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Encyclopedia > John Graves Simcoe
John Graves Simcoe

Portrait by George Theodore Berthon
Born February 25, 1752
Cotterstock, England
Died October 26, 1806
Exeter, England
Education Eton College,
Merton College, Oxford
Occupation Military officer,
First lieutenant governor of Upper Canada
Spouse Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim
Children Francis Gwillim Simcoe
Eliza Simcoe
Henry Addington Simcoe
Parents Captain John Simcoe
Katherine Simcoe

John Graves Simcoe (February 25, 1752October 26, 1806) was the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada (modern-day southern Ontario plus the watersheds of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior) from 1791-1796. He founded York (now Toronto) and was instrumental in introducing institutions such as the courts, trial by jury, English common law, freehold land tenure, and for abolishing slavery in Upper Canada long before it was abolished in the British Empire as a whole (it had disappeared from Upper Canada by 1810, but wasn't abolished throughout the Empire until 1834). Portrait of Colonel John Graves Simcoe, [ca. ... is the 56th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1752 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Cotterstock is a village in the county of Northamptonshire in South West England. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto)1 Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total... is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1806 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... A number of other places have taken their names from Exeter The city of Exeter is the county town of Devon, in England, UK. It is located at 50° 43 25 N, 3° 31 39 W. In the 2001 census its population was recorded at 111,066. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto)1 Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total... The Kings College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor, commonly known as Eton College or just Eton, is a public school (privately funded and independent) for boys, founded in 1440 by King Henry VI. It is located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor in England, situated north of Windsor... College name The House of Scholars of Merton Named after Walter de Merton Established 1264 Sister College Peterhouse Warden Prof. ... A Lieutenant Governor is a government official who is the subordinate or deputy of a Governor or Governor-General. ... Flag Map of Upper Canada (orange) Capital Newark 1792 - 1797 York(later renamed Toronto in 1834) 1797 - 1841 Language(s) English Religion Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Sovereign  - 1791-1820 George III  - 1837-1841 Victoria Lieutenant-Governor See list of Lieutenant-Governors Legislature Parliament of Upper Canada  - Upper house Legislative Council... Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim (1762 (or 1766?)-1850) was the wife of John Graves Simcoe. ... is the 56th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1752 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1806 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... A Lieutenant Governor is a government official who is the subordinate or deputy of a Governor or Governor-General. ... Flag Map of Upper Canada (orange) Capital Newark 1792 - 1797 York(later renamed Toronto in 1834) 1797 - 1841 Language(s) English Religion Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Sovereign  - 1791-1820 George III  - 1837-1841 Victoria Lieutenant-Governor See list of Lieutenant-Governors Legislature Parliament of Upper Canada  - Upper house Legislative Council... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor James K. Bartleman - Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 106 - Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area [1] Ranked... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Georgian Bay (French: baie Georgienne) is a large bay of Lake Huron, located in Ontario, Canada. ... Lake Superior, bounded by Ontario, Canada and Minnesota, USA, to the north and Wisconsin and Michigan, USA, to the south, is the largest of North Americas Great Lakes. ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1796 (MDCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... York was the original name of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... Trial by Jury is a comic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in one act (the only single-act Savoy Opera). ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Freehold is a term used in real estate or real property law, land held in fee simple, as opposed to leasehold, which is land which is leased. ... Slave redirects here. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... 1810 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1834 (MDCCCXXXIV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...

Contents

Early life

John Graves Simcoe was the only son of John and Katherine Simcoe. His father, a captain in the British navy, commanded the 60-gun HMS Pembroke (James Cook was his sailing master) during the 1745 siege of Louisbourg. His father died of pneumonia a few months prior to the siege of Quebec. Blue plaque for Captain James Cook Captain James Cook FRS RN (27 October 1728 (O.S.) – 14 February 1779) was an English explorer, navigator and cartographer. ... Fortress Louisbourg (fr. ... Pneumonia is an illness of the lungs and respiratory system in which the alveoli (microscopic air-filled sacs of the lung responsible for absorbing oxygen from the atmosphere) become inflamed and flooded with fluid. ... Combatants Britain France Commanders James Wolfe † Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm † Strength 4,800 regulars 4,000 regulars 300 militia Casualties 658 dead or wounded 644 dead or wounded The Battle of the Plains of Abraham was a pivotal battle in the North American theatre of the Seven Years War...


Simcoe was educated at Eton and Merton College, Oxford. The Kings College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor, commonly known as Eton College or just Eton, is a public school (privately funded and independent) for boys, founded in 1440 by King Henry VI. It is located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor in England, situated north of Windsor... College name The House of Scholars of Merton Named after Walter de Merton Established 1264 Sister College Peterhouse Warden Prof. ...


His godfather was British admiral Samuel Graves. Simcoe would marry Graves' ward, Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim, in 1782. Samuel Graves (*1713 †1787) was a British Admiral who fought for the British in the American Revolution. ... Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim (1762 (or 1766?)-1850) was the wife of John Graves Simcoe. ... 1782 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Military career

In 1770, Simcoe entered the British Army as an ensign in the 35th Regiment of Foot. His unit was dispatched to America, where he saw action in the Siege of Boston. During the siege, he purchased a captaincy in the grenadier company of the 40th Regiment of Foot. The 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment in the British Army . ... Combatants United States France Spanish Empire Dutch Republic Oneida Tuscarora Polish volunteers Quebec volunteers Prussian volunteers Kingdom of Great Britain Iroquois Confederacy Hessian mercenaries Loyalists Commanders George Washington Nathanael Greene Gilbert de La Fayette Comte de Rochambeau Bernardo de Gálvez Tadeusz Kościuszko Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben King George... The Siege of Boston (April 19, 1775 – March 17, 1776) was the opening phase of the active American Revolutionary War, in which the Continental Army surrounded the city of Boston, Massachusetts, to prevent movement by the British Army within. ... A Grenadier was originally a specialized assault trooper for siege operations, first established as a distinct role in the early 17th century. ... The 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1717 and amalgamated into The Prince of Waless Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) in 1881. ...


With the 40th, he saw action in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia campaigns. Simcoe commanded the 40th at the Battle of Brandywine, where he was also wounded. Combatants United States Great Britain Commanders George Washington, Charles Lee Sir William Howe, Lord Cornwallis Strength 19,000 regulars and militia 25,000 soldiers, 10,000 seamen The New York and New Jersey campaign was a series of engagements in the American Revolutionary War between forces led by General Sir... Combatants United States Great Britain Commanders George Washington William Howe Henry Clinton The Philadelphia campaign (1777–1778) was a British initiative in the American Revolutionary War. ... Combatants United States Britain Commanders George Washington William Howe Strength 10,600 17,000 Casualties 250 killed, 750 wounded, 400 captured 89 killed, 487 wounded The Battle of Brandywine was a battle of the American Revolutionary War fought on September 11, 1777, near Chadds Ford on Brandywine Creek in Delaware...


In 1777, Simcoe sought to form a Loyalist regiment of free blacks from Boston, but instead was offered command of the Queen's Rangers, a well-trained light infantry unit. The Queen's Rangers saw extensive action during the Philadelphia campaign, including a successful surprise attack (planned and executed by Simcoe), at the Battle of Crooked Billet. In 1779, he was captured by the Americans. Simcoe was released in 1781, just in time to see action at the Siege of Yorktown. He was invalided back to England in December of that year as a Lieutenant-Colonel. Combatants Pennsylvania militia Great Britain, Commanders John Lacey Lt. ... Combatants France United States Great Britain German mercenaries Commanders Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau François de Grasse Gilbert de La Fayette George Washington Nathanael Greene Charles Cornwallis # Charles O’Hara # Banastre Tarleton # (stationed at Gloucester, Virginia) Strength 10,800 French, 8,845 Americans 7,500 Casualties 62 dead 190 wounded...


Simcoe wrote a book on his experiences with the Rangers, titled A Journal of the Operations of the Queen's Rangers from the end of the year 1777 to the conclusion of the late American War, which was published in 1787.


Political career

Appointment as Lieutenant-Governor

The Province of Upper Canada was created under the Constitutional Act of 1791. This law stipulated that the provincial government would consist of the Lieutenant-Governor, an appointed Executive Council and Legislative Council and an elected Legislative Assembly. Simcoe was selected as the Lieutenant-Governor, and made plans to move to Upper Canada with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Sophia, leaving three other daughters behind with their aunt. They left England in September and arrived on November 11. This was too late in the year to make the trip to Upper Canada and the Simcoes spent the winter in Quebec City. The next spring they moved to Kingston and then Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake). The Constitutional Act of 1791 was a British law which changed the government of the province of Quebec to accommodate the many English-speaking settlers, known as the United Empire Loyalists, who had arrived from the United States following the American Revolution. ... Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim (1762 (or 1766?)-1850) was the wife of John Graves Simcoe. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto)1 Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total... November 11 is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 50 days remaining. ... Motto: Don de Dieu feray valoir (I shall put Gods gift to good use; the Don de Dieu was Champlains ship) Coordinates: , Country  Canada Province  Quebec Agglomeration Quebec City Statute of the city Capitale-Nationale Administrative Region Capitale-Nationale Founded 1608 by Samuel de Champlain Constitution date 1833... Murney Tower, Kingston The Fort Henry Guard performing an historical demonstration The Prince George Hotel. ... Niagara-on-the-Lake in the Niagara Region Niagara-on-the-Lake Niagara-on-the-Lake (2001 population 13,839) is a town where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. ...


Founding of Toronto

Simcoe's first priority was to establish a provincial government. The first meeting of the nine-member Legislative Council and sixteen-member Legislative Assembly took place at Newark on September 17, 1792. Simcoe soon realized that Newark made an unsuitable capital because it was right on the US border and subject to attack. He proposed moving the capital to a more defensible position in the middle of Upper Canada's southwestern peninsula between Lake Erie and Lake Huron. He named the new location London and renamed the river as the Thames in anticipation of the change. The Governor-General, Lord Dorchester, rejected this proposal but accepted Simcoe's second choice of Toronto. Simcoe moved the capital to Toronto in 1793 and renamed the location York after Frederick, Duke of York, George III's second son. A Legislative Council in British constitutional thought is the second-to-top tier of a government led by a Governor-General, Governor or a Lieutenant-Governor, inferior to an Executive Council and equal to or superior to a Legislative Assembly. ... The Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada was the legislature for the province of Upper Canada, which later became the province of Ontario. ... September 17 is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Lake Erie (pronounced ) is the eleventh largest lake on Earth[2] and, of the five Great Lakes of North America, it is the fourth largest by surface area, the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume. ... Ipperwash Beach, Lake Huron. ... The Thames River is located in southwestern Ontario, Canada. ... Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester. ... 1793 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... His Royal Highness The Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (Frederick Augustus) (16 August 1763 - 5 January 1827) was a member of the British Royal Family, the second eldest child, and second son of King George III. From 1820 until his own death in 1827, he was the heir... George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until 1 January 1801, and thereafter of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. ...


Later career

In July 1796 poor health forced Simcoe to return to Britain. He was unable to return to Upper Canada and resigned his office in 1798. He later served briefly as the commander of British forces in St. Domingo (Haiti) and commander of the Western District in Britain. In 1806, he was appointed commander-in-chief of India but died in Exeter before assuming that post. A plaque placed by the Ontario Heritage Foundation in Exeter's cathedral precinct commemorates his life. He was buried in Wolford Chapel on the Simcoe family estate near Honiton, Devon. The Ontario Heritage Foundation acquired title to the chapel in 1982. Year 1798 (MDCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... A number of other places have taken their names from Exeter The city of Exeter is the county town of Devon, in England, UK. It is located at 50° 43 25 N, 3° 31 39 W. In the 2001 census its population was recorded at 111,066. ... The Ontario Heritage Foundation is a non-profit agency of the Ontario Ministry of Culture founded in 1975. ... Location within the British Isles Honiton is a town in Devon, England. ... “Devonshire” redirects here. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ...


Legacy

The town of Simcoe in southwestern Ontario is named for him as is Simcoe County to the west and north of Lake Simcoe. Lake Simcoe, meanwhile, was named by John Graves Simcoe for his father. A provincial holiday held on the first Monday in August is known as Simcoe Day in Toronto [1]. Simcoe's regiment still exists as the Queen's York Rangers, an armoured reconnaissance regiment of the Canadian Forces reserves. A school in St. Catharines, Ontario, Governor Simcoe Secondary School, was also named after him. Simcoe Street and Simcoe Place (office tower) in Toronto are both located near the fort where Simcoe lived during his early years in York. Simcoe is a community of approx. ... Simcoe is a county located in central Ontario, originally established as Simcoe District in 1843 by the Legislature of Upper Canada[1]. According to Statistics Canada (2006), the population is 422,204. ... Lake Simcoe is a lake in southern Ontario, Canada, the fourth largest lake in the province. ... Simcoe Day is a Civic Holiday in Ontario, falling on the first Monday in August. ... The 1st American Regiment was originally raised during the Seven Years War by Robert Rogers and were better known as Rogers Rangers. ... The Canadian Forces (French: Forces canadiennes), abbreviated as CF (French: FC), are the unified armed forces of Canada. ... St. ...


Construction of Yonge Street

Imitating the military roads the Romans built in Britain [2], Simcoe began construction of two main routes through Ontario. Yonge Street, named after the Minister of War Sir George Yonge, was built north-south along the fur trade route between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe. Soldiers of the Queen's Rangers began cutting the road in August 1793, reaching Holland Landing in 1796. A sign for Yonge Street at the intersection with Maitland Street. ... Sir George Yonge, 5th Baronet (1731–1812) was a British Secretary at War (1782-1783 and 1783-1794) and the namesake of Toronto, Canadas Yonge Street, which was named by the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada John Graves Simcoe, in 1793. ... Lake Ontario, bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the south by Ontarios Niagara Peninsula and by New York State, USA, is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. ... Lake Simcoe is a lake in southern Ontario, Canada, the fourth largest lake in the province. ... The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) is the armoured branch of service of the Canadian Forces Land Force Command (Canadian Army), including regular force and militia regiments. ... Holland Landing is a village in the town of East Gwillimbury, located in the northern part of the Regional Municipality of York, in south-central Ontario. ...


Another road, Dundas Street named for the Colonial Secretary Henry Dundas, was built east-west between Hamilton and York. These two roads were intended to aid in the defence of Upper Canada but would also help encourage settlement and trade throughout the province. Dundas Street showing the 506 Carlton Streetcar (the 505 Dundas Street streetcar also runs along Dundas), with Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in background. ... Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (April 28, 1742 - May 28, 1811) was a British statesman. ... Motto: Together Aspire - Together Achieve Location in the province of Ontario, Canada Coordinates: , Country Canada Province Ontario Incorporated June 9, 1846[1] Government  - Mayor Fred Eisenberger  - City Council Hamilton City Council  - Representatives 5 MPs and 5 MPPs Area [2]  - City 1,138. ... York was the original name of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Flag Map of Upper Canada (orange) Capital Newark 1792 - 1797 York(later renamed Toronto in 1834) 1797 - 1841 Language(s) English Religion Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Sovereign  - 1791-1820 George III  - 1837-1841 Victoria Lieutenant-Governor See list of Lieutenant-Governors Legislature Parliament of Upper Canada  - Upper house Legislative Council...


External links

  • Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
Parliament of Great Britain (1707–1800)
Preceded by
Sir William Young and
Hugh Boscawen
Member of Parliament for St. Mawes
1790–1792
(with Sir William Young)
Succeeded by
Sir William Young and
Thomas Calvert
Government offices
Preceded by
new title under Governor General of British North America Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester
Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada
1791–1798
Succeeded by
Peter Russell

  Results from FactBites:
 
Early Canada Historical Narratives -- JOHN GRAVES SIMCOE (6478 words)
John Graves Simcoe, a member of the House of Commons that approved the act, envisaged a fine settlement in Upper Canada populated by Loyalists, many of whom he had led as members of the Queen's Rangers during the revolution.
Simcoe was motivated by a single-minded passion to distinguish himself in some way in the colonies and his appointment as lieutenant governor stimulated his natural enthusiasm and boundless energy.
Simcoe's pursuit of perfection was described by one historian as "an orgy of enthusiasm," by which he intended to establish a model of Mother England in the wastelands of Upper Canada, where Simcoe envisioned a mini-aristocracy with himself at the top.
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