Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Ship "Columbus"


© Michael Harrison 2009
This is a photo of the model of the Columbus the ship that the Hewgill family sailed to Quebec on leaving at the precise time from Whitby harbour as outlined in William Hewgill's diary:

On Monday at 4 Clock in the afternoon of the 16th day of April 1832.

This model is located in the Whitby Museum in Whitby, North Yorkshire.

Below is the poster that advertised the voyage to Canada.





Journey of the "Columbus" to Canada 1832

The journey of the ship Columbus to Canada in April 1832 is documented in the following letter by Mr. J. Dixon.

The letter includes references to both William Hewgill (Hugill) and William Hutchinson who were on the ship.

To:
Mr. R. Frankland, Whitby

On board Ship Columbus, April 16, 1832 - Sailed out of Whitby this evening, a few were sick, my sister and children were of the number. 17th, A fine day and fair wind, sailed three and four miles an hour, several sick, my wife and Jane a little sick, John, Breckon and myself well. 18th, Strong winds from the south, ran nine and ten miles per hour, my sister, her husband, and children, very sick, we went through the Firth about six o'clock this evening, the sea ran high, so that we could not get a pilot, I was on deck when a sea struck us and come over our bulwark, the ship listed so much to one side that ten or twelve men fell down as though they were shot, but were not much worse. 19th, Little wind and cloudy. 20th, A heavy gale, had to take all the sails in, strike top-gallant mas's lay the ship to, and let her drive (in the Western Ocean) most of the people very sick, some cried "If I had known this, I would have begged our bread from door to door before I would have come," this and such-like were the language of a great many who were overpowered with sickness - our John a little sick, - Breckon holds it out well, my wife becomes useful to her sister and family, the whole of them being very sick, - for my own part I am as well both in body and mind as I was on the day we started, for which I am truly thankful to the Lord. We have a public prayer meeting in the evening, preaching a'so on the Lord's day, but only a few attend, some on board laugh and mock at every thing sacred. 21st, The gale a little abated, the people a little revived. Sunday, 22nd, Prayer meeting in the morning, William Outhard preached in the evening. 23rd, The sea ran high, but better weather towards evening. 24th, My sister's youngest child very ill in an inflammation of the breast. 25th, A very fine day, the sea smooth, and the people wonderfully revived, they appeared like a new company, all full of spirits and activity. 26th, The weather fine, all the beds ordered on deck. 27th & 28th, Fine weather and fair wind. Sunday, 29th, Fair wind, going six and seven miles an hour, no hopes of my sister's child, Margaret Headlam has got a son this morning about two o'clock, they have named him William Columbus Headlam. 30th, A young woman fell on deck and flesh-rent her leg. May 1st, My sister's eldest son whilst standing on deck, the ship rolling very much at the time, fell down the hatch-way into the hold, but, through the mercy and providence of God, was not much worse. 2nd, Squally weather, with rain; three o'clock this afternoon my sister's child died. 3rd, About seven o'clock this evening the child was committed to a watery grave. 4th, A fair wind. 5th, A contrary wind. 6th, The wind still contrary, William Hugill preached to the satisfaction of most who heard him. 7th, Contrary wind, a light ship very near us. 8th, Still contrary. 9th, Fair wind, went six and seven miles an hour, spoke a brig. 10th, A fine day, little or no wind, all beds on deck. 11th, Calm. 12th, Fair wind, four and five miles an hour. Sunday 13th, Strong fair wind, William Hutchinson's youngest child very ill, a very large iceberg about two hundred yards off us, a great number of birds about it. 14th, About two o'clock this morning William Hutchinson's child died, and was committed to the deep in the evening about seven o'clock. 15th, We are now upon the banks of Newfoundland, bought some cod-fish and brandy from one of the fishing vessels. 16th, Fair wind, five and six miles an hour. 17th, Little wind. 18th, Died this morning about seven o'clock, John Dobson, a boy about fourteen years of age, he was a nephew to Thomas Blackburn. 19th, John Dobson, this afternoon about four o'clock, was lowered into his watery grave. Sunday 20th, A fine morning, but little wind; we are expecting to see the land every day. 21st, A fine day and fair wind, ran 180 miles in twenty-four hours. 22nd, Cape Race in sight, it was covered with snow. 23rd, We are now in the Gulf with about twenty sail of ships in sight; no doubt you will wish to know how we like our new situation; the water was much better, and the smells not so bad, as I thought they would be, but the conduct of the people were ten times worse than I ever expected; the peaceable were much annoyed by the abominable and filthy language of several on board; it was no uncommon thing for them to be cursing, swearing, and drunk, until twelve and one o'clock in the morning, and if any thing was said to them, they were much worse; it has given me a greater hatred to sin than ever, and a greater love to God and his people; I would say pray for us, that our lot may be cast among those that love and fear God. 24th, Fine day but calm. 25th, Still calm, spoke several vessels that had passengers on board. 26th, Strong fair wind up the river, by four o'clock in the afternoon arrived within twenty-four miles of Quebec, where we had to anchor with many other ships until our captain and doctor went on shore to the doctor's station for the purpose of filing a bill of health; we rode until seven o'clock next night. Previous to our getting under weigh, Mr. Campion's new brig, the Regina, arrived. Sunday 27th, By ten o'clock this morning, we reached Quebec, one Mrs. Shirinton got her bed this morning, we expect to proceed up the river to-morrow, we heard that Mr.Mewburn was at Quebec, we have had as fine a passage and any ship we hear of, for which we feel very thankful, we are all doing well, I doubt not but you have prayed for us, and I hope that you and my friends in Whitby will still lift up your hearts to God for us, that He may still guide us in the way we should go, both temporally and spiritually; I hope you will excuse this scrawl, for I am a poor hand with a bad pen and bad paper, and what is worse, my knee for a writing desk; please to give our kind love to Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher, my cousin Ralph Speedy, and G. Lockey; it would be tedious to mention all my friends by name but you will be so kind as to give your best respects to them all. I conclude with my prayer to God that he may bless you and yours.

J. Dixon

source: Whitby Repository and Monthly Miscellany, Volume III, February 1833 (copy in the Whitby Museum, Whitby North Yorkshire)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

William Hewgill House - The Gore Road


© Michael Harrison 2009

This is a photo of the William Hewgill House which replaced an earlier log cabin. This home use to be located on the east side of The Gore Road just north of Highway 7 in the City of Brampton. It was demolished in the mid 1990s as subdivisions of new homes covered the area.

William Hewgill 1784-1874


© Michael Harrison 2009

This is a photo of my great great great grandfather William Hewgill. His daughter Ann married my great great grandfather Matthew Harrison much to his consternation. In a letter back to relatives in England William laments and bemoans the fact that his daughter married a Catholic.

In the History of Claireville, from 1910, William Porter wrote that William "was an elderly man with a family of two sons and two daughters, his education was above the average, Consequently (sic) became the first teacher in the neighbourhood, and acted as conveyencer for the people for miles around, he was also local preacher for the Weselian (sic) Methodists, his eldest son William went to Collingwood Township and became a prominent farmer there, Daniel his second son followed the building business until his death about 1890, Daniel's son David is on the old place the rest of the sons are respected business men in this and other parts of the province."

One wonders how the son of a weaver, and weaver himself obtained such an education but obviously it was important to his father Daniel that William get a good education.