Finding Aid:

Search the Archives

Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 94-1001

Title

Frances Stewart fonds. Additions. -- 1823-1856. - 3 items.

Biography / History

Frances Anne Stewart (nee Browne) was born May 24, 1794, daughter of Reverend Francis Browne and Anna Maria Noble, in Dublin, Ireland. In 1796, Rev. Browne died quite suddenly in front of his wife. The resulting shock left Frances' mother somewhat of an invalid until she died in 1809. Frances was left in the care of her great-uncle, Robert Waller in Allanstown, Ireland, where she was raised by Harriet Beaufort, who managed the household. Harriet was a well educated young woman, and sought to give Frances the same quality of education. Under Harriet's instruction, Frances received a much more academic education than was the norm for young girls of those days. In the summer of 1816, Frances, and her aunt Susan went to visit some distant friends, the Stewarts, who lived near Belfast. This is where Frances met her future husband, Thomas Alexander Stewart (1786-1847). They were married December 16, 1816. Thomas worked for the firm of Robert Reid and Son, which manufactured linen, cotton and silk. When the company ran into trouble, and eventually bankruptcy, Frances and Thomas decided to emigrate to Canada. The Stewarts went with Thomas' brother-in-law, and former business partner, Robert Reid and his family. The party of 27 set sail from Belfast Lough, on June 1, 1822. Seven weeks were spent on the ship before reaching Quebec. From there they traveled to Kingston, and then onto York, where Stewart and Reid were each granted 1200 acres, provided they settled in an unsurveyed township. Douro Township was suggested as a promising region. On September 9, 1822, Stewart and Reid traveled to the area with Richard Birdsall, the surveyor, and each chose land on the Otonabee River. Life in Douro Township was very isolated for Frances, but she managed well on her own, looking after her home and children. Thomas Stewart died in 1847 from typhoid fever, and Frances Anne died several years later on February 24, 1872 at Goodwood. Extensive biographical information on the Stewart family, plus friends, neighbours, and associates, may be found in accession 02-001.

Custodial History

Unknown

Scope and Content

This addition to the fonds consists of two original letters written by Frances Stewart to relatives in Ireland. There is also an original invoice from a linen draper and haberdasher.

Notes

Title based on contents of fonds.

This fonds was donated from an unknown source.

Restrictions: Materials are fragile; researchers will be requested to use the transcripts and photocopies found in 94-006.

Finding aids: Y

Associated material located in the Archives of Ontario.

This fonds, along with 74-1006, 77-1006, 78-008, 92-1002 and 94-006, is an addition to 74-1005.

For related records see: 69-1003, 71-001, 75-011, 93-1013, 94-007, 94-1002, and 02-001.

Located in Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 46.

Finding Aid

Item

1. March 11 1823 - from Frances Stewart to "my beloved sisters and aunts of Clongill" addressed to Miss Browne, Clongill Rectory, Navan, Ireland

excerpt: "The Otonabee river is a very winding one which adds much to its beauty - here it is nearly twice as broad as the Boyne is at Navan - altogether as to beauty of situation and fertility of soil, we could not have been fixed more completely to our satisfaction." (Original)

2. May 29 1839 - bill from Crook and Son of London Linen Drapers, Haberdashers, Hosiers and Glovers (Original)

3. February 20 1841 - author's name illegible from 14 Percy Place(?) "I have been long wishing to write to my dear brother and sister" (Original)

Archival Finding Aids

Creating the Library of the Future - Details about our exciting transformation