A series of documents outlining the acquisition of a village lot might appear to be family specific, but in fact the documents can teach us much about Richmond’s history. In 1845 merchant George Brown (see factoids #113-115) bought lot 8 on the west side of McBean St. (Across the street from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church). The documents reveal information about the leading Richmond characters: Lewis, McElroy and Burke, and introduce a new one, Craig. They tell us about the mysterious Royal Navy Lieutenant, James William Horrie who had partnered with John Bower Lewis to buy lumber from George Lyon in 1821 (see factoid # 23). The documents also tell us how land was transferred when a resident died without a will and with a young heir.
They raise questions about the terms of settlement for acquiring land in the village. It is stated that the land was returned by the Military Settling Department to the Heir and Devisee Commission of the Crown Land Department “without description for Patent”. Does this mean that the land was given to Lieutenant Horrie without any terms of settlement?
George Neville has transcribed the Brown documents. The transcription and Neville’s introduction appear below. What additional information do they provide to you about mid-19th century Richmond life?
George Brown, Richmond Merchant, Belatedly Acquires Title to Lot 8, West Side of McBean St.
Introduction and transcription by George Neville
From the transcribed documents below, one learns that the original Locatee or holder of Lot 8 on the West side of McBean St. in Richmond village was James Horrie, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, who died intestate in 1826 leaving his only son, James William Horrie, Heir at Law surviving him. On 24th July 1845, by which time James William Horrie was of the full age of 21 years, this property was sold by J. W. Horrie to George Brown for £16, 10 shillings before Robert Frederick Lewis and Alexander Craig, the two subscribing witnesses to execution of the sale, as attested and sworn on 7th July 1854 before P[atrick] McElroy, Commissioner for taking Affidavits in the Queen’s Bench in and for the County of Carleton. On the previous day, 6th July 1854, Alexander Craig swore an Affidavit before P. McElroy to the effect that he was present along with R. Fred Lewis (now deceased) for the execution of sale of Lot 8, West side of McBean St., Richmond, by J. W. Horrie to George Brown. An Indenture of Sale of the property to George Brown was duly registered for the County of Carleton at 12:30 noon of Thursday, 14th August 1845 by Geo. T. Burke who by then had become Registrar for the County of Carleton.
It is interesting and revealing to note from the earliest related documentation that Wm. Huagge, Chief Clerk of the Crown Land Department at Quebec, on 10th January 1835, had reason to check on the status assignment of Lot 8, Westerly of McBean St. and Park Lot 10 on Perth St. of Richmond nine years after the death of Jame Horrie to whom these lands were allocated by the Military Settling Department without description for Patent. In his note of certification to William Huward, Clerk to the Heir & Devisee Commission at Toronto (for the attention of J.B. Lewis), Wm Huagge states that “Park Lot Ten was allowed by the Commission in 1849 to John Bower Lewis”. Huagge also adds that “this communication is to be charged to Mr. Huward”.
George Brown, 1854 – Ontario Archives RG 40 (40 – 3836) Pavel 122: 1854 [Transcr. Aug 2017]
To William Huvard Esq
Clerk to Heir & Devisee Commission
Toronto} Crown Land Department
for J B Lewis} Quebec 10 Jany 1835
I Certify that Lot Eight Westerly of McBean Street and Park Lot Ten on Perth Street Town of Richmond were returned by Military Settling Department located to James Horrie and have not been Described for Patent – Park Lot Ten was allowed by the Commission in Eighteen hundred & forty nine to John Bower Lewis. Wm Huagge
This Communication is to be charged to Mr. Huvard.
George Brown of the village of Richmond in the County of Carleton Merchant maketh oath and saith that James Horrie formerly of the village of Richmond aforesaid a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy deceased was the Locatee or person entitled to Lot Number Eight on the West side of McBean Street in the said village of Richmond This Deponent further saith that the said James Horrie departed this life in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and twenty six intestate leaving James William Horrie his only Son and Heir at Law him surviving. That the said James William Horrie being the Heir at Law of the said James Horrie deceased and being of the full age of twenty one years did on the twenty fourth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty five By [sic] a certain Indenture of Bargain and Sale bearing date the day and year last aforesaid and made between the said James William Horrie of the one part and this Deponent of the other part for the consideration of sixteen pounds and ten shillings to him in hand paid by this Deponent grant bargain and sell unto this Deponent his heirs and assigns the said Lot Number Eight on the West side of McBean Street in the said village (therein called Town) of Richmond aforesaid which said Indenture of Bargain and sale was duly executed by the said James William Horrie in the presence of Robert Frederick Lewis and Alexander Craig the two subscribing witnesses to the execution thereof – This Deponent further saith that the name of the said James William Horrie subscribed thus “JWHorrie” as grantee in the said Indenture is of the proper handwriting of the said James William Horrie This Deponent further saith that his claim to the said Land as assignee of the said James William Horrie as heir at law of his said Father the said James Horrie deceased is just and well founded to the best of his Knowledge and belief And that he this Deponent is not aware of any adverse claim to the said Land or any part thereof.
Sworn before me at Richmond in the George Brown [his signature]
County of Carleton this Seventh
Day of July 1854
A Commissioner for taking Affidavits in the Queen’s Bench in and for the County of Carleton
Indenture of Sale James William Horrie to George Brown, Lot Eight west side McBean St . Richmond
Alexander Craig of the Township of Nepean in the County of Carleton in the Province of Canada Yeoman maketh oath and saith that he was present and did see James William Horrie the Grantee named in the within written Deed of Bargain and sale Sign seal Deliver and duly execute the said within written Deed and that he this Deponent is a subscribing witness to the execution of the said Deed That the said Deed was executed in the presence of another subscribing witness besides this Deponent. This Deponent further saith that the name “JW Horrie” appearing to be the party executing the same and the name “A Craig” subscribed as one of the witnesses to the due execution of the said Deed are respectively of the proper hand writing of the said James William Horrie and this Deponent – This Deponent further saith that the name R Fred Lewis appearing as the other subscribing witness to the execution of the said Deed is of the proper hand writing of Robert Frederick Lewis who also witnessed the execution of the said Deed and who is since deceased.
Sworn before me at Nepean in the
County of Carleton this
Sixth day of July 1854
Alexander Craig [his signature]
A Commissioner for taking Affidavits in B R in and for the County of Carleton
County of Carleton Registry Office
I do hereby Certify that a Memorial of the within Indenture of Sale attested by Alexander Craig of Richmond yeoman hath been recorded in the Office of Registry for the County of Carleton at half even hour after twelve o’clock Noon of Thursday the fourteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty five in Book 5 page 241 No of Memorial 2622
Geo T Burke Registrar County Carleton
[Next follow six 8½” x 14” pages of the above described Indenture and witness of Sale to George Brown from James William Horrie of Lot Number Eight on the West side of McBean St. Richmond]
Notice is hereby given That the undersigned George Brown of the village of Richmond in the County of Carelton Merchant intends to claim before the Commissioners under the Heir and Devisee Act Eighth Victoria Chapter Eight at their next sittings at Toronto in the Month of July next Lot Number Eight on the West side of McBean Street in the said village of Richmond in the County of Carleton As Assignee of James William Horrie formerly of Richmond aforesaid Esquire the said James William Horrie being the eldest Son and Heir at Law of James Horrie late of Richmond aforesaid a Lietenant [sic] in the Royal Navy deceased.
Dated this fourth Day of April in the year of our Lord 1854 George Brown
[in same hand as the whole]
I certify that the annexed notice was put up in a conspicuous place of the office of the Clerk of the Peace of the County of Carleton on the fourth day of April last, and remained so put up from that time to the fourth day of July one thousand eight hundred and Fifty Four and that a list of the claims put up in my office Specifying the particulars of the claim in the annexed notice among other claims was affixed in a conspicuous part of the Court house of the said County and was publicly read and proclaimed in open Court at the General Quarter Sessions for the said County on the fourth day of July aforesaid by the Crier of the Court immediately after the delivery of the charge to the Grand Jury
Dated 6th July 1854 Wm C Powell (?) Clerk of the Peace of the County of Carleton
[Cover Summary] 35. 16(?) 22
Notice George Brown Recd 13 July/54 from Wm Richards
Deferred for Report
Deferred again 11 July 1855
4 July 1855
Report now produced
JB (?) Macaulay