FIRST NAME

LAST NAME

LOCALITY

   
TheShipsList Home Page Search the Passenger Lists Search Ship Company Fleet Lists Ship Descriptions and Voyage Histories  
Find Pictures of Ships, Ports, Immigration Stations
Find Diagrams & Photographs Ships' RiggingSearch Ship Arrivals from Newspapers &c
             
 
Search Marriages at Sea, British Ships
Search Numerous Files for Famine Emigrants, 1847Find Reports & Lists of Ship Wrecks Search 1862 Lists & Shipping Information Search Immigration & Ship Related Off-site Links              
Diaries & Journals | Immigration Reports | Illustrated London News | Trivia | Frequently Asked Questions
 

back to Peter Robinson page

Peter Robinson Settlers from Cork to Canada 1823 & 1825
National Archives of Canada: MG 24 B 74, 1-4 and 1-5, microfilm reel M-141 see also M-140

Peter Robinson Report of 1827

4th May 1827

Sir,

     I have the honour to report for the information of Lord Goderich, that having been appointed to select and take charge of a limited numbers of Emigrants from the South of Ireland, and settle them in the Province of Upper Canada, I left London on the 8th April 1825 and reached Mitchelstown in the County of Cork on the 12th. From this date to the 23rd day of May I was employed in selecting persons agreeably to my instructions, superintending their embarkations and discharging the different ships employed in their transportation.
     To choose about two thousand individuals out of fifty thousand who were anxious to emigrate was found a very difficult and in many cases an ungrateful task: and altho' I was assisted in the most zealous and friendly manner by the Noblemen, Magistrates and respectable gentlemen of the Baronies from which they were taken, the utmost vigilance became neccessary to prevent imposition.----
     In making my selection I gave each man (head of a family) after being approved, a certificate, and retained a duplicate, [example 1 #26 - example 2 # 206 large files] a method which I found on trial to be a much better plan than merely keeping a register of their names in a book.---- In a few instances persons holding these certificates sold them to others who were perhaps still more desirous of emigrating, and whose families nearly corresponded in age and number to their own, but I believe in no instance did the deception succeed. ----
     The surgeon of each transport had orders to report as soon as he had received his compliment of settlers on board, on which I proceeded to the ship and mustered them on the main deck, the hatches were then closed except one, when in the presence of the surgeon and master I took the original certificates which had been given over by the head of each family to the surgeon at the time of his embarkation, and from there after comparing them with the duplicates in my own possession, I called over the names of each individual belonging to the different families, and made them pass before me, and when I was satisfied they were of the age and description given in by the father and that no impostion had been practised, they were sent between decks. ----
     In choosing the emigrants the instructions that they should be small farmers, able to make good settlers, and without the means of supporting themselves in Ireland were scrupulously adhered to. ----
     In one particular I was induced to deviate in a few instances which was admitting a very small number above the age of forty five -- they are however farmers of superior intelligence and character to the other emigrants and appear from their experience in agriculture and their greater practical knowledge capable of giving a good example to the settlers, and of contributing essentially to the making of this second experiment still more creditable than the first. ----
     My anxiety to produce this desirable result and the intelligence manifested by the persons in question and the good character which they produced will I hope be deemed a sufficient excuse for this deviation in a few instances.
     Nor is it irrelevant to remark that aged men and women when carefully selected are of great service by their influence and advice in keeping up order, temperance and kindliness among the settlers, and in repressing discontent, insobriety and contention. ----
     It was of great importance to one that in selecting the persons most proper to emigrate I was assisted by the neighbouring Noblemen, Magistrates and Gentry, because notwithstanding every precaution, murmers were heard, and accusations were made. ----
     These were the more difficult to remove or answer because they seldom descended to particular cases! but were so conducted as to produce a general impression if not contradicted the the emigrants selected wore the exterior appearance at least of having been exempted from that distress which their removal from the County was intended to remedy, and consequently that they were not of the description of persons who it was the intention of Parliament to relieve. ----
     It was fortunate that these things came to my ears before I left Ireland, as it afforded me the opportunity of submitting my instructions to several gentlemen of the first respectabilty and honour, who could not be supposed in any way interested and who had an opportunity by personal inspection and enquiry to ascertain how far these instructions had governed my conduct. ----
     I therefore applied to the Mayor of Cork and Sir Anthony Perrier to accompany me on board of the ships Fortitude, Resolution, Albion and Brunswick then at Cove and ready for sea, that by the most minute investigation they might ascertain how far the settlers on board of these ships corresponded with the description of persons whom I was instructed to select. -- Their certificate I beg leave to annex. -- Nor was this all, so deeply did I feel my responsibilty that I invited Mr. Horace Townsend and Mr. Callaghan to examine the emigrants after they were all on board, and to assist me in detecting any imposition which might have been practised upon me, in order that even at that late period the object of such imposition might be discovered and punished. ----
     I was the more anxious the procure the assistance of these two Gentlemen because I had been given to understand that they entertained a very unfavourable opinion of the mode of delection [sic], and in particular imagined that the recommendation of the Noblemen, Magistrates and gentry to whom I had been particularly referred had been confined to their own tenancy. ---- The result was the most satisfactory, every suspicion was removed, and the approbation of the Gentlemen above noticed given with the utmost sincerity and good will to the faithfulness of my selection. ----
     I beg to add the testimony of the Magistrates attending the Petty Sessions at Ceciltown County of Cork:-

We hereby certify that on Mr. Robinson's arrival in this country in the year 1823 the people of our neighbourhood were disinclined to accompany him to Canada, appearing to doubt the advantages held out by the Government to persons willing to emigrate to that country being realized on their arrival; and it was with great difficulty, the Gentlemen in whom they had confidence, could induce them to believe that no deception was intended. ---- That since that time their minds have undergone a total change, in consequence as we conceive of the favourable accounts that have been received from the settlers of 1823 -- and that on Mr. Robinson's recent arrival in this County the applications were so very numerous that it became a matter of great difficulty to make a selection from amongst them; claims and qualifications being so nearly balanced. ---- That no persons however were approved of, but such as were recommended by the written or personal applications of the respectable gentlemen from whose neighbourhood they came, and were of the description we understood from Mr. Robinson it was the intention of the Government to prefer, such as the inhabitants of the disturbed Districts, and farmers, and others in reduced circumstances, unable to obtain an honest livelyhood at home or to pay their passage to Canada.

     Before quitting this part of my subject, I feel also great pleasure in adding the testimony of thirty of the most respectable gentlemen in the County of Cork to the success of the former emigration, and the effect which it had produced on the population generally. ---- They also recommended one hundred families from their populous District whom were totally without the means of subsistence, but of those I could only take a few. ----

We the undersigned Magistrates, Clergy and principal Inhabitants of the Parishes of Passaye, Monkstown, Shanabally, Barnaheely and Carrigline, beg leave to call your humane attention to the alarming states of our numerous labouring classes in these extremely poor and populous parishes. ----
We have tried various expedients by voluntary contributors and through the aid of collections at charity sermons to mitigate the distress which so awfully exists in this part of the County of Cork, and in the vicinity of the City on the verge of the harbour. -- Various cause have arisen to create this peculiar distress, especially the number of idle hands who congregated from all parts and who were thrown out of employment by the stoppage of the great works on the fortifications of Spike Island and the completion of the Naval and ordnance works at the Haulbowlin [Haulbowline] and Rocky Islands. ----
Superadded to this there are nearly two thousand acres of land unleased and untilled in a great measure and consequently unproductive close to the town of Vassage and the village of Monkstown. Poverty induced fever, fever numerous deaths of heads of families, which have thrown numbers of widows and orphans on the bounty of the benevolent, who feel in this neighbourhood all the evils of absentee-ship. -- You have sir reduced what was deemed theory in 1823 to practise through your skill ability and zeal, and your knowledge of Canada. ----
You have removed the prejudices which ignorance produced against emigration to that Colony, by the successful experiment already tried. ----
We are of opinion that about one hundred heads of families in this Barony would gladly avail themselves of the bounty of Parliament to proceed under your directions to the proposed locations. -- We therefore hope that you will be pleased to take measures to relieve this District from a portion of our unfortunate population who have no honest means of subsistence in the absence of productive employment.

The whole number of Emigrants embarked amounted to 2024 in nine transports as follows:- (the numbers of men and women per ship, expressed in italics, are full adults included in number of males & females above 14)
Thomas Lewis, Master
61 Men
Mr. Francis Connin, R.N. Surgeon
48 Women
 
Males above - 14
89
 
Males under - 14
56
 
Females above - 14
75
Sailed
Females under - 14
62
10th May
Total
282
Anthony Ward, Master
40 Men
Mr. G.H. Reade Esq., Surgeon
38 Women
 
Males above - 14
61
 
Males under - 14
61
 
Females above - 14
58
Sailed
Females under - 14
47
10th May
Total
227
John Mills, Master
37 Men
Mr. Jno. Thomson, R.N. Surgeon
31 Women
 
Males above - 14
56
 
Males under - 14
39
 
Females above - 14
52
Sailed
Females under - 14
44
11th May
Total
191
Robert Blake, Master
63 Men
Mr. Jno. Tarn, R.N. Surgeon
58 Women
 
Males above - 14
108
 
Males under - 14
76
 
Females above - 14
92
Sailed
Females under - 14
67
11th May
Total
343
Joseph Becket, Master
35 Men
Mr. Ninian McMorris, R.N. Surgeon
32 Women
 
Males above - 14
67
 
Males under - 14
48
 
Females above - 14
55
Sailed
Females under - 14
44
13th May
Total
214
William Arrowsmith, Master
27 Men
Mr. James McTeinan, R.N. Surgeon
24 Women
 
Males above - 14
47
 
Males under - 14
40
 
Females above - 14
42
Sailed
Females under - 14
18
16th May
Total
147
George Dixon, Master
29 Men
Mr. Matthew Burnside, R.N. Surgeon
25 Women
 
Males above - 14
52
 
Males under - 14
39
 
Females above - 14
36
Sailed
Females under - 14
30
16th May
Total
157
Donald Morrison, Master
45 Men
Mr. Pierce Power, R.N. Surgeon
31 Women
 
Males above - 14
84
 
Males under - 14
40
 
Females above - 14
56
Sailed
Females under - 14
30
18th May
Total
210
Peter Roche, Master
48 Men
Mr. W. Burnie, R.N. Surgeon
38 Women
 
Males above - 14
88
 
Males under - 14
60
 
Females above - 14
58
Sailed
Females under - 14
47
25th May
Total
253

=====<<<<<000O000>>>>>=====

     Having seen all the emigrants embarked and under weigh I found it requisite to return to London to make pecuniary arrangements. Accordingly I left Cork on the 24th and arrived in London on the 27th May, and having made such arrangements as were deemed sufficient, I got to Liverpool on the 8th and sailed in the Panthea for New York on the 9th June. -- The passage was unusually long, and I did not reach Niagara till the 28th July. -- Here I learned that the transports conveying the emigrants had all arrived, having had very short passages, not any of them except the John Barry had more than 31 days. -- The greater number of the settlers had been actually forwarded to Kingston, where they were encamped in tents by order of His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland, and were anxiously waiting my arrival. -- I likewise understood that some of them were suffering from fever and ague occasioned by the exposure to the heat of the season, the thermometer having stood at 100 in the shade within the last ten days. ----
     Having delivered Lord Bathurst's dispatches to His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland and received the warmest assurances of support in forwarding the settlement of the emigrants, as had indeed been strongly manifested in the measure which had been already adopted by His Excellency in setting apart for their reception the Townships in the rear of the Rice Lake, which consist of as fine land as there is in the Province. ----
     Leaving Niagara on the 30th July I proceeded to York and procured without delay from the Surveyor General all the information in his possession relative to the land which I was about to settle. -- On the third of August I arrived at Cobourg in a Waggon a distance of 70 miles from York, and altho' I felt impatient to proceed to Kingston to see the settlers, yet on consideration I thought I should forward my object more, by viewing the lands on which they were to be located, ascertaining the means of communication and the proper place for the depot of stores and provisions. -- Instead therefore of going forward to Kingston I went back into the interior to ascertain there respective objects. -- Having employed Mr. McDonell an intelligent and respectable young man well acquainted with the Country as my guide I explored the different Rivers and avenues of access to the lands allotted for the emigrants and was highly gratified in discovering greater facilities of communication than I had anticipated and that the tract was in every respect highly eligible. -- I found that we could get our provisions and stores forwarded half the distance by water and that there was a central situation at the head of the Osanabee River highly convenient for a depot.----
     Having spent six days in exploring the Woods and satisfied myself as to the quality of the situation of the land, I joined the emigrants at Kingston. -- Here I found them as comfortable as could reasonably be expected, some of them suffering from fever and ague oweing [sic] to the intense heat of the weather, tho' not in a greater proportion than the inhabitants of the Province generally. ----
     Every thing possible had been done for their benefit by His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland. He had appointed Col. Burke deputy superintendent who was in charge at Kingston on my arrival, and Dr. Reade the Surgeon had been left at Prescott to forward the settlers who still remained behind. ----
     On the 11th August I embarked five hundred on board of a steam boat and landed them the next day at Cobourg on Lake Ontario a distance of 100 miles, the remainder of the settlers were brought up in the same manner, the boat making a trip each week. ----
     Our route from Cobourg to Smith at the head of the Osanabee River lay through a country as yet very thinly inhabited. -- The road leading from Lake Ontario to the Rice Lake (12 miles) hardly passable and the Osanabee River in many places very rapid, and the water much lower than it had been known for many years. ----
     The first thing I did was to repair the road so that loaded waggons might pass, and in this work I received every assistance from the magistrates of the District, who gave me fifty pounds from the District funds, and this sum together with the labour of our people enabled me to improve the road in ten days so much that our provisions and luggage could be sent across with ease, and three large boats were transported on wheels from Lake Ontario to Rice Lake. ----
     The Osanabee River is navigable for twenty-four miles, altho' in many places it is very rapid and at this season the was not water sufficient to float a boat of ordinary size over some of the shoals. -- To remedy this difficulty I had a boat constructed of such dimensions as I thought might best answer to ascend the rapids, and had her completed in eight days. So much depended on the success of this experiment, that I felt great anxiety until the trial was made, and I cannot express the happiness I felt at finding that nothing could more fully have answered our purpose, and that this boat sixty feet in length, carrying an immense burden could be more easily worked up the stream than one half the size carrying comparitively nothing. ----
     Now that I had opened the way to the depot at the head of the River, there was no other difficulty to surmount than that which arose from the prevailing sickness the ague and fever, which at this time was as common among the settlers as ourselves. ----
      The first party I ascended the River with consisted of twenty men of the Country hired as axemen, and thirty of the healthiest settlers, not one of these men escaped the ague and fever and two died. -- This circumstance affords abundant proof that the settlers were much better off encamped in the open Country during the greatest heat of the weather, where they were not only less liable to contract disease, but were also exempt from being tormented by the flies which swarm in the woods during the summer months. ----
     The location of the Emigrants, by far the most troublesome and labourious part of the service was completed before the Winter commenced, and I had a small log house built for each head of a family on their respective lots where they reside and it gives me much pleasure to be enabled to assure you that they have been obedient and well conducted, and that they have cleared and cultivated as great a proportion of their land as could be expected, as will appear by the annexed return. ----
     Their letters to their friends in Ireland will sufficiently prove how far they are satisfied with their present condition, and it will be easy for me to furnish you with such abundant evidence of their actual residence and industry, as will fully satisfy you of their happy and prosperous condition. ----
     With regard to myself I shall only remark that from the commencement of my appointment I have felt the utmost anxiety for the success of the measure, and have not only devoted my whole time and thoughts to its progress and happy accomplishment, but (besides exploring the Country) I have resided constantly with the Emigrants in the Woods from the 15th August 1825 to March 1827 and a greater part of that time under canvas.
     I embrace with pleasure this opportunity of acknowledging my obligations to Col. Burke the deputy superintendent and Mr. Reade the Surgeon for their able and zealous assistance, for altho' they suffered as well as myself from the unusual heat and sickness of the season, they were nevertheless most assiduous in the discharge of their duty. ---- After all the general summary annexed of the actual state of the settlers, their improvements, cattle and produce, will furnish his Lordship with more favourable and pleasing evidence than any thing I can say of the inestimable benefits conferred upon them, by their removal to Canada, and of the unquestionable success of this second experiment. _______

I have the honour to be
Sir
Your Most Obd't Humble Servant

=====<<<<<000O000>>>>>=====

Return of the Irish Emigrants of 1825 up to the 24th November 1826
Distribution
Men
Women
Children
Total
Settled in the Newcastle District
655
530
674
1859
Settled in the Bathurst District
20
19
28
67
Remained with friends in Lower Canada
14
5
11
30
Remained with friends at Kingston
2
-
-
2
Absent at Cobourg
1
1
3
5
Died at Sea & in Canada
51
18
76
145
 
743
573
792
2108
Embarked at the Cove of Cork
2024
Born at Sea 15 - in Canada 54
69
Joined in Canada
15
Total
2108

General Summary
Actual State of the Settlement on the 24th November 1826
No. Townships
No. of
Locations
No. of
acres
cleared
Produce raised this Year
Bushel
Wheat
sown /
Fall
Maple
Sugar
made /
Spring
Purchased by
Themselves
Potatoes
Bushels
Turnips
Bushels
Indian
Corn
Bushels
Oxen
Cows
Hogs
1
Douro
-60-
245
8,251
4,175
1,777
80
1,159
11
18
22
2
Smith
-34-
113
4,800
1,550
637
40
889
6
7
21
3
Otonabee
-51-
186
10,500
4,250
1,395
38
1,419
4
13
11
4
Emily
-142-
351
22,200
7,700
3,442
44
2,880
6
10
47
5
Ennismore
-67-
195
8,900
3,000
1,042
44
1,330
4
9
10
6
Asphodel
-36-
173
9,150
2,850
1,733
86
1,345
2
8
32
7
Marmora
-6-
35
1,198
548
207
2
45
5
4
7
8
Ops
-7-
12
800
100
"
2
.
.
.
2
9
Ramsey [sic]
-5-
39
800
750
120
16
.
2
4
8
10
Goulbourn
-4-
18
600
500
10
2
.
.
3
1
11
Huntley
-3-
18
600
200
75
7
.
.
4
5
. Total
415
1,386
67,799
25,623
10,438
363
9,067
40
80
166

TheShipsList | back to Peter Robinson page

TheShipsList®™ - (Swiggum) All Rights Reserved - Copyright © 1997-2014
These pages may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion without written consent of .
Last updated: February 07, 2005 and maintained by and M. Kohli