to erect a brewery, and returned to England to 
raise the funds necessary for the accomplishment of his 
design. He managed to negotiate a loan on the security 
of his ancestral estate of Moulton ; but the amount he 
brought out with him did not nearly suffice, so that he 
was obliged to make a second visit to England, for the 
purpose of financing. The work proved so costly, that 
he had finally to part with his English property. Hence- 
forward, Canada was to be the home of the family : the 
die was cast. One of the disappointments of the situa- 
tion was that no barley was grown in Canada up till this 
time. He overcame this difficulty by importing seed 
barley from England, which he gave to the farmers for 
nothing, with a promise that he would buy, at a certain 
price, all that they could raise and would deliver at his 
works in Montreal. Now, the annual production of this 
cereal, in Canada, amounts to upwards of 20,000,000 

But this was not the only enterprise to which Mr. 
Molson turned his attention. He built the first steam- 


boat that ever plied on Canadian waters. Fulton's 
steamer was started on the Hudson only in 1807, and 
Mr. Molson had the " Accommodation" running to Que- 
bec in 1809. He brought out with him, from England, 
two skilled engineers and mechanics, David Brown and 
John Jackson, and they built the little vessel, 72 feet 
long, with 16 feet beam, and driven by an engine equal 
to six horse-power. It gave place, in 1811, to the " Swift- 
sure," a larger boat, with superior equipments, which was 
of great service to the Grovernment in the war of 1812. 

The following appeared in the Montreal Gazette of 
September 27th, 1813 : " Public notice is hereby given, 
that John Molson, of the city of Montreal, will apply to 
the Legislature of this Province, during its next session, 
for a law giving him the exclusive right and privilege of 
constructing and navigating a steamboat or steamboats, 
to be constructed and navigated within the limits of this 
Province, for the space of seven years, to be computed 
from the first day of May next." He succeeded in securing 
this monopoly, and the " Malsham," which was the original 
form of the family name as known in "Wales, and the 
" Lady Sherbrooke" were soon afterwards put on the route 
between this city and Quebec. On the 1st December, 1816, 
his three sons, John, Thomas and William, were admitted 
ixito partnership with him, in the brewing and steamboat 
business. In 1815, the passage to Quebec by steamer cost 
.£3, and the upward passage X3 10s. 

Mr. Molson took a prominent part in public concerns. 
He was a member of the committee of citizens to super- 
intend the erection of the Greneral Hospital, in 1821. He 
was a member of the House of Industry, and Vice-Presi- 
dent of the Montreal Fire Insurance company, in 1820, as 
also a director of the Savings Bank. He subsequently 
became President of the Bank of Montreal, at a time of 
commercial depression, when Benjamin Holmes took the 


helm as cashier. Mr. Molson was appointed to a seat in 
the Legislative Council, and afterwards became a member 
of the Executive Council. After laying a good founda- 
tion for the great family history which has since added 
much to the strength and renown of our city, he died in 
183Y, at the age of *71 years. 

The name Molson is one of those that have survived 
the changes and chances of a hundred years, and like that 
of McGrill and Gribb, it will be handed down to posterity 
chiefly through the benefactions made to education and 
charity. Mr. Molson's son, John, was elevated to a seat 
in the Legislative Council. The brewery, founded in the 
same year as the St. Grabriel Street Church, still stands. 
One of our most successful banking institutions bears the 
name of Molson. A magnificent mausoleum adorns the 
hillside in the Mount Royal Cemetery, erected as the 
depository of the last remains of the members of the 
family. One of Mr. Molson's daughters is Lady Mac- 
pherson. But none of these distinctions or honours will 
help to perpetuate the name of Molson so successfully as 
the William Molson Hall, of McGill College, the Molson 
Chair of English Language and Literature, in the same 
institution, and the Molson farm, on which the House of 
Industry and Refuge stands, at Lougue Pointe. 

Mr. Molson signed the resolution for keeping faith with 
Mr. Somerville, in 1803, and contributed three pounds 
annually to that gentleman's stipend. The family owned 
one of the square pews in the church, No. 13, which they 
continued to occupy till 1823. 

He was one of the movers in the effort to found a Uni- 
tarian Society in the city. He, with some others, bought 
the lot on which the Merchants' Bank now stands, for a 
church to be connected with that denomination. But the 
cholera carried off, in 1832, several of the promoters of the 
movement, and so it fell through at that time. It was 


resumed in 1835, but Mr. Molson did not live to see its 
success. He was at one time Provincial Grand Master of 
the Freemasons. 

The Hon. John Young subscribed ten guineas. He 
was a fur trader and capitalist. He was appointed a 
member of the Executive Council of the Province, and 
sworn in on the 29th December, 1794. He occupied the 
position of an honorary member of the council, from Vth 
January, 1812, to the 5th February, 1817, when he re- 
sumed the duties of an ordinary member. He drew a 
salary, as an Executive Councillor, from Yth September, 
1816, to mh February, 1825. On December 30th, 1812, 
he received a grant of the township of Sherrington, from 
Sir G-eorge Prevost, baronet, Governor-General, and on 
March 21st, 1815, a further grant of It, 000 acres, in the 
township of Ling wick, from the same Governor. Mr. 
Young subscribed again four pounds in 1800, for reliev- 
ing the burden of debt upon the church. 

Eichard Brooks, an Englishman, from Yorkshire, and 
an English churchman, subscribed two guineas. He was 
a merchant in the city, and purchased pew No. Y8 in the 
church. He subscribed to the Young fund, in 1802. 

John Fiulayson, whose name follows in the subscrip- 
tion list for five guineas, was a wealthy North-west fur 
trader. He died a few months after making this contri- 
bution to the building fund, but his widow continued to 
be one of the most liberal supporters of ordinances in the 
St. Gabriel Street Church. She and her family occupied 
pew No. 32. She contributed her mite to the Yoang 
fund in 1802, as well as to the removal of the debt in 
1800. But she appears to have seceded with the other 
adherents of Mr. Forrest. A son of his, in the employ of 
the North-west company, rose to be chief factor at Fort 
Douglas, on the Red River. 


Simou Clarke, who subscribed five guineas, was a 
native of Yorkshire, England, who had come to Montreal 
and engaged in the fur trade, before the establishment of 
the North-west company. He accumulated a large for- 
tune, and erected a handsome residence at St. Catherine's, 
on the other side of Mount Royal, called Beaver Lodge. 
Here, he and his son John after him, who had also been 
long engaged in the fur trade, and had occupied the posi- 
tion of chief factor at Fort Pelly, exercised profuse hospi- 
tality, and this extravagance, together with going surety 
for friends, soon ran away with even the large means of 
the family, and their residence passed into the hands of 
strangers. Mr. John Clarke owmed property in Cote St. 
Antoine, and from him, Clarke Avenue receives its name. 
The family pew in the church, purchased in 1807, 
w^as No. 89. 

Donald McKorcher, subscribing five guineas, was a 
brew^er, who afterwards settled on a farm near Lachine. 
He purchased pew 74. He was one of those who signed 
the Somerville manifesto, in July, 1803, contributing two 
pounds towards his salary ; but he afterwards, seems to 
have joined Mr. Easton's congregation, in St. Peter Street. 

Mr. John Mc Arthur, who subscribed five guineas, was 
an active and influential member of the congregation. 
He came froni Argyllshire, Scotland, to push his fortune 
in the New "World, and settled in Montreal, while still a 
young man. He kept an inn, with a grocery and spirit 
shop adjoining. He contributed one guinea tow^ards the 
debt, in 1800, and was one of the six who voted for the 
retirement of Rev. John Young, in the same year. He 
was a member of the investigating committee that subse- 
quently dealt with the Young case ; and when that gen- 
tleman sent in his resignation, Mr. McArthur headed the 


subscription list, for the benefit of the minister's family, 
with the sum of five pounds. He was a member of the 
temporal committee from 1800 to 1804, being Vice-Presi- 
dent a part of the time ; and when the new constitution 
was adopted, he was chosen, on April l*7th, 1804, a mem- 
ber under it, and continued in office for two years. He 
was one of the committee who signed the memor A and 
protest, resolving to stand by Rev. James Somerville, at 
the time of the opposition to that gentleman, occasioned 
by the Forrest party, and he subscribed £4: 6s 8d a year 
to the minister's stipend. 

Mr. Mc Arthur was ordained an elder, 31st January, 
1804, On February 26th, 1805, he was appointed repre- 
sentative elder of the Kirk Session, in the Presbytery, — 
which would seem to imply that the Presbytery con- 
tinued to exist after 1803, although there remains no dis- 
coverable record of its transactions. In 1810, he contri- 
buted two pounds towards the fund for clearing off the 
indebtedness of the church, and three pounds for the 
steeple and bell. His family occupied pew 33. He died 
on the Yth June, 1811. 

John Fisher, who subscribed eight pounds, was a bro- 
ther to Duncan and Alexander, two of the original trus- 
tees of the church. He was a prominent member of the 
congregation in after years. He was elected to a place on 
the temporal committee, in 1800, which he occupied till 
1804. He was also on the special committee regarding 
Mr. Young, as he had favoured that gentleman's with- 
drawal in 1800. He, as a member of the committee of 
management, signed the memorial to the Grovernment in 
1802, asking that the allowance of fifty pounds, formerly 
given to Mr. Young, might be continued to his successors. 
He contributed two pounds to the Young retiring fund. 
He was one of those who signed the document for assur- 


ing Mr. Somerville of the support cf the main body of the 
congregation, before that gentleman's settlement in 1803, 
and he subscribed three pounds towards his salary. In 
1804-5, he was again a member of the temporal commit- 
tee. Mr. Fisher never married. He w^as connected in 
business with Mr. William Hutchison, the late Mrs. 
Lunn's first husband. Jointly with Mr. William Martin, 
the elder, he occupied pew No. 1, in the old church. He 
died on the 29th of May, 1829, aged 10 years. 

John Hunter, who gave eight pounds to the building 
fund, was a brother of William Hunter, the elder and 
trustee. The three brothers, William, John and Thomas, 
between them, contributed seven pounds for liquidating 
the debt in 1800. They all adhered to Mr. Forrest and Mr. 
Easton, and became afterwards members of the St. Peter 
Street Church. 

William Russel has been already mentioned as a bro- 
ther of John, the trustee of the church. He w^as a mem- 
ber of the firm, John Russel & Co. Dreading the approach 
of the war with the United States in 1812, he gave up his 
business in Montreal and removed to Glasgow, Scotland. 
He occupied pew^ No. 96. He gave two pounds for the 
debt in 1800, and two pounds to the Young fund. 
Although still holding his pew for some years, he wor- 
shipped with the St. Peter Street congregation, and in 
1808, the pew passed into the hands of Captain Chisholm. 

Greorge Stansfield, who subscribed five guineas, was a 
woollen merchant, of the city. He was a native of York- 
shire, England. His sou, Joshua Stansfield, afterwards 
extended the business to all classes of goods. 

Jacob Marston, or Marsdeu, who gave four pounds for 


the building of the church, ^va8 an Englishman and an 
officer of the Court of King's Bench. He occupied pew 
No. 11. A daughter of his was baptized by Mr. Young, 
in 1V99. He was high constable of Montreal, in 1820. 

Alexander Robertson, who contributed two i^ounds, 
and had pew No. *71 assigned him when the church was 
first built, was a general merchant of the period. He 
afterwards formed a partnership with his brothers, James 
and Patrick, as fur traders. Jointly they occupied pew 
No. 8. 

Alexander Simpson, the subscriber of two guineas, was 
a millwright. 

Thomas Sullivan, who subscribed one guinea, was an 
Irish Protestant, who kept a tavern, and afterwards acted 
as a real estate agent. At his house, St. Peter's Masonic 
Lodge held their meetings in 1794. He afterwards 
owned pew No. 61 in the church. 

John Neagles, another subscriber of a guinea, was also 
an Irish Protestant. 

John J. Deihl, the subscriber of two guineas, was a 
German, who kept a grocery store. 

Andrew Winklefoss, who gave a guinea for the build- 
ing fund, was also a German, and kept a grocery store. 
He made a contribution also to the Young fund, in 1802. 

Jonathan A. Gray and John Gray, each of whom sub- 
scribed a guinea, were brothers, Englishmen. They were 
members of the English church, as was also their brother, 
E. W. Gray, Sheriff of Montreal, who owned pew No. 27 
in the St. Gabriel Street Church, and was a prominent 


citizen. .Tohu was a North-west trader, and lived at St. 
Catherine's, now Outremout. He was President of the 
Bank of Montreal, in 1 820. Jonathan was the foremost 
notary of the day in the city. He transacted all the notarial 
business of the Presbyterian church in his time. He died 
July 31st, 1812, aged 66 years. He performed the duties 
of coroner for the district, in addition to his notarial func- 
tions. The Herald said of him : " He was one of the oldest 
and most respectable English inhabitants of this city." 
H. Griffin succeeded to his papers and office work. 

In 1808, John Grray and his wife, Mary Pullman, had a 
son baptized by Mr. Somerville He purchased x)ew No. 
89, iu the year 1812. 

Dr. Blake, the last on the list of subscribers, who gave 
a guinea to build the church, was an Irish Protestant. 
He was a retired army surgeon, but practised his pro- 
fession in the city. He was a prominent member of 
St. Peter's Masonic Lodge from 1*7^4 onwards to 1*782. 
A daughter of his married the late Justice Aylwin. 
His widow, who sat in pew 65 during the Anglican 
occupation of the church, married Major B. A. Panet in 
1814. Dr. Blake dictated the inscription to be placed on 
his tomb, — " The last of the Blakes." 

Samuel Adams, who contributed six guineas to the 
building fund in 1Y92, was a tavern-keeper in the parish 
of Pointe aux Trembles. 

David Smith, who gave four pounds in 1792, for the erec- 
tion of the church, and made a farther contribution in 1800, 
kept an inn at Longue Pointe. He died in 1809. 

Joseph Howard, the subscriber of two guineas, was 
a merchant in the Berthier district. He died December, 


Sl'bscrihers to the Deut in 1800 — Wii.i.iam Locan, .Tohei-h Puovan', John 
Stei'iienson, riiiLii" Ros.s, AVii.MAM Demont, John Lockiiart Wise- 
man, James Birsk, William Ihelasp, William Manson, Thomas A 
Turner, John Blackwood, John Ferguson, William Martin, Roubrt 
AiHD, John Aihd, R. McClbmbnt, James Smith, Richard Waki ie 
Cai'tain CnisiioLM, Thomas Pokthous, Nicol Fletcher, John Mittle- 
BERGER, John McCori), David Ross, 1'ei'er McFarlanb and James 

William Logan, a native of Stirlingshire, Scotland, was 
the eldest son of James Logan, baker, an account of whom 
has been already given. He came to Montreal with his 
father, whose trade he had learned, about the year 1784, 
and ten years afterwards he married, his maternal cousin, 
Janet E. Edmond, who crossed the Atlantic for the purpose 
of being joined to him. His father and he carried on the 
baking business jointly, and soon they acquired a com- 
petency, and very prudently invested their means in real 
estate, purchasing, among other properties, the land in 
the neighbourhood of the city, which is still known as 
" Logan's Farm." 

Although his name does not appear in the list of sub- 
scribers to the building fund of the church, while his 
father's does, the family pew, No. 28, was taken by him, 
rather than by his father, on the 23rd November, 1*792, 
immediately after the church was finished. From that 
time onwards, he took a lively interest in the prosperity of 
the congregation, and did his share of its w'ork. He was 
chosen a member of the Temporal Committee in 1806, and 


continued on it till the year 1800. Ho was elected Treas- 
urer in the year 1812, and held that important office for 
three years, relinquishing it only when he resolved to give 
up business here, and return to dwell in his native land. 
Desirinff to crive his sons a better education than could 
then be furnished in Canada, he first tried the experiment, 
in 1814, of sending them to board in Edinburgh and attend 
the famous High School of that city. But he concluded 
to take his family to Scotland with him the next year, 
leaving behind him only his eldest son James, to take 
charge of his father's and uncle's business. 

Mr. Logan bought a small estate near Polmont, about 
twenty miles from Edinburgh, where he died on the 14th 
or 15th June, 1841, aged 82 years, and was buried in the 
Polmont church-yard. 

Mr. Logan contributed two pounds towards the church 
debt in 1800. He subscribed £2 10s. to the Young fund in 
1802. Although his father was prominent in of)position 
to the calling of Mr. Somerville, and seceded with the 
Forrest party, William Logan signed the document in 
favour of Mr. Somerville, in July, 1803, and to the min- 
ister's salary, he afterwards contributed two guineas 
annually. He gave five pounds for removing the debt in 
1810, and two pounds to the steeple and bell fund. He 
acquired pew 27 as well as 28. 

Hart Logan was "William's youngest brother. He was 
a merchant, having for partner, in 1803, G-eorge Watt. He 
acted as Lieutenant of Volunteers, under Lieut.-Colonel 
Caldwell and Major Dunlop, in the war of 1812-14. He 
was a liberal supporter of the St. Grabriel Street Church, 
contributing .£10 to the debt in 1810, aud £5 for purchas- 
ing the steeple and bell. He sat with his brother in pew 
28. After a successful career as a general merchant in 
Montreal, he established a Counting-House in London, 
England, in 1815, leaving his nephew James, William's 


eldest son, iu charge of his business in this city. Of this 
James we shall have occasion to speak later on. 

But the most celebrated of all the Logans was a younger 
son of William's, Sir William Edmond, LL.D., F.R.S., to 
whom the Science of Canada is so greatly indebted. He 
was a native of this city, and was baptized by the minister 
of the Scotch Church in St. Gabriel Street. The following 
is the entry of the event : — 

" William Edmond, son to Williiim Lo;;an, of Montreal, baker, and 

Janet Edmond, his wife, born on tiie liOth of April last, was bai)tized in 

presence of the father and mother this IGth day of May, in the year of our 

Lord 1798, by 


He obtained his preliminary education at the hands ot" 
Alexander Skakel, who kept asiT-cessful private grammar 
school in Little St. James Street. At the age of 16, he was 
sent, with his brother Hart, to the High School of Edin- 
burgh, where he distanced all competitors and came out 
Dux. He took a session in the University of Edinburgh, sit- 
ting under Professors Playfair and Jamieson, but at the age 
he then was, trade had more attractions for him than science 
or learning, and so he gave up what promised to be a bril- 
liant literary career, and entered, in 181'i', the office of his 
uncle Hart, in London. Here he remained till 1831, but 
meantime his scientific instincts had been developing 
themselves, and in the latter year he was appointed 
manager of the " Forest Copper Works," Morriston, near 
Swansea, Wales. This was the beginning of his real 
career. His duties brought him into close contact with 
the geological facts of the earth's crust, and soon a keen 
scientific interest in the general phenomena of this " solid 
globe," far beyond what was involved in his metallurgic 
operations, w^as awakened in his mind. He became a geolo- 
gist, attracting the attention of such proficients iu the 
science as De La Beche, Murchison, Sedgwick and Buck- 



Sir "William Logan is entitlod to the chiol' credit for the 
satisfactory conditiou of the Geological Survey of Canada 
to-day. It was he who first gave it system, and aimed at 
its completeness. There had been individual workers 
before his time, like Dr. Holmes, of Montreal, Dr. 
Wilson, of Perth, Ilev. Andrew Bell, of Dundas, Sheriff 
Dickson and E. Billings ; but even their researches were 
comparatively valueless, until the whole geological surface 
of the country came to be pieced in, and a conjoint view 
of it was obtained. Parliament having voted a small 
sum of money to commence operations, by way of secur- 
ing a comprehensive knowledge of the mineral wealth of 
the f^ountry and its geological character, Mr. Logan was 
appointed Director of the work in 1842. Ably assisted by 
Dr. T Sterry Hunt, who became Chemist to the Survey in 
1846, and by Richardson, Billings, Dr. Robert Bell, and 
other enthusiasts of science, whom he at different times 
rallied around him, by the year 1851, when the G-reat 
International Exhibition was held in London, he was in a 
position to present a report on the Geology and Mineralogy 
of Canada, that attracted the attention of the scientific 
world, and placed him in the front rank of Geologists. His 
reputation was still farther enhanced by the display of the 
geolog" i and mineral resources of this country, made at 
the Universal Exposition at Paris, in 1855, on which 
occasion he was awarded the Grand Gold Medal of 
Honour, while the Emperor Napoleon III decorated him 
with the "Cross of the Legion of Honour." 

On the 29th of January, in the same year, he received 
knighthood at the hands of his own Sovereign, Queen 
Victoria. But the dignity of knighthood made no difference 
in the simple and unostentatious ways of this worthy 
Canadian scientist. He was the plainest of men in his 
dress, in his daily fare and in his home, if home he may 
be said to have had, whose summers were spent under 


movablo canvas, and his wintors in a small cornor of the 
Geological Museum, near by his work. It was after he 
resigned the Directorship of the Survey, in 18()!>, tlial he 
took up his (juarters at his own fine residence, Kocklield, 
Logan's Farm. The little room, his " di'ii," in which he 
slept, in tile Geological Museum in St. (rjibriel Street, was 
as well worth seeing as any portion of the interesting 
specimtms gath« red from Gaspe to Luke Superior. The col- 
lection of old boots and other habiliments was wonderful 
to behold. It was an ideal old bachelor's quarters, for Sir 
"William never married. He was too serious for such a 
pastime. He died, June 22nd, 1875, greatly beloved by all 
that knew him. 

Sir \v illiam was a member of a large number of distin- 
guished societies. In 1851, he was chosen a Fellow of the 
Royal Society of London, Sir Roderick Murchison moving 
his election. He was also made a Fellow of the Royal 
Society of Edinburgh, in 18(51. He was created a D.C.L. 
by Bishop's College, Leunoxville, in 1855, and LL.D. by 
McGill College, in 1856. He was a member of a great 
many American and Foreign Associations, and received 
upwards of twenty medals in recognition of the eminent 
service he had done to science. But, after all, he will 
probably be better known to the general community, here- 
after, by his gifts of money for the promotion of education 
than by even his contributions to the science of his time. 
In 1804, he founded a gold medal in McGill College, for 
proficiency in an Honour course, iij Geology and Natural 
Science in that institution ; and, in 1871, he and his 
brother, Hart, gave $20,000 for endowing the " Logan 
Chair of Geology," in the same University. Sir "William 
always evinced a deep interest in the prosperity of the 
church, in connection with which his boyhood had been 


Joseph Provan, tilthough not one of tho orii«injil sub- 
8(ril)('r« to the fund for orecting th<» churcli, liv»'d in the 
city prior to i\w founding of thtf rrcssbytorian cause. We 
find hifs name on the list of subscribers to the "Protestant 
Congrei^ation of Montreal," whi<'h alterwards became 
Christ Church, as early as 1785, and again in 1788. The lirst 
trace we have of his connection with the Scotch Church 
in St. (rabriel Street, is in the subscription list opened on 
the 27th May, 1800, for removing a debt of ^£220 remain- 
ing on the edilice at that date. He contributed three 
pounds on that occasion. But from that time onward till 
his death, the church had no stauncher or more a<;tive ad- 
herent than Mr. Provan. He voted for Mr. Young in 
November, 1800. He was married by that gentleman to 
Susanna Griswold on the 20th March, 1802. He gave 
i;3 lOs. to the fund raised for Mr. Young's family. He was 
a strong supporter of Mr. Somerville's coming to Montreal, 
signing the manifesto in that gentleman's favour, and, 
subscribing £,S lOs. towards his stipejid. On Mr. William 
England's withdrawal from the congregation, and resigna- 
tion of his place on the Temporal committee, Mr. Provan 
was chosen in his stead, on the 1st of June, 180-J. He re- 
mained on this Committee until it was replaced by the 
committee appointed under the new rules and regulations 
adopted in 1804. He was chosen a member of the new 
committee elected by the proprietors of pews on the I7th 
of April, 1804. He was also appointed Treasurer of the 
congregation, an office which he tilled with much ability, 
the accounts being kept by him with great accuracy and 
clearness. This committee was re-electted in 1805, without 
any change. On April 15th, 1806, he was again chosen by 
the proprietors a member of committee, and re-appointed 
Treasurer, and continued to occupy that most responsible 
position until the year 1812. He purchased pews Nos. 
84 and 95, which had originally belonged to Francis 


"Winter and George McBeath, who were among' the first 
subscribers to the building fund. 

Mr. Provan was a general merchant of high standing. On 
one occasion he met with rather a serious adventure when 
crossing the Atlantic. During the rebellion in Ireland, 
in 1798, he and Francis Hunter, of whom I shall have 
something to say at a later period, were fellow passengers 
on board a small merchant vessel on their way to Canada 
from Great Britain. A large ship of war was sighted, and 
there was considerable speculation among the people on 
board as to the nationality of this cruiser ; but it was con- 
sidered safe at any rate to try and get away from her. But 
the man-of-war, which proved to be a French ship carry- 
ing 74 guns, soon overhauled the little merchantman, and 
made prisoners of all the passengers, whom they conveyed 
to Brest. The prisoners were well treated. They M^ere 
set at liberty each morning, but had to return at a <■ lain 
hour each evening, and be locked up for the night. Mr. . 
Provan and his friend, Mr. Hunter, were ten months in 
Brest before they got their liberty by being exchanged. 

Mr. Provan died 1st April, 1814, aged 55 years. An "old 
and respected merchant," the Gazette called him in its 
obituary notice of his death. He left a son and two 
daughters. One of the latter married Andrew Pattersou, 
of Quebec, and her daughter again married one of the 
Denholms. The other daughter became the wife of one of 
the Pembertons, who, like the Pattersons and Denholms, 
were merchants of high standing and respectability. 

John Stephenson, who subscribed two pounds to the re- 
moving of the debt in 1800, and occupied pews 36 and 37, 
was a tobacconist in Montreal. He was an influential 
member of the church until his death, which occurred 
in 1821. He contributed two pounds to the Young 
fund, and was one of the proprietors who signed the 


manifesto in favour of Mr. Somerville, in 1803. He sub- 
scribed three pounds annually to the stipend, and when- 
ever any appeal was addressed to the congregation he 
always made a liberal response. He gave three pounds 
for the steeple and bell, and Jive pounds to clear off the 
debt in 1810. His second daughter, Joanna, was married 
to James Whiteford, of Ste-Eose, in 1815. After his de- 
cease, his place in the church was occupied by his son. 
Dr. Stephenson, the foremost medical man of his day, in 
the city, of whom notice will be taken later on. 

Philip Ross, who subscribed one pound for the debt in 
1800, afterwards became a very prominent member of the 
congregation. He kept a grocer's shop at the corner of 
McGill and St. Paul Streets. He was married by Rev. 
Mr. Delisle to Jane Grant, 23rd February, 1784. His 
daughter married Donald Proctor Ross, a merchant, whose 
niece and adopted daughter, was the late Mrs. Donald 
Ross, of View Mount, wife of the founder of the Trafalgar 
Institute. He stood by Mr. Young in 1800. He was 
a member of the Temporal Committee from 1800 to 1803, 
and as such, signed the Somerville resolution. He gave 
a pound to the Young fund, and signed for himself and 
William Graham, two guineas a year, for Mr. Somerville's 
stipend. He was ordained an elder, August 8th, 1812, 
and lived to be a very old man. He adhered to Mr. Black, 
when that gentleman separated from Mr. Esson, and 
resolved to found a new congregation, in 1832. He 
owned pew No. 75. 

Charles Falconer, plasterer ; John Taylor, blacksmith ; 
William Christie, grocer ; Alexander Logie, mason ; Chas. 
Arnoldi, watchmaker ; John Watson, tanner ; William 
Gilmore, mason; J. Gottfried Glagou, tanner, who vvas a 
German ; William Martin, baker ; James Stephenson, who 


was in the shoe trade ; Thomas Prior, tailor ; John Hall, 
baker ; John Robc^rtson, carpenter ; Dun<;an McNau<^hton, 
gardener ; Robert Simpson, cooper, who was married to 
Mary Weight by Rev. Mr. Delisle in 1769, and died in 
ISOO, were all active members of the church in Mr. 
Young's time, contributing to the debt in IHOO, and taking 
their fair share in the business of the congregation. 

William Demont and Stephen Belair were French Pro- 
testants, whose names aj^pear in the list of contributors at 
this period. 

John Lockhart Wiseman, inspector of potash, gave a 
pound to the debt in 1800, and subscribed a guinea toward 
the Somerville stipend in 180o ; but he died on the 16th 
November, in the same; year. 

The name of Jam«s Birss lirst appears on the subscrip- 
tion list of 1800, for removing the debt. He was then 
engaged in the cooper business, which we have seen was 
very extensive in those days, be(!ause, not only had the 
out-going produce of the country to be barrelled, but, 
owing to the difliculty and risk of transportation over the 
bad roads, the groceries for the interior had to be sent, 
for the most part, in small kegs. Mr. Birss went after- 
wards into the grocery business, in St. Paul Street, in whi(!h 
he greatly prospered. He contributed a pound to the 
Young fund, in 1802. His name is not on Mr. Somerville's 
subscription list in 1808, ])ut in 1804, he bovight pew 64, 
and a few years afterwards half of 65. He was ordained 
an eider on the 14th of April, 180o, and continued to dis- 
charge the duties of that ollice with fidelity and zeal, until 
his death, which occurred on the 22nd of January, 1821. 
He was then f)2 years of age. His family still occupied 
pews 64 and 65, until they followed Mr. Black into St. 
Paul's Church, in 1882. His sou, Mr. J. II. Birss, and his 


daughter, Mary, are still honoured meml)ers of that con- 
gregation. Mr. J. H. Birss was present at the Centennial 
Meetings in St. Gabriel Street Church, in March last, and 
gave interesting reminiscences of his boyhood in connec 
tion with the old church. 

William Ireland was another of the subsequent ofiice- 
bearers of the chun^h, whose name lirst appears on the 
subscription list of 1800. Born at Dunfermline, Scotland, 
about the year 177-3, he came to Canada in 17!>]. He 
was book-keeper to Forsyth, Richardson & Company, 
and, as he lived at No. G, St. Gabriel Street, not far 
from the church, his house was made a kind of vestry, 
for lack of a better, where the ministers kept their 
gowns and bands. T^rom here they walked, in full 
canonicals, all the way to the church, and up to the 
puli)it. In 1805, Mr. Ireland bought pew No. 14, the 
same that Mr. John McCord had previously occupied, 
and in the same year he was chosen, both to be a member 
of the Temi)oral Committee and an elder. For sixteen 
years, he took part in the management of the financial 
))usiness of the congregation, acting as secretary to the 
Temporal (Committee. He was ordained an elder at the 
same time as Mr. James Birss, 14th April, 1805. He died 
in 1822 of paralysis. His wife's name was Anastasia 
Genery. His son, William, })orn 16th January, 1807, 
and baptized by Mr. Somerville, afterwards became an 
elder in St. Andrew's Church, Kingston, — worthy son of 
a worthy sire. He was secretary-treasurer of Queen's 
University and Chamberlain of the city of Kingston, 
and died in 1879, leaving a large family of sons and 
daughters. The eldest daughter is the wife of Rev. 
Kenneth MacLennan, late of Charlottetown, Prince 
Edward Island. Two of his sons have held high positions 
in the banking institutions of the country, and a third 


was for many years secretary-treasurer of Queen's Uni- 

"William Mansoa, who contributed a pound to the debt 
in 1800, and subscribed two pounds a year for Mr. Somer- 
ville's stipend, was a retired soldier, store-keeper in the 
Store-keeper G-eiieral's Department, and had charge of the 
Chateau de Ramezay, the Government House in Notre 
Dame Street. lie occupied pew No. 40. The widow of his 
son, Thomas, married Benjamin Workman, on the 24th 
June, 1823. 

Kenneth Walker, who afterwards became an influential 
member of the church, also appears on the record for the 
first time in connection with the effort, in 1800, to put the 
building out of debt. He kept a draper's shop, and an 
assortment of fancy goods and perfumery, in St. Paul 
Street. He purchased pew No. 08, in 1807. He sub- 
scribed a pound annually to Mr. SomerA'ille's salary. On 
14th April, 1833, he was ordained an elder, after the with- 
drawal of the St. Paul's section of the congregation. We 
shall hear more about him in connection with the Protest, 
lodged, in 1844, against the resolution of the majority of 
the congregation to join the Presbyterian Church in 

Conrad Masteiler, was a wealthy German citizen, who 
contributed to pay off the debt in 1800, and to help the 
Young family in 1802. He died in May, 1808, and 
beijueathed all his real estate in St. Mary Street towards 
erecting a House of Industry for the city. The property 
was worth about .£2,000. The amount not being enough 
to carry out Mr. Masteller's plan, an act of incorporation 
was obtained, in 1818, authorizing the appointment of 
wardens of the House of Industry of Montreal. It was 


to be non-sectariau and purely national. No appoint- 
ments were made under it, however, till 182*7, when 
F. Desrivieres, F. de Beaujeau, S. Gerard, J. Bouthillier, 
H Grates, R. Kimber, H. McKenzie and J. Kimbor were 
named the first wardens. The present Protestant House 
of Refuge took its origin only in 1862, but Mr. Masteller's 
generous ideas and liberal bequest laid the foundation 
for this noble charity. 

Greorge Martin, who subscribed to the debt in 1800, was 
a brother of William Martin, the baker, already men- 
tioned. He was also a baker, and was a member of the 
Temporal Committee from 1800 to 1803. The two brothers 
supported Mr. Young, and contributed to the fund for re- 
moving his family. They subscribed a guinea each to 
Mr. Somerville's stipend. They were proprietors of pew 
No. 45. As a member of the Temporalities Committee, 
George signed the Somerville manifesto in July, 1803. 

Thomas Turner's connection with the St. Gabriel Street 
Church began with giving a pound to the debt fund in 
1800. He was a partner in the famous Commercial House 
of " Allison, Turner & Co.," general merchants. In those 
days, there was no division of goods into hardware, gro- 
ceries, crockery, dry goods, &c. All the large establish- 
ments kept a little of everything likely to be desired by 
country dealers. The firm to which Mr. Turner belonged 
was one of the foremost in the country, in enterprise and 
success. He was one of the seven gentlemen who signed 
the call, Cth July, 1817, for a meeting to elect the first 
Directors of the Bank of Montreal. He was president of 
the Bank of Canada in 1820, as well as a director of the 
Savings' Bank, one of the wardens of the Trinity House, 
one of the Commissioners for the improvement of the 
inland navigation between Montreal and Lachine, and 
a member of the Board of Examiners for flour inspectors. 


Mr. Tumor subscribrd ono pound a yojir to Mr. Soiner- 
villo's stipend. Ho ai'tcrwiirds owned p(3W 35, formiirly 
tho property oi' Dr. llrown, which ho purchasiKl in IHOfJ. 
His daughter was married to Captain McCulloch. 

John Blackwood, who <^av<; a pound to the did)t in 1800, 
was a merchant, in partm^rship with his brother- Thomas, 
ol* whom W(i shall hear a ^Toai deal in oonno(ttion with 
the hi.story, not only oI' St. Gabriel Street Church, but also 
oi' tho entires Presbyterian cause in Canada. He contributed 
to tho Young fund in 1802, and subscribed three pounds 
annually lor the stipend of Mr. Somorvillo. Mr. Black- 
wood was elected a member oI" the Tcnnporal Committee 
in 1809, re-el<!ctod in IHIO and 1811, when he was made 
President. H(^ died in 1815. He owned pow No. 67. 

Mrs. Ferguson, who subs(!ribed to tho debt in 1800, was 
the wile of John Ferguson, father of Mrs. Andrew Shaw. 
When ho married her, she was the widow of Alexander 
Fisher, th(^ mothin- of John and Daniel Fisher, and of the 
second Mrs. Hick. Her maiden name was Grant, her 
brother being Hon. Alexander Grant, of L'Orignal. John 
Ferguson, merchant, contributed to the Young fund, and 
subscribed two guineas a year towards Mr. Somc^rville's 
stipend. H(^ owniod pew No. 26. He died on the 15th 
Sept(Mnb(!r, 1810, aged 55 years. 

The William Martin, who subscribed two pounds on 
the occasion of removing the debt in 1800, was a gentle- 
man in easy cir(3umstances, having already retired from 
business with a competency. He acted as precentor in 
1797. Ho was a member of th(3 Temporal Committee, ap- 
pointed 17th August, 1800, which continued to act till 
1804, and was its Vice-President. When the new com- 
mittee was chosen, 27th January, 1804, they made him 
their president ; and after the adoption of the new rules 


and roguliitions, April lYth, 1804, ho was ro-olectod Prosi- 
dont oltho (;oirimitt(M! by ballot. IIo was ono of thu throe 
appoinlid to si^n all doods oi" pews ^ivon at that timo. 
Ho was a^aiii choson a mom))or of forrimittoo by the pro- 
prietors of pews in 1800, and by the (loinmitteo was 
r(vappointed President. He was chosen Master of St. 
Paul's Lod<»'e of Freemasons in 17!)8, and in 1800, with 
a lew others, h(i helped to found the (hand Assembly of 
the Kni<j;hts Templar and the Knij^hts of Malta. H(^ was 
ordained an elder at the same time as John McArthur, 
8l8t January, 1804. He was ftne of the six who v^olcd for 
the retirement of Mr. Youn*:'' in 1800, and subscribed live 
pounds for his family, on his withdrawal in 1802. As a 
member of committ(M3, \n) su[)ported the resolution to 
adhere to the understanding^ with Mr. Somerville in 1803, 
and contributed three pounds annually towards his salary. 
Ho and John F'isher jointly occupied p(^w No. 1, after it 
was given up by Alexander Henry. Two of his sons in 
suc(;ession were named John — th(i lirst was baptized by 
Rev. Mr. Delisle in 1782, and the second by the same 
gentlemen in 1784. 

Robert Aird was another of those who attended the ser- 
vices of the F]nglish Church in 1 785, before the establish- 
ment of the Presbyterian cause. He was a prominent 
merchant ol this (;ity. He was a native of Kilmarnock, 
Scotland, where he was Tnamod to Janet Finlay, in the 
year 1782. Soon afterwards he removed to Canada, and 
settled in Montreal. He had several sons and daughters. 
Only one of his sons was married, Robert, born in this 
city, in 1799, and baptized by Mr. Young. The sons of 
this Robert are in the baking and confectionery business, 
one in Notre Dame Street, and another in St. Lawrence 
Street. Mr Aird's eldest daughter, Anna, was married 
in 1812, to Hon. George Markland, of Kingston. Another 


(liiu^hior, "RoHiiia, was married to A. L. McNidcr, a woll- 
known nicrcliaiit in Monlroal, ol' whom w«^ Mhall hoar 
iiiort! ))y-an(l-))y. 

Mr. Aird j^ave two j)ounds to the (h'-hi in 1800, and an 
(Hiual sum to th(^ Youni^ fnnd, in 1H02. Ji(^ sij^ntul tho 
d«Mlariition in favour of Mr. Som<'rvill(% in July, IHO.'}, and 
8u])S('ril)od two poundK a year lor his stipend. He was 
proprietor ol' j)ews, Nos. 4'3 and 44. Il(^ died ii5th Sept., 
]HOG, ])ut his widow and family continued to o(;<;upy those 
pows. His eldest son, John, contributiid to th(; stooplo 
and bell fund in 1809, and was (decited a member of the 
Temporal Committeo in 1812, and again in 1815. He 
bec^ame a member of St. Paul's Lodge of Freemasons in 
1810, and died in 1828. Mrs. Aird gave ten pounds to 
clear oil' the d(^})t incurred by the improvements in 1810. 
Kob(!rt, the younger, died ^rd Octo])er, 18(17. 

11. McClement, another of the subscribers to the debt in 
1800,'had att(^nded the IVottistant congregation in 1789, 
like the oth(;r Scotch Presbyterians of the day lh\ owned 
a j)roperty at Cote des Neiges, wherci he residtid. H«5 died 
early in the century, leaving his widow in comfortable 
cinnimstancM's. She was a liberal contributor to the church 
all through life. She was oiKi of those who joined in the 
call to Mr. Somerville, and subscribed one pound annually 
towards his support. Her daughter, vSusanmih, was 
married to James Smith, merchant, father of the late Judge 
Smith. Mrs. Smith died 12th September, 1816. 

Richard Warfl'e was an Englishman, a general mf^rchant 
in the city, who attended the <;hurch in 1800. He contri- 
buted to (dear the church of its remaining indebtedness, 
and vo d for the retention of Mr. Young. He had a son 
baptized by Mr. Young that same year. But he removed 
to Cornwall shortly afterwards, where he died on the 15th 


of Ap'il, 1817, aj^cd 52 y<;arM, aft«'r "a iodious, sin^on; and 
tryinj[? illiicsH, which he. bore with the utiriost lortitiuhi, 
and Iriu; (yhrisiiiiii patience, leavini"- a wile and infant 
family U) lament in him tho lows of a faithful and ail'ec- 
iiojiate hus])and and a tender and kind i)arent," tho 
Montreal Herald o'C May lOth, 1817, tc^lln us. 

Thomas Brackenridj^e, who .subscrilxHl a j^uinea, to clear 
oil' the debt in 1800; and James Ohui, of tlu; firm 
"Grant iSc Glen;" were merchants, who assisted the 
chur(;h at this (crisis. 

John McDonald, who gave two pounds in 1800, was a 
carri!ig<^-l)uilder. lie contributinl also to the Youni»- fund 
in 1802. 

Thomas Taylor, anoth«'r of th(^ contributors to the d<'bt 
on <he building fund, was a retir<'d army sergeant, who 
jifterwards formed a busim^ss partn(^rshi[) with John 
"Wightman, who gav(^ two pounds on this oc(;asion. Mr. 
Taylor vot(>d for Mr. Young in 1800. 

Al(!xaiuler Chisholm, who sub.scrilxid a pound to the 
debt fund in 1800, was a retired oflicer. He had btMni a 
Lieiiteiuint in the Koyal Garrison Battalion, and n^tirod 
witli thci rank of (captain. lie was th(^ proi>rietor of p(^w 
90. He died on the IGth November, 1813, aged 73 years. 

Another important member, whoso name appears for 
the first time in connection with the movement to lift off 
the debt in 1800, was Thomas Porteous. Ho subscribed 
two pounds on this occasion. At this time he r(^sided at 
Terrebonne. He owned Isle Bourdon, and ran a ferry 
across tho river at that point. He afterwards removed to 
the <;ity, and (commenced business as a general merchant, 
at 18 Notre Dame Street. His wife was Olive Everett, 


who jL?avo birth to a daui^htor, Agnes, in 1708, and 
baptized })y Mr. Youiij?. In 1814, Mary, the eldest 
daus*'hter of Mr. Porteons, was married to H<?nry Griliin, 
notary i)ul)li(', and their son is J. C. Grillin, the notary 
public of to-day. 

Mr. l*orteous held many ofRces of trust in his time. He 
was president of the water works company, organized in 
1818, which first laid down iron pipes for supplyinj^ the 
city. During- the war of 1812-4, he undertook, at the 
request of the Government, th(^ task of forwarding" sup- 
plies to thc! troops throughout the country. He was 
president of the Agricultural Society of Montreal, in 
1820. lit; was vice-president of the Savings' Bank the 
same year. He was also at that timi; a director of the 
Bank of Montreal, and of the Lachine Canal Company. 
He was elected a member of the Tcunporal Committee of 
the Church in 1819, and was re-elected the following year 
when he was made vice-president. He was ordained an 
elder in the St. Gabri<'l Street Church, March 21st, 181!), 
and continued to fill that ofHce till his death, which 
occurred at his son-in-law's house, 63 St. Gabriel Street, 
on the 2ard February, 1830. 

Nicholas or Nicol Flet<;her, who was chosen a member of 
the Temporal Committee in 1800, and (continued on it till 
1803, was an innkeeper. He purchased pew Bo, at an 
early period of Mr. Young's ministry. He died April 
8th, 180*7, aged 53 years. 

John Mittleberger, a German, was an old settler in 
Montreal. He carried on the business of a tailor. He 
was married to Elizabeth Hogel by Rev. Mr. Delisle, 27th 
March, 1784. He attended the English services before 
the St. Gabriel Street Church was erected ; but soon after- 
wards, we find him in possession of pew No. 25, which 


he continuod to hold. Mr. Somervillo baptized a child 
of his in IHOt. lli; subscrilx'd two pounds to that jr^.ntlo- 
man's stipend. 

Teller and Mcintosh, who occupied pew 72, wore the 
masons who built the church. Mr. Mcintosh died not 
lonj^ afterwards, but his widow made a contribution to 
the d(0)t in IHOO. Mr. Teller upheld Mr. Younj^ in 1800. 
lie died on the 24th July, 1H05, au'i'd 55 years. His 
diiuu^hler married, in 1807, Andrew White, carptmter, after- 
wards one of the elders in the St. Gabriel Street Church. 
Mr. T(!lfer ( ontributed to the debt in ISOO. 

Duncan Reid, the occupant of pew No. 77, before the 
year 1800, w^as a farmiu" in the parish of Lachine. He was 
married to Mary Kand in 1781 by Ivev. D. C. Dcdisle. He 
died on the 22nd October, 17i>8 ; but his widow occupi(»d 
the seat until 1800, when it was purchased by James 

James Henderson, who was one of the Temporal Com- 
mittee from 1800 to 1803, was a sergeant of the 41st 
Tvegimcnt. He was married by Mr. Young in 1801. 

Petcir McFarlane's name does not appear among the list 
of subscribers to the church either in 1792 or 1800; yet 
h(! belonged to th(? congregation during this period. He 
was one of the sixteen members of the Temporal Com- 
mittee appointed in 1791. He voted for the retention of 
Mr. Young in November of that year. He subscribed 
a guinea annually to Mr. Somerville's stipend. He was 
one of the oldest British residents in the city. He was 
married by Rev. D. C. Delisle, first, to Mary Goodburn, in 
1769, and, after her death, to a widow named McNamara, 
in 1789. He was a tailor, and died in 18'' 1, at the 
advanced age of 86 years. He occupied pew 32 jointly 
with Mrs. Bland. 


Among other subscribers to the building fund in 1800 
was DaA id Ross, attorney. His grandfather was a banker 
in Tain, Ross-shire, Scotland ; and his father, John Ross, 
was a volunteer Math the *78th Fraser Highlanders at the 
taking of Quebec, under "Wolfe, 1759. Mr. Ross' brother, 
John, was prothonotary of the Court of King's Bench for 
the district of Quebec, and a prominent member of St 
Andrew's Church, Quebec, of which his son, Hon. David 
A. Ross, Minister without a Portfolio in the present 
Mercier government, is a respected elder. David Ross 
married, in 1803, Jane, daughter of the Hon. Arthur 
Davidson, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, one of the 
Justices of the Court of King's Bench for the Montreal 
district, whose wife was Jane Fraser, daughter of Major 
Malcolm Fraser, of the 78th Highlanders, a member of 
the Lovat family. Mr. Ross had a large family ; but his 
only representative in the city to-day is the able physi- 
cian, Dr. G-eorge Ross, Professor of Clinical Medicine in 
McGill University, son of David Ross' eldest son, Arthur. 
Mr. Ross was a prominent member of the Bar in the 
district of Montreal, and was acting Attorney-G-eneral in 
1820. It was he who was entrusted with guarding the 
interests of the St. Gabriel Street Church, in the matter 
of securing the rig'^ is of the congregation to all the land 
conveyed by their deed, on the Champ de Mars side, — in 
succession to Robert Russell, in 1808. He was a warm 
supporter of Mr. Somerville, to whose stipend he contri- 
buted two pounds annually. He occupied pew No. 4, 
along with James Smith. His two sisters were married 
to the two ministers of St. Andrew's Church, Quebec, — 
o^e to Dr. Spark, and the other to his successor, Dr. Hark- 
ness. After the death of Dr. Harkness, his widow married 
Staff-Sursreon Montgomery of Quebec. 

Another name belonging to this period, was that of 


John McCord, senior, a native of Antrim, Ireland, Patentee 
of the undivided half of the Gaspe property, known as the 
" O'Hara and McCord Patent," who w^as born in 1*711, and 
who died at " The Grange," Montreal, on the 14th October, 
1793. On the 1st of January of that year, he purchased 
the large square pew. No. 14, in the St. Gabriel Street 
Church ; and Hon. James Leslie, who was connected with 
the family by marriage, spoke of their attendance at the 
church in his time, which must have been after 1808, 
although Mr. W. Ireland had acquired pew 14 before that 
date. The McCord family seem to have been Presby- 
terians at this time, otherwise it is hard to account for 
their sitting in the St. Gabriel Street Church, when the 
first Christ Church (the Jesuits' chapel) was near by. 

No family in the district has, perhaps, taken a more 
prominent part than Mr. McCord's in the affairs of the 
country. Of his two sons, John, the eldest, died at Quebec, 
without issue in 1822 ; but Thomas, his second son, who, 
owned a large portion of Griffinto\vu, and represented 
the West Ward of the city in the Provincial Parliament, 
and was afterwards Police Magistrate of Montreal, an office 
which he held at the date of his death, in 1824, and after 
whom McCord Street is called, had two sons, both of whom 
rose to seats on the Bench, Hon. John S. McCord, and Hon. 
Wm. King McCord. Hon. Thomas McCord, son of the latter, 
also became a judge, while his daughter married the Hon. 
Justice Polette. The representative of the family in the 
city now is ex- Alderman David E. McCord, a prominent 
member of the Montreal Bar, son of the Hon. Justice 
John S. McCord, and of his wife, Anne Ross, daughter of 
David Ross, advocate. 


Rev. Jambs Sombrville's Birth, Edccatiox and Licbssure— Comes to 
Canada — Chosen Succeissor to Mr. Young — His Literary and 
SciENTn'io Tastes — His Marriage — Originates Natural History 
SociETJ' AND Montreal General Hospital — His Benefactions and 

After the departure of the Rev. John Young, in August, 
1802, the church was vacant ^or several mouths. The 
number of candidates in those days v\ras smaller than that 
offering for such a position in our time, yet it was at least 
great enough to perplex the congregation. The following 
intimation was read from the pulpit on the 29th May, 

" The congregation will please to take noticee that they 
have had a trial of two ministers, namely, Mr. Somerville 
and Mr. Forrest. A number of the hearers of this church 
have requested that the votes of the people be taken, that 
their choice may be known. Accordingly, two gentlemen 
will be appointed early this week for that purpose, to wait 
upon every member of this church. So you will make up 
your minds on this important business, that you may be 
ready to give your votes." 

This was scarcely the regular mode of procedure in 
Presbyterian congregations, where a call is formally 
moderated in under the authority of a Presbytery. But 
any church in a new country must do the best it can in 
exceptional circumstances. If bhere was not a call in due 
form tendered on this occasion, there was obtained at least 
an undoubted expression of the voice of the people. The 


result of the vote was, that Mr, Somerville was chosen by 
the ma,jority. The minority, as has been too often the case 
in Presbyterian communities, did not acquiesce in the 
decision to call Mr. Somerville, but resolved rather to 
withdraw from the church. Three of the elders. Messieurs 
England, Hunter, and James Logan, grandfather of Sir 
William Logan, and John Boston, afterwards sheriff, were 
among the adherents of Mr. Forrest. 

There was a difficulty at this time also, as at a later date, 
about the possession of the key of the church. Mr. Hunter 
had it in his keeping and refused to give it up. A meet- 
ing of the proprietors was held on the 23rd July, 1803, 
when it was unanimously resolved by those present " that 
every support should be given to Mr. Somerville, as the 
person duly appointed as minister of this congregation to 
the exclusion of every other person, and that none other 
be admitted or received to perform Divine worship with- 
out their consent. And as the said William Hunter now 
refuses to deliver up the ke3rs of the said church, it is re- 
solved that other sufficient locks and keys be provided for 
the security of the said church, and of the possession of the 
said proprietors therein." This resolution was signed by 
the members of the Temporal Committee, John McArthur, 
George Martin, Benaiah Gibb, John Fisher, Philip Ross and 
William Martin — by the two remaining members of the 
session, Duncan Fisher and William Forbes — and by 
nineteen other gentlemen : Hon. James McGill, Hon. John 
Richardson, John McKindlay, John Ogilvy, Isaac Todd, 
William Logan, John McKinstry, Robert Aird, James 
Cowie, William Graham, Thomas Oakes, James Strother, 
John Ferguson, Joseph Provan, James Dunlop, Donald 
McKercher, Hon. John Molson,|,Simou McTavish, and John 

Several months previously, the congregation had appar- 
ently made up their mind to call Mr. Somerville, as the 
following memorial shows : — 


" To His Excellency, Sir Robert Shores Milnes, Baronet, 
Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Lower Canada, 
&c., &c., &c. 

The Memorial of the Subscribers, Presbyterian Protest- 
ants residing in the city of Montreal, as well on their 
own behalf as on behalf of the other Presbyterians of their 

Humbly Sheweth : — 

That His Excellency, the Right Hon. Lord Dorchester, 
late Governor of this Province, was graciously pleased, in 
the year 1794, to grant to the Rev. John Young, then 
minister of the Presbyterian Church for the city of Mont- 
real, the sum of fifty pounds per annum, commencing on 
the first day of May, in the said year, and which sum hath 
been annually paid to the said John Young by His 
Majesty's Receiver General of this Province. 

That the said John Young formally resigned his charge 
of minister of said church on the 7th day of August last, 
retired a few days afterwards from Montreal, and is now 
settled with his family at Niagara in Upper Canada ; and 
your memorialists entertain no idea that he will ever 
return to this place. 

That your memorialists being so circumstanced, and 
being more solicitous to have a clergyman of their own 
persuasion, of good life and morality, have lately had atrial 
of the Rev. James Somerville, a minister of the Presbyterian 
Church, who gave the whole congregation the greatest 
satisfaction, and whose conduct and loyalty appear most 
exemplary, but who, from engagements he is now under at 
Quebec, cannot immediately take charge of the said Presby- 
terian Church and congregation of Montreal. But your 
memorialists do look to him with confidence as the person 
who in the spring is to take charge of the said church. 

Your memorialists, therefore, humbly pray that Your 


Excellency will be graciously pleased to retain the said 
annual sum of fifty ^^^unds, unappropriated, in order that 
the sum may be hereafter :^ppropriated to the laudable 
purposes for which His Excellency, Lord Dorchester, in his 
wisdom granted the same. 

And your memorialists, as in duty bound, will ever 
pray. * 


Adam Scott, 
Jos. Provan, 
John Fisher, 

B. GiBB. 

Montreal, 15th November, 1802." 

Committee on behalf 
of the Conf^regation. 

This Memorial was the answer returned by the congre- 
gation to the following letter addressed, on behalf of the 
Lieutenant-Governor, by the Hon. James McGill to John 
Fisher, "Presidenc" of the Temporal Committee of the 
Church : — 

" Montreal, 13th November, 1802. 

" Gentlemen — I am desired by His Excellency the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor to inform him whether Mr. Young, the 
Presbyterian clergyman, left this place with or without 
the approbation of his congregation ; at what time he left 
Montreal ; and if any idea is entertained of his returning 
— to which inquiries, I presume, you can give satisfactory 
answers. I request you, therefore, to communicate them 
without delay ; nor do I imagine it will be improper to add 
the measures you have discussed in consequence of Mr. 
Young's absence or resignation. 

"I am, very respectfully. Gentlemen, 

" Your very obt. and humble servant, 

" James M'Gill. 

"Messrs. John Fisher and others, 
forming the Committee of the 
Presbyterian Congregation of Montreal." 


It is important to note the date of this petition. It shows 
that Mr. SomerviHe had already been virtually invited to 
become pastor of the church, months in advance of the 
time when the congregation were called upon to choose 
between him and Mr. Forrest, and if any one was to blame 
for the disagreement that led to the secession in 1803, it 
must have been those who allowed themselves to become 
partizans of Mr. Forrest, notwithstanding the previous 
understanding come to with Mr. Somerville. 

Mr. James Somerville, the first regularly inducted min- 
ister of the St. G-abriel Street Church, was a native of Lan- 
arkshire, Scotland, and was brought up in one of those pious 
cotter homes which Robert Burns has rendered memora- 
ble. The ambition of his parents, as it always has been 
of so many of their class in that country, was to see their 
son " wag his pow in a pu'pit." He was accordingly sent 
at an early age to Glasgow University, lor he had already 
completed his course in Arts when he was only seventeen 
years old. The two professors who seem to have made the 
deepest impression upon his mind were Mr. Young, who 
then taught G-reek in the University, and was the compiler 
of a very accurate, though brief lexicon of that language, 
which is still in considerable use, and Mr. Anderson, Pro- 
fessor of Natural Philosophy, who enjoyed a great reputa- 
tion as a teacher of Physics towards the close of the last 
century. To quote the language of the late Dr. Wilkie of 
Quebec, Mr. Somerville's early friend, and a native of the 
same village, who wrote an unpublished sketch of hi$ life 
after his decease : " The last (Prof. Anderson) had more par- 
ticularly fixed his attention, and had led him to direct his 
thoughts so much to objects of external nature as to derive 
from the view of their magnificent arrangements a large 
share of his enjoyments. By a regular contemplation of 
the beauty, wisdom and beneficence which they indicated, 
he confirmed hia trust in the Divine protection, and pro- 


moted that equanimity of temper for which, through life, 
he was remarkable. His habitual contemplation of the 
works of nature, and of matters of fact, contributed, we 
may well suppose, to foster that love of truth, that total 
cbsence of exaggeration, that simplicity of manners, for all 
which he was most happily distinguished." Dr. Wilkie 
adds : " The predictions of Professor Young had inspired 
him with a taste for philosophical discussions which he 
retained through life. Upon finishing his collegiate 
studies he entered upon a regular course of classical read- 
ing." In this way he laid the foundation of that general 
culture which fitted him to occupy a high position among 
the most accomplished men of his time in Canada. 

Mr. Somerville afterwards took a course of divinity under 
Professor Findlay of G-lasgow, and was licensed to preach 
by the Relief body of Presbyterians, in 1^99. The fact of 
having been educated in the Glasgow University, through- 
out his professional as well as literary training for the 
ministry, made it the easier for him, though brought up 
in the Relief Church, to accept a call from the St. Gabriel 
Street Church, which was then counted as belonging to 
the Church of Scotland, and to receive ordination at the 
hands of ministers of the Church of Scotland. There were 
but few congregations at that time in connection with the 
Relief section of the Church, and they did not offer much 
of a career to young men of ability and scholarship. Mr. 
Somerville soon grew tired of acting as a probationer in 
these circumstances, and gladly availed himself of an offer 
that came to him through a Glasgow friend, to proceed to 
Quebec, in order to undertake the education of the chil- 
dren of the S< ittish lumber merchants resident there. He 
took ship for Canada at a time when it was more of an 
undertaking to cross the Atlantic than it is now to go 
round the world, and landed at Quebec on the 3rd of June, 
1802. He was then twenty-seven years of age. He en- 


tered immodiatoly upon his task of organizing a school, 
which was the precursor of all the educational eiforts in 
the ancient capital, in which the Scottish citizens have 
borne a prominent part. Dr. Wilkic , who succeeded him 
in his school, remarks that Mr. Soraerville had a peculiar 
aptitude for teaching, and adds : " The encouragt :nent he 
met with was every way equal to his expectations. His 
success was proportionate to his exertions, which were 
great. He was held in high esteem by the principal families 
residing in the city, — and his memory was long cherished 
in succeeding times by the young persons who had the 
happiness of receiving his instructions." Among his 
pupils, at that time, was the late Archibald Ferguson, 
elder in St. Paul's Church, and father of Professor Ferguson 
of Kingston, who accompanied Mr. Somerville to Montreal, 
after his settlement in St. G-abriel Street Church, in order 
to continue to enjoy the benefits of his tuition. 

Being a preacher, however, his services were in request 
at a time when there were so few of his order in Canada. 
On coming to Quebec, he connected himself with St. 
Andrew's Church, of which Kev. Alexander Spark, D.D., 
was pastor, and thus became a member of the Church of 
Scotland, as it existed in Canada. The ministers who 
then represented that Church in this country held out to 
him cordially the right hand of fellovv^ship, although, as a 
licentiate, he belonged to the Relief Section of the Presby- 
terian family. It was on Dr. Spark's recommendation that 
he was invited to preach in the St. G-abriel Street Church, 
shortly after Mr. Young had taken his departure. The con- 
gregation immediately resolved to invite him to become 
their minister. The terms of the Deed of the Church, as 
given at pages 64 and 65, did not preclude the calling 
of a probationer from the Relief body ; all that it pre- 
scribed, was that he should have been regularly licensed 
by a Presbytery in the British Dominions. Mr. Somer- 


ville indicated his willingness to accept the call, but in- 
timated that he felt bound in honour to complete his ser- 
vice as a teacher at Quebec for the entire year for which 
he was engaged before leaving Scotland. It was in the 
interval, that llev Robert Forrest visited Montreal and 
preached in the Church, making a favourable impres- 
sion on a portion of the people, and creating division, 
a kind of result too often seen in the experience of con- 
gregations. Mr. Somerville was ordained to the pastorate 
on the 18th of September, 1803, Rev. John Bethune of 
"Williamstown, the founder of the congregation, and Rev. 
Alexander Spark, St. Andrew's Church, Quebec, officiat- 
ing on the occasion. It was generally understood that 
Mr. Somerville was then ordained to the Ministry of the 
Church of Scotland, and he so understood the matter all 
his life, although the question was raised after his death. 
The experience Mr, Somerville had gained as a teacher, 
even though it was only for a short time, did much to 
confirm his taste for science and learning, and to strengthen 
the bias towards such pursuits he had early shown. Many 
of his friends were, indeed, of opinion that he made a mis- 
take in quitting the teaching for the clerical profession ; 
but he himself would never admit it. The Scottish ele- 
ment being, as has been seen, always proportionately large 
among the mercantile class of Montreal, Mr. Somerville, 
as the only representative of the Scottish clergy in the 
city for many years, naturally had a good deal of influence 
in the community, and he seems to have entirely deserved 
the respect shown him. He took a leading part in all 
movements for promoting a wholesome state of society. 
To this end he connected himself with various organiza- 
tions, the Freemasons among the rest. His, too, was the 
first name on the roll of the Montreal Curling Club, organ- 
ized in 180Y. In 1809, he succeeded in establishing a 
literary society having its headquarters in this city. Dr. 

^ 168 

"Wilkio will toll us its history : — *' Ho covoted the society 
of well iiiforinocl por.sons aud tho free commuuication of 
ideas. Hence sprung- up in his thoughts the conception 
of the Symmatiietical Society, formed for the purpose of 
promoting? mutual improvement, and possibly to be the 
germ of some greater association H»^ laid hold of the 
thought with eagerness, and communicated it to a very 
few gentlemen, in whom he had confidence, in Montreal, 
and to one or two residing at a distance. The proposal 
was zealously embraced by the few friends to whom it 
was explained, and carried out with considerable regularity 
for a few years. A number of essays were furnished from 
time to time by each of the gentlemen associated, and 
these were pretty fully discussed at the meetings of the 
society. Remarks were likewise communicated in writing, 
and a regular account of all the transactions recorded by 
one of the members appointed to act as secretary. A few 
of these papers were afterwards printed in the Canadian 
Review, in 1824. The subjects discussed were chiefly sci- 
entific, literary or commercial." His biographer tells us : 
" During his whole life he was wont, when his health 
permitted, to take daily exercise in the open air. In his 
rambles he used to carry a small hammer, with which he 
amused himself in examining the interior appearance of 
stones and rocks. If this was not done in a strictly scien- 
tific manner, it served at least to diversify his recreations 
and give them activity. Sometimes he collected plants 
and flowers, and he had ever a just appreciation of the 
beauties of natural scenery. Sometimes he was joined, 
in his rambles, by one or more of his clerical brethren, 
who, it is well known, were always attracted by his lively 
conversation." It would appear, then, that Mr. Somerville 
was studying the earth's structure before the formation 
of the " Greological Society " of G-reat Britain, and while 
Hugh Miller was still in petticoats. To the end of his 


days, he tontinued to indulge a taste for natural history ; 
and some old persons survive to tell how, in their youth, 
they used to see him strolling through the fields, picking 
up flowers and stones, and looking at tYunn intently, 
thus confirming the rumors that were abroad touching 
his mental equilibrium. Mr. Somerville kept a diary from 
the time he was twenty-two years of age, and amongst 
other things noted in it was the state of the weather, to 
the influences of which his frame was keenly suscept- 
ible. This re(!ord he kept till within forty-eight days of 
his death. It was probably not very siientific, as he is not 
likely to have possessed A'ery accurate instruments ; but 
such as it was, in the absence of any better meteorologii^al 
statistics, it would be at least curious, if not valuable, 
could it be recovered : so far, however, the effort to trace 
its fate has been unsuccesful. 

When Mr. Somerville died, in 183V, he l6ft the most of 
his property to religious and benevolent institutions. Dr. 
"Wilkie will tell how he was led to do so : "It has been 
seen throughout the course of this narrative, that his mind 
was eminently sociable. Being at the same time of a 
strongly benevolent cast, his sociability gave rise finally, 
or at least greatly contributed, to two most excellent insti- 
tutions — ' the Natural History Society' and the ' Montreal 
General Hospital.' His practice of rambling in the fields 
in quest of objects suitable for the study of Natural His- 
tory, has been already noticed. His attractive conversa- 
tion naturally drew to his society others who possessed 
similar tastes, particularly his two brethren in the Church, 
and some of other professions. One gentleman, especially, 
of highly scientific attainments, (known to be A. Skakel, 
a teacher in this city) assisted to give accuracy and order 
to their observations. A considerable collection of natural 
objects was, in consequence, formed ; a place was found 
necessary for their reception, the assistance of others was 


solicited and obtained, and out of these humble endea- 
vours arose, on the 16th May, 1827, the ' Natural History 
Society of Montreal.' Thus, the little rill issuing from 
the mountain's brow gathers increase of waters as it rolls 
on, and, in the end, becomes a potent stream, fertilizing 
the regions through which it flows, and pouring a navi- 
gable flood into the ocean. In consequence, probably, of 
his connection with the origin of this institution, and cer- 
tainly from his devotedness to the cause of knowledge 
and truth, he left a munificent bequest for the endow- 
ment of a lectureship in furtherance of its objects " It is 
in these terms that Dr. "Wilkie, writing shortly after 
Mr. Somerville's death, sets forth his claims to be 
gratefully remembered by " The Natural History Society." 
Mr. Somerville's sympathetic nature and public spirit, 
seem to have had much to do also with originating the 
" Montreal General Hospital." Here is what the memoir, 
from which I have already quoted, says: " He always 
considered the first suggestion of the Montreal G-eneral 
Hospital, as due to himself. 'The first idea of it,' he said, 
' was suggested by my servant falling sick of an inf actions 
fever. She had no friends in the city. I could not turn 
her out of doors. I v^as apprehensive for my own family. 
I thought how advantageous it would be for the patient, 
and how satisfactory to my own mind, if there was an 
hospital to which she could be sent, where she would re- 
ceive the necessary attention and care, while my family 
would run no risk of infection. Others might be in sim- 
■ i^ar circumstances. I proposed the subject to some medi- 
cal gentlemen and also to my colleague, who always has 
been forward to promote objects of public utility. The 
scheme was followed up with zeal and liberality. An 
institution arose far surpassing his utmost expectation.' 
Such was the development in his truly Christian mind of 
an institution which has since grown to be one of the 


honours of Canada, an institution of which Montreal will 
always be proud, and to which the late Hon. Mr. Rich- 
ardson, after all highly valued labours, had the honour of 
making an important addition." Assuming the accuracy 
of Dr. Wilkie's information, here is another and still 
stronger ground why not only the citizens of Montreal, 
but the people of all the outlying districts, should do 
honour to the memory of Mr. Somerville. 

By his will, drawn up on the 21st February, 1833, four 
years before his death, he left bequests in the following 
order, and to the following amount : — 

" For the purchase of a ground lot and erection of a 
inanse, for the use of the minister of the St. Gabriel Street 
Church, ' during thirty years, the object of my warm and 
constant solicitude,' c£l,000 ; 

" To support a lectureship for the benefit of the Natural 
History Society of Montreal, i) 1,000 ; 

" To Mr. Wilkie, at Quebec, ' my friend from early life,' 
.£1,000 ; 

" To the Rev. Alexander Mathieson, of Montreal, ' many 
years an intimate friend,' iJlOO ; 

" To the late Thos. Blackwood, Esq., ' one of my oldest 
and most confidential friends at Montreal,' jEIOO ; 

" And to the Trustees of the Montreal G-eneral Hospital, 
as residuary legatees, all that may remain, after paying 
off all the above mentioned legacies." Dr. Wilkie, who 
knew the value of Mr. Somerville's estate, adds the re- 
mark : " The remainder falling to the Greneral Hospital, 
must, it is believed, be very considerable, and will, no 
doubt, be suitably recorded." In those days however, 
no special notice was taken of legacies, and so what 
was realized from the estate cannot now be ascertained ; 
but the fact that the Hospital was made residuary legatee, 
implies, in itself, that the amount designed by Mr. Somer- 



ville for that institution, must have been larger than he 
gave for any other single object. 

Mr. Somerville was twice married. His first wife was 
Mariamne Veitch, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, who 
had come to reside with a relative in Quebec, To this 
lady he was united on the 8th of July, 1805, two years 
after his settlement in Montreal. She is described by Dr. 
"Wilkie as a very superior woman; but he enjoyed the 
comfort of her society for only a single year. She expired 
on the 16th of August, 1806, a few days after having given 
birth to a daughter, named from herself, Mariamne. 

" He entered a second time into the married state," says 
Dr. Wilkie, " on the 4th of April, 1808, with Charlotte 
Blaney. This lady appears to have been an orphan, but 
brought up and educated by Mrs. Perry, well known at 
that time in Montreal, for her piety and exemplary con- 
duct, who acquired a moderate independence, by means 
of her industry and prudent conduct. "With this wife he 
lived thirteen years in the strictest bonds of conjugal feli- 
city." Mrs. Somerville brought her husband a son, named 
Alexander William, born August 2nd, 1814, When this 
child was only four yeais old, his mother fell into a de- 
clining state of health, and died in her husband's arms, 
on the 1st of August, 1819, on board the steamer on its 
upward trip from Quebec, whither she had gone, in the 
hope that fresh air and change would strengthen her. 

Mr. Somerville's health had broken down on one or two 
occasions, from excessive mental eflforts, as early as 1809. 
The amount of his work in the year 1815 may be esti- 
mated from the number of entries in the church registers, 
amounting to 58 marriages, 51 burials, and 115 baptisms. 
His temperament was acutely nervous, and when the 
domestic afflictions, mentioned, overtook him, added to the 
burdens of his pastorate, his health gave way under the 
pressure. It was then that Rev. Henr} Esson was procured 


as his colleague. They worked together with a large 
measure of harraouy till 1822, when Mr. Soraerville retired 
on an allowance of iJ150 a year ; but continued to receive 
the <£50 additional given by the Government, in consider- 
ation of the service rendered to the Imperial troops by the 
ministers of St. Gabriel Street Church. Although ab- 
solved from the duty of preaching for the rest of his life, 
he remained, in the eye of the law, the senior minister of 
the congregation to the day of his death. 

In the year 182V, his valuable and faithful friend, Mrs 
Perry, who had retired from business in Montreal, and 
gone to reside in Edinburgh, departed this life. She left 
a large share of her means to the family of her late adopted 
daughter. But it was characteristic of her good sense and 
tender sympathy that she left iJ4,500 to Mariamne, Mr. 
Somerville's daughter by his first wife, a larger sum than 
she willed to the son of Charlotte Blanev, because that 
young lady was physically infirm, as well as a most at- 
tractive person. These legacies are mentioned, because 
a good deal of the late history of the old church in St. 
Gabriel Street, w as indirectly shaped by them. 

As Mr. Somerville's years advanced, his nervous ailments 
became more serious, — and sometimes bordered on mental 
alienation. He had alternate seasons of melancholy and 
exhilaration. But those who knew him, say that even at 
the times when his mental aberration was most apparent, 
he never lost his intellectual activity, and amusing inci- 
dents are related that show his ready wit. One of these 
will suffice. While no restraint was put upon his freedom, 
his friends had provided him with a body servant, whose 
instructions were never to lose sight of him. but yet never 
obtrude his presence upon the minister, nor make him 
think himself watched. This servant, on one occasion, 
was an Irishman, not long out from the Emerald Isle, who 
continued to wear the long heavy coat he brought with 


him across the sea, even during the heat of summer. The 
man, thus equipped, had charge of Mr. Somerville, on a 
broiling July day. The minister set out for a walk along 
the Cote St. Paul road, and proceeded at a rapid pace, evi- 
dently determined to have a little fun at Pat's expense. 
He walked aimlessly a long distance, and then made a 
detour, returning to his quarters by another route, all the 
time chuckling with delight at the discomfiture of his 
guardian, down whose face the sweat was running in 
copious streams, in his efforts to keep sight of his master. 

The year 1832 was marked by another sad event in 
Mr. Somerville's family. This was the death of his son 
in his nineteenth year. He was already well advanced in 
the study of medicine, and had it in view to proceed to 
Edinburgh, there to complete his professional training, but 
he caught an infectious fever in the course of his practice 
as a studedt, and died on the 30th of November. This 
was a crushing blow to the tender hearted father ; but a 
still severer one soon succeeded. His dear Mariamne, all 
the dearer to him on account of her bodily infirmity, was 
taken from him, twelve weeks after her brother ; and his 
house was left unto him desolate. He fell heir to the 
money of his children ; and it was with the means 
thus put at his disposal that he made the benefactions 
with which his name is associated in Montreal. 

In our time the amounts bequeathed by Mr. Somerville 
to public objects, do not seem large ; but fifty years ago, 
they must have been counted considerable, when there 
was comparatively little realized wealth ip, this country, 
and money was so much more valuable, relatively, than 
it is now. Though not appearing very large to the present 
generation, they were timely; and the several sums, applied 
to the respective objects contemplated in the final bene- 
volent disposal of his means, were productive of more im- 
portant and lasting results to those public objects than 


five times the amount would be to-day. His thoughtful 
generosity put the institutions which it aided on a pros- 
perous footing ; and once they got fairly under weigh, 
their success became assured. 

The chapter is incomplete without a portrait of Mr. Som- 
erville, but if one was ever taken, no trace of it can now 
be found. In the absence of his likeness, we may be thank- 
ful for the following brief pen-portrait of him, by Dr.Wilkie: 

" He was a little under the middle stature, of a vigorous 
but not athletic form. His features were perfectly regular, 
and had a most prepossessing appearance. His eye was 
uncommonly quick and penetrating. His hair, till he 
passed the meridian of life, was black and glossy, with 
an easy curl. 

" When Mr. Somerville was in health, and settled at 
home, he was exact and methodical in his daily readings. 
He commenced each day with perusing a portion of the 
sacred writings. This practice he had continued through 
life, whenever health and leisure permitted. Upon finish- 
ing the task he had assigned to himself for the day in this 
department, he entered in his journal the remarks which 
occurred to him on the general spirit of what he had read. 
These remarks were exceedingly brief, and referred exclu- 
sively to practical matters. Having made this entry, he 
proceeded to another department of his reading, — some of 
the periodicals, perhaps, of the day, or some of the standing 
works of English literature. By this happy distribution 
of his time, his remembrances of Divine truth were con- 
stantly kept alive, and his intimate acquaintance with the 
current literature of the age was never left behind. 

" His mind was well informed and his understanding 
clear, quick and perspicacious. He fastidiously shunned 
at all times to express any opinion on subjects with which 
he had not, at least, a reasonable acquaintance, and held all 
such pretence in contempt. His piety was real and deeply 
felt, but incapable of the slightest show or ostentation." 


Such was the man, and such was the work he achieved. 
He deserves to he remembered by the citizens of Mont- 
real, not because he was a man of brilliant intellect or of 
surpassing powers in any way, but because, by his high 
character and attainments, he maintained the credit of the 
order to which he belonged, and exercised a widespread 
and wholesome influence over the English-speaking so- 
ciety of this city, when it was a community so small that 
every clergyman had a personal acquaintance with all 
its members. This was the formative stage in the history 
of Montreal. After the lapse of eighty-three years, from the 
date of the beginning of his ministry, it is, of course, impos- 
sible to put one's finger on any tangible results of his 
pastorate in the spiritual life of the community. The 
influences he and his contemporaries exerted are indis- 
tinguishably blended in the life of to-day, as the echoes of 
the past go to form the murmur of the universe. But 
all the testimony we can gather goes to show that he 
served L is generation faithfully according to tl 3 will of 
Grod, — entering fully into all enterprizes and undertakings 
which aimed at the moral and social welfare of the com- 
munity, as well as discharging with ability the duties 
pertaining to his office in the more restricted sphere of 
his own church. 

After his decease, the congregation to which he had 
ministered so long and faithfully, erected a tasteful mural 
tablet to his memory, with the following inscription : — 

" Sacred to the memory of the late Rev. James Somer- 
ville, who wa^g born in the village of Tollcross, near 
Glasgow, 1st April, 1775 ; ordained Minister of this 
Church, 18th September, 1803, and died 2nd June, 1837, 
aged 62 years ; 

" This Tablet has been erected by this Congregation, 
in token of their gratitude for the munificent legacy of 
One Thousand Pounds, bequeathed by him for the pur- 



pose of building a Manse for the accoramodation of the 
future Ministers of St. G-abiiel Street Church ; 

" Having been bereaved of his children, he consecrated 
at his death the whole of his property, of which the 
greater part was the bequest of disinterested friendship, 
to the cause of Science, Friendship, Humanity and Piety." 

His friend, Dr "Wilkie, to whom, as has been seen, he left 
a handsome legacy, erected a very tasteful monument to 
his memory in the old Protestant burying ground on Dor- 
chester street ; but when it was converted into Duft'erin 
Square, in 18*75, there was a general demolition of the old 
tombstones, and among other sacred memorials destroyed, 
was the Somerville monument, before the attention of any 
person interested in its preservation was called to the mat- 
ter. In the absence of any kindred of Mr. Somerville left 
in the country,the St. Gabriel Church authorities took action 
and had his remains removed to Mount Royal Cemetery, a 
few members of the congregation subscribing about $100 
for the purchase of a suitable lot in which to deposit them. 
But his bones now lie in a nameless grave, while there are 
on all hands granite and marble memorials over the dust 
of citizens of less account. The St. G-abriel congregation 
have done their part. And now it remains for those 
specially interested in the management of the General 
Hospital and the members of the Natural History Society, 
institutions that profited at least as largely by Mr. Som- 
erville's generosity as St. Gabriel Street Church did, to 
unite in erecting a simple and inexpensive monument 
over the grave of this benefactor of the community. 


Rev. J. SoMERviLi.E recommended by Rev. Dr. Spark — f iust Trouhle oveik 
THE Possession op the Keys of the Church — Mr. Somervillb's 
Letter on the Situation — His Ordination and Induciton— The 
Second Presbytery of Montreal — Rev. Rorert Forrest and Rev, 
Robert Easton, Secession Ministp:rs from Scotland — Erection of 
St. Peter Street Church — Mr. Easton's Address on the occasion — 
The DiFFicULiT about getting Registers iiy all, except ministers 
op tub Churches of Rome and of England — The Charact'br of the 
Adherents of St. Gabriel Street and St. Peter Street Churches 

Eeference has already been made to the waut of unan- 
imity on the part of the congregation in the settlement of 
Mr. Somerville. As the first secession took place in con- 
sequence of opposition to his ordination and induction as 
pastor, it is only justice to his memory that his attitude 
in the matter should be i. ade known. 

It has been stated already that Rev. Dr. Spark of Quebec 
received Mr. Somerville on his arrival in that city with 
great cordiality, inviting him to preach in the pulpit of 
St. Andrew's Church, and extending to him other friendly 
offices. Mr. Somerville became a member of St. Andrew's 
Church, and his name appears on a petition from that 
congregation to the Governor, in 1802. When Mr. 
Young left Montreal, and the Scotch congregation in St. 
G-abriel Street applied to Dr. Spark for aid in their 
emergency, he could not do otherwise than recommend 
the friend he had so lately met with, and whose good 
qualities he had already had many opportunities of 
observing. Mr. Somerville was invited through Dr. Spark, 


to preach in Montreal, which invitation . he accepted in 
the autumn of 1802, conducting- divine service twuce on 
the Sabbath after his arrival and returning to Quebec the 
same week. 

" The specimens aftbrc4.ed by his appearance in the 
Church in St. Grabriel Street, the general turn of his frank 
and open and grave conversation, the ample recommend- 
ations he had brought with him, both from Quebec and 
from his native country, appeared to give satisfaction to 
the majority of the congregation. In consequence, an 
expectation of a future mutual connection was formed, on 
both sides, and preparations were made for a call being 
presented in due time." Completing the year's service 
as a teacher in Quebec, he removed to Montreal in the early 
part of June, 1803. Although not inducted, he entered 
immediately upon the discharge of such duties as a licen- 
tiate could regularly perform, — visiting the sick, consoling 
the afflicted, and preaching on the Lord's Day. In this 
way, an acquaintance was formed between him and his 
future flock, prior to the formal creation of the pastoral 
tie. It was at this stage that a subscription list was 
opened, in order that some guarantee should be provided 
for his support. A number of substantial householders 
and heads of families bound themselves to pay for this 
purpose a definite sum annually for three or five years. 

The Rev. Dr. Spark was Mr. Somerville's patron ; but 
the Rev. Dr. Mason of New- York, who had also been com- 
municated with at the time of Mr. Young's withdrawal, 
recommended the congregation to call one of the young 
preachers of the Burgher Secession Church, whom he had 
induced to come from Scotland to America. This was the 
Rev. Robert Forrest, already mentioned. His appearance 
made a favourable impression upon those who for a time 
were disposed to contend for the possession of the build- 
ing on St. Gabriel Street, and, as has been seen, secured 
the keys of the Church. 


Tho oougregation of Christ Church were now worship- 
ping in tht? Scotch Church, and Messrs. Hunter, Enghiud 
and James Ix>gan had obtained the keys from John Ger- 
brand Beek, one of the Church Wardens, at the (conclusion 
of the Church of England service, on 21st July, 1803. 
This action led to the serving of the following protest on 
Mr. Hunter : — 

" By this Public Instrument of Protest or attestation, — 

Be it known and miide manifest to all persons to whom these presents 
shall come or may concern, that on the Twenty-second day of July, in the 
year of our Lord, One Thousand Eijiht Himdred and three, at the reciuest 
of Duncan Fisler of the city of Montreal, Cordwainer, William Forbes of 
the same place, coojjer, two of the elders of the Scotch Church in this 
city, and William INIartin of the same place, gentleman, one of the mem- 
bers of the committee appointed to regulate the temporal affairs of the 
said Church. AVe the subscribing Public Notaries of the Province of 
Lower Canada, residing in the said city of Montreal, by lawful authority 
duly admitted and sworn, went to the house of William Hunter, merchant 
in INIontreal, and then and there speaking to him personally, demanded of 
him the keys of the said Church of Scotland or Scotch Church, which were 
delivered to him yesterday (the 21st inst.), by John Gerbrand Beek, Es- 
quire, one of the Church AVardens of the Protestant congregation in this 
City, whereunto the said William Hunter answered that ho was desired 
by Mr. Logan and Mr. England to get the keys of the Church from Mr. 
Beek, and that he cannot deliver them to any person, except said Mr. 
Logan or Mr. England. Which answer not being satisfactory, we, the said 
notaries, at the request aforesaid, have protested and by these presents do 
most solemnly protest, as well against the said William Hunter, as against 
all others whom it doth, shall or may concern, for all cost, charges, dam- 
ages, interest, expenses, hurts and injuries, already suffered or that shall 
or may hereafter be suffered by the said Duncan Fisher, William Forbes 
and William Martin, in their capacities aforesaid, or others concerned, 
for or upon account of the premises : Thus done and protested in Mont- 
real aforesaid on the day and year first before written, a copy of these 
presents having been left with the said William Hunter, at his dwelling 
house in Montreal — that he and all others concerned may not plead igno- 
rance in and about the same. 

In test, veritatis, 

J. A. Gray, Not. Pub. 
Thos. Babron, Not. Pub." 


The following letter, writtisn by Mr. f^omerville, shortly 
before leaviiif^ Quebec, will explain the situation at the 
moment. Besides the opposition, to his settlement of which 
he was aware, the question how hi« ordination could be 
best secured, troubled him and the congregation. 

QiBiiBC', 15th June, 1803. 

Dear Sir. — I received yours in duo course. Mr. Betlmne and Mr. Spark, 
I l)eliovo, wil! liavo no difricnlty now in joining in my ordination, provided 
tlie congregation or myself make none. The "jrinoipal objection which 
Mr. Spark had, was, I behevo, on account of Mr. Young. That objection 
is now removed 'y Mr. Betiiune'a letter. As for the congregation at 
Montreal, why I really do not know what would please them in all points. 
It would appear that a number of them are, at beat, very unsteady, to say 
no worse. I could wish, very much, that some plan could bo fallen upon 
for putting it out of overybdily's power to say a single word as to the legal- 
ity of my ordination. Going to Scotland, could it be done, would be the 
most ell'ectual way, and also the most respectable. I could wish, very 
much, tills measure could be put in practice. It would remove every 
doubt, and add a degree of respectability to the business which it can 
hardly have in any other way. I was licensed by the Ko'""jf Presbytery 
of Glasgow, and 1 have certificates from that Presbytery, and also from 
tlie Relief Presbytery of Edinburgh. The only difference between the 
Relief and the Church of Scotland is, in the article of presentations by 
Patrons, which does not exist in this country. Of course, I consider my- 
self a proper candidate for any congregation who may choose to call me. 
Ordination implies the being received by that Presbytery, by which you 
are ordained. Of course, if that Presbytery be a regular, lawful Presby- 
tery, the person ordained by them must be regularly and legally ordained. 

I do not wish to come to Montreal, even though I were invited, till the 
business of my ordination be settled,— that is, whether it is to be in this 
country, or if I am to go home. It is disagreeable, to my mind, even to 
be suspected of ishing to intrude myself upon the people of Montreal. 

If I come to Montreal, it shall be openly and honourably. I feel it my 
duty to inform the committee, that I am not at all anxious to change my 
situation. I am here, I believe, usefully employed, and I am very com- 
fortably situated. My income is such as supports me decently, and why 
should I be anxious to change. I feel gratitude to the people of Montreal 
for their kindness and attention to me, and certainly consider myself as 
bound to do everything in my power for them, as far as is consistent with 
propriety, and that duty which every man owes to himself. 

I am, yours truly, 



On the 18th of Septombor, 1803, tho proposed Presby- 
tory met, and was constituted at Montreal, (3on8i8ting of 
Rev. Alex. Spark, Rev. John Bethune, and Dunean Fisher, 
the elder, representing St. Gabriel Street congregation. 
Mr, Spark had been ordained in the Church of Sc^otland. 
He came to Quebec first, as a teacher, in ItSO, taking live 
mouths on the voyage from Aberdeen, his native city. 
He returned to Scotland in 1783, and returned to Quebec, 
an ordained minister, in 1786. Although still prosecuting 
educational work, he relieved Rev. G-eorge Henry, the 
minister in charge of the Scotch Church, Quebec, of the 
heavier part of his duties, and when that gentleman died 
in 1795, Mr. Spark succeeded him. He had a fine turn 
for business, and conducted the correspondence with the 
Government, on behalf of his church, with great tact and 
energy. He died suddenly of an apoplectic fit, March 
7th, 1819, while on his way to conduct service in the 
church in the afternoon. Since page 50 of this book was 
written, I have gathered from the Christian Recorder, 
published at York (Toronto), in 1819, four years after 
Mr. Bethune's death, that he had been originally ordained 
by a Presbytery of the Established Church in Scotland, 
for ai congregation of his countrymen in South Carolina. 

At the meeting of Presbytery for Mr. Somerville's ordina- 
tion, a letter was produced from the Rev. Robert Findlay, 
D.D.,Professor of Divinity, under whom Mr. Somerville had 
studied, and from whom he had already produced the usual 
testimonials. From the tenor of this letter, the two min- 
isters and the elder present considered themselves justified, 
in the existing circumstances, in forming themselves into 
a Presbytery. The following is the minute framed on the 
occasion : — 

" Montreal, I7th September, 1803. 

The former Presbytery of Montreal, having been by un- 
fortunate circumstances dissolved, the Rev. Mr. John 


Bethune, Minister of the Gospel at (rlennary, in Upper 
Canada, formerly a member of the said Pn'sbytery, and 
the Rev. Mr. Alexander Spark, Minister of the Gospel at 
Qnebee, con<'eiving it would be for the good of religion to 
form a connection and constitute theniselves into a Presby- 
tery, did accordingly meet at Montreal, this 7th day of Sep- 
tember, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun- 
dred and three ; and after prayers, the said Ministers, 
together with Mr. Duncan Fisher, took their seats. The 
Rev. Mr. John Bethune was chosen moderator, the Rev. 
Mr. Alexander Spark, clerk. Absent, the elder from Glen- 
gary, and the elder from Quebec. The Presbytery agreed 
that they shall be known and addressed by the name and 
style of The Presbytery of Montreal.'' 

" Mr. James Somerville, preacher of the Gospel, pre- 
sented a petition to the Presbytery, the tenor whereof 
as follows : — 

Montreal, September 17th, 1803. 

To the Moihrator and remanant memhers of the Preahytery of Montreal, to meet 

this day in Montreal . 

The Petition of James Somerville humMy slieweth, 

That in the month of .Tune last your petitioner was invited by the 
congregation of Montreal to come and take ui)on him the pastoral charge 
of tlieir church. That in consequence of said invitation, which will be 
laid before you, your petitioner since the middle of July last has officiated 
publicly in said church. Your Petitioner, however, not being in full 
orders, cannot discharge the requisite duties of his office, which occasions 
no small inconvenience to the members of said congregation. Your 
Petitioner, therefore, prays and entreats that the Presbytery will take 
his case anc^ vue case of the congregation under consideration, and, if 
your Petitiov. jr ahaM be deemed duly qualified, he prays that you may 
proceed to his ordination with all convenient speed : And your Petitioner, 
as in duty bound, will ever pray. 

(Signed) J. Somerville.' 

" And a call having been presented tr the Presbytery 
l?y the congregation of the Church of Scotland in Mont- 
real, inviting the said Mr. Somerville to be their minister. 


The Presbytery having taken said petition and call into 
consideration, agre( d to receive him on trials for ordination. 
" And ihe said Mr. Somerville having delivered dis- 
courses on the following subjects prescribed him, viz. : 
a Homily Psalm 136 : 1 — an exercise and additions on 
Gral. 3 : 8 — a lecture on Luke 12 : 13-21 — and a sermon 
on Gral. 4 : 18, the Presbytery having approved of the 
same, put to him the necessary questionary trials, in all 
which he gave satisfaction, they appoint Sunday, the 18th 
instant, between the hours of ten and twelve in the fore- 
noon for his ordination, adjourned till to-morrow, the 
18th instant, and concluded with prayer." 

" MoNTEEAL, 18th September, 1803. 

*' The Presbytery met according to adjournment. The 
Revd. Mr. John Bethune, Moderator, the Revd. Alex. 
Spark, Clerk, and Duncan Fisher, Elder. Read the 
minutes of the last meeting. After a sermon, preached 
by the Revd. Mr. Alex. Spark, from 1 Cor. 14 : 33, agree- 
able to the resolution of yesterday, Mr. James Somerville 
was solemnly ordained and set apart by prayer and im- 
position of hands to the sacred office of a minister of the 
Grospel. The Revd. Mr. John Bethune presided and gave 
the charge." 

Having completed the work for which it was specially 
constituted, namely the ordination and induction of Mr. 
Somerville, the Presbytery adjourned to meet on the third 
Monday in February, 1804. There has been no record dis- 
covered of this meeting to which the adjournment took 
place, or of any subsequent meetings of this Presby- 
tery of Montreal ; and it is probable that it never met, 
except for dealing with emergencies such as that for which 
it was formed. 

It will be noticed that no mention is made of the Church 

, 175 

of Scotland in the title of this Presbytery. This is to be 
accounted for probably, in the main, from the fact that as 
the Church of Scotland, at that date, embraced by far the 
larger part of the Presbyterians of that counti-y, the 
sece.ders not yet having become very numerous ; so that 
it might be taken for granted, without a statement of it, 
that a Presbytery, formed by Scottish ministers belonging 
to the Established Church, would be held to represent that 
Church. There may, however, have been a design in 
omitting any reference to the Church of Scotland, so as to 
unite all the Presbyterians in the community, some of 
whom had come from Ireland, some from the United 
States, and some had belonged to the seceders in the 
mother country. Co^nprehensiveness had all along been 
studied. In the original deed, the general designation is 
used " The Presbyterian congregation," although the pre- 
ponderating influence and sentiment are indicated in the 
qualifying words added, that its affairs were to be managed 
" conformably to the usages of the Church of Scotland, as 
by law established." At that stage in the history of British 
colonies everything was tentative. The constitution of 
both Church and State affairs, in the dependencies, grew 
out of events as they came about, as was the case with the 
British Constitution itself. There seems to have been at 
first no thought of a separate .md independent Colonial 
Church, The letter of Mr. Somerville shows that the 
setting up of a Presbytery in Montreal was only a make- 
shift, to be adopted because the more desirable course ap- 
peared, for some reason, impracticable. The ideal, clearly 
cherished by him and the other parties to the transac- 
tion, was ordination in Scotland, and by the Established 

The Rev. Robert Forrest, in whose favour the first 
secession from the Church in St. Grabriel Street took place, 
visited Montreal, and preached in the Church, in April, 


1803. He coutinued to officiate for five Sabbaths, whereas 
Mr. Somerville had been heard only for a single day. This 
circumstance gave a chance to the leaven of discontent to 
operate ; yet, as has been seen, Mr. Somerville was the 
choice of the large majority of the congregation. .Mr. 
Forrest had meantime withdrawn to the United States ; 
but when the resolution was arrived at, preferring his 
rival, he returned to Montreal, and rallied his friends, 
who assembled in the same room in Notre Dame Street, in 
which Mr. Bethune had held services seventeen years be- 
fore. He did not remain long with his friends here. Re- 
ceiving a call from a congregation in New York, in the 
autumn of the same year, he accepted it, and bade fare- 
well to Montreal. The Rev. Robert Easton, formerly 
Minister of Morpeth in Roxboroughshire, in connection 
with the Associated Reformed Synod of Scotland, suc- 
ceeded Mr. Forrest, in 1804. He and his congregation 
continued to worship in the room, aforesaid, until the 8th 
of March, 1807, when the Church in St. Peter Street 
was opened for worship. As this was a movement that 
carried important consequences with it, originating, as 
as it did, the St. Andrew's and American Presbyterian 
Churches, it demands a more extended notice. 

The following extract from the Montreal Gazette of the 
21st October, 1805, throws light on the situation : — 

" On Tuesday, the 15th inst., the corner-stone of a new 
Presbyterian Church in St. Peter Street, Montreal, was 
laid by the Rev. Robert Easton, who delivered the follow- 
ing speech, printed at the request of the Committee of 
Managers : — 

" Brethren, 
*' I congratulate you upon the commencement of a 
building, designed for the benefit of society in matters of 
infinite importance. Every wise man admits, that what- 


ever tends to form virtuous principles in the human heart, 
and to direct the exercise of them through the various re- 
lations of human life, should be embraced and pursued 
with ardour. The public institutions of religion, when 
conducted in a proper manner, have eminently this effect. 
By a display of the most excellent truths, they enlighten 
and elevate the faculties, and soothe the sorrows of the 
mind ; they furnish the most cogent arguments against 
profanity and vice ; they are the most eifectual means of 
promoting the great ends of civil government, — as habits 
of industry, subordination and honesty are put by them 
on the strongest of all hinges, the love and fear of the 
authority of Heaven. By including, in this account of 
Eeligious Institutions, the doctrines taught in the West- 
minster Confession of Faith, and the Rules of Presbyterian 
Church government, you have the whole of my private 
and official principles ; and you perceive the only purposes 
to which this building will be applied. I say, the only 
purposes, — for I am confident that, during my own min- 
istry in it, impiety and vice, disloyalty and turbulence 
will be equally reprobated. And I wish to Heaven th&t 
a stone of it had never been laid, if it is ever to be the 
instrument of diffusing poison through the veins of reli- 
gious and civil society. But I fear no such consequence ; 
because the congregation has resolved, and measures are 
already taken, to place it perpetually under the care of a 
regular body in Scotland, whose evangelical and loyal 
character is well knowm to the Christian world. . . . 

" Let us always strive to merit the approbation of our 
fellow citizens, and of the officers of government, by a 
peaceable, friendly and virtuous behaviour ; joining with 
all good men in whatever may promote the common wel- 
fare ; and marking, with the utmost detestation, every- 
thing of an opposite tendency. . . . 

"Perhaps, your great interest, my friends, in the politi- 


cal state of Religiou in this country, may ''c?quire that 
subject to be noticed on this occasion. But the question, 
you know, of clerical privileges, is still undetermined. 
Let us be thankful thus far, that we can meet together for 
public worship, without any annoyance ; and though I 
am denied at present the legal exercise of some of the cler- 
ical functions, yet, it is by a law which does, in the most 
unequivocal terms, exclude every other Protestant clergy- 
man, who is not of the Church of England. Let us wait 
with patience : real grievances will be redressed ; for we 
are under the protection of a sovereign who cherishes all 
his dutiful subjects, and whose person and enlightened 
government may Heaven preserve against the mischiev- 
ous designs of foreign envy, ambition and tyranny, to dis- 
pense the blessings of impartial justice, tranquillity and 
joy to millions of grateful people." 

Reading between the lines, it is not hard to understand 
the reasons for dwelling on the points emphasized in this 
address. The people who had gathered around Mr. Forrest 
and Mr. Easton were mostly either American by birth, 
and so accustomed to a different ecclesiastical atmosphere 
from that of the Church of Scotland all their lives, or 
were in sympathy with the secession churches of the 
mother country. Attempts had evidently been made by 
some parties in the community to discredit them, as if 
they were disloyal and dangerous elements in society, 
and belonged to no responsible section of the Church of 
Christ ; while the Church in St. G-abriel Street was looked 
up to with respect, as representiiig the Established Church 
of Scotland. Mr. Easton endeavours to parry these thrusts 
by pointing to the Westminster standards to which they 
adhered, and intimating that the congregation had it in con- 
templation to seek a connection with one of the organiza- 
tions in the old country. 

The other point referred to is one of historical interest. 


The right of marrying and burying persons belonging to 
their congregations, had been claimed and exercised 
by all the clergymen of the Church of Scotland, settled in 
the countries situated on the St. Lawrence, from 1759 
onwards. In the spring of 1806, an event occurred which 
raised the question of the validity of these Acts. Registers 
had hitherto been issued to these ministers in Quebec as 
well as in Montreal. Those belonging to the St. Gabriel 
Street Church are complete from the year 1*795. Soon after 
the passing of the Constitutional Act of 1791, a statute 
was enacted in Lower Canada for the more secure regis- 
tration of births, marriages and deaths. This Act limited 
the registration of births to the clergymen who performed 
the Christian ordinance lof Baptism. The Judges of the 
Court of Queen's Bench were constituted the authority 
to sanction the holding of registers. In the district of 
Quebec, a minister belonging to some other denomination 
than the Churches of England and Scotland, who had 
been refused a register, notwithstanding, ventured to 
perform some acts of clerical duty requiring registration. 
The Right Reverend Bishop Mountain caused proceedings 
to be taken against him. The Chief Justice, in delivering 
the sentence of the Court, condemning the unfortunate 
dissenter to six months imprisonment, attempted, in a 
speech of considerable length, to establish the position that 
the Church of England was the only established Church 
of the country, and that all persons not belonging to it or 
to the Church of Rome, of which the rights were guaran- 
teed by the capitulation and by the subsequent treaty 
with the King of France, came under the denomination 
of dissenters. Further, his Honour stated, that, conse- 
quently all clerical acts requiring registration, that had 
been performed by others than clergymen of the said 
established Church, or of the Church of Rome, were irregu- 
larly performed, and liable to be called in question. To 


prevent confusion," he added, " 9 bill will be introduced 
this evening into the Legislature to legalise all such acts." 
A bill was accordingly introduced by Bishop Mountain* 
which passed the Council ; but it was rejected in the 
Lower House, on the ground that the rights of the Church 
of Scotland had always been admitted in the province, 
and ought not now to be questioned. 

It is this opinion of the Chief Justice that Mr. Easton 
refers to, as one of hardship ; but he seems to take some 
comfort from the thought that the implied disability ex- 
tended to the hitherto favoured Presbyterian Churches 
that claimed to represent the Church of Scotland, as well 
as to the dissenters from that Church. 

As it was under the patronage of Rev. Dr. Mason that 
Mr. Easton come from Scotland and settled in Montreal, 
he and his congregation received substantial support from 
friends in the United States. Of the .£1500, which the 
new Church erected by the congregation in St. Peter Street 
cost, ^£600 was collected from the American people, with 
the understanding that it was to be a Secession Church, 
and to remain in that connection. 

The connection was, however, only one of sympathy 
rather than a legal one ; and, as a matter of fact, the con- 
gregation early became a second Scottish one, to which a 
certain class of the people of that nationality went, because 
they felt more at home in it, although the edifice in St- 
Gabriel Street was specially known as " the Scotch 

In his evidence in the suit, Kemp vs. Fisher, in 1860, the 
late Hon. James Leslie being asked : 

" Of the three Protestant Churches you recollect to have 
been in existence when you came to Montreal (in 1809), 
which was most particularly known as the Scotch 
Church ? " — " Answer : I consider that it was the St. 
Gabriel Street Church. It was as much known as the 


Scotch Church, as Christ Church was known as the 
English Church ; although there were two Scotch 
Churches, namely, this and the St. Peter Street one, 
known as Mr. Easton's Church." — Question : " Was there, 
between these two Scotch Churches, any recognized dis- 
tinction as to which particular denomination or body 
each was more especially identified with, or so reputed?" 
Answer : " The St. Gabriel Street Church was considered 
the Church which was attended by the higher classes of 
the Presbyterian community, and Mr. Easton's Church by 
the tradesmen and mechanics of the Presbyterian faith." 

But while the new Church in St. Peter street may have 
attracted a majority of the families of the class indicated 
by Mr. Leslie, it certainly did not embrace them all, as 
the records of the St. G-abriel Street Church show that a fair 
proportion of all ranks and conditions in the community 
attended its services. Nor was the latter without a consi- 
derable sprinkling of Presbyterians from the L^nited States. 
Nahum Mower, Nahum Hall, Cornelius Peck, Romeo 
Wadsworth, Nathan Pierce, John Westovei, Jonathan 
Hagar, J. W. Northup, Zabdiel Thayer, Joshua Henshaw, 
Jacob De "Witt, Jabez De Witt, Samuel Hedge and Elisha 
Lyman are, among other names, manifestly of New England 
origin, to he found in connection with St. Grabriel Street 
Church, long after the erection of the Church in St. Peter 
Street. Yet, doubtless, Mr. Leslie's recollections fairly re- 
presented the general character of the two congregations 

Mr. Easton's Ministry in St. Peter Street Church con- 
tinued until 11th July 1824, when the congregation, by a 
majority, voted themselves in connection with the Church of 
Scotland, taking the name of St, Andrew's Church. The 
people dealt handsomely by him on his retirement at that 
date, affording him an annuity of i)150, which he received 
up till his death, in 1851. His name must ever be associ- 


ated with the planting of the first offshoot from the 
parent tree in F't. Gabriel Street. The plant grew vigor- 
ously until, at the date named above, it threw off a shoot 
in turn, out of which has grown up the stalwart American 
Presbyterian Church of to day. But the St. Andrew's and 
American congregations are entitled to have a chapter to 
themselves, as influential factors in the history of the first 
century of Presbyterianism in Montreal. 


Rionr Rev. Joiis Strachan, Bishop of Toronto — A Candidate for St. 
Gabriel Stheht Church tn 1802 — His Letter of Application — 
His uirth, education and position in Scotland — His relations 
TO THE Presbyterian Church— His subsequent career in Canada. 

The date 1803 was, we have seen, an important period 
in the history of the St. Gabriel Street Church, involving 
almost a crisis in its affairs, by reason of the defection of 
three of the elders and a good many members, owing to 
the choice of Rev. James Somerville as minister, by the 
majority of the congregation, rather than of Rev. Robert 
Forrest, whom they favoured. It is an interesting fact, in 
the light of subsequent events in Canada, that a third can- 
didate offered himself for the position on that occasion, 
although the communication from him came too late for 
action to be taken on it, the faith of the congregation having 
been already pledged to Mr. Somerville. This was no less 
important a personage thaii Mr. John Strachan, afterwards 
the Right Reverend the Bishop of Toronto. The letter 
was dated " Kingston, 21st September, 1802," and was ad- 
dressed to Thomas Blackwood, who became afterwards so 
prominent in church circles in Canada. After some pre- 
liminary remarks, Mr. Strachan proceeds to define his 
ecclesiastical position : — 

" I am not licensed to preach, but that would not occasion more delay 
than taking orders, the latter of which cannot be obtained in the Church 
of Scotland before a settlement is procured ; whereas both can be obtained 
at one and the same time, were we agreeing in other respects. The most 
respectable method would be to take orders in Scotland, were the delay at 


all admissible. This would not take up above four montlis at furthest; 
and,asi I take it for granted tluit the luonibers of tho church wouUl profer 
one educated and ordained at home to a foroiRner, this does not api)oar 
an objection of jrreat magnitude, especially when I recollect that I could 
bo niady before they conld procure another from Scotland. If it sliould, 
ho\\ever, apinnir improi)er to leave the cluirch vacant so long, orders, I 
•tipi)08e, may be procured in tliis country, in a short time. You will oblige 
me in communicating what of this letter you think i)roi)er, to the com- 
mittee, should they fail in their present solicitation, and it apix^ar to you 
likely that I may succeed. ****** You will oblij>re nie much 
by writing, as soon as you can, concerning the church, as it is probable by 
this time, the matter is determined one way or other; and you will easily 
conceive that a state of susi)ense is not very agreeable. If the gentleman 
has accepted their jjrojMisals, it will be unnecessary to mention anything 
about me. If not, I can appear personally and procure the necessary 
qualifications, as soon as their determination concerning me shall be 
known. I ask your forgiveness for so much trouble, and am, 

" My dear sir, &c., 


In a letter to the same correspoudeut, of " 13th October, 
1802," he expressed regret at his want of success iu obtam- 
ing a settlement iu this city. The following are his words : 

" Montreal aflbrds the advantage of a Library, a luxury unattainable iu 
this Province. The excellent society was a second inducement of much 
weight, and even the expectation of a jatmt across the Atlantic is to a 
Scotchman, you know, a matter of no small importance. My engagement 
here expires in winter, but that is no bar to an immediate change, was a 
proper situation casting up." 

Mr. Blackwood, in furnishing these extracts from the 
originals in his possession, which he had carefully pre- 
served along with many other letters from Rev. Dr. 
Strachan, to Kev. Dr. Harkness of Quebec, in a communi- 
cation dated " Montreal, 22ud January, 1828," makes this 

" Before the letter of 21st September, (1802) came to hand, the Rev. 
James Somerville had been recommended from Quebec, and had preached 
to the congregation, who had approved of him ; so that according to Mr. 
Strachan's suggestion, no public mention was madeof him, it being 'unne- 


cessary.' However, cortain of his 8i)eecho8 and writiiitrs of lato yoars, now 
renders it proper to bring to light acircunistnnoe whidi would otherwise, 
pr((i)ahly, nover have l)een known, except to some of his particular friends 
and acqtiaintances. 

" T. B." 

Mr. Blackwood took the further precaution of having 
a notarial copy made of these letters, in the office of Mr. 
Griffin, N. P., of this <ity, so that they should remain of 

The fact of the existence of these letters wan made 
known at a time when Dr. Strachan, then Archdeacon of 
York, was fulminating at all the other denominations of 
the country in general, and, in particular, at the Presby- 
terians claiming connection with the Church of Scotland, 
who were demanding recognition as of equal status, in 
Canada, with the members of the Church of England, and 
as possessing as valid rights in the income from the 
Clergy Reserves. He was not a little disconcerted by the 
discovery of this correspondence, on the part of Hon. 
William Morris and others, who were w^aging a vigorous 
warfare against him, in defence of the claims of the repre- 
sentatives of the Church of Scotland in the Canadas, as 
may be gathered from the f jllowing extract from a speech 
made by him in the Legislative Council of Upper Canada, 
on the 6th of March, 1828, by way of explanation and 
apology : — 

" But I am accused of being an apostate from the Kirk of Scotland. Were 
this true, I need not be ashamed of doing what Archbishops Tillotson and 
Socker, and Bishop Butler, have done before me, but my case is exactly 
this: My mother belonged to the Relief denomination, and was jieculiarly 
mild in her religious opinions. My father was attached to the Non-Jurants, 
and although he went occasionally with my mother, he was a frequent 
hearer of the late Bishop Skinner, to whose church he was in the habit of 
carrying me. He died when I was very young, but not before my mind 
was impressed in favor of Episcopacy, and imperious circumstances sepa- 
rated me from my mother, who, nevertheless, lived to bless me on taking 
orders in the Church of England. My religious principles were well 


grounded at a very early perirxl, but T readily confess that in rosjwct to 
church ;;<)V(irnment, they wero sudiciently va^'uo and uninformed; for, to 
this important Hubject, my attention was never particularly drawn till I 
came to this country, when my vener"ted friend, the lato Dr. Stuart, of 
Kinj^ston, ur^;ed mo to enter thochtirch, and an I had never yet commun- 
icateil, that excelUuit person, whom I loved as a father, admitted me to 
the altar, a little l)ofore I wont to Quel)ec to take Holy Orders, in lHn3« 
Before I had dotornuned to enter the Church of England, I was induced, 
by the advice of another friend, the lato A'r. ( 'urtwrijiht, a name dear to 
thin Province, to make some enquiry resi)f ctinji the Presbyterian Church 
of Montreal, then vacant. I desired a frien 1, under the seal of (confidence, 
to make these. His answer was that Mr. S)nierville had been appointed, 
and having thanked him for his trouble I never more thought of the 
matter. Not so this friend ; for he has iiot only kept my letter twenty- 
five years, but he brings it out in the midst of this controversy! for the 
purpose of injuring me, and shows it to my enemies, though he and I had 
been living in the habit of friendly intercourse, and in the interchange of 
good oflices for nearly thirty years. Such are the baneful consequences 
of religious controversies. 

But if any shall infer from the friendship I have always shown to the 
Kirkof Scotland, and my moderation in t)io {)resent controversy, that I 
am luke-warm in the cause of the Established Church, or that I v/a'it de- 
cision and fortitude to avow my principles, tliey will find themselves 
egregiously mistaken. In private life, I shall continue kind, as I have 
ever been, to all denominations, Init in supporting the just rights of the 
Established Church, I shall proceed boldly and fearlessly, and spurn, as 
I have hitherto done, that cold, calculating, selfish prudence, which would 
deter me from standing up in her defence." 

The lameness of this defence, I shall endeavour to 
point out by-aud-by. But I must insert here what his 
biographers have urged in this connection. His old pupil 
and successor in the See of Toronto, son of the founder of 
Presbyterianism in Montreal, Dr. Bethune, in his memoir 
of Bishop Strachan, lays stress upon the fact which the 
Bishop, in the speech above quoted from, cited in his life- 
time, — that Dr. Strachan's father, though living " in the 
midst of Presbyterians," was " attached to the non-jurors ; 
and in principle and practice, might be regarded as an 
Episcopalian." Of the Bishop's mother, he remarks that 
she " appears to have maintained through life her connec- 


tion with the Pn^pbyterians ; but, though difFering from 
her husband in religious creed, she lived with him in the 
utmoyt. harmony and affection ; and each was kindly tol- 
erant of the other's opinions." He adds, without vouch- 
ing for Us truth, what I would beg leave to say, would 
need 'ndubitable evidence to make it credible — "it is 
stated as a curious fact, that she used to make her children 
every night, before going to bed, sign themselves with 
the sign of the cross." 

" The father's religious predilections," the biographer 
goes on to say, " were, at an early age, shared by his son, 
the subject of this memoir, who frequently accompanied 
him to St. Paul's Episcopal Chapel in the Gallowgate 
(Aberdeen), and was a gratified hearer of the then Bishop 
Skinner. No doubt, the foundation was, at that time laid 
of those partialities which ripened afterwards into so deci- 
ded and zealous an adoption of the principles of the 

Further on. Dr. Bethune quotes the testimonial which 
young Strachan obtained from Eev. Dr. Barclay, minister 
of the Parish of Kettle .on the occasion of his leaving there 
to sail fcr Canada, July 20, 1*799 :— 

" The bearer, Mr. John Strachan, student in divinity, tauglit our school 
at Kettle, for about two years, with much approbation and success ; always 
conducting himself with decorum and respectability in his private deport- 
ment ; and is hereby heartily commended to the notice and attention of 
all into whose hands these presents shall come," 

Bishop Bethune remarks on this document : " The word- 
ing of this testimonial incidentally disproves the statement 
which, in various quarters, has been affirmed and believed, 
that the late Bishop of Toronto was once a licentiate, or 
probationary minister of the Church of Scotland. He 
merely, as we have seen, attended the Divinity Lectures 
at St. Andrews ; but had never taken orders or received a 
license to preach in that church." 


Fenninffs Taylor, in his sketch of Bishop Straohan, one 
of the " Last three Bishops appointed by the Crown for 
the Anglican Church of Canada," declares that Mr.Strachau 
" had by no religious act of his own become a member of 
any religious body." And he adds : " Thus it would ap- 
pear that while, on the one hand, Dr. Strachan, on his own 
confession, had deep religious feelings, on the other, 
he showed by his conduct that he had no well defined 
theological principles. The latter were an after-growth, 
the result of clearer knowledge and closer study." In 
another place, the same writer remarks : " Change of 
opinion, if it really took place, formed no exception, in the 
case of Mr. Strachan, to the rule which commonly governs 
all such changes ; that is to say, — it was gradual, but pro- 
gressive, unobtrusive, but continuous, where controversy 
was rather avoided than sought for, and conviction ii]:e 
conversion, was a process rather than a surprise." 

The best friends of the good Bishop could wish that he, 
in his own lifetime, and his biographers after him, had 
rested his case altogether on the position taken by Fennings 
Taylor, in the last sentences just quoted. The right of any 
one, and especially of a young man, to change his opinions, 
and surrender the views in which he has been trained, 
cannot be questioned. Freedom of enquiry is the birth- 
right of every man. And the particular change which 
took place in Mr. Strachan's case, was neither so rare nor 
so strongly reprobated among men, as to render it imper- 
ative for him and his biographers to do more than assert 
his right to make it, for good cause shown, without any 
recourse to hedging with respect to facts and former 
opinions. But it was the boast of Bishop Strachan's 
friends, before the fact of his candidature for the St. 
Grabriel Street Clinrch had been divulged, that he " never 
ratted." He was pointed to as one who was unswerving 
in his views. Whereas, here was an instance of serious 


" ratting " at the very beginuing of that career which was 
held to be so undeviating in its course. 

Two or three circumstances seem to have been forgotten 
or overlooked by the worthy Bishop and his eulogists. 
The letter to Mr. Blackwood gives no hint of any non- 
juring proclivities or of Presbyterian dissent either ; but 
the entire drift of the communication leads to the con- 
clusion that he wished the Presbyterians of Montreal, at 
least, to count him as of the Church of Scotland, and as 
in a situation in which he was assured of license and or- 
dination in that church for the mere asking. This implies 
that his divinity course was sufficiently complete for him 
to be able to claim licensure ; and, further, that this coui'se 
was taken under the cognizance of the Church of Scotland, 
as we know it was, in the National University of St. 
Andrews. The same thing is implied in Dr. Barclay's 
certificate. He is therein spoken of as a " Student in 
Divinity," from which the inference is plain, that he was 
a student in divinity, recognized as such by the church of 
which Dr. Barclay was a minister. Some persons, it ap- 
pears, had circulated a rumour in Bishop Strachan's life- 
time, that he had been a probationt > or licentiate of the 
Presbyterian Church ; but those who were acquainted 
with the facts, did not need to put any unfair report like 
that in circulation. All that they had to do was to take 
the status of Mr Strachan, as he gave it himself, exactly 
eight months before the date of his ordination by the 
Right Reverend Bishop Mountain, of Quebec. 

But that is not all. Fennings Taylor claims that Mr. 
Strachan " had by no religious act of his own become a 
member of any religious body." Dr. Strachan, too, when 
Archdeacon of York, alleged that he " had never commun- 
icated," until Dr. Stuart " admitted " him " to the altar " 
a little before he went to Quebec, to take holy orders. 
Why, herein in a marvellous thing, that a student of 


Divinity, who had gone through a course, so that he could 
assure a congregation that if they called him he could 
qualify in the matter of license and ordination in four 
months, yet had never communicated, when it always 
has been assumed that students have entered into fellow- 
ship with a congregation before being admitted to the 
Theological classes ! And it is, if possible, still more mar- 
vellous that he should have been, according to the show- 
ing 6f the biographers themselves, a schoolmaster succes- 
sively in two Scottish parishes, and yet not have been a 
member of that church, when everyone acquainted with 
the subject ought to have known, that at that time, no one 
could be admitted to occupy so important a parochial 
position, without at least professing to belong to the 
Established Church, and " declaring his willingness to 
subscribe the Confession of Faith, or the formula of the 
Church of Scotland, and to submit himself to the govern- 
ment and discipline thereof." Did Mr. Strachan get into 
office at Kettle, under false pretences ? And did he desire 
to get into office in Montreal, under false pretences ? Those 
v/ho allege that he never was a member of a Presbyterian 
Church, in order to free him from the imputation of 
" ratting," may choose on which horn of the dilemma to 
hang him. 

The truth seems to be that when Mr. Strachan came to 
Canada, and afterwards when he offijred his services to 
the St. Gabriel Street Church, the state of his mind, like 
that of his friend Chalmers in his early ministry at 
Kilmany, was more intent upon securing academic dis- 
tinction or professional advantages, as a teacher or 
preacher, than upon the primary consideration of doing 
good to his fellow men. Disappointed first in the 
matter of the assistantship to Professor Brown, of 
G-lasgow, which at one time seemed within his grasp 
and then escaped him, and afterwards in the promise 


of having a new college to establish in Canada, on the 
strength of which he came to this country, but which 
also failed him, he was capting around him for some 
new opening into which he might enter, when the 
St. Grabriel Street Church vacancy occurred. The position 
of minister in that church was then one of the few prizes 
which the country could offer to men's ambition. Mr. 
Strachan sought it, but was too late in entering the field. 
The next step to which he seemed shut up, was to try the 
Church of England, what preferments it might be able to 
throw in his way. Circumstances having brought him 
within the pale of that church, his logic set to work, 
no doubt unconsciously, to justify the step he had 
taken, not as his first but his second choice, and to fortify 
his new position. It was then he reached the " well de- 
fined theological principles," which Fennings Taylor, 
probably with truth, describes as "an aftergrow^th," but 
whether as " the result of clearer knowledge and closer 
study," is another question. We may be allowed to apply 
to this case the phrase which the London Times coined to 
describe the change which came over Mr. G-ladstone's 
views regarding the Irish question — the " conviction " 
may have been " self-imposed." 

It would be altogether pleasanter to write only of 
the excellencies of this extraordinary man ; but, inas- 
much as he sought, in his own lifetime, to make little of 
his former ecclesiastical relations, in a manner unworthy 
of him, and his biographers, after his decease, did not ad- 
mit, as with a good grace they might have done, the facts 
as to his Presbyterian status, I have felt that the imper- 
ative demands of historical truth must be met by the 
foregoing criticism. 

But, making due allowance for the zeal for the cause 
with which Mr. Strachan identified himself, in the cir- 
cumstances already narrated, such zeal as usually charac- 


terizes proselytes, we fmd much to admire in his character ; 
and imagination fails to conceive how the face of the 
entire subsequent history of ecclesiastical affairs in this 
country, miprh^ have been changed, had this man with 
his, as yet, undeveloped potency and remarkable energy 
and vigour of character, been chosen for the influential 
pulpit of the St. Grabriel Street Church, instead of the 
comparatively feeble, although most amiable, accom- 
plished, and worthy Mr. Somerville. 

This redoubtable Canadian ecclesiastic first saw the 
light at Aberdeen, Scotland, the nursery of not a fev^ 
famous men, on 12th April, 1778. He was matriculated 
at an early age, in King's College there, from which he 
graduated M A., in 1707. Obtaining a situation as teacher 
near St. Andrews, at c£30 a year, he was able, in 1797, to 
enter the Divinity class in the University, although his at- 
tendance was irregular, owing to his duties as a Parish 
schoolmaster. However, he took out his class-tickets, and 
delivered the prescribed discourses, and so secured his 
standing as a student of Divinity. The Parish school of 
Kettle, the annual income of which was =£50, becoming 
vacant, he was the successful candidate in a public com- 
petition, although a mere lad. It was here he laid the 
foundation of his reputation as a successful instructor of 
youth, having for pupils, amongst others, David Wilkie, 
afterwards so celebrated as a successful delineator of 
Scottish life, and Commodore Barclay, son of the parish 
minister, who lost both his arms in an engagement on 
Lake Erie, in the war with the United States, in 1812. 

He had, in the meantime, made the acquaintance of 
Thomas Chalmers, afterwards the famous Scottish preacher 
and divine, who was at about the same stage of profes- 
sional preparation as Mr. Strachan himself, and of Thomas 
Duncan, subsequently Professor of Mathematics in the 
University of St Andrews. All three were, at this 


period, aspirants after literary fame and academic distinc- 
tion ; and, when the offer came from Canada of a position, 
as a teacher, that might ultimately lead to the establish- 
ment of an important Educational Institution in that 
country, it was first made to Mr. Duncan, then to Mr. 
Chalmers, but both declining it, Mr. Strachan was next 
approached on the subject, and he accepted. 

He reached Kingston on the Slst December, 11*79, to 
find that he had to settle down to work as tutor in a 
private family, that of Mr. Eichard Cartwright, grand- 
father of Sir Richard Cartwright, ex-Minister of Finance, 
instead of engaging in the more ambitious enterprize 
for which he had crossed the Atlantic, of founding 
a college for the superior education of the youth of the 
colony. He remained in this position until his ordination, 
and it was in the interval he offered himself to the St. 
G-abriel Street congregation. The change in his ecclesias- 
tical views he ascribed to the influence of the Rev. Dr. 
Stuart, Rector of Kingston, who, like himself, had been a 
Presbyterian in his youth. The day of his ordination, he 
was appointed to the English Church at Cornwall, making 
the fifth clergyman of that communion then in Upper 
Canada. To fill up his time and supplement his income, 
he established a school, and was fortunate enough in a 
few years to attract capable pupils from all parts of the 
country. Among them, as we have already seen, were 
three of the sons of Rev. John Bethune, the founder of 
the Presbyterian cause in Montreal. James Duncan Gribb, 
son of Benaiah G-ibb, and G-eorge G-regory, son of John 
Gregory, boys belonging to the St. Gabriel Street Church, 
were also educated by him ; as were Sir John Beverley 
Robinson, Chief Justice McLean, Sheriflf McLean, Col 
Gugy, Justices Macaulay, Vankoughnet, Jones and Ridout, 
Hon. George H. Markland, Hon. John Macaulay, and 

many others, who afterwards occupied a high position 



in the public affairs of the country. His biographer, Bishop 
Bethune, says that Mr. Strachan never overlooked the 
interests of the church of his adoption while engaged in 
his educational work. His " desire " was " to select from 
his pupils those who had a taste and qualification for the 
sacred ministry." He was a born educator, and acquired 
a remarkable ascendancy over the youth under his in- 
struction. It used to be said of him that he invariably 
stood by his old pupils in after life, and they, as loyally, 
stood by him, and thus they climbed the ladder of power 
together, hand in hand. 

In 180*7, he married the widow of the late Andrew 
McGill, of Montreal, which was another point of contact 
with the Scotch Church in St. G-abriel Street, on the part 
of Dr. Strachan. This event was an important one in his 
career. The second daughter of Dr. Wood, of Cornwal], she 
was young, beautiful and accomplished ; and, as her late 
husband had left her rich also, she was a meet companion 
for Dr. Strachan all through the distinguished career 
which he afterwards ran. She died in 1865, 81 years of 
age, after 58 years of wedded happiness with Bishop 
Strachan. Through his relation to the McGill family, 
we may also trace his influence over the early fortunes 
of McGrill College, of which he was offered the first 
Principalship, but, declining it, was appointed Professor 
of History and Civil Law in 1823. In ISOt, he was 
made LL.D. by the University of St. Andrew's, where his 
friend. Professor Duncan, had found a sphere for his 
talents. In 1811, the University of Aberdeen conferred 
upon him the degree of D.D. It cannot be charged, there- 
fore, that if he turneu his back upon his country's faith, his 
fellow Scots gave him the cold shoulder in consequence. 

The Rev. Dr. Stuart, of Kingston, died in 1811, and 
although Mr. Cartwright would have preferred to see his 
friend, Dr. Strachan, appointed to the vacancy there ; yet, 


out of deference to the wishes of the widow of the late 
rector, her son, the Eev. George O'Kill Stuart, who had 
been in charge of the church at York, which was then, 
every way, inferior to Kingston, was chosen successor to 
his father ; and Dr. Strachan was translated from Corn- 
wall to York, at that time a little town of a few hundred 
inhabitants, yet an important place, as it was the seat of 
the Legislature. He lived to see it grow into a great 
Toronto, *' the Queen City " of the Province, and no one 
felt more pride in its prosperity than he. Some great men 
have been the creatures of circumstances. That cannot 
be alleged of Bishop Strachan : he rather dominated his 
surroundings. Yet, unquestionably, he arrived at York 
just at the moment when his opportunity also arrived. 
War having been declared between the United States and 
Great Britain, on the 18th June, 1812, the whole country 
was thrown into a ferment. At such a time, the true 
leaders of men are forced to the front. Dr. Strachan's 
voice sent ringing tones throughout the Province, sum- 
moning the people to the defence of their hearths and 
homes. His facile and vigorous pen was that whi(;h took 
the clear lead on the occasion. He entered the lists with 
Thomas Jefferson, of Monticello, Ex-President of the 
United States of America, in the discussion of the inter- 
national points in dispute, and was able to hold his 
own in the controversy with that distinguished states- 
man. He founded " The Loyal and Patriotic Society 
of Upper Canada," and by his courage, activity and 
diplomatic skill, he saved Toronto from destruction 
in 1813, when it was taken by the United States 
troops. He thus earned an influence in the country ; and 
he was afterwards rewarded with such honours as the 
rulers of the day had it in their power to bestow. 
In 1818, he was appointed a member of the Executive 
Council of the Province, which was charged with the 


administration of public affairs. Towards the end of 
1820, he was nominated to a seat in the Legislative 
Council, and for twenty years took an active part in 
framing the laws of the country. As many of the old 
fur traders were amongst his warmest friends, he espoused 
their cause against Lord Selkirk with characteristic 
warmth and vigour ; and, it may be added, with a good 
deal of unfairness. The worthy Bishop, with all his clear- 
ne*"s of intellect, was manifestly not a prophet, as the fol- 
lowing declaration of his, made in 1816, in connection 
with the Red River controversy, shows : — " The Grovern- 
ors and Adventurers trading to Hudson's Bay, may con- 
gratulate themselves on receiving =£10,000 for a portion 
of their supposed territory, which, for the purpose of 
colonizing, is not worth so many farthings ; but to sup- 
pose, as your Lordship seems to do, that any sum of 
money can remedy the disadvantages arising from a situa- 
tion so remote is exceedingly absurd." Ho then adds that 
no British Colony will ever approach nearer to it than 
twelve or thirteen hundred miles, — and urges in effect 
that the population of the older Canadian settlements 
could not be expected to spread into it " for at least a 
thousand years." To this pamphlet, Archibald McDonald 
replied, with great ability, in a series of letters to the 
Montreal Herald. 

Bishop Strachan was stoutly loyal to British Institu- 
tions. He was greatly enamoured especially of the con- 
stitution of England — King, Lords and Commons, with 
the Church closely allied to the State, and Bishops sitting 
in the Legislature. He entered heartily into the views of 
Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe, when in his address at the 
first Parliament of Upper Canada, in 1Y92, he declared it 
. was his desire to see reproduced in the Provincial consti- 
tution, " the very image and transcript of that of Great 
Britain." As a foundation for thib ideal, the Bishop planned 


to have parishes erected after the model of those of Eng- 
land, and GrrammLr schools established in the great 
centres of population, to be crowned with a University — 
all under the control and supervision' of the Church of 
England. But he was baffled in his main schemes, as we 
shall see when we come to discuss the Clergy Eeserves 
question. He was instrumental in having District 
schools erected at Cornwall, Kingston and Niagara, and, 
at a later period, in founding Upper Canada College in 
Toronto. The University of King's College was established 
in 1827, as the coping-stone of the educational edifice 
which he had planned, — one of its provisions being that 
the Archdeacon of York, the dignity to which he had just 
been elevated, should be at all times its President. But, 
in 1849, the Reformers, whom he thought dreadful people, 
being in power, dropped the name of King's College, and 
called the institution "The University of Toronto." Farther, 
they not only abolished the Episcopalian faculty of Di- 
vinity which he had created, but went so far as to declare 
clergymen ineligible to a seat in the senate of the Univer- 
sity. It was then he started the movement for the erec- 
tion of Trinity College, Toronto, putting down $4,000 for 
himself to head the subscriptions. He afterwards raised 
for it in England, by his own exertions, $60,000. 

In August, 1839, Archdeacon Strachan was consecrated 
Bishop of Toronto, with the whole of Upper Canada for 
his See. 

In 1836, the Legislative Assembly remonstrated against 
his holding a seat, along with the Rom?u Catholic Bishop 
of Regiopolis, in the Legislative Council ; and the views 
of the popular house of Parliament were upheld by Lord 
Grlenelg, the Colonial Secretary of the day. This put the 
lively little Bishop on his mettle ; he stood upon his rights ; 
he had been appointed by his sovereign at no solicitation 
of his own, and he was not going to abandon his position 


at the beck of Canadian agitators. And he maintained 
his ground, until the terms of the Union Act were passed 
in January, 1840. He protested vigorously against the 
Union, as it was his opinion that the interests of Protest- 
antism would have to be sacrificed to the overshadowing 
influence of the Church of Rome in the councils of the 
country. He took substantially the same view that the 
Mail is propounding so eloquently to-day. From this time 
forward, his schemes in the matter of an Established 
Church and an Anglican University having been thwarted, 
he withdrew largely from public affairs and gave himself 
up to the duties of his Episcopal office, which he dis- 
charged with singular laboriousness, fidelity and zeal. 
He died on 1st November, 1867, in the 90th year of his 

It might be safe to say that no person in Canada has 
ever wielded so all-powerful an influence in the directing 
of public affairs, as he did, for a period of nearly thirty 
years. And he remained essentially a Scot to the end of 
his days. His accent was broadly Aberdonian to the last. 
He had the taste for controversy that is supposed to belong 
to his countrymen. There was no mistaking his face for 
that of an Englishman or an Irishman : it was of the dis- 
tinctively Scottish type. And although he roused the ire 
of good Presbyterians in 1838, by charging Calvin with 
" pride " in opposing Episcopacy, and was wont to say to 
his Presbyterian fellow countrymen, when he met them, 
half in jest and half in earnest, " have you not by this 
time purged yourself of the heresy of John Knox ? " in 
everything, save Episcopal ordination, he remained a dis- 
ciple of Calvin and Knox. His preaching was of the 
orthodox Scotch type ; as his character was the product 
of ages of such teaching. Namby-pamby sentimentalities 
never yet yielded a John Strachan ; and if the Knox- 
Calvin element had been taken away, there would have 
been little left, and it not the most estimable part of him. 


In spite of his high toryism and lofty notions on Epis- 
copacy, he was kind and gentle towards his clergy, and 
full of consideration for their comfort. Many character- 
istic anecdotes are told of him. He would not yield to 
popular clamour in anything. A deputation once waited 
upon him to complain of the tiresomeness of their clergy- 
man's preaching, alleging that he had delivered the same 
discourse over so often that it had become familiar to them 
as the Lord's Prayer. The Bishop heard all they had to 
say, and then asked the spokesman, "What was the text ?" 
He hummed and stammered, and had to confess that he 
could not recall it. Then, addressing the next man, he 
asked, "What was the text?" and so he went round them 
all, without eliciting an answer, and concluded by bid- 
ding them go home and ask their minister to go on 
preaching that same sermon until they had at least learned 
the text. 

But he could take the clergy " down " as well as the 
people. His mission and confirming tours were most 
laborious campaigns, and it was found to be a very serious 
undertaking for those who went with him to continue 
bearing him company to the end ; as he often had as many 
as three appointments on a single day. Various were the 
excuses they had to contrive for breaking off their engage- 
ment and returning home. A clergyman, who afterwards 
rose to a high dignity in the church, came to the Bishop 
on one of these tours, with a letter in his hand, and a very 
solemn expression in his face, saying, " My Lord, I have 
just received a letter from my wife, and I am sorry to say 
she is very ill and requires my presence at once." "Aye, 
aye," replied the far-sighted ecclesiastic, " I've been ex- 
pecting that letter for several days." He had noticed 
tokens of weariness on the part of his chaplain. 

" My young friend, you have preached only half of the 
Gospel this morning," he said to one whom he regarded 


as an extremist iu his teaching, " I must preach the other 
half this afternoon." 

'* Sit doon, sir, ye're talking nonsense," was rather a 
laconic method of bringing a wordy harangue to an 
abrupt conclusion. "Well, I am in the hands of the 
meeting," replied the speaker. " Nae, nae, ye're not, ye're 
in my hands, — sit doon, sir," reiterated the Bishop in 
Khcetian tones. 



City— SuocHEDBD hy Rev. Jambs Tunstall, and hh by Rev. S. 
Jehoshaphat Mountain, D.D.— MKDiiEVAL Claims of Church of 


TO 1814 — Opknincj of the firmt Christ Church. 

At this particular period, the members of the Church of 
Scotland were throwu into very intimate relations with 
those of the Church of England. Indeed, from the first, 
there was a good understanding between the representa- 
tives of these two influential religious communities. The 
fact that a large proportion of the prominent British mer- 
chants in the city were Scotch, and had been brought up 
as Presbyterians, contributed not a little to the creation of 
a friendly feeling on the part of the English Church 
towards their Scotch neighbours. Many of those who went 
to make up the " Protestant Congregation of Montreal" 
had been Presbyterians in their youth, and became con- 
nected with the Episcopal Church out of necessity, as the 
first Protestant congregation planted in the city, and the 
only one for several years. Among the " Protestant inhabit- 
an- s of Montreal " that subscribed the address to the of Nova Scotia, in 1789, were Adam Scott, Alex- 
ander Henry, James McGill, James Finlay, Thomas 
Forsyth, James Dunlop, John Lilly, James Laing, James 
Morrison, J. G-. Turner, John Eussel, "William Hunter, 
John McArthur, Robert Simpson, Finlay Fisher, "William 


England and John Kay, all Scottish Presbyterians, — Mr. 
Scott, occupying at that time the position of a church- 
warden. Several of them returned, decidedly, to the 
Church of their fathers, as soon as Mr. Young began 
his ministry in Montreal ; while others of them appear 
to have been divided in their allegiance between the two 
communions — not breaking off their connection with the 
Church of England entirely, and yet giving countenance 
and aid to the movement to establish a Presbyterian 
cause in the city. The fur traders being Scotch, for 
the most part, and the early supporters of the Church 
of England, but being also generally Presbyterian in 
their views and sentiments, and worshipping half the 
day according to the forms of the one Church, and the 
other half after those of the other, constituted so many 
middle men, and were the means of bringing both the 
clergy and the membership of the two communions into 
close and friendly contact. At that early period, the found- 
ation was laid of that good understanding which has 
almost always since subsisted between both the clergy and 
the laity of these churches in the city. Then, when 
the relations of the two Christian communities elsewhere 
had been strained, owing to the agitation of public ques- 
tions at issue between them, more than once, in the history 
of the past, there never was a suspension of intercourse 
between them in Montreal. Courtesy has uniformly char- 
acterized the bearing of Episcopalians to Presbyterians 
here ; and one element governing the situation probably 
has been the considerable number of Scotch families em- 
braced, from one cause or another, in the Anglican com- 
munion, leavening it with a sentiment more cordial, 
especially towards Presbyterians, than it has exhibited in 
some other places. Then, the mental hospitality displayed 
by the Scots in connecting themselves with the Qhurch of 
England, and even taking office in it, before any Presby- 


terian congregation was organized in the city, was beauti- 
fully reciprocated, we have seen, by the assistance many 
Episcopalians rendered in the building of the St. G-abriel 
Street Church, and by the occupation of pews in it after- 
wards, thus begetting respect for their communion in the 
hearts of those who had been accustomed to give no 
quarter to prelacy. The early free commingling of the 
adherents of the two churches produced a tolerant spirit, 
which has happily continued in good measure down to the 
present day. 

The first Protestant Minister resident in Montreal was 
the Rev. David Charbrand Delisle. He was one of three 
clergymen, of Swiss extraction, who were employed by 
the Church of England to labour among the French 
Canadians. He must have commenced his work shortly 
after the conquest, as he began to keep a Register for the 
" Parish of Montreal " on October 5th, 1*766, and he had 
probably been engaged in ministerial work some time 
before things were matured enough to warrant this step. 
The advent into Canada of French Protestants, at this 
juncture, as representatives of the Church of England, was 
in pursuance of the policy of the British authorities, who 
hoped, and expected, by means of clergymen speaking 
their own language, to convert the French Canadians to 
Protestantism, and thereby secure their loyalty to Eng- 
land. This hope of winning the habitants to the faith of 
the Church of England, was doomed to disappointment, 
and after a fifty years' trial it was entirely abandoned. 

Mr. Delisle filled the double office of Rector of the 
Parish of Montreal and Chaplain to the Garrison. For 
fifteen years, he and his people were beholden to the Recol- 
let Fathers for accommodation. But in 1789 they peti- 
tioned Lord Dorchester for the use of the chapel belonging 
to the Jesuits' College, which stood near about where the 
Court House now stands, and was Government property, — 


alleging in their plea the hardship of being so long neces- 
sitated to lie under obligation to their Roman Catholic 
neighbours for a place of meeting. The Grovernor G-eneral 
granted their request on the 14th September, 1*789, and 
they set to work to fit up the chapel for public worship, 
which they did at considerable expense ; and it was 
opened for divine service on the 20th of December, 1*789. 
Four days previously they resolved to adopt the name of 
*' Christ Church." Up to this time they were known as the 
"Protestant Congregation of Montreal." Mr. Delisle was 
an ardent Freemason, and was a prominent member of 
St. Peter's lodge from September, 1780, to August, 1*782, 
at which date he asked leave to withdraw from it, on the 
ground that it was inconvenient for him to continue his 
attendance at meetings. Many of those afterwards 
prominent in the St. G-abriel Street Church were married 
by him ; Peter McFarlane and Mary Goodman, in 1Y69 — 
Robert Simpson and Mary Weight ; Simon Fraser and 
Genevieve Lefevre, in 1*7*70 — John Porteus and Josette 
Cargueville, 1*7*71 — Thomas Porteous and Mary Gerard, 
in 17*73 — Donald Grant and Jane Baker ; James McGill 
and Mrs. Charlotte Guillemin, in 1776 — John Grant and 
Margaret Beattie, in 1777 — John Gregory and Isabella 
Ferguson, 1778 — Joseph Frobisher and Charlotte Jobert 
in 1779 — Rev. John Bethune and Veronique Waden, on 
30th September, 1782 — Thomas Sullivan and Margaret 
Dackstader; Dr. Blake and Mary Sunderland,in 1783 — Alex. 
Henry and Mrs. Marie Lavoie; Philip Ross and Jane Grant, 
in 1784 — Alex. Henry (again) and Mrs. Julia Kitt?on,l785 — 
Peter McFarlane (again) and Mary Ann McNamara, widow, 
in 1789 — Benaiah Gibb and Katherine Campbell, in 
1790 — Samuel Gerard and Ann Grant, in 1792 — Thomas 
Busby and Margaret La Casse ; John Grant and Catherine 
Campbell, in 1793. Mr. Delisle also baptized two children 
for Robert Aird, the first, John, in 1782, and the second. 


John, in 1*784. Two of Rev. John Bethune's children, 
Mary and Christie, were also baptized by him. In 1*791, 
Eev. James Tunstall became assistant to Mr. Delisie, and 
on the death of the latter he succeeded to the Rectorate, 
with Rev. Philip Toosey as curate. 

We have seen that Bishop Mountain had endeavoured 
to reproduce on Canadian soil all the distinctions and 
privileges claimed by the parochial clergy of the Church 
of England at home ; and in consequence had sought to 
inhibit, in the Quebec district, any other Protestant denom- 
ination from obtaining Registers in which to insert Acts 
of Marriage, Baptism, or Burial. The avowed aim of the 
Pitt Ministry was to reproduce English institutions in 
Canada. Its constitution was to be the very image and 
transcript of that of Great Britain, as one of the Canadian 
Governors put it. With this view. Bishop Mountain 
was assigned a seat in both the Executive and Legislative 
Council of Lower Canada, in the year 1796, as a Lord 
Spiritual in the community, corresponding to i he Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, in England, who, in virtue of 
his ofl&ce, has a right to a seat in Her Majesty's Privy 
Council. The Bishop of Quebec was, therefore, only 
carrying out the policy prescribed to him, when the British 
Government gave him his appointment, in the high claims 
which he asserted. In 1791, two years before there was 
a Bishop in Quebec, and while Montreal was included in 
the Diocese of Nova Scotia, there seems to have been an 
attempt made to claim superior privileges in this city also, 
although apparently with indifferent success. At a meet- 
ing of the Churchwardens and Vestry of Christ Church, 
on Sunday, October 23rd, 1791, " the Church clerk hav- 
ing represented that the funerals, marriage and baptism 
service are sometimes performed without his attendance 
or his being notified, the churchwardens resolve that the 
same is irregular, and to signify their sentiments thereof 



to the ministers." This was in the days of Rev. John 
Young, and he and his people w ere equal to the occasion. 
On November 5th, 1791, " the churchwardens' letter, of 
2Yth October, to the elders of the Presbyterian Church, 
being returned to them open, by the hands of Mr. Bowen, 
the Church clerk, with a verbal message from Mr. Young, 
the minister, they consider the same as a refusal of the 
proposal to join together moneys collected in charities." 
The Presbyterians of the Church of Scotland asserted their 
independence on this occasion, although they did not 
obtain Registers until 1796. There was to be a long and 
bitter contest before the Church of England would sur- 
render their exclusive pretensions ; but the representatives 
of the Church of Scotland never, for a moment, acknow- 
ledged those claims, nor faltered in holding that, as mem- 
bers of one of the National Churches of the United King- 
dom, they were entitled to the same rights and privileges in 
the Colonies as the Church of En gland enjoyed. In our days, 
when all Protestant communions here are on an equality 
in the eye of the law, it is difficult to realize how reason- 
able men could at any time have put forth the mediaeval 
claims which the Episcopal Church so long did in this 
country. But whatever irritation may have existed else- 
where on account of the high pretensions of the Church of , 
England, things seem to have settled down easily in this 
city, and as there were no very serious practical matters 
involved in the question, for many years, there was a tacit 
acknowledgement of the fairness of the claims put forward 
on behalf of the Church of Scotland. 

As has been already remarked, Rev. John Young was 
called upon, on several occasions, to officiate for the Rector 
of Christ Church at baptisms, and burials, in the years 
1798 to 1800. The good understanding, thus seen to exist 
between the two communions, made the arrangement, by 
which they should occupy the church in St. Grabriel Street 


jointly, quite an easy one. And it said much for the good 
sense, not to say Christian charity of the clergymen of the 
two churches, that they were willing to accommodate 
each other — and these kindly relations lasted for eleven 
years. Kev. James Somerville was the minister of the 
St. G-abriel Street Church during this period, and Rev. S. 
J. Mountain, D.D., was ihe Rector of Christ Church. 

Dr. Mountain was the elder brother of the first bishop 
of Quebec, and was one of the thirteen Mountains that 
were carried in the same ship across the Atlantic, and 
landed at Quebec on All Saints Day, 1*793. He was of 
Huguenot extraction, and was of the same family as Michel 
de Montaigne, the celebrated essayist. Jacobe de Mon- 
taigne being obliged to leave France, for conscience sake, 
settled in the County of Norfolk, England; and his 
descendants, accommodating themselves to their new sur- 
roundings, not only gave their French name an English 
dress, but became stoutly loyal to the institutions of the 
country of their adoption. The Rev. Jacob Mountain, one 
of them, entered the ministry of the Church of England, 
an act that showed that the family had become thoroughly 
imbued with the sentiments of their new found home ; for 
the English Church embodies the peculiar bent of the 
people's mind more thoroughly, perhaps, than any other 
institution in existence among them. Jehoshaphat Moun- 
tain, who occupied the pulpit of the St. Gabriel Street 
Church, one-half each Sunday for nearly eleven years, was 
the eldest son of this Jacob Mountain, and was born at 
Norwich, England, where his father was Rector of the 
Parish of St. Andrew's. When his brother was appointed 
bishop of Quebec, and ordained to that office on the *7th of 
July, 1793, Jehoshaphat resolved to accompany him to 
Canada, and share with him in the labours, which, as a 
missionary bishop, he had to lay his account for, in a 
sparsely settled colony. A good anecdote is told in con- 


nection with the selection of Dr. Jacob Mountain for the 
newly erected Canadian See. It is alleged that he was 
presented at Court to George III, just at the the time 
when the Royal mind was occupied with procuring a suit- 
able clergyman for the position in question, in response 
to petitions from the colony. As the story goes, the 
king remarked that he wished he could find a clergyman 
who would be willing to go to Canada, to fill the office of 
Bishop of Quebec, when Dr. Mountain quickly answered, 
" Say unto this Mountain, remove hence to yonder place; 
and it shall remove ; " and the royal mandate accordingly 
went forth. If this did not take place, it ought to have 
taken place. It would have been a display of ready wit, 
not unworthy of a scion of the House of the Montaignes. 

There was a special fitness in the coming of this family 
of French descent, to a province in which French customs 
and laws, as well as the French language, predominated. 
And they proved a decided acquisition to Canada, They 
were all imbued with a missionary spirit, and gave them- 
selves up heartily to the promotion of the spiritual 
interests of the country. Of the seven clergymen of the 
Church of England in Lower Canada in 1813, four weie 
Mountains. The estimation in which Dr. Mountain was 
held in this city may be inferred from the following 
obituary notice, which appeared in the Herald of April. 
12th, 1817 :— 

" Died here, on Thursday last, aged tO, the Rev. Jehosha- 
phat Mountain, D.D., official of Lower Canada, and Rector 
of Christ Church in this city. He was a man endeared to 
all his friends and relations by extraordinary generopity 
and warmness of heart : the former had only to make their 
wants known to him, and he assisted them more than they 
expected ; he anticipated the wishes of the latter. In him 
the poor have lost a steady friend — their loss is irrepara- 
ble. He was industrious in finding them out ; his donations 


were distributed with great judgment and regularity ; his 
liberality knew no distinction of countries or sects, and his 
bounty went quite beyond what, in common cases, would 
be called charity. The energies of this excellent man's mind 
were much impaired and debilitated of late years by the 
declining nature of old age, leaving little more than the 
inherent wish (which seemed to be in him) of protecting 
the poorest classes. He met death with uncommon com- 
posure, and even with cheerfulness, wishing to see every 
one who enquired after him, a pleasing omen to his afflicted 
family, that he reclined on his Saviour, and that his spirit 
was about to join those of good men made perfect. Some 
are to be found wh( denied Dr. Mountain the qualities for 
which his character was so superior, and for which his 
memory will be recollected with blessings ; but let them 
remember that a life passed like his must not be tarnished 
by little singularities or by their unguarded way of repre- 
senting trivial incidents. May they meet death with the 
same mind as he did, and leave behind them half as many 
proofs of their excellence. 

" His was the first corpse ever brought into the new 
Christ Church. He was the first minister of the Church. 
It was the first time the organ was played upon such an 
occasion, and it was by his liberality it stands there. He 
was the venerable head of the Protestant Episcopal 
Churches in these provinces in rank as well as in years. 
The powerful effects of these circumstances, few could 
withstand, the silent tear bedewed each countenance while 
viewing the awful and affecting spectacle before them." 

Dr. Mountain was succeeded as Rector by Rev. John 
Leeds, who had been his curate for some time. In 181*7, 
shortly before Dr. Mountain's decease, a somewhat vigor- 
ous correspondence was carried on in the Herald, touching 
the fidelity to duty of the Anglican clergymen of the city. 

The accusation was that they had refused to attend the 


funeral of Conrad Happel, a respectable G-erman citizen, 
who had claims upon their attention, as their critics 
alleged, — necessitating the calling in of Mr. Somerville to 
discharge the last offices. Mr. Leeds, it was said, declined 
to go to perform the burial service, because it would inter- 
fere with his dinner. He contradicted this statement ; 
but the attack made upon him injured his usefulness, and 
so, after a year's occupancy of the position of Rector, an 
exchange was effected between him and the late Dean 
Bethune, as has been already noticed, — he removing to 
Brock ville. 

The following interesting minute is found in the records 
of the Temporal Committee of the St. Gabriel Street 
Church:— ' 

"13th June, 1803. 

" The secretary produced a note from the Vestry and 
Churchwardens of the Church of England of this city, 
in name and on behalf of their congregation, addressed 
to the elders and committee of the Church of Scotland, 
stating the destruction of their church by the late fire, 
which has deprived them of their place of divine worship ; 
and requesting the use of our church for that purpose, 
and other parochial duties, until they are otherwise pro- 

" The elders and committee having taken the said request 
into due consideration, and willing to give every aid in 
their power to promote religion and the good of the Church 
of England, as neighbours and fellow-citizens, have unani- 
mously resolved that the said request be granted, so far as 
the committee and session are concerned, until we are 
provided with a clergyman of our own, and afterwards, 
on such days and at such hours as may be agreed on by 
both parties." 

The arrangement was satisfactorily made and continued 


for years, forming one of the many interesting episodes in 
the history of the venerable edifice. 

On the 29th December, 1804, a meeting was held of 
those interested in the erection of a Protestant Episcopal 
Church. Rev. Dr. Mountain presided, and among others 
present were Joseph Frobishcr, E. W. Grray, David Ross, 
and John Piatt, whose connection with the St. Gabriel 
Street Church has been noted. A committee was ap- 
pointed to prepare plans and prosecute the undertaking. 
The committee called for tenders in January, 1805, but 
the congregation was so comfortably housed in the Scotch 
Church, and the two clergymen and their flocks got along 
80 amicably, while meeting at separate hours in the same 
edifice, that the new Christ Church was a long time in 
building. Money was not very plentiful among the ad- 
herents of that chvirch, and so long as the arrangement 
with the Presbyterians continued satisfactory, there was 
no great urgency to push on the erection to completion. 

It would seem that from 1803 to 1809, the members of 
Christ Church paid nothing for the accommodation afford- 
ed them in the Scotch Church, further than bearing the 
expense of heating the building during the hours they 
occupied it ; but, when it was resolved, in 1809,,to put a 
tin roof upon the St. G-abriel Street Church, and make 
extensive repairs and additions to the interior, assistance 
was sought by the temporal committee from their Episco- 
pal friends, and it was proposed that, for the future, Christ 
Church should pay <£50 a year as their contribution to 
the repair fund. Accordingly, certain of the proprietors 
of the Scotch Church expressed their willingness to give 
up their pews to the churchwardens of the Episcopal con- 
gregation, during their usual hours of service. 

When the repairs were completed, the following letter 
was sent from the temporal committee to the authorities 
of Christ Church : — 


" Montreal, 11th Nov., 1809. 

" Gbnti-embn,— T am desired by the Committtee of Proi)rietor8 of the 
Scotch Presbyterian Cliurcli of tliia city, to intimate to you tliat the said 
Church, having undergone the neceessary repairs, will be ojiened for divine 
service on Sundav, the 12th inst. 

Messrs., the Wardens of 1 
the English Church, Montreal." j 

It was some mouths, however, before the arrangements 
were perfected, and, meantime, the following letter was 
received from the English Churchwardens : — 

"Montreal, 27th Aug., 1810. 

" Gentlemen,— The Episcopal congregation, being desirous of returning 
to your Church until their Church can be finished, request, by the sub- 
scribing Churchwardens, to be informed on what terms you will allow the 
church service to be performed there. Also, that we should be allowed to 
fix and raise such rates on the ytewa in the said church, as shall be requisite 
to raise a fund to enable us to pay the rent and discharge the contingent 
expenses attending the said church. 

A speedy answer will greatly oblige. 


Your most obedient and humble servants, 


The following was the answer : — 

Montreal, 4th September, 1810. 
" Gentlemen, — We received your letter of the 27th ult., but before we 
could give an answer, it was necessary to consult the proprietors of j)ews in 
the Scotch Church, in order to get their consent, that you should have the 
free use of the pews so as to enable you to fix and raise such rents on them, 
as may be necessary for the purposes you mention. Having now got the 
consent of nearly the whole, you may have the free use of the Scotch 
Church during Sunday for the performance of divine worship, at any time 
between half-past twelve and three, p.m., for whf 'h you will pay to us, or 
either of us, in the course of this month, the sum of £50 currency, and, 
also, one-half the fire-wood that may be required to keep the church warm 
during the winter. 


Some propriotors of seats wish to reserve tliem for their own use, during 
your service; others have t;iveii them up to particuhvr j)eople, hut in either 
case, it is undorstoml that the occupier shall pay you the annual rent that 
you shall fix for such class of pews; but which, it is understood, shall not 
exceed what may he a reasonable estimate for the pur{X)Ses expressed in 
your letter ; and we herewith hand you a list of the pews, specifying those . 
that are retained or given to particular people on these conditions. 

Notwithstandinj; what is naid above, with respect to the time of divine 
service, it is understood, that when either of the clergymen are to admin- 
ister the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, they shall, on such occasions, 
accommodate each other as to times. 

We are. Gentlemen, 

Your most obedient servants, 


Committee for Man- 
aging the Temporalities 
of the Church. 


" To Messrs. J. G. BEEK, 


: ■ ' .V t-s" — ^ 

These proposals being mutually satisfactory, arfarrange- 
ment was entered into that lasted until the new Christ 
Church was ready for divine service, in 1814. The follow- 
ing account of the opening of that fine edifice, which used 
to stand on Notre Dame street, about where Henderson 
and Company's Fur Warehouse now is, and which was 
destroyed by fire on the 10th of December, 1856, appeared 
in the Gazette of Thursday, the 13th October, 1814 :— 

" The new Episcopal Church was opened for divine service on Sunday 
last. An appropriate and excellent sermon was preached on the occasion 
to a large and respectable congregation, by Rev. Dr. Mountain. This truly 
elegant structure reflects the highest credit on the taste of the Directors 
who had the superintendence of its construction, and, when finished, will 
be a handsome ornament to this growing and important city." 

The Imperial Parliament voted .£4000 " towards furnish- 
ing the Protestant Parish Church in Montreal," and sub- 


scriplions were also obtained from individual friends in 
England. The church served its day well ; but when it 
was burnt, the authorities resolved to anticipate the move- 
ment of the population towards the suburbs, and so selected 
the site of the present Christ Church, the foundation stone 
of which was laid on 21st May, 1857. The old Christ 
Church had doors opening on both Notre Dame and St. 
James Streets ; and apropos of this fact, a good story is 
told of a Highland Regiment, at one time quartered 
in the city. The great body of the men were Scotch 
Presbyterians, as their Colonel also was ; but the orders 
of the Commandant of the District were that the Church 
parade should be to Christ Church. These orders were 
obeyed ; the regiment marched along and entered the 
church at the Notre Dame street door, but went on, tramp, ' 
tramp, right through the building and out of the door at 
the farther end, into St. James Street, turned to the right, ' 
and walked straight to St. Gabriel Street Church, where 
they joined in a service that was more to their mind. 


TiiK Business of the Ciii-rch transacthd by the Eldhrh— The Ruleh and 


CONTROL — A Committee constitijtbd the Exec:utivh of the Conurk- 



It was in 1804, within a few months of the beginning 
of Mr. Somerville's ministry, that the first attempt at 
drawing up a constitution for the St. Gabriel Street 
Church was made. Up till that time, the elders of the 
congregation appear to have been charged with the chief 
responsibilities of the church. There was, indeed, a tem- 
poral committee in existence during the period of Mr. 
Young's incumbency, and they had to undertake very 
serious work, we have seen. But their sphere of operations 
was not well defined ; the elders were the recognized 
authorities of the congregation, and from them the pew 
rights of the proprietors were held, in the first instance, 
as the following form of deed used in 1792, shows : — 

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND, Montreal : Pew No. 34. 

KNOW ALL MEN by theso presents, that we the Undersigned, Elders of the 
Presbyterian Protestant Church in the city of Montreal, named Thb 
Church of Scotland, for and in consideration of the sum of (Nine Pounds) 
lawful money of the Province of Lower Canada, in hand paid to the Trea- 
surer of the said Church, before the execution of these presents, Have and 
hereby Do, Grant, Bargain, Sell and Assign unto A. B., (of the city 
of Montreal, a pew, number thirty-four) in the said Church ; to have and 
to hold the said Pew unto the said A. B., his Heirs, Executors, Admin- 


ietrators and Assigns, for ever, subject to the following Charge where- 
unto the Purchaser doth hereby voluntarily bind himself, his Heirs 
and Assigns, that is to say : — To the annual payment of Four pounds 
six shillings and eight pence, lawful Money aforesaid, being the annual 
rate of the said Pew, towards defraying the Minister's stipend, CTerk's 
salary and other incidental charges ; which sum shall be paid on the 
first day of January in each year to the Treasurer of the said Church, 
the first payment to be made on the first day of January next. 
Provided nbvbktiieless, that the said annual payment shall only extend 
and be binding on the present purchaser during his life, or his residence 
in this Province, and not on his Heirs and Descendants, unless they 
choose to become Proprietors of said Pew at the above rate. 

And 'vherba^ the above annual payment is to be considered as part of 
the consideration Money whereon the sale is made ; Thbbbfoee, in case of 
non-payment thereof to the Treasurer of the said Church, the property of 
the said Pew is to revert to the Church, to be sold by the Elders thereof to 
the highest bidder, subject to the same rate ; the arrears then due to be 
paid out of the produce, and the residue should any there be paid to the 
former Proprietor. In Witness whereof tho said Elders and the Purchaser 
have to two parts hereof severally set their hands and seal.^, at Montreal 
aforesaid, this twenty-third day of November, in the year of our Lord One 
Thousand seven hundred and ninety-two. 

Signed, Sealed and Delivered 1 
In presence of \ 

C. D. 




A. B. 

I hereby transfer all my right, claim, and title to Pew No. 34, in the 
Church of Scotland in this city, over to Mr. Alexander Glass, of the same 
place, grocer, having received value for the same. 

Montreal, 21 st Aug., 1822. 

For self and heirs of the estate of the late A. B., 

A. B. 

This was a safe course for a colonial congregation to take. 
Everything done at that period was imitative. The essen- 
tial feature of our church is government by representa- 
tives of congregation 3, called elders. A Presbyterian 
Church, planted in a new community, may not always be 
able to conform to its prototype in every particular ; but 
it will at least have its " elders." True, their office is, for 


the most part, a spiritual one ; the oversight of the flock, 
the care of of the young, ministration to the poor and visit- 
ing the sick, are their special functions. Yet, in Scotland, 
it often happened, at the end of last century, that the 
management of parochial affairs generally, so far as they 
affected the congregation, yv&s in the hands of the Kirk 
SeFiiion. The practice with which the people, therefore, 
were acquainted in the mother country, rather than the 
theory of the Church of Scotland, was that which they 
naturally followed, when they first organized a Presby- 
terian congregation in Montreal. The elders were made 
the administrators of its affairs generally, temporal as well 
as spiritual. 

When, in the course of events, the cause grew, as it 
did under the popular preaching of Mr. Young, and the 
rapid increase in the Scottish population, this simple and 
primitive arrangement was found insufficient. Men, 
whose religious qualifications were high, did not neces- 
sarily display any special aptitude for business, and, there- 
fore, were not always those whom the congregation would 
select to manage their temporal affairs. Hence followed the 
appointment of a temporal committee. But that committee 
must often have been at sea to know how far their duties 
carried them, and it would be inconvenient to be calling 
the people together, from time to time, to obtain instruc- 
tion from them, on every matter that emerged. The natural 
thing to do was to get general instructions from the 
congregation, covering such matters as experience had 
shown to be likely to arise in the ordinary administration 
of affairs. Accordingly, it was resolved, at a meeting of 
the proprietors of pews, on the 14th February, 1804, to 
have " Rules and Regulations " drawn up for the guidance 
of the Committee. They are given in full, as the history 
of the congregation was largely shaped by them. 



VVE, the Subscribers, Proprietors in tlie Scotch Presbyterian Church of 
Montreal, being persuaded that it will be for the interest, peace and pros- 
perity of the said Church that the conditions under which we hold our 
property be fully understood and ascertained, have for these purposes 
pureed to and adopted, and do hereby agree to and adopt the following 
Articles : — 

1st. Every person having purchased a Pew or Pews in the said Church, 
and paid for the same, and who shall produce a deed deemed sufficient by 
the Committee of the Church, is a Proprietor, and shall be qualified to 
vote for and be chosen a Member of the Committee, or appointed to any 
other office relative to the direction or government of the Church. 

2nd. There shall be a Committee of the Church to regulate all the tempor- 
alities thereof, which Committee shall be (ihosen from the Proprietors at 
large, at a General Meeting annually held for that purpose, on the Third 
Tuesday of the month of April each year, notice having been given of said 
General Meeting the two Sundays preceding, from the Pulpit or Precentor's 
Desk ; and the said Committee shall consist of five Members, which 
Members so named and chosen by a majority of the Proprietors then pre- 
sent, shall be considered duly elected and qualified to regulate everything 
relative to the temporalities of the said church, during twelve calendar 
months after said election, and afterwards until a new Committee shall be 
chosen. Three Members, including a President or Vice President, shall 
form a quorum, and be fully competent to transact business. 

3rd. The Committee, as described in the preceding article, are empow- 
ered to sell Pews, execute Deeds and Leases of Pews, collect moneys, pay 
moneys, order repairs of the Church, call Public Meetings, and do all and 
everything respecting the temporalities of the said Church. 

4th. There shall be a Treasurer of the Church chosen annually by the 
Proprietors at the General Meeting, who shall receive and pay all moneys 
by order of the Committee only, and shall render an account of his trans- 
actions to the Proprietors at the Annual Meeting, but shall furnish the 
Committee with a statement of the funds in his hands whenever they 
require it. 

5th. Every Proprietor of a Pew or Pews present at a General Meeting 
shall have one vote only, and when two or more Proprietors hold a Pew 
they shall have but one vote, they agreeing amongst themselves, by bal- 
lot or otherwise, who shall give that vote ; and in case of. any misunder- 
standing amongst such Proprietors on this point, until they make it appear 
they have agreed, they shall have no vote. It being hereby provided that 
such disagreement shall not be construed to be any privation of their 
rights as Proprietors at the General Meetings, nor shall it influence or 
retard any business on which a General Meeting may be held or called. 


6th. In case of a vacancy in the Church by the death of a Minister or 
otherwise, in the election of a person to supply the said vacancy, the Pro- 
prietors shall vote in conformity to the regulations specified in the fifth 

7th. To prevent anything like mistake respecting the electing of a Min- 
ister, it is hereby provided and always to be understood, that no Proprie- 
tor, as is pointed out iu the 5th article, upon any pretence whatever, shall 
give his vote to any person, ]>ut to one who shall have been regularly bred 
to the Ministry, and who shall have been licensed by some regular Pres- 
bytery in the British Dominions, he producing credentials to ascertain the 
same, and who shall profess to be of the persuasion, and who shall adhere 
to the laws, government, and mode of worship of the established Clmrch of 
Scotland, properly so-called and denominated and known to be such, and 
also a natural born subject of His Majesty. And further, no i)erson ehall 
be considered duly elected as Minister of the said Church, without having 
a number of votes, at least equal to a majority of the whole number of 
Proprietors entitled to vote had they been present. 

8tli. The Rents of the Pews and other Revenues of the Church shall be 
appropriated to the support of the IMinister, and to the defraying any inci- 
dental expenses which may be incurred respecting the said Church, such 
as Clerk's and 8exton's salaries, necessary repairs, &c. 

9th. It shall be the business of the Committee to see all the money rela- 
tive to the Funds of the Church regularly collected, and the Minister's 
salary fixed and paid, and if it shall so happen that there is a deficiency in 
the Funds appointed for the aforesaid purposes, the Committee shall call 
a General Meeting of the Proprietors to provide for the same. 

10th. Every Proprietor in the Church may transfer his property to 
another, by sale, gift, or last testament ; but no transfer can l e valid, but 
on the express condition of the new Projirietor's being approved by the 
Committee and subscribing the^-i Articles. 

11th. If any Proprietor shall lefuse or neglect to pay the annual Rent 
fixed on his Pew, agreeable to his deed, when become due, the said Pro- 
prietor so refusing or neglecting shall immediately lose all right to vote or 
act as a Proprietor in any matter respecting the said Church ; and if the 
said Proprietor, so refusing or neglecting, continue to refuse and neglect to 
pay the said annual Rent, for the space of twelve calendar months from 
the time the said annual Rent shall become due, then the Committee, after 
two notices'from the Pulpit or Precentor's Desk, shall sell the said Pew to 
the highest bidder, and the money therefrom arising shall belong to the 

12th. The preceding Articles shall not have any retro!*pective influence 
whatever on what has been already done and passed, and no addition 
or change respecting them shall take place, unless the said addition or 
change shall have been made at a General Meeting of the Proprietors. 


13th. AVb the Proprietobs of the said Church, being convinced of the 
utility and propriety of the preceding Articles being fully understood and 
attended to by every Proprietor in this Church, and as we conceive it will 
greatly tend to the preservation of harmony, and to the advancement of 
religion among the Members thereof, 

We nHREBY Resolve, That every Proprietor, and also every one who 
shall become a Proprietor, shall subscribe this and the preceding Articles, 
as a proof of his approbation of the same, and of his determi lation to 
abide by them, and until such time as this is done, nono chall be considered 
as competent to give any vote, in the General Meeting of the Proprietors 
or in any matter whatever respecting the said Church. 

In Witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our proper names, 
this fourth day of April, in the year of Our Lord, 1804. 

The deeds of Pews, granted to proprietors, after the 
adoption of the foregoing '* Rules and Regulations," ran in 
the same terms as those issued by the elders in 1792, except 
that for the words, " Elders of the Presbyterian Protestant 
Church in the city of Montreal, named the Church of Scot- 
land," were substituted, " three of the Committee named 
and appointed by the proprietors of the Scotch Presby- 
terian Church, in the city of Montreal." A clause was also 
added, in 1804, to the deeds : — 

" And also upon this condition, that the purchaser, his heirs and assigns 
shall be held and bound by, and duly comply with, the foregoing Rules 
and Regulations for the government of the said church, made on the 4th 
April, 1804 ; and also to all such other Rules and Regulations as shall or 
may hereafter, from time to time be made, and adopted for the said 

This was an anomalous constitution for a Presbyterian 
Church to set up. No special qualification was laid down 
for the proprietors of pews, further than that they were 
the highest bidders for those pews when auctioned off, and 
afterwards paid their rents regularly. The holders of pews 
might be Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists or 
Baptists, or of no creed at all ; and yet, not only were all 
the tninor interests of the church in their hands, but they 
were the parties that even chose the minister. And, then, 


the regulation which made it indispensable that no min- 
ister should be elected, unless the number of votes cast for 
him was more than one half of the legally qualified voters 
onthelistofproprietors, putitinthe power of a minority 
to block the way to the settlement of a minister for an 
indefinite period. If, at the first, the congregation, as we 
have seen, threw more upon the spiritual office-bearers, the 
elders, than was implied in their office, now they rushed 
into the opposite extreme, and pat the spiritual rights 
and liberties of the people in peril, or at least placed them 
at the mercy of persons whose only qualification was that 
they could afford to pay the highest price for a pew. It is 
true, the proprietors did not dare go outside the Presby- 
terian Church for a minister : he had to be a licentiate of 
some church within the British dominions, and to " profess 
to be of the persuasion, and to adhere to the laws, 
government and mode of worship of the Established 
Church of Scotland." But every one knows that men 
might be found having these qualifications, whom it might 
be very undesirable, notwithstanding, to place over a 
congregation — they might have little godliness about 
them, and fail in preaching the Gospel, and yet be selected 
for the very colourlessness of their teaching, by men who 
had not the true spiritual interests of the community at 
heart. And the anomalousness of the constitution, in this 
respect, led to grave difficulties in after years. Indeed, so 
long as these " Rules and Regulations " were in force, the 
congregation w^as virtually governed by the temporal com- 
mittee. It was all powerful, and the Kirk Session was 
relatively insignificant, if it was not almost suppressed. 
The explanation of the willingness of the congregation 
to vote themselves, under such a constitution, is to be 
found in the state of matters at that period in the Church 
of Scotland. The heritors of the parish had a great deal 
to do with regulating its affairs, and the appointment of 


the minister was nominally in the hands of a lay patron, 
who might or might not be a member or adherent of the 
Church of Scotland, although he must always be a Protest- 
ant. In the constitution of the St. Gabriel Street Church, 
the proprietors of pews are accorded the same powers as 
were vested in the heritors and patrons in the mother 
country. But the grej,t difference in the situation was lost 
sight of. The heritors and patrons had all of them a deep 
stake in the parish, whereas a few proprietors in the St. 
Gabriel Street Churh had only to pay some twenty, thirty, 
or forty dollars, to be endowed with this important fran- 
chise. And what is still more to the point, in Scotland the 
Presbytery had an influential voice in the settlement of a 
minister, and could refuse, for cause shown, to ordain and 
induct even such as were licentiates, and had a presenta- 
tion from the patrons. " The right of collation " lay with 
the Presbytery ; it was their prerogative to judge of the 
fitness and qualifications of the Presentee. But if the 
majority of proprietors in the St. Gabriel Street Church 
chose a licentiate, no appeal from their decision was possi- 
ble on the part of the membership of the congregation, or 
by the minority of the proprietors. 

We have seen that Bishops Mountain and Strachan en- 
deavored to transplant into Canadian soil the Church of 
England, as it existed at home, and to reproduce, on this 
side the Atlantic, even those special features of the mother 
church, which were the products of a state of society differ- 
ent from that existing in Canada. But they were not the 
only persons that made mistakes in this direction. The 
early Presbyterian congregations, planted in this country, 
in like manner, sought to copy the ecclesiastical arrange- 
ments of Scotland, and failed to distinguish between what 
was of the essence of the mother church, and what was 
merely adventitious in its constitution, and the outgrowth 
of past ages of circumstances that had no parallel in 


Canada. It was made part of the constitution of St. 
Andrew's Church, Quebec, for instance, that the sanction 
of the Grovernor General of Canada should be obtained 
before any minister could be settled in that congregation. 
This was supposed, at the time that constitution was 
framed, to be the proper thing to do, in order to secure 
recognition by the Government, and certain pecuniary 
advantages. The preferences of the bulk of the people of 
the church were considered of little account ; and the 
members seem to have acquiesced easily in this state of 
things. Certainly they did not consider it a hardship not 
to have a controlling voice in the selection of a pastor. 
The present state of public sentiment on this question 
emerged slowly into force. In the Church of Rome, of 
course, the clergy were sent to the parishes from without ; 
and when the authority of the Pope was thrown off in 
England, the King assumed the appointing power — and 
in Scotland some external source of clerical supply had to 
be found to take the place of that which had been cast oif. 
The great feudal Lords, as in general the best educated 
gentlemen in the community, and, on the whole, the most 
competent judges of the qualifications of ministers, rather 
than the people themselves, were entrusted with the nomi- 
nation of the religious teachers of the people. It was, 
therefore, quite natural that the Presbyterians, who had 
been bred under this state of opinion in the mother country, 
should think it desirable to reproduce in Canada also, a 
nominating power, apart from the membership of the 
the congregation, for the selecting of ministers. In the 
case of the St. Gabriel Street Church, the pew-owners had 
this power bestowed upon them ; and no provision was 
made in their constitution for the exercise of authority over 
the congregation of a Presbytery or other church court. It 
is clear, then, that this constitution was unconstitutional. 
That is to say, it went in the teeth of a clause in the deed 


of the church which made it imperative that the minister 
should "adhere to the laws, government and mode of 
worship of the Established Church of Scotland," which 
implies that the people, as well as the minister, were 
amenable to those laws, and so were bound to give heed 
to the authority of the Presbytery and other church courts 
that might be organized over them. It is true, they prac- 
tically recognized the jurisdiction of the Synod of the 
Presbyterian Church in connection with the Church of 
Scotland, after it was erected in 1831, and that of the 
Presbytery to w^hich the Synod assigned the congregation, 
by submitting to its enactments, and by sending the 
ministers and elders of the congregation as representatives 
to take part in its deliberations ; but by no formal act did 
the proprietors of pews place themselves under the control 
of a Presbytery or Synod. This was one of the pleas urged, 
at the time of the disruption, in favor of the right to secede 
to the Presbyterian Church of Canada — " this congregation 
have never pledged themselves, as wnll be manifest from 
the Records of the congregation, to any connection what- 
ever." And the Proprietors, about the same time, prefaced 
a resolution by these qualifying words : *' recognizing no 
jurisdiction or authority whatever over St. G-abriel Street 
Church, either by the Synod of Canada, in connection 
with the Established Church of Scotland, or by any of the 
Presbyteries constituting said Synod." Although their 
meaning, probably, was that, from the time of the disrup- 
tion onwards, they did not recognize the jurisdiction in 
question, yet the words might have a retrospective appli- 
cation fairly enough. 

As early as 1831, Mr. Esson felt that the constitution was 
faulty. In his brief account of the Scottish Church of St. 
Gabriel Street, in the city of Montreal, Lower Canada, 
drawn up in obedience to a request of the " Very Reverend 
the Synod of Canada," dated October 31st, 1831, he makes 


this observation : — " A corporation of some sort is much 
wanted, with power to hold property for ecclesiastical 
purposes. The Rules and Regulations for the government 
of our church, the substance of which has already been 
given, look very well on paper, but do not appear suffi- 
cient in practice, else, how came the church to be shut up 
and kept closed for such a long time r Farther on, he 
remarks : " When we take an impartial view of the divi- 
sions and difficulties with which the congregation has at 
different times been distracted and agitated, ever since the 
church was built, it is reasonable and rational to suppose 
that there is something wrong in its constitution, — some 
root of gall and bitterness lurking there. A tree is known 
by the fruit it bears—' do men gather grapes of thorns, or 
figs of thistles ; ' else how came the church to be shut up 
and kept closed for such a long time ?" After the con^reo-a- 
tion had given in its adhesion to the Presbyterian Church 
of Canada, notwithstanding the protest of a minority, in 
1844, and Mr. Esson had been appointed Professor in charge 
of the students in training for the ministry, in connection 
with the recently constituted Synod, he wrote to Mr. Wm. 
Murray, from Toronto, on May 1st, 1845. regarding the 
"Rules and Regulations " which we are now discussing : 
"The constitution ot the church is absurd — it is not only 
Erastian, but it is almost un-Christian, for a Heathen might 
be a proprietor, if you retain that constitution." Again he 
urged : " There must be an entire abandonment of the old 
constitution, otherwise your church is more Erastian than 
that from which you have separated, and against which you 
have protested." In a letter to the same gentleman, a few 
days afterwards, he returns to the subject : " It is all impor- 
tant that you leave not one relique of the Erastian constitu- 
tion of your church, or anything unsound or unpresbyterial 
in its actual order or working, to be made a handle against 
you." At this time, the movement to organize an entirely 


new oongregation had begiiii, and was showing activity. 
At the head of it were Messrs. John Rodpath and J. R. 
Orr, two honoured Christian gentlemen, familiar with 
Presbyterian principles, to whom the " Rules and Regu- 
lations " were accordingly oifensive. They, and others 
associated with them, in the endeavour to establish a con- 
gregation holding well-defined Free Church views, seem 
to have concluded that it would be impossible to purge 
the St. Gabriel Street Church constitution of the leaven of 
Erastianism, in which they regarded it as steeped, and 
hence they resolutely refused to commit themselves to 
counting the old church on St. Gabriel Street as the only 
and all sufficient representative of the j^rinciples involved 
in the disruption in Scotland Besides, Mr. Redpath never 
concealed his apprehension th-^t it might be found in the 
end that the minority of the congregation still claiming 
connection with the Church of Scotland, would be re- 
ijistated by the Civil Courts in possession of the Church 
and Manse. His mind was made up, therefore, that the 
wisest and best course for the Free Church sympathizers 
was to commence on an entirely new foundation. He 
succeeded in impressing these views on many of the other 
leaders of the movement in Montreal, as well as upon the 
ministers whom the Free Church of Scotland sent out 
from time to time to preach to the adherents of that church 
in this city. Mr, Esson took in the situation thoroughly, 
and as he desired that the old church should be the centre 
of the new ecclesiastical organization for the Montreal 
district, he besought the people to remove from the " Rules 
and Regulations " the features of which complaints had 
been made. There was a natural hesitancy on the part of 
the proprietors of pews, not only in that they V7ere asked 
to surrender civil rights and cherished privileges, an order 
of things, too, that was venerable for its antiquity and was 
hallowed by long associations, but they found that any 


meddling with tho coustitution at this juncture might 
afli'ct their title to the property. However, Mr. Esson'8 
earliest entreaties prevailed. The Synod of the Presbyterian 
Church of Canada also took up the question, in lH4o, — 
moved thereto by a refereiKH^ from the Presbytery of Mont- 
real, in connection with that church. It was resolved : 
" That Mr. Esson be appointed to visit St. Gabriel Street 
congregation, and assist them in revising the constitution 
and deeds of the church, that the same in all that relates 
to spiritual things may be brought into harmony with the 
standard and practice of this church. That these instru- 
ments, when so revised, shall be, by Mr. Esson, or any other 
office-bearer of the church, laid before the I'resbytery of 
the bounds, who, on being satisfied with the same, shall 
direct the congregation to take the requisite steps for pro- 
curing a successor to Mr. Esson." 

Accordingly, at a " General Meeting of the Temporal 
Proprietors of the Scotch Presbyterian Church," held on 
June 30th, 1845, the " Rules and Regulations for the Pro- 
prietors were revised, corrected and extended." The first 
five articles were left untouched. But the 6th and tth 
articles were completely remodelled ; 

6th. — " That in the election of a Pastor, when a vacancy 
shall occur, and in all that pertains to the conduct of 
spiritual affairs, the congregation shall conform invariably 
to the law^s and prescriptions of the ecclesiastical authori- 
ties. Proprietors, as such, have no right or power whatever 
to intermeddle with spiritual things, except they be com- 
municants, or full members of the church." 

7th. — " No Proprietor or pew-holder shall be permitted 
to have any voice or vote in the Temporal or Spiritual con- 
cerns of the church, who is known to be a member of any 
other church or congregation." 

Articles, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, also remained un- 
changed. The 12th Article was shortened to read : "No 


change resptM^tiiift thoHt' articleM shall take place, inih'ss thi' 
said change shall have been made at a General Meeting oi 
the Proprietors." Two new clauses were inserted : — 

13th. — "That in the meantime, while it is expedient for 
the security of the Temporal Property of the church to 
leave the Temporalities to l)e managed as heretofore, it shall 
be understood that the power of the Proprietors of Pews 
shall be interpreted and limited by the laws and standards 
of the Presbyterian Church of Canada." 

14th. — " It is further declared by the Proprietors, here- 
unto subscribing, that they are ready to conform in all 
respects to the principles of the Presbyterian Church of 
Canada, and the enactments of her ecclesiastical authorities 
in ail spiritual things, and are even prepared, should it be 
found necessary or expedient, to sacrifice their rights as 
Proprietors, in order that the great ends of the spiritual 
government of the Church may be attained." 

Article 13th in the old Rules was made 15th iu the 
revised constitution. 

These changes brought the church into harmony w^ith 
true Presbyterian principles ; whereas, before, it was like 
no other ecclesiastical organization under the sun, in the 
spirit of its regulations. The Committee of Proprietors 
embraced iu themselves the functions of patron, kirk- 
session, and Presbytery, all in one. 

This revised constitution was that under which the 
Church was governed, until it was vacated by Knox con- 
gregation. By the Act, Victoria 27 and 28, c. 161, the old 
proprietary rights in the building were abolished, and it 
was left to the congregation as re-organized, to frame rules 
for the government of the church, subject to the approval 
of the Presbytery of Montreal in connection with the 
Church of Scotland. Such " Rules and Re,(^ulations " were 
adopted on February 10th, 1867. 

Article 8th reads : — " This congregation shall be under 


the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the rresbyterinn Church 
oi' Canada in conntntion with the Church of Scotland, ah 
provided for in section 4 of the Act of Incorporation ; and 
in all matters pertaining to the elet'tion of ministers and 
elders, they shall conform to the rules and forms in force 
for the time being in said Church." 

In a sub-section, it is stipulated that no changes Jn the 
constitution shall be made without the sanction of the 
Presbytery. In all respects, the riUes are in line with the 
ordinary practice of the Presbyterian Church through- 
out the world, and have worked very smoothly. It was 
under these rules that the old edifice closed its history, and 
the new St. Gabriel Churcli starts out in its career with 
them for its guidance. 


The \ew names that ai-phar ox tub suiisciuption list to I\Ir. Sombrvillk, 
IN I8O0— John Grant, Isaau Todd, John Shcter, Archiisald McMil- 
lan, Gborcb Platt, John McKinstry, James Kyle, Jacob Hall, 
William Skakbl, George Skakbl, Alexander Skakbl, William 
Graham, John McKindlay, Johm Porteocs, William Portbous, 
Andrew Porteous, Finlay Fisher, James Smith, John Oculvy, Wm. 
Stewart, Andrew Paitbrson, Jasi'br Tough, James Laing, Alex. 
Allison, Alex. Davidson, John Reid, Hon. Judge Reid, Simon 
McTavisii, Thos. Blackwood, Wm. Hallowell, John Catanach, and 
F. Gunerman, Thomas Thain. 

" Montreal, 21st Jiiue, 1803. 

" At a meeting of the committee and elders i tJie Pres- 
byterian congregation of this city, on the 20th inst., it was 
unanimously resolved that a subscription be set on foot 
amongst the congregation in order to ascertain what sum 
may be raised for the salary of Mr. Somervilie annually 
for three or live years, to commence from the first of Jan- 
uary last, including pew-rents previous to his being called 
to Montreal, provided he be regularly ordained as minister 
for said congregation." 

Below, I mention only those whose names appear iu 
connection with the church, for the first time, on this list. 

John Grant of Lachine, who subscribed two pounds per 
annum for three years, was agent for the North-west Com- 
pany, and attended to the forwarding of their stores and 
supplies from Lachine, and carried on the business of a 
forwarder generally. He was born in Glenmorristou, 
near Inverness, Scotland, in 1'754, and came to Canada in 


1771, settling at Lachine. lu- those days, forwardiug- was 
a business of importance, as everything destined for points 
westward had to be taken in carts from Montreal and sent 
from Lachine in canoes and batteaux. The forwarders 
furnished the necessary equipments for conveying goods 
both by land ond by water. They were the public carriers, 
doing the w^ork in a small way which is now done by rail- 
ways and steamboats. It was not till the Lachine canal 
was finished, about 1825, that goods could be sent to 
Lachine otherwise than by carts. The "Durham boats" 
as the batteaux employed in forwarding at this time, and 
lor twenty years afterwards, were called, had ropes 
attached to them and were drawn up the currents of the 
St. Lawrence by oxen, assisted by the crew and passengers, 
walking along the shore. It took weeks for emigrants, 
making their way to Upper Canada, to reach even Brock- 
ville by this mode of conveyance. 

We find Mr. Grrant's name in the minutes of St. Peter's 
Lodge of Freemasons as early as 1771. He was married by 
Rev. D. 0. Delisle. to Margaret Beattie, on July 30th, 
1777. He, and his family after him, owned pew No. 15, in 
the St. Grabriel Street Church. He died on the 23rd August, 
1817, universally regretted, aged 68 years. His daughter, 
Margaret, was married to Thomas Blackwood, on 27th 
December, 1806. And his sou James C. G-rant, advocate, 
afterwards occupied a very prominent position in relation 
not only to the Scotch congregation in St. Grabriel Street, 
but also to the whole of the membership of the Church of 
Scotland in Canada, as we shall by and by see. 

The following obituary notice appeared in the Gazette 
after Mr. Grrant's death : — 

"His hospitable and charitable clispo.sition was almost unboiinileJ. He 
was greatly beloved, and his neighbors, as a last token of thoir respect, 
carried the body on a palantjuin, not only from Lachine to this city, but 
oven to the grave, not allowing the hearse in attendance to be used." 

Tt wuK Mr. Grant 'k intention to ^ivo a sito for aProfiby- 
irrian Church in I^achinn. Wo. did not accompliHh thiw in 
his lii'd'tirno ; l»ut his licirH carried out hiH winh after hiw 
death, and t,'-iiv<i the <rronnd for JSt. Andrew's C/ninh and 
inanKc, as well an the hurial «(round. The of 
th(! ctiurch was laid in \K]2, in presence ol'.TaIIl(^s (Iharies 
(irrant, son of Mr. (Jrant, and of Donahl Dull' and I'hornaH 
JUackwood, his sons-in-law, representing other n»eHd)erH 
ol the family. The- Rev. .lunies Soinerville, ol" St. (lahriel 
f^trcet Church, his son, Alexander Somervilh\ \ii'V. Il(Uiry 
l*]sHon, and Uev. Alexander iiulc, who was ininister at 
Lachine, ;iiid many other friends from Montreal and 
J^aclnne, were alno present on the occanion. 

Isaac Todd, at the time a partm^r of .Tarnes McCJill, has 
already heen incidentally mentioned ; hut the lirst time 
his luime apj)eared on <'xistinf.^ church docum(^nts is on the 
su))scription list to Mr. Somervilli!, for live pounds a y(^•u• 
for three years. It was he who conducted the correspon- 
dence with itev. Mr. Spark, of (Quebec, in 1H02, with refer- 
(mce to Mr. Somerville's call to the St. Oahriel Street 
(Church. lie sijL^ned the resolution of 2.'»rd July, IHOI}, to 
keep faith with Mr. Somorville, towljom tlie honor of the 
coiif^^rej^ration had heen pledged. In 1H02, he received 
from Sir K. S. Milnes, the Gov(^rnor, a i^rant of 1 1,700 
acrv.H in the townshij) (»f Leeds. In March, 1805, the, 
merchants ol Montreal ^ave a. (linntrr to the representativeH 
in Parliament of the town and district. Mr. Todd presided, 
and tlie proceed in '^'■s w(!re report«^d in the Montreal (Saztlle 
of 1st Ai>ril, IHOT). Strong jrrouiul was taken hy the 
sj)eakers a^-jiinst th«( proi)osal maxhi in ParliairKjnt to tax 
merchandize! to provide funds for ))uildinf.j the lirst jail 
erected in the city. Th<! Parliamentary promoters of the 
bill were offended at what was said, aiul the S(M7.?eant-at- 
ArmH WHH sent from Que})ec. to- arrest Mr. Todd, th(! chair- 


man of the; rrl(•otill^^ and Mr. Edward Kdwaids, tho printor 
of tin; (i'nzf'Mc, and hiin«^' Ihcrri bcl'oni t h»' bar oi Ww HoviKe, 
to aiiHWf^r lor tholilxds they hsid uttered agiiiiiNl rrjcrnlxirH, 
}i.iid Ww'ir })n'ac,h oi' th<^ piivilejjptfy oi" Parliament. Hut 
when that runetionary !ippeare<l on the H<(aie, tlie ••enth'.- 
inen in quest ol' whom he mach; the journey, were, nowh(iro 
to })(", found. 

Mr. T(>(U\ owne<l j)ew No. :\U, in the St. (Jahriel Street 
(Iliureh. il(^ took ii, <le<'p interest in the prosperity of th«3 
(■onj,n<'j,''ii,tion, and was alwnys ready to help with eounsel 
and money. He was <hosen ii, ineiriher of tJie tempf»riil com- 
mittee in IHOO, and was mad(^ I)resident of the coirnnitteo 
of theyejir. lie lent C 10 for puttinf.? a roof on the ehur(;h, 
in 1K0!»; and wlien he died, in iKlf), the followinj;- ela.UH«; 
in his vvill shows tlnd he did not forj^et tlK^ehureh of his 
choice and alIe<tion : — 

"I leave jiiid he(jueatli to ih<H'lders of the Preshyterian 
('hunh of Mrmtreal, afon^said, ClOO, in trust for the- uh« 
and Ix'nejit ol' the church." The money was recei ved, juid 
expended iiceordin*^ to his exj)ressed wishes. 

John Shuter, who subscribed two pounds a year lor two 
years, nnd who (onlinued to suj)f)ort the chur«h Uj) to 
IHIO, was also !i, ])rominen< nuin oi" the period in Montreal. 
Having ac(juired a competency, he retired from active 
})usiness on the i>7th May, IHIT). His adoj)ted dau<.^hter 
married J'eter McCulcheon, belter known as Hon. ret<^r 
McOill. Mr. Shuter bel()n«r(.d to the Ohunhof I'hi^laiui, 
although he «r«.ii)!i(,uKly supported the Scol(di Church, 
He gave, a (dieck for the tower of the lirst (Ihrist Church, 
in 1H1!>, Mis name is made mem(»rable by the in<:reasingly 
popular Shut«M' Street, running Irom Sherbrcoke Str(j<!t 
towards the mountain. 

Anhiy)aid M<Millan, the subscriber of three pounds for 


thnu? yoiirs, was a Norih-wc^Hi tradi^r and goiicral mor- 
chaiit. His name lirsi apix-ars oil this o<u;asion. On 
Ai)ril I*71h, 1804, he was i-hoseu a iiK^inber of th(i lirst 
<tommiit(M! uiidt^r iho u<(W lUilcs and R«^ij,ulatioiiH, and 
was roM^octtMl lh«^ iollowini^' y(Mir. In 1H07, h(; ()))iain«^d 
a «^rant I'rom Sir K. S. Milnos, th»i u^ovornor, of 18,2<)1 acjros 
in th(; township of Lochahor. lie o<c,ui)iod p<' w No. 18. 
llo died on 14th .Tun<s 1882, ai^ed *71 years. 

Geor"!,*' Piatt, ])e^an life in Montn^al as a blacksmith, 
hut gradually worived liiniself into a j^iaieral ironnion- 
j^ery business. II(; was an old resident of the <;ity, for we 
lind his name as a mcnnber of St. Peter's Lodfj^e of Free- 
masons, as far ba(;k as 1780. I[(^ also subscribed three 
pounds a y»Mir for thnn^ y«'ars. In 1809, h«^ {)urchas(!d 
p<^w No. 78. He was married to a sister of the wife of 
the late .Tusticci Day, and hi% too, has had the h(mour 
of i^ivinj^ his name to a street. He repn'sented th(5 East 
Ward in the Provincial Parliament in 1814. 

John Mc'Kinstry, who subscribed three pounds for 
three years, was a wholesale nnn'ch&nt in Montreal. 11(5 
wasth(! propri(;tor of pews 90 and 91, whi(-h he continued 
to oc(;ui)y till 181.'{. In 1810, thc^se pc^ws were purchased 
by Shaw Armour. He signed the Somervilh^ resolution 
in 180:{. 

James Kyle, who sii^ned his namt^ for two pounds 
annually for thri'e y(uu>, was a trader in the. city, and, later 
on, IS mentioiK'd in the records as a ycjoman. He was tlie 
owner of pew 42 until his death, in 1810 ; and afterwards 
it belonjj^ed to his heirs for many years. 

The four brothers Hall, — Joseph and Jacob, hatters in 
Ht. Paul Street, — Benjamin, a merchant in St. Lawrence 
Street, — and John, a bakt^, — were Ameri(;ans, who (3ame 

to Monlrciil Ixslbn' tlio bi'^iiiiiiiii^' ol" iluH (/ciitury. Thciy 
all had rcilalions to llm Si. (laln'icl St reel ('hun^h, when 
thor(^ wc^ro inariiair<'s, hapli.siris or burials in qucHiion, il 
not at othor tim«?H. Miss Charlotto Hall, lh(^ a«»o(l lady 
who died last year, was a daivuhtcM- of John's ; kg waw 
Mrs. V<'nnor John diiMJ in 1H()<), ayod 4H yoars. It was 
i{«Mijamin who owned the Hall |)rop<Mty, at the loot of 
the mountain, idonu^side l^'h^tcher's lield, which was ac- 
(juired some years ai^o for Park purposes. Jaro]) sub- 
8(ri])ed two i)()unds a y<3ar, for three years, ibr Mr. Som(>r- 
vilhi's salary ; but the whole i'amily connection after- 
wards seem to have be<^om(^ associated either with Clirist 
Church or with tiie St. Fetor Street congregation. 

Alexander Skakcd, A.M., LL.l)., teach(M-, was an aecom- 
plished scholar, and did not a. little to (-reate a taste for 
S(!ience ainon*;' the citizens. The academy which ho 
founded aimed at imj)arling- a lirst-<'hi88 education. Ho 
was himself an erudite g'eiitlemaii, a, Master of Arts 
of King's (Allege, Aberdeen, that University which has 
given so many admirable teachers to tlie world. He 
received a training for the ministry of the Scottish C'hurch, 
but for some reason or other lie did not j)roceed to take 
orders in it; but chose rathtu- the profession which he 
followed. His school s(>rv(>d th(^ jmrp^ses of a Grammar 
Scliool in Mo!itreal,})efor(5 tlu^ High School was esta)>lished. 
Among other pu|)ils of his who afterward rose to distinc- 
tion wen' Sir William Tjogan and Chief Justice' Hadgley. 
By way of marking tht; educational servici^s which he 
rend«^rtMl to this <'ountry, his Alma Mater conferred upon 
him the h{ iiorary degree of LL.D. 

Mr. Skakel was married, first in IHOH, by Mr. Somer- 
vilh^ to his own <'0usin, Isabella Skakid, and afterwards 
to Miss Dalrymple, sister of Mrs. Archibald Ferguson. 
His school-room was in 27 Little St. James Street. 

' 236 V 

While he drilled boys in the elements of learning-, during? 
the day, he advertized (^hiKHes in natural philosophy, to 
which h(^ invited adults in the evenings. 

]Jr. Skakel took a prominent place in th«; (^ity as a 
public man. He was not only one of the persons named 
in th(! Act incorporating the General Hospital, but he was 
a m<^mber of the building committei^ charged with its 
constru<tion. He also act(Hl as Se(n-etary to the; Committee 
of Management for many years, and made this splendid 
charity one of his legatt^es at his death. A marble tablet 
in the entrance hall commemv>rat(?s these two lacts : — 

" TliiH tal)let was eroctod by tlio (^()V«^rll()r8 of the Montreal General 
Hospitiil to the memory of Alex. Skjike;!, A.M., LL.D., in commemoration 
of his long and vahiii])i(( servi(;eH as iseeretary, and also to roconl his 
munilicent l)0(iueHt to tlie Instiintioii. He died Kith Ati^^ust, 1 84 < I, aged 
71 years." 

He was a fast friend of Mr. Somerville's, and used to 
share in the minister's scientific rambles ; so that when 
that genth^man afterwards ceased to be responsible for 
his acts, Dr. Skakel acted as one of his guardians. He 
occupied pewr 68, and in 1810 lent .€10 to help to remove 
the debt i'rom th«; church. 


John M(;Kindlay, who, at the hands of John G-regory, 
subscribed three pounds, was also a prominent merchant 
of the period. Ht^was an eager promotor of Mr. Somer- 
ville's call, being one of the 27 who signed the July 
resolution of 1803, in his favour. He disappears from 
the church books, howev<!r, after 1804, having then sold 
out his business and gone to the Old Country, although 
we find him receiving, in 1814, from Sir Giiorge Pnivost, 
the governor, 17,000 acres of land in the township of 

William Grahame, whose name appears jointly with 
that of Philip Koss, was also a subscriber to Mr. tSomer- 


villc's salary, and aitcrwards owuod pow No. Hd. Hti was 
a m«ir('hant, iiov«m- mani<Hl, and livod to })o an old man. 
Ho was a friend and supporter of Mr. Young's, and signed 
the pa[)er, in 1800, asking him to stay in the city. He, 
in like miuiner, voted with the other 20 leading i)ro- 
prietors to keep I'aith with Mr. Somerville in IHO.'J. 

John, William and Andrew Porteous, three young 
brothers, subs(ril)ed CB 10s. between th<nn. They wi^re 
merchants. Andrew, afterwards, was the well known 
postmaster of Montreal. He was a member of the 
Temixmil Committee in 1820, and in 1817 bought pew 
No. 7 in the gallery of Ht. Gabriel Street Church. He 
adhered to Mr. Black in 1829-3'}, and became a prominent 
m(^mber of St. Paul's Church. A marble tablet in that 
church <ommemorates hisvirtu(;s. John, who bought pew 
No. 19 in the gallery, in 1819, and was married to a 
daughter of John Gregory, died 27th December, 1817, 
aged 41 years. , 

John Ogilvy, wlio became good for thr(H» pounds for 
three years, was one of the founders of the still existing 
honourable commercial hous«i of " Gillespie, Moil'at and 
Company." H«' was a staunch Presbyterian. He was 
chosen a member of the Tem])oral Committe in 1810, and 
elected afterwards Vice-President. This was at the very 
im]>ortant crisis when the church was enlarged and re- 
paired, and the linancial arrangement for occupation was 
made with the members of the ( 'hurch of England. He 
bought, first, pew No. 7. This was afterwards assigned 
to the firm of Gillespie, Moffat & Company, while he 
purchased for his own family use No. 3, after it was given 
uj) )>y Sir Alexander McKenzie. He gave €10 to the 
steeph' and bidl fund, in 1809-10. He was chosen a 
Tru8te«>, of the Protestant burying ground in 1807, and 

• ■• ' 

was one of the committee of live ibr erecting- the Nelson 


When h«^ died, he did not forget the church which he 

loved. The following extract from his will was ciommun- 

ica(ed to the congregation by the Hon. Cleorge Molfat, 

his executor, on 2f>th January, 1820 : 

" I'liio tlu! (iri^'iii.'il Scdtcli I'm-sliytcirian f'luircli, Montroal, I ^;ivo iind 
l)(!(iuojiili tlie Hiini of One Hundrod I'ouikIh." 

Finlay Fisher, who su))scril)ed two pounds, was a cousin 
of Duncan Fisher. lie kept a school alter the old S<ottish 
model, for upwards of thirty years in Montreal, — the Pres- 
byterian children learning the catechism, and all the pupils 
repeating a psalm or a paraphrase, every Monday morning. 
Mr. Fisher attended the Protestant congregation, under Mr. 
Delishi's ministry, in 1785, and onwards, until the Presby- 
terian cause was established. He died 14th January, 181!), 
aged 62 years. 

James Smith, also held pew No. 4, and contributed three 
pounds a year to Mr. Somerville's stipend, from the year 
1804, up till the date of his death. He was a general mer- 
chant of this city, of the firm of Kay & Smith. He was 
appointed a member of the temporal committee and its 
vice-president in 1806 and 1807. He continued to serve 
on the committee till 1810. He was re-eh'cted on the 
committee in 1812, and was vice-president that year and 
the following one, and president in 1814. His wife was 
Susanna McClemont, and belonged to a well-known family 
of that period. Mr. Smith gave two pounds to the steeple 
and bell fund, and, in 1810, two pounds to remove the 
debt ir urred by the improvements in the church. He 
died on the 28th July, 1815, of rapid consumption. 

The late Hon. Justice Smith was his son. Born in 
Montreal, and baptized by Mr. Somerville, in 1806, on the 
death of his father, James Smith was sent to Ayr, Soot- 


laud, to b«', oduciiijul. Hi; rctnnuMl to MontrwU and began 
the study of law in 182:', and was called (o the hiir in 
1830. Jle shortly al'tiM'wards entered into partnership 
with Duncan Fisher, Q.C., an old and experienced practi- 
tioner. Like so many member's oi" the legal I'raternity, h«i 
was drawn into politics. In 1844, he was elected for 
Missisquoi, and was at once made Attorney-General J<]ast, 
in the: Viger-Dra])<'r administration. On the dowiil'all of 
the Government, in 1847, ho was appointi^d to a seat on 
the Queen's Bench, a position which he filled with high 
distinction until his death, which occurred on the; 20th 
November, 1808. 

Jasper Tough, who subscribed a guin<'a, was a native 
of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He ro8(; to be promin<mt in 
mercantile circles as a member ol the iirm of Gillespie, 
Moffat & Co., doing the outside business, in the way of 
taking orders. He was a constant contributor to the St. 
Gabriel Strei^t Churc^h up to th(i tim*; when the names of 
individual subscribers cease to be mentioned in the 
treasurer's books. He gave five pounds to the debt fund 
in 1810, and he was one of those wlio joined with A. 
Allison in 1811 , in moving to have Mr. Somerville's stipend 
increased. He was a member of the temporal committee 
in ISn. 

Thomas Thain bore a similar relation to the (;hurch to 
that sustained by Mr. Tough. He signed the memorial 
last referred to, and was in the habit of giving two or three 
pounds annually to the church funds, although not a pew 
proprietor. He was a North-west trader, and a gentleman 
of large means. He was a member of the temporal com- 
mittee in 1810. He gave three pounds to the steeple and 
bell fund in 1808, and ten pounds for the debt in 1810. 
There was also an Alexander Thain among the subscribers 
in 1810. „._._ 

240 • 

.Tamos Laiiii>', who subiseribed inj^uinoa, on thiw occaHion, 
was a wholesalt' merchant of high stamliiii;', the founder 
of the tirm afterwards known as " Allison, Turner ik Co." 
He was one of those who vot»'d for Rev. John Young- in 
1800. He died Gth May, 1803, aged 49 years. 

Alexander Allison, who also became responsible for a 
guinea a year to Mr. Somerville, was a partner in the lead- 
ing commen^ial firm of " Allison, Turner & Co," as John 
Allison, his brother, was. In 1812, the partnership with 
Turner & Co. was dissolved, Mr. Turner afterwards carry- 
ing on the business alone. In 1811, he took the lead in a 
movement to add to Mr. Somerville's stipend. In conjunc- 
tion with Mr. George Gillespie, T. Thain, Jasper Tough 
and George Garden, he memorialized the temporal com- 
mittee on the subject. Mr. Somerville, learning of it, felt 
sensitive in the matter, and wrote to the committee to say 
that the memorial had been sent without his knowledge 
or consent. He was unwilling that the gentlemen man- 
aging the finances cf the church should suspect that he 
was using any underhand or indirect means to increase 
his income; and told them that if he had felt the pressure of 
necessity, he would have communicated with the temporal 
committee directly. The correspondence was creditable 
to all concerned. It was a generous thing for merchants, 
themselves possessing a fair income, to see their clergy- 
man, to whom they looked up with respect, in the enjoy- 
ment of a comfortable stipend ; and it showed Mr. Somer- 
ville to be a gentleman of a high sense of honour, that he 
feared the imputation of securing his personal advantage 
by means that were not straightforward. 

Mr. Allison gave iJlO to help to rid the church of debt 
in 1810. He died at Quebec on the 1st December, 1821, 
the Herald announcing the fact in the following terms : — 

"Died at Quebec Alexander Allison, Esq., formerly 


of the firm of Allison, Tumor ik Co., a vory «»xccllent 
jiiul honourable man, and of a very public spirit." 

Ah'xandor Davidson, \vh(> subscribed a i^uineii, was a 
merchant of <^ood standin**-, belonging to the firm of A. 
Allison & ('ompany. lie died in 1808, aged 27 years. 

John licid, who subscribed a guinea annually, for three 
years, held at this time, and for twenty years afterwards, 
the office of Prothonotary of the Court of King's Bench, 
at Montreal. He had, previous to 1780, conducted a re- 
spectable academy in Quebec, and this fact had a good deal 
to do with the early history of Presbyterianism in this 
province ; for it was at his instance that the Rev. Dr. 
Spark had come to Quebec. Mr. Reid had written to Dr. 
MacLeod, a professor in King's College, Aberdeen, to send 
out to Quebec a suitable person to conduct his academy. 
Professor MacLeod selected Mr. Spark, whom he spoke of 
as '• an excellent mathematician, and a sensible, discreet, 
young man, and having had much practice in teaching." 
As has been already noted, it was Mr. Spark that recom- 
mended Mr. Somerville to the St. Grabriel Street congrega- 
tion, vacant by the withdrawal of Mr. Young, in 1802. 

Mr. Reid appears to have removed to Montreal in 1780, 
the same year that Mr. Spark came to Quebec ; for we find 
him present at a meeting of the St. Peter's Lodge of Free- 
masons in that year, and he became master of the lodge 
in 1781. He made his subscription to Mr. Somerville's 
stipend <£1 5s. in 1806 ; but he and his family became 
connected with Christ Church. 

The Honorable James Reid, who subscribed a guinea to 
Mr. Somerville's stipend, and who afterwards occupied 
pew No. 14, was a nephew of John Reid, the piothonotary. 
He was admitted to the bar of the province in 1794, was 
raised to the bench as a Puisne Judge in 1807, and in 1823 

^^ . . ..: • 


elevated to the Chief Justiceship. He was one of the six 
commissioners appointed 1st March, 1804, for executing 
the Act 31st Greorge III, concerning the building and re- 
pairing of Churches. His name stands first on the com- 
mittee appointed to collect subscriptions for the families 
of the soldiers who fell at Waterloo, in 1815 ; and he was 
appointed, with James Dunlop, Hon. James Richards, and 
Rev. John Strachan, as one of the trustees of Mr. James 
McGill's estate. In 1838, he was permitted to retire, on the 
score of old age and infirmities. He was an admirable 
judge, and enjoyed the universal respect and confidence of 
the community. On his retirement from the bench, he 
visited Europe, and was offered a knighthood by Her 
Majesty, the Queen, on account of his long and faithful 
public services, but declined the honour. He was mar- 
ried to a sister of Hon. William McGrillivray, who erected 
to the memory of her husband the south-west wing of the 
G-eneral Hospital, which bears a tablet with the following 
inscription : — 

" This wing was erected by Elizabeth McGillivray, 
widow of the late Hon. James Reid, Chief Justice of 
Montreal, in testimony of her veneration for the memory 
of a husband, whom she loved and honoured, and in ful- 
filment of his wishes. He died on the 19th June, 1848, in 
the *79th year of his age, having sat on the bench 32 years. 
As a Judge, he was distinguished for judicial knowledge, 
inflexible integrity, and dignified firmness. His conduct 
as a citizen was honourable, independent and consistent. 
Benevolence, generosity and Christian humility marked 
his character as a man." 

Among other names that appear for the first time on 
this document is that of Simon McTavish. He may be 
regarded as the founder of the famous North-west Com- 
pany ; as he was certainly its leading spirit for the first 

'. •• 243 

iwenij years of its existence. It was the union of his 
capital and energy with that of the Frobishers that gave 
the fur trade its first great impulse, and led to the estab- 
lishment of the depots in the interior, and reduced the 
business to a system. Formerly, every man prosecuted 
the trade in his own way, and by such methods as 
seemed good in his own eyes, — the result being rivalries, 
strife and sometimes even, bloodshed. But this vigorous 
and far-seeing Highlander, who had a fine turn for busi- 
ness, conceived the idea of combining, instead of com- 
peting with the other houses that were engaged in the 
trade, and was able to secure the adhesion at once of the 
Frobishers, the firm which, next to his own, had been the 
most successful in this branch of business. John Gregory, 
as we have already seen, afterwards fell in with the plan, 
although for a few years he carried on a rival company. 

Mr. McTavish owned the seigniory of Terrebonne, and 
had mills at the village, which Messrs. McKenzie and 
Oldham leased, after the proprietor's death. 

On Itth July, 1802, he obtained from governor SirR. S. 
Milnes, a grant of 11,550 acres, in the township of Chester. 

He subscribed five pounds to Mr. Somerville's stipend, 
and was one of the 27 pew owners who signed the reso- 
lution in that gentleman's favour in July, 1803. 

But that which has made his name most memorable to 
Montrealers of the present day, is the stately monument 
which stands half way up the mountain, above Ravens- 
crag, alongside the high level reservoir. Citizens of an 
older generation were still more familiar with the name 
of McTavish, owing to its association with what was 
popularly known as the " Haunted House," the stately 
mansion which the great fur magnate had erected, but 
which was never completed. The design was a grand 
one. It was in contemplation to have magnificent 
grounds about the mansion, but the early death of the 


proprietor arrested the progress of the improvements 
begun on the face of the mountain. The elegant build- 
ing and its surroundings were afterwards pllowed to fall 
into decay ; and popular fancy associated the deserted halls 
with ghosts and apparitions. The site of the mansion 
was near the south-east corner of the Ravenscrag pro- 
perty, a little to the west oi the residence of Mr. M. H. 
Gault. All that remains to-day, to tell the tale of the past, 
is a space of about 50 yards by 12, on the rugged face of 
Mount Royal, embracing the tomb of Mr. McTavish and 
the monumental obelisk, surrounded by a solid stone 
wall about ten feet high. The inscription on the south- 
east side of the monument runs thus : — * 

" Sacked TO TUB MEMORY OP Simon McTavisii, EsQUiRK, 

"Who died July 6, 1804, . 

Aged 54 Years, ; 

This Monument is erected by his nephews, 

William and Duncan McGillivray, 

To commemorate their high sense of his manly virtues. 

And as a graceful trihute 

For his many acts op kindness shown to them." 

The beautiful street, leading up, past the Presbyterian 
College and the Reservoir, to Ravenscrag, also helps to 
perpetuate Mr. McTavish's name Hon. "Wm. McGillivray 
and Hon. Justice Reid were the executors of his estate. 

Thomas Blackwood's name is found for the first time 
on this list, — for a guinea a year- Not excepting even 
Duncan Fisher, the elder, no member of the St. Gabriel 
Street Church ever gave himself up to work for its in- 
terests with greater devotion than Mr. Blackwood. His 
brother John has been already mentioned as a contributor 
to the debt fund in 1800. 



Mr. Blackwood was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 
the 10th of February, 1Y73. He came to Canada in 17,91, 
and entered the counting-house of Hon. John Blackwood, 
of Quebec, who, although of the same surname, was in no 
way related to him, Mr. Blackwood lived six years in 
Quebec, and then took up his residence in this city, enter- 
ing into the service of the firm of Todd and McGrill. He 
afterwards formed a business partnership with Francis 
DesRivieres. He lived at No. 19, Notre Dame Street, and 
took his fair share in the public business of the city. He 
was one of the directors and Secretary-Treasurer of the 
Montreal Savings Bank, as well as a charter director of 
the Greneral Hospital. 

But Mr. Blackwood had a special leaning towards eccle- 
siastical affairs, and few men in Canada wielded a more 
trenchant pen, or exhibited a more statesmanlike grasp of 
Church questions, as these were affected by Canada. 

He served for many years on the Temporal Committee, 
and thus became familiar with the financial capabilities 
of the congregation. He was chosen to this important 
post, first, in 1808, and afterwards in the years 1810, 1814, 
1815, 1819, 1820, 1821 and 1822. In the four latter years, 
he was president of the committee. 

On March 21st, 1819, he was set apart to the office of 
elder in the congregation, and from that date till his 
death, his name is found attached to all important docu- 
ments emanating from the session. It was appended to 
the petition from the congregation to the King in 1822, 
as well as to that addressed to Lord Dalhousie, Governor 
Greneral, in 1825, asking for the church rights similar to 
those accorded to the Church of Eu gland in Canada. He 
took part also in the deliberations of the Presbyterian 
representatives which prepared the instructions given to 
J. C. Grant, advocate, when he was sent to London to 
promote there the claims of the ministers of the Church 

• • 246 

of Scotland to a share in the Clergy reserves. And his 
pen was not idle in helping to disseminate correct views 
on the subject among the public men of the country. It 
was to him that Bishop Strachan had written, in 1802, 
offering to become pastor of the St. Gabriel Street Church, 
and it was he that brought the letter, making said offer, 
to light, in 1828, of which the prelate complained, but 
without reason. 

On the demise of Henry McKenzie, in 1832, Mr. Black- 
wood was appointed his successor in the session-clerk-, 
ship. In 1834, he was chosen representative elder of the 
session in all meetings of the Presbytery and Synod, and 
he continued in this position, year after year, up to the 
time of his decease on the 22nd November, 1842. The 
minutes of the session, prior to his accepting the office of 
clerk, had been irregularly kept, — Mr. Esson not having 
much notion of the importance of a full and formal record 
of proceedings ; but Mr. Blackwood introduced a new 
order of things in this regard. Indeed, he had personal 
ground of complaint against the looseness of the manner 
of keeping the minutes up to 1831, as he petitioned the 
Presbytery that year to have certain alleged session 
minutes, reflecting upon him, corrected or expurged — 
which was accordingly done. 

Believing that the report of the Colonial Committee of 
the Church of Scotland, in 1836, was too ready to concede 
the pretensions of the Anglican Church in Canada, Mr. 
Blackwood prepared and published the following criticism 
on it : — 

Having read with attention the " Report of the Committee of General 
Assembly on Colonial Churches," with the proceedings on Ist June, 1836, 
it may be proper to notice some mistakes that the committee have fallen 
into, owing to the members not being correctly informed relative to the 
affairs and state of the Scottish Church in the Canadas. 

Page 6. — Afterspeakingof Act? regarding Scottish Presbyterians in the 
East Indies and Australia, it is added : " In the Acts respecting Upper 


Canada, the same principle seems to have been admitted, thoii^rh in words 
whicli have given rise to some difliculty in their interpretation" Now, 
onr Constitutional Act (31 Geo. Ill, eh. 31,) applies equally to both the 
Canadas. It gives the King power to erect and endow corporations in 
favour of tlie English Church onl;/ ; but does not grant tluvl favour where 
the Scottish Church is concerned. Within the last nine years, however, 
Provincial Acts have been passed in both Provinces, giving power to Pres- 
byterians (and otlier sects, for tliey are placed at the head of the list by 
way of eminence) to hold land in a corporate capacity ; but restricting 
them to no more than Five Acres for each congregation. While our 
Church is thus restrained and disabled, more than 50 Rectories have lately 
been erected in Upper Canada, and largely endowed ; some of them, it is 
understoo<l, having 40f» acres or upwards. What renders this glaring par- 
tiality the more remarkable, — it has taken i)lace since the Rev. Convener of 
the Committee had an interview with the Colonial Secretary, as stated in 
the first paragraph of the Report; when the Convener's application was 
received courteously, &c., "but his Lordship declined to pledge himself to 
" any immediate and specific measure, in tlie present agitated state of some 
" of the North American Colonies." His Lordship and those acting under 
" his direction or control, have verily taken a strange method of allaying 
" these agitations !" 

Page 9. — In the Peliverance of the General Assembly, the memorial of 
" the Clergy of Upper Canada " is mentioned. This memorial was, it is 
believed, from the Synod, which includes the Clergy of both Canadas. 

Again, in proceedings of the Committee, the first time, page 12, mention 
is made of the Meniorial from the Synod of Canada, regarding their claim 
on " the Clergy Reserve Funds of that Province." The Province of Quebec 
was, in 1791, divided into the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada ; 
which still continue two distinct provinces, though of late years, serious 
thoughts have been entertained of re-uniting them under one Legislature. 

In the Petition of the Rev. John Martin, page 21, he states that the min- 
isters of our Church in Upper Canada " receive £1000 a year from the 
" proceeds of the Church Lands." The ministers of our Church in Upper 
Canada have received some allowance yearly froni Government for the 
la*,t ten years ; but I believe it has not amounted some years to £1000 : 
however, a further allowance has occasionally been made, during the last 
few years', to assist in building churches. But it is pretty well known that 
their yearly allowance is derived from some fimd not so sure and perma- 
nent as "the proceeds of the Church Lands." In Lower Canada, one min- 
ister in Quebec and another in Montreal received yearly £50 each, for 
many years, commencing, I believe, soon after the cession of Canada to 
the British Crown ; and this is all that Government has ever given to our 
Clergy in this Province. But it was decided, a few years ago, that it should 
cease with the lives of the present incumbents. He who tiien received it 
at Quebec, died two years ago, and it has not been granted to his successor. 


It will, of course, bo discontinued also in Montreal, when tiio present in- 
cumbent (lies. I can only form (lonjecturtVs, not Imvinji been ubie sutisfae- 
torily to learn the cause which o(;ca8ion8 our Clerfjynien in tliis Province 
to be thus treated as shp hairni*, vvliile those in UpiK^r Canada are recoiv- 
inji a certain ntii)end from the Government. 

Mr. Martin, in the prayer of this Petition, asks, amon<;otlier things, that 
the Colonial Clerjjy should be admitt(«l, " if jiidgeil advisable," to a repre- 
sentation in the General Assembly. Such a step does not apjiear to me 
necessary nor advisable ; I'Ut it might be very requisite and proi)er that 
each Synod should be allowed to have an accredited agent residing in 
Scotland, or sent honie by them whenever they see lit to do so, wiio should 
1)0 received as such by that venerable court, at any time when he (con- 
sidered the interests of his constituents recjuired the presence of such an 
agent in the General Assembly. 

In perusing the Report now before me, it is very gratifying, and I am 
rejoiced in jKirceiving that the General As8ein])ly, and it is hoped also the 
bulk of the Scottish nation, are at last aroused from their lo apathy, to 
a proper feeling in regard to the disadvantages and disabilities under 
which we labour in the colonies. The Provincial Legislatures of the 
Canadas, in all their enactments respecting our Church, appear to have 
I)roceeded upon the false, unfounded assumption, that the Church of Eng- 
land is Thio Established Church in all the British Porainions, Scotland 
alone excepted. It is only from the King's Government and the Imperial 
Parliao^ent we can hoi)e to obtain adequate redress, but our voice will not 
l)e heard, unless it be aided by the powerful influence of the Venerable, 
the General Assembly; and supported by men possessing weight and 
consideration in the National Councils. 

A Layman of the Scottish Church. 

Lower Canada, \ 
27th March, 1837. / 

lu the differences that existed in the cougregation, 
between 1829 and 1833, Mr. Blackwood supported the 
views of Mr. Esson, in the main ; although he was not con- 
spicuous for his partizanship. 

He was one of the trustees of the |4000 left by Rev, 
James Somerville, for building a manse, and was also one of 
the legatees named in that gentleman's will. He died, how- 
ever, before the manse was erected, on the 22nd November, 
1842, in his 70th year. The Gazette of the 24th November, 
had the following notice of Mr. Blackwood: "The 
deceased had been 53 years in Canada, of which 4*7 were 


spent iu this city. During his long residence here, he 
acquired the esteem and respect of all who knew him, 
consisting of, it may be said, a very large portion of the 
community." > 

William Hallowell who undertook to contribute to the 
support of Mr. Somerville for three years, was an English- 
man and an Episcopalian ; nevertheless, he not only gave 
two pounds annually for three years, in terms of his sub- 
scription, but increased his gift to four pounds, which he 
continued up to 1811. He also gave £10 for removing the 
church debt in 1810. He was a merchant of the firm of 
McTavish, McGillivray & Company, as it was constituted 
in 1806, after the retirement of the Frobishers, and the 
death of Simon McTavish. His daughter was married to 
the late Venerable Dean Bethune, of Montreal, and his 
son, James, was a member of the Montreal Bar. 

Andrew Patterson, subscribing one pound, was a mem- 
ber of the firm of " Gillespie, Moffat and Company," or 
rather of the firm which preceded it, the style of which 
varied at different times. He was the uncle of A. T. Pat- 
terson, the present head of the house in Montreal. He 
removed to Quebec in 1815, and died there in or about the 
year 1860. 

John Catanach, subscribing among others on this 
occasion, was a baker in the employ of William Logan, Sir 
William's father. He continued to have a connection with 
the Logan estate after the proprietor removed to Scotland, 
and was evidently regarded with confidence and affection 
by Sir William, as we find references to him in the corre- 
spondence of the great Geologist. No pew stood in his 
name on the church books, but he contributed liberally 
to the funds every year up to 1814, at which date the 
'' individual subscribers " ceased to be noted. He died 8th 
July, 1816. 


F. Gonnerman was an old citizen of German origin. He 
signed the address to the Bishop of Nova Scotia in 1*789 ; 
but appears to have cast his lot in v^^ith the Presbyterians' 
after they were fully organized. He was a tavern keeper 
and dealer in fuel, and for some time supplied the St. 
Gabriel Street Church with wood. 

William Stewart, who subscribed £1 2s. 6d. on this 
occasion, was a nephew of William Stewart, the original 
Trustee. He was a merchant, and came under obligation 
to pay Mr. Somerville a guinea annually for three years. 
In 1804, he acquired pew 92, and a year or two afterwards 
also No. 93, which he retained till 1818, having Eobert 
Hunter, a ship-carpenter, who was for several years 
Precentor in the church, for fellow-occupant. 

William Skakel, tailor, and George Skakel, cooper, were 
brothers who subscribed to Mr. Somerville's stipend. 
William died, 31st December, 180*7. George owned pew 
48, as long as the proprietorship of individual pews can 
be traced. 


TiiK New Enolanders connbctkd with St. Uabriei. Streett C'HrRcn, — Tub 
BA(ifi8, Elijah Brown, Joseph Chai'Man, Jameh Charlton — Tub 
DEWiTTfci, Horatio Gates, Bezaliel Gray, Thomas FiN(iLAND, Laban 
FoL(iER, Jonathan Hagar, The Halls, Thomas Harris, Jonaiuan 
Hart, Samuel Heuge, Joshva Henphaw, Horace Hiurard, The 
Lymans, Uriah Mitcham, Nahi'm Mower, Simon Myers, Zenas Nash, 
Davh) Nelson, Moses Northroim', J. W. Northcp, Jonathan 
Parkins, Cornelus Teck, Nathan Pierce, Arner Rice, M. SAVA<iB, 
Isaac Shay. Robert Street, Nathan Strong, Zaisdiel Thavf^i, Simon 
Thomson, Benjamin Throov, Daniel E. Tylee, The Wadsworths, 
The Waits, The Whitnbys and Josiah "\Vinnani>; — The war of 1812 
affects them — Items connected with the victory of Waterloo, 
1815 — Baptism ok negro slaves and Scotch-Indian half-urebds — 
Other mbmijers belonging to this period, George Gillespie, Rort. 
Gillespie, The Armours, John Fleming, James Ellicb Campbell, 
William Blackwood, Hu(;h Brodie, Lieutenant-Colonel William 
Mackav, Archibald Norman McLeod, John Macdonald and James 

One of the most interesting features of Montreal, at the 
beginning of this century, was the large New England 
element of its population. A most valuable element it 
was, as well as a picturesque one. Many of these people 
'were political refugees, who though their fathers had 
left England to seek " a faith's pure shrine — freedom to 
worship God," yet were bound to the old land by many 
endearing ties, which they could not bear to have entirely 
sundered. Others again, though republicans, saw a fine 
opening in this city for trade or for the practice of their 
craft, and so chose it as their home. Montreal is greatly 
indebted to this infusion of vigorous life drawn from the 
old Puritan stock. The skilled mechanics, who ministered 


to the comfort of the inhabitants, and helped to build up 
the city, 75 or 100 years ago, were mainly drawn from 
across the line 45°. Naturally shrewd, they were also frugal 
and industrious, and presented a striking contrast to their 
neighbours, the fur traders, whose gains accumulated 
rapidly, and who, in consequence, lived luxuriously and 
spent freely. The thrifty tradesmen, like the snail of the 
fable in its race with the hare, won in the end. The wealth 
of the merchants filtered by degrees through the com- 
munity, until at last it reached the safe pockets of the 
"Yankees." They thus proved a "salt" to the city — 
they saved it from the elfects of an unhealthy, overstimu- 
lated social life. The Puritan leavoi which those pru- 
dent, thoughtful, sagacious New Euglanders brought over 
with them to Montreal has not ceased to be felt even yet 
in our religious and social life. Their motto was, "Dili- 
gent in business, ferA'ent in spirit, serving the Lord " — 
and they were most useful citizens ; wide awake in all 
respects, they introduced the best methods of doing 
business into the community. 

A few of them became prominent as merchants, but 
for the most part, they plied the various kinds of handicraft 
which the necessities of the time and place demanded. 
I take it that the following were from New England, 
although I do not vouch for the absolute accuracy of the 
list :— 

Abner and Phineas Bagg, brothers, who owned property 
at the Mile-End, and advertized pasturage for sale — Joseph 
Bigelow, a nailer, whose wife was Sally Higgins — Elijah 
Brown — Joseph Chapman, tailor — James Charlton, hatter 
— Jabez and Jacob DeWitt, hatters — Horatio G-ates and 
his nephew, Nathaniel Jones, merchants — Bezaliel Grray 
and Juditha, his wife — Thomas Fingland, trader — Laban 
Folger — Jonathan Hagar, shoemaker — Joseph and Jacob 
Hall, hattero, and Benjamin Hall, their brother — Nahum 


Hall, biscuit-baker, aud inspector of flour, 1819 — Thomas 
Harris — Jonathan Hart — Samuel Hedge, blat'ksmith,after- 
wards hardware merchant — Joshua Henshaw, dry goods — 
Horace Hibbard — The Lyman brothers, Lewis and Micah 
Jones, druggists, and Elisha, Hotel-keeper — U. Mitcham 
and Hannah Peltry, his wife — Nahum Mower, printer — 
Simon Myers — Zenas Nash — David Nelson, saddler, whose 
son Horatio Alexander was baptized by Mr. Somerville 
in 1806 — Moses Northropp, hatter — J. "W. Northup, Heph- 
zibah Thurston, his wife, and their son, Asenath — Samuel 
Park, cabinet-maker, owned pew No. 10 — Jonathan Park- 
ins — Cornelius Peck, carpenter, inn-keeper and stage pro- 
prietor, married to Maria Hall — Nathan Pierce — Abner 
Rice, physician — M. Savage, corset, pelisse and mantua 
maker — Isaac Shay, carpenter — Robert Street, tailor — 
Nathan Strong, bricklayer, and Sally Westover, his wife — 
Zabdiel Thayer, crockery merchant, and Abigail Curtis his 
wife — Simon Thomson — Benjamin Throop, grocer — Daniel 
E. Tylee, tea merchant — James Wadsworth and brother, 
druggists — Resolu and Seth Wait — Barnabas and Ben- 
jamin Whitney, the latter a writing master — Josiah Win- 

The quaint names in the above list, most of them taken 
from the scriptures, help to identify the families as of 
New England origin. The surnames, again, correspond 
in not a few instances to those of honoured and promi- 
nent citizens of to-day, who owe probably much of their 
prosperity to the skill, prudence, thrift and, above all, 
the high principles of their Puritan progenitors. 

All those whom I have mentioned are found in the old 
Registers of St, Gabriel Street Church, in one connection 
or another. Some of them joined the St. Peter Street 
Church, after it was started, and ultimately were incor- 
porated in the American Presbyterian Church ; but many 
of the families continued connected with the Scotch 


Church, at least up to 1812, and some of them afterwards. 
On the breaking out of war in that year, the British G-overn- 
ment caused a proclamation to issue, warning* all Ameri- 
can citizens in Canada, either to take the oath of allegiance 
or leave the country. Some of them became citizens, 
but others returned to the United States. This caused a 
little coolness between the old country people of Mont- 
real and those from the United States, which it took 
years to remove. This estrangement had probably no 
good reason in it ; for there is no evidence that the citi- 
zens of American origin said or did anything at that time 
to justify the suspicion with which the loyalists came to 
regard them. Yet the fact remained — the intercourse be- 
tween these two sections of the population was not for 
years after this so hearty as it had been. Indeed, it was 
this circumstance which, for the most part, led to the final 
establishment of a distinctively American Presbyterian 

The DeWitts, hatters, were among the Forrest adherents 
who seceded from the St. G-abriel Street Church, in 1803. 
Jacob DeWitt was at that time in partnership with Moses 
Northropp. He subsequently engaged in the hardware 
business. He was one of the leaders in the movement to 
establish the American Presbyterian Church, and pre- 
sided at the meeting to organise that society on 24th 
December, 1822. He was a warm supporter of that church 
until his death. Although an American by birth, Mr. 
DeWitt threw himself heartily into public affairs touch- 
ing the welfare of the city and province ; and not only 
entered parliament, representing the County of Chateau- 
guay, but was one of the first directors of the Bank 
of Canada. He also promoted the establishment of the 
City Bank, and was one of the founders of the Banque 
du Peuple. D. B. Yiger and he were the largest share- 
holders in the latter, and on the death of Mr. Viger, the 


first president, Mr. DeTVitt succeeded to the positiou, 
which he held until his decease. 

Hon. Horatio Grates was a supporter of St. Gabriel Street 
Church, from 1808 onwards till 1813. He and his partner 
at that time, Mr. Bellows, lent i)10 to help to clear off 
the debt on the building in 1810, one-half of which they 
afterwards donated to the congregation. They also con- 
tributed £2 to put up the steeple. Mr. Gates and his 
nephew, Mr. Jones, were successful merchants. J. G. 
McKenzie, founder of the great house of "J. G. McKenzie 
and Company," was married to a daughter of Mr. Gates. 
Hector McKenzie and Frederic McKenzie, ex-M.P., are 
his grandsons. Mr. Gates was appointed a member of 
the Legislative Council, 16th March, 1833. He was also 
one of the seven gentlemen who signed the call for the 
meeting to elect the first directors of the Bank of Montreal, 
4th July, 181*7, and was chosen then, and remained one 
of its directors for many years, being president of it at his 

Isaac Shay was the carpenter who erected the steeple 
of the St. Gabriel Street Church, in 1809, and put a new 
roof on the church the same year. The roof was done by 
contract and cost <£318 12s. 2d. The steeple was done by 
days' wages and cost .£133. The account for the bell 
was £SQ 13s. 9d. He entered afterwards into partner- 
ship with Mr. Bent, and they became enterprizing con- 
tractors, responsible and competent to carry out all that 
they undertook. They built the first Bank of Montreal, the 
fine old structure pulled dov n a few years ago to give 
place to the present Post Office, and held most of the 
heavy contracts of the period. Mr. Shay bought pew 59 
in the church. He was one of the directors of the Mon- 
treal Savings' Bank for several years. Mrs. William 
Phillips is his grand-daughter. 


Wadsworth and Lymau who subscribed a guinea in 
1803, 1804 and 1805, were a firm of druggists in the city. 
Before 1806, the two families appear to have separated in 
business, as in that year, Wadsworth and brother are found 
subscribing a guinea on their own account. They con- 
tinued to contribute to the funds of the church up to 
1813, but in the years 1811 and 1812, the name of R. Wads- 
worth is credited with the contribution, and in 1813 it 
is " Wadsworth & Co." 

From 1806 on to 1812, Lewis Lyman contributed sums 
each year varying from one to two guineas. He also gave 
£2 10s. for buying the bell, and putting up the steeple, 
and lent £5 for removing the debt in 1810. At different 
periods, the names of two other brothers, Elisha and Micah 
Jones Lyman, are found in the Registers of the St. Gabriel 
Street Church. They were all from Northampton, Massa- 
chusetts, and sons of Elisha Lyman of that town, and of 
his wife, Abigail Janes. The Lymans are descended from 
an old English stock, from the county of Essex, — one of 
their ancestors, Richard Lyman, having come to New 
England with the Puritan emigration that went on early 
in the 17th century. He was one of the first settlers in 
Hartford, Connecticut. In the course of time, a branch of 
the family settled at Northampton. 

Micah Jones Lyman, whose wife was Elizabeth Sheldon, 
had practiced medicine in Vermont before removing to 
Montreal in 1810. At the beginning of the war of 1812, 
he gave up the drug business which he had established 
here and went to Troy, N.Y., where he carried on the same 
business till 1842. He died in 1851, aged 84 years. 

Elisha Lyman, inherited from his father the old family 
homestead, but exchanged with his brother, Theodore, leav- 
ing Northampton and afterwards residing as a farmer suc- 
cessively in Conway, Mass., and Derby, Vt. He removed 

267 , ;. /. 

to Montreal iu 1815, and kept a public house on McGill 
Street till 1828. He was known in the family as Deacon 
Elisha Lyman, and was a man of sterling integrity, strictly 
conscientious and religious. His son, William, had come 
to reside here in 1807, but left in 1812, on account of 
the war. He returned in 1819, and established the present 
firm, which was then known as Hedge, Lyman He Co, He 
retired from the business in 1855, and died in 1857. His 
two younger brothers, Benjamin and Henry, followed him 
to Montreal and joined him in the business. Benjamin, 
one of Montreal's most honoured Christian citizens, an 
elder in the American Presbyterian Church, died suddenly 
at Toronto, 6th December, 1878. Henry is still with us, 
with eye undimmed and natural force unabated. 

Lewis was younger than Micah Jones and Elisha, but 
he was the first of the family to come to Montreal. He 
was also in the drug business commencing with the 
Wadsworths, and afterwards conducting it by himself. 
He died in 1852, aged 80 years, leaving no children. 

Two sisters of the Lyman s were married here, — Lydia, 
to Samuel Hedge, hardware merchant, whose grand- 
daughters married the Trenholmes ; and Susannah, to 
Roswell Corse, whose daughters are Mrs. Dr. A. Fisher and 
Mrs. Henry Lyman. 

Col. Theodore Lyman, jeweller, who came to Montreal in 
1833, — the late Colonel Stephen Jones Lyman, chemist and 
druggist, following him the next year, — and the late Han- 
nah Willard Lyman, were the children of Theodore, a 
younger brother of Micah, Elisha and Lewis, and were all 
born in old Northampton, Mass. The name of Miss Lyman 
is yet as ointment poured forth in many hearts and homes, 
not in Montreal only, but all through Canada, for the 
blessed influences which she exerted as an instructor of 
young ladies. There were many regrets felt when, in 1865, 
she gave up her select academy here and accepted the prin- 



cipalship of Vassar College, Poughkeepsie. She entered 
into rest there, February 2l8t, 1871, aged 55 years, but her 
remains were brought to Montreal and borne to Mount 
Royal Cemetery, followed by numerous sorrowing friends 
who had known, loved and honoured her in life. 

The Savages and the Lays, among others, are related 
by marriage to the Lyman family ; so that this influential 
New England stock has taken deep root in Canadian soil. 

Moses Northropp, partner of Jacob Dewitt, bought pews 
49 and 50, on 6th March, 1809. These he held till the 
breaking out of the war in 1812, when they passed into 
the hands of James EUice Campbell. Mr. Northropp seems 
to have prized his American citizenship more than his 
trade interests, and consequently left the city on the issu- 
ing of the king's proclamation. 

N. hum Mower, who purchased pf^w 62, in 180*7, was a 
native of Worcester, Massachusetts. He was a printer, 
and set up a newspaper in Montreal in 180*7, the Canadian 
Courant, which was the first purely English journal pub- 
lished in the province. The Quebec Gazette and the Mon- 
treal Gazette, up to that date, and afterwards, were both 
of them printed half in English and half in French. All 
advertisements, and other important matters in them were 
ranged in parallel columns, in the two languages. 

Another feature of Mr. Mower's paper calls for remark : 
it was more of a newspaper than those journals I have 
named, — which were largely official organs, containing 
G-overnment notices and advertisements, but very little 
reading matter, — and what they had was all foreign. They 
had no reports of events happening in Canada, nor com- 
ments upon the management of affairs. But Mr. Mower 
was in advance of his contemporaries of the fourth estate, 
in these particulars. The Courant had spicy reflections 


upon current topics, aud considered the local affairs of the 
city and province as worthy of notice. 

Mr. Mower's connection with the church ceased during 
the period of the war of 1812-4, his pew having been sold 
to Mr. A. Leishman, in 1813; but whether his withdrawal 
had any relations to national questions does not appear. 
Mr. Mower in his valedictory proclaimed himself an up- 
holder of British institutions. 

On the 6th of June, 1829, the following address appeared 
in the Canadian Courant and Montreal Advertiser^ a paper then 
published in Montreal, tw^ice a week, on Wednesdays and 
Saturdays : — 

To THE Patrons of the " Canadian Courant." 

" Twenty-two years have now elapsed since the sub- 
scriber issued the first number of the Courant, then the 
only entire English paper in this city ; on retiring 
from its charge, it might not be improper to take a 
short retrospective glance, over a period which, although 
attended with a share of the perplexities which are 
inseparable from a life of business, has not been without 
its pleasure. Yet he would rather be silent on a subject 
which must naturally speak so much of self, were it 
not that custom imposes the necessity of addressing a 
few words to his friends and supporters, on breaking the 
tie which has hitherto connected them; and gratitude 
urges to follow the practice which custom has sanctioned, 
— for, having experienced much from the honourable and 
most respectable iu society whereofto be grateful, in what- 
ever situation the remainder of his life may be spent, he 
will never cease to cherish a warm regard for the many 
friends who have shown him so much kindness and 
liberality. With respect to the political course of the 
paper, he conceives it necessary to say but a few words ; 
his endeavours have always been to make it a free and im- 


partial recorder of public events, and, although not born 
a British subject, he feels an honest conviction of having 
redeemed the pledge made in the first number, that he 
' should make it his duty to become a good subject, and 
endeavour to persuade others to continue so.' Being an 
admirer of the British Constitution, he has invariably 
endeavored to found his principles, and fix his conduct 
on that basis, and to make it an indispensable requisite in 
all whose editorial labours have from time to time been 

Mr. Mower's daughter, Mrs. Perkins, has been one of 
Montreal's most active Christian ladies, and is still with 

In nothing pertaining to modern civilization has such 
improvement been made, perhaps, as in the sphere of jour- 
nalism, during the last hundred years. This is strikingly 
seen by comparing the Montreal Gazette of 1787 with that 
of 1887. Then, a few inches of the folio sheet were given 
up to a brief abstract of European news brought by the 
latest saili. ^ ship. Sometimes this small budget of 
foreign news was dated at Paris, sometimes at Brussels, 
sometimes at Copenhagen, but oftener at London. This 
was almost all the reading matter contained in the issue 
of the paper, — the rest consisted of official announcements 
and advertisements. 

Speaking of continental news reported in the local 
papers, leads me to insert two small items copied from the 
Montreal Herald, of September 2nd, 1815. The first is a 
form of Prayer and Thanksgiving, read on Sunday, July 
9th, 1815, in all churches and chapels throughout England 
and "Wales, for the signal victory at "Waterloo : — 

" God, the Disposer of all human events, without 
whose aid the strength of man is weakness, and the coun- 
sels of the wisest are as nothing, accept our praise and 


thanksgiving for the signal victory whith Thou hast 
rocently vouchsafovl to the Allied Armies. G-rant, O mer- 
ciful God, that the rL'suit of this mighty battle, terrible in 
conflict, but glorious beyond example in success, may put 
an end to the miseries of Europe, and staunch the blood 
ol' nations. Bless, we beseech Thee, the allied Armies with 
Thy continued lavour. Stretch forth Thy right hand to 
help and direct them. Let not the glory of their progress 
be stained by ambition, nor sullied by revenge ; but let 
Thy Holy Spirit support them in danger, control them in 
victory, and raise them above all temptations to evil, 
through Jesus Christ Our Lord, to whom with Thee and 
the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and forever. 

The other item is the letter addressed by Napoleon Bona- 
parte, to the Prince Regent, when the fallen Emperor 
surrendered to the British ship Bellerophon, on 17th July, 
1815 :— 

" In consequence of the factions which have divided my 
country, and the hatred of the greatest powers of Europe, 
I have terminated my political career, and I come, like 
Themistocles, to place myself under the protection of the 
British nation. I place myself under her protection and 
laws, and which I demand of Your Royal Highness, the 
most constant, and the most generous of my enemies." 

With Mr. Somerville's ministry,certain anomalies passed 
away. Both he and Mr. Young had some delicate matters 
to handle. I have already noticed the baptism of a young 
Indian woman by the former. Here are one or two addi- 
tional items, leading us back to an obsolete condition o^ 
things : — 

" William, a negro belonging to James Dunlop, Esquire, of Montreal, 
was baptized this seventeenth day of November, in the year of our Lord, 
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, by 

JOHN YOUNG, Minister. 


This looks straiigo now, but here is another cm ions 
entry in the Eegisters : — 

Geo. McKeiizie, aged about nine years; Roderick, iiged about six years, 

born to Daniel ^ll'Kenzie, Escjuire.of Montreal, of a woman in the Indian 

country, wore baptized tliis sixteenth day of October, one thousand eight 

hundred and four, by 



In 1798, Mr. Young, in like manner, baptized "James, son 
to Cuthbert Grrant, Indian trader, aged seven years, mother 
unknown " ; and, in the same year, Hannah, daughter of 
Peter Grant, merchant, aged about three years, mother to 
me unknown." 

Some very serious moral and social questions were in- 
volved in these ministerial acts. It was, perhaps, to the 
credit of these Scotch traders that they cared enough for 
their half-breed off-spring to bring them to Montreal, 
on their return from the North-west, and solicit baptism 
for them. The French, on the other hand, for the most part 
left their half-breed children with their Indian mothers, 
who brought them up after their own fashion. As 
between the two, the Scotch were to be commended. But 
there were other features of these transactions which it 
must have been difficult for the ministers of those days to 
wink at. "Were those children born in wedlock ? Morally, 
they no doubt were — that is, the traders took these Indian 
women to be their wives in the sight of God. There may 
have been no marriage ceremonies,for there were no clergy- 
men in the wilds of the far west to celebrate them ; but 
the women were joined to these merchants in all simplicity 
q,nd fidelity, and counted themselves wives according to 
Indian notions. To all intents and purposes it was a mar- 
riage — as, indeed, it would be regarded according to the 
old law of Scotland. This being so, the problem must 
have arisen, — what became of these wives when the 


traders left the Indian country and returned to Montreal ; 
were they dealt fairly by, in being abandoned, as the 
records may be supposed to imply that they were i On 
the other hand, if these Indian women had no right to be 
regarded as wives, were not the children illegitimate, and 
ought not the fathers to have been disciplined before having 
church privileges extended to them ? We are not told 
what dealings the clergymen had with the fathers in the 
instances mentioned, bts-bre their children were baptized ; 
but, in any case, the whole question was one surrounded 
with difficulties. A few of the traders brought their Indian 
wives east with them, and their conscientiousness and 
(Courage were worthy of all praise ; but, as a rule, these 
women were abandoned without receiving the tender <'on- 
sideration from their Scotch partners that was due to the 
mothers of their children. 

The question of the validity of these Indian marriages, 
which was long a debatable one, was at last set at resi by 
the elaborate judgment of Hon. Justice Monk, in the 
celebrated Connolly case. The Court of Appeals, 7th Sep- 
tember, 18*79, upheld Judge Monk's decision in the Supe- 
rior Court. John Connolly was declared the lawful son 
of William Connolly, who was married to Suzanne, the 
daughter of a Cree Chief, according to the Indian customs, 
although without the religious rites which accompany 
marriages in Christian communities ; notwithstanding 
that said William Connolly married afterwards another 
woman, Julia Woolrich, daughter of James Woolrich, the 
rich dry goods merchant, of whom mention has been 
made, while his Indian wife was still alive. 

Another feature of the early religious state of the pro- 
vince is shown in the registers during the incumbencies 
of Mr. Young and Mr. Somerville, that ceased, in a large 
measure, after their day, — namely, the number of bap- 


tisms they were called upon to solemnize for families 
living in the distant parts of the province, and even across 
the United States' line. There were no Protestant clergy- 
men a(Hessible to the settlers nearer than those resident 
in Montreal. In our time, ministers would scarcely feel 
free to baptize the children of all and sundry that (;ame to 
them, without bome previous knowledge of the parents and 
a guarantee of I'leir religious character. But circumstances 
alter cases. It was creditable to the people living in the 
bush, that they sometimes carried their infants a hundred 
miles in their arras to receive the Christian token — they 
showed their faith by their works — and the clergymen 
would naturally be very reluctant in such cases to with- 
hold the ordinance through which those families desired 
to pledge their little ones to become disciples of the 

I shall conclude this chapter by notices of a few of the 
prominent Scotch members whose connection with the 
church belonged chiefly to this period. 

In 1805, Greorge Gillespie subscribed three guineas for 
five years. He was the Gillespie who imposed his name 
upon the celebrated firm of " Gillespie, Moffat and Com- 
pany," which still maintains a leading place in the com- 
mercial community of Montreal. The names of Yeoward, 
Gerard, Parker, Ogilvie and Tough, partners in the same 
concern, before Mr. Gillespie or in his time, have long ago 
dropped out of sight. Mr. Gillespie came to Montreal 
about lt90, and in 1*796 he is mentioned in connection 
with the agency of the North-west Company. He had a 
share in the fur trade during its palmiest days, and soon 
made what, at that time, was counted a fortune. He was 
a gentleman of high honour and integrity, and helped to 
give a fine tone to the commercial sentiment of the period 
of his stay in this city. He occupied it eat in the firm's 




pew in the Church, No. *7, but he was a constant and 
liberal subscriber to the funds of the congregation on his 
own account. He gave JGIO to clear off the debt in 1810. 
On retiring from business in Canada, he bought a property 
in the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, near Biggar, where he 
resided till his death about 1841, or 1842. 

Robert Grillespie was a younger brother of G-eorge. He 
came to Montreal about 1800. His name appears as a sub- 
scriber, first, in 1808. But he acted as Precentor and 
Clerk to the Session, in 1804. He was a director of the 
Lachine Canal Company, and vice-president of the Agricul- 
tural Society of Montreal, in 1820. He continued to reside 
here until 1822, when he removed to London, and was the 
senior member of the firm of " G-illespie, Moffat and Com- 
pany " there till 1856, when he retired from business. He 
died in 1861 or 1862. 

Mr. Grillespie was a member of the temporal committee 
of the St. Gabriel Street Church in the years 1813, 1814, 
1815 and 1816. In 1815, he was Vice-president, and 1816, 
President of the Committee. 

The Armour family also become .connected with the St. 
Gabriel Street Church in the early years of Mr. Somerville's 
ministry. Three brothers, Robert, Hugh and Shaw Armour, 
were natives of Kilmarnock, Scotland. Robert, the eldest, 
was born there in 1'780, and came to Canada in 1^98. He 
engaged in general merchandize, and formed several part- 
nerships in Montreal. The first firm consisted of Hender- 
son and Armour. Afterwards he did business under the 
style of " R. Armour and Co." In 1817, his name appears 
as senior partner in the concern of " Robert Armour and 
Davis." He married, in 1806, Elizabeth Harvie, of Kilmar- 
nock, who proved a helpmeet indeed to him, and bore to 
him several sons and daughters. She died in 1823. 


In 1807, Mr. Armour bought pew No. 17, which formerly 
belonged to the widow of William Stewart, one of the 
original trustees of the church; and in 1816 he secured also 
pew No. 88. His business ability, as well as the depth of 
his interest in ^he welfare of the congregation, soon singled 
him out for the offices in the gift of the people. He was 
chosen a member of the Temporal Committee in 1807, and 
was re-elacted in the two succeeding years. In 1808, he 
was made Vice-president of the Committee. On the 
removal of William Logan to Scotland, in 1815, Mr. 
Armour was elected Treasurer in his room, and held the 
office for the two following years. 

On the 21st March, 1819, he was ordained an elder in 
the St. Grabriel Street congregation, the duties of which 
office he performed with much ability and fidelity up to 
the time of his withdrawal from the church, with the 
section of the congregation that adhered to Eev. Edward 

Although he took part in the movement to establish St. 
Paul's, Mr. Armour had a strong personal attachment to 
Mr. Esson. He mourned sincerely over the bitterness 
imported into the controversy by the partizans of the two 
clergymen, and did what he could to pour oil on the 
troubled waters. It was a great joy to him when, a few 
years afterwards, cordial relations were re-established 
between Mr. Esson and Dr. Black, and their respective 
congregations. Mr. Armour was an esteemed public 
citizen. He was one of the Commissioners for improving 
the inland navigation between Montreal and Lachine. He 
was also one of the wardens of the Trinity House. He 
was finally cashier of the Bank of Canada. 

Five of Mr. Armour's children were baptized by Mr. 
Somerville, — Robert, in 1806; Mary, in 1808; Andrew 
Harvie, in 1809 ; John, in 1815 ; and Agnes Hunter, in 
1817. Robert, who was a general merchant, died in 1845. 


Andrew Harvie, the first named partner in the formerly 
well-known firm of publishers, booksellers and stationers, 
" Armour and Ramsay," with branches in Kingston and 
Toronto, died in 1859. The firm " Armour and Ramsay " 
owned and directed the Montreal Gazette for many years. 
They had a strong British feeling, and as race questions 
were at the time agitated, the Gazette in their hands was 
the stout champion of the rights of the English-speaking 
minority. John survives, and resides in Hamilton, Ontario, 
So does Agnes Hunter, as the widow of the late Hew 
Ramsay, of the firm above mentioned ; and the mother of 
the late beloved Robert Anstruther Ramsay, advocate, 
whose sudden taking off a few months ago, in the prime 
of his manhood, was universally deplored. A Christian, 
a scholar and a gentleman ; he bore the white flower of a 
blameless life. No citizen, at least outside those worship- 
ping in the old church, took a deeper interest in its fortunes, 
or more enthusiastically supported the proposal to publish 
its annals. 

Hugh and Shaw Armour were younger brothers of 
Robert's, who came to Canada some years after him, and 
established a general mercantile business. Hugh died at 
St. Therese de Blainville, in 1822, aged 36 years. In 1816, 
Shaw bought pews 56 and 57, as also 90 and 91 in the St. 
Grabriel Street Church. In 1820, Shaw Armour was dis- 
count clerk in the Bank of Canada. He afterwards removed 
to Cobourg, in the upper province. 

John Fleming, w^ho was a regular subscriber to the 
church from 1807 onv/ards, was born in Aberdeenshire, 
Scotland, in 1786. He came as a youth to Montreal, and 
joined the firm of Hart, Logan and Company, general 
merchants. He was one of the first presidents of the 
Bank of Montreal. In addition to prosecuting trade, he 
found time to court the muses. The SodUe Literaire de 


Quebec offered a medal for the best ode commemoratiug the 
fifty years reigu of George III, iu 1809. It was won by 
Mr. Fleming. He had one of the finest private libraries in 
the province, containing about 11,000 volumes. He pos- 
sessed a fine literary taste, and wrote a good deal. Amongst 
other productions of his pen was a book entitled : " The 
Political Annals of Lower Canada, being a Review of the 
Political and Legislative History of that Province." The 
substance of the publication had previously appeared in 
the form of Essays in the Canadian Reviein. Mr. Fleming 
died of cholera in 1882. During the troublous times in 
the congregation, from 1829 to 1832, he took sides with 
Mr. Black, but died before St. Paul's was fully or- 

Charles Arnoldi. watchmaker, bought pew No. 60 in 
1807, w^hich he continued to occupy till 1810. He and 
his wife, Anne Brown, had a child baptized by Mr. 
Somerville, 3rd February, 1806. 

James Ellice Campbell, who bought pews 49 and 50, 
when they were given up by Moses Northropp in 1812, 
was an old North-wester. He was one of the ofilcers of 
the corps of voyageurs that took Detroit in 1812, holding, 
under Colonel McGillivray, the rank of Quarter Master. 
He afterwards became a lumber merchant and ship owner, 
having a yard at Hochelaga. He was appointed culler of 
timber, staves, &c., in 1820, He married a sister of De 
Bellefeuille Macdonald, and his son, James Reid Campbell, 
named after Chief Justice Reid, was one of the claimants 
to the Earldom of Breadalbane when Glenfalloch took 
the estates and title. J. Reid Campbell lives on his 
estate of Inverardine, near Cornwall, Ontario. His con- 
nection with the church appears to have begun in 1812. 

Lewis Charles, a relative of Mr, McTavish, who came 


from the old country as a landscape j^ardener to lay out the 
grounds around the mansion which the great fur king had 
planned, also attended the St. Gabriel Street Church at 
this time. His son, J. Charles, was a gardener, in Mountain 
Street, in 1819. His grand-daughter is the wife of John 
N. Hickey, commission merchant of Mackay Street. 

William Blackwood, of the firm of Blackwood and 
Larocque, merchants, a brother of Thomas and John, also 
belonged to this period. He was a member of the Tem- 
poral Committee in 1815, 1816 and 1817. He died on the 
15th April, 1831, aged 45 years. 

Hugh Brodie, grandfather of Hugh Brodie, the notary, 
of Montreal, was also a member of the church at the be- 
ginning of the century. His daughter, Mary, now the aged 
wife of Matthew Woodrow of St. Lambert, was baptized 
by Mr. Somerville on the 20th November, 1804. Mr. 
Brodie then lived at Chambly. Afterwards he became Mr. 
John Lilly's farmer, a position he filled until he acquired 
property of his own at Coteau St. Pierre, where he died in 
1852, aged 72 years. A native of Lochwinnoch, Ayrshire, 
Scotland, his life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, in 
which he became a pattern to his French Canadian neigh- 
bours. He took special pleasure in giving information and 
counsel to his fellow-countrymen, newly arrived, for 
whom his house was ever open. His fame as an agricul- 
turist extended beyond Canada, and he was several times 
appointed a judge at the New York State Agricultural 
Exhibitions. He seems to have severed his connection 
with the St. G-abriel Street congregation, soon after the 
St. Peter Street Church was organized, with which he 
connected himself. He was ordained an elder in that 
church, and warmly commended himself to the Christain 
community by a walk and conversation becoming the 


Grospel. His sous, Hugh aud Robert, both uow deceased, 
were successful farmers, aud highly respected members 
of the commuuity, and left the heritage of a good name to 
their children and children's children. 

James Brown who purchased pew No. 8, in 1805, and 
held it for twenty years, was an influential citizen. Born 
in Griasgow in 1776, he came as a lad to Quebec, where he 
was married at the age of 19, by Rev. Alexander Spark. 
Here his two eldest children were born and baptized. 
He removed to Montreal in 1801 or 1802, and became the 
pioneer book-seller and stationer of Montreal, besides ac- 
quiring the proprietorship of the Montreal Gazette, which 
had been continuously published since 1778 He em- 
ployed a large number of men in the several departments 
of his business. Amongst others of his employees was the 
father of the Hon. Justice Badgley, who acted as editor of 
the Gazette. He occupied, therefore, in most respects, the 
same position early in the century that Armour and Ram- 
say filled at a later date. In the course of his business he 
was obliged to take over as payment a paper mill at St. 
Andrews, near Carillon, so that he was forced into becom- 
ing a manufacturer. He disposed of the Gazette to Mr. 
Turner, and his other business to other parties, and con- 
fined his attention to the mill. It did not prove a profit- 
able undertaking — he rather lost heavily in the business. 
Mr. Brown gave £2 to the steeple and bell fund in 1810. 
His pew was sold 1826, as he no longer lived in the city 
or paid pew rent. There being no Scotch church then in 
St. Andrews, the family attended the Episcopal services, 
and ultimately connected themselves with that com- 
munion, which the survivors among his children, Mr. 
John O. Brown, formerly auctioneer, now agent, and Miss 
Brown, an octogenarian, who is still vigorous, continue to 
do, being members of Trinity Church. Mr. Brown died 
23rd May, 1845, aged 60 years. 


Grwynn Owen Radford, the jailer of Montreal, also 
became a supporter of ordinances in St. Gabriel Street 
Churcli in 1804, contributing £1 15s. that year to the 
minister's stipend — and increasing the amount to £2 in 
180'). He was a prominent Freemason, and was at the 
head of a small company of five who founded the Grand 
Assembly of Knight Templars and Knights of Malta in 

Among the Norwesters, perhaps there was no name 
around which such stirring memories gathered as that of 
Archibald Norman MacLeod — not even Cuthbert Grant's. 
MacLeod was one of the pioneers of the fur trade. Along 
with John Gregory he had started a company to com- 
pete with that at the head of which stood Simon 
McTavish and the Frobishers. When the two concerns 
amalgamated, he was the most prominent of the partners 
actually in the Indian country. He acted as Major under 
Colonel McGillivray, in the successful expedition against 
Detroit, in 1812. He also figured largely in the attempt 
to drive the Selkirk Highlanders away from the Red 
River, in 1816, and directed the operations conducted by 
Grant, Pangman, Montour and others. At an earlier date, 
although he was a magistrate for the North-west terri- 
tories, he was charged with attempting to drive off Rous- 
seau and Hervieu from trading with the Indians. Colonel 
Coltman, of Quebec, who went as a commissioner, specially 
designated by the Governor-General, to inquire into the 
circumstances attending the death of Governor Semple, 
and the troubles between Lord Selkirk and the North- 
west Company, reported MacLeod as one of those to be 
held responsible for the murder of Semple. 

He was a visitor at St. Peter's Lodge of Freemasons in 
lt81, but he was very little in Montreal. His connection 
with the St. Gabriel Street Church appears to have begun 



only in 1809, when he subscribed a guinea, which he 
continued to give. In 1811, he contributed <£8 16s towards 
wiping out the church debt. He bought pew 30 in the 
gallery, in 1819. In that year, and in 1820, we find him 
in the head office of the company, in St Gabriel Street. 

Lieutenant-Colonel William MacKay had also a connec- 
tion with the St. Gabriel Street Church during Mr. 
Somerville's ministry. He had been a trader on his own 
account upon the banks of the Menoraoni River from the 
year lt96 onwards. He finally settled down at Michilli- 
makinac, from which centre he directed his fur operations. 
Visiting Montreal in 1808, he then married Eliza Davidson, 
daughter of the Hon. Justice Davidson. He joined the 
North-west Company in 1812. On the breaking out of 
hostilities between Great Britain and the United States, 
in that year, he put himself at the head of the British 
settlers ; and soon afterwards took the fort of Prairie-du- 
Chien, which from that time forward bore his name, 
Fort MacKay. He undertook an expedition against the 
Mississippi in 1814, in command of the Michigan Fenci- 
bles, and, by the military successes which he achieved, 
earned for himself his Lieutenant-Colonelcy. He tra- 
velled, during the w^ar, 19,000 miles. He is described as 
an " active and intelligent gentleman, and of an imposing 
figure." The Alexander MacKay, mentioned by Washing- 
ton Irving in Astoria, was his brother, and was in the 
employ of the North-west Company as early as 1806. He 
also attended the church for some time, and with William 
contributed jGIO to the steeple and bell fund in 1810. 
William MacKay's name first appeared on the subscription 
list in 1809, and continued till his return westward in 
1812. He gave ^3 to the debt in 1810. A son, William, 
who died in infancy, was baptized by Mr. Somerville, 
22nd November, 1811. The Hon. Robert MacKay, retired 


justice of the Superior Court, oue of the warmest patrons 
of Art aucl Letters among our citizens, is another son. 
Colonel MacKay returned to Montreal, and occupied 
a position in the Indian Department from 1820 onwards 
till his death. The name of the MacKay family is perpet- 
uated in the street which is called after them. 

Of all the Northwesters, of whose career I have know- 
ledge, perhaps the most romantic was that of John Mac- 
donald, of Garth, son of Macdonald of G-arth, formerly 
captain in the 84th Highlanders. Descended from the 
Keppoch family, he inherited the high spirit and courage 
of the famous Lords of the Isles. He came to Canada in 
1791, as a lad of 17 years, and entered the service of the 
North-west Company. As he was brother-in-law of Lieut.- 
G-eneral Sir Archibald Campbell, Bart., G.C.B., Governor 
of New Brunswick, and Commander-in-Chief in the 
Burmese war, as well as of Hon. "William McGillivray, 
who was married to his sister Magdalen MacDonald, 
and was a grand-nephew of General Small, Governor 
of Guernsey, formerly Colonel of the 84th Highlanders, 
he was afforded every opportunity of rising in the service. 
For a few years, at first, he was under the direction of 
Angus Shaw, for whom he conceived the highest affection 
and esteem ; so that when he was offered a place on the 
staff of Sir Alexander MacKenzie, when that renowned 
traveller was setting out on his voyage of discovery, he 
declined to attach himself to any one else in preference to 
Mr. Shaw. Having shown energy and pluck on many 
occasions, thereby commending himself to the senior part- 
ners, he was selected to lead in many enterprises in which 
these qualities were required. Among other things given 
him to do was to rescue David Thomson, the astronomer 
of the Company, who was on one occasion, in British 
Columbia, cut off from communication with the posts east 


of the mouiitaiii.s, through the interposition of hostile 
Indians. He succeeded in bringing Mr. Thomson safely 
across the " Rockies." It was after this that he visited 
Montreal and attended the St. Gabriel Street Church. In 
March, 1808, he, now a partner, and Angus Shaw, Aeneas 
Cameron and A. N. McLeod, all made a contribution to the 
funds of the church, and had their names inscribed in the 
Treasurer's books. But his great undertaking was in the 
war of 1812-4. He received the commission from the 
Company, to fit out an expedition for the capture of the 
fur-depot of the American traders, with John Jacob Astor 
at their head, which had been established at the mouth of 
the Columbia or Oregon River, and called after its founder 
*' Astoria." He sailed from England in the ship " Isaac 
Todd," in 1813, for this purpose, and landed at Astoria, on 
the 30th of November in that year, after doubling Cape 
Horn. On the 1st day of December, Captain Smith of the 
sloop, on board which Macdonald and his party reached the 
settlement, took possession of the depot in the name of 
King George, and called it Fort George, after his Royal 
Master. Here, a party that came by land across the moun- 
tains, met them, rnd Macdonald, as senior partner of the 
firm, amongst them, had the chief responsibility thrown 
upon his shoulders. He conducted Astor himself, and 
John Clarke, McDougall, Stewart and Donald McKenzie, 
who were Astor's associates in business, as prisoners, 
across the Rocky mountains, and over the plains to Fort 
"William, where, at the conclusion of the war, they were 
set at liberty. He settled at Gray's Creek, in the County 
of Glengarry, in 1816, at the instance of Bishop Mac- 
Donnell. He was persuaded by his son to write an 
account of his adventurous life, which he did in his 
89th year, and has left two manuscript volumes, of great 
historic value, embracing sketches of his experiences and 
reminiscences. Besides these interesting memoranda, 


th(^ Bellefeuillo Macdonalds have portraits of Hou. \V. 
McGillivray and A. N. MacLeod. 

Mr. Macdoiiald died at the ripe old age of 90 years, 
leaving, among other children, the late Judge Rolland 
Macdonald, of "Welland, Ontario, and De Bellefeuille Mac- 
donald of this city, whose wife is a daughter of Lieut.- 
Col. the Hon. R U. Harwood, M.L.C., Seignior of Vau- 
dreuil, — whose mother, again, was a daughter of the 
Marquis of Lotbiniere, Knight of the Royal and Military 
Order of St. Louis, and Engineer-in-Chief of New France. 

CHArTER xvir. 

Rev. Henry Esson, M.A.,--Hi8 iiirtii, Education, and call to MoNTRKATi 


VIEWS — His connection witii edi'cation and the Clbroy Reserves 
QUESTION His marri;..?j— His ideas about an Estahlisiied Church 
— The change in nis notions ok rREAciiiNG the Gospel — Joins the 
disruption movement in Canada — Appointed Professor in Knox 
College — His Death — Dh. Willis' estimate of his character and 


The Rev. Henry Esson's pastorate in St. Gabriel Street 
Church was not only the longest, leaving out the fifteen 
years during which Mr. Somerville was nominally min- 
ister, without sharing in the work or responsibilities of 
the office ; but also covered the most important period of 
its history, and was in many respects the most influential. 
He was a man exceptionally gifted, and he found in the 
Montreal of those days a fitting theatre on which his gifts 
could be displayed to a^^ vantage. No other minister of the 
church ever bulked so largely in the eyes of the public, or 
made so marked an impression upon the entire community. 
Mr. Esson belonged to the city and country, as well as to 
the Scotch Church in St. Gabriel Street. 

He was just the kind of man the proprietors of pews, on 
the whole, were at the moment looking for. The new Christ 
Church was now opened, and, with its organ and music, 
and other attractions, was a keen, though friendly compe- 
titor with its Scotch neighbour near by. The leading 
men of the St. Gabriel Street Church resolved to have their 
organ and other attractions centred in the pulpit. An able 




and accomplished preacher was the agency on which 
their confidence for the success of their church rested. 

Mr. Esson was born at Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 
in the year 1793, so that he was 24 years of age, in 181Y, 
when he became joint pastor of the St. Gabriel Street 
Church. He was the youngest son of a highly respected 
farmer, who trained his household in the fear of the Lord, 
and received an abundant blessing from heaven in return. 
He ijceived his university education in Marischal College, 
Aberdeen, and had the good fortune to attract the special 
attention of the Rev. Professor Stuart of that institution, 
by reason of his scholarly attainments and amiability of 
disposition. Many of the prominent merchants of Montreal 
were from Aberdeen city or county, and when an addi- 
tion il clergyman was wanted for the Scotch Church in 
this city, it was natural for them to put themselves in 
communication with the influential representatives of the 
church in the Granite City, in order to gain the end they 
bad in view, the securing of a colleague to Mr. Somerville, 
who would worthily sustain the dignified position of a 
Minister of the Established Churcli of Scotland, in the com- 
mercial metropolis of Canada, by h.s preaching power, his 
literary acquirements and his social taL-nts. Clothed by 
the representatives of the congregation here with full ap- 
pointing power, Professor Stuart selected Mr. Esson as 
eminently well-fitted in all these respects for the situation 
in question. 

We give the history of the transaction, as showing how 
the Presbyterian Church managed to work out its destiny 
• in special circumstances, and accommodated itself to the 
exigencies in which it was placed. 

At a meeting of the temporal committee on the 14th 
December, 1816, 

" It was intimated that several members of the Clmrch had expressed 
an opinion that, in consideration of the delicate condition of the present 


Minister's health, and the multiplicity of duty he has to perform, a col- 
league would be desirable, if sufficient funds for his support could be 

The Committee agreed that a meeting of the proprie- 
tors and members of the church should be intimated for 
Sunday, the 22nd instant, to be held thereon, immediately 
after the forenoon service, to take the same into considera- 

" Montreal, 22nd December, 1816." 
" Pursuant to the resolution of the Committee of the 14th 
inst., a general meeting of proprietors and members was 
held in the church, when it was unanimously agreed : — 

" That a subscription should be opened for raising a sum of money to be 
applied to the purpose of procuring a minister from Scotland, as a colleague 
to the Eev. J. Somerville, and other contingent expenses, and that the 
annual salary of said colleague should not be less than £400. Messrs. 
George Garden, James Leslie, Jasper Tough, Robert Armour and A. L. 
MacNider were chosen and appointed a special committee." 

This was the initiation of the movement to obtain a 
colleague and sviccessor to Mr. Somerville. 


"Montreal, 9th February, 1817." 

•* It was ordered that the Secretary should furnish the Rev. Mr. Somer- 
ville with copies of the proceedings of the meeting of the Committee of the 
14th of December last, and of that of the Proprietors and members of the 
congregation on the 22nd of the same month, and to request that he would 
give his assistance to carrying the present measure into effect." 

This was the second step taken towards maintaining the 
efficiency of the pulpit of the St. Gabriel Street Church. 
How Mr. Somerville regarded the movement, I will let Dr. 
Wilkie tell. After detailing the facts respecting the 
failure of that gentleman's health, his biography goes on 
to say : — 

" From these circumstances it cannot be wondered at, that, in a large 
congregation, such as his was, there should be many persons who would 


■wish for what would be considered a more efficient minister. A large 
proportion of the members, it is true, convinced of his earnest desire to do 
his duty as faithfully as possible ; and penetrated with a conviction of the 
honesty and benevolence of his heart, would do nothing to his prejudice ; 
and nothing, certainly, without consulting him. It is but justice to that 
highly respectable congregation, to state that this portion was all along 
predominant. . . . But whatever might be their opinions indivi- 
dually, it was agreed finally, with his consent, if not his approbation, to 
send for an assistant or colleague, for by which designation he should be 
named, seems not at first to be definitely settled. . . . Mr. Somerville 
received his colleague, for such he was now admitted to be, with becoming 
courtesy and frankness. Nor does it appear, that notwithstanding slight 
diflerences of opinion in the Session or in the Presbytery, formed some 
years after, any cessation occurred of the cordiality which such a connec- 
tion implies. In the difficulties, also, which several years afterwards 
arose from various causes, he gave his influence and advice, whenever he 
was able to give it, steadily in favour of a fair and honourable treatment 
of his brother." 

And Mr. Esson reciprocated these fraternal sentiments. 
He was too benevolent in heart and reverent in disposition 
not to respect the feelings and regard the susceptibilities 
of his venerable colleague. Professor Stuart lost no time 
in executing the commission with which he was entrusted* 
as the following documents show : — 

" At Aberdeen, the seventh day of May, one thousand eight hundred 
and seventeen : — 

Which day the Presbytery of Aberdeen being met and constituted. 
Professor John Stuart, of Marischal College, Aberdeen, having craved 
access to the Presbytery and been admitted, produced a letter of procura- 
tory, from the committee of the Scots Presbyterian congregation in Mont- 
real, Lower Canada, empowering him to send out an ordained clergyman 
of the Church of Scotland, as colleague to the Rev. James Somerville, their 
present minister. Said letter being read and sustained, Professor Stuart 
informed the Presbytery that from his personal knowledge of Mr. Henry 
Esson, whom the Presbytery had this day licensed to preach the Gospel, 
he had recommended him to that congregation, as a proper person to be 
colleague to their minister, and that, in consequence, he had received a 
blank call subscribed by the committee appointed by the congregation, and 
corroborated by Mr. Somerville, the minister, and by the elders, — which 
call he had this day filled up with the name of Mr. Henry Esson. Together 
with said call, Professor Stuart gave in to the Presbytery the following 
letter : — 


To TUB Very Rfverbnd thh PnESBYTERV of Aherdehn". 

Gentlemen, — I beg leave to lay before you the annexed extract from the 
Roriords of the late Synod of Alierdeen, by which you will learn the state 
of the Presbyterian Church of Montreal in Canada, and their anxious 
desire of forming a more intimate connection with their mother church. 
You will also see that having been appointed proxy or agent for that con- 
gregation by a committee of their managers, I have been authorized to 
make choice of a suitable person as colleague to their senior clergyman, 
who is in bad health, and that they are desirous of such assistant not only 
receiving his license and ordination from the Church of Scotland, but also 
of his being sent out to America under their particular sanction and au- 
thority. I have, therefore, entered into an agreement with Mr. Henry 
Esson, who has just been licensed by your Reverend Body, to go out to 
Canada, in that capacity, and being empowered irx the name of the con- 
gregation to })romise him a very liberal stipend or salary, I flatter myself 
that there can be no objection to his being now again taken on Trials and 
formally ordained a Minister of this Church. Allow me farther to solicit, 
that as the Presbyterians of Montreal, from their jieculiar situation, are 
very much in want of a clergyman, and that from an application about to 
be made in his behalf to the ensuing General Assembly of this Church, it 
would be very highly gratifying to that congregation, if his ordination 
could take place before the meeting of the Assembly, you would proceed 
to his ordination with all pos-^ible despatch. I have the honour to be, in 
the name of the Committee of IManagers, very respectfully, Reverend 

Your faithful and obedient servant, 

(Signed), Jo. Stuart, Mar. College. 

Aberdeen, 7th May,lS17." 

" The salary warranted to Mr. Esson is £400 currency per annum, 
equivalent to £360 sterling, over and above the fees for marriages, etc., 
which may amount to at least £50 more. Professor Stuart also laid before 
the Presbytery a letter from Mr. Henry Esson, signifying his acceptance 
of said office, together with a certificate of Mr. Esson's qualification to 
government, on all which Professor Stuart took instruments in the hands 
of the Clerk. The Presbytery having duly considered, the foregoing 
pai^ers and request, unanimously agreed to take the necessary steps for 
ordaining Mr. Esson with all convenient speed. They accordingly pre- 
scribed to him the usual pieces of Trial, and they resolved to meet in the 
ordinary place on Thurday, the 15th current, to receive said Trials, and 
to ordain Mr. Esson if they shall then find him qualified." 

" At Al)erdeen, the fifteenth day of May, one thousand eight hundred 
and seventeen ; the Presbytery of Aberdeen being met and co>istituted, 
compeared Mr. Henry Esson and delivered several pieces of Trial pre- 


scribed to him at last meeting. He was then removed, and the Presbytery 
having deliberately considered said Trials, did highly approve of the 
same ; and it having been certified to the Presbytery that he had preached 
publicly with great approbation, — and the Presbytery being also stitisfied 
as to his piety, prudence and other ministerial qualifications, tbey unan- 
imously agreed to proceed to his ordination. Said (Questions being put 
and satisfactorily answered, the Presbytery did and hereby do, by solemn 
prayer and imposition of hands, set apart INIr. Henry Esson to the office 
of the Holy Ministry. He was afterwards seriously and suitably address. 
ed ; and Mr. Esson having on a former occasion subionbed the formula 
of the Church of Scotland, he now received the right hand of fellowship 
as a Minister of this Church . 

The Presbytery appointed their clerk to furnish Mr. Esson with an 
extract of their proceedings relative to his ordination when called for. 

" (Signed,) John Leslie, 

"Pby. Clerk." 

This was the course followed seventy years ago. before 
there was a Presbytery or other local machiuery here to 
facilitate clerical settlements, by a congregation desiring a 
minister from the Church of Scotland ; and we have seen, 
in some recent cases, in the city, that no better plan has 
yet been devised for overcoming the difficulties to be sur- 
mounted, in gaining the same end, bv consregations. in 
our day. 

Mr. Esson entered upon his duties in the autumn of 
181t, and soon made himself felt in Montreal as a scholar, 
a gentleman, and a brilliant talker. The congregation 
were proud of their gifted young minister, who was able 
to uphold in any presence the dignity befitting a repre- 
sentative of one of the established churches of G-reat 
Britain. Courteous in manner as Sir Charles Grandison 
himself, he possessed social qualities of a high order, and, 
as described by one of our octogenarian citizens, who 
knew him well and was competent to make a fair esti- 
mate of the man, he was easily the leader in the best 
Montreal circles of the period. Graceful and fluent in 
speech, when a congenial subject was introduced, before 


the art of conversation was wholly lost, he carried off the 
palm from all competitors. There was some risk of the 
conversation running, indeed, into a monologue, as was 
the case with that distinguished talker Coleridge, accord- 
ing to the testimony of Charles Lamb, — and with Lord 
Macaulay, as Sidney Smith represented the matter, when 
he said, '' I believe Macaulay never did hear the sound of 
my voice." Mr. Esson was at this period of his life the 
soul of any company in which he was found. Later in 
life, he became more reserved, as if mentally pre-occupied. 
He had a most exuberant imagination, and it had ample 
materials on which to work in the vast stores of know- 
ledge which his retentive memory placed always at his 
disposal. Nor had he any difficulty in finding utterance. 
The language at his command was always equal to ex- 
pressing the ideas produced in his fertile brain. And 
then he had all the simplicity of a child. He was a very 
Nathanael for guilelessness. He was absolutely free from 
suspicions and was consequently easily imposed upon by 
the unworthy. He was known more than once to take off, 
even on the street, one of two coats he was wearing, and 
give it to a needy person whom he met. This generosity 
of nature and freedom from suspiciousness led him 
not unfrequently to patronize undeserving persons ; and 
it is believed that it was some of those who had victim- 
ized him that afterwards rewarded him evil for his good, 
and gave currency to the mischievous rumours which 
caused so much injury to thje congregation, and distress 
to himself and all concerned in the welfare of the Church. 
The followin^!^ is the entry of Mr. Esson's first marriage 
in the Church Registers : — 

Rev. Henry Esson, one of the ministers of the Scotch Kirk, Montreal 
and Miss Maria Sweeney, of the same place, spinster, were joined in 
marriage (by license) at Montreal, this seventh day of July, one thousand 
eight hundred and twenty-three, by 

(Signed) ED. BLACK, 



This entry is signed, in addition to the principals, by 
Campbell Sweeney, Jane D. Caldwell, M. C. Sv^eeney, 
Anna Sweeney, Elizabeth Sweeney, Robert Sweeney, 
Campbell Sweeney, Junr., Martin Caldwell, H. Urquhart, 
W. Caldwell and James Sweeney. 

A son named Campbell Sweeney was born to them 
16th December, 1825, and baptized by Mr. Black. This 
son, and another afterwards, died in infancy. Mrs. Esson 
also died on the 2nd of February, 1826, aged only 24 years. 

In 1842, he married Elizabeth Campbell, of Edinburgh, 
sister of Rev. A. J. Campbell, of Geelong, Australia, and 
of A, J. Campbell, formerly of the Merchants Bank of 
Canada, — and aunt of Rev. F. Renaud, of St. John's, and 
of the wife of Bishop Sullivan. 

In his youth, Mr. Esson was of a gay disposition, and 
his preaching at this period had a strong literary flavour 
about it, although in our day it would not be deemed 
popular. In the first twenty years of his ministry, it was 
chiefly the Gospel of culture which he taught. He 
preached the first sermon of the St. Andrew's Society of 
Montreal in 1835. The discourse was published, and is 
remarkable for the vast erudition which it displays. The 
literary notes accompanying ii exhibit a wide range of read- 
ing, and especially an extensive acquaintance with the 
principles of philosophy, which was his favourite study. 

His style of preaching, at that period, although it might 
fascinate and please men for a while, very soon ceased to 
have power. There is a time for dilating in the pulpit 
upon the noble faculties of man and urging their proper 
employment. The Bible contains a great deal in praise 
of virtue, and much of both the Old and New Testament 
is taken up with enforcing duty upon man and maintain- 
ing the claims of morality. No religious teacher is war- 
ranted in overlooking this fact, or in failing to do justice 
to the whole circle of truth embodied in the word of God ; 


it is his office to rightly divide it. But souls are not 
saved by descantiug on the beauties of the sentiments set 
forth by Jesus and His Apostles. As a rule, sinful men 
require a more heroic treatment. The patient suffering 
from a gangrene cannot be cured by aprinkliug rosewater 
about his apartment. And the people who go to church, 
sometimes at least, have cravings after a new life. They 
expect to be told of their sins — they are, to a certain ex- 
tent conscious of their short-comings, and feel that the 
preacher who does not take hold of them, as they are, is 
not the spiritual physician they need. They are not long 
satisfied to be spoken to as if they were saints ; so that 
the sermons on Christian duties, which are very useful to 
believers already advanced in the divine life, seem to 
them as idle tales. Such discourses take them into a 
realm of which they have no knowledge ; and they cease 
to attend the services where what is spoken does not 
touch their real condition. Mr. Esson's preaching at this 
period was of a kind to pall on the hearts of the people 
who had religious yearnings. He did not stir the blood by 
calling sinners to repentance, nor did he insist strongly 
upon the necessity of the new birth. He called attention 
rather to the meekness and purity of Jesus than to His 
great work as the sin-bearer. Many young preachers 
make the same mistake as Mr. Esson : in their own love 
of truth and enthusiasm for righteousness, they fancy- 
that they have not to do more than point out what is 
lovely and of good report to their hearers, in order to 
obtain a ready practical acquiescence in their views. 
They have to learn by experience that men have to be 
reconstructed before much is to be looked for from them, 
in the way of a fine character. In short, he attempted 
building up a fine Christian character, without seeing 
well to the foundations. He did not attend to the due 
proportion between doctrines and duties. The staple of 


his teaching related to the latter rather thau the former. 
This style of sermonizing made him popular with some, 
but it soon lost its hold upon others ; and it was out of 
the felt lack in his discourses, more than in the weight 
of the duties of the pastorate, that the desire sprang for 
another colleague to Mr. Somerville, besides Mr. Esson. 
Meantime, the church lost its chance of holding some 
good people like Duncan Fisher's family, John Torrance, 
Henry Wilkes, and James Ferrier, who otherwise would 
naturally have remained in it. The Reverend John Hick, 
already mentioned as marrying into the Fisher family, 
was a popular Methodist preacher, sent out by the British 
Conference, and stationed in Montreal first, in the years 
1819-20, and again in 1828-30. He was succeeded by 
Rev. P. L. Lusher and others whose manner of pulpit 
address made pungent appeals to the conscience and ' 
struck at the roots of sin in the soul. The Rev. Mr. Per- 
kins, of the American Presbyterian Church, which se- 
parated from St. Andrew's Church, in 1823, was also 
what is known as an evangelical preacher, so that those 
who were dissatisfied with themselves, and had an in- 
stinctive desire for a new heart anu a sense of forgiveness, 
went either to hear him or the Methodist preacher. This 
was the reason why St. Grabriel Street Church gave some 
of its good people to the Methodist and American Presby- 
terian Churches, as others betook themselves to the 
Church of England, on social grounds, or on account of 
local circumstances. Another outcome of the teaching of 
Mr. Esson's early ministry was the establishment in after 
years of the Unitarian Association and Congregation in. 
Montreal. He was not very clear in his views as to the 
Divinity of Our Lord, any more than as to His atoning 
work ; and, as a consequence, there were some, among 
his hearers, who did not stop short at his hesitating semi- 
socinianism, but went on in the direction in which his 


doubts and speculations on these fundamental subjects 
probably lirst started them. 

To satisfy those whom Mr. Esson's teaching* did not suit, 
and to secure thorough ethciency in the pastoral diq^art- 
meut of the work in the congregation, the Rev. Edward 
Black was added to the ministerial staff in 1823. It was 
thought that he possessed the gifts and qualities which 
were found to be lacking in Mr. Esson, and it was expected 
that these gentlemen being what mathematicians call the 
complement of one another, the church would be excep- 
tionally well served by their united efforts. As is well- 
known, these expectations were far from being realized: the 
arrangement did not work well. I am not going to appor- 
tion the blame for the failure between the parties : there 
were, doubtless, faults on both sides. This matter will be 
treated of more fully, when we come to the secession of 
the St. Paul's congregation from the St. Gabriel Street 
Church. But this much I may say here : the ministers 
were less culpable than the people. "Whatever differences 
or diversities of view and feeling existed between Mr. 
Esson and Mr. Black were taken up by their respective 
partizans, in the congregation, and became widened and 
intensified in their minds and hearts. The final issue, as 
we shall see farther on, was the withdrawal of Mr. Black 
and the portion of the congregation that sympathized w^ith 
him, in 1833, to constitute a new congregation, and thus 
originated St. Paul's Church, which stands in the front 
rank of the Churches in the Dominion. 

Mr. Esson, like Mr. Strachan, at Cornwall, devoted a 
portion of his time to the education of youth during the 
greater part of his ministry in Montreal, establishing 
the "Montreal Academic Institution." In this way he 
eked out his income, which was rather limited after the 
original subscription, on the strength of which he accept- 
ed the position, expired. He was aided in his educational 


work by the Rev. Hugh Urquhart, of whom a iiotii^e will 
b»' given elsewhere, from the date of that gentlemau's 
arrival in Montreal in the autumn of 1822, until his re- 
moval, in 1827, to Cornwall, to become pastor of the Srot- 
tish Church in that place, Mr. Esson was an admirable , 
teacher, for, besides possessing high attainments, and the 
art of imparting knowledge, he was animated by a line 
enthusiasm, which stimulated the mental powers of the 
youth entrusted to his care. Besides supplying a felt 
want in the community, in the absence of a grammar 
school, he preserved his scholarship, and cultivated those 
academic tastes, which qualified him for the responsible 
position he filled during the last nine years of his life, as a 
professor in Knox College, Toronto. His interest in edu- 
cation naturally inclined him to stand up for the rights of 
the Church of Scotland, to share with the Church of Eng- 
land in directing the schools of the province, and in fur- 
nishing them with teachers. There was a long and severe 
contest over this matter ; but his views prevailed at last. 
To him the liberalizing of the constitution of Mi^Crill 
College, and freeing it from the domination of the Church 
of England, was also in a good measure due. He carried 
on a vigorous correspondence on the subject with his con- 
temporary, Dean Bethune, for some time in the Herald, 
£nd his letters carried conviction to the minds of the Gov- 
ernors, so that finally, the institution, largely through his 
influence, was got upon its present non-denominational, 
though Protestant footing. 

He was also an earnest champion of the rights of the 
ministers of the Church of Scotland, to participate in the 
benefits of the Clergy Reserves. He ably seconded Rev. 
Dr. Harkness of Quebec, who was his senior, in the move- 
ment to secure for the Scotch Church equal priA'ileges 
with those accorded to the Church of England in Canada ; 
and to him was entrusted the duty of drawaug up some 


ol' th«! mo8t important dorumonts by way of establishing 
the rights at issue When the Clergy Reserves question 
came to be discussed, the part he played in eonnec^tion 
with its settlement in 1840, will be more particularly 
noted. It was a well-merited honour, therelbre, to which 
his brethren raised him, in 1842, when they placed him 
in the chair of the Moderator of the Synod. His public 
services, rendered to the church, in the way of vindicating 
its rights in Canada, entitled him to this mark of distinc- 
tion at their hands. 

By this time, too, a marked change had come over his 
religious views, which brought him more into the line of 
sympathy with the other ministers of the church. What 
specially led up to this revolution in his sentiments, and 
caused him to begin to preach up the great evangelical 
doctrines of the Gospel, I have been unable to trace. His 
most intimate friends were never made aware of the occa- 
sion of the change, although the fact of the change was 
known far and wide. One informant hints that his 
intimacy during his widowhood with the lady who 
subsequently became his wife, had, probably, something 
to do with bringing about this wholesome state of mind ; 
although she modestly disclaimed any such influence in 
the affair. Certain it is, at all events, that during the latter 
part of his ministry, he preached Christ crucified as the 
great power of G-od, for the salvation of sinners. 

He was chosen, with Rev. Dr. Mathieson, of St. Andrew's 
Church, chaplain to the St. Andrew's Society of Montreal, 
at its formation in 1835, and preached the first sermon 
delivered to the society on the 30th November, in that 
year — a sermon that breathed forth a spirit of lofty patriot- 
ism as well as showed the literary accomplishments of its 
author. He preached the annual discourse to the Society, 
on two subsequent occasions ; and when he resigned the 
chaplaincy, in 1845, on removing to Toronto, he was 
elected an honorary member of the Society. 


Long- before 1831, he had telt the necessity of a fuller 
rresbyteriaii organization than was afforded by the 
isolated congregations in Upper and Lower Canada, the 
ministers and elders of which had met only occasionally 
for ordinations. In 1827, the ministers, elders and tem- 
poral committee of the Church in St. Grabriel Street, 
presented a petition to the Governor in Chief, pointing 
out the disabilities under which they laboured, and con- 
(;luding with the request that " His Ex(!ollency would 
grant a charter of Incorporation to the said Church, either 
sole or aggregate, with power to hold the land on which 
the church stands, und also land to form the site of a 
manse and ? glebe and burial ground . . . under 
such limitations and restrictions, as to his wisdom might 
seem proper and necessary." It was not till fifteen 
months afterwards that an answer was received from the 
secretary. " It was very brief and to this purport," wrote 
Mr. Esson in 1831, " That the petition had been referred 
to His Majesty's Attorney General, and, from the report of 
that officer, His Ex(3ellency found that he had not the 
power to grant the charter prayed for." In his memor- 
andum to the Synod, after its formation, Mr. Esson 
thought that the Church in Canada should not rest satis- 
fied with the amount of organization which the Synod 
recently formed, had given. Arguing from the confusion 
and difficulties connected with the St. Gabriel Street 
Church at the time of writing, he added : — " The fact is 
stated to shew the miserable state of anarchy in which we 
have been placed for some time past, in hopes that the 
parent Church of North Britain will take effectual measures 
for introducing into these provinces an efficient church 
government and discipline. But it is humbly conceived 
this cannot be done without an Act of the United Parlia- 
ments of Great Britain and Ireland, to establish or authorize 

the establishment of an ecclesiastical jurisdiction here, 


and to give the civil magistrate power and authority to 
aid the charch courts, when such aid may become neces- 
sary." Mr. Esson, it will be seen, was a very high church- 
man, of the Presbyterian type. The Established Church 
of Scotland was his ideal, which he wished introduced 
into Canada. 

He was very glad, indeed, to accept such an instalment 
of organization as the formation, in 1831, of the Synod of 
the Presbyterian Church of Canada in connection with the 
Church of Scotland afforded ; and he and his colleagues, 
along with the session and congregation, not only heartily 
connected themselves with it, acknowledging its jurisdic- 
tion, but they invoked its good offices towards obtaining 
a settlement of the unhappy differences which at this 
period were rending the congregation in pieces. 

But in 1844, Mr. Esson was carried on the top of the 
wave of Free Church sentiment, that had already swept 
over the mother country, and had now reached the shores 
of Canada. He took his place at the head of the band of 
sympathizers with the non-intrusion party of the Church 
of Scotland, in the Montreal district ; and threw himself 
into the controversy with characteristic ardour and enthu- 
siasm, as we shall see by and by. In November of that 
year, he resigned his charge, on being appointed professor 
in Knox College, Toronto. 

The impression which he made in this new sphere may 
be gathered from the tributes paid to him after his decease. 
He died on the 11th of May, 1853, in the 61st year of his 
age. The following notice was penned by his friend, 
Greorge Brown, of the Globe, and sets forth his qualities in 
a few graphic and delicate touches : — 

" He was a man of studious habits and of varied learn- 
ing; of unquestionable logical powers, and of fertile 
imagination ; and into all that he did, he carried with 
him a noble enthusiasm, which enabled him to triumph 

■ 291 

over many obstacles. He was an applicant for the chair of 
history in the University of Toronto, and his appointment 
was confidently expected. Of most agreeable manners 
and amiable temper ; in private life he was respected and 
beloved, and he will be long and kindly remembered." 

This estimate of Mr. Esson's life and work will be fit- 
tingly concluded by the following tribute, paid to him by 
his colleague, the Rev. Principal "Willis, D.D., of Knox 
College, who had the best opportunities of knowing him, 
in the course of a sermon, preached in Rev. Mr. Irvine's 
church, G-eorge Street, Toronto, on the Sabbath evening 
following his death : — 

" The end of a long illness, in the case of our friend, 
Professor Esson, came with a somewhat unexpected rapid- 
ity, and so far, we were taken by surprise. I had the 
satisfaction to be present at the solemn moment when the 
spirit was taking its departure, and joined in commending 
him to the Saviour in whom he trusted. He is gone ! and 
the cordial regret simultaneously uttered by a large circle 
of friends, bears testimony to the void which his death 
is felt to have made in the community, and to the high 
esteem which his disposition and virtues had secured for 
him in the hearts of his fellow citizens. 

" Mr. Esson was one whom it was impossible to know 
and not to love, for the noble simplicity and ingenuousness 
of his temper and manners, united with an ardour of 
spirit, rendering his congenial studies a source of constant 
enjoyment to himself and enabling him to interest the 
hearts, as well as the minds of students, in comparatively 
abstract speculations ; but which never kindled into more 
fervent enthusiasm than when his mind dwelt, in the 
course of private conversation, or in public prelections, on 
the practical tendencies and prospective issues of the 
labours of studioiTs men and philanthropists, in accelerat- 
ing the diffusion of universal happiness, and ameliorating 
the condition, physical and moral, of the humdn race. 


" 1 have seldom or ever known a man more ingenious, 
more superior to whatever is mean or sordid in intention 
or sinister or intriguing in mode of action, or with 
whom it was more manifest that views of personal inter- 
est and ambition of power, and love of popularity, were 
not the principles that held sway with him in council or 
in conduct in public affairs. Whether you agreed with 
him in sentiment, or whether you differed, you found in 
him, in the one case, a hearty and honest associate, and in 
the other a liberal and magnanimous opponent. 

" Mr. Esson was long engaged in the ministry in Mont- 
real. Nine years ago, at the commencement of Knox 
College, in this city, he threw himself with all his ardour 
into the work assigned him, of directing the studies of 
youths intending for the Holy Ministry, especially in the 
preliminary department of their training. And not more 
by his intellectual than by his moral influence — by his 
professional exertions, than by his truly paternal interest 
in those committed to his charge, did he contribute to form 
the minds of a considerable portion of our candidates, and 
attach the confidence of one and all, as to a familiar friend. 
I have had the best opportunity of witnessing the earnest- 
ness with which he sought to impress a reverence for the 
"Word of Grod on his pupils, and to commend to them the 
dictates of its divine wisdom, as the ultimate rule and 
arbiter in all philosophic investigations. I believe he 
derived his chiefest enjoyment in the study of man, his 
favourite study, — from the opportunity it gave him of 
admiring and commending the Divine Author of all his 
mental and moral adaptations. He lived in a region of 
lofty contemplation, in which, as he retired within him- 
self, he not only might seem to withdraw himself from the 
excitement of passing events, having no heart for the tur- 
moil of petty strife, and his talent not lying in the capacity 
for the details in business ; but he might seem in a degree 


unsocial, not because he was austere, but because his mind 
was prone to abstraction. Yet he was far from being with- 
out the social feeling, any more than indifferent to public 
interests. He loved his friends ; he looked from his retire- 
ment with complacency and benevolence on all men ; and 
when he allowed himself to relax in conversation, young 
and old alike listened, delighted, to the overflowings of his 
affectionate heart, and the utterances which indicate with- 
out ostentation, the richly furnished mind, trained to habits 
of observation and sagacious reflection. His habits of ab- 
straction, therefore, had nothing of the morose, and I think 
it was because his mind was possessed of the peace of the 
Gospel, and imbued with the love of Grod, as well as pro- 
vided with the stores of philosophical and historical lore, 
that he was so uniformly happy, — alone or with others, — 
as the good man is said to be satisfied from himself. 

" The latest hours of our departed friend were in har- 
mony with the habits of his life. It was not simply the 
favour of God, but the likeness of God that his soul 
aspired after. It was not merely the more selfish question 
of safety that exercised his spirit, though that is, in itself, a 
great and important question, and he gave indications in 
his expressions of a contrite and humble mind, conversant 
with godly sorrow : he loved to hear of the gracious 
covenant and of the work and righteousness of Christ. 
He dwelt in love, as one dwelling in God ; and I believe 
that in his view of Heaven itself, he looked, not so much 
at the idea of being free from all the ills of life, or pos- 
sessed of self-gratifying joys, as the end to which salva- 
tion itself is the means, in a closer communion with the 
Father of spirits, and a larger participation of the Divine 

" How mysterious is the Divine Providence ! But a 
short while ago, his name was selected as among the 
likeliest candidates for a newly erectedjchair in our Uni- 


versity, I can bear witness to the equanimity with which 
he received the notification and waited for the issue. It 
has pleased Grod to assign a translation of a different 
kind ; but it is not without satisfaction that his many 
friends can reflect that a long life of educational service 
did not close, without this testimony rendered with very 
general concurrent suffrages, to Mr. Esson's learning and 
his merits as an instructor of youth. 

" There is reason to think that the rapid decay of his 
strength latterly, was the effect to a large extent, of long 
continued mental application. Ungru-^gingly these la- 
bours were given, but they were of a kind, — and it is not 
always allowed for or understood, — to wear out the frame, 
independently of any organic disease seizing on the vitals. 
The intellectual anxieties which a keen imagination and 
a tender texture of the nervous system produces, press 
formidably both on the mind and body. The sword may 
prove too sharp for the scabbard ; and it is affecting to 
witness the prostration of the finest powers, yielding, not 
without resistance from their natural buoyancy, to the 
stern progress of the destroyer, overcome by the exhaus- 
tion which was induced by their very great vigour and 

Professor Esson's remains were conveyed to Montreal, 
and interred in Mount Royal cemetery. 

The St. Grabriel Street Congregation had a marble tablet 
to his memory placed on one of the walls of the Church, 
on which the inscription reads : — 

" Sacred to the Memory of Revd. Henry Easoii, A.M., for twenty-seven 
years pastor of this congregation, and afterwards Professor of Literature 
and Philosophy in Knox's College, Toronto. Uniting in a rare degree the 
accomplished scholar and public spirited patriot with the energetic pastor 
and teacher, he commanded extensive respect from the community ; and 
endeared himself to his flock and numerous friends, not more by his 
pulpit ministrations than by his faithful and affectionate private coun- 
sels, his generous spirit and amiable manners. He died at Toronto, 11th 


May, 1853, aged 61 years. Distinguished to the last by his enthusiasm in 
study and devotedness in the cause of education, his remains were brought 
to this city and interred in the Mount Royal cemeterj'." 

This tablet aud oue to the memory of Rev. William 
Rintoul was procured with money raised in the congrega- 
tion for the purpose of making a presentation to Dr. 
McLagan, on the occasion of his leaving the city, as a 
token of the people's sense of gratitude to him for his 
self-denying labours connected with the church, and 
especially for the exertions he had put forth to reach 
Rev. Mr. Rintoul when he was lying sick of cholera at 
Trois Pistoles. Dr. McLagan declining to receive any 
testimonial, the money, together with additional sums 
obtained from friends in the city, was devoted to this 
object. The Knox Congregation, as representing the main 
body of those who erected it, carried the tablet with them 
to their new church on Dorchester Street, on one of the 
walls of which it may be seen. 

The following particulars regarding the condition of 
the church previous to 1831, furnished by Rev. Mr. Esson, 
in his interesting summary to the Synod already referred 
to, will be read with interest : — 

" The usual number of worshippers may be estimated at about 450 to 
500 persons, and the congregation, young and old, may be reckoned at 
1,500. The sacrament is disjiensed twice every year, except the last 
two year?, as mentioned already. About eighteen and twenty j'ears ago, 
the number of communicants was from 250 to 260 ; since that time they 
have increased considerably, and for several years past, have amounted 
to from 300 to 325 or 330 ; and in September, 1826, there were 370, of which 
50 were communicants for the first time. But it is to be observed that a 
number of these communicants, perhaps 25 to 30, reside at a distance 
from Montreal, and are not considered members of the congregation ; 
they come to town occasionally only, to attend the ordinances of religion, 
having no ministers residing near them." 

" For a considerable time after our church was built and the congre- 
gation formed, the number of elders, it is believed, did not exceed four or 
five. But in 1819, nine additional were ordained, which increased them 


to thirteen. None Imve since been added to tlie number, and the elders 
are now reduced to seven by the stroke of death." 

" It is not customary to exact fees for marriages, etc., by the Ministers 
of the Scottish Church, though we have lieard that a small fee of 2s. 6d. is 
often exacted by those of some other churches, not as a reward for their 
clerical duties, but for enregistering marriages, baptisms and funerals, 
which clergymen who obtain registers are required to do by a Provincial 
Statute. Marriages and baptisms are generally performed in the houses 
of the parties, which occasions more trouble and loss of time to the Min- 
ister than if performed in the church ; and, in consequence, it has become 
customary, with those who can aflPord it, to give voluntarily some fee or 
gratuity. But these emoluments are quite fluctuating and uncertain, and 
do not add much, at the end of the year, to the Minister's income." 

Rev. Dr. Donald Fraser of London gives his recollec- 
tions of the state of matters in the church during the days 
of Mr. Esson's ministry : — 

" The service in Mr. Esson's time was dreary enough, as 
in most of the Scottish churches of the period. Psalms 
and paraphrases were sung in a sitting posture, without 
any instrumental accompaniment, — the choir raised in a 
semi-circle at the foot of the pulpit, being led by a Mr. 
Came ron, who, I am sorry to recollect, kept a public house 
in the St. Lawrence suburbs. There were two prayers, 
one very long, the other long. And the sermon, which 
wa s read to us, though never stupid, was dry and vague, 
and profited little." 


Lord Selkirk, Sir Gordon Drummond, Lord Dalhousie, Rev. Dr. Urqu- 
HART, Thomas Torrance, John Torrance, Hon. Justice Torrancei 
Rev. E. F. Torrance, George Garden, Andrew White, James 
RoLLO, Rev. Dr. Wilkes, Hon. Thomas Mack ay, Hon. James 
Ferribr, Rev. Dr. Douoi^as. 

In the early days of Mr. Esson's ministry, Lord Selkirk 
came to take up his residence in Montreal. The following 
announcement appeared in the Montreal Herald of the 4th 
November, 1815 : — 

"Yesterday evening, the Earl of Selkirk, his Countess and family, 
arrived in this city. They came from Enj^land via New York." 

A few weeks afterwards, official announcement was 
made of the following appointments : — 

" Quebec, 18th December, 1815. 

" His Excellency, the Administrator-in-Chief, has been pleased to grant 
the following commission, viz : — 

" To the Right Honorable Thomas, Earl of Selkirk, to be Civil Magis- 
trate and Z:u lice of the Peace for the Indian Territories. Robert Seniple> 
James Bird and James Sutherland, do. do. do." 

This was not Lord Selkirk's first visit to Montreal. He 
had been in the city as early as August, 1803, at the time 
he accompanied to this continent the Highland emigrants 
whom he induced to settle in Prince Edward Island. On 
that occasion he came into contact with the commercial 
aristocracy of the city, the fur traders, whom he found 
living in lordly style, a convivial fraternity of abounding 
hospitality. Most of them were, when they entered the 


service of the company, we have seen, young men who had 
been well-bred in Scotland. By their thrift, perseverance 
and courage, they gradually acquired wealth and position. 
The Company put a premium upon efficiency, by giving 
their employees the prospect of a share in the concern in 
future years. To become a partner, was the great object 
of every clerk's ambition from the day he was engaged. 
Promotion was slow but sure to all that proved them- 
selves capable men. The partners residing in Montreal 
and Quebec, managing the (?hief concerns of the company 
were called " agents ; " while tho^e who superintended 
the collection of the furs in the interior were known as 
" wintering agents." 

Washington Irving, in his " Astoria," published in 1836, 
thus speaks, from personal recollections, of Montreal 
society, about the time of the Earl of Selkirk's first visit : — 

" Few travellers that have visited Canada, some thirty 
years since, in the days of the MacTavishes, the Mac- 
Giliivrays, the McKenzies, the Frobishers, and the other 
li? agnates of the North-west, when the company was in all 
its glory, but must remember the round of feasting and 
revelry kept up among those hyperborean nabobs." 

But it was at the great annual gathering, at the Grand 
Portage, afterwards Fort William, which might be called 
the fur parliament, that the greatest ostentation of the 
leading men of the Company was displayed. Here is 
what Irving says of them : — 

" The partners from Montreal ascended the rivers in 
great state, like sovereigns making a progress : or rather, 
like Highland chieftains, navigating their subject lakes. 
They are wrapped in rich furs, their huge canoes, freighted 
with every convenience and luxury, and manned by 
Canadian voyageurs, as obedient as Highland clansmen. 
They carried up with them cooks and bakers, together 
with delicacies of everv kind, and abundance of choice 


wines for the banquets which attended the great convoca- 
tion. Happy were they, too, if they could meet with some 
distinguished stranger ; above all, some titled member of 
the British nobility, to accompany them on this stately 
occasion, and grace their high solemnities." 

Lord Selkirk was not the man on whom scenes like 
these would be lost. He had already given proof of 
superior insight as well as courage and generosity of 
nature. And while he listened to the tales of the North- 
westers, regarding the country from which they had 
returned, and saw such profuse tokens of the wealth 
which the prairies, rivers and lakes of those wild regions 
yielded, he began to revolve the problem, whether it 
would not be possible to draw off a portion of the surplus 
population of the Highlands of Scotland, in whose for- 
tunes he had already displayed a profound interest, and 
get employment for them in the North-west. What he saw 
and heard around the hospitable boards of the fur agents 
at Montreal, at least afforded him food for thought. 

It has become one of the disputed problems of history, 
what was the controlling influence leading Lord Selkirk 
to found his Red River colony. It was the current opinion 
amongst the members of the North-west Company, so 
long as it had a separate existence, that his lordship was 
a selfish, grasping man, who deliberately plotted to ruin 
their business, and secure the monopoly of the fur trade to 
the Hudson's Bay Company : and that with this view, he 
bought a controlling interest in the latter concern, — from 
30 to 40 per cent, of its stock, and then established the 
Red River Coiouy, in order that he might be able to com- 
mand any number of servants from it, to assist in obtain- 
ing and maintaining an ascendancy over the traffic in furs. 
This was the view of his Lordship's schemes, which the 
agents of the North-west Company industriously circu- 
lated among their subordinates, stimulating their opposi- 


tion to the continuance of the Red River Settlement, as an 
unjust violation of the prior rights of the Company. 

On the other hand, Lord Selkirk's admirers, both seventy 
years ago and now, have maintained that his whole con- 
duct in this matter was dictated by a noble purpose and 
desire to help the surplus population of the Highlands of 
Scotland to better their fortune, — that he took the risk of 
spending .£40,000 of his own money in Hudson's Bay 
stock for their sak^s, and put himself to all the trouble 
which he had in connection with the Red River settle- • 
ment, led on by a lofty spirit of philanthropy alone. 

Perhaps the truth lies between these opposite estimates 
of his plans: no man's motives or character is without 
some little mixture of alloy. Very likely, his lordship 
thought from what he had witnessed in Montreal that it 
would be a profitable investment for himself to get into a 
situation to dominate the fur trade ; and he was able to 
contemplate this result with all the more satisfaction and 
enthusiasm, that he would also be able to open up a career 
to a large number of the G53elic-speaking portion of his 
countrymen, whose special patron and champion he had 
constituted himself. 

Born in 1771, at St. Mary's Isle, Thomas Douglas, 5th 
Earl of Selkirk, at the conclusion of his college course, 
chanced to make a tour of the Highlands, and from what 
he witnessed among the people of the north, he not only 
took a great interest in them thenceforth, but when he 
came to his title and estate, in 1799, he resolved to make 
an effort to better their condition. Lord Selkirk was an 
acute thinker. He perceived that the true remedy for the 
evils of poverty in older countries, where the people are 
in a congested condition, elbowing each other for want of 
fair scope for their energies, is emigration to the more 
sparsely settled portions of the globe. He was not only 
a philanthropist, but also an author of repute, a philos- 


ophical politi(;al economist, aud a patriot. The Highland 
colony which he conducted to Prin<'e Edward Island in 
1803, was gathered iVom Skye, Uist. Ross-shire, Argyll- 
shire and Inverness-shire ; and he was so satisiied with 
the result of the enterprize, that he set to work to advocate 
the colonization of Canada, as the true policy for the 
Highlanders, rather than clinging to their small crofts at 
home, and eking out a scanty subsistence all their days. 
He wrote a book on the subject in 1805. But he did not 
confine his vigorous pen to this field of enquiry ; he pub- 
lished, in 1807, a treatise on the defence of Great Britain 
against Napoleon, who was planning the conquest of the 
" tight little island." He was a friend of Sir Walter Scott's. 
The great Novelist was a believer in Selkirk's generosity 
as w^ell as in the soundness of his colonizing policy. It 
would appear that his lordship had endeavored, in the 
first instance, to induce the British G-overnment to under- 
take the transportation of emigrants to the plains of the 
North-west, and it was only when they declined, that he 
formed the plans which he afterwards carried out, of buy- 
ing Hudson's Bay stock, after first having satisfied himself 
of the validity of the title by which the company claimed 
the North-west. 

In 1811, the company made him a grant of 116.000 
square miles of the territory on the Red River which they 
claimed, on condition that a colony were settled on it. As 
soon as the North-west Company were made aware of this 
transaction, they protested against it, objecting to the 
Hudson's Bay Company thus intruding upon a portion of 
the country which the representatives of the North-west 
Company had occupied for 50 years. They also pointed 
out the fact that the Hudson's Bay Company's charter 
assigned to them only those regions in North America that 
were not occupied by the subjects of any other Christian 
prince or state. 


Lord Solkirk issued, in 1811, the prospectus of tho new 

colony which he proposed to establish, and invited the 
attention of the unemployed people of Great Ihitain and 
Ireland to the advantages which it offered. A sentences in 
the prospectus reads thus : " The settlement is to be 
formed in a territory where relii^ion is not the g^round of 
any disqualification ; an unreserved participation in (^very 
privilege will therefore be enjoyed by the Protestant and 
Catholic without distinction." The result of the appeal 
was that a number of families, collec+ed out of Sutherland- 
shire, Sligo, in Ireland, and some, afterwards, from the 
Orkney Islands, set out for the Red River by way of Hud- 
son's Bay. They reached the mouth of the Churchill River 
late in the season ; too late to prosecute their journey fur- 
ther, until the spring. In 1812, they reached their destin- 
ation and settled on the banks of the Red River, a little 
north of where Winnipeg now stands. Lord Selkirk called 
the district " Kildonan " after a parish in Helmsdale, 
Sutherlandshire, from which a good many of his colonists 
had come. Their subsequent story was one of hardships 
and trials without number, some of which w^e have 
already had glimpses of, when tracing the careers of 
Pangmau, Cuthbert Grrant, Archibald Norman McLeod, 
and others; and it is unnecessary to dwell on them here 
at any length. Suffice it to say, that the North-west 
Company adopted two methods of dealing with the col- 
onists. A Highland diplomatist of the fur traders, Duncan 
Cameron, by the arts of persuasion, got a number of them 
to leave the Red River District and proceed to Upper 
Canada, at the expense of himself and partners. And 
when this method failed to induce all the settlers to 
abandon Lord Selkirk's plans, the representatives of the 
Company used threats, and, when they availed not, at 
last, force, to drive away those who had begun farming 
on the banks of the Red River. Duncan Cameron, John 

Dugald Cameron, partners of the North-west Company, 
Cuthbert Grant, William Shaw and Peter I'angman, 
clerks of the Company, were the men at the time in 
charj^e of the district, and were held responsible for seiz- 
in«j^ in April, 1815, the cannon which had been sent out 
from England for the defence of the colony, as well as for 
attacking and shooting the settlers, and })urning their 
houses in June, 181G. Lord Selkirk determined to stand 
by the settlers, for whose occupancy of the district he was 
responsible, and he iitted out an expedition from Canada 
against their enemies, consisting of 150 disbanded sol- 
diers, 180 canoe-men, and a sergeant's body-guard for 
himself. The chief point to be attacked was Fort William, 
at the head of Lake Superior. The Company's servants 
did not attempt a resistance, and so his lordship took 
peaceable possession of the Fort on the 11th August, 
1817. Exercising his magisterial functions, he put all the 
partners he found there, at iirst, in confinement, and then 
sent them to Montreal, to stand their trial for pillage, 
arson and murder. He retained only one of them, Daniel 
McKenzie, who complained of being kept in a dungeon. 
By a sad accident, the upsetting of his canoe, afterwards 
on his way down to Canada, Daniel McKenzie and eight 
others lost their lives. Lord Selkirk felt that he must pur- 
sue a bold policy if he would make any headway against 
the fur-traders, men whom he thought not over nice in the 
means they used to accomplish their ends, and so among 
other risky things he did, was to apprehend Cuthbert 
Grrant, when he was clearly within the territories of the 
United States. He w^as aided in this expedition by Miles 
Macdonnell, Dr. Allan, D'Orsonnens and Spencer. 

Meantime the members of the North-west Company in 
the east were not idle. They had an information laid in 
Upper Canada against his Lordship for seizing Fort Wil- 
liam, and General Gore, the Governor, authorized a war- 


rant to issue for his arrest. But Lord Selkirk placed the 
constable and the twelve men sent to apprehend him, 
under the guard of his own constabulary force, and after- 
wards dismissed them paying no heed to their warrant. 
The partners whom he sent under arrest to Montreal had 
to be sent to Upper Canada, under the jurisdiction of which 
Fort "William lay, for trial. It came off in September, 
1818, at Sandwich, in the Upper Province, and caused a 
great sensation in legal political circles at the time. Lord 
Selkirk, meantime, returned to England, and McKenzie, 
who had been imprisoned by him at Fort William, ^^ btained 
a verdict against him, the court assessing the damage at 

His lordship's career after this was but brief. Worn 
out by the troubles through which he had just passed, he 
went to pass the winter at Pau, in France, where he died 
on the 5th of April, 1820. 

His lordship had married, in 180Y, Jean, daughter of 
James Wedderburn Colville, Esq., of Ochiltree, and when 
he took up his residence in Montreal, the Countess had 
borne him tw^o children, the late Earl, Dunbar James 
Douglas, and Lady Isabella Helen, now Lady Isabella 
Hope, she having married in 1841, Hon. Charles Hope, 
Grovernor of the Isle of Man. During his stay in Montreal 
the Earl's youngest child was born. The event was thus 
announced in the Montreal flem/r/ of January 11th, 1817 : 


■*' In this city, on Saturday evening, the 4th inst, the Right Honourable 
the Countess of Selkirk, of a daughter." 

This young Canadian was named " Lady Catherine 
Jane." She married, in 1849, Loftus Tottenham Wigram, 
of Lincoln's Inn, then M.P. for Cambridge University, and 
died in 1863. 

On the 1st December, 1817, Lord Selkirk bought pew 


No. 4 in the gallery of the St. Gabriel Street Church, for 
which he paid iJ20 10s. Od. He attended the church 
regularly' while he was in town, and brought his children 
with him. Baron Daer was a bright boy, and Lady 
Isabella Helen is still remembered by some of the people 
who about her own age attended the church seventy 
years ago. 

The late Earl, the last of the Selkirk's, was only eleven 
years of age when he was called to succeed his father. 
He retained to the end of life warm recollections of Mont- 
real, and of the quaint old Scotch Church in which he 
spent his Sabbaths during some of the most impression- 
able years of his boyhood. He was proud of his con- 
nection with Canada, and when the St. Andrew's Society 
of Montreal was organized, in 1835, he asked to be allowed 
to become a life member of it. He was always glad to see 
any Canadians that called upon him at his country seat, 
St. Mary's Isle. He was a model landlord, and altogether 
a fine character, with highly conservative tendencies. 

His lordship married, in 18Y8, Cecely-Louisa, daughter 
of Sir Philip de Malpas Grey Egerton, Bart., M. P., of 
Oulton Park, Cheshire. He died w^ithout issue, and the 
title has been merged into that of the Duke of Hamilton. 
His sister, Lady Isabella Hope, however, enjoys his estate, 
and occupies the old family seat, at St. Mary's Isle. 

The Selkirk name is to be inseparably connected with 
Canada, not only by the town of that designation on the 
banks of the Red liiver, but especially by the range of 
Mountains in British Columbia, running parallel to the 
Rocky Mountains. 

The result of the conflict between the old Lord Selkirk 
and the North-west Company was to hasten the union 
of the two rival trading companies, which took place the 
year after his death. They took the name of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, which was not only the older, but had a 


better defined position and relation to the territory in 
which the fur trade was prosecuted. 

In 1835, the company bought back from the young 
Earl of Selkirk all right and iitle to the 116,000 square 
miles which had been granted to his father in 1811 for 
c£84,000 sterling. So that, financially, it proved a very 
profitable transaction in the end to his estate. 

Lieutenant General Drummond, who was president of 
the province of Upper Canada during the war with the 
United States, 1812-4, and was appointed Governor in 
chief of the Canadas in succession to Sir George Prevost, 
also had a brief connection with the St. Gabriel Street 
Church. His name is given in the books as occupying 
pew No, 36, while Christ Church worshipped half the 
day in the Scotch Church. From him, the township of 
Drummond, Lanark county, Ontario, in which the writer 
was born, — the county of Drutnmond, Quebec, — and 
possibly one of the streets of the city — all derive their 

The Earl of Dalhousie, Governor General of Canada 
from 1820 to 1828, was frequently in Montreal during his 
term of office, and when in the city, was a regular wor- 
shipper in the Scotch Church, St. Gabriel Street, — sitting 
in Lord Selkirk's pew in the gallery. He was a Presby- 
terian by conviction, and, so long as he was Governor 
General, his co-religionists received every encouragement 
to prosecute their rights regarding the Clergy Reserves 
and other privileges, which the representatives of the 
Church of England in Canada claimed exclusively. His 
influence first secured a favourable hearing for the peti- 
tions and remonstrances on these subjects which, from 
time to time, were sent to the Government at Westminster. 
Dr. Harkness, at Quebec, and Mr. Esson, at Montreal, held 
close communication with him regarding these matters 


His Lordship was boru in lt70 and succeeded to the 
title in 1*787, from which date to 1815, he was in the 
army and performed distinguished services in the Napo- 
leonic wars. Previously holding a seat in the House of 
Lords as a representative Peer of Scotland, he was created 
a Baron of G-reat Britain in 1815, and in the following 
year was appointed Lieutenant Greneral commanding in 
Nova Scotia with the functions of Governor, a position 
which he held till June, 1820, with the exception of a 
few months' absence on leave in England. When the Duke 
of Richmond died suddenly, August 2*7th, 1819, as was 
thought of rabies communicated by the bite of a tame 
fox, Lord Dalhousie received the appointment of G-overnor 
in chief and commander of the forces in British North 
America. He held this office for the long period of eight 
years, although he was absent on leave fifteen months of 
the time. 

No Grovernor G-eneral hds stood so well as he with the 
Scottish element of the population, either in Nova Scotia 
or in Canada. This was signally shown by the action of 
the St. Andrew's Society of Montreal, ten years after his 
return to Great Britain, first, when a false rumour of his 
death reached the city in 1837, and r<fterwards when his 
decease actually took place — all its members resolved to 
wear mourning badges for thirty days. 

He was a st; uach upholder of the views of the British 
minority in this province, and this was a large element 
in his popularity with them ; but he was correspondingly 
execrated by the French, led by L. J. Pnpineau, who were 
striving to obtain representative government. It was Lord 
Dalhousie's lot to come to Canada at a time when the idea 
that Kings were born to rule, and Governors were sent 
to Canada to govern, had not yet quite died out of the 
minds of the British colonists. A less pleasant experience 
was reserved for his distinguished fellow-countryman, 


Lord Elgin, at the hands of " brither Scots " in Montreal. 
His advent was the period of transition from the old 
notion of personal government, on the part of the repre- 
sentative of the Sovereign in Canada, to that of responsible 
government, giving expression to the wishes of the people 
through their parliamentary representatives. The Scots 
were slow to admit the latter principle, so far as allowing 
the French majority to obtain the mastc y in the province 
was concerned ; and, therefore, they in the St. Andrew's 
Society of Montreal, did an amazing thing, a thing that 
we now cannot help wondering at, they expelled Lord 
Elgin, whom they had previously made their patron, from 
the membership of the Society, because, forsooth, he fol- 
lowed the advice of his ministers and signed the " Rebel- 
lion Losses Bill ! " Any governor now-a-days, who should 
refuse to take the course he pursued, would speedily be 
driven out of the country, and no portion of the commun- 
ity would be more clamorous against him than the mem- 
bers of the St. Andrew's Society of Montreal. As an illus- 
tration ; — throughout all the discussions that took place in 
Canada regarding the execution of Louis Riel in Novem- 
ber, 1885, no one for a moment thought of blaming Lord 
Lansdowne for signing the death warrant — all the res- 
ponsibility was cast upon his sworn advisers. Lord 
Dalhousie's name has been perpetuated by the University 
called after him, which was built in Halifax under his 
direction and mainly through his influence, and was to be 
conducted on the model of the University of Edinburgh ; 
by a town in New Brunswick and a township in Ontario 
bearing his name, and by a street as well as by the square 
off Notre Dame Street, in Montreal, opposite the Canadian 
Pacific Depot. Its site was known for a long time as 
Citadel Hill. As such it appears in the engraving, " Mont- 
real a Hundred Years ago," at page 13, there being 
a small fort upon it, surmounted by a flagstaff floating 


the " Uniou Jack." Iii the summer of 1821, Lord Dal- 
housie presented " Citadel Hill " to the city. It was 
levelled down and a good deal of the material from it 
was carted away to make up the Champ de Mars as it 
exists to-day. 

His lordship's manner was gracious, and he had a keen 
appreciation of the humorous. There was an odd charac- 
ter in Quebec in those days, a snuff dealer, named Charlie 
Haviker, whose place of business was in St. John Street. 
He was accustomed to stand at his shop door, a squat man 
wearing a brown wig, with his arms a-kimbo, and his legs 
spread, — a picture to look at. He had, also, a sign-board 
put up, with a portrait of himself in this attitude. Lord 
Dalhousie and suite were driving along the street, when 
their attention was arrested by this sign. " Charlie " 
noticed their amusement and immediately took up his 
familiar posture in the doorway, addressing the Governor 
with the words : " Please yer lordship, here's the 
oreeginal." The next day His Excellency called on the 
little man, and afterwards got a large silver snuff-box 
made, which bore the inscription, " Presented to Charles 
Haviker, from Lord Dalhousie." This genial incident 
made Charlie's fortune. He w^as able in after years to 
drive his carriage, on the pp.nel of which he had this 
couplet painted : — 

" Wlio would ha\'e thouglit it, 
That snuflF would have bought it." 

It was characteristic of Dalhousie's generous nature 
to desire to do honour to the two illustrious heroes, who, 
though counted foes in life, in death were not divided, 
and by their death made Quebec ever memorable— namely, 
Wolfe and Montcalm 

He erected on a plateau overlooking Durham Terrace, a 
chaste monumental pillar, which is an ornament to the 
city. The following is the inscription : — 







P. C 











On his withdrawal from Canada, in 1828, Lord Dalhou- 
sie was made President of a Society for Promoting Foreign 
Missions in the Church of Scotland. 

The Rev. Hugh Urquhart, D.D., was a member of the 
St. Gabriel Street Church from 1822 to 1827, and often 
preached from its pulpit during that period. 

Born in Eoss-shire, Scotland, in the year 1793, and 
educated at King's College, Aberdeen, Mr. Urquhart was 
licensed by the Presbytery of Inverness as a preacher of 
the Grospel, and, in August, 1822, was received by the 
Presbytery of Dingwall into holy orders. In October of 
that year, he came to Canada, and took up his residence 
in Montreal, as an assistant to Mr. Esson, in the work of 
the Montreal Academic Institution, which we have seen 
that gentleman carried on. It was situated on St. Paul 
Street, now numbers 135 to 139, and was a rival to Mr. 
Skakel's Grammar School in St. James Street. Although 
the latter as King's schoolmaster was in receipt of iJ300 
a year from Government, Mr. Esson's Academy succeeded 
in attracting most of the youth of the first families in 
the city ; and it owed not a little of its popularity to Mr. 
Urquhart. ^ ^. _ .1 . --^ 


It will, no doubt, be very interesting to our readers, 
e^jpecially the senior members of St. Grabriel Street Church 
to know and trace the career of the senior pupils who 
received instruction at the Montreal Academical Institu- 
tion, under Messrs. Esson and Urquhart. 

Colonel A. "Wellington Hart, now of Montreal, as a 
resident citizen has kindly made up a list of his school- 
fellows, more especially those who were advanced in his 
time — 1824-5 — and the perusal will be a source of pleasure 
to those relatives who may, perhaps, never have known 
how their ancestors stood when fighting the battle of 
life :— 

Dr. A. H. David, Dean of Bishops College. 

Aaron Philip Hart, a distinguished lawyer in his time. 

Thomas Walter .Jones, a well known doctor iu Montreal. 

Charles Sewell, the same in Quebec. 

Edward Sewell, brother. 

Frederick Bowen, late Sheriff of St. Francis, E.T. 

Charles Bowen, brother. 

William Bowen, brother. 

Robert Johnston, a highly respectable lawyer. 

James Johnston, a distinguished physician of Sherbrookc, E.T. 

Hon. John Pangman, Seignior of Mascouche. 

irxanfefHSson, } sons of the late M... W^. Lunn. 

A. AVellington Hart. 

George McBeath, retired Colonel of the 68th Durham Light 

Henry Gerrard, died Captain of the 70th Regiment. 
Charles Jones, married Miss Sewell of Quebec, died a Captain 

in the 71st Highland Light Infantry. 
Norman Finlay, a highly respectable engineer in New York, now 

Andrew White. 
George Phillips. 

John Shea, recently died, was well known. 
George Bent, Express Co., Montreal. 
George Pyke, many years in Prothonotary office. 

John Pyke, doctor. , - — 

James Pyke, a clergyman at Hudson. 


Mr. Uiquhart remained iu this city until 182Y, having 
won the the esteem of numerous friends, a few of whom yet 
remain to remember his virtues and to mourn his loss. 
" A call " to St. John's Church, Cornwall, induced Mr. 
Urquhart to take up his residence in that town, where, 
for 44 years, he lived and worked, reflecting' honour on 
the clerical profession, and adorning, with singular grace, 
the wide circle, ecclesiastical and social, in which he 
moved. In him were combined, iu no ordinary degree, 
the dignity of a true gentleman and the simplicity of a 
little child. For thirteen years, he added to his parochial 
duiios in Cornwall, those of a teacher of youth, as did his 
friend, the late Bishop Strachan. Chancellor Vankoughnet, 
and the Hon. John Sandfield McDonald, were among his 
early pupils. Many others, scarcely less known or emi- 
nent, enjoyed the privilege of his instructions. In 1840, 
he resigned the headmastership of the Cornwall GTrammar 
School, and thenceforward confined himself to the minis- 
terial calling. From 1847 to 1857, Mr. Urquhart filled at 
intervals the chair of Ecclesiastical History in Queen's 
College, and in the latter year, the University of Aber- 
deen conferred on him its highest degree, that of Doctor 
in Divinity. To mark at once their estimate of his venera- 
ble appearance, and his noble simplicity of character, his 
students were wont to call him, " Polycarp." Dr. Urquhart 
was a sound scholar and a most diligent student. His 
knowledge was general as well as professional ; and it 
may be said with truth, that up to the last year of his life, 
he kept abreast of both modern literature and modern 
"thought." Though firmly attached to the Church of 
Scotland, he was a Catholic-minded and large-hearted 
man, — a " broad churchman," in the best sense. His 
house was a model home, in which, with dignity and a 
liberal hand, hospitality was extended alike to strangers 
and acquaintances. Those who have seen him at the head 


of his table, surrounded by i'rieuds, whether clerical or 
lay, will never I'org'et the almost unparalleled ffrare and 
kindness which marked the bearing oi" their host. In this 
respect, he was a man of a thousand. 

As was natural in regard to such a man, Dr. Urquhart 
enjoyed very fully the confidence of his clerical brethren. 
Few figures were more remarkable in the courts of the 
church to which he belonged, than that of Dr. Urquhart. 
His erect and dignified bearing, his gentleness and suavity 
of manner, were always conspicuous, and the tones of his 
voice, tremulous with emotion, always commanded atten- 
tion, and won the sympathies of all, for any cause which 
he espoused. 

Dr. Urquhart was made Moderator of the Synod of the 
Presbyterian Church of Canada, in conne( tion with the 
Church of Scotland, in 1840, and at the time of his death, 
occupied seats on the two most important boards of that 
Church, namely, that of the Trustees of Queen's College 
and that for the management of the Temporalities Fund. 

He died at Cornwall, on February 5th, 18*71, in the 78th 
year of his age, and the 44th of his ministry. So large a 
concourse of people never before assembled in thf^t town 
at a funeral, — deeper emotion was never felt by the people 
than when all that was mortal of their venerable friend 
was lowered into the grave. 

Thomas Torrance, born at La^khall, near Glasgow, 
28th May, 1776, came to Montreal in 1804, and was 
followed by his wife and three children, in 1805. He be- 
came rapidly a wealthy and respected citizen, as is shown 
by his being one of the first signers to the proposition to 
erect the Montreal General Hospital, to which he sub- 
scribed the sum of ^£50. He was a director of the Bank 
of Montreal in 1819 and 1820, as well as of the Montreal 
Savings Bank. He was also connected with other well 


known institutions ; was a volunteer in 1812, and sta- 
tioned at Lachine. In 1819, he built and occupied the 
fine house at the corner of St. Lawrence and Sherbrooke 
streets, known as " Belmont," part of its garden having 
been where the Sherbrooke Street Methodist Church, and 
adjoining properties are now. In 1813, he returned to 
Scotland and paid off w^ith interest all the business in- 
debtedness for which he was liable before leaving for 
Canada. His eldest daughter married Dr. Stephenson, 
well known as the leading physician of his time here, 
who, with Drs, Robertson and G. W. Campbell, originated 
the Medical College of McGill University. His daughter 
Marion, w^as married to James Gibb, merchant of Quebec, 
by Mr. Esson, in 1822. She is now the wife of Rev. W. 
B, Clarke, the esteemed ex-pastor of Chalmers Church, 
Quebec, and lecturer in Church History in Morrin Col- 
lege. Mr. James GibL Shaw, port-warden, and Robt. M. 
Shaw, accountant, are his grandsons. 

Mr. Torrance's name appears first as a contributor of 
je3 to the steeple and bell fund in 1810. In 1813, he 
bought pew 40, formerly the property of William Manson. 
He was a member of the temporal committee for the 
years 1821, 1822 and 1823. He died at Quebec, in 1828, 
aged 47 years. 

John Torrance, born 2nd Jvuie, 1786, was a younger 
brother of Thomas Torrance, last mentioned. He came 
to Canada in connection with his brother's business, but 
settled first in Quebec. It was while a resident in Quebec 
that he married aycung lady belonging to the St. Gabriel 
Street Church, — Elizabeth Fisher, daughter of Duncan 
Fisher, the elder, — w^hen she was only 16 years of age. 
The marriage took place on the 28th of May, 1811. Be- 
sides the signatures of the officiating clergyman, James 
Somerville, and the two principals, the register on the 


occasion, bears the names of Thomas Torrance, Duncan 
Fisher and William Hutchison. His name appears for 
the first time, however, in connection with St. Gabriel 
Street Church, as subscribing one pound to the .steeple 
and bell fund in 1810, although he was probably then 
only a casual worshipper in it. He must have returned 
to Montreal before 1815, as we find the baptism of his 
son Daniel, by J. Somerville, recorded in that year. The 
advertisements in the Herald in 1817, show that he had 
then commenced a grocery business at 9*7, St. Paul Street, 
Montreal, on his own account, — founding the well 
known house now styled " David Torrance & Co." He 
and his brother Thomas appear among the first support- 
ers of the Montreal Auxiliary Bible Society, in 1821. 

By the time Mr. Torrance became a citizen of Montreal, 
the Methodists connected with the British Conference 
had gained a footing in the city. There had been preach- 
ers working here from 1803 onwards, in connection with 
the Episcopal Methodist Church of the United States, but 
the intervention of war between the two countries had 
lessened their hold upon the sympathies of their Canadian 
adherents. In 1814, the first representatives of British 
Methodism came to Montreal, and in 1816, they could 
count 56 members. Mr. Torrance's mother having been 
a Methodist before her marriage to Duncan Fisher, she 
became a patron of the new Society and her devout influ- 
ence told strongly upon all her children. This current 
of sympathy with the Methodists, from the Embury side, 
was still farther strengthened by the alliance of Rev. 
John Hick with the family. He came from England in 
1819, and married Mr. Fisher's eldest daughter, thus be- 
coming brother-in-law to Mr. Torrance. All these influ- 
ences combined, together with the non-evangelical preach- 
ing of Mr. Esson, resulted in Mr. Torrance's uniting him- 
self with the Methodists, to whom he brought an unques- 


tionahle accession of .stn'ugth. He lontinued an earuest 
supporter of thai romiiiuuion, until hi.s death on the 2()th 
of January, 1870. The of his descendants lontiuue 
members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Torran<:e's family 
have been prominent in social as well as commercial 
circles. Two of his daughters in succession have been 
married to 8ir A. T. Ualt. The late David Torrance, mer- 
chant, his nephew, was also his son-in-law. 

But the best known of his children was the late Hon. 
Frederick William Torrance, M.A., B.O.L. He was born in 
this city, on July IGth, 1823. He received his education at 
private schools here, at Nicolet College, at Edinburgh, 
Scotland, under private tutors, and at Edinburgh Uni- 
versity, where he took the degree of M.A., in 1844, rank- 
ing second in the order of proficiency in classics and 
mathematics in the examination tor the degree. He had 
previously, in 1839-40, followed courses of lectures at 
Paris, France, at the Ecole de Medicine, Sorboune, and 
the College de France. 

He returned to Montreal about 1844, and entered upon 
the study of law with the late Duncan Fisher, Q. C, and 
Hon. James Smith, subsequently Attorney-G-eneral for 
Lower Canada, and a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench, 
and was called to the bar in 1848. 

In 1852, he formed a partnership with Mr. Alex. Morris, 
now the Hon. Alexander Morris, the firm being known 
as Torrance & Morris. In 1865, the Hon. Mr. Morris was 
elected Member of Parliament for South Lanark, and 
shortly after removed to Ontario, being succeeded in the 
firm by his brother, Mr. J. L. Morris. In 1866, Mr. 
Torrance was appointed special commissioner to adjudi- 
cate upon the claims arising out of the Fenian raid, and 
rendered valuable service. In 1871, he was appointed 
a Puisne Judge of the Superior Court, at the same time 
as the Hon. Judge Mackay. - - , , ~ 


l^'inro then, ho oarnod for himsolf tho ropntation of an 
eminent jurist and an npri<jht, careful and painstjikin«:f 
judge. His decisions in business matters were always 
considered of great value, on account of his extensive 
experience in commercial law while practising at the Bar. 
He was for many years professor oi" Roman Law at McGill, 
the faculty and pupils having unanimously surnamed 
hira "Justinian." 

In conjunction with Messrs. Strachan Bethunc*, Q. C, 

J. L. Morris, and the late Mr. LaFrenaie, he brought out 

the Loiver Canada Jurist, to which he contributed for 
many years. 

He was intimately connected with the Eraser Institute, 
and, with the Hon. J. J. C. Abbott, devoted much of his 
time towards establishing a Free Library in connection 

In religion, Judge Torrance was a staunch Presbyterian, 
and he took a deep interest in all things relating to that 
church. He was president of the Presbyterian Sabbath 
school Association, and, after being connected with the 
Cote Street Free Church for many years, he became an 
elder of Crescent Street Church, which position he held 
at the time of his death. He w^as one of the governors of 
McGill University, and, as such, a member of the Royal 
Institution for the Advancement of Learning. He con- 
tributed materially toward the foundation of the Montreal 
Presbyterian College, and always took a lively interest in 
its welfare. He was also a life governor of the Montreal 
General Hospital. He subscribed largely to the general 
fund of the Home and Foreign Missions of the Presby- 
terian Church. Judge Torrance took special interest in 
missions to the Jews. He always identified himself en- 
thusiastically with Sabbath school work. He was known 
as a generous, kind-hearted and public-spirited citizen, 
and his death was deeply regretted by a large number 


of personal friends and the whole community, by whom 
he was held in great esteem. Some ten years before his 
death, he married Mrs. Pugh, of Louisville, Ky. He left 
no children. 

He was present at the centennial celebration in the old 
church in March, 1886, — the church in which his grand- 
father was an elder, and his father and uncle had long 
been members ; and then related how it was that he was 
led to become a member of the Presbyterian Church, 
though brought up a Methodist. His residence for some 
time in Edinburgh, where he had the privilege of hearing 
the ante-disruption famous preachers, contributed to the 
change ; but it was the superior preaching of Bonar, 
Arnott, Somerville and the other Free Church deputies, 
in Cote Street Church, that specially attracted him, and 
brought him back to the fold which his father had 20 
years before quitted, for the sake of superior preaching. 

Besides the Hon. Justice Torrance, another of John 
Torrance's descendants has come back to ae faith of his 
fathers, and forsaken the communion of the Methodist 
Church in which his earliest days were spent. This is 
the earnest, accomplished and successful minister of St. 
Paul's Church, Peterboro, Ontario, the Rev. E. F. Torrance, 
son of the late David Torrance, merchant of this city, 
who was married to one of John's daughters, and went 
with her to the Methodist Church. David was the son 
of James Torrance, a brother to Thomas and John. 

George Garden was one of the most influential mem- 
bers of the St. Gabriel Street; Church during the early 
period of Mr. Essou's ministry. He was a leading mer- 
chant of the city, and at this time was the head of the 
old firm of, Maitland and Company. He was one 
of the gentlemen who signed the notice calling the meet- 
ing on 4th July, 1817, to elect directors for the Bank of 


Montreal. He was chosen a director then and continued 
on the Board for many years, occupying the position of 
Vice-President in 1820. He was also a director of the 
Montreal Savings' Bank, and a charter member of the cor- 
poration of the Montreal General Hospital. 

He owned, jointly with the Auldjo's, pews Nos. 72 and 
73 in the St. Gabriel Street Church ; and in 1811 was 
elected a member of the temporal committee, and was 
chosen Vice-President — the next year, he was President. 
He was again appointed on the committee in 181*7. 
Besides these offices, which he filled efficiently, he was a 
member of the special committee appointed in 1816. to 
raise a guarantee fund, when it was proposed to obtain an 
assistant to Mr. Somerville, the result of whose eflforts 
was the bringing out of Mr. Esson. He was a warm 
friend to the young minister. On the 21st March, 1819, 
he was ordained to the ofiice of the eldership, the duties 
of which he performed with zeal and ability. He went 
to Scotland about the year 1825, with a view to the educa- 
tion of his two sons, but returned to Canada. He was a 
man of admirable character, and was held in the highest 
esteem in civil and ecclesiastical circles alike. He died 
on the loth of October, 1828, aged 56 years. 

Another of the elders ordained 21st March, 1819, was 
Andrew White, carpenter. He married, in 1808, a daughter 
of Mr. Telfer, one of the masons that built the St. Gabriel 
Street Church. Mr. White afterwards formed a partner- 
ship with William Shand, and they became one of the 
most enterprizing firms of builders in the city, rivalling 
Messrs. Shay and Bent. Their workshop was at 61, St. 
Charles Borromee Street. Mr. White was one of the mem- 
bers forming the original corporation of the General Hos- 
pital, in 1821, and was also a director of the Montreal 
Savings' Bank. A daughter of his was married, first, to 


William Gay, and, after his decease, to John Birss, sou of 
James Birss, the elder. 

Mr. White bought pew No. 66, iormerly the property 
of William Grahame, in 1809, He was a member of the 
temporal committee in 1825 and 1826. He died 12th 
July, 1832, aged 50 years. 

James Eollo was also ordained an elder, March 21st, 
1819. He was a cabinet-maker and upholsterer, and kept 
a furniture warehouse at 26, Notre Dame street. He 
occupied pew 105 in the little original gallery of the 
<hurch, first, and, when the new gallery was erected, in 
1817, he bought pew No. 28 in it. He was appointed 
Precentor of the church in 1817, — it is to be presumed, on 
the report in his favour of a special committee appointed 
to select a leader of the Congregational Psalmody, con- 
sisting of John Allison, William Peddie and William 
Boston. On taking the office of elder, he resigned his 

Rev. Dr. Henry Wilkes was born in Birmingham, Eng- 
land, A.D., 1805. He came with his parents, whose eldest 
son he was, to Canada, in 1820, and entered into successful 
business in Montreal. In 1828, he put into existence a ' 
long-cherished resolve and entered the Glasgow University 
where he graduated, studying also in the Independent 
Theological School under Dr. Wardlaw. For three years 
he was pastor of Albany Street Independent Church, Edin- 
burgh. When the Colonial Missionary Society was formed 
in the old Weigh-house chapel, the late Thomas Binney 
being one of the active promoters, Mr. Wilkes, in accord- 
ance with a previous undertaking, accepted the invitation 
of the Society, to proceed to Lower Canada, and on the 24th 
May, 1836, was solemnly designated to the work in these 
colonies in the above-named chapel. It was for that 


occasion Mr. Joseph Coiider composed hymn 905, iu the 
presei t Cougregatioual hymn-book, " Churches of Christ, 
by God's right hand," etc. In the summer of 188t3, he 
visited again the old land, at the Jubilee of the Society, 
and spoke of his work. He bore testimony to the gracious- 
ness of God, which had ever followed him. In the fall of 
the year, 1836, the church which four years previously had 
been formed under the pastoral care of Mr. Richard Miles 
and had built for the time a neat chapel in St. Maurice 
Street, called Mr. Wilkes to the pastorate. The site on 
Beaver Hall was secured in 1844, and the commodious 
building, which, with enlargements, and re-buildino-, 
after being burnt, held for many years one of the most in- 
fluential of the Protestant churches of Montreal, or even 
in the country, was, in the fall of 184»], solemnly dedi- 
cated to the service of God, the foundation having been 
laid the previous year. Dr. Wilkes' pulpit ministrations 
and platform addresses always commanded attention. His 
thought was clear, his language precise, and his utterance 
easy. Earnest, loving, evangelical and practical, he was 
never dull, and to the last had a wonderful stock of emo- 
tional power. For several years he was lame from acute 
rheumatism, which eventually stiffened his hip joints. The 
sight of his ascending and descending the steps of the old 
church in St. Gabriel Street, on the occasion of conduct- 
ing one of the Centennial services on the 7th March, 1886, 
will never be forgotten by any who witnessed it. 

The sermon which he preached on tfie occasion, em- 
braced in this volume, will be read with interest as one 
of the last which he preached in Montreal, and preached 
with ringing tones, touched by the strong emotion called 
forth by the interesting occasion. 

There was a fitness in his taking part in the Centennial 
services, not only as the oldest of the Protestant clergy- 
men of the city, who had been on terms of intimacy with 



most of the Ministers who had officiated in the old church ; 
but also because it was the first church which he attended 
for two or three years, when, as a lad, he came to 
reside in the city. The present writer bears grateful tes- 
timony, too, to the ready and helpful sympathy extended 
to him during a prolonged illness in the Autumn of 1872, 
by the venerable Dr. Wilkes, who supplied the St. Gabriel 
Street pulpit himself, or became responsible for his 
students doing so. The dear old Doctor passed quietly 
away on the morning of Wednesday, November I7th, in 
the eighty-second year of his age. For some time, he 
occupied an unique pos ition among the churches of this 
country. To a large extent the pioneer of Congregational- 
ism in the Canadas, he lived to see all his old companions 
gathered to their fathers, and to outlast very largely the 
generation which followed. No episcopal bishop ever 
exercised a more thorough influence over his diocese than 
the late Dr. Wilkes did over the Congregational Church 
in Canada, of which, indeed, he may be said to have 
been, in a great measure, the creator. In 1870, he resigned 
his active pastorate and was appointed Principal of the 
Congregational College, which position he held until his 
feeble health compelled him to surrender it into the 
hands of a younger man. Dr. Stevenson, a few y^ars ago. 
Dr. Wilkes' reputation and influence extended far beyond 
the bounds of his own denomination. For many years he 
was looked up to with reverence and regard by all the 
Protestant clergy of Montreal, and fittingly occupied the 
post of president of the branch of the Evangelical Alliance 
in this city. The esteem in which he was held by brethren 
was shown by the long procession of ministers that pre- 
ceded the hearse at his funeral, — such a cortege was never 
before seen in Montreal. 

The closing words of his address before the Union in 
London in May last may be listened to as his parting tes- 
timony : — 


"I am now eighty-one years of age, and have been 
preaching the gospel for about sixty. Before that, I was 
engaged in Sabbath school work, throughout all of which 
I can bear testimony to the faithfulness of God. There 
are things which cannot be shaken, they are everlasting. 
All the powers of earth and of hell cannot shake them, 
and they remain. I am not going to say how many of 
such things there are, but one of the things that cannot 
be shaken is God's faithfulness to his followers. I have 
had trials very grievous, and sorrows very deep, but 
always, from beginning to end. He has been true to me, so 
that I would not change my past history as a minister of 
Jesus Christ for all the money in the world — or all the 
honours meh could place on my head. I want to bear my 
testimony as to the graciousness of God, and I want my 
younger brethren to carry on the work that can occupy 
the mind and heart ; that it is the noblest and most glori- 
ous that God ever gave to man to prosecute. And now 
unto Him who is able to keep us from falling, and to pre- 
sent us faultless before the presence of His glory with 
exceeding joy, be glory, dominion and might now and for 
ever. Amen." 

The Rev. George H. Wells, of the American Presbyterian 
Church, thus spoke of him in an eloquent tribute paid to 
his dear old friend, the Sabbath after his funeral : — 

" One rich blessing that Dr. Wilkes had was a strong 
physique. A thorough Englishman, he had the English 
love of open air exercise, and used to ride on horseback, 
and to saw all his own wood before the days of coal. In 
his 35 years pastorate, he w^as only kept from his pulpit 
two Sundays — and then from being thrown from his 

'' Still better, he had a prompt and practical turn of 
mind. He always saw the duty of the moment and did it 
with all his might. He was distinguished by good and 


sturdy common sense. In him there was no conflict 
between his secular and his sacred interests ; and no 
preacher less used those terms that sound so professional 
and proper, and that we naturally call ' cant.' " 

The Hon. Thomas McKay was born at Perth, in Scot- 
land, on the 1st September, 1792. He arrived in Canada 
in 181Y, and took up his residence in this city. Like 
many others who have sought a home on this continent, 
Mr. McKay brought with him no capital, save his integ- 
rity of character and energy in the prosecution of his 
business pursuits. He was in the true sense of the word 
a self-made man. Like Hugh Miller and John Redpath, 
he began life as a stone-mason, Mr. Redpatli and he car- 
rying on business in company for some years. Among 
other pieces of masonry built by them was the old stone 
fence in front of the St. G-abriel Street Church. In 1827, 
when the Rideau canal was commenced, Mr. McKay was 
engaged by Colonel By to construct the locks at Ottawa : 
and it was he who first broke ground in that important 
undertaking. At that day, when the country along the 
Ottawa was thinly settled, and the means of communica- 
tion with the city of Montreal, whence the greater portion 
of the needful supplies had to be transported, were of 
the most][imperfect description, the erection of such exten- 
sive works was justly consideri^d a gigantic enterprise ; 
but under his judicious and vigorous management, they 
w^ere promptly completed. After the canal was finished 
and put fully in operation, Mr. McKay built extensive 
mills and factories on his property at the mouth of the 
Rideau River. In connection with these mills, the 
flourishing town of New Edinburgh has grown. These 
mills proved a boon to the people, even in the adjoining 
counties. The farmers from the county of Lanark used, 
before the Grand Trunk was built, to drive their wheat i 


to McKay's mills, as the only place where they were 
sure of disposing of it, and converting it into money. 

In July, 1834, Mr. McKay was elected member of par- 
liament for the county of Eussell, and sat for that consti- 
tuency until the union of the provinces. He was sum- 
moned to the Legislative Council by Lord Sydenham on 
9th June, 1841. He w^as also the first warden of the county 
of Carlton, then the district of Dalhousie. He was a con- 
servative in politics. He was the first in the Upper 
Canada parliament to propose a union of the provinces. 
In private life, he was kind, obliging and charitable, and 
in business matters was manly and straightforward, while 
his bearing and general demeanour commanded the re- 
spect of all w^ho knew him. 

Rideau Hall, now the vice-royal residence of the Gover- 
nor-Greneral of Canada, was built by him, and there he 
died on the 9th of October, 1855, aged 63 years. 

Mr. McKay was connected with St. Gabriel Street 
Church from 1817 to 1827. He leased pew No. 10 in the 
gallery in December, 1819, and bought pew 79, in 1822. 
In Jam ary, 1821, he w^as engaged as Precentor at a salary 
of c£40 a year. He continued to fulfil the duties of this 
important office efficiently, till April, 1823, when he gave 
notice that he could no longer be depended on to lead 
the psalmody, on account of his business requiring' his 
attendance in the country during the summer. At this 
time, he was a contractor in connection with public 

Mr, McKay w^as an attached and intelligent member of 
the Church of Scotland in Canada. "When he removed to 
Bytown, one of his first cares w^as to get a Presbyterian 
church organized in the place. The result was the erection 
of the St. Andrew's Church, of w^hich he was the architect, 
the builder and the chief occupant for some time. He 
put the force of men engaged in working at the locks on 


the erection of the \va!N of the kirk, and were raised 
in a few weeks. Mr. McKay was ordained an elder in 
the church, afterwards, and contributed not a little to 
strengthen the Presbyterian cause all along- the Ottawa 
valley. He was also ready to give his best advice to the 
Church Courts, the Presbytery and Synod, of which he 
was a member from 1830 to 18.55, almost continuously. 
He was chosen a Trustee of Queen's College in 1846, a 
position which he retained until the date of his death. 

One of Mr. McKay's daughters is married to the Hon, 
Mr. Justice Mackay of Montreal, and another to T. C. 
Keefer, Esquire, Engineer. 

The Hon. James Ferrier's connection with the St. 
Grabriel Street Church was not of long duration, yet that 
was the first church which he attended habitually on his 
first coming to reside in Montreal, in the year 1821. His 
associations with John Torrance's family and with the 
Fishers led him to go occasionally to the Methodist 
Church with them ; as indeed Mr. Esson's preaching had 
no very strong attractions for him. He also got in the 
way of attending the services in St. Peter Street Church, 
then under the pastorate of Rev. Robert Easton, and on 
the whole, inclined more towards it than towards the 
Scotch Church in St. G-abriel Street. 

A very solemn incident happened in his house, on 
Notre Dame Street, bearing upon the history of Mr. 
Easton's Church, now St. Andrew's. I quote from the 
Register of the St. Grabriel Street Church, for 1824, the 
facts involved : — 

"Rev. Thomas Hill, of the Burgher Church, lately from Scotland; and 
temix)rary assistant to the Rev. Robert Easton, Montreal, died suddenly, 
on the fourteenth instant, at Montreal, and was buried this sixteenth day 
of March, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, aged thirty-eight 
years." , . , . ^ _ _ . _ ,: 


The Register is signed by Ed. Black, Miur, James 
Ferrier, George Todd aud Hugh Brodie. 

The circumstances were these, Mr. Hill, lately arrived 
in Montreal, had no place to stay at, except some small 
tavern near the harbour, aud Mr. Ferrier learning the cir- 
cumstances called upon him aud insi.sted upon his leaving 
the public hou3e and coming to reside with him, till 
proper lodgings could be obtained. Mr. Hill, finding 
himself thus in good quarters, was in no hurry to leave, 
and Mr. aud Mrs. Ferrier made him as comfortable as they 
could. It happened one Sabbath that Mr. Hill complained 
suddenly of being unwell ; and Mr. Ferrier hurried to 
bring the nearest physician, who was not more than a 
minute's walk from his residence ; but before he got back, 
the minister's life was eztinct. 

Even when Mr. Ferrier got into the habit of going to 
the Methodist Church pretty regularly, he had no inten- 
tion of quitting the faith of his fathers. His l)ecoming 
permanently connected with the Methodists was quite 
unpremeditated. As he was often at their services and 
meetings, he was asked by their leaders if he would not 
help them, aud accept the office of Trustee in order to aid 
a young and struggling cause. He was i^revailed upon 
to do so ; but still intended to maintain his connection 
with his own church intact. His interest in the cause 
in which he was induced, by considerations of sympathy, 
and almost of compassion, to enlist, soon deepened, and 
before he realized it, he had became a Methodist ; and 
for upwards of sixty years he has been one of the most 
prominent members of that church. 

But Mr. Ferrier has retained both his Scotch tongue and 
his Presbyterian sympathies. He belongs, indeed, to the 
Church of Christ first, and is a Methodist after that. His 
name has been, and is associated with every good cause in 
the city and country. Born in Scotland in 1800, he is now 


in his 8Sth year. From the date of his arrival in Canada, 
np to 1830, he was actively engaged in trade. He was a 
member of the Corporation of Montreal, a.s it was re- 
organized, in 1841. He was chosen Mayor in 1847, and 
Lieut.-Col. of the 1st Battalion of Montreal Militia the 
same year. He projected the Montreal and Lachine Rail- 
way, of which he was president for some years. He was 
appointed a member of the Board of the Royal Institution 
for the advancement of learning in 1845, — the name by 
which the Board of Governors of McGill University are 
known, — and he is now the Chancellor of that institution 
in succession to the late Justice Day. He has been a 
Director of the Canadian Board of the Bank of British 
North America since it was first established. He was 
made President of the St. Andrew's Society in 1847, and 
again in 1862, and 1863. He is the chairman of the 
Canadian Board of the Grand Trunk Railway, and a 
Director of the International Bridge Company. He is also 
President of the Montreal Auxiliary Bible Society. He 
was a life Member of the Legislative Council of Canada, 
and sat in that venerable body from 27th May, 1847, 
until Confederation, when he was called to the Senate by 
Royal Proclamation, May, 1867. He has been, since that 
date, also Member for Victoria in the Legislative Council 
of Quebec. He has been for sixty or more years an active 
Sunday School worker, and has been for most of that time 
Superintendent of the St. James Street Church School. 
He is a member of the Council of Victoria College, 
Cobourg ; although his attention has, in recent years, been 
more concentrated upon the Wesleyan Theological College 
of Montreal, of which he is chairman of the Board of 
Governors, and for whose accommodation he erected, at 
his own expense, the James Ferrier Convocation Hall, 
in 1883. 

Surely Mr. Ferrier has filled offices enough and enjoyed 


honours cnoiig-h to satisfy the highest ambition ; and yet, 
the best feature of all is, that he has filled those offices and 
carried his honours meekly, — and earned the commenda- 
tion, " Well done, good and faithful servant." 

Another of the leading Methodists of Canada, of whoso 
connection with the St. Gabriel Street Chunh, the mem- 
bership of that Church may well feel proud, is the Rev. 
Principal Douglas, of the Wesleyan Theological College, 
in this city. He belonged to a family and a district fa- 
mous in Scottish story. He was born, October, 14th, 1825, 
in the valley of the Ale-water, a few miles from Abbots- 
ford. His mother was a Hood, of the family of Hazeldean, 
made memorable by Sir Walter Scott. He came with his 
family, a boy seven years old, to this city, in 18o2, and 
became connected with the St. Gabriel Street Church, the 
services and Sunday School of which he attended for 
several years ; and where many of the old psalms and 
paraphrases were borne in upon his memory, and still 
come occasionally welling up from the bottom ,of his 
heart, bursting through the super-imposed, more melodious 
Wesleyan Hymns, learned later in life, as the trap-dike of 
old forced itself upwards throvigh the strata of softer rocks 
which, in the more recent geographical periods, have been 
gradually formed. He also attended the school kept by 
the late E.ev. David Black at Laprairie, during his boy- 
hood, and was thus brought still more fully under the 
influence of the Presbyterian ministry. But it was not 
his destiny to enter that ministry. His family remov- 
ing to a part of the city too far aw^ay from St. Gabriel 
Street to command the regular attendance at the services 
there of its youthful members, particularly, George got 
into the way of attending a Methodist Church near by. 
Thus he and the late Eev. Dr. Lachlan Taylor, another 
Scottish Presbyterian youth, who liiso shed lustre alter- 


wards upon his early up-briuging-, were led by association 
with the Methodists, at a time when Presbyterian Ministers 
in Canada were few, and their services, perhaps, not very 
animated, to dedicate themselves to the ministry of the 
Methodist Church, — with the result of becoming men of 
mark and might in the service of the Grospel. Mr. Douglas 
hi^d the good fortune to obtain a medical education in 
Montreal. He received his theological training in London, 
England, and began his ministerial labours in the year 
1848. He has, therefore, been nearly forty years in harness, 
and, during that time, has filled appointments as a 
missionary in the West Indies, and as a minister in King- 
ston, Toronto and Hamilton. During his stay in the West 
Indies, it was a pleasure to him to minister to his fellow- 
countrymen, of one of Her Ma-jesty's Regiments, the 
famous 42nd, or Black Watch, who failing a Presbyterian 
Church in the place to go to, elected to attend his 
services in preference to those of the Anglican Church. 
His sojourn in the West Indies was, however, disastrous 
in its influence upon his nervous system, which was 
found a good deal shattered on his return, — the melan- 
choly outcome of which has been the entire loss of vision. 
The greater part of Dr. Douglas' Ministerial life has been 
spent in Montreal, and the Methodist Church of the city 
and outlying districts owes not a little of its prosperity 
to the influence of his noble name, to his splendid gifts of 
oratory, and great business talents. The best proof of the 
ability of Dr. Douglas is to be found in the high places of 
trust to which he has been raised by the suffrages of his 
brethren, in a church that infallibly distinguishes true 
merit. Chosen Irst as a Co-Delegate of the Wesleyan 
Conference, so great was hir debating and executive power 
found to be, that he rose rapidly in the confidence of the 
C Lurch, and was elected to the Vice-presidency of the 
General Conference, and then reached the highest position 


attainable in the Methodist connection, the Presidency of 
the General Conference, a position which he'held for four 
years. In 1870, the University of McG-ill conferred upon 
him the well-merited honorary title of LL.D., and in 18S4, 
Victoria University honoured both itself and him by that 
mark of professional eminence, the degree of Doctor in 

For the last fifteen years, he has been the distinguished 
head of the Methodist Theological School in this city, in 
affiliation with the McCxill University. In connection 
with his professional duties, he accomplishes labours 
which will hereafter furnish a new chapter in treatises 
on the achievements of the blind. His lectures are 
necessarily delivered without the aid of books or manu- 
scripts, as his sermons also are ; and yet so diligent a use 
had he made of his eyes, while their powers were still 
unimpaired, in the way of taking in impressions from 
external nature, as well as in deriving instruction from 
libraries, that it is a very great treat to listen to 
prelections and discourses. Possessing a deep-toned 
of rare compass and melodious strength, the master of a 
splendid diction, a clear thinker, a powerful reasoner, 
endowed with an exuberant imagination, — and all ani- 
mated with an electrical emotionalism, — Dr. Douglas may 
well be called a phenomenon. His genius appears to 
have acquired concentration, like that of Homer and 
Milton, by withdrawal from communion with the world 
of outward vision, and an enforced life of contemplation. 
His want of external sight is compensated for by a i)ro- 
found insight. 

It was fitting that Dr. Douglas should, therefore, take a 
part in the gladsome services of the centennial celebration 
in the old edifice, as a son of the church, and, at the same 
time, as the representative of one of the religious forces 
of Christendom. The magnificent discourse which he 


preached on the occasion will be fonnd near the end of 
this volume. 

It is one of the features in the catholic history of the old 
church, that it has contributed some members to every 
Protestant community in the city. Its contribution to 
Methodism, if not embracing any considerable number, 
has been at least admirable in quality. And the fact 
may as well be mentioned here as anywhere else, that the 
first Methodist Missionary meeting held in Canada took 
place in the St. Gabriel Street Church, in 1819. 




AND SETTLED— Financial CONDITION of the Church from 1825 to 1829 


Dr. Hamilton's account of tub scene at the Church door, March 
6th, 1831 — Names of the adherents of Mr. Black and Mr. Esson 
respectively — Matters at issue settled ay arbitration — The good 
that came out of the evil. 

The subscription list obtained by the special committee 
appointed to raise a guarantee fund for an assistant to 
Mr. Somerville, in December, 1816, covered a period of 
only five years, from the date of Mr. Esson's entering 
upon his ministry in Montreal. Before the time had 
fully lapsed, it was natural that Mr. Esson should show 
some little anxiety as to the future. Accordingly he wrote 
the following letter to G-eorge Garden, chairman of that 
special committee that had been instrumental in bringing 
him to Canada : — , 

.. '; " Montreal, August 3id, 1822. 

"Dear Sir, — The iHjriod of my engagement, as colleague to Rev. .Tames 
Somerville, in the pastoral charge of the congregation of the Scotch Pres- 
byterian Church of Montreal, at the terms expressed in my call, sub- 
scribed by you and the other gentlemen of the special committee having 
now expired, permit me to enquire whether it be the intention of the 
Bubscribers, in behalf of the said congregation, to renew said engagement, 
or what arrangement, if any, has been made for the purix)se of continuing 
my connexion with the congregation of the Scotch Church of this place, 
as one of their pastors. 

„ "I am, dear Sir, 

" Very sincerely yours, 

" To George Garden, Esq." 


This course was probably adopted wiih a view to 
paving the w^ay for securing to the congregation the ser- 
vices of the Rev. Edward Black, who had come to Mont- 
real on a visit about this time, and had officiated in the 
church. At all events, Mr. Esson appears to have done 
everything in his power to facilitate the movement to 
have Mr. Black appointed his colleague, when he ascer- 
tained that there was a desire on the part of some mem- 
bers of the congregation that such an arrangement should 
be made. In the circumstances, it was a dangerous step 
which Mr. Esson took, in raising the question of his 
status in the congregation, as one of the pastors. A prudent 
man, taking in the situation, would not have suggested 
that the congregation were absolved from obligation to 
him, becaiise the period of the special subscription list 
for his maintenance had expired. Mr. Esson was settled, 
not for five years, but as permanent colleague of Mr. 
Somerville, and he ought to have taken that for granted, 
when he suggested that some fresh arrangement should 
be made as regarded the question of stipend. But he 
was simple-minded as a child in matters affecting his 
own interests, and it was creditable to the leading mem- 
bers of the congregation that they took no undue advan- 
tage of the door which he unwisely opened for their 
escaping from their responsibilities, and allowing him to 
resign. The special committee, to whom Mr. Esson's 
letter was addressed, forwarded it to the temporal com- 
mittee, with the accompanying note : — 

" Montreal, August 22nd, 1822. 
" CiBNTLBMBN, — It being necessary to submit to the congregation the 
enclosed letter from Mr. Esson before we can make any reply, we have 
to request yon will call a meeting for that purpose with as little delay as 

" Your most obedient Servants, 


"JAS. LESLIE, J Special 

"ROB. ARMOUR, "" Committee. 


" Committee of Scotch Presbyterian Church, 
" Montreal." 



A meeting of the proprietors was accordiiUj'y held, and 
it was unanimously resolved to request the Rev. Mr. 
Esson to continue in the pastoral oharjye of the congrega- 
tion, and to allow him cC300, including .CoO from govern- 
ment, on account of the military who attended the church. 
Although there were some in the congregation that did 
not find Mr. Esson's teaching profitable to them, they 
were men of honour, who would at least keep faith with 

Whether the opening of the correspondence with the 
special committee was designed by Mr. Esson to effect 
important changes, or nor, it at least led up to this result. 
The first thing done was to provide for the nominal 
retirement of Mr. Somerville from the responsibilities of 
the active pastorate, as he had virtually retired years 
before. The committee communicated to Mr. Somerville 
the proposal that he should retire on an allowance of jCISO 
a year. He replied as follows, signifying his willingness 
to acquiesce in the suggested arrangement, on certain con- 
ditions : — 

" Montreal, 26th October, 1822. 
" To the Committee of Management 

"of the Scotch Church in Montreal. ; 
" Gentlemen : — 

" Having long discharged the duties of a minister in connection with 
the Church of Scotland in this city to the best of my ability ; and finding 
now that the state of my health requires ease and peace of mind, I am 
desirous of retiring from the discharge of the active duties of that oflRce, 
upon receiving from the committee of the church a sufficient guarantee 
for the regular annual payment of my present stipend, out of the first 
proceeds of the church ; and upon this my proposition being acceded to, 
I heartily agree to the appointment of the Rov. Edward Black, as mutual 
assistant to myself and present colleague, with the full powers of col- 
league during his assistantship, and to his succceeding as colleague to the 
survivor of us. 

" I remain. Gentlemen, 

" Your most obedient servant, 


" Minister." 


The coiamitt*'*' gujiranteod to Mr. Somcrvillc C150 por 
annum as a tirHt c-hargo upon the income at their dis- 

Private parties having given to Mr. Black a satisfactory 
guarantee for stipend for two years, thecjuestion remained 
what provision should be made for his salary and for that 
of Mr. Esson at the expiry of that period. There was 
considerable ditliculty in adjusting this matter among 
th(» members of the temporal committee, the proprietors 
of pews and the two ministers coni^erned. The friends 
of xVlr. Esson wished that after Mr. Somerville was pro- 
vided for, he should be secured in iJSOO a year, first, and 
that Mr. Black should get what remained of the revenue 
up to that amount, if it should ever be reached. When 
Mr. Black's supporters objected to this, Mr. Esson next 
proposed to give £50 out of the £H00 to make up Mr. 
Black's stipend. This was not satisfactory. Finally, at a 
meeting of the proprietors, it was arranged that Mr. Esson 
should have iJ300 annually for two years, and that at 
the end of that period, the revenues, after deducting Mr. 
Somerville's allowance, should be equally divided between 
Mr. Esson and Mr. Black, up to i530O each, if that sum 
could be realized. 

" Montreal, 26th December, 1822. 

"A call to the Eev Edward Black, to undertake the 
ofiice of a pastor, accompanied with a letter addressed to 
the Committee of the church, from the said Rev. E. Black, 
having been duly read and considered, it was unanimously 

agreed that the Committee should sign the said call, on 
the conditions expressed in their answer to the said Rev. 
E. Black, and that copies of the same be herein recorded." 

Mr. Black's letter was as follows : — 


" To 'he Co)iniiitt>>ioj' till' Scnirh I'rrfhytirinn Cinirch at M'»itri"tf, 

G^:vTI,HMB^f : — As I uiKlorHtuml tlmt yon liavo oxprosstvl houu« imwillijisf- 
noHH to Hipn my call, I take th« liln^rty of iiiforminj? you that at tlio ond of 
two years, comnHMicin^ from tho lOth of Docomlnir, 1H'_"J, I ilo not consider 
till' chiircli boiuul to mo for any stiiM<nd, without a futuro provision 'hmiii;; 
first made i>y tlio projiriotors of tho (•iiurcii,or by thoir committoo, accord- 
ing to the Rules and Re>julations of said church. 
I am, gentlomen, 

Your obedient sorvant, 

Montreal, 25th Decomlnir, 1822." 

The Committee replied : — 

"Rhvbrbnd Sill, — We yesterday received your favour of that <lato, and 
we now have tho pleasure of enclosing your call signed by us, as com- 
nutteeforthe temixiralities of the Montreal Presbyterian Church, with the 
express understanding that the said Church is not bound by so doing, to 
supply any part of your 8ti|)end as pastor in that Church, and with much 
esteem, • 

We are, Reverend Sir, 

Your most obedient servants, 



Montreal, 26th Dec, 1S22. 

Absent: — 

The following is a copy of the call : — 

" Montreal, Twenty-sixth day of February, One thousand eiglit hun- 
dred and twenty-three. 

We, the subscribers, ministers, elders and members of the Scotch Pres- 
byterian Church of Montreal, being assured of the ministerial abilities, 
piety, literature, and prudence of you, Edward Black, licentiate of the 
Established Church of Scotland, do hereby heartily invite, call and 
entreat you, the said Edward Black, to undertake the office of a pastor 
among us, as mutual assistant to the Rev. James Somerville and Rev. 
Henry Esson, with full powers of a colleague during your assistantship, 


and at tho domiHe of cither tlu> Riiv. JamoB Romorville or tlie Rev. Henry 
EHMon, to he coUeuj^iie to the survivor. An<l fnrtiier, ufoii your iircepting 
tliiH our rail, wo j>roiniti« you ail dutiful r(w]iect, eitcouragement ami obe- 
dience in the Ijord. 

And, tluit you Tiiay be a«Hure«l of tho supfwrt and onconrapement tipon 
which you may dojKind, we herel)y hind and ohiij^e ourtieives U> pay yt)U 
ontof tlie nurfduH funds of this Chunli, the sum of one liundnKl ami lifty 
jHiundu annually. 

(Sip;ned), JAMES SOMERVILLK, Minuter, S.C.if. 

HENRY ES80N, MininUr. 

HENRY MrKENZIP; Vict'-l'rendenU • 

THOK TORRANCE, 1 ». , , ,, 
ANDREW SHAW 'I Mnnhrxnftly 

VVN, J ^^' 

.JOHN BROWN, ' J Committee. 




H. McKKNZIE, \ Ehhrtt. 




Andrew Porteonsi, John Hettrick, Janes Brown, Shaw Armour, Alexander 
Skakel, Gordon Forbes, James Murray, Kenneth Walker, James Mathers, 
Alex. Glass, G. Skakel, John Aird, James Ross, A. L. MacNider, Williana 
Reid, Kenneth Dowio, John Clarke, John McKenzie, Put McGregor, John 
Porteous, James Greenfield, James Dunn, David Dickie, D. Robertson 
William Gray, John Fisher, Wm. Martin, M. Andrews, George McKenzie, 
IX P. Ross, Rod. McKenzie, George Dickie, Hugh Douglas, Thomas Thain, 
William McDonald." 

The following letter to Mr. Black, accompanied the call, 
and intimated the conclusion arrived at on the whole 
question of his relation to the Church in St. Gabriel 
Street : — 

" Montreal, 27th February, 1823. 

Rev. & Dear Sir, — We have now to inform you that you were yesterday 
duly elected at the General Meeting of the Proprietors of the Presbyterian 
Church of this place, according to the Rules and Regulations thereof, as 
mutual assistant to the Rt v. James Somerville and to the Rev. Henry 
Esson, his present colleague, .vith full powers of colleague during your 


aHKiHtuntMliii), and toyonr HurceedinK R8 colleague to the survivor of either 

of them. 


The original ediit, which was affixed to the Church 
DOOR, has been preserved. It runs as iollows : — 

"Tlte Presbytery or clcrjrytnen in these i>rovint'eH, in cfmnection with 
the EstaVdJglied Cliurcli of Scotland, met in this city, having; received a 
call from the members of this ConKreuation to Mr. Edward Black, preacher 
of the Gospel, to be on? of their ministers- -and. llndin^ the same orderly 
pro<.;(«ded, and the Hame Mr. Etlward Black, having undergone all parts of 
his trial, in order to hi^* ordination, and the IVesbytery, fmilinjj; him (luali- 
fied to be a minister of the Gos()el, and fit t<i be one of the pjwtors of this 
conjjrevtation, have resolved to proceed, unless nomethiny; occur which may 
justly imjiede the same, — and, therefore, do hereby give notice to all 
pa.lies, esimcially the members of this congregation, who may not have 
signetl the said Mr. Edward Black's call, that if any of them have any- 
thing to object why he should not be admitted one of their ministers, they 
may repair to the Presbytery, which is to meet here on Tuesday next, 
being the 4th day of the present month, in the year of our Lord, 1823, at 
11 o'clock in the forenoon, — with certification, — that if no jierson obje(!ta 
anything that day, the Presbytery will proceed without further delay to 
his ordination. 

Montreal, 2nd day of March, 1823." 

" Montreal, Scotch Church, 4th March, 1823. 

The Ministers, being this day met, and the meeting 
constituted, the Rev. Dr. Harkness, who was appointed to 
serve the edict for the ordination of Mr. Black, gave an 
account of his diligence, and returned the edict endorsed 
by the Precentor and Beddal, as follows : — 

" We do hereby certify that the edict for Mr. Black's ordination was 
regularly served by the ilev. Dr. Harkness on Sunday last, the 2nd day of 
March, and that no objections were offered. 

(Signed) ALEX. ROSS, Chtirch Officer. 

JOHN HUNTER, Precentor." 


"This day, also, Mr. Black judicially subscribed the 
formula appended, to be subscribed by licentiates pre- 
viously to their ordination, — and produced a certificate of 
his having taken the oath of allegiance to government, 
and other, the state oaths, conformably to law, the church 
officer was then desired to give notice three several times 
at the door of the church that the ordination was about 
to be proceeded in, if no objection was brought forward 
against the life and doctrine of Mr. Ed. Black, preacher of 
the Grospel. The officer returned and reported that no 
person came forward to offer objections, — Whereupon the 
Presbytery resolved to proceed to his ordination without 
delay. Accordingly, the said Mr. E. Black, having given 
satisfactory answers to the questions usually put to 
licentiates previous to their ordination prescribed by this 
church, was, by prayer and imposition of hands, in the face 
of the congregation, solemnly ordained one of the ministers 
of the Scotch Church in this city, and the right hand of 
fellowship was given him by all the brethren present. 
The clerki was empowered to grant Mr. Black an extract 
of his ordination. Closed with prayer." 

The following admirable account of Dr. Black appeared 
in the Montreal Gazette at the time of his decease : — 

" The Rev. Edward Black, D.D., was the third son of the 
Rev. James Black, for thirty years minister of Penning- 
hame, Wigtownshire, Scotland ; and was born December, 
1793. He received his early education at the parish 
schools of Penninghame and Monigaff, aud was alv/ays 
distinguished among his school-fellows for his industry 
and talents. lu 1808, he repaired to the University of 
Edinburgh, and after going through the curriculum of 
the Literary and Theological classes there, he was, in June, 
1815, licensed by the Presbytery of Wigtown, to preach 
the G-ospel. In 1817, he was appointed, by the Heritors 


and other Parishioners, assistant to his father, and he wor- 
thily discharged the duties of this office until 1822. In 
that year, finding he was not likely to obtain a parish soon, 
in his native country, he determined to emigrate to 
Canada. He came to Montreal on a short visit to an 
old friend and school-fellow —the late Hon. Peter McGill. 
During his sojourn here, he preached in St. Gabriel Street 
Church, and was afterwards invited to become the col- 
league of Rev. Henry Esson. In 1831, when a division 
took place in that congregation, he left with the seceding 
party and became their pastor ; and with them it might 
be said he commenced and closed his career as a minister. 
In building up his congregation, and watching over their 
spiritual interests. Dr. Black showed a high degree of zeal, 
diligence and wisdom ; and the success that attended his 
ministry, was singularly blessed. His attachment to his 
congregation was ardent, and no less were they attached to 
him. He was to them not only a pastor, but a father and 
a friend. To him they owe their existence as a congrega- 
tion, and it is to his untiring efforts that they are indebt- 
ed for their place of worship, which, while it stands, will 
be a lasting monument of his zeal, perseverance and 

" "While in their infancy, and struggling for an existence, 
and contending with many opposing obstacles, it was he 
that steered them through all their difficulties, and secured 
them a place and a standing in the body to which they 
belong. For years he assiduously performed his minis- 
terial duties without fee or reward, choosing, rather, to 
labour with his hands in teaching a school, for the main- 
tenance of his family, than to be a burden to his flock ; 
and even after retiring from teaching, he was content with 
a salary quite inadequate to his support. 

" His zeal in promoting the general interests of the 
Church to which he belonged was not less than for his 


flock. It was solely through his persevering efforts with 
the Imperial G-overument and the Greueral Assembly of 
the Church of Scotland, that the Government support 
which the Presbyterian Church in Canadaihas now received 
for several years was obtained, and without which, small as 
it is, many clergymen could not possibly be supported by 
their congregations. He took a deep interest in the propa- 
gation of the Gospel, and often expressed his desire to take 
a part with other religious denominations in advancing 
the cause of Christ. Dr. Black was a man of powerful 
natural abilities, of literary accomplishments and tastes, 
of great unaffected sincerity and kindness of heart, and of 
calm and devoted piety. His eloquence was of no com- 
mon order. His delivery was powerful and impressive, 
and his language lucid and rich. Naturally quick and 
sensitive, he was often vehement in his manner ; and when 
deeply in earnest, he flung his utmost soul into his words, 
and seemed alive only to the truth and infinite import- 
ance of what he spoke, and the consequ^:nces dependent 
on it. The animation of his appeals to his flock, and the 
earnestness with which he pressed home Gospel truths, 
made impressions not to be effaced. 

" His life offers little in its incidents to take it out of the 
common lot of humanity — to be born, to labour and to die. 
He was content to labour in obscurity in a quiet path of 
usefulness. He passed, therefore, through the world, com- 
paratively undisturbing and undisturbed, but exercising 
the great influence of an excellent example, and transplant- 
ing to this country those solid virtues which are the orna- 
ment and the safeguard, the decus et tutamen of that from 
which we derive our descent. What he most loved and 
sought was that which the best and most honourable men 
always have — the domestic affections and the esteem of his 
friends. These he possessed in the largest degree, and the 
possession seemed to fill the measure of his desires. He 


was one, on every liiu'^araent of whose character,nature and 
education ' had written gentleman.' And of the many 
hundreds of the inhabitants of this city of every creed, 
who followed his remains to the tomb, there was not one 
who did not feel that he had parted forever with a personal 

Dr. Black died 7th May, 1845, in the 52nd year of his 
age, and 23rd of his ministry. 

The Presbytery of Montreal, at their meeting shortly 
after his death, placed on their records the following tes- 
timonial to his worth :- — 

" The Presbytery, while they express their unfeigned 
sorrow at the long illness of their late lamented brother, 
and the bereavement endured both by his family and his 
attached congregation, by his death, feel themselves called 
upon, not merely to record their regret at his less, but to 
express their high opinion of his long, able, zealous, and 
persevering efforts, in forwarding the interests of the 
Scottish Church in this province, his invaluable services 
as a member of this Court, from his intimate acquaintance- 
ship with its forms of procedure, his untiring attention to 
tho wants of his flock, his soundness in the faith in 
pre.iching the evangelical doctrines of the Cross, his ten- 
derness in dealing with the young, the backsliding, the 
sick and the dying, his steadfast adherence to the church 
of his fathers at a\l times, especially in the late hour of 
her trial and reproach, his fraternal kindness of heart, and 
his love and readiness to serve the brethren in the minis- 
try at any sacrifice in his power to render. Nor does the 
Presbytery feel the depth of their sorrow at his departure 
merely as a brother, but at the present time as being a 
severe bereavement to the church at large in this country, 
to which, if its great King and head had been pleased to 
have spared him, with his peculiar talents and influence, 
he might have been an honoured instrument in promoting 
the interests of Zion." 


In the case of Mr. Esson, it was manifest that there was 
great inconvenience, to say the least, in having a minister 
settled over a congregation in a permanent relation, while 
the x>TOvision for his salary was only temporary. Yet 
that step, of doubtful wisdom, was repeated in Mr. Black's 
case. It must be said that members of the congregation 
in both cases showed a disposition to devise liberal things. 
The amount raised by private subscription seems to have 
been nearly as large as the ordinary revenue of the church. 
The guarantee for Mr. Black was even more objectionable 
than that for Mr. Esson, being for only two years. The 
committee, undertaking this new respon.sibility, consisted 
of Thomas Porteous, Kenneth Dowie, James Carsuel and 
Joseph Ross ; but Peter McGrill acted for Mr. Dowie 
during the absence of the latter from the province. The 
danger in such a case is that when a minister's position 
depends upon the good will of a few men, it cannot bear 
any strain. The risk involved became quite apparent at 
the end of the two years for which the Black guarantee 
fund provided. 

On the 15th of July, 1825, when the salary of the three 
ministers was entirely dependent upon the pew-rents 
and collections in the church, the income was found quite 
inadequate to meet the demands upon it ; and the tem- 
poral committee unanimously resolved that one minister 
was sufficient for the congregation — that the revenue pro- 
vided only for one, in addition to Mr. Somerville, retired 
— and they concluded with suggesting that one or other 
of the two should take the entire ministerial duty, receive 
the income, and make some compensation to the other, 
in the hope that an allowance should be, before 
long, from the government, in consequence of the agita- 
tion then going on asserting the right of the representa- 
tives of the Church of Scotland in Canada to participate 
in the Clergy Reserves, — in the event of the success of 


which, both pastors might be kept on. The committee 
did not suggest which of the two ministers should con- 
tinue to fill the office ; nor probably had they any other 
than the most disinterested views on that question. 
When the matter was put before the two gentlemen in 
question, Mr. Black acquiesced in the suggestion, but Mr. 
Esson declined it, as it seemed to imply that he and Mr. 
BJ'ick then occupied the same relation to the congregation 
— which he did not admit. So matters were allowed to 
drift. Certain moneys in the hand of Mr. Esson's old 
guarantee committee were applied for by the temporal 
committee, and used for meeting the obligations of the 
congregation. In December, 1826, the committee found 
the net revenue of the church to be only .£450, and they 
propose'! that the three clergymen should be asked to 
meet and apportion this sum among themselves. Other- 
wise there was nothing for the committee to do, but call 
a meeting of the pew proprietors. The expedient was 
tried of raising the pew-rents, but the result was that 
the revenue decreased instead of increasing, as the people 
gave up their pews rather than pay a very much larger 
sum for their church accommodation than they could get 
it for elsewhere in the city. 

This was the financial situation of the congregation 
when new elements of trouble entered into the problem 
— rumours began to prevail affecting the character of Mr. 
Esson — rumours which a committee of clergymen asked 
to investigate them, in 1831, declared to be unfounded — 
and which were afterwards traced to a foolish young 
man's mimicry, in personating Mr. Esson's tones of voice 
in compromising circumstances. A portion of the con- 
gregation was distressed by those rumours and gave 
credit to them, w^hile the rest as stoutly refused to be- 
lieve them ; and so the St. Gabriel Church people divided 
into two hostile camps. In the party adverse to Mr. 


Esson were five of the elders, being a majority of the 
Kirk-Session. On the other hand, the majority of the 
temporal committee, as representing the pew proprietors, 
was ranged on his side. 

It is rare that collegiate charges, even in Scotland, 
where the rights of parties are clearly defined, work well. 
The arrangement here was no exception to that general 
rule. There was a striking contrast between Messrs. 
Esson and Black, in personal appearance, as their portraits 
show, — in mental constitution and in temperament. Mr. 
Esson was an idealist — all aglow with sentiment, and 
living in a region of thought high above the actualities of 
the present world. Mr. Black, on the other hand, with 
his massive, Luther-like face, was a man of strong com- 
mon sense, intensely real, and an objective preacher, of 
what is known as the Evangelical school. Each of them 
had his admirers. The ministers were but men — each of 
them doubtless displayed weakness at this crisis. I am not 
going to determine between them ; but, so far as appears, 
Mr. Black did not endorse the action taken by his par- 
tizans on several occasions. 

The best course to follow in the circumstances was not 
very clear. The majority of the session thought they 
had a right to enquire into a minister's character in the 
absence of a Presbytery or superior Court. Mr. Esson, 
on the other hand, maintained, what is undoubtedly the 
constitutional view, that a session is incompetent to deal 
with rumours affecting a clergyman's good name ; he can 
be judged of only by his peers in the Presbytery. But 
there was no Presbytery in connection with the Church 
of Scotland, then in existence here, to whose jurisdiction 
he was subject, so that his contention practically amounted 
to this, that ministers in Canada ut that time were amen- 
able to no authority whatever. But both parties appealed 
to the congregation on the subject, although neither 
claimed that it was a regular thing to do. 


The five elders opposod to Mr. Essou seut the follow- 
ing letter to the temporal committee : — 

"Montreal, 13th January, 1830. 

"Ghntlbmbn : — 

"We, the undor.signed, meinhers of session, hereby roquest you to call 
a general meeting of the f onjxregation of the Scotch Church, in St. Gal)riel 
Street, on Monday week, the 25th instant, at 10 a. m., to nominate a 
committee to receive a report from the majority of the members of the 
session reganling matters concerned with the interests of the church. 

" We are. Gentlemen, 

" Your most obedient servants, 



" JAMES (ARSWELL, |- Elders. 



' To John Eisher,E8(j., President, and the 
other members of the Temporal Com- 
mittee of Management of the Scotch • 
Church in St. Gabriel St., Montreal." 

The committee called a meeting? of the proprietors, but 
not with a view to proceeding in the manner indicated 
in the foregoing letter It was held on the 25th January, 
1830, the Hon. Louis G-ugy presiding. Mr. Esson defended 
himself against the rumours which had been circulated 
to his prejudice. 

After discussion, James Leslie moved, and Thomas 
Blackwood seconded a motion, which was carried — " that 
Mr. Esson had exonerated himself from the charges made 
against him." 

At the annual meeting for the election of the temporal 
committee, held 20th April, 1830, both parties appeared 
in force, and sought to gain control of the finances of the 
church. Hon. Peter McGrill, a friend of Mr. Black's, but 
above suspicion in the matter of fairness, was unani- 
mously chosen as president, and Uobert Simson. one of 
the Esson party, as secretary of the committee. The 


other three members, Dr. "William Caldwell, Kenneth 
"Walker and William Blackwood, were friends of Mr. 
Esson, — as was also A. L. MacNider, the treasurer elected. 

After this, there was keen competition for the pews 
offered tor sale. The committee, in February, 18H1, re- 
fused to confirm the sale by auction of pew No. 27 to 
Dougald Stewart, although he had been the highest bidder, 
but gave it rather to Walter M. Teddie, In like manner, 
they gave pew No. 41 to William tShand instead of to 
John Whitlaw. William Porteous, William Robertson, 
Peter Whigham, Geo. McDougall, Geo. McDonald, John 
Fleming, John Douglas, John Bruce and William Leys 
had all desired to obtain pews, but did not succeed, and 
this was made matter of complaint, by the elders' party, 
to the coi vention of Presbyterian ministers assembled at 
Kingston in June, 1831. 

The five elders having refused to co-operate with Mr. 
Esson, there had been no meeting of session for a long time, 
and t^ie communion had not been dispensed since 1829. 
He, therefore, resolved upon the high-handed measure 
of disregarding them altogether, and of nominating and 
ordaining new set of elders. He had intimated his 
intention to pursue this course and proceed to the ordi- 
nation of elders on Sunday, March 6th, 1881, — and that 
a fortnight afterwards, he w^ould administer the commu- 
nion, — when the elders took possession of the church on 
the Saturday night and locked the door, in order to prevent 
this irregular procedure the next day. It was on the Sab- 
bath morning the notable scene took place, yet remem- 
bered by old citizens — the friends of Mr. Black inside re- 
taining possession of the edifice, while Mr. Esson's party 
outside were trying to force the door. It was thus de- 
scribed by an eye witness. Dr. Hamilton, surgeon to the 
66th regiment, in his book, " Trifles from my Port-Folio :" 

" During our residence of a year at Montreal, I wit- 


iies-sed a sceno of «>Toat roli!>ious Mcandal with much 
pain. A (luarrel took \i\snv hotwecii two Pro8byt»*rian 
cler<^ym(>ii olliciating- in tho samo ohuroh, and then* was 
a viohnit contest in consequence between their respective 
partizans as to the possession of it. One party had got 
hi — early on a Sunday morning, too ; barricaded th*< door, 
and there were blockaded by tlu^ other, who endeavoured 
to starve them into submis' Ion. But the besieged held 
out stoutly, and a supply of provisions having been ob- 
tained through a window in the course of the night, they 
shewed a determined front in the morning. All this 
time the crowd of Canadians in the street were laughing 
disdainfully at these disgraceful proceedings, and enjoy- 
ing this extraordinary spectacle as a good joke. It was 
by no means agreeable to my Protestant feelings to see 
persons of the greatest respectability committing them- 
selves in this serio-comic manner, and when I beheld a 
most estimable medical friend, with whom I had dined 
the day before, figuring us a ringleader ia the fray, he 
appeared like the blind Samson making sport for the 

" It is but justice to the clerical gentlemen concerned, 
to add that they disapproved of these unseemly practices, 
and took no part in them." 

The elders being outside at the time, along with the 
rest of the congregation assembling, were arresi-ed, and 
taken away, and had to give bail to appear before the 
Quarter Sessions. A bill of indictment was found against 
the principals in the aliair, but they could not be brought 
to trial, owing to the adjournment of the criminal court, 
till the September term ; and things had to remain in 
this unsatisfactory condition until then. 

In this extremity, the temporal committee wrote to 
the two ministers of the Church of Scotland in Quebec, 
Rev. Dr. Harkness and Rev. J. Clugston, soliciting their 


good officew, and iirgini? th»»ra to oome to Montroal and 
help to adjust the difficulties between the two parties. 
These gentlemen had already given it as their opinion 
that the majority of the session had aeted irregularly in 
venturing to hold an inquiry into the <onduet of their 
minister ; and their opinion not having been accepted, 
they concluded that it would be iiKeless to (!ome up to 
Montreal, as they had no hope that their interposition 
would be successful. They suggested rather the calling 
of a meeting of all the Church of Scotland ministers in 
the country, to deal with the matter. ♦ 





— St. Paul'h Comikkoation oii« ani/ed — Meetintiie lUi'TisTCiirRcii 
— Bmi.i) St. Pati-'h — Kinki.y hei.ationh uehi'Med iibtiw ken the two 


Mr. Esson had declared his readiness to meet his ac- 
cusers and their accusations before any competent court 
of the chur«;h, and had mentioned particularly the com- 
mittee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 
on Canadian affairs, as a body before which he would 
answer any chargessubmittedagai^^ ^t him. It was agreed 
by both parties to leave the questions at issue between 
them to this impartial tribunal. But the distance between 
Montreal and Edinburgh, in those days, when correspond- 
ence across the Atlantic depended upon sailing vessels, 
was so great that it was found to be a very tedious way 
of meeting a grave crisis in the St. Gabriel Street Church 
that demanded prompt action. Accordingly, Principal 
Lee of Edinburgh, clerk of the General Assembly of the 
Church of Scotland, after *going some length in dealing 
with the matter, suggested that the whole of the proceed- 
ings in the case should be submitted to the arbitration of 
some ministers in the colony, mutually chosen. 

The session party did not seem at first inclined to ac- 
cept this advice or the suggestion of the Quebec ministers, 
but on the 15th April, 1831, passed the following resolu- 
tion as embodying their views : — 


" R<'fl(»lvt«!. (limlly, tlmt nn tliof'luircb of SiMttlutuI aM08tal>liM'it«il hy law 
in Scdtlainl lias not y«>t (ixN-mlfil itn jiiriHili(!ti(»n tu ('ana«la— until tliis 
ovtMit, unil until a i'rosl>yt«)ry, fortni'd in tlii.s country, can hIicw crciUtn* 
tluiri of otiico from tlio parent church ; or until a colonial i'nmhytf^ry uhall 
havH rfict'ivoil tlu» fonnal r«»co>rnition of th« chun'li in St. (fal>riolStn'«»t — 
an<l until said churcli and ci>nirrt>i;ation shall liuvn pla(*H<l thnniHolvttH in 
duo form undor tho jurisdiction of such body — the Hcnaion of tin; church 
(as \muii in Si-otland a judicatory noxt in «rmlo to a 1'ro.shytory) must of 
necessity he tho only »iocl«'siastical tribunal in a country wlioit) no I'rcs- 
hyfer; I'xistH; and that any atUMupt of a solf-coiiHtitutod asstunhly of 
min H*«r8, unrocot^nizod as aforoMaid, to int»irfero with the concernH of 
said church in St. Gahriol Street, ouxht to and will Iw resisted." > 

This was sigiiod by 31 persou.s, and amougst them were 
threo of tht» eldors. 

Tho»»rs of the Church of Scotland in Canada were 
communicated with, and agreed among themselves to meet 
at Kingston to deal with this grave matter among other 
things, on the 7th of June, 1831, and out of this meeting 
grew the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in 
connection with the Church of Scotland, and, it may be 
said, the General Assembly of to-day. The Presbyterian 
ministers had been urged by Sir George Murray, Secretary 
of State for the colonies, to meet any way, with a view to 
organizing and being in a (condition to treat with the 
government for their rights as a body, and this advice 
had weight with them ; bu^ the immediate occasion of 
their coming together was to try and compose the un- 
happy differences that existed in the St. Gabriel Street 

The following minute gives an account of the Synod's 
original organization : — 

" The ministers, eldors and commissioners from congregations in com- 
munion with the Church of Scotland, assembled in St. Andrew's Church, 
Kingston, — present : 

The Rev. Alexander Gale, of Amherstburg, 
George Skeed, of Ancaster, 
John Machar, Kingston, 


The Rov. John CnilckHliuiik, Hytown, 

Aloxuii'lor llnH', Altllxtroiiifli, , 

ItolMirt .Mr(iill, Niiitriini, 

TlintniiMdiirk WilHiiii, I'ortli, 

Willinin MrAliHt«r, liiiiiurk nml nivUiDiiHiB. 

WilliHiM lliiitoiil, York, 

AI*txnii(ior MiitliitMoii, Moiitieiil, 

llunry Khhoii, Montroal, 

.loliit McKHii/.io, Williutustowii, 

Hu^?ll rnnilmtt, ('oriiwftll, 

Alnximdcr ( umiol, Miirti:it(j\vn, 
• Kdward IMiu'k, Montreal, 

GtO> Miickuii/.io, Vmi, barrlHUtr at law, roiumiHsionor from Kiiiitiitoiii, 

John WilliMon, Ivsi|., surgeon, elder, from Ancastor, 

John .Mc(iillivTay, IOhii., i-oiMiniMuionur from Williamstowu, 

Alexander McMartln, Esti., M. 1'., ronunissioner from Martlntown, 

.lohn Tnrnhull, Khi|., commiHsloner from Itelleville, 

The Hon. Arciuhald MoLcum, older, from ("ornwall, 

SampHon, Kscj., rommiNsioner from Amhuriithurg, 

John CrookH, Esci., older, from Niagara, 
John McJjt^an, Esij., elder, from Kingston." 

After lengthened and matun^ deliberation, it was unani- 
mously resolved : " That this convention of ministers and 
elders, in connection with the Church of Scotland, repre- 
senting their respective congregations, do form themsalves 
into a Synod, to be called the Synod of the Presbyterian 
('hurch of Canada, leaving it to the Venerable, the General 
Assembly, to determine the particular nature of that cou- 
nectiou which shall subsist between this Synod and the 
Greneral Assembly of the Church of Scotlaud." 

Both parties in St. Gabriel Street Church ultimately 
agreed to refer the matters iu dispute between them to 
the arbitrament of the assembled ministers. Each of 
them prepared a memorial and statement of the case. 
That emanating from Mr. Esson's side was signed by the 
following : Kenneth "Walker, Wm. Peddie, Dr. "William 
Caldwell, and Robert Simpson, members of the temporal 
committee, — and Thomas Blackwood and James Leslie, 
elders, — also by 


Alex. T^siie, 
Campbell Sweeney, 
I'rancis Hunter, jr., 
Fran<'i6 Hunter, sr., 
John Blackwood, 
Campliell Sweeney, jr., 
James Blackwood, 
Wm. Buchanan, 
James Scott, 
Wm. McCulloch, 
George Johnston, 
Jas. Strother, 
Wm. Shand, 

James Logan, 
John Dougall, jr., 
Wm. McKonzie, 
Wm. Douglas, 
John Gardner, 
Arch. Lyon, 
Thos. Ross, 
A. McMillan, 
James Strother, jr., 
James Millar, 
Wm. Suter. 

Ellis Roland, 
Robert Sweeney, 
John Blackwood, jr., 
f'olin Mc Dougall, 
John Weir, 
Kenneth Cameron, 
Ferdinand McCulloch, 
Arch. McMillan, 
Andrew Shaw, 
David Handyside, 
D. P. Ross, 
James Court, 
John Simson, 

The following are the concluding paragraphs of the me- 
morial of the majority of the session : — 

" We have only to add that should Mr. Esson give you an assurance 
that, while matters are pending between him and his congregation, he 
will desist from the election of elders, and will proceed to so solemn and 
mportant a transaction only in the regular manner, viz. — by the consent 
of the session — we will do all in our power that there may no longer be a 
suspension of the Sabbath services. Without such an assurance, we 
must, as guardians of the public peace, allow matters to continue as they 
are, at all events, until the question between the parties be tried by the 
civil authorities. 

" To facilitate a final adjustment of all matters, we beg leave to nomi- 
nate as arbitrators, on our part, the Rev. John Machar, of Kingston, and 
the Rev. John McKenzie, of Williamstown, and we hope that these Rev. 
Gentlemen will do the congregation of St. Gabriel Street the favour to 
accept the office. 

" If they saw fit, we will concur in the measure that a layman be also 
appointed, and will leave the appointment for that layman to themselves. 

" Should the opposite party name any equal number of arbitrators, it 

will be understood that they, the arbitrators on both sides, have the power 

to call in one or more persons as umpires, should circumstances require it. 

" We have the honour to be, 

" Reverend Sir, 

" Your most obedient servants, 

"(Signed,) EDWARD BLACK, Min.,1 

" To the Moderator of a meeting of ministers 
in connexion with the Church of Scotland 
to be assembled at Kingston on the 7th 
June instant. To be communicated." 


}- Eldtrs. 


This was the first document in connection with this 
business, to which Mr. Black appended his name. 

The Synod took up the case on the 10th of Jnne, when 
the memorials and documents forwarded by the two par- 
ties were read. Mr. Black repeated, verbally, his pledge, 
to submit the whole case to arbitration, and again named 
Messrs. Machar and McKenzie. Mr. Esson agreed to the 
proposal, and appointed Rev. Geo. Sheed and Rev. Robert 
McGill, arbitrators on his part ; and both Mr. Black and 
Mr. Esson agreed that the said arbitrators should have 
power to call in an umpire if necessary. 

" The Synod, having maturely considered the specialties and diflaciilties 
of the case, approved of the submission to the aforesaid arbitrators, and 
instructed those brethren to proceed in the arbitration with the caution 
and deliberation which the importance of the case demands, and to pro- 
cure from the parties, if necessary, a written pledge, that they shall abide 
by the decision of the arbitrators. The Synod instructed the clerk to fur- 
nish Mr. Esson and Mr. Black each with a copy of this minute for them- 
selves, and for the parties respectively connected with them. 

" And the Synod recommended that the doors of the said church be 
opened on Sabbath, se'ennight, for public worship, and that, both Mr. 
Esson and Mr. Black do preach in the Church as heretofore, unless any- 
tliing in the decision of the arbitrators, bar their doing so, — Mr. Black 
preaching in the morning of Sabbath se'ennight, and Mr. Esson in the 
afternoon, according to rotation. 

" The Synod further instructed the arbitrators to report to the Synod, 
at next meeting, the decision which they may have come to in this case. 
The deliverance of the Synod was read to the parties, and agreed to by 

The members of Kirk-session siding with Mr. Black,, 
communicated the resolutions of Synod to their friends,^ 
and requested them to comply with the advice of the 
Superior Court to open the church for public worship. 
They declined to do so, until the award of the arbitrators 
should be made, and sent a letter to Henry McKenzie, the 
session clerk, attempting to justify their refusal. This 
letter, dated June 15th, 1831, was signed by the following 
parsons : — 


W. Porteous, 
Wm. Scott, 
John Fleinin<», 
Jolin Wliitlaw, 
James Scott, 
John Campbell, 
Andrew Watt, 
John Hood, 
Alex. McNider, 
Wm. Wilson, Jr., 
Wm. Lang, 
John Brownlie, 
John Douglas, 
David Ferguson, 
Archibald Ferguson, 
William Leys, 
C. Tait, 
A. Porteous, 
Duncan Currie, 
Wm. Yuile, 
William Gunn, 
Geo. McDougall, 
John Carswell, 
A. Nimmo, 
John Johnston,- 

Wni. Kerr, 
John Porteous, 
William Don, 
Wm. Wilson. 
\V. H. Scott, 
Alex. McNider, 
Hugh Molntyre, 
Wm. McCreadie, 
William Watson, 
J. McKay, 
John Young, 
James Morgan, 
James Spiers, 
Dougald Stewart, 
Archibald Hume, 
Daniel McNab, 
Wm. Robertson, M.D. 
Henry Johnson, 
Alex. Rutherford, 
John Douglas, 
Daniel McGregor, 
Alexander Douglas, 
Duncan McMartin, 
John Brown, 
William White, 

Geo. McKeuzie, 

Geo. McDonald, 

Daniel Scobie, 

Archibald Fletcher, 

Wm. McNider, 

Wm. W'ilsoii, 

Daniel Gorrie, 

James Henry, 

Thomas Mussen, 

Joseph Honey, 

Dugald McLellan. 

Finlay McMartin, 

John Ross. 
John George, 
John Bruce, 
P. Whigham, 

, J. Stephenson, M.D., 
Patrick McGregor, 
George Gray, 
Andrew Small, 
William Glass, 
John Glass, 
Wm. Buchanan, 
James McNider, Jr., 
James INIcNider, Sr. 

While declining to open the church, in conformity with 
the recommendation of the Synod, the writers of the 
letter professed " entire confidence in the integrity of the 
respectable gentlemen, chosen as arbitrators, to settle the 
unfortunate dispute, and willingness to cheerfully ac- 
quiesce in their decision." 

On the 6th of August, the friends and supporters of Mr. 
Esson sent a complaint to the Presbytery of Quebec, under 
whose jurisdiction the congregation had been placed by 
the Synod, that the church was still kept closed by those 
who had taken forcible possession of it, ending with 
this prayer : — 

"That your venerable Court will take such steps as to your wisdom may 
seem meet, for carrying into effect the recommendation of the Very Rev. 


Syncxl, and that you will be pleased to adopt such further measures as 
may seem best calculated to preserve tlie discipline and government of 
the church, and to maintain tlie authority of its judicatories." 

This was signed by the temporal committee, two of the 
elders, and other pew proprietors and members to the 
number of 77 altogether, while to the opposition manifesto 
there were 75 names appended, — showing that the con- 
gregation was about equally divided. The names on this 
memorial correspond, in the main, with those that were 
attached to the memorial of the Synod. The following, 
however, were not on that document : — 

L. Gugy, 
John Dougall, Sr., 
Thomas Campbell, 
Robt. Shedden, 
Geo. R. Land el, 
Alex. Kirk, 
Sam. Leckie, 
William Watson, 
Robert Minnis, 
William McDonald, 
Chas. Windsor, 
Francis Forbes, 
Adam Ferrie, Sr., 
David Glass, 

John Fisher, 
James Potts, 
George Dempster, 
James Rogers i 
James Blackwood, 
Walter Scott, 
Robert Watson, 
James Kean, 
Alex. Anderson, 
P. Scott, Jr., 
James Hadden, 
Samuel Stone, 
H. Walker, 

W M. Peddie, 
Struthers Strang, 
William Gunn, 
Alex. Wilkie, 
Jae. M. Blackwood, 
Norman McHardy, 
William Cole, 
Alex. Dewar, 
Rod'k. McRae, 
Wm. Lee, 
Geo. Rhynas, 
AVilliam N. Lyon, 
J. P. Grant. 

On the 22nd April, 1831, the day on which the election 
of a temporal committee should have taken place, no gen- 
eral meeting of the pew proprietors being possible, owing 
to the church being shut, the committee appointed in 
April, 1830, of necessity remained in office in terms of 
By-law No. 2. William Blackwood, one of the members 
of committee, having died, in the interval, William Peddie 
was appointed in his place by the remanent members. 

The church being still closed, on 5th November, 1831, 
application was made by the temporal committee for the 
use of the Wesleyan Chapel on St. James Street, at such 


hours on the Lord's Day, as it was • ot needed by the 
owners. TheMethodists agreed to give their church on con- 
dition that Mr. Esson and Mr. Blac^k should hold alternate 
services in it. As the committee deemed this condition an 
interference with their business by people outside, they 
declined to take the church on the terms proposed. 

On the 12th of November, they applied to the Trustees 
of the Natic?ial School on Bonsecours Street, for the use of 
that building in which to hold Sunday services, until they 
could regain entrance into the church. The request was 
granted by Dean Bethune, Rev. R. E. Stevens, A. F. 
Atkinson, and Alexander Skakel, the trustees. Accordingly, 
the adherents of Mr, Esson met for worship from Novem- 
ber, 1831, to March, 1832, in the National School-room. 
The building still stands. It w^as occupied twenty years 
ago as barracks for the Impei al troops. In after years, it 
was used as a vinegar factory ; and, recently it has been 
fitted up as a variety theatre. 

On March 10th, 1832, the Court gave judgment in favour 
of the Esson section of the congregation, ordering the 
sheriff to give possession of the church to David Handy- 
side, John Fisher, Walter Peddie, Wm. Shand, George 
Johnston, A. L. McNider, Campbell Sweeney, Robert 
Handyside, and Kenneth Walker, the persons named in 
the indictment as claiming the right of possession. Divine 
Service in the church was resumed on March 25th, 

The four clerical arbitrators, appointed to investigate the 
points in dispute in the St. Grabriel Street Church, came to 
a unanimous finding on May 23rd, 1832. After declaring 
Mr. Esson innocent of the charges affecting his moral 
character, brought against him, and pronouncing Mr. 
Black equally innocent of the accusation of seeking to 
oust Mr. Esson from the church, with which he was 
blamed, on the other hand, the arbitrators went on to 


say that there was much iu the proceedings of Mr. Essou's 
accusers to be coudemued as hostile to the attainment of 
justice and in opposition to those ecclesiastical laws which 
they were solemnly bound to reverence and obey. On 
the other hand, they held that Mr. Esson ought to have 
overlooked the incompetency of the session to decide as 
his judges, according to ecclesistical law, and have used 
means for removing suspicion from the minds of his 
brethren in the session. The following was their award : — 

" That Mr. E.S80ii and Mr. Black do forthwith form separate congrega- 
tions of such as may adhere to each respectively ; that Mr. Esson shall, 
as senior minister, retain exclusive possession of tlie church in St. Gabriel 
Street, provided the proprietors who adhere to him shall purchase from 
the proprietors who adhere to Mr. Black, their i)ew8 at a valuation, to be 
determined, if necessary, by arbitrators mutually chosen, and all the 
records belonging to the church in St- Gabriel Street be given up to Mr. 
Esson, in behalf of a new session to be formed for that church." 

They close their award with craving that the Pres- 
bytery of Quebec may do their part, in giving effect to 
this decision, by acknowledging Mr. Black and his ad- 
herents as a distinct congregation already in full com- 
munion with the church, and admitting them to all the 
rights and privileges flowing from this connection. 

The arbitrators made their report to the Synod at King- 
ston, on August 3rd, 1832. The Synod received the re- 
port and approved ol their award, and instructed them to 
report how far it had been carried into effect. They re- 
ported next day, finding that it had not been carried into 
effect : — 

" The arbitrators regret to inform the Synod, that notwithstanding the 
protestations of parties as to their readiness to comply with the award, 
it appears to the arbitrators that the spirit of parties is such that they 
expect no peaceful termination of all their labours in thi.s painful case. 
Persuaded that nothing which they can do will be of any avail in the 
matter, the arbitrators recommend to the Synod to enjoin the parties to 
settle this dispute in terms of the award with the least possible delay 


M-arninjj them that unless the injunction be foniplied with, tliey will be 
lield to be contumacions, and left to the consequences of their conduct, 

and to the Tribunal of God." 

Whereupon the Synod received and approved the re- 
port, ^nd resolved 'in terms thereof. 

After this, the parties agreed to abide by the award, 
and Messrs. C. J. Forbes, John Frothingham, Thomas B. 
Anderson and Wm. Budden, were appointed, in terms 
thereof, arbitrators to settle the financial questions in- 
volved. These four gentlemen agreed that the congre- 
gation remaining in the church should pay over to the 
individual pew-owners leaving the church the original 
price of their pews with ten per cent added ; and that, on 
the other hand, Mr. Black should surrender all keys, 
books, documents, registers and furniture appertaining to 
St. Gabriel Street Church. 

All parties finally acquiesced in this decision, and thus 
the unhappy business was brought to a conclusion. 

The Presbytery of Quebec, all this time, was perplexed 
and vexed with the St. Gabriel Street Church strife. The 
first difference arose when the Presbytery was formed 
in 1831, over the question whether two clergymen could 
claim a seat, in the Presbytery as representing the same 
congregation. About Mr. Esson's right there was no 
difference of opinion ; the problem affected Mr. Black's 
position only. The ground taken was that unless there 
had been a formal constituting of the congregation as a 
collegiate charge, the Presbytery could admit only one 
minister to a seat. In consequence, Mr. Black was not 
allowed to take his place in the court at first. He 
appealed to the Synod against the action of the Presby- 
tery, and his appeal seems to have been sustained, as he 
afterwards occupied a seat in the Presbytery. 

The next difficulty was as to the commission of Mr. 
James Leslie as representative elder. He had been chosen 


by the minority of the session, consisting' of Mr. Esson, 
Mr. Blackwood and himself. The other four elders had 
not been summoned to the meeting at which the choice 
was made, consequently the commission in Mr. Leslie's 
favour was rejected by the Presbytery. These difficulties 
continued until they were solved by the result of the 
arbitration. There was a little trouble over part of the , 
registers, Mr. Black claiming the right to retain posses- 
sion of those which he had taken out in his own name, 
lor the last two or three years of his connection with the 
St. Gabriel Street Church ; but after some correspondence, 
they were given up to Mr. John Fisher, who had been 
appointed by the four lay arbitrators to receive all the 
papers and documents pertaining to the church from Mr. 

On the 5th of March, 1833, Mr. Esson reported to the 
Presbytery the issue of the arbitration and his concurrence 

. On 26th July, 1833, Mr. Black laid on the table, docu- 
ments to satisfy the Presbytery that he had complied 
with the award in relation to the church of St. Gabriel 
Street ; and also a satisfactory bond of provision for three 
years, for a sum not less than .£150 as salary. And having 
duly considered the same, the Presbytery, in compliance 
with said award, on their part, do hereby acknowledge 
Mr. Black and his adherents, as a distinct congregation 
already in full communion with the church, and admit 
them to all the rights and privileges flowing from this . 
connection. Mr. Black, in consequence, received the 
right hand of fellowship, and his name was added to the 

The Baptist Church, in St. Helen Street, being placed 
at the disposal of Mr. Black's congregation, part of each 
Sabbath, they continued to worship in it until the new 
church which they set about erecting, in the same street. 


was fiui.shwl. It was opened for worship on 24th August, 
1834, under the name of St. Paul's Church, Mr. Bla<;k 
showing his fine business talents and the gentn-al energy 
of his nature, now that they had unrestricted si!ope, iu 
the rapidity with which the enterprize was brought to 
successful completion. 

In order not to be burdensome to his congregation, like 
Paul, he also laboured with his own hands, opening a 
select school in a building alongside the new church. 
He too was an etlicient teacher, and not a few of those 
who afterwards occupied high positions in the profes- 
sional and commercial communities, could trace their suc- 
cess iu life, to the careful training which they received 
at his hands. 

Mr. Black impressed some portion of his own massive 
strength upon the congregation which he organized. The 
distinctive doctrines of Grrace received due prominence 
iu his teaching, and the influence of such preaching con- 
tinued to tell long after he was gone. And now all that 
ever had any connectioL. with the old St. Grabriel Street 
Church are proud to claim that St. Paul's was once an 
integral part of the congregation worshipping therein. 
Dr. Black's able successors have built well upon the 
foundation he laid, and have placed St. Paul's, by their 
talents, zeal and faithfulness, in the front rank of the 
religious forces of the dominion. 

Reviewing the unfortunate controversy that issued in 
the manner described in these pages, from the standpoint 
which we occupy to-day, it has to be acknowledged that 
there were faults on both sides ; but it is also manifest 
that the parties to the controversy were thoroughly in 
earnest, and felt that the highest interests of the congre- 
gation were at stake. It is a new proof how deeply men's 
natures are moved, in spite of all that can be said to the 
contrary, by the supreme concerns of religion. The con- 


Silences of both sidivs were enlisted, and Presl)yterii)nfi 
have always been tenacious of ground covered by con- 
8(nence. On the other hand, the controversy atibrded 
melancholy proof that in the matter of charity and tolera- 
tion, the iirst half of the nineteenth century had not ad- 
vanced beyond the point reached by the Christians of the 
first century. Heat was engendered by differences of 
view even among the apostles. Black and Essou had to 
part as well as Paul and Barnabas. " All's well that 
ends well." The Head of the church, we may be per- 
mitted to believe, allowed the separation of St. Paul's 
from St. Gabriel street for the furtherance of the Gospel. 
God makes the wrath of man sometimes praise Him, 
restraining the remainder thereof 

The reference to this matter would be incomplete, if I 
failed to emphasize the happy termination of the estrange- 
ment between the two ministers and their congregations. 
Mr. Esson and his congregation led the way, to their 
honour be it spoken. In 1839, while St. Paul's Church 
v/as undergoing some necessary repairs, the use of St. 
Gabriel Street Church, half of each Sunday, was tendered 
by Mr. Essou and the authorities of his church, and 
accepted by Dr. Black and his Kirk-sessiou. The next 
advance was more marked. On December 22ud, 1840, the 
following resolution was passed by the session of St. 
Gabriel Street Church : — 

"The session of St. Gabriel Street Church, taking into consideration the 
'4,Teat advantages that would be derived from a public and decided mani- 
festation of the good feeling which they are happy to believe now exists 
between the sieter congregations in this city, in communion with the 
Church of Scotland, beg leave, most respectfully, to communicate to the 
sessions of St. Andrew's and St. Paul's Churches, their unanimous and cor- 
dial desire forthwith to establish and maintain that fellowship and 
co-operation which ought to subsist between them as members of the 
same church. The ministers and session of St. Gabriel Street Church are 
ready, frankly and cordially, to act in conformity with the spirit and tenor 


of tliii reHolutioM, as hchmi ax tlioy sliall iindorsttuid that tlioao HentirnentH 
are n'oiprocattwl by the MiHUtr churches (»f St. Amlrtnv'H and St. I'aul'H." 


Semtm Clerk: 

On D«'r. :i7th, ol' the samo year,' the Kession of St. Paul's 
Church unanimously rusolvod : — 

" That tho HOHsion of St. I'aul'8 Chnn-h receive, with th(< most hoartfelt 
satiHfaction, the conuniinication I'ronj tli(! simHion of St. Ciahriel Stwet 
Church, of said date, and would heg to tender tlieni their innst Krat^iful 
iicltnowl(wlj?ments for tlrHt entertaininK and then makin)^ a propoNition 
whic^h, if carried into ellect, in tlio same ^^en(^rou8 and Christian spirit in 
wliich it has been (;onceived, would Umd most materially to benefit each 
individual congroKtition, and to 8tren;^then and consolidat^^thointtirestsof 
the Church of Scotland in Montreal." 

The result was the appointment oi' a joint committee of 
the thvee sessions that i'ramecl resolutions which were 
heartily adopted, and thu« the Church in the city was 
strengthened by a " threefold cord." 

His Alma Mater conferred upon Dr. Black the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity, in the year 1837. He was the first 
Scotch minister in Montreal to receive this mark of profes- 
sional distinction. 

He, as well as Mr. Esson, took a very prominent part in 
discussing the Clergy Reserves question. Indeed, it was 
a subject with which he was more competent to deal than 
his senior <'olleague; for he was a man of figures, which 
Mr. Esson was not. The latter could discuss principles, 
but got lost when he had to descend to details. When at last 
the rights of the Church of Scotland to participate in the 
revenue from th^ Clergy Reserves was conceded, and the 
Synod had to nominate nine commissioners to manage 
the Scotch Church's share of the income derived from the 
reserved lands, Dr. Black was not only appointed one of 
them, but was made the first convener of the Board. 

Dr. Black's great monument in Montreal to-day is St. 
Paul's Church. But he is otherwise worthily remem- 
bered. Mrs. John Greenshields, his daughter, has long 


otx'upi»'(l a for»> plaro anionic the Christian ladies of 
Montreal, as idcuiititMl with many of the public charities. 
Her sons, Edward IMack (IrcenshifUls, and Samuel Green- 
shields, th«^ heads of thu i^reat dry j^oods house of " JS. 
(^ireenshields. Son »Sc Company, " have inherited much of 
their grandl'ather's energy, as one of thtan inherits his 
name. Mrs. Oswahl, wife of (^olonel Oswald, is another 
of Di. Black's "grandchildren. 

Then, the Rev. William M. Black, the founder ot St. 
Mark's Church, now the Minister of Anwoth, in Scotland, 
the parish of which the Rev. Samuel Rutherford was at 
one tinn; pastor, is l^r. Bla<k's son. And rresbyteriaiusni 
in Montreal is greatly beholden to him, not only for organ- 
izing St. Mark's congregation, and getting its church built, 
and a flourishing Sunday School established, but St. 
Gabriel Street Church owes much to him ; for it was he 
who took hold of the work of rallying a Sabbath School 
when Knox congregation removed from the old edifice, 
and by his diligence and kindly influence, he soon 
gathered together a very promising school. He remained 
pastor of St. Mark's Church until the 11th November, 
18'75, when, upon the death of Rev. Mr. Johnston, of 
Anwoth, his fatbor-in-law, he obtained a presentation to 
that Parish. And a more devoted, conscientious and excel- 
lent minister is not to be found in all broad Scotland, than 
our good Montreal friend, the Rev. "Wm. M. Black, who, 
by-the-way, was baptized by Rev. Henry Esson. Mr. 
Esson and Dr. Black's first relations were most cordial ; 
and during the period the good understanding between 
them lasted, Dr. Black had performed various good offices 
for his colleague, — marrying him, baptizing his children, 
and burying his wife. Their last relations were equally 
cordial ; and when the good understanding between them 
was restored, it w^as fitting that Mr. Esson should recipro- 
cate Dr. Black's former good offices, and baptize his young 


Henry Mc'Kkn/,ik — Norman Hktiu'nk — James i'arhi'fii— .Tohn Brown— Dii. 
WiM.iAM Houi:uTHON— Hon. (iKonc.K Mokkat — A. L. Ma( Nidkk— Dh. 
Rtei'iienhon — AHcmiiAi.n IIi'Mk — Wiii.iam Scx)TT — MctN. 1'kteii 
McGiLL — John Smith --Siit Ilroii — Aiex. Ctlahh — Josbi'ii 
RoHH— Jameh Potts— Charles Bowman— Kenneth I)owie— Doitoai.o 
Htewart — Wii-UAM Kbur — .FoHN Rbdi'atii — John Simphon — Roiieut 
SiMi'BoN — .loHN McKen/ie — HoN. L. (hcJY — AucniiiAi.i) I'ekouhon. 

Heury McKonzie, or Harry, as he is called in family 
documents, was of gentle birth. In his veins ran the 
blood of the Earls of Seaforth, Cromarty, and Kelly, of 
MacLeod of Coigash, of Sinclair of May, as well as of the 
McKenzies of Tarbit, Gairloch, Ardioch, Kippoch, Dun- 
donald and Batone. He was, of course, a North-west trader, 
and came to Canada whih; still a youth ; but he was mostly 
occupied with the work in the head office in St. Grabriel 
Street. "When Mr. Simon McTavish died, he became 
manager of his estate ; and, in company with Jacob Old- 
ham, kept the mills at Terrebonne going, and attended to 
the affairs of the seigniory generally. He also managed 
the affairs of his kinsman, Sir Alexander McKenzie, after 
Ihat gentleman left Canada to reside in England. When 
Joseph Frobisher died, he was placed in charge of his 
affairs also. Having such trusts as these put into his 
hands, by men of ability and discernment, is the best proof 
we could have of Mr. McKenzie's capacity and integrity. 
He was a man of the highest honour, as might be expected 
of one who was under the influence of the law, phrased 
by the French as noblesse oblige. He was a justice of the 


poarc for the (li8tri« t ol'Montr»Mil, and wjvn a ootnmiNsioiU'r 
ior ii(liniiiiHt»'rinii' the oatli to luilt'-pay oflitcrH. 1I»» wan 
president of tlie Fire Kn^int' ('oinpani«'s of the city in 
1M20. Il«' was also a dinM'tor of Ow Montreal Savinjj;.s' 
liank, in 1HI(» and 1H20, and one of tin' charter directors 
of the (li-neral Hospital. 

The first time his name appears on the books of the St. 
Crahriel Street Church was as a subscriber to the funds of 
the conf^rej^atitm in 180!». From that date onwards, he 
was a liberal supporti^r of ordinances, as well as an earnest 
personal worker in the church. He was elected a member 
of the temporal committee in 1816, 1H17, and 18 IS, being 
vice-president the year last named, as he was aijain in 
1822. He was president in the years 1823 and 182.'), Ho 
bought pew No. 27, in the gallery, in 1817. He occupied 
at one time pew 80, along with George Mollat. At a later 
period he owned pews 90 and 01 

He was ordained an elder, March 21st, 1819, and soon 
afterwards was chosen session-clerk, an office which he 
filled until his death. In this capacity, he signed the 
petition to Sir George Murray, regarding the Clergy 
Reserves, in 1829. He took a leading part in thi» afi'airs of 
both the session and congregation. In the controversy 
between Messrs. Esson and Black, he took sides with the 
latter. His name appears first on the letter addressed to 
the temporal committee in 1830, asking them to call a 
meeting to name a special committee to investigate the 
rumours afl:ecting Mr. Esson's character. He took a pro- 
minent part in the action of closing the church, and for 
this he was the first person arrested at the church door on 
Sunday morning, the 6th March, 1832, and brought before 
the magistrates, although he was himself a magistrate. 
He died of cholera on the 28th June, 1832, aged 51 years, 
before the movement to establish St. Paul's congregation 
had commenced. As has been already noted, he married 


Anne Bethuiie, youngest daughter of the founder of the 
Presbyterian Church in the city. Two children survive, 
Mrs. Stow, of Parkdale, Toronto, and Simon McTavish 
McKenzie, who is still a constant worshipper in the St. 
Grabriel Church. 

Norman Bethune, Rev. John Bethune's son, has also been 
already mentioned. He began to contribute to the funds 
in 1810, and continued to do so until the breach occurred 
between the two ministers, in 1829, wheu he left and cou- 
nected himself with Christ Church, of which his brother 
John, was the rector, who was afterwards Dean of Mont- 
real. Norman was a m'ember of the temporal committee 
and its secretary in 1818, 1819 and 1820. He owned pew 
No. 26, in the gallery. His wife was Miss Kittson, of 
Sorel. His son, Norman, is in the North- we«+ Telegraph 
Company's office, Ottawa, and his daughter is the wife of 
T. W. Elliott of this city, cashier in the G-rand Trunk 

James Carsuell or Carswell, as the name is sometimes 
spelt in the records, who was ordained to the eldership at 
the same time as Mr. McKenzie, began life in Montreal as 
a cooper in connection, with Mr. Dobie's store. He was 
married to Mary Powis, by Mr. Somerville, in 1805. He 
afterwards engaged in the grocery businsss, and was in 
partnership with a Mr. Davis, in 1820. Their shop w^as 
in 3 St. Vincent Street. He had only one daughter, and 
she was married to the late Recorder of Montreal, John P. 
Sexton, Esquire, Q.C. 

In 1809, Mr. Carsuell bought pew 77, in the old church. 
He was vice-president of the temporal committee in 1828. 
As an elder he signed the memorial to Sir G-eorge Murray, 
in 1829, claiming the rights of the congregation, as belong- 
ing to the Church of Scotland, to a share in the bounty of 


the Grovernmeut, as well as in the benehts arising- from 
the Clergy Reserves. He seceded from St. G-abriel Street 
Church with the Black party in 1832, and went to form 
the first Kirk-session of St. Paul's Church, on its organiza- 
tion. He died, 23rd July, 1863. 

John Brown was a general merchant in St. Franfois 
Xavier Street. He began to support the church in 1808. 
as a young man, contributing <£! a year. In 1820, he 
was elected a member of the temporal committee. He 
was again chosen to this office in 1821 and 1822, and was 
secretary in 1821. He seceded with Mr. Black to form St. 
Paul's. His son, David, married Miss Wiseley. 

Dr. William Eobertson, who owned pew No. 46, first, 
and afterwards 101, in St. Gabriel Street Church for many 
years, was a leading member of the medical profession, in 
Montreal, from the time of his settling in the city until 
his death, which occurred, 18th July, 1844. He was born 
on his father's estate, Kin Drochet, near Blair Athol, Perth- 
shire, Scotland, on 15th March, ltt4. After completing 
his professional studies, he received the appointment of a 
surgeon to the 49th Eegiment. The transport ship bear- 
ing the regiment to Halifax was wrecked, and he had a 
narrow escape. At Halifax, he made the acquaintance of 
Elizabeth Amelia Campbell, daughter of Sir "William 
Campbell, afterwards Chief Justice of Upper Canada, and 
she subsequently became his wife. He married her, 21st 
January, 1806, and soon afterwards removed with his 
regiment to the Canadas. Dr. Robertson had twelve chil- 
dren. Rev. Dr. Spark of Quebec, baptized one, Rev. James 
Somerville, five. Rev. Dr. Black, five, and one was baptized 
in 1814, by the late Dean Bethune, who was then at Brock- 
ville, while the regiment was stationed at Prescott. Dr. 

Robertson was one of the founders of the medical school, 


which is now the distinguished Medical Faculty of McGill 
College. He was one of the chief promoters, also, of that 
noble charity, the General Hospital. He was one of the 
committee of five gentlemen that superintended its con- 
struction, and was afterwards a leadiog member of the 
stafFof attending physicians. His family have occupied 
the highest positions in the social life of Montreal. His 
son, Duncan Robertson, now of Lachine, married Grace 
Anne Stewart, of Fin Dynate, Perthshire, and has a fine 
family, three sons and one daughter, to perpetuate the 
Robertson name. One daughter of Dr. Robertson is the 
wife of Ferdinand McCulloch, ex-cashier of the City Bank. 
Another, is the widow of the late Hon. John Pangman, — a 
third, is the wife of A. C. Hooper, partner of the firm of 
William Dow & Company, brewers, — a fourth, is the 
wife of Dr. William McDonald, — while a fifth, is Lady 
Cunninghame, of Miln Craig, Ayrshire, Scotland. Dr. 
Robertson took sides with Mr. Black, in the controversy 
between him and Mr. Esson, and seceded with him to 
St. Paul's Church. He lived at 12 St. Gabriel Street. 

The Hon. George Moffatt came to Montreal as a boy of 
thirteen years of age, in 1880, and efltered the counting 
house of Gerrard, Yeowaj-d and Gillespie. He was brought 
up in the Episcopal Church, but when the Christ Church 
Congregation came to worship in the St. Gabriel Street 
Church, he accompanied them, and ever afterwards was 
interested in the Scotch Church. His first subscription 
to its funds was in 1811, and from that date towards, 
until the year 1825, we find him giving it support. In 
the latter year, he occupied pew No. 86, jointly with 
Henry McKenzie. Previously he owned pew No. 1 in 
the gallery. In 1816, he was married to Sophia McRae, 
of St. Johns. He was one of the parties to the calling 
of the meeting to elect the first directors of the Bank 


of Montreal, in 1817. On the 5th November, 1832, 
he was summoned to the Legislative Council of the pro- 
vince. He was the manager of Mr. J. Ogilvy's estate, after 
that gentleman haa withdrawn from business here, and 
had become a commissioner under the treaty of G-hent. 

A mural tablet in Christ Church Cathedral thus com- 
memorates Mr. Moffatt : 

In memory 


Hon. Geo. MoFFArr, 

Born in the county of Durham, 

15th August, 1787. 

After 65 years Residence 

IN Montreal, 

: . Died 25tii February, 1865, t 

In the 78th year of his age, 

A member of the Legislative and Special Council 

of Lower Canada, 

And of tjib Legislative Assembly. 

Adam L. MacNider's connection with the St. Grabriel 
Street Church appears to have begun in 1812. In that year 
his first subscription is acknowledged. Mention has been 
made of him as having married Robert Aird's daughter. 
He was in partnership with his brother-in-law, John 
Aird, as an auctioneer. He also represented the Quebec 
Fire Insurance Company at his office, 50 St. Paul Street. 
He was one of the original members of the corporation of 
the G-eneral Hospital, in 1821. He w^as a director of the 
Savings' Bank in 1819, and of the Bank of Canada in 1820. 
He was a member of the temporal committee of the 
church in 1816 and 1817, and treasurer in 1818, and again 
in 1830, 1831, and 1832. He was President of the com- 
mittee in 1824, and Vice-President in 1825. He was 
also a member of the special committee that raised the 


ofuaranttM' fund for Mr. Esson in 1817 ; and in the 
diflficulties that intervened between the two ministers, 
he 8*^ood by Mr. Esson. He was one of the parties com- 
plaining, in the indi(*tment hiid against the action of the 
elders in 1831 ; and he was appointed by the court on 
the committee of the congregation to receive the opened 
church, from those who had closed it and kept it closed 
for twelve months. 

Mr. MacNider was born at Quebec, 10th September,l778, 
and was married to Rosiua Aird, 12th September, 1812, 
by Rev. James Somerville. He died at Metis, 24th No- 
vember, 1840, and his remains were brought to Montreal 
by his son, John, and laid in the family vault at Outre- 
mont. One of his sons was the late Dr. William MacNider, 
who took a somewhat prominent part in church matters, 
in after years. It was Dr. MacNider w^ho founded the Uni- 
versity Lying-in Hospital. He acted as secretary at the 
annual meeting in 1844, and was chosen a member of the 
temporal committee that year. He sided with Mr. Esson 
in the Free Church He died 17th March, 1840. 
He had married an Edinburgh lady, who returned after 
his decease to her native city, where she still resides and 
takes a deep interest, not in the St. Gabriel Street Church 
alone but in every good work affecting Canada. She has 
for many years had an organized committee at work, 
in Edinburgh, raising funds for the work of French 

Mrs. Shirriff, wife of Dr. ShirrifF, of Huntingdon, Que- 
bec, is one of Mr. A. L. MacNider's daughters. She has a 
large family, and one of her daughters is Mrs. Patterson, 
wife of Rev. James Patterson, city missionary, and clerk 
of the Presbytery of Montreal. 

Dr. Stephenson was a son of John Stephenson, the 
tobacconist, and, as we have seen, he married •; daughter 


of Thomas Torrance. He was associated with Drs. Cald- 
well, Robertson, Holmes and Leodel on the first staff of 
attending physicians and surgeons to the General Hos- 
pital. He had also to do with originating the McGrill 
Medical Faculty. Like Dr. Robertson, he adhered to Mr. 
Black and connected himself with St. Paul's Church. 

Archibald Hume, who owned pew No. 83, in the St. 
(Gabriel Street Church, was one of Mr. Black's partizans, 
who distinguished himself on the occasion of taking pos- 
session of the church early on Sabbath morning, 6th March, 
1831. He was the founder and first proprietor of the 
chandlery and soap manufactory in Jacques Cartier Street, 
afterwards owned by William Christie, and now occupied 
by William Strachan, and seems to have had a full share 
of the perfervidum ingenitim Scotormn. Of course, he adhered 
to Mr. Black when St. Paul's separated from St. Gabriel 
Street. Mr. Hume had to take over a grocery business 
in St. Paul Street, on account of a bad debt, and, as he 
had not much capital, this crippled him. A fire breaking 
out in the dwelling of Mr. T. S. Brown, who occupied 
the flat above the shop, burnt the store, and the ready 
money Mr. Hume got from the Insurance Company set 
him on his feet. He prosecuted the chandlery business 
energetically, became a rich man, and retired to Scotland, 
where he spent the remainder of his days. 

William Scott, who purchased pew 74, formerly the 
property of Donald McPherson, and who continued to 
occupy it till he followed Mr. Black to St. Paul's, was a 
baker, at 29 St. Lawrence Street. His son, William H. 
Scott, who was a merchant at St. Eustache, was a rebel 
in 1887-8, but, like many others who sympathized with 
the political disabilities of the bulk of the people at that 
time, he afterwards took a prominent part in public 


affairs and became an ultra loyal subject. He sat in par- 
liament for the county of Two Mountains, and was a 
staunch supporter of his friend, the late Sir G-eorge Etieuue 
Cartier. James, another son of William Scott, came to 
his death while a student. He had got into an altercation 
with Campbell Sweeney, junior, a young lawyer, and 
captain of Volunteer Cavalry, who belonged to a family 
notedly expert with the pistol. Young Scott had probably 
never fired a shot, but when Sweeney had insulted him, 
he felt bound to challenge him, as the fashion then was. 
Luck favoured him, if skill could not be counted on. He 
wounded Sweeney in the leg. If he had stopped here, 
he might have counted himself a fortunate duellist, but 
those who go in for that sort of thing become reckless. 
He in turn provoked an adversary, now Chief Justice Sir 
William Mei'^dith of Quebec, and, in the encounter which 
followed, received a worse wound in the thigh than he 
had inflicted on Sweeney. He died from the effects of it. 

But it is by the bequests of his daughters, Barbara and 
Anne, that the family name is destined to be perpetuated. 
Anne, w^hen she died 8th January, 1879, left her share of 
the Scott estate to the Trafalgar Institute. This was the 
first money which the trustees of that Institution found 
themselves possessed of, as the Ross bequest consisted of 
real estate, locked up by the conditions of his will. The 
Trafalgar Institute realized $17,600 from Anne Scott's 
one-third of the property descending to her and her two 
sisters, from their father. 

Her sister, Barbara, gave $32,000 out of her estate to 
McGill College, founding the William Scott chair of Civil 
Engineering, in memory of her father. She gave $2,000 
additional for founding a scholarship for Classical Langu- 
ages and Literature, which bears her own name, in the 
same University. 

Another sister, Jane, the youngest of the three, died first 


in 1874. Up till this time, they had been living a solitary 
life, in the old family mansion in Lagaui^hetiere Street, 
their property adjoining that of the General Hospital. 
They had been g-ay and fashionable ladies in their youth, 
accomplished musicians and horsewomen. The death o ' 
their father and their two brothers had the efte<'t of driving 
them into privacy, and for years old friends and acquaint- 
ances lost sight of them, as they denied admission into 
their house to all callers — tax-gatherers and bailitt's among 
the rest. Death, however, could not be kept out, and they 
had to seek the offices of a clergyman. Mr. Black, now 
minister of An wot h, the son of their old pastor, was 
sought out by them, to perform the service on the occasion, 
and he introduced the writer to the surviving sisters 
shortly afterwards. The result was that they were induced 
to break through their solitary habits, at least to the extent 
of going to church ; and they resumed connection with old 
St. Gabriel's, after an absence of above forty years. Their 
home was a veritable hermitage. The furniture was of 
the very finest description, but everything remained in the 
drawing-room as it had been fifty years before. The good 
ladies had considered themselves imposed upon on account 
of their sex, by all parties with whom they had had deal- 
ings, and this made them suspicious and unhappy in their 
intercourse with their fellow-men. Barbara showed her 
gratitude for any little service done her and her family by 
the office-bearers of St. Gabriel Church, by leaving a 
legacy of |2,000 towards procuring a new edifice for 
the congregation. She died, 3rd December, 1880, aged 83 

Among others signing the Memorial to the Presbytery 
to uphold the Synod's action on the Esson-Black difficulty, 
appears the name of James Potts. He was married, 
June 24th, 1831, by Rev. Edward Black, to Elspeth Lillie, 


sister oi' .Taines Lillio, al'torwards a respected elder in St. 
Gabriel Church. Mr. Potts was a mason by trade, and 
died of cholera on June 20th, 1882, aged 28 years. Ho 
must have b<H^n a good man, judging by the devotion 
to his memory shovs'n by his widow, who, till her 
death, on 20th May, 1883, never ceased to mourn lor him. 

Charles Bowman, who was elected a member of the tem- 
poral committee, in 1819, and re-elected in 1820 and 1821, 
being vice-president in 1820, was the head of the mercan- 
tile firm of Bowman and Smith, his partner being John 
Smith, the father of the late Lady Allan, of "the late Mrs. 
Andrew Allan, and the late Mrs. J. G. Bellhouse. Mr. 
Bowman opened a business, and established mills, near 
Port Darlington, in Upper Canada, and out of this little 
beginning has grown up the important town, Bowman- 
ville, called after him. 

Alexander Glass, who was a member of the temporal 
committee in 1824 and 1825, was the senior of the firm, 
Alexander and Lawrence Glass, grocers, 38 St. Paul street. 
He was absent from Canada in February, 1826, and 
Andrew Whit > replaced him on the committee. He was 
a strong sympathiser with Mr. Black, and accompanied 
him to St, Paul's. 

John Simson, who was treasurer in 1827, 1828, and 
1829, was a merchant of good standing, but of retired 
habits, who late in life married a French-Canadian girl. 
Mademoiselle Barron. In the difficulty between the 
ministers, he took sides with Mr. Esson. 

Joseph Ross, elected a member of the temporal com- 
mittee, in 1823, was a grocer at 2 St. Joseph Street. He 
M'as the uncle of Mr. T. B. Ross, the late Joseph M. Ross, 
and of Mrs. Whitehead. He was a member of the com- 


mittee that j^uaranteed Mr. Black's malary for the first two 
years of his pastorate ; and, as was to be expected, he 
attached himself to Mr. Black in the day of trouble, and 
seceded with him to St. Paul's Church. 

Robert Simpson, who was a member of the temporal 
committee in the years 1827, 1828, 1820, 1830, 1831 and 
1832, was the senior partner of the firm of Simpson and 
Mclntyre, prominent merchants of the city. Malcolm 
Mclntyre, the junior member of the firm, was from Cal- 
lander, Perthshire. Scotland, uncle of Robert Mclntyre, 
ex-M. P. for the county of Renfrew, Ontario. Mr. Simpson 
was born at Malta, and came to Montreal about 1822. He 
occupied pew No. 1, in the St. Gabriel Street Church, 
and, after his departure from the city, it continued in the 
possession of his nephews, G-eorge and John Rhynas. Mr. 
Mclntyre, his partner, havin*( died in the cholera epidemic, 
in 1832, Mr. Simpon removed to Quebec. He sympa- 
thized with Mr. Esson, in the controversy between the two 
ministers ; but it showed the estimation in which he was 
held by all the pew-holders, as a gentleman from whom 
only fair play was to be expected, th;^^ when there was a 
strife between the two parties to gain the ascendancy in 
the temporal committee, in 1830, Hon. Peter McGill, as re- 
presenting the Black sympathizers, and he as representing 
the party siding with Mr. Esson, were chosen unanimously 
as members of the committee, Mr. McGill, president, and 
he, secretary. He left the city, however, before the final se- 
paration of St. Paul's Congregation took place. On the 8th 
June, 1832, the temporal committee placed the following 
minute upon their record : — 

" Mr Robert Simpson handed in his resignation as secre- 
tary and member of the committee, in consequence of 
changing his residence to Quebec, which was received 
with regret, as that gentleman had for a long period dis- 


char<;^«!d tli;^ duty of Hecretary, in a very .sati.sta»tory maiiiuM-, 
and mootini^ with the «*utir«' approbation ot'tht» propriotorn. 
at their annual meetiu«y. who aj^ain unanimously 
re-appointed him. His ahsenoe, therefore, will deprive 
the committee of a most elHcient member, and the church 
of a zealous friend, and one of its liberal supporters." 

William Kerr, whose name appears second ou the list 
of those members of St. Gabriel Street Church that de- 
clined to accede to the recommendation of the Synod, iu 
1881, to open the church, was a prominent merchant of 
Montreal. It was in his office that the late Sir Hugh 
Allan received his first business training. He was a 
member of the temporal committee in 1827. He was 
appointed an elder in St. Paul's Church, 31st May, 1830. 
He died, 8th April, 1842. Robert Kerr, accountant in 
this city, is his sou. His daughter was the wife of the 
late John Henry Evans, hardware merchant. 

Gi-eorge McKenzie, the third ou the list of recusants 
against the Synod's recommendation, was an innkeeper, 
at 9 St. Louis Street, Old Market, in 1820. He bought pew 
No. 89 ou 28th December, 1816. He was also ordained 
elder in St. Paul's Church at the same time as Mr. Kerr. 

John Bruce, who long kept a school on McG-ill Street, 
afterwards on St. Henry Street, was also ordained an elder 
iu St. Paul's Church on the same day as Mr. Kerr. He 
afterwards became a school inspector for the province. 
He died at Lachute, 19th January, 1866. He was one of 
the persous to whom the temporal committee, during the 
years from 1830 to 1832, refused to give titles to pews, 
although the highest bidders at the auctions, at which 
the pews were put up for sale. 

Dougald Stewart was also denied the deed of the pew 


which was kuofkcd down to him by th«> auftioii^pr iu 
l'\>hruary, 18-'U. It was givoii by the tt»niporal comiiiittee 
rath«'r to Walter M. P»'ddie. Mr. Stewart was a native 
of Callander, Perthshire. S(^otland. He rarac to this city 
in 1810, and established a dry goods business, in 
which he greatly prospered. In the long controversy 
between the Esson and Black parti»'s, iu the St. Gabriel 
Street Chun-h, he adhered to the latter, aud accompanied 
them into St. Paul's. On the 28th December, 1845, he 
was ordained an elder in the church. He took a pro- 
minent part iu founding the " Lay Association of Mont- 
real," a society of gentlemen belonging to the Church of 
Scotland in Montreal, that did excellent service in its day 
to that branch of the Presbyterian Chun^h — among other 
enterprises publishing the Presbf/tenan, the organ of the 
Presbyterian Chur«.h of Canada, in connection with the 
Church of Scotland, from 1848 to the date of the union, 
iu 1875. Mr. Stewart was one of its vice-presidents. He 
died at Montreal. 25th January, 1852, in the 5oth year of 
his age. Rev. Robert McG-ill, D.D., then Pastor of St. 
Paul's Church, preached a suitable discourse the Sabbath 
after his death, and alluded to Mr. Stewart's many ad- 
mirable qualities, especially the exemplary regularity of 
his attendance in the House of God, aud the fidelity w^ith 
which he performed the duties of an elder in the district 
of the congregation allotted to him. 

Robert Mclntyre, who was married to Mrs. Stewart's 
niece, succeeded to Mr. Stewart's business, and the well 
known house of Mclntyre, Son and Company has grown 
out of it. 

William Leys, dealer in groceries, was another of the 
prominent supporters of Mr. Black throughout the trou- 
bles from 1829 to 1833, who was refused a pew by the 
temporal committee. He naturally followed the party with 


whom ho Kympathizcd into the new entorpvizo ol" build- 
ing St. raul'H. 

George (Iruy, upholHterer, was anoth»'r of tho aftivo 
I'riendH of Mr. Black, whf) afterwards wa.s a hearty 8up- 
j)orter of St. PaulV ('hurch. IUh daughter married John 
Grant of the milling firm, " (Jrant, Hall and Company," 
for some years vice-president and afterwards president of 
the City Bank, and survives her husband, who died in 1882. 

George McDonald, a memb«^r of the firm of James 
M< Donald and Company, merchants, was also regarded 
with disfavour by the temporal committee, and denied 
the possession of a pew which he bought. He was after- 
wards chosen an elder in St. Paul's Church, and ordained 
28th December, 1845, In his later days he was in the 
office of Wm. Dow and C^orapany as manager. He died, 
20th November, 18G9. 

David Ferguson, of the firm of A. and D. Ferguson, 
coopers, had obtained a pew from the temporal committee 
in February, 1831, so that they must have regarded him 
with less suspicion than some of the other Black sup- 
porters. He purchased pew No. 45. But he afterwards 
seceded with the St. Paul's people. He and his brother 
Archibald threw themselves into the Free Church move- 
ment, in 1844. He was one of the committee of twelve 
that founded Cote Street Church, and was ordained an 
elder in it. He has lived to see the scattered fragments 
of Presbyterianism in this country re-united, and the blue 
banner of the covenant borne aloft throughout the 
Dominion. One of the joys of the centennial services in 
the old church in March, 1886, was the presence at 
the communion of Mr. Ferguson, with his venerable, 
white, flowing locks, and other aged saints ripening for 
the kingdom, some of whom have since gone home. 


Thf Hon. TiOuiM (In^y, who proHidccl jit tin- Np^'inl 
rn«^«'tiiii( of the connn'i^-ation on the 2.')th .Tiinuiiry, 1H:J0, 
(iilli'd hy tht' ti'Miporal fonuniltt'o t()<l«Mil witli I lu» < hiirgos 
l)roui«"ht iiyiiinst Mr. Iil.s.son, i nd who as a pn)pri«U()r al«o 
took part a< thf annual nnM'tin«»', in April. IS.l'J. was. 
lik»' trt'n«»ral Ilaldiinand, n Swiss ollicor who dio-s*' th»» 
Ht»rvini of Great Britain. He had Ikhmi shorilF of Thrt»e 
Rivt»rs, and .vhcn tho shrievalty of Montreal becamo 
vacant, he was promoted to it. The noted Colonel Bar- 
tholomew (Jriigy was his son. 

John Smith was a meml)er of the St. (Jabriel Street 
Church from 1811 to 1881. Jfe was a member of the 
temporal committee in 1827, 1828 and 1829. He was 
secretary to the committee the two first years mentioned. 
He owned pew !>»), in the <'hurch. Mr. Smith -was a 
native of Athelstaneford, Haddinu^ton-shire, Scotland, and 
came to this <'Ountry ({uite a youth. He entered into 
])artnership in the dry goods business with Charles Bow- 
man ; and wlien that gentleman removed to Ui)per Ca- 
nada, Mr. Smith found himself embarrassed for want of 
capital. However, obtaining a settlement, he resumed 
business, and succeeded in a few years in acquiring a 
competency. He retired from ai^tive life about 1844, and 
built the hue house on St. Alexander Street, in which he 
died on 2nd March, 1872, and whi( h was afterwards 
occupied by Rev. Gavin Lang. His wife, Betsey Rea, 
died, 18th May, 1878. He was one of the original mem- 
bers of the St. Andrew's Society, and to the last took a 
deep interest in its work. He was one of the first nine 
commissioners for the management of the Clergy Reserves, 
chosen by the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of 
Canada, in connection with the Church of Scotland, in 
1842. He was one of the trustees of the new St Andrew's 
Church, appointed in 1849. After a long connection with 


that chimh, he joined St. Paul's in his later years, and 
died in communion with that congregation. 

Mr. Smith sympathized with Mr. Esson in the attacks 
to which he was exposed ; and seconded a motion of" a 
vote of thanks to Hon. Mr. C-rugy for presiding at the 
meeting at which Mr. Esson was called to vindicate him- 
self. But he got so wearied and disgusted with the 
protracted strife, that he took himself off from the church 
altogether, and joined St. Andrew's Church. 

One of his daughters became Lady Allan ; another, the 
wife of Andrew Allan, his brother ; a third, the wife of 
J. Gr. Bellhouse, of Bellhouse and Dillon ; and a fourth, 
the wife of Hartland S. Macdougall, 

Kenneth Dowie, who was appointed treasurer of the 
congregation in April, 1823, was partner of Hon. Peter 
McG-ill, while he was known by his original name of Peter 
McCutcheon. They were general merchants, of high 
standing. Mr. Dowie was an admirer of Mr. Black, and 
had become one of the guarantors of that gentleman's 
stipend for two years from the date of his ordination in 
1828. Shortly after this, he left Canada, and began a com- 
mission business in Liverpool, England, dealing in Cana- 
dian products, and amassed a large fortune. 

John McKenzie, who owned pews No. 3 and 92, in the St. 
Gabriel Street Church, was partner oi the old mercantile 
firm, Hector Russel and Company, afterwards known as 
Russel and McKenzie. He was a native of Tarbat, Ross- 
shire, Scotland. As has been already noted, he married 
' Duncan Fisher's fourth daughter, Nancy, Januar/ 31st, 
. 1822. With many others, he left the Scotch Church, St. 
Gabriel Street, at a period of strife in the congregation, 
and afterwards joined the St. Andrew's Church. His 
daughter, Catherine Elizabeth, was married to Rev. Dr. 
Mathieson, on the 30th July, 1840. by Rev. Henry Esson. 
His daughter, Nancy, became the wife of Robert Esdaile, 

383 , 

and survives. Mr. MoKenzie lived to the ripe age of 83 
years, and died on November 2itth, 1873. 

The Hon. Peter McGill also seceded from St. Gabriel 
Street with the Black party. It was on a visit to him, au 
old school-fellow, Mr. Black was when he became known 
to the St. Gabriel Street Congregation. And Mr. McGill's 
adherence to the St. Paul's Church cause was a tower of 
strength to it. He was, perhaps, the most popular Scotch- 
man that has ever lived in Montreal. He enjoyed the confi- 
dence and respect of all ranks and conditions of men. His 
fellow Scots bore to him an enthusiastic attachment. This 
was seen in the fact that he was chosen as the first presi- 
dent of the St. Andrew's Society, in 1835, and was elected 
to the same high dignity, as they esteemed it, on eight 
subsequent occasions. The general regard in which he 
was held was shown by his being made the first mayor of 
Montreal, under the new constitution, in 1840. He held 
the office for three consecutive years. He made the first 
application for sanction to organize a volunteer force for 
the protection of the city, on 10th November, 1837, at the 
time of the rebellion. 

His father belonged to Newton Stewart, in Galloway, 
Scotland, but he himself was born at Cree Bridge, Wigton- 
shire, in August, 1789, and came to reside in Montreal 
when he was twenty years old. He was first in the em- 
ploy of the firm, Parker, Gerard, Ogilvie & Co., and after- 
wards became a partner in the business of Porteous, 
Hancox, McCutcheon and Cornigan The last style of his 
firm was Peter McGill & Co., Mr. Dunn being his partner. 
His mother's name was McGill, and when his uncle, the 
Hon. John McGill of Toronto, made Peter his heir on con- 
dition of his assuming the name of his mother's family, 
he consented ; and is better known to history as Hon. 
Peter McGill. He occupied a prominent place in the com- 


mertial community. FromlH34to ISOO, he was president 
of the Bank oi' Montreal. He was also a director of the 
Grand Trunk Railway, as he was chairman, indeed, of the 
first railway company in Canada, the 8t. Lawrence and 
Champlain. He was a governor of the Montreal General 
Hospital, as well as president of the Montreal Auxiliary 
Bible Society. He was the lirst president of the Lay 
Association of Montreal, consisting of the prominent 
members of the Church of Scotland in the city, who were 
banded together to promote the welfare of the Church 
throughout the country. He was appointed a member of 
the Legislative Council of the Province on the loth 
November, 1832, and was called to the Legislative Council 
of United Canada by Lord Sydenham, 11th May, 1841. 
He was offered the position of Speaker of the Legislative 
Council by Lord Metcalfe in 1843, but declined it. He 
was induced to become a member of the Executive Council 
under Lord Elgin, in 1847, but he resigned the position iu 
1848, during the hot discussions regarding the Rebellion 
Losses Bill. His resignation added immensely to his 
popularity with his fellow Scots, and, indeed, with the 
entire British portion of the community — all the more 
that he was well-known to be a liberal iu politics. He 
was at one time Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of 
Freemasons of Canada. He was a governor of McGill 
College, as well as a trustee of the Church's University 
of Queen's College, at Kingston. He was ordained an 
elder of St. Paul's Church, December 28th, 1845. He 
was one of nature's noblemen. Possessing a massive 
frame, and endowed with physical as w^ell as mental 
energy, he was such a man as would be chosen a leader 
in any circumstances ; and he left behind no memories 
that were not blessed. 

Another gentleman, who subsequently filled a large 

385 • 

place in the city and country, attended the St. Gabriel 
Street Church, for several years prior to the secession oi' St. 
Paul's congreg-ation. This was Hugh Allan, afterwards 
Sir Hugh, the head of the great shipping firm of H. &; A. 
Allan. He was a regular worshipper in the church from 
1820 onwards, although he was not a communicant, as he 
was only a lad at the time. Born at Saltcoats on the 
Ayrshire coast, Scotland, the son of a ship captain, it was 
as natural for him to become associated with the sea as it is 
for a duck to take to the water. But his first thought was 
commerce in its more restricted sense, and so he entered 
the employ of William Kerr, merchant of this city, on his 
arrival in Canada in 1826. He was afterwards a clerk in 
the firm of Millar, Parlane and Company. In this estab- 
lishment, he got into his right sphere, for they were ship- 
owners, as well as general commission merchants. His 
presence in the concern was soon felt ; his was an ability 
that could not be hid, and a partnership followed, as a 
matter of course. The firm developed into Millar, Edmon- 
stone & Company, — Edmonstone, Allan & Company, and, 
finally, H. & A. Allan, and Sir Hugh became one of the 
lords of the sea. But besides creating one of the largest 
fleets in the world. Sir Hugh was identified with innu- 
merable land enterprises. The Merchants Bank owed its 
existence to him, and he was long its president. He was 
the president, and the controlling spirit of the Montreal 
Telegraph Company, He was president of the Montreal 
and Ontario Navigation Company ; of the Montreal Ware- 
housing Company, and of numerous other joint-stock 
concerns. The commerce of Canada owes more to him 
than to any other single citizen of the country. His con- 
nection with any enterprize seemed to guarantee its suc- 
cess. He had a surpassing intellect, swiftly working as 
it was clear. Energy was stamped on every feature of the 
man. There was no such elastic step in Montreal as that 


of Sir Hugh. Every mowmeut of his body bespoke the 
abounding vitality and vigour of this merchant prince. 
There was courage in his mien. It said as plainly as 
words: *' What man dare. I dare." It was, therefore, 
characteristic of Sir Hugh that he should wish to have his 
name associated with the greatest undertaking of the age, 
laying a railway across this continent on Canadian soil. 
But it was not so to be ; this great work was destined to 
be achieved by younger, though not less capable fellow- 
countrymen of his. Work was a positive enjoyment to Sir 
Hugh, as, indeed, there seemed to be no limit to his 
capacity for it- Yet his activity came to a very abrupt 
conclusion. His end was pathetic — he was found by his 
son, dead in his apartment, in Sir Houston Boswell's 
Edinburgh residence, his head leaning upon his hand, 
and lying over a half written letter. He died in harness, 
as such a man ought. The busy brain had drawn too 
largely upon the heart's force, and it ceased to beat. 

Sir Hugh Allan was a consistent Scottish Churchman 
throughout his long and brilliant career, although his 
father belonged to the Burgher Church. Young Hugh cast 
in his lot with the congregation representing the Church 
of Scotland on his arrival in the city. In after years, no 
name was more prominent in connection with the Boards 
of the Church of Scotland than his, although he was not 
an elder. He did a large amount of routine work for the 
Synod, and did it thoroughly well. He w^as a long time 
treasurer of the French Mission Fund of the Church. 
He was an active member of the Lay Association, and at 
one time its President. 

It was in connection with the administration of the 
Clergy Reserves, however, that he did the most import- 
ant service for the church, — as secretary of the Board 
of Commissioners. And when the Government paid oif 
the ministers and the latter resolved to throw the pro- 


ceeds of (•ommutatioii into a commou fund. Sir Hugh 
was chosen a member of the Temporalities' Board, and, 
after the death of Mr. Thomas Patou, its chairman, a posi- 
tion which he filled until the union, in 187o. Although 
later in life, when he had so many important trusts de- 
pending upon him, he did not give so much of his time 
and thought to ecclesiastical affairs, as he did while still 
a younger man with fewer cares ; yet he deserves to be 
remembered by the church with gratitude for the cheerful 
and efficient service which he rendered in this connec- 
tion. He retained his affection for the churi^h of his 
country. At a Synod breakfast in the St. Lawrence Hall, 
in 1870, at which Sir Hugh presided. Rev. Dr. Cook of 
Quebec, who had long been associated with the great 
shipowner in church matters and appreciated his ad- 
mirable qualities, spoke in terms of high praise of Sir 
Hugh's fidelity to the religious traditions of his country, 
when so many in like circumstances were tempted to 
forsake them. The only chapter in his career which was 
to be regretted opened in 1873 ; during* the heat of an 
election, he departed from Presbyterian traditions by ad- 
dressing political meetings on the Lord's day. It was in 
connection with this campaign that he spent so many 
thousands of dollars in the places where they " would 
do most good," to use his own phrase, in order to c^rry 
into parliament, members favourable to the construction 
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, by a company of which 
he was president. From this time forward, too, he no 
longer favoured the union of the Presbyterian churches 
in Canada, although he had previously thought it was 
the statesman-like thing to aim at ; and his opposition to^ 
the scheme was deemed to be owing to the sharp criti- 
cism, passed upon his connection with the political 
campaign of 1873, by certain newspapers supposed to 
voice the sentiments of the Canada Presbyterian Church 


of the period. However, although 8ir Hugh did not 
enter the Presbyttirian Church in Canada, he did not do 
anything personally to embarrass the work of the united 
church. His name remained on the trust of Queen's 
College, as well as on the Temporalities' Board, long after 
1875, but he did not attend the meetings, and gave notice 
that he was not going to offer any factious opposition to 
what was done by these bodies under the new conditions. 
Sir Hugh received the honours of knighthood at the 
hands of Her Majesty the Queen, in 1871. This was a 
recognition, not only of the important service which he 
had rendered to the British empire in various ways, but 
especially of the attention which he had been privileged 
to pay to His Royal Highness, Prince Arthur, while 
resident in this city in 1869 and 1870. The knight of 
Ravenscrag will long be pointed to as one who from a 
humble beginning was able, by industry, foresight, and 
the practice of sobriety, to achieve distinction, and amass a 
colossal fortune. Lady Allan pre-deceased her husband 
by about twelve months. His son, Hugh Montagu Allan, 
is now the proprietor of Ravenscrag. The most of Sir 
Hugh's other twelve children are already settled in mar- 

John Redpath, who had a more or less intimate con- 
nection with the St. Gabriel Street Church from 1818 to 
1833, was a large man every way. His rugged frame 
enshrined a mind of stalwart proportions. Behind his 
shaggy eyebrows, lay a far-seeing eye. He was destined 
to play an important part especially in the ecclesiastical 
aifairs in Canada. Civilly he was also influential, and 
was a member of the City Council from 1840 to 1843, but 
he had the taste for church matters that distinguishes 
many of the best of Scotia's sons. He had decided eccle- 
siastical leanings, and in this respect, as well as in several 


other points, he was not unlike Hugh Miller. Mr. Red- 
path was born at Earlston, Scotland, in 179t>. He was left 
early an orphan, and alter learning his trade came to 
Canada in 181«). From that date till his death he resided 
chieliy in Montreal ; although, when carrying out large 
contracts elsewhere, he was necessarily a good deal out of 
town during his early career. 

He was a stone-mason, and he was a good one. He 
carried his consc.ience with him into everything he did. 
He did a good deal of work for the chun^h at various 
times, as the accounts show. A capable man like him, 
who was more than a mere worker in stone and mortar, 
was sure to make his mark in a new country like Canada. 
He was em rusted with large undertakings, because he 
had successfully managed small ones. A contract on the 
Lachine Canal, well fulfilled, made him a reputation for 
energy and capacity that led to other profitable contracts ; 
and Mr. Redpath became a rich man. His co-partnership 
with Hon. Thos. McKay has already been noticed. It 
fell to him to superintend the construction of the locks 
at Jones' Falls, as Mr. McKay had those at Bytown in 

After retiring from the building business, he became 
identified with many of the most important comm'erial 
enterprises of the city. For 35 years he was a director 
of the Montreal Bank, and became vice-president after 
the death of Hon. Peter McGill. He was a prominent 
shareholder in the Montreal Telegraph Company, a 
partner in what is now the Richelieu and Ontario Navi- 
gation Company, — and had a large interest in mines in the 
Eastern Townships ; and he started the first sugar refin- 
ing establishment in Canada, — the great works at the 
St. Grabriel Locks, that bear his name. 

He was married to Janet Macphie on the 19th of Dec- 
ember, 1818, by Rev. James Somerville, and his two eldest 


children were baptized by the same j^entleman, — Betsey, 
in 1819, and Peter, (who waK born let of August, 1821), 
on 12th September following. Mr. Blaek, while connected 
with the St. G-abriel Street Church, baptized Mr. Redpath's 
three daughters, Mary, Jane and Helen. 

Mr. Redpath held very firmly by the Puritan theology; 
consequently, he never sympathized with Mr. Esson. He 
gave his hearty support, however, to Mr. Black, and went 
with him into St. Paul's. He became a zealous worker in 
the new congregation ; took charge of the Sabbath School 
as superintendent, and was ordained an elder at the same 
time as John Bruce, Wm. Kerr and George McKenzie, on 
the 31st May, 1835. 

' "When the reverberation of the Scottish Church disrup- 
tion movement reached the shores of Canada, Mr. Redpalh 
heartily espoused the cause of the non-intrusionists ; and 
wishing to be quite free to maintain his convictions, he 
resigned the superintendency of the St. Paul's Sabbath 
C^chool and his eldership in the congregation, on the 80th 
of January, 1844. and his resignation was accepted, with 
every feeling of regret at losing so energetic a worker, by 
the session and congregation. Mr. Redpath returned to 
the St. Grabriel Street Church, during the few months that 
intervened between his leaving St. Paul's and the disrup- 
tion in Canada, because he found that Mr. Esson and 
the majority of his congregation occupied common ground 
with him on the questions involved in the Free Church 
controversy. His falling in with the St. Gabriel Street 
Church w^as, however, only temporary. The spiritual 
atmosphere there did not quite suit him, and his mind 
was made up not to be content with its provision. Gather- 
ing around him a band of kindred spirits, the Free Church 
Committee of twelve was formed, the other eleven being 
James R. Orr, David Ferguson, Archibald Ferguson, Archi- 
bald McGoun, James Morrison, William Hutcheson, Alex- 


ander Fraser, Donald Frasor, William Bethuno, Evandor 
Mclvor and William Mcintosh. To these original twelve 
were afterwards added, James Court, Joseph McKay and 
Adam Stevenson. They resolved to have a new congrega- 
tion organized that would, as they regarded the matter, 
adequately represent the reWved spiritual life of the Free 
Church, as well as its merely political views. The result 
was a sharp collision between Mr. Redpath, as convener 
of the committee of twelve, and Mr. Esson and the St. 
Gabriel Street congregation. In vain did Mr. Esson resign 
his charge ; in vain did the congregation revise the consti- 
tution of 1804; in vain did all the elders of St. Gabriel 
Street session offer to resign, in order that matters in the 
church might be brought as much as possible into line 
with the views and sentiments of the Free Church. Mr. 
Redpath and his associates were inexorable, and the Depu- 
ties sent out by the Free Church to promote the cause in 
the city and surrounding country, as well as Dr. Robert 
Burns, who settled in Toronto, and was guiding the 
movement in Canada, after mature deliberation coincided 
with them. This exasperated the St. Gabriel Street con- 
gregation, — the people thinking that, considering the con- 
cessions which they had made and the risks they had 
taken, in joining the Presbyterian Church in Canada, they 
deserved a different treatment at the hands of the Free 
Church leaders. 

Cote Street Church was built, a congregation was 
speedily formed, under the able and attractive preaching 
of Messrs. Bonar, Arnott, Somerville and others. Members 
were drawn from every Presbyterian Church in the city, 
and some from even other denominations. Both congrega- 
tions w^ere recognized by the Presbytery and Synod ; but 
it was a long time before the sore in the hearts of the St. 
Gabriel Street people, created by the establishment of a 
rival church in Cote Street, was healed ; and, of course, 


Mr. Kt'dpalh, whose Htrong will, it was known, hiid largely 
g-ovonicd tho situation, came in for a iull measure of the 

iJut it was not in this affair alone that Mr. Redpath 
showed insight, vigour and determination. Th«' remark- 
able sutu ess of the Presbyterian Chun-h of Canada owes 
not a little to his statesmanlike grasp of all the great ques- 
tions that came })efore its supreme court, of which he was 
almost always a member. Many monuments of his energy 
and wisdom remain, besides his magnificent residem^e of 
Terrace Bank. It is enough to speak here of one of them, 
the Presbyterian College, Montreal. The following sketch 
of the origination of this institution, which has contrib- 
uted so much to strengthen the Presbyterian cause in the 
city and district, and which may be looked at as one of 
the most remarka])le outgrowths of the first century of 
Presbyterianism in Montreal, is taken from the " Presby- 
terian College Journal." for December, 1885. It shows how 
much of the splendid success of this school of the prophets 
is due to the foresight, and strong will of Mr. Redpath: — 

" On a cold, frosty evening in January, 1864, a few 
friends met in the drawing-room of Terrace Bank, at the 
invitation of the late Mr. John Redpath, to consider the 
propriety of instituting a Thelogical Seminary in Montreal, 
in connection with the Canada Presbyterian Church. 
Those present were Revs. D. H. MacVicar and A. F. Kemp, 
Princii)al Dawson, and Messrs. John Redpath, Joseph 
Mackay, Laird Patou, George Rogers, Warden King, and 
John Stirling, — two ministers and seven laymen. The 
very decided preponderence of the latter in this initial 
meeting seemed to foreshadow the place which the institu- 
tion has ever since held in the confidence and esteem of the 
people, and the hearty and generous support which they 
have accorded it." 

" No minutes of this conference appear to have been 


kept, and ovon the piv( ise diil*' of it cannot bo nsccrtainod. 
l)Ut a conunittco waM apj)oint»»d to i)r«»pare an outline of 
what was agreed upon to l)o Hulmiitted to a large meeting;, 
to l>e hehl on the 9th of February, in the house of Mr. John 
('. 13«M'ket, IJrun.swi'k Street. At this date, a consideral)!*' 
number of leading- Presbyteiians assembled. Mr. Kedpath 
was called to the chair, and Principal l);ivvson presented 
the report of the committ«'e appointed at the iirst i)riv'ate 
conference. A spirit of unanimity and Christian enthu- 
siasm pervad«»d the meeting, and the whole matter was 
considered in a thoroughly practical and business-like 
manner. It was unanimously agreed to go forward. The 
necessity and benelits of such an institution as was con- 
templated were felt to be paramount. Diificulties arising 
from iinance or from the possibility of unreasonabh» oppo- 
sition from any (juarter were not overlooked ; ]>ut it was 
resolved that thev must be faced and overcome bv faith in 
(rod, and an unyielding determination to make known 
His gospel. It was clearly apparent to all that the number 
of ministers and missionaries required to l)e greatly 
increased in order to meet the wants of the Church 
and mission fields, specially in the province of Quebec, 
('entral Canada and the Ottawa valley. The spiritual 
destitution of these regions demanded immediate atten- 
tion. Their peculiar claims upon our w^ealthy and gener- 
ous citizens w^ere readily acknowledged, while it was not 
forgotten that ' the iield is the world,' and that the pro- 
posed institution should in no sense be local in its scope, 
or limited in its influence to one territory." " 

" So far the w^ay seemed open and the prospect ])right 
and promising. The committee was accordingly instructed 
to perfect its report and have it ready for presentation to 
a public meeting of the three city congregations, viz. : 
Lagauchetiere Street Church (now Erskine). St. Gabriel 
Street Church, and Cote Street Church ( now Crescent 


Street). THIh m«'<'tinK-, whifh wuh a lull jind ♦MithusirtHtio 
ono, waH held in Cot^? Street Chunh, with Mr. U«»(lpath iii 
the chair. What had been considered and decided in the 
private conl'erenc*^ referred to was nioHt cordially approved, 
and steps were taken to brin^ the matter before the Pres- 
bytery of Montreal. This bein^ done, the Presbytery 
resolved with perfect unanimity to submit the proj)osal, 
in the usual way. to the Synod at its meetin*^ in June in 
Cooke's Church, Toronto." 

" Dr. Taylor and Mr. MacViiar were appointed to support 
the overture })efort^ the Synod. They did so, and were 
ably aided on the lloor of the house by Warden Kin«j and 
others, who ur^^'d the necessity of immediate action being 
taken. After the matter w.. . carefully considered in a large 
committee and in open Synod, it was linally agreed, on 
motion of Mr. Drummond, s(H'onded by Mr. Chambers : — 

"That the Synod sanction the formation of a Theological 
College, as craved by the Presbytery of Montreal, and that 
for this purpose, that Presbytery be authorized to prepare 
and obtain a charter, mutatis mutandis, similar to that of 
Knox College, and to report to next Synod." 

" Thus the enterprise received the public imprimatur of 
the Supreme Court of the Church, which took it from that 
time forth under its care and entire control." 

Mr. Kedpath did not live to see the enterprise com- 
pleted, w^hich he had thus helped to launch ; but the 
Presbyterian College will alw^ays stand as a monument 
both of the cdurage and wise churchmanship of him and 
his colleagues at that little meeting at Terrace Bank. His 
name has been since fittingly associated with the institu- 
tion by the forming of the John Redpath Scholarship, and 
the John Redpath chair in the College, by his respected 
widow. ; ;i , 

Pie took a deep interest in all the great public charities 
of the city. He was for a long time chairman of the 


rominittoo ot inaiiapcTiU'nt of tho G»'n»'ral IIoKpitnl, and 
iinally, prosidi'iit, ol' th»' Hoard of (lovt'ruors. Th(^ Hrnt 
nu'eting to form tho llouso (»f Industry and R^'fuij^t' was 
h«'ld at his house, in I)alhouRie iSquan*, in lH3'),and when 
tho «'Hbrt wan HuriessfuUy revived about .'{0 years after- 
wards, he -was elected president of the institution. Ho 
waH also the first j)resi(lent of the Meehaniis' Institute, 
and after the death of Colonel Wilgress, he was made 
president of the Montreal Auxiliary Bible iSoeiety. He 
was a warm supporter of the French-Canadian Missionary 
Society from its commemement. As he was the chief 
mover in establishing^ Cote Street Chur<h, he contributed 
largely to its erection ; as he did, later in life, to the St. 
Joseph Street Church. The following is a passage taken 
fromaseiincn preav hed in Cote Street Church by his 
friend, Principal MacVicar, the Sabbath after his funeral : 

'' Peceiwed wuh a man of HU|)erior intellet^tual powers. I le was a ureal 
lover of poetry, iin<l reail with eMtlmsiaHin tlie works of Klair. Moiit- 
gomory, Cowjter, and Milton, li..,liiu loarned by heart many of their 
l>oems, extracts from wiiich he often rejitnUed, ahnost to the last. He 
was a man of strony common sense, vigorous with calm judgment, great 
moral coiira^re and vast energy. The secret of his extraordinary success 
in husine>^8 was to he sought, not in favouring circumstances, for he made 
the circumstances which contributed to his good fortune ; but, under 
God's blessing, to his high aim, his firm will, and dauntless courage, and 
liis indomitable perseverance." 

Mr. lledpath had a very large family. One of his daugh- 
ters married John Dougall, of the Witness, — another T. M. 
Taylor, an insurance agent, — a third, George A. Drummond» 
president of the Board of Trade, — a fourth, Professor Bovey, 
of the Chair of Engineering, in McGill College, — and a 
fifth, C. J. Fleet, advocate. 

His eldest sou, Peter, who has retired from business and 
now resides at Chiselhurst, England, has rendered distin- 
guished service to education by handsome donations to 
the library of the Presbyterian College, and very specially 


by the magnificent building which he erected and pre- 
sented to McGill University, which bears his own name, 
and will hand that name, with honour, down, we hope, 
to distant posterity, — the " Peter Redpath Museum " 

Archibald Ferguson, also left St. G-abriel Street Church 
at this crisis, and joined St. Paul's. He has already been 
referred to, as accompanying Mr. Somerville from Quebec 
to Montreal, in order to continue to enjoy that gentleman's 
scholastic superintendence. Mr. Somerville hi d been 
brought to Quebec as a teacher, mainly through Mr. 
Ferguson's father, — and he proved successful as an in- 
structor, so that those who could afford it, resolved to send 
their children to Montreal after him. 

In subsequent years, Mr. Ferguson chose Montreal as his 
permanent residence, becoming proprietor of the Herahi in 
succession to the Gray family. Mr. Ferguson owned pew 
No. 10 in the St. G-abriel Street Church, and used to do the 
congregational printing. He was ordained an elder in 
St. Paul's Church, 13th May, 1855, and continued to fulfil 
the duties of the office with exemplary fidelity up to the 
day of his death, which occurred on October 9th, 1876. 

Mr. Ferguson did not cease to take an interest in the 
fortunes of the old church , although he became an office- 
bearer in St. Paul's. In his later years, he was fond of 
recalling his connection in early life with Mr. Somerville 
and Mr. Esson.. And it was his lot to be specially instru- 
mental in receiving back into the custody of the Church 
of Scotland, in 1865, the venerable edifice which had been 
for twenty years and more in possession of the Presby- 
terian Church of Canada, or the Canada Presbyterian 
Church. He was one of the eleven provisional trustees 
named in the Act, settling the ownership of the church 
27-28 Vict., chap. 161. And he was deputed by the other 
ten to see the terms of settlement carried out. 


But it was specially as treasurer of the Widows' and 
Orphans' Fund, of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in 
connection with the Church of Scotland, for the long* 
period of twelve years, that he is entitled to the grateful 
remembrance of the church. This fund he managed grat- 
uitously, with as much care and fidelity as if it had been 
his own money that Wf*r-> concerned ; until he saw the 
capital mount up from |42,174 to |82,169. Mr. Ferguson 
was also an ardent friend of Presbyterian Union, which 
he lived to see happily accomplished. Professor Ferguson 
of Queen's Univers^ity is his only son, and his daughter 
is the wife of William Ross, notary, one of the elders of 
St. Paul's Church. , 

The 71st Regiment, the famous " Highland Light 
Infantry," was stationed in Montreal in the year 1827, 
and attended the church. Pew No. 58 was placed at the 
disposal of Colonel Jones and the other officers of the 


TiiH Cr.BiKJY Reserves Controversy — Policy of thw crown to Estaiilish 
THE Church ok Ex(;i,ani) in Canada — The Oxford Movement 


J. C. Grant's Mission — Dr. Lee's " Queries " — Answers ortainbd — 
Church of Scotland General Assembly's Action on the subject — 
(Jpi'ER Canada Legislature upholds Preshytbrian Claims — At- 
tempts TO control education in Lower Canada isy Church of 
Em^land resisted uy Mr. Esson — Church of Scotland's righis 
granted in 1840. 

The " Clergy Reserves " controversy is interesting from 
more than one point of view. For one thing, it is the his- 
tory of the attempt made to plant Established Churches in 
the British colonies ; for the same plan was intended to 
be followed up in Australia, if it had succeeded here. 

It is also specially important, on account of its bearing 
upon subsequent Presbyterian consolidation. Sir George 
Murray, British Secretary of State for the Colonies, in a 
letter to the Grovernor of Upper Canada, — Sir John 
Colborne. of date, 1st August, 1830, urged, that for the 
purposes of receiving consideration from the Government 
all the Presbyterians should join together. From 182H 
onwards, =£750 a year was given by the Imperial Govern- 
ment to be divided between the Church of Scotland Min- 
isters, but Sir George Murray was disposed to extend 
assistance to all Presbyterian clergymen as well. He 
says : — --•- ; . ...,-- 


" Itiii)pears tome very de.i ruble, if suoli measure could he accomplished, 
that the whole of the Prosbyteriiii clergy of the province should form a 
Presbytery or SvucmI, and that each Presbyterian minister, who is to 
receive the allowance from the Governme?it, should be recommended by 
that body, in like manner as the Roman Catholic priests, who receive 
assistance from Government, are recommended by the Catholic Rishop." 

This advice had lelatiou to Upper Cauada ouly, but the 
subject was pressed with even greater warmth aud zeal 
iu Lower Canada ; and St. Gabriel Street Church was the 
head centre of the movement. Self-interest, it may be 
almost said, self-preservation, urged the congregation as 
well as the ministers, to agitate the subject. The pew- 
rents could not be made to yield an adequate revenue for 
the support of the three clergymen. Relief from this em- 
barrassment, we have seen, was looked for by the temporal 
committee from the Clergy Reserves ; and this circum- 
stance was not without its influence on the course which 
the question took. 

In New York, and a few other places, provision had 
been made by the colonial authorities, before the American 
revolutionary war, for the maintenance of certain churches; 
but in the colonies generally there was no attempt to erect 
a religious establishment, as the aim o ' the settlers of the 
New England districts especially, in coming to the New 
World, had been to escape from the oppression, as they 
deemed it, of tl e Church of England, and seek " a faith's 
pure shrine — freedom to worship Grod." After the revolt 
of the colonies, British statesmen of both parties concluded 
that a mistake had been committed iu neglecting to foster 
Episcopacy in America. Sir Peregrine Maitland, who was 
Lieutenant Governor of LTpper Canada during a large part 
of the first quarter of this century, may be taken as the 
mouthpiece of the English rulers of this period. He 
strongly espoused the cause of the Church of England in 
this country, and based his advocacy of it upon the 
assumption that it was best calculated to promote loyalty 


in the province, assorting that all the clorgy of that com- 
munion had T'^raained faithful to Great Britain through- 
out the American war. The best antidote to the dreaded 
Puritan leaven, it was thought, would be the extension of 
the influence of the Church of England. Tt was with this 
view that George III., in what is known as the Quebec 
Constitutional Act, providing for t) j self-government 
of Canada, set apart one-seventh of the waste lands 
of the province for the maintenance of " a Protestant 
clergy." That term was, indeed, afterwards found broad 
enough to cover Presbyterians of every hue, and Method- 
ists as well as Episcopalians ; but the Hansard report of 
the debate on the occasion, as well as the drift of the Act 
itself, shows that it was the Church of England that was 
designed to be benefited by it. The true " Protestant 
clergy " was used in contra-distinction to " Roman 
Catholic," and vas inserted to indicate that the latter 
could have no claim upon the Clergy Reserves, but must 
rely on the advantages conferred on them by the Treaty 
of Paris, and the Act of 1774, by which the Romanist 
priests had been secured in their " accustomed dues and 
rights," while the right was reserved to the crown of 
making such provision out of the said accustomed dues 
and rights, for the encouragement of the Protestant reli- 
gion, and for the maintenance of a Protestant clergy, as 
might be thought from time to time necessary and expe- 
dient." Fox, indeed, objected to the privilege (*ontemplated 
to be bestowed upon the Church of England by the Bill, 
contending that the Church of Rome or the Church of 
Scotland, as representing a proportion of the population 
of Canada, as large as that belonging to the Church of 
England, had an equal right to recognition at the hands 
of the Grovernment. But Pitt and Lord Grenville, the 
author of the Act, in framing it, proceeded upon the sup- 
position that the Episcopal Church of England was the 


rrotestant Chm-ch of the realm ; and so one of the clauses 
ot the bill empowered his Majesty to " authorize the 
(governor to erect hi every township, one or more parson- 
ages or rectories, according to the Church of England and 
to present to such parsonage, or rectory, an incumbent or 
minister of the Church of England, duly ordained accord- 
ing to the rites of that Church." The King's instructions 
to the Governor of Canada, in 1818, were quite explicit 
^ to the special favour to be shown to the Episcopal 
Lhurcvh After enjoining that the religious susceptibili- 
ties of the Roman Catholics of the Province were to be 
respected, he was told always to remember " that it is a 
toleration of the free exercise of the religion of the Church 
ol Rome only, to which they are entitled, but not to the 
powers and privileges of it as an Established Church, that 
hein^ a preference which belongs only to the Protectant Church 
of England- Governor Maitland carried out these instruc- 
tions only too faithfully; and, while pretending to be 
inendly to the adherents of the Church of Scotland, 
endeavoured to throw suspicion upon the loyalty of the 
Iresbyterian community generally, bv calling the other 
sections of it " Independents," and representing them as 
more inclined to the " neighbouring republic" than to the 
iiritish Empire. 

At this time, too, the Oxford movement had begun, and 
the High Churchmen, chafing under the want of Catholi- 
cism, the orbis terrarum, which so greatly distressed New- 
man, were anxious to remove the stigma that the insular 
position of Anglicanism affixed to them ; and so desired 
to girdle the world with offshoots from the parent church, 
beginning literally with Jerusalem. Dr. Strac^han zealously 
promoted this policy of the authorities in England. His 
astute mind foresaw, in the reservation of one-seventh of 
the unappropriated lands of Canada, the means of en- 
dowing the Anglican clergy in the colony, on a scale 

A A 

A A 


that would vie in iuflueuce and graud«^ur with the liv- 
ings of the Church of Eughiud at home ; provided all 
could be kept iu the hauds of his owu church. As yet, 
these lauds yielded scarcely any revenue, but he suo 
ceeded in obtaining large sums of money from the public 
chest for I'roraoting the extension of the cause of Protest- 
ant Episcopacy. His church had thus the advantage of 
the smile of the rulers of the day, and enjoyed the pa- 
tronage of all officialdom ; so that, in comparison, the 
other religious communities that had ('ommenced opera- 
tions in the country were handicapped in the race. Dr. 
Strachau, in 1823, sent to the Imperial authorities a letter, 
accompanied by what he called an Ecclesiastical Chart, 
which purported to give a comparative estimate of the 
strength of the various denominations ; but its tenor w^as 
so manifestly unfair, magnifying his own church and 
belittling others, that it aroused both the Methodists and 
Presbyterians, not only to assert the strength they had 
already attained, but also to put forth greater exertions 
for the time to come. The attack made on Presbyteriauism 
by Dr. Strachan, in the document referred to, which was 
repeated in a new Ecclesiastical Chart which he issued in 
1826, had an important bearing on the fortunes of Presby- 
teriauism in Canada The few ministers then in the 
country buckled on their armour in right earnest, and 
they urged their friends in Scotland to come to their as- 

From that day forward, the interest of the Established 
Church of Scotland in the progress of Presbyteriauism in 
Canada, was secured, and both men and money were 
liberally supplied. The intervention of the General Assem- 
bly of the Church of Scotland w^ith the Imperial autho- 
rities, craving that the ministers and adherents of the 
church in this country should be placed on an equal foot- 
ing with those of the Church of England, so far as the 


iavours of the G-overumont were concerned, (;ou(ributed 
not a little to the obtaining of their just rights by our 
people ; although it shows how great the odds were 
against which they had to struggle, that even Dr. Chal- 
mers, at this period, in his enthusiasm for Church exten- 
sion in Scotland, and championship of religious establish- 
ments, was prepared to advise that the Church of Kngland 
alone should be established in Canada. The influence 
of the Presbyterians in the colony was, however, too 
great for this policy to be carried out. It was a strong 
point that the Church of Scotland was established at 
home, equally with the Church of England, and there- 
fore had claims throughout the empire, outside the United 
Kingdom, that were as good as those of the sister estab-' 

The first claim put forth by the Presbyterians to share 
in the advantages of Clergy Reserves was when the in- 
habitants of Niagara of that persuasion petitioned Sir 
Peregrine Maitland, Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Can- 
ada, 17th May, 1819, setting forth the hardships they 
had had to endure, and praying His Excellency to grant 
them the sum of jCIOO, out of the funds arising from 
Clergy Reserves, or any other fund, at His Excellency's 
disposal. In forwarding the memorial, he remarks : " This 
petition involves a question in which I perceive there is 
a difference of opinion, namely, whether the Act intends 
to extend the benefit of the Reserves to all denomina- 
tions, or only to those of the Church of England." The 
question was submitted by Earl Bathurst to the law 
officers of the Crown for their opinion. On the 6th May, 
1820, Earl Bathurst wrote to Sir P. Maitland, informing 
him that His Majesty's law officers were of opinion that 
though the provisions of the Act of 1Y91 were not con- 
fined solely to the Clergy of the Church of Scotland, yet 
that they did not extend to all dissenting ministers. " 


The next document on the subject emanated I'rom St. 
Andrew's Church, Quebec, in IHIO, petitioning lor a con- 
tinuation to a new minister of the cCSO sterling, tbrmerly 
given to Dr. Spark. But it was Mr. Esson who was the 
chief of the movement. His sense of the injustice of the 
treatment which the Church of Scotland ministers were 
receiving would not let him keep silence. 

It was one of the members of the St. Gabriel Street 
Church, J. C. Grant, Esq., advocate, son of John Grant, 
of Lachine, who w^as selected to go to Great Britain as a 
commissioner to plead the cause of the Presbyterians be- 
fore the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and 
His Majesty's Government. The following documents 
give the history of the movement : — 

To the Kind's Most Excellent Majesty :— 

The most humble petition of His Majesty's most faithful and loyal 
subjects, the Ministers and Elders in connection with the Established 
Church of Scotland in Upjier and Lower Canada. 

Most Graciovh Hoveheign : — 

Wm, the Ministers and Elders in connection with the Established 
Church of Scotland in Canada, humbly beg leave to represent to Your 
Majesty the great disadvantages under which we at present labour in 
these colonies, in consequence of the church to which we belong having 
no legal provision made by public authority for its support. 

And we would most humbly represent to Ycur Majesty that means 
exist in this country which will ultimately be available for this purpose, 
and, as we conceive, amply sufficient; la iids having been reserved both 
in Upper and Lower Canada for the f^appt)rt of a Protestant Clergy, of 
which the rents, however inconsiderable at present, may be confidently 
expected to form, at some distant period, a revenue that would afford a 
sufficient provision for the support of a I'rotestant Clergy in connection 
with both the Established Churches of Great Britain. We, therefore, must 
humbly pray Your Majesty to be graciously pleased to grant that a por- 
tion of said lands lie appropriated for the support of a branch of tlie 
Church of Scotland in Canada. 


H. ESSON, ^Ministers. 




H. Mackenzie, 

Montreal, 12th December, 1822. 

h Elders. 



Downinj,' Street, l!>tli Mardi, 1823. 

Mv liORI), 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's dispatch 
of the 24th January last, transmittinj? a petition to His Majesty from the 
Ministers and Klders in connection with the Establislied Churcli of 
Scotland in Vpiter and Lower Canada, prayin;; for the legal establishment 
of their church in those provinces, and of an udecjuate provision for the 
clergy thereof; and to accjuaint your Lordship that I have laid the same 
before His Majesty. 

I have the honor to be, etc., etc.. 

T . , , r' , (Signed,) BATHURST. 

Lieutenant General, 

The Earl of Dalhousie. G. C. B., 

Ktc, etc., etc. 


Downing Street, 2r)th .Tune, 1826. 
Mv Lord, 

I have tlie honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's dis- 
patch of the 24th IMarch last, transmitting memorials from the ditlerent 
congregations and ministers of the Church of Scotland in Canada, praying 
for pecimiary aid from His Majesty's Government, and recommending 
the same to my most favourable (consideration. In reply, I have to ac- 
quaint your Lordship that I am of opinion it would be certainly desirable 
to grant salaries to the Ministers of the Church of Scotland, and in the 
event of any funds being placed at His Majesty's disposal, by the eale of 
Crown Lands in Lower Canada, I shall be very nsady to entertain the 
applications which you have recommended, but at present, I can only 
express my regret that the want of means prevents me from complying 
with the petitionary request. 

I have, etc., etc., etc., 

p., , (Signed,) BATHURST. 

[A true copy.] 



" A meeting of the clergymen of the Church of Scotland 
resident in Upper and Lower Canada, accompanied by lay 
members from their respective congregations, was held at 


Cornwall, on Wednosday, the 30th day of January, 1828, 
to devise snch ineaKures as they might deem most expe- 
dient ibr promoting the interests of the chiirch at this im- 
portant crisis. Present : the Kev. Dr. Harkness, Mr. lilsson, 
Mr. Mathieson, Mr. Connel, Mr. Urquhart, Mr. Maihar, 
Mr. McKenzie, ministers ; — the Hon. Neil MacLean, Mr. 
John MacLean, Mr. Ferguson, Mr. McQillivray, elders ; 
and Mr. Kobert Simpson, William Dunlop, Esq., and Mr. 
Neil Mcintosh." 

" It was agreed, among other items of business, to take 
into consideration what might })e the best method of pre- 
paring an Ecclesiastical Chart, exhibiting the errors of 
Dr. Strachan's, and a correct statement of our own church, 
&c., w^hich, after some discussion, was referred to the fol- 
low^ing members, vi". — Messrs. Esson, Mathieson and Dr. 
Dunlop, to report thereon." 

" The prevailing report respecting Mr. McLaurin's ap- 
plication to be admitted into holy orders in the Church of 
England, on the score of a conscientious preference, was 
next taken into consideration, and the following brethren, 
viz., Messsrs. MacKenzie, Connel, and Urquhart, directed 
to take such steps to ascertain the facts of the case as to 
them might seem fit." 

The reference here is to thf Rev. John McLaurin, minis- 
ter of Lochiel, in Glengary, a native of Breadalbane, Scot- 
land, who came to this country in 1819, and with whom 
Dr. Strachan had opened a correspondence, encouraging 
him to join the Church of England. Mr. McLaurin, how- 
aver, proved constant to his own church, and died in its 
ministry, in 1833. Speaking of Archdeacon Strachan's 
endeavors to spirit Presbyterian ministers into the Angli- 
can communion, gives occasion to relate a good anecdote 
bearing on the subject. Among others whom he had 
endeavored to influence, in this direction, was Rev. Mr. 
Jenkins of Markham, Ontario, connected with the Asso- 


ciate Synod of Scotland. Mr. Jenkins had <ontinuod proof 
against Dr. Strachan's arguments. The stipend at Mark- 
ham was small, and Mr. Jenkins was not able to afford 
a new eoat after th(^ nap was worn off the old one. Meet- 
ing Mr. Jenkins one day, the Archdeacon stroked down 
his eoat sleeve, and remarked that it was getting rather 
hare. " It may b<? bare. Dr. Straehan," was the prompt and 
witty rejoinder, " but it has never been turned." 

" St. GrAiiiiiEL Street Church, 

Montreal, 7th February. 1828. 

" The sub-committee appointed by the General Meeting 
of the Church of Scotland, resident in Upper and Lower 
C'anada, &c., held at Cornwall, on the 5th of February, 
1828, met this day in the St. Gabriel Street Church, 
present : — 

Dr. Harkness, William Dunlop, Esquire, Revds. Messrs. 
Mathieson and Esson. 

Resolved, — That by virtue of the powers vested in them, 
that the Rev. Messrs. Somerville and Black, and Messrs. 
J. Scott and Cairns be added to their number. 

Resolved, — That the memorial to the General Assembly, 
now submitted, be approved, and a copy sent to the 
General Committee of the two Presbyterian Churches in 
Montreal, to be laid before their meeting to-morrow." 

"A letter from William Dunlop, Esquire, addressed to 
the Rev. Dr. Harkness, chairman of the committee of the 
Church of Scotland, in the Canadas, was read — the draft 
of instructions to our agent was read and ordered to be 
transcribed : — 

" To the Venerable tlie General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, — 
The memorial of clergymen and laymen representing the different con- 
gregations in Upper and Lower Canada in connection witli the Church of 
Scotland, composing a meeting held at Cornwall, Upper Canada, on tlie 
thirtieth day of January, 1828, Hum r.LY Sheweth : — 


"TImt your inomoriiiliNlM, tlio rU^rgy und liiity reprosontliiy; tln>ir limtli- 
Ton in U|)|Hjr ami l.ownr (iiiioiltt, urn m full foniiniinioii with tli« Kstal)- 
li.sli«(l Chun'li of Srotluiid. 

"That they (m»iu« before your voncruhle court to represent in hehalf of 
tlu'in«eI\0H aiui their l)rethnui in thewe provincoH their (;Iaiiii«anil waiitH, 
and to Holi'it your aHHiHlami' ami Mupport in thoir application to HIh 
MajcHty'H (loverninent for the puriM)Heof ohlainiuK a leu'al ami iM-rnuvnont 
proviHion for tho HupiM)rt of tiie ('hurch in this [)art of the Kinpire." 

" Tliat whil(* your ineuiorinlistH deem theniMelve.s entitled hy the funda- 
mental lawH of the llritisl n.stiliition, to ohtain the ndvnnta^'o of a full 

leual rec(vnition in the .same manner uh {\m sister Church of England. — 
they are, in point of fact, placed in a Hituation almost as disadvanfat^oous 
nn any of tlie Protestant disMentors." 

At the Kamo tim«^ there was rend by Mr. Eissou, a draft 
of JUKtnictions, for Mr. Grant ; also u dnilt of a memorial 
prepared at said meetiiii^, to the General As.sembly of the 
Church of Scotland. It ran as follows : — 

" Cornwall, 1st. Feb., 1828. 

" Sir, — A meeting,' of the clergy of the Church of Scotland, resident in 
U[)i>or and I-ower Canada, together witli lay niend)ers from tluwr cou^rci- 
gations, having apiM)inted you their agent in Great Britain, rotiuost your 
attention to the following instructions which they have drawn up for your 
guidance in your mission." 

"As the attachment ot the Presbyterians to their own church 
has been called iu question, and their num])er represented 
as inconsiderable, we are perfectly willing that the condi- 
tions on which the Government aid shall be attbrded pre- 
viously require a certain amount of voluntary contribu- 
tions from the members of every congregation, claiming 
such assistance, as well as such a number of heads of 
families as may appear to His Ma-jesty's Government suffi- 
cient to constitute a congregation. 

" We particularly recommend the establishment in the 
East Indies, as being most likely to afford the best prece- 
dent on which to found our claim to a connection with the 
Church of Scotland, and as we have now in some measure 


ohtaiiK'd a roroq^iiitioii and provision in the Provinces, our 
agont will not tail to urs»«' on th«» <hunh. th»' pltMlyt' wliifh 
slu' ha8 given to incorporate us with her in some measure 
or other when these conditions should be I'ullilled." 

" Minute of (reneral Committee of the two Presbyterian 
Churches, in Mt)ntreal. 

•' Mketino at St. Gabuiki. Sthekt Church. 

Montreal. Dth February. 1828. 

" The I{ev. Mr. Mathieson. chairman. Kev. Messrs. Esson, 
Somerville. Black. J. C. Grant, Esq., Messrs. Sweeney, 
Porteous, Ferjiuson, Jr.. Scott, Bride, Rev. Mr. Gale, Dr. 
Caldwell, Messrs. Armour, Wm. Bhu^kwood, Cairns, 
Simpson, C. Sweeney, Jr., Douglas, J. Mackenzie. 

" A statement of facts in regard to religious matters in 
Canada, in lieu of a chart, in connection of Dr. Strachan's 

" Much discussion was occasioned in the Provinces by 
the publication of Dr. 8tra«han's chart, (the 2nd one. of 
182G) ; there was a very general feeling that it was calcu- 
lated to give most inaccurate impressions in regard to the 
religious statistics of the country, and that, not so much 
from direct, absolute departure from the truth, in the 
statements actually made in it, (though several of these 
are unfounded, and many of them distorted), as by leading 
immediately and unavoidably to the most erroneous infer- 
ences and conclusions on the subject. For instance, he 
states accurately enough the number of the Episcopalian 
clergy, but the inference which would naturally be drawn 
by any one not particularly acquainted with the Province, 
that the population is mostly Episcopalian proportionate, 
viz., to the number of the clergy, would be very wide of 
the truth : — He further states the number of the Scottish 
clergy to be two. which was nearly true, as to the latter, 



thore haiufi; only throo (ho takes no notice of Mr. Connel) 
when th<; Doctor left Canada last year, which leads to a 
ron(;lusion ecjually erroneous in regard to the proportion 
which Presbyterians bear in the population of the Province, 
and would also «ro to prove that the Church of Scotland 
waK just expiring." 

The following questions issued by a committee of the 
(leneral Assembly of the (^'hurch of t^cotland, played an 
important part historically in connection with the Clergy 
Reserves discussion. 


Ist. Wliiit is understood to be the number of jiersons in tlie district of 

who arc attached to the do(;trin(!, j^overnuieml, and worship 

of the Church of Scotland, imd wlio would esteem it a privilejiie to have 
access to the ministrations of a clertrynian of that established church ? 

2nd. Have any churches been already built witb i the district, — and, 
if any, are they at present supplied, or are they vai nt? 

Hrd. Who are the iniuist^srs (if any) in the district, and by what I'res- 
bytery of the Chur(;h of S(!otland have tlu^y been licensed or ordained? 

4th. What stations witliin the bounds of the district would be moKt 
siiitable for the erection of chun-lies for the accommodation of settlers 
desirous of maintaininjr (communion with the C'Jiurch of Scotland? 

5th. What contributions migfit be exf^cted for the erection of such 
cluirches, and for the maintenance of ministers? 

6tli. What accomodation would the i(eoj)l(! undertake to jirovide for tlie 
ministers ? 

7tli. Would security Ixj given for the i)ayment of a (-ertain annual sum 
to each minister? 

8th. What provision is made for the education of youth, and is tliere a 
<lisj)08ition to furnisli adecjuate encouragement to well qualilied teachers ? 

{»th. What projx)rtion of the existing teachers may be considered as of 
the principles of the ('hurch of Scotland? 

10th. Are the teachers in general natives of Great Britain (distinguish- 
ing England, Scotland and Ireland), or of the United States, — or of the 

ntli. Have any of the teachers received tlie education necessary to 
j)re[)are them for receiving licenses as Preachers from Tresbyteries of the 
Established C'hurch of Scotland,— or have any of them actually received 
license to preach ? - -- -~ y 


IL'tli, Aro any ollKfrpurticnliirs known, whidi it rniglit be of iiniK)rtan('e 
to coniriiuni(!at« to tliJH cominiltee? 

It Ik oarnoHtly nniuesttMl that answorH to the above (jueries may be 
addreHHt'd within a montli alter tlie receipt of this pajter to , who 

will tai<e tiie earliest opportnnity of tranHmittint; them to Scotland. 

(Si^mcd, JOHN LKK, 

Convener of the ("<nninittee. 

These were the questions, lor sending out which to 
Canada, Dr. Strachan fiercely assaihnl Dr. Lee. 

The following- was the substance of the answers re- 
ceived from the places mentioned below : — 

" In the city of Montreal there are two congregations 
under the ministration of Presbyterian clergymen of the 
Church of kScotland, and one under the charge of an 
American clergyman ordained by the Presbyt(^ry of New 
York. The iirst two congregations consist of upwards 
of 800 souls each. Mr. Christmas, the American clergy- 
man, estimates the number of souls in his congregation 
at between (! or 700, but does not state the number of his 
communicants. In the on*; of the two Scotch churches 
the number of communicants is a})ove 335 — in the other, 
about 170. (Signatures of heads of families have been 
given to the petition in Montreal, representing a I'r(^sby- 
terian population in the town of upwards of 1,G00 ; and 
at the cross, a sort of village about two miles from Mont- 
real, the petition has been signed by 42 heads of families, 
making in that place and vicinity a population of 195." 

" On the opposite side of the k^aint Lawrence, and about 
9 miles distance from Montreal, in the village of Laprai- 
rie, from it and the surrounding country, the petition 
has received the signatures of 163 heads of families, re- 
presenting a population of upwards of 600 desirous of 
obtaining the ministration of a Presbyterian clergyman 
of the Church of Scotland." 

" From Rawdon, our information is very meagre. Mr. 


Holiday, resident there, states that there is no Pres- 
byterian Churoh, but that they have divine service per- 
formed 0(M3asionally, by Mr. Brunton of Ste, Therese — 
that there is a school, the teacher of whi(;h is a Scottish 
Presbyterian — that any dependence in a pecuniary point 
of view would be very precarious — that any contribution 
for a miuist(?r, would be in kind — that labour would be 
cheerfully given ; and he gives the following census of 
the Township — Presbyterian, 92 heads of families ; llomau 
Catholics, 72 do ; Episcopal, 20 do. The j^etition received 
73 signatures from Rawdon." 

" Mr. Somerville, of Lachine, states that in that village 
and neighbourhood there are about 339 Presbyterians, 
and the petition received signatures representing 189 — 
that there about 70 Episcopalians and 1,400 Roman Ca- 
tholics. The Presbyterians have entered into a subscrip- 
tion, which amounts to i)130 5s. 5d. for the erection of a 
church, and £C)6 15s. of annual salary to a clergyman of 
the Church of S(;otland." 

" From the seigniory of BeauhMrnois, the petition has 
received the signatures of 188 individuals, representing a 
population of 791, and in answer to Dr. Lee's queries, it 
is stated by a committee consisting of seven individual 
residents there, that an earnest desire exists to obtain the 
religious privileges which they enjoyed in their native 
country, and unfeigned gratitude and satisfaction for the 
interest which the i)arent church is taking in their 
spiritual welfare." 

Lord Dalhousie f^ncouraged the Presbyterians to press 
their claims, and when Mr. G-rant was setting out on his 
mission in this connection, the Governor-Greueral fur- 
nished him with the following letter, with a view to 
facilitating his undertaking : — 

"The bearer of this, Jame.s C. Grant, Esquire, proceeiling to England 
on public atl'airs of considerable importance, ha.s carried with him a cer- 


ttiin (iiiaiitity of hookH ami (lorninonts nocesHary to flio olijoct f>f his mis- 
Hion. I rosiKictfully solicit for hitri all Uio favour that can bo with pro- 
priety tiranted him, in pntliiij^ these in liis l^l^'ga^'e at the Custom House 
wliere lie may land. 

"(Si^MH'.l,) DAfJIorSIK, 

" (;ov('rnor-(i(wi('rjil in 
" Britihli North Am('n(!a. 
•*Quel)ef, 14 ih February, 182H." 

" At Edinburgh, tne 2ii(l day of June, one thousand 
eig'ht hundred and twenty-eight years. — Session ult. 

"Which day the General Assembly of the Church of 
Scotland called for the report of the Committee on the 
Canada petitions, which was given in by Dr. Lee, the 
convener, and along with it a Memorial of the clergy and 
laity of Upper and Lower Canada, in connection with the 
Church of Scotland, and an overture from the Presbytery 
of Paisley, relative to Presbyterian colonists in British 
North America. 

" It was moved, seconded and unanimously agreed to : — 

" That the General Assembly feel a strong; interest in tlie prosperity of 
His Majesty's Presbyterian subjects in connection witli the Church of 
S<'otland, and resident in the I'ritish colonies of North Anierica, more 
os|)ecially in their spiritual interests, and the provisions wliich they require 
for promoting and maintaining them. That it is, so far, highly satisfactory 
to know that the countenance of His Majesty's Government has been ex- 
tended to them in some degree, — and the Gcuioral Assembly entertain the 
hof)e that some further jtrovision will ho granted as may make them, not 
only to obtain a legal and permanent provision, but also to enjoy the civil 
and religious liberties, which they res[jectfully look for as a fXHtple, in com- 
munion with this established church, and a valuable body of settlers in 
His Majesty's North American Provinces. That the Assemibly apjn-ovo of 
the report made by Dr. Lee, and re-appoint the Committee, with instruc- 
tions to aid by Petition or otherwise, the applications, at j)re8ent making 
to (iovernment, by the Sttottish ministers in comnmnion with the Church 
of Scotland in the North American colonies, for a legal and permanent 
Jtrovision, and the full exercise of all their rights and privileges, as minis- 
ters in connection with one of the P^stablished Churches of Great Britain ; 
and the said committee, of which Dr. Lee is the convener, is hereby re- 
quired to report to the next General A8semV)ly. ^' — 
, . (Signed) JOHN LEE, 

.i... £rcl. ii'ec" 

Th(» followiiit^ is th<» copy of ji l«>tt«'r from Dr. McaruK : — 

" KtNd'.M r..M.K(iK, .Idiin 27th, 1S2H. 

" My Dhak Silt :— Win((( in(M»tiii(j; yoii uiul Mr. rn|iiliart on tin; 7th lii8t.' 
I have miHiivHd iiii jimhwcm' to tlm laHt Mi'iiiorial of thi* rommitUiO of 
As.s(iinl)ly, riiaUiii).; an alhrnioii to tlio former iiicthoil propr^stMl for a'nliiij; 
tlio l*r«Hl)yt<!riaii luiniHtnr.s of tho proviiicoH, but lioariii);, 'I'luit whniiovor 
a coii^irci^atioii in any of tliewiproviuiM^.s shall have or(«;t«)(l a Hnitable place 
of worrthip, anil Ihi i)r('pan!il t(» ackMov\ Icd'.^*^ tli« jurisdiction of tlieflhurch 
of Scotland, and to contrittnto accordint; to their iikniiih, towards the niain- 
tonan<;() of a niiiuHtor, iiim»ii thoir>;; a inoiiioriai f<» the (iovernor- 
in-('onnril, the (iovomor will have received His Maje.sty'H coniinandN, 
anthoriz-ini^ him upon lieinu; satisded that tin* <'onditiorH have l)een duly 
coinprM^l with, to contribute to llu* support of the clert^yinan in Hii(;h pro- 
portion as, to^reth»»r with the contribution of tli(* parties presj^itin;^ the 
tncinorial, may lie siitlicient to allbrd him a comiHitent maintenance, Hiich 
contribntion, however, beiii'.^ n»!r:e8sarily limited by the fiinilH which it may 
be in the power of ih(* crown to ap|>ropriate t(» sudi |)iirpoHe, and liy other 
(;laims, wiiich may (ixist upon tlKi-e funds, — on nM-eiviim this commnni- 
eation, I immediately wrote to Ijord Dalhousie, re(luostin^^ to be informe<l 
wh(ither the lands referred to undcjr the limitations siM!cili(Ml, W(«re in his 
opinion Kuch as mi|j;ht he expected to allbrd ellectual aid. His Lordship's 
answer is not sui;h its to allonl miK^h, if any, expectation of ndiof from 
that nuarhir, hut he says that the instructions alluded to hy Mr. W'ilmot 
Morton, will, of course, he addressed direct to the <iov<»rnor at (Quebec ; and 
h(^ will not know the (»xt(»nl of them until his arrival there, when he will 
send the fnrth(»r information. 

IJnh^ss th(i arran'..(ements proiM)ied with the C'lmada iiand ','ompany 
shall atlbrd resources availabht, I <;onfess 1 have l(;ss hoi»es f)f etlectiial aid 
heinjj; deriv(Ml fr(»m the niiartcir now pointed at than byllie method for- 
luerly c()ntem|)latcd by (ioverninent,. Ah to this, however, additional in- 
formation will he obtained bye-and-hye. 
I hoi)e 1 shall hear from you on r(!cei[)t. 
. I am, Dear Sir, 

Very truly Yours, 

(Signed) D. MKARNS." 

To jMu. EsaoN. 

It was advantageous to th(^ Pro.sbytoriaii claims that tho 
Canadian Parliamont, on motion of Hon. William Morris, 
who manfully espoused and maintained the cause of his 
own church, tmlil its just rights were conceded in 1840, 



pMsiscd rcHolulioiiis, in l!Sti4,iu('iiiorializii»^ the Kin<»' to phuc' 
ilu": r('])n'st'nl.iiliv<\s ol' the two J!]Hlal)li.sli«'(l churclicN on ii 
|)!ir. Tht^ (Jovomor ol" lh»' day <li(l not, think ilial lh«' Lt'^is- 
latun' was Kinc»*n» in it.s rhanipionHlii|) of the ollhc 
('luirc-h of Scotland; and he was |)ro})ahly ri^ht. Tlic 
scniiiiuMit of the <ountry was against I']stal)iisii<'d chuirht's 
alto^etJKU- ; and it was ior('H<MMi t.liat, il" the I'n'shyterians 
were allowed to share in the proceeds of the (-leri»y 
Resi^rves, other denominations would eontinu*; to demand 
the same privilejrcH, until it sliould Im? found necessary 
to abolish suc'h privile^-es entirely. A(*cordinnly, the 
(/anadian Lei^islative Assem})ly soon ai'tt^' took the u round, 
which it continued to maintaiii until its views prevaih'd, 
that in the <^ircumstances of the country, it was inipolitic 
and unjust to favor one denomination mon^ than another, 
and moved that the Cleri»y Reserv«;H lands should be 
applied to the i)romotion of education rather than of 

About the l)ei>innin«»- of 1832, "The ministers and rul- 
ini»' elders of the PresbytiU'y of Quebec," jxilitioned the 
Kinj^- to hav(^ the rights of the(Jhurch of Scotland to share 
in tlie ('lerjL^y lleserves recojijnized. Amongst the i)assaq'e8 
of importance, it had one thing, tlu^ h^gal opinions of Lord 
Lyndhurst and Gilford, to whom the qui^stion had l)een 
submitted l)y the crown on a former occasion : — 

" Wt5 ar(!i)r<)|»iiii«'ii flml tlioii^fli llio i)n)viHi(niH madt^by tlio lUsI (Jtfor^re 
III., ell. ;{1, .s(((;(,i()ii.s ;!(i aiul I'J, for tli<! .support and inaintxdiunco of a I'ro- 
tt'Htaiit rlor^'y, arn not foiiliiioii Hololy to tlic! clorijy of t]w (^Iiurcli of Eiifj- 
laiid, hut may IxMixtiUidod also to llio ('liurcli of Scotland, if there ufH 
any such .snttl(Ml in Canada (as appears to hav(i Itoon adinittcMl in tho dn- 
l»a1otipon tlm paHsin^of th(» Act) yet that tlicy do not extend to rlinHdiitini^ 
niini.sUir.s, sinco wo think tiio terms l'rot(^Htant clergy (;an apj)ly only to 
I'roteslantclerjiy rocojjnizod ami estiihiishod hy law." 

The Secretary of State for th(^ Colonic^s, in replying to a 
lormer petition, had spoken of tlu^ Church of l^higland in 


Canada, as "the Established Church." This assumption 
the memorialists most vigorously assail : — 

" We deny the justice of tlielr claim to be considered and styled "Tub 
EsTAJii.iwHion Curiicir" in these provinces, orexchisively to apply to \hem- 
selves the designation of " Protestant clergy," as used in ihe statute (ieorge 
III., ch. 31." 

Regarding the Clergy Reserve lands, Governor Simcoe, 
on 20th July, 1706, wrote :— 

'* The first and chief of w^Jiich I beg to offer, with all 
respect and deference to your grace, must be the erection 
and endowment of an University, from which, more than 
from any other service or circumstance whatsoever, a 
grateful attachment to His Majesty's Cxovernment, mo- 
rality and religion, will be fostered and take root through- 
out the whole province." 

The object of the statesmen and governors of the period, 
so far as the colonies were concerned, was to foster insti- 
tutions that would breed loyalty in the people. "With 
this view, they thought it would conduce to the better 
attaching of the colonies to the British Empire, if both 
education and religion were in the hands of the Protest- 
ant Episcopal clergy. Mr. Esson, however, vigorously 
assailed this notion ; and contended that the record of the 
Church of Scotland in its relations to both these great 
interests was as good as that of the Church of England. 

The following document bears on the question of edu- 
cation : — 

"To His Excellency, Sir James Kempt, G.t'.B., Lieutenant General com- 
manding His Majesty's forces, etc., etc. 

'The memorial of the Reverend James Harknees, D.D., minister of St. 
Andrew's Church, Quebec, and of the Rev. Henry Esson, one of the 
ministers of the Scotch Church, St. Gabriel Street, Montreal, humbly 
sheweth : — 

" That your memorialists, ministers of the Church of Scotland, on behalf 
of their church and of that numerous class of His Majesty's subjects, who 


do, or may hereafter belong' to her communion, having' learned tliat Your 
Excellency lias heen pleased to recommend to tlie le^'islatiire to make 
some alteration in the Act estahlishinfj; the Fioyal Institution for the ad- 
vancement of learning in this province, feel it a sacred duty to avail 
themselves of the oj)portnnity, therehy offered, of humbly and resjwct- 
fuUy representing,' to Your Excellency their just and constitiitir>nal ri<,'ht, 
to be admitted to an eciual pailicipation with their brethren, ihe clergy 
and members of the churches of En},'lan(l and Home, in the nianatjement 
and suj)erinteiidence of education, as it now is, or may hereafter be vested 
in the aforesaid institution. 

"May it therefore please Y^our Excellency to take the premises into 
your favourable consideration, and, in such manner as Your Excellenciy 
in your Avisdom shall see fit, recommend to the legislature in the contem- 
plated amendment of the Act for the establishment of the Royal Institu- 
tion for the advancement of learning in the province, to provide for the 
due representation of the clerjry and members of the Church of Scotland. 

"And Your Excellency's memorialists, as in duty bound will ever pray, 
etc., etc , etc. 

" (Signed,) JAMES HARKNESS, D.D. 

" (Signed,) H. ESSON, Minister. 

" Quebec, li3rd January, 1829." 

The concession at length granted to the Church of 
Scotland made the religious communities, unprovided 
for, clamorous to be put on the same platform. The 
result was that, in 1832, the Methodists, the ministers of 
the United Presbytery of Upper Canada, representatives 
of the non-endowed Presbyterians of Scotland, and the 
clergy of the Church of Rome in Upper Canada, had 
the same status accorded them as the ministers connected 
with the Established Church of Scotland — were granted 
an annual allowance from the territorial funds of the 

This was the situation of affairs up to 1840, when, at 
the instance of the Canadian legislature, the Imperial par- 
liament pass3d the Act which authorised the sale of the 
Clergy Reserves. The bill provided that ministers con- 
nected with the Church of Scotland should receive the 
same advantages from the proceeds of the lands sold as 



tlioso of I he (Miunli of I'ln^laiKl <li(l. Fl wiis Npccially 
n*N»»rv<Ml, h()w<'v<M', lliiil nil those piulicH to whom ih«^ 
I'iiith of the (JovtMiuiuMii hiul I);m'II ph^l^cd Iroin IHiJ'J, 
oiiWiinlH, hIiouM ht'in'clorth Hliarc in tl»«* hciicHl.s of lh»'! 
Ch^rivy UcHiu'vt'H ; und thuH it ciiiiu' ahoul thul not only 
niinJHtcrH represent inj^ tlie SeceHsion (!hurt lien ut home, 
und Methodists, hut. even the Ronuin (/Jilholie priests of 
the western province, curiously enouf^li, pjirticipiiled in 
un endowment, vvliich, in the lirst instance, was set iipart 
lor the sui)port of a Protestant cler<ify. 

JJishop Strachan to the last opj)osed the admission of 
th(^ Cliurch ol' Siotland to a participation in the advan- 
tatfOH of the fund, as on an e(juality with the Church of 
Kn«»land. " He thoroui^lily ht^lievod," Fenninys Taylor 
rcmiirks, " and trie<l to make his belief contii«riou.s, that 
the An«;lican (-liunh was the- Kstahlished (!hurch in 
(-anada." It was not so much, therefore, a. (question of 
temporal advantai^e as of spiritual status he was conteiul- 
inj? for. I'iXpcidiency liad no i)la(!e in his luiture. Many 
l*]piHcopa,liaiis wished to make the hest linaiunal terms 
possible for thi^ churcli, an<l so were j)repar«Ml to make a 
-iompromise, sinc«' the judj^es of the Privy (vouncil of 
l^lui^land had, on the 4th May, 1810, d«^termin(>d that the 
words, Protestant <^ler<^y, we:r(^ lari«<^ enough to include 
other <!ler^y than the cler/:^y of th»^ CJhunh of l*]n«»la,nd ; 
jind when asked, what other, if any, they aiiswered the 
cler<^y of th(i Church of Scotland, liut the redoubtiible 
])ishop would uot liaul (h)wn his colours. The Inst timt^ 
his signature appears on the journals of the L«'«^'ishitive 
Council of llpp«n' (Canada, it is appended to a protest 
against the Act to provide; for the sale of the Clergy Re- 
serves and I'or the distribution of the: proceeds thereof, ]>y 
which tw^o-t birds of the unsold reservcid lands were as- 
sii^ned to the Church of lilnijfhind and oiu;-third to the 
Church of Scotland. Reviewing the controversy, Fen- 


iiiiiUfN Taylor well Hayw : "Tho clforl on tlu» pari of frit'iKlM 
of ilic Chun h of lOiii^liiiKl 1(» plarc the iiiiuisttMs of Ihc 
('liiircli ol' S(;ot land in I lie catcirory ol' (li.sHciittTs wjis fx- 
(M'cdinj^ly iiijudifioiis." 

The iinpt'rial A<'1, pliMJnir I he (Miun h of >S<otlaii(l on 
(lie nam*' looting' as t lie Cliurcli ol" ICiiirlaiKl, was a coin- 
|ironiiM«i thai the latltT aL»n'«'(l to. Mut the conti'.ssioM 
(-:iMii> too late. Had a piict l>*>*>n iiiadt' at an *>;i,|-li<M' period 
ht'lvvccn th«'H(i Ivvo chun hcN, the (!l«'rt»y 1* servos nii^hl. 
have been ko|)t inla<l much loni»er. The disru|)lion of 
lhe('hunh ol'Siotland in this roiuilry took pla« e in 1HH, 
and the ministers j;oinuf out, hein^ (hinied a eonlinuanco 
oi" the a,llowan(U' whi<h they had been rcM-eivini^ whih' 
in the (Uiundi, Moon joined with the other denominations 
that were opposed to endowments. Their inlliience turned 
th(^ Hcale ay;ainst the (-ontinuainie ol' NpiM-ial privileji^es to 
iiiiy church or churches in (.anada. An attempt was 
indeed made in 1S47 to Have tlu^ fund lor religious pur- 
poses by the pro(M»HH knowu in Great Britain as "the 
levellin^-uj) process." All Protestant churches whose prin- 
ciples would allow them torciceive aid Irom the (lovern- 
menl, were ollered a shiire in the C\{',Y;^y Reserves, and 
amoni^st others the j'resbyterian Church in Canada that 
had b((en <'onstituted by those who had H(>parated irom 
the Synod in coiuuM-tion with the (church of Scot laiul. 
Their oppositioji, liowevev, could not be thus bought oil". 
The agitation was continued, and so in 1854, the (Meri^y 
Reserves were " st'eularised," that is, the proceeds ol" the 
sales of the reserved lands wen^ handed over to the 
several municipalities to ])e exi)ended as th(«y ehose, vested 
rights beinj.^' held sac^red as in the Imperial Act ol' 1840. 
These rights were commuted with the sev«'ra.l (churches, 
as was done in the c^ase ol' tli«^ Irish (churches ; and thus 
oriirinated the i'und (tailed the " Tinnporalities Fund " in 
the "rresl)yterl;in Church in Canada" to-day. 

. 420 

Tho experiment of Pitt to reproduce Episcopacy here, 
with bishopH in the Lep^islative Council or Upper House, 
in order to promote loyalty to the crown, tailed, and is 
not likc^ly to be repeated, the mixture of races and creeds 
making it impracticable, even if it were desirable. And 
it is found that we are wonderfully loyal without the 
preserving salt of dominant Episcopal inlluence. 



Hon. James Leslie, — Campbell Sweeney, Robert Sweene\', Campbell 
Sweeney, Jr. — Dr. Caldwell — D. P. Ross — William Peddib — Coun 
McDouGALL — John Jamieson — Charles Tait — Francis Hunter, Sr. 
Francis Hunter, Jr. — J. C. Grant — James Scott — James Logan — 
William Suter — Roderick MacKbnzie— Kenneth Walker — Thomas 
Ross — James Court — Benjamin Workman — Alexander Workman 
William Workman — Thomas Workman — John Dougaij. — George 
Johnston— Archibald Ferguson. 

Lieut .-Colouel, the Hon. James Leslie, .T.P., was the son 
of Captain James Leslie, 15th Regiment of Foot, who was 
Assistant Quarter Master G-eneral to the army of General 
"Wolfe, at the capture of Quebec. He could trace his 
descent from Royalty through the Earl of Rothes and the 
Stuarts of Inchbreck, in the Mearns, the latter family 
deriving from Murdoch, Duke of Albany, grandson of 
Robert the second. 

Mr. Leslie was born at Kair, Kincardine, Scotland, 4th 
September, 1786, and educated at the G-rammar School, 
Aberdeen, and afterwards at Marischal College and Uni- 
versity of Aberdeen. He came to Montreal in 1808, and 
commenced business on his own account. The firm was 
known as James Leslie & Co., and in after days as Leslie, 
Starnes & Company, Hon. Henry Starnes being his partner. 
They were wholesale grocers and general merchants. Mr. 
Leslie's connection with the St. Gabriel Street Church 
began immediately on his coming to the city. In 1809, 
he purchased pew No. 22, which formerly had been the 
property of Patrick Robertson, merchant, brother of James 
and Alexander Robertson, already mentioned. He was 

422 '' 

married to Julia, eldest daughter of the late Patrick 
Langan, 14th December, 1815, by Rev. Mr. Jenkins, the 
military chaplain. Mr. Langan was formerly an officer 
in the British army, and became Seignior of Bourchemin 
and de Ramsay. Mr. Leslie served as an officer in the 
Montreal volunteers during the war with the United 
States in 1812. He held a commission in the militia from 
1811 until 1862, when he retired, retaining his rank as 
Lieut. -Colonel. 

He was one of the gentlemen calling ■'he public meeting 
in 1817, to organize the Bank of Montreal, and appoint 
directors. He was chosen one of its first directors, and 
continued to serve on the board for many years. He was 
one of the original board of the General Hospital. He was 
also a director of the Savings' Bank, and of the Montreal 
Agricultural Society, in 1820. Mr. Leslie was one of Mont- 
real's most esteemed citizens, and took high rank as an 
honorable merchant. His popularity was shown in the fact 
that he sat as the member of the East Ward of the city in 
the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, continuously, 
from the general election in 1824 until the union between 
the provinces in 1840. He was chosen member for 
Vercheres, in the first general election after the Union, 
and sat for that constituency until 1848, when he was 
summoned to the Legislative Council. In March, 1848, 
he became president of the Legislative Council, and held 
this position until September following, when he was 
appointed Provincial Secretary and Registrar. He held 
office until October, 1851. He continued to sit in the 
Legislative Council until Confederation in 1867, in May 
of which year he was appointed to the Senate by Royal 
proclamation. He died on the 6th December, 1873, at 
the advanced age of 87 years. 

If there is any name entitled to respect and grateful 
mention in the annals of the St. Gabriel Street Church it 


is that of Mr. Leslie. His membership in it extended over 
a period of 65 years, lonj^er than that of any other person 
connected with it ; and his membership durinj^ by far the 
greater part of that time was one of activity and devotion 
+0 the interests of the congregation. He sat under all the 
ministers that preached in the old church, from Mr. Somer- 
ville down, and was loved and esteemed by them all. 
Indeed, it was impossible for any one to know Mr. Leslie 
and not to love him. 

As early as 1811, he was put into office by his fellow- 
pew-holders, being that year chosen a member of the 
temporal committee. He was elected inl813 to the same 
position, and again in 1816 and 1817, being vice-president 
in the former year and president in the latter. He was 
also a member of the special committee for providing funds 
to procure an assistant to Mr. Somerville in 181*7, and was 
one of those who were instrumental in bringing Mr. Esson 
to Montreal. He was ever a warm friend and constant 
supporter of Mr. Esson. When Hon. Peter McGill resigned 
his position as chairman of the temporal committee, at the 
crisis in 1830, on account of his leaving for G-reat Britain, 
Mr. Leslie was chosen in his place, being second only to 
Mr. McGill as a man to be honoured and trusted. But 
as he had been ordained an elder, March 21st, 1819, he felt 
that ^ I was not compatible with discharging the functions 
of hi* spiritual office to take the presidency, and so he de- 
clined it, on the score of his being an elder. He allowed 
himself, however, to be placed on the temporal committee 
in 1845 and 1846, after the disruption, and in 1845, he was 
put on a special manse committee, appointed by the con- 
gregation, as in connection with the Presbyterian Church 
of Canada. Mr. Leslie adhered to Mr. Esson, both in 1832 
and 1844. Mr. Thomas Blackwood and he were the only 
elders remaining in the session, after Mr. Black's adherents 
left the church. It was he who moved the resolution on 


January 25th, 1830, expressing the congregation's convic- 
tion, that Mr. Esson had exonerated himself from the 
charges brought against him by the majority of the elders. 
And it was he who presided at the meeting of proprietors 
on June 30th, 1845, when the congregation made changes 
in the Rules and Regulations, with a view to meeting the 
objections urged against the constitution of the Church. 
Mr. Leslie always maintained that the proprietors had an 
inherent right to make such changes, so long as they main- 
tained the forms of worship practised in the Church of 
Scotland. He stood out stoutly for the right of the con- 
gTegation to a share of the services of the Free Church 
deputies, which the Cote Street organization claimed 
altogether. With Mr. Johnston and Mr. Gunn, he 
offered his resignation as an elder in 1845, when fault 
was found with the composition of the session by the 
Free Church Committee ; but the resignation was not 
accepted, on the ground that it would be disastrous, 
in the situation in which things then were, to leave 
the congregation without a Kirk-session. The eftect 
upon Mr. Leslie of this conflict with the Free Church 
Committee, combined with Mr. Esson's removal to Toronto, 
was to cause him to withdraw from the prominent 
place which he had previously occupied in the con- 
gregation. He took comparatively little interest in the 
affairs of the church for many years, and when Knox 
congregation resolved to remove to their new Church in 
December, 1865, he declined to accompany them. The 
congregation in connection with the Church of Scotland 
being reconstructed in 1866, he resolved to cast his lot in 
with it. It was a great pleasure for the writer to visit the 
dear old gentleman in his pleasant St. Mary's cottage in 
Parthenais Street. A more aiTable and courteous gentleman 
could not be found than Mr. Leslie. His life and character 
were stained by no single fault. Sans peur, sans reproche 
might very well be said of him. 


Mr. Leslie had two sons and two daughters. Patrick 
was married to a daughter of A. M. Delisle, collector of 
customs. Both he and his wife are dead, as well as their 
eldest daughter, A boy and girl survive, as the only repre- 
sentatives of the family. Mr. Leslie's younger son, Edward, 
died unmarried. One daughter was married to Major 
Nairn, Seignior of Murray Bay, — and she died three years 
ago ; while Grace was married to. Mr. John Henderson of 
this city, who survives her. 

Campbell Sweeney was inspector of potash for the city, 
the I ition filled afterwards by the late Colonel Dyde, 
A.D.C. to Her Majesty the Queen. Mr. Sweeney was a 
victim to the first visitation of Montreal by cholera, and 
died l*7th June, 1832. He belonged to what w^as known 
as a " good family " in the north of Ireland. As has been 
already seen, Eev. Mr Esson's first wife w'as his daughter. 
The family were all clever, intellectually, and they occu- 
pied a high social position in the city. The sons were 
hot-blooded youths, and got into serious scrapes. We have 
seen that one of them, Campbell, junior, who was a 
lawyer by profession, got shot in the leg by a novice in 
the use of the pistol, James Scott. He had previously had 
an "aftair of honour" with William Walker, a fellow 
advocate, in which he came olF better. He shot Mr. 
Walker in the hand, destroying one of his fingers. 

But this event did not make much stir in the com- 
munity, compared with the tragedy in which Robert 
Sweeney, another son of Campbell Sweeney's, was in- 
volved. He was also an advocate, who had a misunder- 
standing with Major Ward, an officer of the " Royals " then 
stationed in the city. He rose hurriedly from his own 
table, sent a friend directly to the officers' mess wath a 
challenge to Major Ward. A duel was arranged — the com- 
batants met. May 22nd, 1838, and Sweeney, whose aim 


was always unerring, shot his adversary dead. The only 
witness of the affair were the seconds, who, with Sweeney, 
fled across th<i lines, and a French farmer named Lanouette. 
" The old race course " was the fatal field. Lanouette, 
seeing what happened, said to Sweeney, " Vous-avez mal 
commence votre journee," — "You have begun the day 
badly." Major Ward was a man of splendid physique, 
and so great a favorite in the regiment, that at his funeral 
there was scarcely a dry eye among either the officers or 
the men. Sweeney was indicted for murder, but as there 
were not witnesses to testify to the deed, the grand jury 
brought in ' no bill." Public excitement calmed down, 
and he returned ([uietly to the city. He had killed his 
adversary, but an avenging conscience soon killed him. 
God's laws cannot be violated with impunity. Robert 
Sweeney had been chosen a member of the temporal com- 
mittee in 1837, and he still occupied this position when 
the above-mentioned disastrous event occurred. He did 
not long survive this tragedy. It seemed to prey upon 
his spirits, and he is said to have died of melancholy over 
the sad event. His widow afterwards married another 
young lawyer, John Eose, now Sir John Rose, baronet. 
She died in 1883. 

Campbell Sweeney's eldest daughter, Jane, was married 
to Dr. Caldwell in 1822. Another daughter, Elizabeth, was 
married to George Johnstone, of " Elm Tree," Chateau- 
guay, who died at Lachine, in 1885. A fourth daughter, 
Emily, never married. She died at Lachine, December 1st, 

Mr. Sweeney t)wned pew No. 56, in the old church. He 
was also a member of the committee appointed by the cour- 
to receive back possession of the church, in 1832, from the 
Black party that had possession of it for a year. Of course, 
he and his family stood energetically for Mr. Esson 


So did Dr. William Caldwell, Mr. Sweeney's son-in-law. 
He was the m edical friend to whom Dr. Hamilton referred, 
in his " Trifles from My Portfolio," as " making sport for 
the Philistines " on Sunday morning, Marc^h 6th, 1831. 
He was a son of James Caldwell, mentioned in an early 
part of this volume, and occupied a high position in his 
profession in this city, ranking with Drs. Robertson and 
Stephenson, and being associated with them in hospital 
and college work. He was a member of the temporal 
committee during the stormy period from 1830 to 1883- 
He took part in the meeting of 25th January, 1830, moving 
a vote of thanks at the conclusion to Hon. L. Grugy, for 
presiding. He also, as a member of the temporal committee, 
signed the petition to the convention of Scottish ministers 
assembled at Kingston, 7th June, 1831. He owned pew 
No. 57. 

D. P. Ross was a member of the firm J. & D. P. Ross, 
dry goods merchants, 25 Notre Dame Street. They greatly 
prospered, and acquired valuable property in the centre of 
the city, embracing the Albion Hotel, on McG-ill Street, 
which still belongs to the same estate. The fact has 
already been mentioned, that Donald P. Ross married the 
daughter of Philip Ross, one of the elders of St. Grabriel 
Street Church, and that being childless, his property was 
bequeathed to the late Donald Ross, and his wife, who 
were nephew and niece of D. P. Ross. John, the senior 
member of the firm, never married. It was he who built 
View Mount; and it is through their connection with his 
estate that the Thayer's and Kirby's, the present proprietors 
have come into possession. He was a director of the Bank 
of Montreal in 1842. 

Mr. Ross was treasurer of the congregation in the years 
1821 and 1822, and was again a member of the temporal 
committee in 1828. He owned pew No. 83. He was a 


staunch frieud of Mr. Esson's all through the troubles of 
1829-83, but, an we shall see, they had at last to part 

One of the most prominent of the members of the church 
for a long time, and one of the fastest of Mr. Esson's 
friends, was William Peddie, of the iirm of William and 
Stuar*^ Peddie, hardware merchants, 127 St. Paul Street. 
Mr. Peddie's name has already been mentioned, as a mem- 
ber of a special committee to select a precentor, in 1816, on 
account of his musical accomplishments. On the 1st 
December, 1817, when the new pews in the gallery were 
offered for sale, he bought No. 11 for .£17 10s. No. 10 in 
the gallery was also leased to him in 1822. He was elected 
on the temporal committee in 1818, and again in 1822 and 
1823. In the latter year he was Vice-President. He was . 
again elected to this position in 1829, and, when William 
Blackwood died in 1831, Mr. Peddie was chosen by the 
remanent members to replace him. He was made President 
in 1833, and was still a member of the committee, when 
he was cut down suddenly by cholera, during the second 
visitation of that deadly malady, on 27th July, 1834, aged 
45 years. 

Mr. Peddie was a fine specimen of the Scotch merchant, 
— a man of much natural ability, courteous and cultured. 
He was a director of the Montreal Fire Insurance Company 
in 1820. He never married, and his death was a serious 
blow to the church, and especially to Mr. Esson, to whom 
he was warmly attached, and with whom he had lived, in 
celibate style, for several years, in part of Beaver Hall. 

Colin McDougall, who bought pew No. 76, in 1827, and 
was elected a member of the temporal committee in 1833 
and 1834, was a partner of the firm of Cuthbertson and 
McDougall, importers of dry goods, St. Sacrament Street. 
He supported Mr. Esson at the great crisis in 1830-33. 


John Jamieson, who was secretary to the temporal com- 
mitit'c in 1824, and owned pew No 73, was a member of 
the firm of " Gillespie, Motl'att and (.'ompany." He came 
to Montreal in 1815, and left here about 1842, returning 
to Scotland. He died in Edinburgh in 1848. He was 
uncle to A. T. Patterson, the present head of the firm in 
Montreal. Mr. Jamieson was one of the trustees named 
in Rev. James Homerville's will. His wife was a daughter 
of Hon. Samuel Hatt of Chambly. 

Charles Tait was a prominent Scotchman, in Montreal 
fifty years ago. This was shown, not only in that he was 
chosen a member of the temporal committee, and secretary 
of St. Gabriel Street Church, which was counted the Scotch 
Church, by way of eminence, for the years 1825, 1826 and 
1829, but also in his election to the treasurership of the 
St. Andrew's Society, continuously, from 1885 to 1841. 
Declining re-election to the temporal committee at that 
critical date, 1831, John Smith was chosen to replace 
him. Mr. Tait was book-keeper in the establishment of 
Allison, Turner and Company in his earlier days. He 
was, at a later period, agent of the Alliance Insurance 
office of London. Mr. Tait's father had been an elder in 
Mr. Easton's church in St. Peter Street, but Charles pre- 
ferred the St. Gabriel Street Church. He bought pew 
No 69. His sympathies seem to have been about equally 
divided between Mr. Esson and Mr. Black. Some of the 
documents which he signed, supported the views of the 
latter ; but when it came to the matter of going or stay- 
ing, he determined to stay. And yet he had, by-and-by, 
to depart from Mr. Esson's wishes, as we shall see. 

Francis Hunter, senior, who signed the petition to the 
convention of Scotch ministers at Kingston, in 1831, was 
a retired merchant, who came from Quebec about that time 


and rcisidod with hi.s hoii Francis Hunter, junior, who was 
in partui'rship witli John Fi.shor, an a J5»»u»»rai monihaut. 
Mr. IIunttT, wenior, waH born at Alloa, Clackmannanshire, 
Scotland, in 17H2. H»» sailed from London, England, lor 
Halifax, N.S., in 1792. In 1798, he had the adventure 
with Joseph I'rovan, already related at page 180. He 
removed to Quehet; about 1794 5, where he resided until 
he came to Montreal, as already stated. About 1834, he 
made his home at Belleville, Upper Canada, and there he 
resided until he died, in ISriS, in the 91st year of his age. 

He was appointed an elder in St. Gabriel Street Church, 
14th April, 1883, at the same time that Kenneth Walker 
and George Johnston were ordained. He had been pre- 
viously ordained, and had served a long time as an elder 
in St. Andrew's Church, Quebec, under the ministry of Dr. 
Spark and Dr. Harkness. Mr. Hunter was one of the 
" kindest of men, honest as the sun, just as Aristides, uni- 
versally respected and beloved by all who knew him." 
One of his daughters was married to John Fisher, M.P,, of 
whom we shall hear a good deal by and by ; another, to 
George Rhynas ; and a third, to Alexander Miller, 

Francis Hunter, junior, who also signed the petition 
sent up by the Esson party to the synod, in 1831, was the 
son of the elder just mentioned. He was a partner with 
his brother-in-law, John Fisher, as a merchant. He re- 
moved to Upper Canada in 1834, where he continued in 
trade for some time. Ultimately he received an appoint- 
ment in the civil service, which he fulfilled for many years. 
He retired in 1884, and still resides in Ottawa. He spent 
the winter of 1885 in Montreal, but he prefers life in the 
Capital, where he meets the people whom he has long 
known. The writer has been indebted to his friend, 
" Francis Hunter, junior,' for much valuable information. 
Although upwards of four score, he is so active and viva- 
cious, that the designation "junior," by which he is marked 


iji the (jhuroh dcxumontw of 5t) yoars ngo. 80(»ms not at all 
inapplicable to him evtMi now. He is youngvr in spirit 
than many m«'n of not half his years. 

Mr. Hunter, "Junior," was married twice, — first to 
a dauj^hter of Hon. Alexander Grant, of L'Orignal, and a 
niece of Mrs. Ferguson, the mother of Mrs. Andrew kShaw ; 
secondly, to Mr.'s. Bell, whose daug-hter, ])y her former 
marriage, was the wife oi J. R. Arnoldi, mechanical 
engineer of the Public Works, and a grandson of Doctor 
Aruoldi, who occupied a pew in St. GabrieKStreet Chur«h. 
G-race Hunter, daughter of Marcella Grant, is the hnppy 
wife of Rev. G. Colborne Heine, the respected pastor of 
Chalmers' Church ; so that Chalmers' Church has this link, 
among many others, binding it to St. Gabriel's. 

J. C. Grant, Q.C., has been already named on several 
occasions. His mission to Great Britain on behalf of the 
church was successful, at least, in part. The Church of 
Scotland got thoroughly roused to enter the arena on behalf 
of her daughter in Canada, and this told more in favour 
of the claims of the church here than even Mr. Grant's 
advocacy of them before the Colonial Secretary and other 
officials of the Government at Westminster, The cause 
made substantial progress through Mr. Grant's agency. 
On his return to Canada, he did not take any very promi- 
nent part in the affairs of the congregation ; but his 
sympathies were with Mr. Esson in the days of darkness. 
He died after a brief sickness, on November 25th, 1836. 
The Gazette of the following day thus characterized 
him : — 

" It is with most unfeigned regret that we announce the 
death, last evening, of James Charles Grant, Esquire, 
advocate of this city. The short illness to which Mr. Grant 
has fallen, did not, till yesterday, appear to be dangerous, 
and the sudden change from the stirring activity of life to 


the painful tranquillity of death, conld not fail to have 
produced the fearful gloom which pervades the circle of 
• his acquaintance. As a friend, many can bear witness to 
his open-hr ^tedness and generosity ; as a politician, he 
was strictly v sistent, and zealous in forwarding the in- 
terests of his pa — as an advocate, he was upright and 
unblemished, — as a. jan and a citizen he was esteemed and 
respected. Mr. Grant was a native of the Province, had 
arrived nearly to the seniority of the Montreal bar, 
and received from Lord Aylmer, a short time prior to his 
lordship's departure, his commission as a King's Council." 

James Scott, who was treasurer during the years 1834 
and 1835, was the head of the firm of "Scott, Tyre, 
C^olquhoun and Company," wholesale dry goods mer- 
chants, whose warehouse was at the corner of St. Joseph 
and Commissioner streets. He also signed the petition 
to the Kingston convention inl831, in favour of the views 
of Mr. Esson. Mr. Scott became a rich man and resolved 
to retire from business and spend the evening of his life 
in Scotland. The ship grounded when near tho wharf at 
Greenock, and the effect of the confusion and alarm on 
Mr. Scott was such that he died shortly after reaching the 

James Logan, already spoken of, Sir William's eldest 
brother, was treasurer in the years 1825 and 1826. He 
afterwards protested against the majority's action iu separ- 
ating from the Presbyterian Church of Canada in connec- 
tion with the Church of Scotland, in 1844. He carried on 
the business of his uncle. Hart, when the latter set up a 
counting house in England, and removed thither. 

At a later period he formed a partnership with Thomas 
Cringan, under the style of " Logan, Cringan and Com- 
pany," general merchants, m St. Sacrament Street. He 

433 • 

continued to occupy one of the old family pews, 28, but 
27 was taken by the management for the minister's family. 
He ceased attending church altogether after the disruption 
in 1844, partly because he could not, with his views, 
attend there any longer, but mainly on account of the 
dulness of his hearing. 

William Suter, whose house was in St. Constant 
Street, near Dorchester, was a member of the temporal 
committee in 1833. He also signed the petition to the 
convention of Scotch ministers at Kingston, in 1881. He 
was a merchant for some years, but afterwards entered 
the service of the city. 

Koderick Mackenzie, who bought pew No. 23, in the gal- 
lery, in 1825, was a dry-goods merchant in St. Paul Street. 
He was elected a member of the temporal committee in 
1835, and was re-elected to this most important position 
in 183*7 and 1838. On more than one occasion, he was 
solicited to allow himself to be nominated to the eldership, 
but he shrank from the responsibilities of the office. 
Mr. Mackenzie was a native of Stranach, Ross-shire, 
Scotland, and came to Montreal in the spring of 1804. 
He was not favourable to the movement westward of 
the church, in 1865, and so he resolved to cast his lot in 
with the congregation about to be re-organized in the old 
church ; but he died on 1st August, 1866, a short time 
before a minister was settled under the auspices of the 
Church of Scotland. His daughter, Mary Anne, long a 
Sabbath-school teacher, and secretary of the Dorcas Society 
of St. G-abriel Street Church, became the wife of "William 
L. Haldimand, hardware merchant, of whom more anon. 

Thomas Ross was a warm friend of Mr. Esson's. He 

was a brother of Joseph Ross, of whom mention has been 
c c 


already made. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and 
came to Canada in the year 1818. He belonged to the 
then important guild of coopers, like many others who 
made their mark in Montreal. He was a man of stalwart 
proportions, with a mind as vigorous as his body. He 
was a strong believer in Establishments ; and, therefore, 
although he had formerly stood by Mr. Esson, when that 
gentleman forsook the Church of Scotland, Mr. Ross 
W'as constrained, much as he was attached to the man, 
to go into opposition. He was one of the 27 protesters, 
in 1844, against the occupation of the old edifice by the 
Presbyterian Church of Canada. Mrs. Ross and the 
children continued to attend the church for about twelve 
months after this ; but as Mr. Ross would not accompany 
them, they all left and went as a . united family to St. 
Paul's. He died, 15th December, 1864, 84 years of age. 

Joseph Moore Ross, merchant of Montreal, who was 
long the Treasurer of St. Paul's Church, and a member 
of the Board of Trustees of theMinisters' Widows' and 
Orphans' Fund of the Church of Scotland, who d?ed 
suddenly on the 26th of June, 1868, in his 54th year, 
was his son. Mr. J. M. Ross was also one of the eleven 
Trustees named in the Act of Parliament, in 1864, to 
receive the St. Grabriel Street Church back into the 
possession of the Church of Scotland, — a fit arrangement, 
considering that it was the church which he attended in 
his youth. T. P. Ross, secretary of Hochelaga Cotton 
Company, is also Thomas Ross's son, and Mrs. "Whitehead, 
mother of Col. Whitehead, is his daughter. 

Mention has already been made,atpagel40, of Kenneth 
Walker. He was a stout friend of Mr. Esson's, and it is 
to be presumed that he was one of the gentlemen whom 
Mr. Esson wished to have ordained to the eldership on 6th 

' 435 

March, 1831, to prevent which, the church was seized and 
closed by the opposition, as he was one of the three selected 
for the office, as soon as St. Paul's people hived otF. He 
was among the nine laying the information before the 
magistrates on which the leading supporters of Mr. Black 
were arrested at the church door on the date mentioned, 
and was one of those who received the church back, by 
order of the court, in 1832. He was a member of the tem- 
poral committee in the years 1814, 1825 and 1826, and again 
in the critical period from 1830 to 1832, during which time 
he was vice-president. He was allowed to exchange his 
pew No. 98 for No. 100 in 1825. He was one of the original 
directors of the Montreal General Hospital, and was a gen- 
tleman of much mental activity. "When Mr. Esson resolved 
to cast his lot in with those who separated from the Synod 
of the Church of Scotland, Mr. Walker was constrained to 
detach himself from his old friend and pastor, although 
he did it reluctantly. He dissented from the resolution of 
the Kirk-session endorsing Mr. Esson's action, in seceding 
from " the kirk," although his di&^ent was not formally 
entered in the minute. He was also one of he 2*7 that 
served the notarial protest on the majority of the congre- 
gation in resolving to hold the church for the newly 
formed Presbytery and Synod. The late Joseph Walker, 
hardware commission merchant, on St. John Street, was 
a son of Kenneth Walker's. 

Greorge Johnston, who was ordained an elder at the same 
time as Mr. Walker, 14th April, 1833, if not born in Aber- 
deen was, at least, brought up in that city. He came to 
Montreal during the American war, about the year 1813. 
He belonged to a family that did good service to their 
country in connection with the Royal Navy ; but he hdd 
a taste for trade, and adopted the baking business, which 
he prosecuted successfully in this city. He was what 


was known as " Government baker." His place of busi- 
ness was in Water Street. Walter Benny, Robert and 
"William Watson, Mungo Ramsay, and John Anderson 
were all engaged in the business at the same time, and all 
filled important positions in society and in the church, as 
well as supplied the community with the staff of life. 

Mr. Johnston occupied pew No. 2, in 1843, and after- 
wards. He was one of the committee to receive the church 
back in 1832, as he stood by Mr. Esson, all through that 
gentleman's ministry. At the disruption, he voted in favor 
of his minister's position on the Free Church question. He 
was a member of the temporal committee, under the now 
regime, in 1845, 1846, and 1847. He tabled his resignation 
as an elder in 1845, at the same time as Mr. Leslie, with a 
view to paving the way for satisfying the Free Church 
committee of twelve, and keeping them in St. Gabriel 
Street Church. Mr. Johnston was a man of great personal 
worth, and having served his generation well, he fell 
asleep, September 20th, 1875, at the advanced age of 84 
years. Mrs. Muir, widow of the late William Muir, of 
Muir, Ewan and Company, is his daughter. 

Several members of the Workman family became con- 
nected with the St. Gabriel Street Church. They belonged 
to Lisburn, County Antrim, Ireland. The first to come to 
Montreal was Benjamin, the eldest of i;he brothers, who 
reached the city in May, 1819. He was followed the next 
year by Alexander, who arrived in Quebec 24th May, 1820, 
and proceeded to Montreal. The first Sunday he was in 
the city he went to St. Gabriel Street Church. His recep- 
tion there I will let him tell in his own words : *' I was 
directed by Mr. Bent to his pew. Miss Bent , afterwards 
Mrs. Mcintosh, secondly, Mrs. James Court, and her 
brother, John Bent, wers in the double pew. An old gen- 
tleman, Mr. Fraser, also. He held the pew door firmly 

437 V 

However, my brother aud I took our seats peaceably. 
After service, I said ' I am oti" to Philadelphia — this is a 
horrid place.' Having been waited on by several, — Benja- 
min Hart, James McG-ill Desrivieres, Benjamin Beaubien, 
Colonel Leviscount, Mrs. Solomon — to accept private 
tuition in their families, so I remained in Montreal, not 
a bad old place." 

Benjamin's first position was principal teacher in the 
Union School, Pres de ville, in 1820. At a later period, he 
kept school in Chenneville Street, near Craig Street. In 
1829, as we have seen, he became joint proprietor of the 
Courant. purchased from Mr. Mower, and carried on print- 
ing and publishing along with teaching. Among other 
jobs which he did, in the way of business, was p.-inting 
one of the two celebrated pamphlets, that were issued in 
connection with the Black-Esson trouble — a job for which 
he never got paid. He kept neutral in the embroglio, 
although naturally disposed to sympathize with Mr. 
Esson ; and the result, as far as he was concerned, was to 
disgust him with both parties, and he left the church 
shortly after the St. Paul's congrfegation was organized ; as 
did also Thomas "Workman, who had attended the church 
from the date of his arrival in the city, July, 1827. He and 
Benjamin then went to the American Presbyterian Church, 
but did not join its communion. 

A Unitarian minister visited Montreal in 1832, and 
preached in Benjamin Workman's school-room, corner of 
St. Sacrament and St. Nicholas Streets. Mr, Workman did 
not then join the society, but did about 1840, and his 
brother Thomas with him. Benjamin opened a Sabbath 
school under the auspices of the Unitcrian Society, in 
1842, and continued an active member of the church, 
which was organized under Rev. John Cordner, in 1843, 
until his removal to Toronto in 1856. 

Late in life, he studied medicine, and became a physi- 


cian, as his brother Joseph was ; and, when the latter 
was appointed superintendent of the Provincial Lunatic 
Asylum at Toronto, Benjamin was associated with him in 
the work of the Institution. The family pew in St. G abriel 
'Street Church, No. 99, stood in his name. He died at 
Toronto, 26th September, 1878, aged 84 year8. 

Alexander, who has given us a glimpse of his first ex- 
periences in the city, also established a school here — an 
English and classical school, — in Hospital Street. He con- 
tinued to worship in St. Gabriel Street Church until his 
removal to Ottawa, in 1844. He concludes his communi- 
cation, from which a quotation has been already made 
with these words : " I am now in my 90th year, — in fair 
health, I thank my Creator, and my hatred of King 

Along with Thomas, Samuel and Matthew arrived in 
Montreal, in 182*7. Their father and mother, with William, 
reached the city two years later. Several members of the 
family settled first on a farm at New G-lasgow ; but they 
had all a strong intellectual bias as well as a capacity for 
affairs, and they drifted into the city by degrees. 

William and Thomas became associated in the hardware 
business, as partners in the well known firm, " Frothing- 
ham and Workman," and greatly prospered. William was 
a member of the temporal committee of St. Gabriel Street 
Church, in 1842 ; b'lt he also left it, and afterwards went 
to the Unitarian Church. However, he does not seem to 
have been quite at his ease in that ccnamunion, and he 
ended his days in connection with Christ Church. William 
Workman was a citizen of mark, and gave a good deal of 
his time and thought to public concerns. As early as 1848, 
he had been designated to a seat in the City Council, but 
refusing to act, his place was taken by John Whitlaw. At 
a later date he was elected mayor of Montreal, and held that 
important position at the time Prince Arthur, Duke of 


Connaught, was stationed with his regiment in this (^ity. 
The address from the city to His Royal Highness, bearing 
date 8th October, 1809, bore the signature, "William 
Workman." He died, 23rd February, 1878, aged 11 years. 
Thomas Workman, although often solicited to take part 
in civic affiiirs, has so far declined. He, however, repre- 
sented Montreal Centre in two parliaments since confedera- 
tion, and was regarded as specially well-fitted to advocate 
the interests of the most important commercial con- 
stituency in the Dominion, as belonging himself to one of 
its leading firms He obtained a wiio out of St. Gabriel 
Street Church, Mrs. Workman being a daughter of John 
Eadie, Manager of the Savings Bank, who long sat in 
that edifice. The Workman family have been remarkable 
in many ways, but in no respect more than in their 
longevity, the three surviving brothers averaging 81§ 
years aach. 

Archibald Fletcher, one of the signers of the docu- 
ment refusing to open the church, in 1831, was born in 
Glenorchy, Argyllshire, in 1788, and commenced business 
in Greenock, in 1812. He left with his family for Canada, 
in 1823, and arrived in Montreal in August. He went to 
New Glasgow in September, and commenced life in the 
bush ; he lived there for four years, and returned to Mont- 
real in September, 1827, to commence his trade here. He 
and his wife joined St. Gabriel Street Church, and were 
members until the trouble arose between the two ministers 
and their adherents. He sided with Mr. Black. At about 
that time, Mr. Miles — Congregationalist — arrived in Mont- 
real, and commenced preaching in Mr. Bruce's school- 
room, McGill Street. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher liked his 
preaching, and decided to leave the Kirk, and cast in their 
lot with the Congregationalists. In the spring of 1831, Mr. 
Fletcher met with an accident, which resulted in his death 


ill De(;ember, of the fiamo year. He left a widow with 
one son and five daughters. The widow, with her son, 
(tarried on the business for some years alter his death. 
The late Ueorge Winks, dry goods merchant, was married 
to one of the daughters. 

Colonel John Fletcher is a son of Archibald Fletcher, 
and was born in Greenock, on the 23rd May, 1815. John 
attended Mr. Bruce's school, in McGrill Street, a school in 
which a number of our prominent citizens received their 
first rudiments, and some their only education. His father 
dying when John was but 16 years of age, he gave up 
school, and assisted his mother in carrying on the 
business. In 1834, he, with some others, organized a 
volunteer hook and ladder company, purchasing, at their 
own expense, a wagon, ladders, implements and uniform. 
This company did good service until a fire department 
was formed under the new city corporation, established by 
charter in 1840. 

When the troubles arose in 183Y and 1838, a volunteer 
force was formed in Montreal. Mr. Fletcher joined the 
Scotch company, No. 6, of the Montreal Light Infantry. 
He served two years in the company. When it was dis- 
banded in 1839, he had attained the rank of sergeant. 

In 1840, peace was restored to our city ; a corporation 
was formed and a mayor appointed, a police force and a 
volunteer fire department of ten companies were organized. 
Mr. Fletcher joined No. 3 company as branchman. He 
worked his way up through the several grades to the 
command of the company. He was appointed captain in 
1845. In 1846, a new engine was received, when the name 
of the company was changed from " Alliance " to that 
of "Protector." Captain Fletcher was appointed 1st 
Assistant Engineer, in 1849. He served in that rank 
until he joined the 100th Regiment, in 1858, having 
served as fireman 24 years, continuous service. 


His first appoarauce as an oiftcer in the militia was in 
184*7, when the Moutrt^al Volunteer Fire Brigade was 
formed into a battalion of militia, under the command of 
Lieut.-Col. Hon. James Ferrier, then mayor of the city. 
By the general order of May 5th, 1847, he was appointed 
lieutenant and adjutant of the battalion, and by the gen- 
eral order of the 22nd March, 1850, he received the brevet 
of Captain. When th*^ militia bill of 1855 was passed, 
authorizing the formation of fifty ritle companies for the 
Province of Canada, he raised one of the two allotted to 
Montreal, and was gazetted (.'aptain by general order 27th 
September, 1855. On the 28th November, 1850. he, with 
Captain T. Lyman, was promoted to the rank of major for 
the reasons given in the general order of that date, viz. : — 
" Captains Lyman and Fletcher shall likew^ise be promoted 
" to the rank of major, those officers having formed the lirst 
"rifle companies in Montreal, and commenced the organi- 
" zation of a force in that city, whose discipline and ap- 
" pearauce are not excelled by any corps in the province." 
In 1856, he was appointed Instructor of Musketry in the 
Rifle Corps in Lower Canada, and Drill Instructor to the 
Rural Companies (having qualified for the appointment 
under the Instructor of Musketry of H. M. 's Force 
stationed in Montreal). In the spring of 1858, the 100th, 
" Prince of Wales," Royal Canadian Regiment, was raised; 
he was selected for a commission in it, and having furnish- 
ed his quota of men, he resigned his appointments in the 
militia. He served four years in the 100th. Returning to 
Montreal, on leave, in January, 1862, during the excitement 
of the " Trent " affair, when corps were organizing through- 
out the province, he volunteered his services to drill the 5th 
Battalion, " Royal Light Infantry," just formed under the 
command of Lieut.-Col. Routh. Having drilled the corps 
for some months, he resigned his commission in the 100th 
Regt., joined the 5th Battalion, and was gazetted major by 


general order, Hrd July, 18(12. On th«> 28th November, 
1862, he was appointed on the permanent Ktafl' of the 
militia a« l>ri«^ade-major ol'No. C military districtol" Lower 
Canada. He commanded the volunteer brigade stationed 
at Si. Johns during the Fenian trouble of 18(16. In the 
spring of 1870, he commanded a brigade stationed at 
Huntingdon and Hemmingford, on account of a threatened 
Fenian invasion on that frontier. On the 28th May, an 
advauie was made, a large force, under Colonel Bagot, of 
H. M. 69th Regiment, against the Fenians entrenched 
at Trout River. The 50th Battalion Volunteers led the 
advance, and he was in command of the line of skirmish- 
ers that drove the Fenians across the border. In March, 
1874, he was appointed deputy adjutant general, com- 
manding No. 5 military district. During the next seven 
years' service as D. A. G., on several important occasions, 
he had the responsible duty of commanding the troops 
called out in Montreal in aid of the civil power. For 
these services he was made a C. M. G-. by Her Majesty 
the Queen. 

He commanded successfully brigade camps at Laprairie, 
Franklin, Granby and Sherbrooke. In 1863, with the co- 
operation of all the officers in the country, he was success- 
ful in organizing at Huntingdon the first Rifle Association 
in the Province of Quebec. This Association has held an 
annual competition up to the present time. Subsequently 
he succeeded in having a Rifle Association formed in each 
county in the district. These associations proved of prac- 
tical benefit to the active militia of the district, by pro- 
moting proficiency in rifle practice, and creating a healthy 
spirit of rivalry in rifle shooting between the corps. 

When a boy, he went to the Sunday-school of the 
American Church, and became so attached to the school 
and church that he remained there as scholar, teacher and 
member, until he left the city in 1858. When he and his 

443 • 

family rt'tuniod to tho «ity, thoy joined Chalmors' Chunh, 
where they still (ontinuo to worship, and where he HIIh 
the important duties of an elder. 

Another memher of the St. Gabriel Street Church, who 
afterwards became a power in the land, also left the con- 
jrrpgation at this crisis, and connect«'d himself with the 
newly organized Conj^'repfational (^huvch. This was John 
Dougall, the great <hampion of temperance, and founder 
of the Montreal Witness newspaper. He is distinguished 
in the documents as John Dougall, Junior, in contra- 
distinction to John Dougall, senior, his father, who also 
appended his signature to the application made to the 
Church of Scotland ministers in 1831. They had both 
been in attendance on the church for the previous live 
years, and their sympathies ran out strongly towards Mr. 
Esson, of whom Mr. Dougall continued to speak in terms 
of the warmest affection and regard, up till the day of his 
death. The following sketch of his life and work is bor- 
rowed from the Dail// Witness, of August 16th, 1886, written 
by John Beattie, long the manager of the Witness printing 
♦establishment : — 

"John Dougall was born in Paisley, on the 8th of July, 
1808, coming of a godly and thrifty ancestry. His grand- 
father, Duncan Dougall, who was removed from him in 
age by only thirty-six years, was the son of a well-to-do 
weaver. He was a muslin manufacturer, an enthusiastic 
Tory in the midst of surging Radicalism, and a man of 
imperious but aflfectiouate nature, passionately fond of 
flowers — a taste which descended to his grandchildren. 
His son, John Dougall, was the greatest reader in Paisley, 
and a keen Reformer in politics. He gave his two boys a 
desultory education, including almost unlimited reading, 
and a boys' literary club met at his own house. Out of 
the six members of this club, one became a poet, and three 


bocamo journrtliMtM of not«». His eld»»r hoii had, at the a)^e 
of liftiMMi, to inaua<»;t» Iuh fath«'r'H manufacturini? l)UMiiie8S 
when tho lattor was laid up. 

" IlosaiU'd for Canada at thtf ago of 18, in th»» year 182f). 
with a coiiHij^unioiit of goods for the estahliNhmeiit of a 
hrauch house and commisNion busiiu»HH. The travelling 
which this busiiu'ss involved, and a winter spent in the 
back woods of Lanark, familiarized him with the embryos 
of our greai cities, and with pioneer life in Canada. 

" Mr. Dougall brought with him a valise well filled with 
Paisley shawls, which in those days were very much 
admired, — so much so that he afterwards be<'ame an agent 
for them and other goods also. He is said to have had one 
lady admirer of the shawls who made repeated visits to see 
all the pattei ^ • that came out, but the shopman, noticing 
that she never punhased any of them, suspected her ot 
having taken some that were missed. A watchman having 
visited her abiding place, found several of the stolen 
shawls concealed there. Mr. Dougall let her go with a 
warning not to visit his stock again, and he retained the 
patterns she so much admired for samples afterwards. I 
have never known him to prosecute any person for theft 
or any other offence. I think he considered their morals 
would not be improved by sending them to prison, and he 
had no faith in what are termed reformatories." 

" He was so successful with the shawl business that he 
found it necessary to form a partnership and open a branch 
of his business in Toronto, which was conducted by his 
brother Mr. James Dougall, the nurseryman of Windsor, 
Out., who, with Mr. John Redpath eventually became 
partners. They were very prosperous in business, the 
Bank of Montreal giving them all the credit they required ; 
but a crisis came on which brought the partnership to a 
close, the debts, for the most part, having been afterward 
paid off. A produce commission business, and a book and 


stationnry Htore w«'ro Hoon al'tor oommonred in Montreal, 
the name of the firm having been chanprd to John 
Donpall cSc Co. The mana^••'^l('nt of the two hranches of 
huHineNH, above alhided to, was left to others, vvhil»> Mr. 
Dougall, with Mr. JameK Court and anoth«'r gentleman, 
formed a t«'mperanee society, and issued a monthly publi- 
cation in connection with it, <'alled the Cnnnda Tfm/jenince 
Advocate. The Advocate changed hands, the late Mr. J. C. 
Becket having taken the management of it, while Mr. 
Dougall embarked in anoth«'r enterprise whi<h culminated 
iu the issuing of the Weekly Witness.^^ 

"On the 0th of May, 1871, the 2r)th anniversary of the 
Witness was celebrated by the opening of a four-cylinder 
Hoe press, followed by a social entertainment. Mr. 
Dougall speaking, of his ancestry on that occasion, said : — 

" My grandfather was a man of three books, Milton's 
Paradise Lost, Matthew Henry's Commentaries, and 
Young's Night Thoughts, and these were the only books 
his grandchildren were allowed to read on the Sabbath 
day beside the Bible. My grandmother, who belonged to 
Ayrshire, (and whose grandfather, a staunch Cameronian, 
had been concealed for two years in a peat stack, for fear 
of the troopers of Claverhouse and Dalziel) had more old 
ballads by heart than any person I ever met with, most of 
which never appeared in print, either in St'ott's Border 
Minstrelsy or any other collection. My father was one of 
the two greatest readers connected with the Paisley 
Library, and the number of volumes each of them read 
weekly would appear fabulous in this country. William 
Motherwell, the celebrated poet, whose pathetic piece, 
' My held is like to rend, "Willie, my heart is like to break,' 
stands high in Scottish poetry, came near to the first two 
for devouring books. Besides a constant supply of books 
and periodicals from the public library, many of which I 
read or heard read, there was in the house a choice, private 


library, gathered with great taste by my father. It con- 
tained Inchbald's British Theatre,' in some thirty volumes, 
and the choices! of the British poets, as well as transla- 
tions of the works of the great poets of Germany, France, 
Spain and Italy, and most of thiso I read when quite a 
child, with untiring avidity. My father's memory was 
richly stored with the finest poetry in the English lan- 
guage, which he frequently repeated, and my memory also 
retained, without effort, very many passages frotn favourite 
authors, especially from Byron's ' Childe Harold,' and 
'Turkish Tales,' and Scott's poems, which were then fresh 
from the press. In addition to such varied reading, we 
had the Edinburgh and Quarterly Revieivs, Blackioood' s and 
Constable's Magazines, 2indiih.e Glasgmv Chronicle, which was 
then the leading newspaper of the west of Scotland, on the 
"Whig or Liberal side. This paper, I often, when very 
young, read aloud to my grandfather. There was a street 
club in Paisley in which my grandfather took a prominent 
part, and I used to listen with much interest to its discus- 
sion of questions, which were conducted with an ability 
unsurpassed by the public journals. The Edinburgh Revieiv 
was the leader of public opinion on the Liberal side at that 
time, and the curb-stone club, at the foot of the News 
street of Paisley, was about two years ahead of the Edin- 
burgh Review in advancing the great questions of free trade, 
repeal of the corn-laws, parliamentary reform, &c., &c., all 
of which were accomplished within the next thirty or 
forty years. 

" Nurtured on such mental food, I early aspired to be a 
writer myself, and an unfinished epic, in imitation of 
Beattie's " Minstrel " and a play_ entitled : " The Black 
Prince," in imitation, I need not say how distant, of 
Shakespeare,occupied my leisure time before my fourteenth 
year. I also w^rote for the G-lasgow Clironide and Black- 
wood's Mav;azine about the same age, and never felt so proud 


■ ■ • 

before or since as when a letter of mine appeared in the 
Chronicle: but no notice was ever taken of what I sent to 

" My father encouraged a number of young men of a liter- 
ary turn to gather weekly in his house for the reading of 
original essays, poems, etc., and I cannot but regard it as 
somewhat remarkable, that of six that thus met, four should 
afterwards have become editors of newspapers, and one of 
them, Wm. Cross, a poet of considerable fame. After 
coming to Canada in 1820, 1 wrote a considerable number 
of pieces in prose and verse for the Montreal Herald, but 
soon poetry and politic.=^ were merged in business and 
amusement, and it was not until I had been some eight 
years in the country that the old tastes revived in a new 
line. About the year 1835, I became editor of the Canada 
Temperance Advocate, published by the Montreal Temper- 
ance Society, a position of immense usefulness, whicli I 
occupied for nearly ten years. During that time, the cir- 
culation of the Advocate, partly gratuitous, was very great ; 
every minister of all denominations was furnished with it, 
— and I often from time to time meet with people yet, from 
various parts of the country, who tell me they never tasted 
intoxicating drinks in their lives, as their fathers took the 
Advocate and brought up their families on total abstinence 

The Beginning of the " Witness " 

" Coming to the great enterprise of his life, Mr. Dougall 
said : " In the winter of 1845-46, I carried out a long- 
cherished ambition, by starting a weekly nevrspaper to 
advocate al] the best interests of the people, temporal and 
spiritual, and oppose all that conflicted therewith. This 
paper was the Montreal Witness, published at $3 per annum, 
and that it was needed was rendered obvious by the very 


handsome subscription list, numbering about 800, which 
it at once obtained. I need scarce ly say the Witness was 
religious without being sectarian, and political, irrespec- 
tive of party. It advocated, from the firbt, the claims of 
Evangelical religion — the Temperance reformation — the 
Sabbath — human freedom, and every other good cause, ' o 
the best of its ability, and with no uncertain sound. In this 
course it has continued for a quarter of a century, and in 
it, with the help of Grod, it will still persevere." 

Mr. Dougall became a total abstainer fifty-one years 
before his death — having three years before signed the 
'• half-way " pledge against spirituous liquor. Last year, 
writing of his 50th Temperance Anniversary, he said that, 
under God, he owed his rescue from the ordinary class of 
companions, found in hotels and boarding houses, to Mr. 
James Court and Mr. James Orr, who had got up a Young 
Men's Christian Temperance Society,and who a little later 
founded the Montreal Temperance Society. 

Two sons and four daughters remain, Mr. John Redpath 
Dougall, the present editor of the Witness ; Mr. James 
Duncan Dougall, of the New York Witness ; Miss Dougall, 
of this city ; Mrs. A. M. Cochrane, of New York ; Miss 
Susan Dougall, and Miss Lily Dougall. 

Mr. Dougall, who had scarcely known sickness during 
his long life, often expressed a wish to die suddenly rather 
than to linger on a bed of sickness — and his prayer was 
answered. He was living with his younger son, Mr. 
James D. Dougall, at Flushing, Long Island, and in that 
home, suddenly, while at breakfast, he breathed his last. 
No man had better grounds for having no fear of the great 
change. Not thinking of himself, and never looking back, 
his whole aim to the end was to do more for the race 
which already owed him, under God, such a heavy debt 
of gratitude. 

Mr. Dougall's wife was Elizabeth Redpath, eldest 
daughter of Mr. John Redpath. She died in 1883. 


Among the other names found on the petition to the 
convention of ministers at Kingston, in 1831, anent the 
St. Gabriel Street Church troubles, is that of James Court. 
It proves how difficult it was to determine the rights and 
the wrongs of the situation, that men like James Court 
and John Dougall should have sided with Mr. Esson, 
while others, like John Redpath and Dougald Stewart, 
took the part of Mr. Black. 

Mr. Court came from Scotland when a youth of 18 or 19 
years, and entered the service of his mother's brother, 
William Blackwood, merchant. He occupied, with his 
uncle, a seat in pew 61. Mr. William Blackwood having 
died in 1831, his brother John took over the business, and 
Mr. Court, who had acquired a knowledge of bookkeeping, 
began business on his own account, as a public account- 
ant and land agent. He was the first person in Montreal 
who laid himself out for this as a profession ; and he greatly 
prospered in it. The continuance of strife in St. Gabriel 
Street wearied his young and fervent spirit, and he sought 
peace in St. Andrew's Church. Here he worshipped 
for some time, until differing from Dr. Mathieson, on 
some matter involving the question of the extent to 
which a Christian may indulge in social freedom, he 
joined the new congregation, in connection with the 
Secession church, organized by Dr. Taylor,in Lagauchetiere 
Street. He remained a worshipper in this church until 
the " Free Church " in Cote Street was started, and he 
was added to the original twelve members constituting 
the committee. He had differed from the session of 
the Lagauchetiere Street Church on the question whether 
persons engaged in the liquor trade should be admitted 
to a place on the communion roll, he believing that 
they ought not:' He was one of the earliest champions 
in the city of total abstinence from intoxicants. John 

Dougall, J. S. Orr, and he organized a Christian Young 
D D 


Men's Society in 1832, which led up to the formation 
of the "Montreal Temperance Society" a few years 
later. Thesi* three gentlemen were the founders of a 
publication which did not a little to disseminate whole- 
some views as to the evils of intoxication throughout the 
land, viz.. The Canada Temperance Advocate. They got 
Kev. Dr. Taylor to edit it, and J. C. Becket to print it. 

Another important public movement owed its incoption 
to him. This was the general effort to evangelize the 
French Canadians. He had always been interested in them, 
and had sought to do what good to them he could per- 
sonally ; but he got little sympathy for his aspirations in 
their behalf from old country people in the city and 
province. They said, let the French Canadians alone— you 
will only spoil them by educating them and lessening the 
influence of the priests over them. The robellion of 183Y-8 
rather shocked the British portion of the population, and 
awakened many to perceive that there was no safety for 
the state, except what was founded on intelligence. Chris- 
tian people now joined him in his efforts. In 1838, a public 
meeting was called to organize a society for evangelizing 
the French Roman Catholics, in the American Church in 
St. James street. There was a good deal of apprehension 
for the safety of the building, owing to the excited state 
of feeling at the time. But all passed off quietly, Colonel 
Wilgress, that grand old Christian soldier, being in the 
chair. " The French Canadian Missionary Society " which 
founded the institute at Pointe-aux-Trembles, and intro- 
duced into this country a noble band of missionaries who, 
with a large force of colporteurs, have scattered the seed 
of the word pretty widely over the province, was then 
. formally established. The Eev. Dr. Taylor and Mr. Court 
visited G-reat Britain and the continent In the interests 
of the new society, and they succeeded in getting many 
good people pledged to help the cause. During the 


thirty odd yeiirs of the Society's existence, Mr. Court 
was the soul of the organization, as he held the respon- 
sible olfice of treasurer. He fell in with the proposal to 
hand over the work to the Presbyterian Church of Canada 
only wL.^ i he was convinced that it would be prosecuted 
more vigorously and successfully than it could be, under 
the new order of things in the country, by a separate 

Of Mr. Court's general character and work, I will let one 
speak who knew him most intimately, the Rev. Principal 
MacVicar, of the Presbyterian College. Speaking of him 
at the funeral in Crescent Street Church, Dr. MacVicar 
said, among other things : — 

" It may be truly said that faith and prayer were at the foundation of ins 
wel -defined and Christian character. He trusted in God, and in all things 
looked to him for strtngtli and guidance. Not only in his homo, morning 
and evonin<;, but also in his private ofR(;e, when, as the Saviour directs, he 

shut the door, he was wont often to l)ow before Got! in prayer 

Good must it be for commercial enterprizes, when in the very heart of 
them, and amid the busy scenes of secular activity, the hand of God is 
thus recognized. Mr. Court had a supreme regard for the authority of the 
Bible. He looked ujwn it not only as a revelation of grace, — the warrant 
of faith, the food of the soul, an inexhaustible fountain of wisdom, — but 
also as a perfect manual of otliics, to which he was ever ready to appeal. 
On social and religious (luestions, he held clear and pronounced opinions 
and his conduct in relation to such wab marked by the decision and firm- 
ness for which he was distinguished. . . . It is not surprising that his 
uniform and manly fidelity to his convictions and avowed principles, 
coupled with untiring diligence, inspired the utmost confidence in him in 
the mercantile world, and that his business grew and prosi)ered as years 

Such a man was always ready for his Master's summons. 
He dropped dead on one of the streets of Glasgow, Scot- 
laud, on February 14th, 1883. He had attempted to run, 
to overtake a tramway car, and this had disorganized the 
action, of the heart. 

Mr, Court had married Mrs. Macintosh, a widow, mother 


of John Macintosh, accountant, who was a daughter of D. 
Bent, carpenter and contractor, partner of Isaac Shay — the 
Miss Bent of whom Alexander Workman speaks in his 
reminiscences of St. Gabriel Street Church. 

Among others signing the memorial to the Presbytery 
of Quebec, invoking its intervention to see that the 
Synod's injunction as to opening the church should be 
obeyed, were William and Robert Watson. William and 
his brother Robert, father of the Robert signing the 
memorial, began life as bakers. Robert, senior, had been 
appointed flour inspector for the city. One evening, in 
the Spring of 1827, as the Rev. Dr, Mathieson, of St. 
Andrew's Church and he were sitting quietly chatting in 
his house, in Joseph Street, some miscreant fired a pistol 
through the window, with deadly aim, and fatally 
wounded Mr. Watson. He died a few hours afterwards. 
This event has remained shrouded in mystery till this 
day. The effects on Dr. Mathieson's nervous system, so 
great was the shock he sustained, remained with him all 
his life— affecting his utterance, as well as his powers of 
recollection. Young Robert died about the time he 
reached his majority. William afterwards became flour 
inspector, and died a rich man. He left St. Gabriel Street 
Cliurch during the Esson-Black dissensions and joined 
St. Andrew's Church. A beautiful clock in that noble 
edifice commemorates his connection with St. Andrew's 
congregation. He was the uncle of the Ogilvies, who 
inherited his wealth, William Watson Ogilvie being 
named after him. 


The Free Church Coxtroversv — Resolutions of the Synod in 1841, 1842 
AND 1843 — Meant to avert a oisruption herb — Influences brought 
TO hear in the meantime — Points of Agrbhmbnt in 1844 — Final 
CATASTRoruH — A DIVIDED Church — Mr. Esson'h Address To his Con- 
gregation — Resolutions of Congregation and Session — Photbht 
Served uY minority. 

We come iiow to the most serious crisis of all iii the 
history of the old church in St. G-abriel Street, — the 
" Disruption." There were secessions before, not only of 
numerous individuals, for such reasons as have always 
influenced individuals, and still influence them in ex- 
changing one church for another, — reasons good, bad and 
indifferent, — but also of large sections of the congrega- 
tion, moved by some common view or feeling. Those seces- 
sions were, however, occasioned chiefly by local considera- 
tions ; and after a while things went on as before, and 
new people came in to fill the places vacated by those who 
went out. This event was farther reaching in its import 
and effects. It was going to change the relations of the 
church and congregation to its own past attitude on im- 
portant questions, as well as toward many churches and 
congregations throughout Canada. 

I shall not attempt to discuss the " Free Church " ques- 
tion. Time and space forbid. But I venture to make a 
general remark or two on the subject. 

There met in the parent Church of Scotland, as well as 
in its off'-shoot in these provinces, two currents of view 
and sentiment, in the controversy regarding the practical 


relations of the church to the civil magistrate. One view 
was based on an acceptance of things as they are, making 
the most of them, — working them to the best advantage ; 
the other upon the attainment of a state of things ideally 
and logically perfect. The two views correspond, in a 
general sense, with the two systems of philosophy, the 
inductive and deductive. The inductive, or Baconian method 
proceeds to gather the facts involved and build upon them. 
The deductive method begins with assuming what insti- 
tutions ought to be, and, from that lofty point of view, 
would work downwards into the realm of facts. These 
two streams of tendency are known in political discussions 
as Conservatism and Liberalism, or, their extremes, tory- 
ism and radicalism. So far as the Church of Scotland was 
concerned, the one party known, as the constitutionalists, 
took the order of things as they resulted in Scotland, from 
the past — the facts as they were, the outgrowth of a reform- 
ation of the middle ages. They wished to preserve the 
church on the same general lines, as suited to the genius 
of the country, and they disliked changes, even though 
such changes might be logically defensible, and might 
have been well enough embodied in the constitution of a 
cht^rch that was only starting out on its career. The other 
party were idealists, men of enthusiasm, too, restless and 
unsatisfied until they saw reduced to fact, the high notions 
of which their minds were enamoured. 

The " Non-intrusionists " belonged to the latter class ; 
the " Moderates " to the former. No person belonging to 
either party would probably admit that he was under the 
dominion of any particular law of thought. Every man 
regarded himself as an independent investigator and actor, 
obeying his reason and conscience, and the law of God, in 
the course which he took. Nevertheless, there was a tend- 
ency apparent in his position which we choose to call a 


The Rev. Henry Esson might bo oxperied to be found 
in the school of theorists. Speculative Philosophy had a 
(•harm for him. He was a worshipper of the ideal. 
Every fact and institution that did not correspond with 
his ideal, he had always denounced. Other men were 
governed more by the matters of fact with which they 
had to do. "With them the question was, what can we hold 
and maintain, of the things that are, consistently with a 
good conscience and loyalty to the word of God. 

Having premised these few remarks, as generally ex- 
planatory of the views and courses taken by the several 
individuals and communities in " the disruption " contro- 
versy, I proceed to place before my readers a brief narra- 
tive of the facts relating to the movement, so far as St. 
Gabriel Street Church was concerned. 

As early as 1841, the Synod of the Presbyterian Church 
of Canada in connection with the Church of Scotland, had 
put on record its views on the subject of the relations that 
should subsist between the Church and the State. The 
following resolutions were unanimously adopted : — 

" I. That this Synod, in view of tho trials through which the Established 
Church of Scotland is passing, and the eventful crisis at which these have 
arrived, do record our most affectionate sympathy with her, and our ear- 
nest prayer for her success in her struggle against every encroachment of 
tlie civil power on her spiritual independence and jurisdiction, and that 
she may be a faithful witness to all Christian nations of the true principles 
according to which the civil magistrate should support the visible king- 
dom of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

" II. That this Synod, enjoying as we do, peculiar opportunities for wit- 
nessing the great evils that befall a nation when the true religion is not 
duly countenanced and maintained by the civil authorities, evils which 
have long, in the divine goodness, been averted from Scotland, regard it 
as a great calamity, that collision has occurred between the ecclesiastical 
and civil tribunals in Scotland, and record oi^r fervent hope that euch 
steps may be taken as shall restore the interrupted harmony, so that the 
church may be supported in her labours in her own sphere, and the state, 
as heretofore, may have increasing evidence that the church is the best 
bulwark of order, improvement and happiness among the people." 


HI. '' That tlii« synod oxiHirieiifiP tlio liiy;ho8t p[ratirt(\itint\ in nhsonin;; 
tli(WMiIiirlitiMu«l mill lioly npirit tluit uniinutoH tlic I'unmt Cliiiroh, lier ad- 
vaticiiin internal purity and zt;al,tlio nnnovalof liiiidiaiict's wliicliHtcMxl in 
tho way of the return of such of herchildnui as had .sofodod from hor roni- 
iiumion ; and \v(( do nincoroly trust tlial tho S(U)ttiHh National ("liurch, ad- 
horlii)? to hor primitives and scriptural standardM, will, ere ioUji, exhil)it to 
Christendom such a siH^ctaclts of iniity in tho faith, and such an example 
of scriptural connexion with tho state, as sliall j^ivo assurance that the 
Lord Jesus (Jiirist, for whose Crown and Sovereignty slit* is contending 
Mill make the land an heritage that the Lord has Itlesseil." 

IV'. "That this synod petition Her Majesty the Queen, and the ImjKirial 
I'arliamont, in support of all the just rights and claims of the Churcli of 
Scotland, and, in particular, that the wishes of the (Ksople he duly re^ardeel 
in the settlement of their ministers, and that the seer lar courts he pre- 
vented from all interference with the spiritual concerns of the Church." 

It may seem surprising; to the people of Cauada, in this 
generation, that the members and ministersof the church 
in this country, Ibrty-fivo years ago, should have been so 
much moved by what was happening in Scotland, while 
little interest, comparatively, is taken to-day in the events 
occurring in that land. But it should be remembered that 
in those days, the ministers and the members of the church 
in Cauada alike, came from across the sea, and so were 
familiar with what was going on, on the other side, and 
interested in it ; while now a large proportion of both 
the ministers and members of the church were born in 
Canada, and liave only u traditional connection with the 
British churches. 

The Synod, in 1842, also uttered its voice respecting the 
non-intru»ion controversy in Scotland : — 

" That the Synod, continuing to cherish the sentiments recorded hy them 
during the last session, respecting the struggle which the parent church is 
at present maintaining against the encroachments of the civil ix)wer, and 
cordially concurring in the great principles asserted in the resolutions of 
the General Assembly, at their meeting held on the 25th of August, 1841, 
and communicated to this Synod, instruct the Committee of Correspond- 
ence to give unequivocal expression to the views of the Synod in this 
respect in the letter which is now to be transmitted to the Colonial Com- 
niittteeof the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland." 


In the mt»antinit». tho disruption in the Church of Scot- 
hmd hiul takt'u place on tht' IHth of May, 184:J. and 
althoui»h full or otlicial information rcgardiui*' it had not 
reached this country, the Synod, by a vote of 2H to 11, 
paHsed th«' following resolutions, framed by Kev. Alexander 
Gale, Mr. Esson's nephew, and moved by Dr. Cook, 
seconded by Mr. R. McGill : — 

" The Synod havin;^ maturely considered the overture 
from the Presbytery of Hamilton, respecting a testi- 
mony by this Church, concerning the great questions 
which have been recently agitating the church and king- 
dom of Scotland, aiid the rights and privileges of the 
Church of Christ involved therein, and the bearing whic^h 
the recent determination of these questions in Scotland 
may have on the condition and relations of this Church, 
Resolved, — 

"Tliut tliis Synod rcconl their soluiun testimony on i)eluvlt' of tiie 
Hupronie liea<lHliii) of Chriistover iiis Church — tho rights whicii lie hu«cou- 
fiirred on its lUily contstituted otlice-heurers to rule and niinistorin it inde- 
jHjndently of all external control — and the privileges he has hestcnved on 
his people of exercising a free conscience in the apixjintnient of suchotlice- 
hearers; as these various principles have heen recently contended for 
by the Church of Scotland; the Synod having heretofore entertained an 
assured conviction that these rights and privileges were suljstantially 
recognized in the constitution of the Church of Scotland, as well as in 
those acts of the Civil Government by which she has enjoyed the advan- 
tages of an establishment, and iirmly believing that they have full 
warrant in the word of God, and that the maintaining them in their 
integrity, is essential to the well-being of the Church, and so far from being 
incompatible with, is inJisjxjnsable to a right and salutary alliance 
between the Church and the State." 

" That this Synod, while viewing with humble thankfulness the favora- 
ble circumstances in which tiie meml)er8, office-bearers, and judicatories of 
the Church are placed, in regard to their perfect exemption from secular 
interference with their spiritual privileges or functions, and the absejice of 
the temptations which such interference nught occasion to discord and 
disunion in the Church, do yet regard, with the deejiest concern, the 
present condition and prospects of the Church of Scotland ; and do 
hereby record their deei^est att'e'ctionate sympathy with those of her rulers 


antl memberH, who,Ioflvln>;t tlieoKtAMIdhinpntaf tliobiddinj^of c*)!!!^'!^!)^*, 
have llier«liy Ha<rili<»'«l t(>tniK)ml intwrestH ami ikuxoiuiI fwdinjjM to an ox- 
tent that must over conimand th« w^iwct and atlrniration of tho Christian 

These resolutions were passed, year alter year, with 
a view to avert iug- a disruption of the Churoli in Canada 
It was hoped that by expressing sympathy with the con- 
t«>ndings of the mother church, on the jjart of the whole 
Synod, the more ardent spirits in Canada would be con- 
tent and not divide the church here, and this course 
seemed likely to be successful up till the day of final 
action. Meantime, there was a correspondence carried on 
between the several parties in ti^cotlund, and their sympa- 
thizers in this country. 

The matter was discussed in the Presbytery of Montreal 
in connection with a letter from Dr. Grant, Convener of 
the Colonial Committee, assuring those ministers that 
continued loyal to the parent church, of all needful en- 
couragement and assistance, so far as the means at the 
disposal of the Committee would allow. A motion, by 
Dr. Black, thanking the Colonial Corumittee, was carried 
by a vote of to 6 over one by Mr. Esson, that no action 
be taken by the Presbytery until it was seen what posi- 
tion the Synod w^ould take in reference to the whole ques- 

The discussion was continued upon two overtures 
brought before the Presbytery. Dr. Mathieson moved, 
seconded by Dr. Black : — 

" It is humbly overtured that the Synod shall declare that the connection 
with the Established Church of Scotland as it has hitherto existed, and as 
set forth in the declaratory enactment of Assembly, 1833, shall continue ; 
and inasmuch as said connection involves no spiritual jurisdiction over the 
churches so in connection, that the Synod shall disapprove of all agitation 
of questions that tend to divide and distract our churches, and shall enjoin 
her ministers and members to follow no divisive courses." 


A counter overtnre whh moved by Mr. Ebhoii, seconded 
hy Mr. Henry : — 

" It Ih hereby overtured by thin I'renbytory to the SyiKxl, (but in tbo juiljj" 
incnt of tbiH I'rPHbylory, tbcro ii|i|H*iirH to \)e (m\y «)iu* (rourao to which oiir 
I liiirch in pledged by nMti^nited <l(tclaruti(inH of her Hupreino jiKlicatory, 
that of de(:lurin>i( and tnaiiitiiining tho ubuohitu and ttntire freedom and 
{ndei)ondenco of the Canadian Church, which we hold witli thoNe grt^Kt 
principles to which we proclaimed our (inaniniouH uttachiiH^nt in thorewo- 
IntionH jiaHNed at He^^Hions IMl anil 1H4L', uh iiindaniental articleH of our 
KccleHiast ical c( )nBtit u t ion." 

Eleven voted for Dr. Mathieson'8 reHohition and three 
lor Mr. Esson's. 

The Synod met at Kingston on July IJrd, 1844, and an 
anxiouH time it was i'or all good men. The great question 
to be settled was the future relations to the Established 
Church of Scotland. A conference was held on the 4th of 
July, On motion of Dr. Cook, of Quebec, it was agreed that 
the Synod should endeavour to ascertain the points con- 
nected with the question in which all were agreed. He 
then pla<'ed the lollowing propositions before the Synod : — 

1. " The Church of Scotland does exercise no jurisdiction over the Synod 
of Canada." 

2. " Tlie Church of Scotland does not claim jurisdiction over the Synod 
of Canada." 

3. " The Church of Scotland is not entitled to exercise ecclesiastica 1 juris- 
diction over the Synod of Canada." 

4. " The adherents of the Church in this Province have ample liberty in 
tlie election of their ministers." 

5. " There has been no interference whatever on the part of the Civil 
Towers, with any of our Ecclesiastical Courts." 

(>. " There is not, at present, so far as can reasonably be judged, any pros- 
pect of such interference with the Ecclesiastical Courts." 

7. " There is no external or let or liindrance to the extension of tlie 
Church in this Province." 

8. " Therefore the alleged causes of disruption at home «lo not exist 

The 4th, oth and *7th propositions were agreed to by all. 
Five ministers and an elder objected to the first, — five 


ministers and two elders to the second, — three ministers to 
the third, — and one minister, to the 6th. The objectors 
in every case afterwards seceded. 

No fewer than five separate motions and amendments, 
on the main question, were tabled, — the first, moved by Dr. 
Cook, seconded by Mr. James G-eorge, — the second, moved 
by Mr. Bayne, seconded by Mr. Gale, — the third, moved 
by Mr. McGill, seconded by Mr. Clugston, — the fourth, 
moved by Professor Campbell, seconded by Dr. Mathieson, 
— and the fifth, by Mr. Urquhart, seconded by Mr. Cruick- 
shank. Ultimately, all these motions were withdrawn, 
except Dr. Cook's and Mr. Bayne's, — Mr. Urquhart's being 
finally incorporated with Dr. Cook's. On the evening of 
July 8th, a protracted and friendly and prayerful confer- 
ence between the leaders was held, and it was thought 
that an amicable settlement had been secured ; but during 
the night, influences were brought to bear on the matter 
that made a final break inevitable. The vote being taken 
July 9th, 1844, on Mr. Bayne's amendment, against Dr. 
Cook's motion, the former was supported by 40, — 20 min- 
isters and 20 elders ; while the latter motion received 56 
votes, — 39 ministers and 17 elders. 

The motion carried asserted that the spiritual and eccles- 
iastical jurisdiction of the Church in Canada had always 
been, then was, and ought ever to be free, final and un- 
controlled, notwithstanding any interpretations which 
might have been or might yet be put on its " connection 
with the' Church of Scotland;" that the Synod pledged 
themselves to maintain this independence, and to frame 
an Act declaring it (which was afterwards done) ; that it 
would receive duly qualified ministers, from all Presby- 
terian Churches holding the same standards ; and that the 
Church in Canada was not called upon to enter on a dis- 
cussion for itself of the practical bearings of those prin- 
ciples which had divided the Church of Scotland. 


The main difference between Mr. Bayne's motion and 
Dr. Cook's, was as to continuing the qualifying- words " in 
connection with the Church of Scotland." Here is the gist 
of the resohition of the minority : — . 

"Having assumed the designation 'in connection with the Chnrch of 
Scotland,' this 8ynod feel that hy continning any longer in this peculiar 
connexion with the aforesaid church, they would be virtually giving their 
sanction to her procedure in tht^ matters which led to her dif^ruption." 

And it proposed that the name in future should be 
" The Preshyterian Church of Canaduy 

Mr. Esson supported Mr. Bayne's motion, and afterwards 
joined in his dissent from the Synod's deliverance and in 
his determination no longer to hold office in the Presby- 
terian Church of Canada in connection -^^ith the Church 
of Scotland. 

On his return from the Synod, Mr. Esson lost no time 
in giving his congregation information of his views and 
position. He called a meeting of the^people on the 30th 
of July, and addressed them at length. The following 
passages from his address are given, because they state 
the grounds on which the claim of the majority to hold the 
property afterwards rested, in the protracted litigation : — 

" How will St. Gabriel Street Church be affected by what has come to 
pass at the late session of the Synod ? If it be the fact, as I liave stated, that 
no change has been wrought in the constitution of the Colonial Presbyterian 
Church, or in the Civil or Ecclesiastical relations, then it follows that all 
things still are as they were. If it be objected to that I, the minister of the 
congregation, have made myself a party to the forming of a new Synod, 
and — separating myself from the old connection — have entered into a new 
one, my reply is, that in so doing, I have not gone beyond the just limits 
of my freedom and power, as a minister of the Church, or as a subject of 
tlie Civil Government. For let me advise you all, that the title deeth of 
the Chxirch, its rules and regidations, framed by the proprietors for its govern- 
ment in its temporal concerns, and more especially in the election of its 
pastors, and m// ordination vorcs, are all that I know as describing and deter- 
mining my duties and obligations, and the condition on which I hold my 
rights and emoluments, my status and office, as pastor of St- Gabriel 
Street Church." 


"There is nothing in any or all of these put together— which prescribes 
to me any rule or condition limiting my perfect Uberty of will or action in 
regard to forming or dissolving, exercising or renouncing such connections. 
I am under no obligation in any wise to connect myself as your minister, 
with any church or ecclesiastical court, in or out of the colony. Neither am 
I hindered so to do if I jjlease. There is nothing in the bond between us to 
put any restraint on your perfect freedom, or mine, in regard to such con- 
nection. I was for more than twelve years a minister of St. Gabriel Street 
Church, when it was much more upon the footing of an Indei^endent, or 
Congregational, than a Presbyterian Church. During all that time, we had 
no connection whatever with any other ecclesiastical body, save what in 
the looseness of common speaking is called such, namely, a friendly and 
free-will interchange of counsel, sympathy and succour, all of which we 
received from the church of our fathers, and especially from that section of 
it which is now disestablished. But this, as I have said, is a connection 
like that of a father with his son, who is come of age. It touches not the 
independence and free-will, and free action of the latter as defined by the 
civil law. This distinction, it is extremely necessary to bear in mind, as 
ignorance, or inadvertency in this point has, I fear, given rise to much mis- 
apprehension and blundering, both in and out of the Synod, and a due 
attention to it may prove of some etficacy to preserve peace and unity." 

Mr. Esson continued : — 

" That this church was not in connection, or even in 
communion with the Established Church of Scotland be- 
fore I became one of its pastors, is demonstrated by the 
fact, that then for the first time, an application was made 
by the resolution of a general meeting of the proprietors 
to have such connection recognized by the Parent Church. 
To secure, if possible, the success of this application, I 
went up after my ordination by the Presbytery of Aber- 
deen, to the meeting of the General Assembly, in 181*7. 
The application gave rise to a short discussion, in which, 
I remember well, the late Sir Henry MoncriefF, with his 
characteristic penetration and sagacity, put some ques- 
tions to those who supported the petition, and finding 
that the late Mr. Soraerville, my predecessor, was a li- 
centiate of the Eelief Church, he declared his opinion, in 
which the Assembly appeared to acquiesce, that the 
Church could scarcely be received into communion, much 


less into couuection, so that it was rather a stretch of 
their authority, aud an act of courtesy aud indulgence 
on the part of the Assembly, when they passed a declara- 
tion, of which I myself was the bearer to Canada, that 
St. Gabriel Street Church, having now a regularly or- 
dained minister of the establishment, would be held to 
be in full communion with the Mother Church. They 
are quite mistaken, therefore, as can easily be proved by 
reference to the Title Deeds and Rules of the Church 
— who contend that the minister is required to be in con- 
nection or even in communion with the Church of Scot- 
land : 

" 7. To prevent anything like a mistake re8i)ecting the electing of a 
minister, it is hereby provided and always to be miderstood, that no pro- 
prietoi, as is pointed out in the fifth article, upon any pretence whatever, 
shall give his vote to any person Init to one wlio shall have been regularly 
bred to the ministry, and who shall have been licensed by some regular 
Presbytery in the British Dominions, by producing credentials to ascer- 
tain the same, and who shall profess to be of the persuasion, and who 
shall adhere to the laws, government and mode of worship of the Estab- 
lished Church of Scotland, properly so called and denominated and 
known to be such, and also a natural born subject of His Majesty." 

" Here it is stated as a condition, a qualification of the 
candidate or nominee, that he must be regularly bred to 
the ministry, a clause altogether superflous and absurd, 
as you well know, had it been the mind of the framers 
to shut out from the pulpit all but licentiates of the Estab- 
lished Church." 

"He may be of the Relief, as was the late Mr. Somer- 

ville, or he may be a Burgher or Anti-burgher, or of the 

Synod of Ulster, or in communion with any section of 

the Presbyterian Church, not only in the British Empire, 

but throughout Christendom, provided only that he be 
a British born subject and licensed by some regular 

Presbytery in the British Dominions. It is therefore in- 
dubitably ascertained by these facts aud circumstances 


that all that is required by the rule is that the minister 
adhere to the same ecclesiastical law and order which 
are recognized by the Established Church cf Scotland, 
and by which criterion she is contra-distinguished from 
all the numerous and diversified forms and modes of 
Presbyterianism in the Parent Land, in the colonies or 
on the continent of Europe and America. This is equally 
the standard of the Free Protesting Church of Scotland ; 
and were St. G-abriel Street Church and her minister to 
become connected with that body, it would be no de- 
parture from the constitution on whiih I am commenting. 
So long as the ministers of the Free Church adhere to 
their ordination vows, they fulfil and answer to all the 
conditions and qualifications rightly understood of the 
seventh rule, so that had I, as many erroneously con- 
ceived, entered into connection with the Free Church, it 
would not have invalidated, or at all affected my rights 
as pastor of this church. It is very important here to 
understand and bear in mind the undoubted fact that 
the difference between the Established and the Free 
Church is a difference, not in faith or principle, but in 
practice ; not in regard to the standards. Theological or 
Ecclesiastical, but in regard to a law of the Civil or Mu- 
nicipal Code of Scotland and its interpretation and appli- 
cation, as it affects the constitution and polity of the 
church. The law of patronage is not an ecclesiastical 
law ; on the other hand, the Established Church has again 
and again condemned and protested against it, as an in- 
fringement of her spiritual independence and of her consti- 
tutional rights and liberties as they have been guaranteed 
by the union, and as a palpable and violent encroachment 
and usurpation of the civil power upon the Ecclesiastical. 
Now, the law and government referred to in the seventh 
regulation can, it is manifest, be no other than the law 
of the church, the Ecclesiastical law." 


" It is quite certain that St. Gabriel Street Church is 
not in connection with the Established Church of Scot- 
land. We are. therefore, the interpreters and administra- 
tors of the ecclesiastical law and constitution which we 
have chosen for ourselves. There is no appeal but to 
the (dvil courts of the country, and until it is proved be- 
fore them, that we have b ■ some overt act, renounced in 
principle, or transgressed in practice, our constitution as 
defined by our rules and regulations, we cannot, I am 
persuaded, be deprived of any civil right or temporality 
which we possess on the condition of adherence to the laws 
of the Church of Scotland. In like manner, until it is 
proved that the ministers who have seceded from the 
Synod of Canada in connection with the Church of Scot- 
land, have been in error in asserting their belief of the 
independence of the Colonial Church, they cannot be con- 
demned, or adjudged to have forfeited any rights or pro- 
perty whatever. This is just the cause to be tried, and 
a fair trial must precede a righteous decision." 

" If we are and all along have been, as we believe, inde- 
pendent, civilly and ecclesiastically, our declaration of 
that independence can infer no offence, involve no chansre 
no consequences, good or bad." 

Montreal, August 28, 1844. 

" A meeting of the Members and Sitters in St. Gabriel 
Street Church, took place this evening, when an address 
on the recent disruption of the Synod of Canada was 
delivered by the Rev. Mr. Gordon of Gananoque ; on the 
conclusion of the address, the Hon. Adam Ferrie was called 
to the chair. 

It was then moved by Dr. McNider, seconded by Mr. J. 
Turner — Resolved. 

Ist. " That this Congregation, feeling themselves bound to take cogni- 
zance in their collective c?racity, of the question which, for some time has 
E E 


agitated, and has now broken up the Presbyterian Church, in this Province, 
desire to record tlieir firm attachment to tlie great princii)le8 of tlio 
Supreme Headship of Clirist, and tlie sole authority of tlie Word of 
God, in matters spiritual and ecclesiastical, believing these principles to 
be essential at all times, and in all lanils to the purity and prosiierity of 
the Christian Church." 

Which resolution was put, and unanimously carried, — 
Mr. John Fisher alone objecting. 

Moved by Mr. "William Hutchison, seconded by Mr. Wm. 
Bethune — 

2nd. " That considering the repeated testimonies borne in favour of the 
aforesaid principles, by the Synod of Canada, this congregation have viewed 
with surprise and regret the recent conduct of a majority of the Synod in 
adhering to the ranks and strengthening the hands of those who have 
brought ^hese principles into peril, and approving, as they do, of the con- 
duct of tiie minority of the Synod, in preserving an unbroken and consist- 
ent testimony to the uuth, resolve to adhere to their protest, and by God's 
grace to follow them on the conrse which they have taken." 

Which resolution was put, and unanimously carried, — 
Mr. John Fisher alone objecting. 

Moved by Wra. Murray, Esq., seconded by Archibald 
McFarlane, Esq. — 

3rd. " That this Congiegation, cordially approving of the conduct of their 
esteemed Pastor, in the present crisis, commend his fidelity to his princi- 
ples and professions, and now declare their resolution to adhere to him 
and to the righteous cause for which he is contending, and to maintain 
him by all lawful means, in the status which he has so long held as min- 
ister of St. Gabriel Street Church." 

The mcetmg w^as then closed by Rev. Mr. Henry, with 
a most impressive prayer, and the Apostolic Benediction." 

At a meeting of the session held 31st August, 1844, 
when Rev. Henry Esson, Kenneth Walker, James Leslie, 
William Gunn and Greorge Johnston were present, the 
following deliverance was come to : — 

" After mature deliberation, it was unanimously resolved that inasmuch 
as this congregation have, at a general meeting called by requisition of 


the minister from the pulpit, and held on the 2Sth instant, decided to 
adhere to the Presbyterian Cliurch of Canada, and furtlier, asthis session 
having been represented in tlie Synod in 1841-2, are pledged to the resolu- 
tion unanimously passed at those meetings, they hold themselves bound, 
in cons(!ientious consistency, to go along with the Pastor and congregation 
in declaring their adherence to the Presbytery of Montreal, in connection 
with the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Canada." 

Mr. Walker did not formally dissent, although he did 
not agree with the position taken by the session, as he 
afterwards maintained. 

The following Resolutions were passed at a general 
meeting of the temporal proprietors of St. Gabriel Street 
Church, held on the 2nd September, 1844, Hon. James 
Leslie in the chair : — 

Moved by Hon. A. Ferrie, seconded by "W. Hutchison — 

1. " The proprietors of St. Gabriel Street Presbyterian Church, consider- 
ing the separation of the Rev. Henry Esson, minister of the said Churchi 
from the Synod of Canada, in connection with the L'stablished Church of 
Scotland, and his adherence to the recently formed Synod of the Presby- 
terian Church of Canada, feel bound to declare, that in their judgment, the 
Constitution of the Church has in no article been violated or broken ])y the 
said action of the minister ; and that by the course he has seen fit to adopt, 
he has not forfeited, in the least degree, his position or his rights, as pastor 
of this Church." 

Which resolution being put from the chair, and the roll 
being called over by the Treasurer, there appeared for the 
motion thirty-two ; against the motion, three. The motion 
was then declared to be carried. 

Moved by W. Murray, seconded by D. Rea — 

2nd. "That the proprietors, recognizing no jurisdiction or authority 
whatever over St. Gabriel Street Church, either by the Synod of Canada, 
in connection with the Established Church of Scotland, or by any of the 
Presbyteries constituting said Synod, regard the recent conduct of the 
Presbytery of Montreal, in connection with that body, in declaring the 
Rev. Henry Esson no longer Minister of the Church, as an act of unwar- 
rantable interference ; and approving, as the proprietors here distinctly do, 


of the conniBtent and conHcientious condnctof their Minister, in thoproHont 
criHiH, resolvo to I'ontinne to him, all tii(( teuiiwral ri)j;ht.s and enioliiinentji, 
which he haH heretofore enjoyed, and to resist, by all lawful meann, any 
attempts by any individuals or party, who may seek to procure hit 

Which resolution beiug put I'rom the chair, was declared 
to be carried by the same majority as the former. 

Those opposing Mr. Esson's views and wishes, do not 
appear to have been organized or vigorous. It was 
after he left Montreal that they moved to puri)ose. Indeed, 
those who were not prepared to endorse his action in the 
disruption question, or to follow him into the new Presby- 
tery and Synod that had been formed, were amongst his 
warmest personal friends and staunchest supporters in 
former days. He was a man whom they, therefore, found 
it difficult to oppose. They would gladly have supported 
their beloved pastor, if their convictions of duty had per- 
mitted. Mr. Esson's personal popularity with them will 
account, in some measure, for the small number objecting 
to the resolutions given above. At the same time, the 
meetings were not largely attended, as the number of pro- 
prietors was not great, and but few of them attended — only 
35 altogether, it would seem, of those who had paid their 
I)ew rent for the year then current, and so w^ere qualified 
to vote. 

But there was a number of proprietors who did not 
approve of the action of the majority — a number nearly 
equal to those voting at the meeting on 2nd September — 
although most of them, for some reason or other, failed to 
put in an appearance and record their votes on that occa- 
sion. They lodged a protest a few days afterw^ards against 
the proceedings of the meeting of the proprietors. The 
original is in my possession, bearing the signatures of the 
gentlemen named, — 27 in all. It is headed : — 

" St. Gabriel Street Church." 

" In consequence of the publication of certain proceed- 
ings, leading" the public to believe that the congregation, 
as well as the proprietors of St. G-abriel Street Church, 
were nearly unanimous in their approbation of the conduct 
of the Rev. Henry Esson in seceding from the Synod of 
Canada -in connection with the Church of Scotland, as by 
law established, we, the undersigned, proprietors and 
members of the church do hereby express our unqualified 
disapprobation of said secession, as well as of the proceed- 
ings had thereon, at the meeting, on the 2nd, instant, at 
which James Leslie, Esquire, was chairman, and against 
which we do hereby solemnly protest, and declare our 
full determination to contest the attempt of the party, who 
are disposed, contrary to the Constitution, to divert the 
church from the purpose for which it was originally'' 
established ; — 


Andrew Shaw, 
Kenneth Walker, 
William Laverock, 
F. MacouUoch, 
D. P. Ross, 
James Logan, 
Daniel Fisher, 
James Scott, 
Thomas Ross, 

John Fisher, 
Robert Esdaile, 
Don. Ross, 
Wm. Muir, 
David Handyside, 
D. Gorrie, 
Robert McFarlauo, 
W. McCulloch, 
C. Tait, 

John Speirs, 
James Tyre, 
W. M. Peddie, 
Wm. Suter, 
John Charles Lilly, 
Colin Macdonald, 
Alex. Ferguson, 
John Blackwood, 

Montreal, *7th September, 1844." 

The day after the dissentients withdrew from the Synod 
at Kingston, this instruction was issued to Presby- 
teries : — 

" The Synod instructed the clerk to furnish Presbytery clerks with the 
names of those ministers who have adhered to the dissent and protest 
given in by Mr. Bayne ; and the Synod instruct Presbyteries to communi- 
cate with the said ministers, and any others, with regard to whom a/ama 


may exist of thoir liavinp secedcfl, to aBcortain wliothorthoy still acUioro 
to the dissent, and to tlielr sooj^sHion from tluHctinrch, — an(l,onaHoortain- 
iiiK tliJH, to proceed a(;(;ordinj; to tlio laws of the Church, and to intimate 
the same to tlio Ciovernment,— but to take no steiw in regard to i)roi)erty 
until next meetinj,' of Synod." 

The Presbytery of Montreal met pro re nata, on July 29th, 
1844, for the purpose of following out the instructions 
thus given by the Synod. 

"The Presbytery having taken the special matter for which the meeting 
was called into their consideration, resolved that Messrs. Esson and Black 
bo requested by letter from the clerk to inform them before the next ordi- 
nary meeting, whether they still adhere to the secession." 

" At Montreal, the seventh day of August, one thousand 
eight hundred and forty-four : — 

On w^hich day the Presbytery of Montreal met by 
appointment at St. Gabriel Street Church, their usual 
place of meeting, but not finding access into the Church, 
constituted at the door thereof. Rev. Dr. Mathieson, 
Moderator pro tern, "Walter Roach, John Martin, Mr. Hugh 
Brodie, Mr. John Bruce. The Presbytery adjourned to 
meet immediately in St. Andrew's Church. Notification 
of this adjournment, with the cause thereof, was affixed 
on the gate of entrance to St. Gabriel Street Church." The 
same day, the clerk reported that he had received no 
answers from Messrs. Esson and Black, to the circulars 
sent them, of 29th July last. The clerk was instructed 
to communicate again with thpse brethren, requesting 
their replies on or before the next meeting of the Presby- 

At a meeting of the Presbytery on the 2*7th of August, 
" the Moderator stated that, in accordance with the injunc- 
tion of Presbytery at last meeting, the clerk had a second 
time written to the Rev. Henry Esson and Rev. David 
Black, requesting to be informed whether they still con- 
tinued, and meant to continue, in their secession from this 


(Ihurch, and that no answer had bfon rocoivod. Tho 
IVsbytery agreeably to the inHtruetions of the Synod, 
consider the facts of the said Rev. H. Esson and Rev. D. 
Bhuk, having- sif,nied the protest on the rejection of Mr, 
Bayne's resolutions, and their consequent withdrawal 
from the Synod, as certified to tho Presbytery by the 
Synod clerk, sulUcient (evidence of their having seceded 
from the Pr*;sbyterian Church of Canada in connection 
with the Church of Scotland, and that they are no longer 
ministers of this church, — and the Presbytery do hereby 
declare that the said Rev. Henry Esson, late Minister of 
St. Gabriel Street Church, Montreal, and the said Rev. 
David Black, late minister of St. Therese do Blainville, 
having by their own act seceded from the Presbyterian 
Church of Canada, in connection with the Church of 
Scotland, are no longer ministers of that Church, nor 
ministers of the Church of Scotland in Canada." 

At a meeting of Presbytery on the 3rd March, 1845, Dr. 
Mathieson moved the adoption of the following resolu- 
tions, which, after due consideration, were unanimously 
agreed to : — 

" Mnt. — Tliat St. Gabriel Street Church was erected in 1792 for the use of 
the Presbyterian inhabitants of Montreal, members of the Church of Scot- 
land, and has always been in iKjssession of a conjjregation in connection 
with the Church of Scotland. 

" Second. — That the Rev. Henry Ksson, and the conjjregation then under 
his pastoral care, did, in 1831 , consent to the formation of the Synod of the 
Presbyterian Church of Canada in connection with the Establislied Church 
of Scotland, and the Presbytery of Montreal, as a constituent portion of 
said Synotl, and did place themselves under the spiritual tiuperintendence 
of said Synod and Presbytery, and did, by various acts since, liomologate 
the engagements into which they then entered. 

" TIdrd. — That the Rev. Henry Esson, in consequence of his secession 
from the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in connection with 
the Church of Scotland, has been declared to be no longer a minister of 
said Church, nor a minister of the Church of Scotland in Canada. 

" Fourth, — That the Church of St. Gabriel Street being now without a 
stated minister, be declared vacant, and that the ordinary form observed 

In such r>«««H be diHixMim^l with, iiiaHiiiiicli bh Uh oliMrviinco In llio pre- 
mttit cinniiiiHtiiiuMm of tlmt flnin-h iiii^lit It'iul to unHuiMiilj ntrifu niui con- 
ttuition, at all tiriiuH iiijiiriniiH to tlio cuurto ofpiim aiul uiidHtilod religion; 
iiiitl iiiHtiMul of Hftixlin^ oiiu of their nuinl)er to ^ivo ititiiiiution froii tlio 
pulpit oftiiiH tlu'ir Art, that tho I'niHhytcry hoiuI, iintliTtlut hand of tlioir 
iiio<lurutor intiinution tiiat tlu'y iiav*> drclaroil iit. Oalniol Street ('liurch 
vacant to tho TruHtecH of Maid Cliurcli, in bolialf of the proprietoiB— to the 
TruHtuofl of tho nianHe, — to tho Kirk-Hi sHion, and to the ti^niporal <'()ni- 
niittoo, and roquuHt tiiat tlio election ol a ininister for Haid chiirch and 
coHKrejiation l)o j)roceod('d in witli all «'onvoniont H|Hiod, in accorlanco 
with tho lawM of tho Church of Scotland, and the constitution of St. CJahriol 
Street Chnrch." 

The mod«^rator was instructed to uct pursuant to the 
terms of these resolutions. 

"At a meeting- of Tresbytt^ry, on 28lh May, 1S45, Dr. 
Mathieson reported that agreeably to the instrm^tions of 
last meeting of Presbytery, he had forwarded copies of the 
resolutions >assed anent St. Gabriel Street Church, to the 
Trustees of said i'hurch, in behalf of the proprietors, — to 
the Trustees of the manse, — to the Kirk-session, — and to 
the temporal committee. A letter was read from the tem- 
poral committee, the teuour whereof follows : — 

"MoNTUEAi-, 11th April, 1S55. 

I have to aohno',Yled>,'e receipt of a letter dated the 4th instant, enclosing 
certain resolutions passed at a meeting of Presbytery, and addressed to 
the Honorable Adam Ferrie ; and I am instructed to inform you that the 
temporal committee of St. Gabriel Street Clmrch do not recognize the 
authority of your Presbytorj'. 

I have the honour to be. 
Your ol)edient servant, 

(Signed,) J. MACFARLANE, 

To the Rev. Dr. Mathieson." 

" The Presbytery consider that though the temporal com- 
mittee do not recognize the authority of this Presbytery, 
they do not however hold the opinion of said temporal 
committee as that of the congregation, nor can they, as a 
Presbytery divest themselves of their duty to those of 


tho said conafrogation Ix'loimiiig to thoir ecclesiastical 
coiniimuion, und in foUowinir up the mt of deolaring the 
chun'h vuciint resolve to make au otter oi" nw\\ o(»a«ioual 
nervii'eH uh hUuII be in tlieir po\/er to render. The mod- 
erator wan instriuted t" write to the Kirk-session, en- 
closing a oertiiied copy of this minute." 

At a meeting" of l*r".»s])ytery, on tli»' 24tli June, 1S45, 
Dr. Mathieson reported " that ai^reeably to the iusf ruction* 
of last meeting he had written to the Kirk-sewsion of St. 
Gabriel Street Church, Montreal, with a copy of the mi- 
nute bearing on their case, and put it into the hands of 
one of the elders of said church, and had received no 

While the old Presbytery was taking action in tie 
manner shown by these extracts, a new Pres])ytery had 
been formed in connectiou with the new Synod of the 
Presbyterian Church of Canada, composed of Mr. Esson, 
Mr. Clugston of St. John's Church, Qu»'bec. Mr. Henry 
of Lachute, and Mr. Black of St. Therese, with their several 
elders. In consequence of Mr. Esson's removal to To- 
ronto, this new Presbytery of Montreal, was in a manner 
])roken up. Mr. Clugston and Mr. Clarke, his colleague, 
were at so great a distance, that they could not, espe- 
cially in winter, attend any of the meetings — Mr. Henry 
was at the distance of 40 miles from Montreal, and Mr. 
Black of 25. A central missionary comhiittee was ap- 
pointed in these circumstances, on whom the power and 
responsibilities of a Presbytery were for a time devolved ; 
and the individuals comj^osing it were all members of 
what has been already spoken of as the Free Church 
committee. The St. Gabriel Street Congregation, while 
having to endure blame from the old Presbytery, did not 
think they received the kind consideration and encour- 
agement from the new Presbytery, or the committee that 
discharged its functions, to which they deemed them- 
selves entitled. 


The leaders in ITIE congregation on the side op the PEESnYTBRIAN 

Church of Canada, — Hon. A. Ferrib, Wm. Murray, Rev. Dr. 
Donald Fraser and Alexander Frarer, Wm. Gunn, Robert Smith, 
Alexander Urquhart, James Turner, Andrew Wilson, Archibald 
Macfarlane, Wm. C. Cormack, Jas. Macfarlanb, Robert Dalgleisii, 
Wm. Hutchison, David Rba, Andrew Simi'son, John Sutherland, 
Georgk Middlemiss and Charles Mbarns— the 27 i'kotestors on 
behalf of the kirk, — Andrew Shaav, John C. Lilly, Robert Esdailb, 
James Tyre, Wm. Laverock, Donald Ross, Walter M. Peddib, 
Ferdinand MacCulloch, Wm. Muir, Wm. Skakel, Daniel Gorrib, 
Town Major Macdonald, Danibi- Fisher, Robert Macfarlane 
Alex. Ferguson, Wm. McCulloch and John Blackwood. 

In proceeding- to sketch the persons who took a promi- 
nent part in the St. G-abriel Street Church, in connection 
with the disruption movement, it is necessary to state that 
from this point onward to the end of the volume, the 
notices of individuals must be brief, for two reasons : first, 
that they have yet scarcely got into the perspective of his- 
tory, or got settled down into their permanent pla,ce and 
relative proj ortions. The ancient proverb was : " Call 
no man happy till he dies." We must see the end of our 
fellows before estimating their lives. The other reason is, 
that they were well known to many yet alive, and the 
design of this book is to supply information regarding 
former generations and events that are already or almost 
entirely forgotten. 

The Hon. Adam Ferrie, who presided at the congrega- 
tional meeting, after the disruption, on the 28th August, 
1844, to ascertain the mind of the people on the Free 


Church question, and again on 30th June, 1845, for the 
purpose of amending the "Eules and Regulations " of the 
Church, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 15th March, 
1*7*77. He commenced his mercantile career at G-lasgow, 
and came to be known as a friend of the people. He 
married 3rd June, 1805, at Port Glasgow, Rachel, daughter 
of Colin Campbell, of that place. He signalized himself 
as champion of popular rights in a famous lawsuit, insti- 
tuted to defend the claim of the citizens to a path along 
the Clyde, which had long been in use, and across which a 
wall had been built by a man who had become suddenly 
rich by liquor-selling. The case went to the House of 
Lords, and judgment was in favour of the people. The 
money to pay for the expenses of the suit was raised by 
workingmen's pennies dropped into a stout, oaken box as 
they passed. This box was presented to Mr. Ferrie, along 
with a punch bowl, two goblets and a ladle, of solid 
silver, and they remain as heir-looms in his family. The 
inscription on the bowl reads as follows : — 

"Presented to 






Glasgow, May 1, 1829." 

A gold medal was also bestowed on him and each of 
his co-workers in the cause of the people on this occasion. 
The inscription upon it runs thus : — 


" The citizens of Glasgow to Adam Ferrie, George Rogers,Jame8 Duncan, 
John Watson, junior, John Whitehead, for successfully defending their 
right to a path on the banks of the Clj'de. 1829." j ^ ;_,. 


Mr. Ferrie sailed from the Clyde, June 5th, 1829. He 
commenced bu^jiness in Montreal as a general merchant, 
on his arrival that same year, his office and dwelling being 
in St. James street, near Place d'Armes. He afterwards 
resided in Beaver Hall Square. He was one of the promi- 
nent Scotchmen of the city. As such he presided at the 
public dinner, 1st. December, 1834, at which it was 
resolved to organize the St. Andrew's Society of Montreal ; 
and was chairman of the committee that drafted the 
original constitution of the society. When the first elec- 
tion of oflB.cers took place, the next year, he was chosen 
First Yice-President,and Second Vice-President the follow- 
ing- year. He was a member of the first city Council under 
the amended constitution, for the years 1840, 1, 2. He 
connected himself with the Church in St. Gabriel street 
in 1829, and sided with Mr. Esson in the controversy then 
in progress. His name first appears in the document sent 
to the Presbytery of Quebec, complaining of the Black 
party for not complying with the recommendation of the 
Synod to open the church in 1831. When it was resolved 
to increase the number of the members of the temporal 
committee, from five to twelve on the 15th April, 1842, he 
was elected a member of the committee and appointed 
president. He was re-elected to the same position the 
three following years» He purchased pew No. 62. He 
was a fast friend of Mr. Esson's. Both were ardent 
defenders of the popular rights, and champions of liberty. 
Mr. Ferrie. as might be expected, cordially supported his 
pastor in voting for Free Church views in the Synod ; 
and afterwards stood by him in claiming possession of the 
church and all its property, for the new Presbytery and 
Synod. After Mr. Esson's removal to Toronto, however, 
his interest in the congregation almost entirely ceased, 
although he was a party to the calling of Mr. Leishman 
in 1846. He afterwards attended the Unitarian Church 



477 ;- ^ ' ■ 

in Montreal, havinj^ takon offence at the very hip^h 
Calvinistic views, preached, with great power, in the 
church on one occasion by Mr. Bayne of Gait. However, 
Mrs. Ferrie and her daughter remained in the St. Gabriel 
Street Church until the family removed to the west. 

Mr. Ferrie's abilities, as a great tribune of the people, 
were recognized by Lord Sydenham, who called him to a 
seat in the Legislative Council, 9th June, 1841. He left 
Montreal in 1853, and took up his residence in Hamilton 
in 1855. He died in that city, 24th December, 1863, at the 
advanced a<je of 86 years. He had several sons, well 
known in commercial, milling, insurance and banking 
circles, in and near Hamilton ; but they have all passed 
over to the majority. His daughter, the widow of Alex- 
ander Ewing, formerly a prominent dry goods merchant 
in Montreal, survives, and resides in Hamilton, Ontario. 

After Hon. James Leslie, and perhaps Hon. Adam Ferrie, 
the warmest and most influential supporter Mr. Esson had, 
at the stirring period of 1843-5, was "William Murray. 

He first took office in the church in 1842, being one of 
the twelve on the enlarged temporal committee, appointed 
that year. He was re-elected every year afterwards until 
the temporal committee was abolished by Act of Parlia- 
ment. He became, shortly after 1844, the leading spirit 
of the congregation and held the office of president of the 
temporal committee from 1848 until 1864. He was trea- 
surer of the congregation for 1842 and 1843. He moved 
the third resolution at the congregational meeting, August 
28th, 1844, approving of the course of Mr. Esson in seced- 
ing from the Kirk. He made the motion in the temporal 
committee, which carried, August 3rd, 1844, calling a 
meeting of the proprietors, to vote on the Free Church 
question, on 2nd September of the same year. He moved 
one of the two resolutions at that meeting, and seconded 


the third resolution at the meeting- in June, 1845, anent 
chaufres in the " Rules and Regulations." 

In what esteem he was held by his fellow Scots may be 
gathered from the fact that he was elected First Vice- 
President of the St. Andrew's Society in 1851, 1852, 
1853, and 1854, and President in the years 1855 and 
1856. Besiaes this national charity, he took a deep interest 
in the General Hospital and in the House of Industry and 
Refuge. After the death of John Redpath, he was elected 
President of the board of directors. A fine portrait, in 
oil, of Mr. Murray adorns the walls of the board room. 

The following particulars regarding him have been 
gathered from an appreciative obituary notice which ap- 
peared in the Montreal Herald the day after his death : — 

" The worthies of Montreal are fast, one by one, dropping 
away from us — leaving, alas ! none to fill their places — the 
breed is fast dying out. Another of the genial faces has 
departed — William Murray is no more — "William Murray, 
who was ever foremost to support UlUj good work, whether 
for the amelioration of the poor, to wit, his presidency of 
the Protestant House of Refuge, or for the advancement 
of the commercial interests of the city, to wit, his presi- 
dency of the Canada Shipping Company. He was one of 
the early founders of the High School, attached to the 
Univtrsity of McGill, and was, at the time of his death, 
president of the Mount Royal Cemetery Company." 

" He was born in Edinburgh on the 31st of November, 
1*798. Of his life in Scotland we have nothing to chroni- 
cle ; his father died while William was yet young, thus 
throwing him entirely on his own resources, thereby lay- 
ing the foundation of that character which so pre-eminently 
distinguished him in after life — great determination, firm 
without being austere, a thorough hard worker, conscien- 
tious in all the duties of life, warm in his friendship, a 
hand always open to assist in any good work." 


lu 1831, he visited Canada and the United States, and 
determining to settle in Montreal, he brought out his 
family in 1832. He obtained a situation in the old firm 
of Gillespie, Moftatt & Co. in connection with the rha?uix 
Fire Insurance Company, the agency of which they held. 
Eventually, from the confidence reposed in him, he became 
head book-keeper to the same firm, but resigned this posi- 
tion for the purpose of organizing the Montreal Assurance 
Co. He, subsequently, became manager of the Company, 
which prospered under his management, and as a reward 
for his devotion to its interests, and the integiity of his 
character, he was eventually made president, which post 
he filled to the day of his death, which took plac at his 
residence, Westmount, May 12th, 1874. 

Rev. Donald Fraser, D.D., now Minister of Marylebone 
Presbyterian Church, London, England, a native of Inver- 
nesshire, Scotland, one of the most eloquent and influen- 
tial of living divines, also became a member of St. Gabriel 
Street Church in 1843, the year before the disruption in 
Canada. His elder brother, Alexander, afterwards sheriff 
of Northumberland in Ontario,who occupied pew 26 in the 
gallery, jointly with him, became Superintendent of the 
Sabbath School, and filled this office at the time he and 
young Donald joined the Free Church committee of twelve. 
He carried off with him to the new Sabbath School, 
established in Cote Street Church, most of the teachers 
who had been labouring in the St. Gabriel Street School, 
and many of the scholars. The desire of the Free Church 
leaders was to close the church in St. Gabriel street 
altogether, and get all the pious people in it to join the new 
congregation. "When, in the straits to which the congre- 
gation in St. Gabriel was reduced, they applied to Rev. 
Dr. Burns, who had left Paisley, Scotland, to guide the 
Free Church movement in Canada, to afford them assist- 


ance, ho replied, advising them to join Cote Street, as <ho 
best way out of their dilBoulties. This was very dis- 
couraginj? to a longregation which had saorifieed a good 
deal for the Free Church cause, and which was unques- 
tiouably the most promineut and inllueutial of all that 
seceded from the Church of Scotland. Donald Fraser was 
then a young mau, but he must already have evinced much 
of the intellectual and spiritual force that have gained for 
him the high place he occupies to-day in the Christian, 
world, or he would not have been taken into the councils 
of the committee of "Twelve." His brother, Alexander 
Fraser, besides being Superintendent of the Cote Street 
Sunday school, was also secretary of the mission committee 
to which reference has already been made, as supplying in 
a manner the place of a Presbytery during the first two 
or three years after the disruption. I will let Dr. Fraser 
give his impressions and recollections of this period : — 
" My elder brother, and I, fresh from Scotland, became 
connected with the church in St. Gabriel Street, in the year 
1843, and were soon admitted to some degree of intimacy 
with the Rev. Henry Esson. Well do I remember his line 
head, spare form, and courtly manner. He was a great 
enthusiast for liberty, and on this score gave his sympathy 
to the Free Church movement , w^hich, from its centre in 
the old country, was beginning to agitate the Colonial 
Churches. At the Synod of 1844, Mr. Esson took part with 
those who withdrew from connection with the church of 
Scotland ; and the question at once arose whether his con- 
gregation would adhere to him, or whether he could retain 
his pulpit. A rather heated controversy followed, in which 
Mr. Esson was sustained by the large majority of his flock. 
On his side, I recollect the Hon. James Leslie, a small, quiet 
gentleman, with the most pronounced liberal views, sup- 
posed at that period to be very dangerous. The Hon. Adam 
Ferrie, a rough specimen of the same liberal or democratic 


order. Mr. "William Murray, head of some insurance oflice, 
a warm partizan, and Dr. MacNider, a physician, of a more 
distinctly evangelical type. On the other side, were Mr. 
John Fisher, who, on the occaF,:on of some critical vote, 
stood alone for the old ways, Mr, Andrew Shaw, Mr. D. P. 
Ross, and others, who found refuge in one or other of the 
church.ts that made no change, viz. : St. Andrew'f<, in St. 
Peter Street, and St. Paul's in St. Helen Street." 

" I do not now discuss whether the separations at that 
time were justifiable or no. In the colonies, at all events, 
the troubles are healed. But it is to me plain and c^^rtain, 
that the action taken in the St. Gabriel Street Church had 
an important influence on the extension of Presbyterian- 
ism in Montreal, and throughout what was then called 
" Canada East." It opened a door of testimony to the Free 
Church ministers from Scotland, many of whom brought 
with them a most refreshing fervour. It broke up the 
torpor which had only been too apparent in almost every 
one of the existing congregations, and^so led to a quickened 
life and activity, of which the now re-united church enjoys 
the benefit. 

" I took little part in church affairs. In fact, I was a mere 
stripling in those days. But my brother, Alexander, was 
very active in the congregation, and superintended the 
Sunday school till the formation of the church in Cote 
Street, of which he and I were among the original founders. 

" In after" years, when I was minister in Cote Street, 
I often preached in the venerable pulpit of St. Gabriel 
Street, during the incumbencies of my friends. Dr. Inglis 
and Dr. Kemp. I have a pleasant recollection of the good 
elder, "William Rowan, who always appeared to me to 
breathe a sweet Christian spirit." 

Of those voting on the Free Church question, who 

upheld Mr. Esson's position with much hesitation, was 
F F 


William Guiiii, oii<^ of th<^ oldors. Mr. Guun was born at 
Lanark, Scotland, July 28rd, 1802, and came to Canada in 
1804. He was married to Elizabeth Irwin, youngest 
daughter of William Irwin, Esq., of Argylo, in th«^ State of 
New York, by whom he had several (ihildren. His daugh- 
ter, Sarah, married the late D. D. Young, Esq., president of 
the Quebec bank, and now resides at Quebec House, Tarn- 
born, Hants, England. His second daughter, Isabella 
Annie, was married to William Herring, Esq., of Ravens- 
wood, Quebec, by Bev. Dr. Cook, on the 7th August, 1851, 
and she still resides there. The third daughter, Jessie, 
was married to William Kirwin, known as " Dr. Kirwin," 
a veterinary surgeon, afterwards the proprietor of the 
Albion Hotel, at Quebec, for several years. Jane, the 
youngest daughter, is the wife of R. Whitman, Esq., of 
Stittsville, Quebec. One son, Henry Esson, died young. 
Mr. Gunn was high in the service of the Bank of 
Montreal during his stay in this city, and left here to 
become manager of, the branch of the establishment in 
Quebec. He was held in such high esteem throughout 
the provinces, as well as in Quebec, that upon his death 
in that city the merchants, citizens, and his many friends 
in other parts of Canada, combined to erect a monument 
to his memory, in Mount Hermon cemetery, that beautiful 
God's Acre, near Quebec. The inscription on the monu- 
ment is as follows: — 



Born at Lanark, Scotland, 1802. Died at Quebec, the 16th of Dbcemrbr, 
1856. For twenty years a faithful servant of the Bank of Mont- 
real ; HE WAS, IN 1848, appointed manager of the iirancii hank 




friendship, and zealous in the discharge of his 
Christian duties. In token op the esteem 

AND respect in WHICH HE WAS HELD, 
this monument IS BRECTED BY THE 


Ho waH ordiiiiiod an eldor in tho St. Oabriol Street 
Church, in which hn owned p«iw No. 12, on tho 18th of 
December, 188G. H«^ supported Mr. Ehhou sometimeH, and, 
at other timcH, Mr. lJhu;k in the troublous period from 1829 
to 1833, but was the partisan of neither. And so, when 
tho division took place, he stayed in the (^hurch. IL^ 
followed a neutral course also in 1844, voting on 2nd 
September, for one of the resolutions carried by the Free 
Chur(;h party, and declining to support the other. He 
was appointed session cl<;rk on Mr. Blaekwood's resigna- 
tion in 1841, and continued till 1845. He was <ho8en a 
member of the temporal (;ommittee in April, 1844, and 
afterwards secretary. In the arrangements made by the 
committee, 3rd August, 1844, calling a meeting of pro- 
prietors, to vote on the question of staying in the chunih, 
or seceding with the minister, he sided with the president, 
Mr. Ferrie, Mr. Urquhart, Mr. A. Macfarlane, Mr. Murray, 
Dr. McNider and Mr. Hutchison, against Mr. John Fisher, 
Mr. Speirs and Mr. Gorrie. At the same meeting, how- 
ever, he tendered his resignation as secretary of the com- 
mittee. He continued to act as an elder up till near the 
end of 1845, but he w^as so indignant at the treatment 
accorded to the congregation by the leaders of the new 
church, that he withdrew from it and joined St. Paul's, 
in which Dr. Robert McGill was then pastor, and was 
received into the session of that church, 28th December, 
1846. He removed to Quebec in 1848, and was inducted 
as an elder into St. Andrew's Church there, which position 
he held till his death, 16th December, 1856. There is a 
beautiful window in memoriam to him in that church, 
the gift of his son-in-law, William Herring, Esq. 

On Mrs. G-unn's coming to reside in Montreal with her 
daughter, Mrs. Kirwin, in 1869, they both became mem- 
bers of the St. Gabriel Street Church, and the writer 
recalls much delightful fellowship he had with them for 


ti t«'W years. Mrn. Gunu died ut Quebec three weeks 
before ♦he centenniiil ceh'bration in the old ihunh, 17tli 
Februjiry, 1886.. Mrs. Kirvvin died two or three years 
before her. i 

Robert Smith, who was ordain.'d an elder 18th Deeem- 
ber, 1836, at the same time as Mr. Clunn, was a merchant. 
Ho was a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and sonof William 
Smith, whose elder son was the Ue v.. Tames Smith of Col- 
lege Street Church, Edinburgh. He came to Montreal in 
1882, with his son Dr. W. P. Smith. He kept a drug store 
for a time in connei^tion with his son's medical practice. 
He was an old man when he was made an elder, and died 
on the 24th day of April, 1841, aged 78 years. He was 
an upright and conscientious man, and a g(;neral favourite 
with all who knew him, on account of his genial and 
happy disposition and his truly consistent Christian 
character. He di(^d on the 24th of April, 1841, trusting in 
the Master whom ho had long lovea and served. One of 
his daughters survives, and was present at the centennial 
service in the old church in March, 1886. 

Alexander TTrquhart, who was appointed treasurer of 
Si. G-abriel Street Church, at the important epoch of 1844, 
and continued in office for two years, was born 14th April, 
1816, at Cawdor, Scotland, and came to Canada in June, 
1840. He remained in Quebec four years, where he mar- 
ried. Coming on to Montreal, he began business as a 
wholesale grocer, and continued actively in it till 1875, 
when he finally retired. He had several partners in 
business : Alexander Begg, George Hose, Robert Malcolm, 
long since deceased, and latterly "W. E. Cheese, and J. K. 

He joined St. Gabriel Street congregation, which was 
then the wealthiest and best attended church in the city, 

485 ' 

imiiit'diatoly on his arrival in Montreal, in 1840, having 
becomti proprietor of pow No. 09. IIo was a particular 
friend of Mr. Esmoh's, and it was because pressed by the 
minister to do so that he aocepted the odice of treasurer. 
He supported Mr. l!l880i:'s views on the disruption ques- 
tion, and moved the 2nd resolution at the (;ongre^ational 
meeting for alt«'ring the Rules and Regulations, Juno 
30th, 1845. He was appointed a member of a new manse 
committ(H> by the tongregatiou 22nd July, 1846. He con- 
tinued to worship in St. Gabriel Street till the end of Mr. 
Inglis' ministry, in 1855, wh«'U he Joined St. Andrew's 
Church, of which he has b'^ou a member ever since, 

James Turner, who owned pew No. 02, in St. Gabriel 
Street Church, and seconded the resolution moved by Hon. 
A. Ferrie, on 30th June, 1845, for changing the " RuU^s 
and Regulations " of the church, was a native of the 
borders between Midlothiai. and Berwickshire, Scotland, 
where he was born in 1801 H«' came to Montreal in 1833, 
and began business as a veterinary surgeon. For a long 
time he was the only one iu the city, and he was a 
thoroughly good and successful one. 

He connected himself with St. Gabriel Street Church 
on his coming to Montreal, and continued faithful to it 
through subsequent vicissitudes, till his death on Novem- 
ber 10th, 1849. 

He was elected a member of the temporal committee in 
1845, and was re-elected each year afterwards during life. 
He was also appointed on the manse committee after the 
disruption. Mr. Turner was a man of sterling integrity, 
and was highly respected in the community. 

Mrs. Cruickshank, wif( c^ George Cruickshank, manager 
of the Provincial Loan Company, is Mr. Turner's daughter. 
She continued a member of the congregation as it was 
reconstructed in 1866, and remained in connection with 
it as long as she resided within reach of the church. . 

■ 486 

Archibald Macfarlane, who with his brother-in-law, 
T. C. Panton, was joint-proprietor of p€;w 101, took a very 
prominc^nt part in the alfairs of the conj^regation at the 
time of the disruption and afterwards. He was a brother 
of Andrew Macfarlane, a former merchant of the city, 
who still survives. They were first in partnership in the 
wholesale hardware; and dry-goods business, at 103 St. 
Paul street. Andrew remained in the old shop, bat 
Archibald afterwards set up for himself, in the same lines 
of goods, at 190 St. Paul Str(!et. lie was a public-spirited 
gentleman, and was, in 1849, one of the vice-presidents of 
the St. Andrew's Society. In the same year he was ap- 
pointed a member of the city council, and (;reated an 
Alderman the following year. He sat also as an Alderman 
for 1851. After Mr. Panton's death, Mr. Macfarlane occu- 
pi(;d his house on the side of the mountain, at the top of 
Brehaut's hill. He afterwards removed to Cornwall, On- 
tario, and (;ontinued in business there till his death. 
Robert W. Mai^farlane, late proprietor and editor of the 
Cornwall Rejmrter newspaper, was his son. 

Mr. Macfarlane was elected a member of the temporal 
committee in 1845, and every year afterwards until 1849. 
He was treasurer from l^^^T to 1851. At the congrega- 
tional meeting, to decide on the Free Church question, 
August 28th, 1844, he seconded Mr. Murray's motion. At 
the meeting of proprietors, 30th June, 1 845,for re-modelling 
the " Rules and Regulations," he moved the resolution 
proposing the changes. 

William C. Cormack, proprietor of pew No. 28, who also 
took an active part in favour of Mr. Esson, in 1844, began 
life in Montreal as head clerk in the retail department of 
Hector, Russel and Company's dry goods establishment. 
He married Miss Kidd, of Laprairie, and entered into a 
business partnership in the dry goods line with Messrs. 


Kidd and M(;Kay, under the style of " Kidd, Cormack and 
McKay." Later the firm was known as " Cormack, Dick- 
son and Company," 102 ^t. Paul Street. Mr. Cormack's 
resid(;nce wa.s at the head ol' Drummond Street. 

Mr. Cormack was ehicted a mijmber of the temporal 
committee in 1838, wh(!n he was made vice-president, as 
he was also the next year, lie was re-elected a nember of 
the committee every year afterwards, until 1848. He was 
also a member of the f pecial manse committee, appointed 
in 1845. He moved the 8rd resolution at the meeting of 
proprietors, 30th June, 1845, for changing the rules. 

James Macfarlane owned pew No. 20. He was chosen 
a member of the temporal committee in 1842, and every 
year afterwards until 1850. When Mr. Gunn resigned 
the s.3cretaryship of the committee in 1844, ht; was ap- 
pointed to that office, and continued in it for four years 
He and his broth(;r, W. S. Macfarlane, were natives of 
Perth, Scotland, and succeeded Hon. James Ferrier in the 
grocery business which he had established on Notre Dame 
street, opposite the Court House, "W S. Macfarlane being 
married to Mr. Ferrier's daughter. He also signed the 
call to Mr. Leishman. James Macfarlane removed to 
Chicago, where he died. 

Robert Dalgleish, who owned pew 1*7 in the gallery, 
and seconded the fourth resolution at the meeting for 
changing the " Rules and Regulations," in 1845, was a 
native of the Loudons, near Edinburgh. He came to 
Montreal in 1828, and that same year received, through 
Lord Dalhousie, an appointment in the military secretary's 
department, the duties of which he fullilled faithfully 
for 45 years. He died 4th July, 18*7t. He married a 
daughter of "William Aird. She left St. Gabriel Street 
Church for Cote Street, in 1844, and he afterwards 
followed her. 


David Eea, who owned pew 4*7 at this crisis, and 
second the resolution moved by Mr. Urquhart, 30th June, 
1845, was a book-keeper, living in Lagauchetiere Street, 
near Wolfe street. He was elected a member of the tem- 
poral committee the same year. Mr. Rea is still among 
us, enjoying a green, old age, and attending to business as 
an agen^ in his office, St. James Street, as punctually as the 
youngest. He is a member of Knox Church. 

Andrew Simpson, who was elected a member of the 
temporal committee in 184*7, and re-elected in 1848, and 
who owned pew No. 20, at the time of the disruption, was 
a native of Caithnesshire, Scotland, and came to Canada 
in 1834. He was of the firm, Simpson and Dawson, 
brewers. He moved the 6th resolution at the meeting 
30th June, 1845, at which the " Rules and Regulations " 
were changed. He was the step-father of Thomas Grraham, 
now one of the elders in St. Gabriel Street Church, and its 
treasurer for many years. Mr. Simpson died in 18*71. 

John Sutherland, who seconded the resolution on this 
occasion moved by Mr. Simpson, and who had become 
lately joint-proprietor of pew No. 65, in the church, was 
a blacksmith, partner of "William Burnett. Their shop 
was on Chenneville Street, near Vitr6 Street. He was a 
member of the temporal committee in 1842, and again in 
184*7, 1848, and 1849. 

George Middlemiss, who owned pew No. 5, in the gal- 
lery, and moved the fourth resolution at the meeting on 
June 30th, 1845, was a cabinetmaker in St. Catherine 
Street, near Bleury. He was chosen a member of the 
temporal committee in 1848, and re-elected in 1849 and 
1850. Mrs. D. McBurney is his daughter. 

James Mearns, who owned pew 25 in the gallery at 


this time, and moved the ^th resolution at the proprietors' 
meeting, June 30th, 1845, and was elected a member of 
the temporal committee in 1846, was also a cabinetmaker, 
St. Mary Street, near Campeau. Of Alexander Bertram, 
blacksmith, who seconded the resolution, a fuller account 
will be given at a later stage. 

William Hutchison, who owned pew No. 21, and 
seconded the motion made by Hon. Adam Ferrie, at the 
meeting of pew proprietors, on September 2nd, 1844, was 
born at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland, 12th September, 
1809. He came to Canada in the year T833. He was an 
enterprising builder, and has left some splendid memorials 
of his energy and capacity behind him, both in Montreal 
and elsewhere. The Bank of Montreal, the Bank of 
British North America, the Baptist College, now Mount 
St. Mary convent, and St. Andrew's Church, in this city, 
only need to be mentioned. 

He removed to Cobourg, Upper Canada, in 1857, as a 
central point from which to conduct the extensive building 
enterprises he had on hand, which was the erection of 
houses for the branches of the Montreal Bank, in different 
parts of the Province. When he had brought these large 
operations to a successful close in 1860, he enterec the 
Public Works department of the civil service at Ottawa, as 
inspector of government buildings, and continued in this 
position until his death, which occurred August 6th, 18*75. 

Mr. Hutchison joined St. Gabriel Street Church when 
he first came to the city. He was elected a member of the 
temporal committee in 1842, and re-elected in 1843 and 
1844. In the latter year he was also chosen, along with 
Walter M. Peddie, a member of the manse trust, in room 
of Thomas Blackwood and Robert Simpson, deceased. This 
office he resigned afterwards, when he connected himself 
with the Cote Street movement. Meanwhile, he built the 


manse on Sherbrooke Street, corner of St. Charles Borrom6e 
Street, now the property of Alderman Mooney, — being 
both its architect and builder. 

He was one of the twelve gentlemen forming " the Free 
Church committee," and his energy of mind and character 
was of great service to their undertakings. He was 
ordained an elder in that church, 19th September, 184t. 
In 1835, he married Helen Hall of Largs, Scotland. 

Mr. Hutchison is worthily represented by his sons, A. 
C. Hutchison, architect, ll.C.A., J. H. Hutchison, contrac- 
tor, and Dr. Hutchison, dentist of Ottawa, all famous as 

Andrew Wilson, who owned pew No. 94, and was a 
member of the temporal committee in 1849, was born near 
Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1822, and came with his family, 
in 1834, to Montreal. In 1836, he entered the Montreal 
Herald office, in a very subordinate capacity ; but by his 
industry, probity and intelligence, gradually secured for 
himself a leading place in its management. In 184*7, he, 
with Messrs. Potts and Penny, purchased the Herald pro- 
perty, and he continued a shareholder in it, till his death, 
24th October, 18'79. In 1852, he married Esther Matthews, 
who survives. The late Senator Penny, who was asso- 
ciated with him in the conduct of the Herald, wrote this 
sentence regarding Mr. Wilson, in a brief, but hearty 
obituary notice : " he never heard him utter an unworthy 
thought, or do an ungenerous action, while his amiability 
was such, that during that long period, sometimes in very 
trying circumstances, no word of unkindness ever escaped 
him. It is a rare blessing to have such a friend." All that 
was best in the city of Montreal, cordially echoed this 
affectionate tribute to Mr. Wilson's worth. 

Mr. Wilson removed, in 1865, with the Knox congrega- 
tion to the new edifice in Dorchester Street, and worship- 



ped there for several years, but, owing to trouble over the 
instrumental music question, and other rauses of irritation 
in the church, he ceased his connection with the congre- 
gation and joined St. Andrew's Church, in the communion 
of which he died, and which his family still attend. 

The foregoing were worthy men, and an honour to any 
Christian church; but, with two or three exceptions, they 
had not, up to this time, taken any considerable part in 
the work of the congregation, and many of them had only 
within a few mouths acquired the right of voting in its 
affairs. It was only in the spring of 1844 that the follow- 
ing had become pew-proprietors : — 

James Turner, Alexander Bertram, Robert Dalgleish, 
Charles Mearns, Alexander Urquhart, Alexander and 
Donald Fraser, Dr. "Wm. MacNider, George Middlemiss, 
Archibald Macfarlane, Robert Davie, and Arch'd. McGoun, 
all of whom were counted in among the thirty-two pro- 
prietors voting together on September 2nd, 1844. 

The 27 protesters, on the other hand, were, for the most 
part old members and proprieters of the congregation, — 
gentlemen who had stood by Mr. Esson in the day of trial, 
and had contributed to secure the prosperity of the congre- 
gation, and to give it the iiigh status it occupied in the 
community. Kenneth Walker, Wm. Suter, D. P. Ross, 
James Logan, James Scott, Thomas Ross, and Charles Tait 
have already been spoken of as office-bearers, in the 
church, long prior to 1844. Of John Fisher, a full account 
will be given farther on in connection with the lawsuits 
regarding the church property. 

Of the others, the oldest and most noted member 
and proprietor was Andrew Shaw. 

Mr. Shaw, who, for twenty-five years, was one of the 
most prominent members of the church, was son of Wil- 


liam Shaw, a "West India merchant, oF Glasgow, S(!otlaud, 
and was born in that city, July 27th, 1775, and died in 
Montreal, May 11th, 1862. 

He came to Canada in 1810, acquiring a knowledge of 
business as head clerk with the late James Dunlop, who 
died in 1815, when Andrew Shaw began business on his 
own account, and was for many years an extensive ship- 
owner. He projected and superintended the building of 
the first Atlantic steamer, intended for this port, the 
" Oneida," but it was purchased by the British govern- 
ment, for the transport of troops to thf Crimea. He was 
the originator of the Montreal Telegraph Company, and its 
first president, in 1847. He was "Master of the Trinity 
House " for many years, and up to the time of his death, 
in 1862. He was a major in the militia, and took an active 
part in suppressing the rebellion in 1837. He was a gov- 
ernor of the Montreal Greneral Hospital for thirty years, 
and one of the original contributors to its building fund, 
in 1820. He married March 14th, 1821, Hannah Ferguson, 
^ direct descendant of the Grants both of Duldreggan and 
Corrimony, and had six children. One only survives, 
Annie, the youngest daughter, wife of Dr. "Wheeler of 
Montreal. Three of his nephews are now living in the 
city, — David Shaw, a ship broker, James Gibb Shaw, Port 
"Warden of Montreal, and Capt. John Low, a stock broker, 
— formerly of Her Majesty's 15th Regiment. Mr. Shaw 
took an active and prominent part in connection with the 
early history of the St. Andrew's society, being chairman 
of the committee of management, in 1837 and 1838, first 
vice-president in 1839, second vice-president in 1840, and 
again in 1842. 

Mr. Shaw connected himself with the St. Gabriel Street 
Church on his coming to Montreal, in 1810, and up till 
1844, it had not a warmer supporter than he. He bought 
pew No. 8, in the gallery, for jei9 10s. in 1817, and it he 


occupied until after the disruption. He was elected to 
the temporal committei^ in 1820, 1821, 1822, 1823, when 
he was made treasurer. In 1822 he and John Fisher, the 
half-brother of his wife, were appointed a committee for 
sijL^ning deeds of pews. He was re-elected to the com- 
mitt(^e in 1829, but then declined to act ; but he served on 
the committee again in 1833, 1834, and 1835, being presi- 
dent the last named year. He was appointed under Rev. 
James Somerville's will, made in 1833, a trustee of the 
iJlOOO which that gentleman left for the erection of a 
manse for the future ministers of St. Gabriel Street 
Church. He was also one of the executors of Mr, Somer- 
ville's will, after his decease in 183*7. He was chairman 
of the committee appointed to superintend the building 
of the manse ; he and the other trustees held it for the 
Church of Scotland, and he received the revenues derived 
from it during the period of litigation, and applied them 
in keeping- up the property. The surplus was allowed to 
accumulate in his hands, and afterwards in those of Mr. 
James Tyre, the tenant of the building, until it amounted 
to a large sum, and this was available at length to assist 
in paying off the !|5,800 allowed to Knox congregation in 
lieu of their claim on the old building. Mr. Shaw's name first on the protest of 7th September, 1844, 
against the resolution of the majority of the congregation 
and proprietors to follow Mr. Esson into the Presbyterian 
Church of Canada. He was also made defendant in the 
first suit taken for the recovery of the manse by the con- 
gregation in the church after the disruption, Ja7nes Leslie, 
et al.,plaintiffs, v. Andrew Shaw et al. defendants,'^ fyled 29th 
January, 1846. In a subsequent suit " Kemp v. Fisher,'^ he 
gave important evidence 11th May, 1860. The final suit 
taken on behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, in 
connection with the Church of Scotland, by Attorney- 
G-eneral Cartier, was instituted by his afiidavit, made 14th 


April, 18fi0. Ho and his family attended St. Andrew's 
Chur(!h, after 1H44. 

Mr. Shaw ranks with Duncan Fisher, Thomas Black- 
wood, James Leslie and John Fisher, as among the most 
active and devoted members, and ofKce-bearers of the con- 
gregation, during the period it was in <!ommunion with 
the Church of Scotland, and as such his portrait appears 
in this volume. 

Walter Miller Peddie inherited pew No. 11, in the gal- 
lery, from his brother William. His name appears ou 
existing documents, connected with the St. Gabriel Street 
Church, first in February, 1881, as the favoured purchaser 
of pew 27, — he. being a friend of Mr. Esson's, had the 
temporal committee on his side. He next appears as 
one of the nine laying the information against those who 
had seized the chur<;h, March 30th, 1831. When his 
brother, William, died, in 1834, he was chosen a member 
of the temporal (committee in his room by the remaining 
members. He was chosen by the pew proprietors to this 
position in 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840 and 1841. 
He was appointed in April, 1844, a member of the manse 
committee in place of Robert Simpson, deceased. In his 
capacity as trustee, he was afterwards involved, with 
Andrew Shaw and John Fisher, co-trustees, in the several 
lawsuits, instituted to recover the manse by the congrega- 
tion worshipping in the church. And when the litigation 
was at length brought to a peaceful issue, his name as the 
only survivor of the old trustees, was very fittingly placed 
at the head of the eleven gentlemen, appointed in the Act 
of Parliament, to receive the church back into the possess- 
ion of the Church of Scotland. He and his family returned 
to the congregation when it was reconstructed in 1866. 
In the interval, they had attended St. Andrew's Church. 

Mr. Peddie was born at Perth, Scotland, 12th February, 


1*707, and camo to Monlnuil in 1814. TTis older l)r()th<'rH. 
William and Stuart, had beon lM^r«i Koin«' yoars pre- 
viously, and had cHtablishod a hardware businesH. He 
opened a store in J51 St. Paul Stnu't, in the same line. He 
greatly prospered in trade, and became a rich man. After 
his brother William died, Walter, at his dyin«^ reciuest, 
joined the business of the two hous(>K, and took in as 
partner Ferdinand Macculloeh, who had been lon«^ book- 
keeper to his brother. Hard times came, houses in the 
west, with which the firm had dealt, came tumbling? 
down, and heavy losses followed, and Mr. Peddie retired 
to a farm near Sault-aux-Kecollets, a poor man. From that 
time forward his health grew feeble. 

Mr. Peddie was one of nature's gentlemen. Instinctively 
honourable, and cultured by training, with a graceful 
address, he was of a gentle and lovable disposition. He 
married in 1833, Mary Anne, daughter of Eobert McFar- 
lane, of Perth, Scotland, mentioned elsewhere. He died at 
Montreal, Aug. 19th, 1870, aged 79 years. Mrs. I'eddie and 
her two daughters opened an academy for young ladies and 
children, in 1861, which is still kept by Miss Peddie, and 
which has been a great boon to the community. Gentleness 
and humanity have been the refining influences brought 
to bear upon their pupils. Mrs. Peddie was spared to take 
part in the centennial service in the old church, and to be 
present at the final leavetaking of the ancient sanctuary : 
but she worshipped in the new edifice, with which she 
was much pleased, only a few Sabbaths when the Lord 
took her to Himself. A truly " elect " lady was she, in 
whom the meekness and gentleness of Christ shone forth, 
— one of God's chosen, chastened by trial and ripe for the 
Kingdom. She fell asleep in Jesus, 3rd November, 1886, 
aged 74 years. *' 

Eobert Esdaile, who also entered his protest against the 


Chnrrh in St. Gahrii^l Stn'ot brcukin^ ofl' itH <'onnftrtion 
with thf (;har<h ol" Scotland, could ho oxpcctcd to do 
nothing oInc <'onNidcrin«i^ thut the (Mmrch oi' Scotland was 
pro-oniimuitly his mother church, he havinu^ hccn horn in 
one ol' her niauHCN, at I'l'rth, Scotland, Novcnil)er 2lHt, 
1816. HIh lather, \U\v. James Esdaile, ]).!)., waH 40 years 
Minister ol' the East Church, in that town. Mr. Ksdaile 
arrived in Canada in June, 18.S3, and enter »d tht^ ollice of 
"William i'eddie, hardware menhant, who was also a 
native of Perth. He and his brother John afterwards 
conducted a wholesale dry goods house, in 22JJ St. Paul 
Street ; but withdrawing from it they, in 184G, opened an 
office as general brokers, in St. Sacrament Street. They 
afterwards conlined their operati(.iis to grain and produce. 
Mr. Esdaile was one of the founders of the Montreal Corn 
Exchange, and was elected its first president. He was 
repeatedly re-elected to the same honourable position. 
He was one of the experts in the knowledges of Hour, 
employed as Judges to test the capacity of candidates for 
the oihce of Flour Inspector for the city. 

Mr. Esdaile joined St. Gabriel Street Church in 1833, 
and became one of Mr. Esson's most intimate friends. 
They lived in the same house for some; time, and Mr. 
Esdaile acted as Mr. Esson's groomsman at his second 
marriage in 1842 ; but he could not follow his friend out 
of his mother church. 

Mr. Esdaile having protested against the secession to 
the Presbyterian Church of Canada, connected himself 
with St. Andrew's Church, and soon became one of its 
most prominent members. He married the sister-in-law 
of Rev. Dr. Mathieson, Nancy McKenzie, daughter of 
John McKenzie of the firm of Russel and McKenzie, and 
thus his influence in St. Andrew's Church naturally 
became great. He was elected a member of the Board of 
Trustees, and was latterly, for many years, its chairman. 


Ah ho Htood by tho Chiinh of Scotland in 1844, «o ho wiin 
avorse to fallinjjf in with th«' Union movement in IHTf), 
although the cinniraKtauceH were ve;-y difltTent. Mr. Eh- 
daih^ wan, however, too Hober-minded a man to a<'t a 
fanatical part in thin ronnection. Althouufh hin viewH 
were decided and Krm, they were held and exprcHHed 
with (talmnesH. He died at Montreal very Hudd»!nly, 
July Ath, 1882. Mr. Endaile waH one of the original 
mombern of the 8t. Andrew'n Society, and ludd the office 
of Hecretary in 1842. He wuh one of the eleven TruHtees 
named in the Act of Parliament of 18(54, which restored 
th«i St. Gabriel Street Church to the Church of Scotland, 
and took an interest afterwards in its rising fortunes, 
acting for some time as Secretary-Treasurer His son, 
liobert M. Esdaile, continues his father's business, and 
inherits much of his public spirit. 

John Speirs, whose signature appears fourth on the 
protest against the secession from the Church of Scotland, 
and who owned pew No. 7, was a dry goods merchant of 
the city . He was elected a member of the temporal com- 
mittee in 1844. He was married to a daughter of Adam L. 
MacNider, and after issuing his protest, he and his family 
attended St. Paul's Church. lie died in 1858. His sister, 
Mrs. Sanderson, however, went to Cote Street Church. 

John Blackwood, who signed the protest, and owned 
pew No. 72, was a nephew of Thomas Blackwood, the 
elder. John was a merchant in the city, and afterwards 
removed to Upper Canada. Thomas Blackwood's son, 
James McG-ill, also remained a member of St. Gabriel 
Street Church till about 1840. He was one of the signers 
of the petition to the Presbytery of Quebec, in 1831. Miss 
Blackwood, of 112 Union Avenue, whose name is asso- 
ciated with so many of our public charities, is a daughter 


498 ■ 

ol' Thomas lUiukwood, tho «'l(l«fr. Mis.s niii(;kwo()<l has 
IxM'ii ol' H('rvi(U! to tli(! wril(U' in pursuinj^' IiIh 
hiHtorical (MiquiricK. 

John ChiirlcH Lillic, anothi^f of tlio 27 prot(^si(!r.s, was a 
j^randKon oI'.Tohn Lillii^ mcnitiojKHl at paj^c OK. JI«' was 
])rouf»ht III) ^>y ^^^^ aunt, Miss Lillie, and i'ducatcid at 
]<]dinhur^h, Scotliind. 1 1<>. ('nt<!n(d the oilioc! olTcddic^ and 
Macculloi'h, and altciwardK lormcd a bufsinoss ])artn«',rshii) 
with J. tSc R. lilNdailo, but h(! did not prosper. He 
romovod to Toronto af'tc.rwardH, and o})tain('d a Govorn- 
in«nt situation, llo ownt^d [mw No. 21 in th«^ St. (Jabriol 
kStrciit Church. 

Fordinand Mac-culloch, who also si«^n(Hl the: protost 
against the, sect^ssion IVom th(; Church olScothmd, in 1844, 
w^as th(^ proprietor ol' pew No. 24. lie was th<; son oi' 
William Macculloch, (elsewhere mentioned as a native, of 
Dorno<h, Sutherlandshinf, Scotland, where l^^^rdinand 
was also l)orn. Part oi' his youth was spent in IMinburgh. 
(yoming to Montreal as a lad, in 1828, he: enter«'d tho 
office ol' William Peddi(^, hardware and commission mer- 
chant. On Mr. I'eddie's death, Mr. Macuuillocih lormed a 
partnership with Walter M. INiddic;, William's broth(!r, 
who was also a hardware nn^rchant. Subsc^quently, Mr. 
Maccullo(;h was appointed cashier of thci City Iknk, an 
•ofUce which he held lor 2r> y(!ars. Mr. Macculloch is still 
with us, a hal(5 old g<^ntleinan, whose portly form reminds 
one- of the physique; of th(; merchant jirincMJs to be st^en in 
the Glasgow Exchange, lie married a daughter of Dr. 
William llobertson. Mr. Ma(;cullo(;h signed tho i)etition 
to the Synod, as one of Mr. Esson's friends, in 1831. llo 
held the important oiiice of Treasurer in the congregation 
during tho years from 1838 to 1841. 


Colin McDouiild, who owiiod pow No. 30, and was 
ainonj? ilu; 27 proi«!Hlors a^ainKl, tho NrcuiSKion ol' St. 
(Ial)ri<'l Stn^^t Church in 1H44, wasih(M-(Kloul)tabl<f Town 
Major. lU". had })('on !i, s(^r«^('anl in th«! TlHh (!am(!ron 
Ili'.'I'Iihinch^rH, and as Kudi ha<l acliiovt^l l)rodi<;i('H of valour 
at. Waicn-loo. That n-girncnit was in Montreal in 1S2H, 
and woFHliippcd in St. (iahricl Street Church. On nstirinj^" 
I'roia active wervic*^ In; obtained, in IH'M, th(! appoint- 
m(!nt of Town Major of Montreal, and bravely did he 
I)eri'orm h k part, to the delitrht especially oi' the boys, 
who enjoyed set^in*^- th<i old Highland warrior when 
li(! rode Ibrth fully cajjarisoned on his s])irited cliar^er. 
lie was a, special i'avourit(^ with Lord Durham, during 
that uobleman's slay in the (;ity. On on(! occasion when 
Admiral Lord I'aj^et was on a, visit to Montreal, ho sent 
lor the Town Major and publicly thanked him Tor having 
saved the life oi' th(5 Admiral's brother in the action at 
Waterloo ; and the veteran diMimed hims(!ll' amply rc^paid 
by the honour donc^ him, whon he was invited to din<^ with 
[lis lordship. The Town Major would have consid(^red 
his loyalty as liable to suspicion, had h(inot voted in 1844 
to continue in connec^tion with th(^ lilstablished Church ol" 
Scotland. 1I(^ went to St. Andrew's Church after the 

David Ilandyside, on*^ of th(^ 27 prot<^sters of the 7th 
Septemlier, 1844, was an old and induential mi^mlx^r of 
the ('ongregation. 1I(^ occupied p(^w No. 25 in 1825. H(» 
became an ardent admin^r of Mr. ]^]sson's, and adhered to 
him <iarn(;stly until he seceded in 1844. Mr. Handysid<; 
was one of those who lodged information against the 
Black partizans for scnzing the church, and he was one 
of the committee to receive b;.ck th(i ediiice in 18.'J2. He 
was elected a member of the temporal committee in 1834, 
re-ele(;ted in 1835, when he was made vice-i)r(isident, 


whi«;h ofiir(^ h<' hold a^rain in 1836 and 1H87. In 1H38, 
lH;il), 1H40 and 1K41, lu; was prcnidont. Ho was left off 
thii o!nlar^rnd oommiLte.? in IH-i'i and 1843, but was a^ain 
c-ho8on on it in 1844. Ho was n^-oloctcid overy year aiter- 
wards up to 1848, when Dr. W. V. Smith's name was 
substituted ibr his. Althou«?h he protestc^d against the 
sooossion of the oongrogation from the (Church of Soot- 
land, he held on to his pew and his rights in the church 
for si^voral years afterwards, and ov(m signed the; call to 
Mr. Leishman, although he formally i)iotested against his 


David llandyside was born in Edinburgh, 11th August, 
1794. He <;ame to Montreal with his two brothers while 
a young man. At lirst they were; merchants on St. .Tos«;ph 
Street. His brothi^rs afterwards own(!d th(^ distillery on 
the Longue Pointe road, alongside when; the mm House 
of Industry and Refuge is. David's distilh^ry stood where 
the Adams' tobacco factory at Hochelaga now stands. 

He was named a m(imber of the new Corporation of 
the city in 1840, but declined to act. Ho married Melinda 
Adams of Burlington, Vt., who died in 1848. Mr. Handy- 
side himself died, 15th March, 1855. After withdrawing 
from St. Gabriel Str«;et (Church, ho Joined St Thomas' 
Episcopal Church. His oldest daughter is the wife of 
Joseph Jones, Coroner. One son, Charles, resides at 
Lac-hine, and two daughters remain unmarried. 

■ Daniel Gorrie, who owned pew No. 27, and who pro- 
tested against the Pr«!sbyterian (Church in C^anada's vMni 
to hold the St. Gabriel Stretd Church, was a native ol 
Glasgow, Scotland, who came to this country in 1820, 
when he was only 15 years old. His family belonged, 
however, to Perth. Daniel early showed ability, and 
acquired a high reputation among his fellow-citizons. 
He had a taste for public life, and in 1845 he entered the 


City Couii(;il. TT<' sorvod as councillor that yoar and Ihe 
following one. In 1859, ho was appointed an Ald«irman, 
for at that period th«^ro were two ranks in the Council, — 
CVmncillors and Aldernnsn. He (-ontinued to Hc-rve as an 
Alderman IVoin 185!) to 1864, when he nstired. His chief 
business was eonductinj^ a hrewi^ry in Jacques (-artior 
Street ; but h<! had also contracts with the Governiniint, 
durin*^- th«! period th«^ military w<ire in Canada, for the 
supi)ly of fodder lor the army horses, — and he became 
a rich man. 

The first time his name occurs in connection with St. 
(labriel Street Chunih was on the memorials and p(ititions 
in the diUer«m(M\s betwei^n Messrs. Esson and Black, 
lie joined the <;hurch in 1880. At this period, he a(;ted 
with the Black party, as did also (/harhis Tait and 
William Cunn. Th(;se three wc^n; not pn^pared, how- 
ever, to go the lenjLi^th of separatin*^ from th(5 chun^h, and 
so th(!y stayed in it, in 183i}. All three had to leave 
in the lon«^ run. 11(5 was appoint(!d a member of the 
tc:raporal committee in 1842, and remained in that olhce 
for the four lollowinj^ years, lie was one of the three 
])roprietors present to vote against changing- the llules 
and Regulations, 2nd September, 1844, tht; other two 
being D. P. Iloss and James Logan. 

Mr. Gorrie continued to hold his pew in the old church, 
as several of the oth(?r protesters did, in the hope that it 
would revert to the Chur<.h of S<;otland ; and Mr. Gorrie 
lived to see that wish accomplished. The writer had the 
melancholy satisfaction of officiating at his burial. He 
died 2nd July, 1872. 

William MacCulloch, one of the 2Y protesti^rs, Yth Sept- 
ember, 1844, was a native of Dornoch, Sutherlandshire, 
Scotland. He was father of Ferdinand MacCulloch of 
the City Bank. He came to Canada in 1823. For some 


timo ho was (lonnoctcMl with i\n) Indian D(^i)artinont of 
tho Civil Servico. AltiTWurdK ho h<!ld u (^onnoctioii with 
tho Chiimphiin liailway. IIo diod in Novnibcr, ^Hf)Q. 

K'olx'ri McFarlano, who also i)rotost(!d aj^ainst tho 
Horcssion of 1K44, was born noar i,h«i town of IN'ith, Scot- 
land, and was a iTKirchant in that to