George Neville has transcribed correspondence between Lt.-Col. Francis Cockburn and Lady Sarah Maitland. Neville argues that the document shows that money was set aside as early as 1819 for the building of a church in Richmond. Yet this money was not released to the settlers. One must ask why not?
Early Funding for Building Churches in Military Settlements of Perth & Richmond
By George A. Neville
Lt.-Col. Francis Cockburn, Deputy Quarter Master General for the Military Settlements at Perth and Richmond, informs us in the undated and partially missing transcribed correspondence below that upwards of £40-£50, raised in England for the purpose of building Churches in the new Settlements, is available, hopefully to be supplemented by the Government of Upper Canada, if Bishop Strachan of York [later Toronto] could influence his friends in the Legislature. Cockburn is writing to Lady Sarah Maitland to suggest that her husband, Sir Peregrine Maitland, Lt. Governor of Upper Canada, and son-in-law of the 4th Duke of Richmond, Charles Lennox, might induce the military to assist the cause.
Although the document is undated for the year of its inscription, therein is mentioned the date of “3rd October at which no mention was made [in our London dates) of that event which deprived us of our late lamented Governor in Chief”. The reference is obviously to the death of the Duke of Richmond near Richmond on 28th August 1819 a year after the Richmond Settlement was established by survey and basic administration buildings. Cockburn, too, had been an attentive attendant to the Duke throughout his visitations to Perth and Richmond in August 1819. The date of the document is undoubtedly 1819.
Col. Cockburn (no date, 139164)*
Lady Sarah Maitland
I remain Your Faith[ful] Humble Sevt
I am going on to Brownes Hotel at the Falls.
(139165) raised in England for the purpose of building Churches in new Settlements & from which fund we hope to receive Forty or Fifty Pounds – The Government of Upper Canada will I hope also be able to render us some assistance, at all events Doctor Strachan would I doubt not preach for us 2 endeavours(?) to obtain a subscription from our good friends in York – In that I feel sanguine in being able with your Excellency’s assistance to obtain sufficient funds for the building (139166) of such a church as will be sufficient for all the purposes required of it even by the encreasing (sic) population of the Military Settlement – If you approve of an application to the Regiments perhaps a General order on the subject might have the best effect – may I request to hear from you as soon & as fully as possible as this subject as I shall if course take no further steps in the business till I receive your decision……..
(139167) Our London dates are to the 3rd of October at which time no mention was made of that event which deprived us of our late lamented Governor in Chief.
I remain my dear Sir
Your faithful humble Sert
Fran[cis] Cockburn [his signature]
*Civil Secretary’s Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, No Date: A-L (R.G. 5, A 1, Vol. 256), pp. 139164 -139167.