Item FC 3213 L55 020.042 - 1857 (Nov) from Rev. Smithurst to Members of St. John’s in Elora

Transcript 1857 Nov 3 - Letter from Smithurst

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1857 (Nov) from Rev. Smithurst to Members of St. John’s in Elora

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FC 3213 L55 020.042

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  • November 3, 1857 (Creation)

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One sheet of grey paper.

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Missionary to the Red River Settlement from 1839-1851. Immigrated to Canada West in 1852, preaching in Elora.

Reverend John Smithurst was born in 1807 at Lea, Derbyshire, England. After attending school at Islington, London, he was ordained in 1839 by the Church of England and sent immediately to Rupert's Land. Although originally appointed as chaplain to the Hudson's Bay Company, Rev. Smithurst was soon serving solely on behalf of the Church Missionary Society at the St. Peter's mission outside the existing village at Netley Creek, commonly referred to in Rev. Smithurst's correspondence as the "Indian Settlement." Led by Chief Peguis of the Saulteaux, this settlement was located just below Lake Winnipeg along a tributary of the Red River. In 1840, Reverend Smithurst served as the officiant at the marriage of Chief Peguis, who converted to Christianity and took the name William King.

After resigning in 1851, and making a brief trip to England, Rev. Smithurst immigrated to Canada West and preached in Elora (within modern-day Ontario) before taking up farming in nearby Minto. Rev. Smithurst died at Elora in 1867.

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Place: Lea Hurst, Minto [Ontario]

From: John Smithurst

To: The C.W, Pewholders and other members of the St. Johns Ch Elora

Details: 4pp

Notes: This document is the rough draft of Reverend Smithurst’s letter of thanks to his congregation for their expression of kindness as he leaves Elora. Addressed to the Church Wardens, Pewholders, and congregation at large of St. John's in Elora, he cites the loss of his voice as one of the reasons for leaving. In a postscript, he says that the bishop [John Strachan] has offered him a compromise on the issue of wages still owing. By accepting this compromise, Smithurst wishes to protect the Church from scandal.

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Bruce Peel Special Collections is part of University of Alberta Libraries.

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