Picturesque Quebec
James MacPherson Le Moine

Part 7 out of 14

the records of private friendship must remain inviolate.

The main portion of the "Mansion House," at Montmorenci, is just as he
left it. The room in which he used to write is yet shown; a table and
chair--part of his furniture--are to this day religiously preserved. The
lodge is now the residence of the heirs of the late G. B Hall, Esquire,
the proprietors of the extensive saw mills at the foot of the falls.


Of the numerous sons of King George III., none, perhaps, were born
with more generous impulses, none certainly more manly--none more true
in their attachments, and still none more maligned neglected--traduced
than he, who, as a jolly Colonel of Fusileers spent some pleasant
years of his life at Quebec from 1791 to '94, Edward Augustus, father
of our virtuous and beloved Sovereign.

We wish to be understood at the outset. It is not our intention here
to write a panegyric on a royal Duke; like his brothers, York and
Clarence--the pleasure-loving, he, too, had his foibles; he was not an
anchorite by any means. His stern, Spartan idea of discipline may have
been overstretched, and blind adherence to routine in his daily habits
may have justly invited the lash of ridicule. What is pretended here,
and that, without fear of contradiction, is that his faults, which
were those of a man, were loudly proclaimed, while his spirit of
justice, of benevolence and generosity was unknown, unrecognized,
except by a few. No stronger record can be opposed to the traducers of
the memory of Edward, Duke of Kent, than his voluminous correspondence
with Col. DeSalaberry and brothers, from 1791 to 1815--recently,
through the kindness of the DeSalaberry family, laid before the public
by the late Dr. W. J. Anderson, of Quebec.

The Duke had not been lucky in the way of biographers. The Rev.
Erskine Neale, who wrote his life, is less a biographer than a
panegyrist, and his book, if, instead of much fulsome praise, it
contained a fuller account--especially of the early career of his
hero--of the Duke's sayings and doings in Gibraltar, Quebec and
Halifax, it would certainly prove more valuable, much more complete.

Singularly enough, Neale, disposes in about three lines, of the years
the Duke spent in Quebec, though, as proved by his correspondence,
those years were anything but barren. Quebec, we contend, as exhibited
in the Duke's letters, ever retained a green spot in his souvenirs, in
after life.

The Old Château balls, the Kent House in St. Lewis street, had for him
their joyful sunshine, when, as a stalwart, dashing Colonel of
Fusileers, aged 25, he had his _entrées_ in the fashionable drawing-
rooms of 1791-4 Holland House, Powell Place (Spencer Wood, as it is
now called), old Hale's receptions, Lymburner's soirees in his old
mansion on Sault au Matelot street, then the fashionable quarter for
wealthy merchants. The Duke's cottage _orné_ at the Montmorenci Falls
had also its joyous memories, but these were possibly too tender to be
expatiated on in detail.

The Prince, it appears, was also present on an occasion of no ordinary
moment to the colony that is when the King, his father, "granted a
Lower Chamber to the two provinces in 1791."

The only original source now available for inditing that portion of
the Duke's life spent in Quebec, is Neilson's old _Quebec Gazette_,
supplemented with divers old traditions, not always reliable.

Dr. Anderson's compilation will certainly go far to dispel the
atmosphere of misrepresentation floating around the character of
Prince Edward, as he was familiarly styled when here during the past
century. The character of the most humble individual, when casually
mentioned in history, ought to be free from misrepresentation. Why
this rule should not apply to the manly soldier who, in the streets of
old Quebec in 1791, headed his gallant men wherever a riot, a fire, or
a public calamity required their presence, is difficult to understand.
No man was more popular in the city from the services he rendered when
called on. One class, however, found in him an unrelenting
disciplinarian--the refractory soldier attempting mutiny or desertion
from the corps.

We are invited to these reflections from the fact that new light is
now promised to us on this traduced commander, in the shape of what
will no doubt be an attractive biography of Duke Edward from the pen
of a London _littérateur_ of note, whose name we are not justified in
giving at present. The following extract from a London letter,
received this last mail by a gentleman of this city, who has succeeded
in gathering together valuable materials for Canadian history, will
prove what we now assert. It is addressed to Mr. LeMoine, late
President of the Literary and Historical Society, whose sketch of the
Prince's career in 1791, as contained in the _Maple Leaves_ for 1865,
seems to have obtained the full approbation of the distinguished
_littérateur_ now engaged in writing the life of the Duke:

"SOUTH KENSINGTON, London, May 30, 1874.

DEAR SIR,--If my note on Miss Nevill's incident [222] clears up any
point hitherto obscure of Canadian life, use it by all means for your
Canadian sketches. During my searches consequent to elucidate the
Duke's sojourn in Canada, many curious stories came under my eye,
which have never, as I am aware, been yet published in Canadian
histories, when the Prince was stationed at Quebec. The London pens
were m the habit of publishing from time to time incidents of
considerable interest bearing on forgotten periods of the early
British Constitutional History of Canada--parliamentary. My intention
is to note them in the life of H.R.H., as he was present when the
King granted a lower Chamber to the two provinces in 1791. From this
circumstance he based his firm adherence to a constitutional
Government as the safest mode to ensure freedom to all parties
interested therein. My work on the Duke of Kent would have been
published ere this, but I am awaiting the correspondence promised me
by Lord B---- addressed to Lord L----, and that also to Sir H----
Douglas, formerly Lieutenant-Governor of ----. Your suggestion will
not be lost sight of. _Maple Leaves_ have been fully culled for
information concerning the Prince. Holland Farm and the Duke at
Montmorenci give a correct picture of life in Quebec in 1791--
information unknown to Rev. Mr. Neale in 1850.

If not too much trouble, could you let me know whether these works, of
which I enclose a list, mention the Duke in Canada, for the British
Museum does not possess these publications, which obliges me to seek
information from such a person as yourself, who is versed in Canadian
affairs. I am anxious to give a correct account of the Duke in Canada.
This period of his life has escaped all the biographers of the Prince,
Philippart and Neale, &c. If I should meet any striking incident
relative to Canadian affairs, I shall forward it to your address."--
_From Quebec Morning Chronicle_.


Founded by Joseph Francois Perrault, the pioneer of lay education in the
Province of Quebec.

"In these days of ambitious, showy villas and grand mansions, whose lofty
and imposing proportions, elaborate architectural ornaments, conspicuous
verandahs and prominent sites are all designed, not only to gratify the
taste and pride of their owners, but to impress with wonder and admiration
the ordinary observer, it may be interesting to give a description of Mr.
Perrault's residence, a fair specimen of a comfortable and well ordered
dwelling of the olden time. My object, in describing it, is to convey to
the present generation some idea of the taste and domestic architecture of
our ancestors, especially to those who, in culture and social influence,
might truly be regarded as representative men. For a similar purpose, I
have thought of presenting such social pictures of the good old times, of
his habits and practices, as marked his connection with his relatives and
neighbors, and in this way an instructive lesson may be learned.

Mr. Perrault's abode was a building of one storey, with attics in front
and two in rear, in the style of the eighteenth century, on the north side
of the St. Louis Road, on the spot known to historians as les buttes à
nepveu, to-day, as Perrault's Hill, upon which the residence of Mr. Henry
Dinning now stands. As all students are aware, this is classic ground;
here was fought the main struggles of the battles of the Plains of Abraham
and of St. Foy; Murray's troops having entrenched themselves here on the
eve of the engagement with de Levis. A stone wall with an elegant railing
divided the property from the main road, near which was a graceful little
nestled summer house, overgrown with creepers and vines; through an avenue
with flowery borders, between lines of lofty vases, filled with blooming
plants, the visitor reached the house, which occupied the centre of a
garden of four acres. Above the door, at the summit of a flight of steps,
was inscribed in gilt letters, _Asyle Champêtre_. It was a double
house with a conservatory at each end, the first erected in Canada, filled
with exotic and native plants, at some distance on either side were
miniature Norman turrets. Mr. Perrault had selected this favourable site
for his residence, carefully noting all its advantages. The rays of the
rising sun flashed through the front windows, cheering him in his morning
labours, while as the day wore on, a flood of mellow light suffused the
western portion of his chamber. From such vantage ground, Mr. Perrault, of
an evening, could observe the movements of the heavenly bodies, the
position of the planets and the various phenomena of the firmament; the
study of which had great attractions for him, and created in his mind a
gratitude to the great architect for all His vast works and beneficent
care. On entering the visitor found himself in the reception room, of
about twenty-four feet square, with a large bay window towards the north,
and used as a drawing room and study. In whatever direction one looked,
the view was attractive; to the south, the commanding heights of Point
Levi, with the chasm between, where rolled by the great St. Lawrence; to
the east, the picturesque island of Orleans, dividing the river into two
channels, and the imposing old Citadel, or martial crown of the city on
Cape Diamond; to the north, the meandering river in the beautiful valley
of St. Charles, the heights of Charlesbourg and Lorette, the shore of
Beauport, the faint trace of the _embouchure_ of the Montmorenci, and
the grand Laurentian mountain range in the distance; and to the west, the
battle fields of 1759 and 60, memorable for their heroic deeds and
momentous results--views most charming, exquisite and impressive.

The front grounds were utilized as a model garden and orchard, in which
every improvement in horticulture had been adopted and were laid out in
plots and gravelled walks. In rear of the house was a miniature pond,
enlivened by waterfowl and turtles, and whose banks were adorned with
water plants and ferns, and receding thence were plateaux, covered with
flowers of every description.

In addition to the picturesque appearance and commanding position of Mr.
Perrault's house, the internal arrangements of the apartments deserve
notice, particularly as in them often met the leading men of Quebec, where
they discussed the fluctuations of the public mind, benevolent enterprises
and matters of general interest. The parlor in the _Asyle Champêtre_
was well known to the élite and leaders of society of that day; elegantly,
but not luxuriously, furnished; the carpet was made of flax, sown and
grown on the grounds adjoining his schools, and woven by the pupils; the
walls were hung with valuable paintings and ornamented by objects of
_virtû_ artistically arranged. From the centre descended a lustre of
six candles; at the rear angles were large circular mirrors, one concave
and the other convex, with lights on each side, reflecting every object in
movement in the apartment. Two bronze statues, or candelabra, with lights,
guarded either side of the hall door, in keeping with the surroundings;
the hangings and furniture were in the style of Louis XIV., in which the
colours harmoniously blended. On the left hand of this apartment was Mr.
Perrault's library, in which was a choice collection of Greek, Latin,
English, French and Spanish works, on philosophy, history and _les
belles lettres_. No one had a higher respect for the classics than he;
the odes of Horace, the poems of Virgil and the orations of Cicero were as
familiar to him as the best sermons of Bossuet or the tragedies of Racine.
On the right was another room, with a piano and organ, to which the family
devoted much attention, and lovers of music were certain of hearing there
excellent performances and well-cultivated voices.

Those who bad the privilege of enjoying his hospitality on ordinary
occasions, could never forget the hearty welcome of their whole-souled
entertainer; and on two particular days, the first of January and the
_fête de St. Joseph_, his patron saint, they had still better reason
for its remembrance. These social gatherings were for months looked
forward to as the events of the season, and for many a day subsequently
they recalled most agreeable recollections. As was then the custom, the
guests arrived early in the afternoon and took their departure at the
unfashionable hour of nine, and in the interval engaged themselves in
dancing, in games, in listening to brilliant executions on different
musical instruments and the rich melody of well-trained voices, in ballad
and song, clever repartees and intellectual conversation, while the supper
table, laden with all the delicacies procurable, was a continual feast
from the opening to the close of the entertainment. The guests were
escorted down the avenue by their host and his family, and as he bade them
good night, the shouts and merry laughter of the younger ones rang
joyfully in the night air, startling the passers by with their frolicsome

Mr. Perrault's table had a wide reputation, and although he never issued
general invitations, it was rarely without two, or more, guests, for those
who happened to be at the _Asyle_ at meal time were cordially invited
to join in the family repast. From taste and habit, his board ever
presented a tempting display; but, as regards himself, he was most
abstemious, partaking sparingly and of but few dishes, while to his guests
his hospitality was unbounded. His old cook sometimes found her task
hard, or pretended to; and on one occasion, returning from confession, she
remarked that she had said to M. le Curé, when he counselled patience and
submission, "_je voudrais bien vous y voir_," (I would like to see you in
my place). Even in those days cooks were testy, for, when Mr. Perrault
found fault with her, she would answer as impertinently as one could in
these days: "_voulez-vous que je vous dise la vérité? Vous commencez à
être dégoûté de ma cuisine_," (Do you want me to tell you the truth? You
are getting tired of my cooking). To the tried and impatient, the above
incidents will cause them to ask themselves if there be any truth in the
old saying: "God sent us food and the devil sent us cooks."

A custom illustrative of the habits of that period, was the visit of
relations on New Year's morning. Old and young presented themselves at
five o'clock and repaired in a file to Mr. Perrault's bedroom to receive
his blessing. He afterwards rose, dressed and made all happy by giving
them suitable presents and paying graceful compliments. Later in the day
was witnessed a still more interesting scene, when his pupils, of both
sexes, and doubtless to their fullest number, arrived at his hospitable
mansion to offer him their grateful acknowledgements of his kindness. A
table, close by where he sat, in a large arm chair, was covered with piles
of "horns of plenty," filled with sweetmeats, and to each he presented
one, with a small piece of silver; and these children, who needed more
substantial gifts, had but to make their wants known and they were rarely

On that day he also made calls immediately after Grand Mass, in the
extremity of his politeness carrying his hat under his arm, regardless of
the weather, with the _queue_ of his wig blown to and fro by the
wind. His arrival, as a matter of coarse, caused a social stir, often
recalled with pleasure by many afterwards.


"Oh! give me a home on that bold classic height,
Where in sweet contemplation in age's dark night,
I may tread o'er the plain where as histories tell
Britain's stout-hearted Wolfe in his victory fell."

Adjoining the expanse of table land, now known as the Plains of
Abraham, and divided from it to the east by a high fence, lies with a
southern exposure a level and well-cultivated farm--Marchmont--
tastefully laid out some sixty summers ago by Sir John Harvey, next
occupied for several years by Sir Thomas Noel Hill, subsequently owned
by Hon. John Stewart, and for more than twenty years the residence of
John Gilmour, Esquire, of the well-known Glasgow house of Pollock,
Gilmour & Co. [223] To the west, Marchmont farm is bounded by
Wolfesfield; to the south by the river heights, having a valuable
timber cove (Wolfe's cove) attached to it. The dwelling, a cheerful
and sunny residence, decks a sloping lawn, not far from the high bank,
embedded as it were in a clump of fir, ash, maple and pine trees,
which conceal it from St. Lewis road, and afford, on the opposite
side, a variety of charming glimpses of our noble estuary, the main
artery of western commerce. A spacious and richly-stocked conservatory
opens on the drawing-room to the west of the house. The embellishment
was erected by the late John Gilmour, who also added a vinery.

In the summer months, visitors travelling past Marchmont cannot fail
to notice the magnificent hawthorn hedge, interspersed here and there
with young maple, which encloses it on the St. Lewis road.

Marchmont, even shorn of its historical memories, would much interest
an observer who had an eye to agricultural pursuits carried to a high
state of perfection. The outlines and arrangements for raising cattle,
poultry, &c., are on a truly comprehensive scale.

Connected with Marchmont, there are incidents of the past, which will
ever impress it on the mind of the visitor. A century back, over this
same locality, the tide of battle surged for several hours when
Wolfe's army had ascended the cliff. No later than 1860, the crumbling
bones of fallen warriors were discovered whilst laying the foundation
of the flag-staff to the east of the house. They were buried again
carefully under the same flagstaff--erected to salute the Prince of
Wales when passing Marchmont. Let us hear one of the actors on that
eventful September morning of 1759--Capt. John King:--

"Before day break," says he, "this morning we made a descent upon the
north shore, about half a mile to the eastward of Sillery; and the
light troops were fortunately, by the rapidity of the current, carried
lower down, between us and Cape Diamond. We had in this detachment
thirty flat-bottomed boats, containing about 1600 men. This was a
great surprise on the enemy, who, from the natural strength of the
place, did not suspect, and consequently were not prepared against, so
bold an attempt. The chain of sentries which they had posted along the
summit of the heights, galled us a little and picked off several men
(in the boat where I was one man was killed; one seaman, with four
soldiers, were slightly, and two mortally wounded, and some officers),
before our light infantry got up to dislodge them. This grand
enterprise was conducted and executed with great good order and
discretion; as fast as we landed the boats were put off for
reinforcements, and the troops formed with much regularity; the
General, with Brigadiers Monckton and Murray, were ashore with the
first division. We lost no time, but clambered up one of the steepest
precipices that can be conceived, being almost a perpendicular and of
an incredible length; as soon as we gained the summit all was quiet,
and not a shot was heard, owing to the excellent conduct of the
infantry under Colonel Howe. It was by this time clear day-light. Here
we formed again, the river and the south country in our rear, our
right extending to the town, our left to Sillery, and halted a few
moments. The general then detached the light troops to our left to
rout the enemy from their battery, and to disable their guns, except
they should be rendered serviceable to the party who were to remain
there; and this service was soon performed. We then faced to the right
and marched towards the town by files, till we came to the Plains of
Abraham, an even piece of ground which Wolfe had made choice of, while
we stood forming upon the hill. Weather showery; about six o'clock the
enemy first made their appearance upon the heights, between us and the
town; whereupon we halted and wheeled to the right, forming the line
of battle."

For some time past Marchmont has been occupied by Col. Ferdinand
Turnbull, of the Q. O. Canadian Hussars.


"After the conquest of Quebec, the troops had to make shift for
quarters wherever they could find a habitable place; I myself made
choice of a small house in the lane leading to the Esplanade,
where Ginger the Gardner now lives (1828), and which had belonged
to Paquet the schoolmaster--although it was scarcely habitable
from the number of our shells that had fallen through it. However,
as I had a small party of the company, I continued to get a number
of little jobs done towards making it passably comfortable for the
men, and for my own part I got Hector Munro, who was a joiner by
trade, to knock up a kind of "cabinet" (as the Canadians called
it) in one corner of the house for myself. We had a stove, but our
Highlanders, who know no better, would not suffer the door to be
closed, as they thought if they could not naturally _see_ the
fire, it was impossible that they could _feel_ it. In this
way they passed the whole of the winter; three or four would sit
close up to the door of the stove, and when these were a little
warmed, three or four others would relieve them, and so on. Some
days they were almost frozen to death, or suffocated by the smoke,
and to mend the matter they had nothing better than green wood!

I contrived somehow or other to procure six blankets, so that
notwithstanding that I was almost frozen during the day, being the
whole winter out on duty, superintending the party of our
Highlanders, making fascines in the woods, still I passed the
nights pretty comfortably. 'Twas funny enough to see, every
morning, the whole surface of the blankets covered with ice, from
the heat of my breath and body. We wore our kilts the whole of
this time, but there was no accident, as we were sheltered by the
woods. I bought myself a pair of leather breeches, but I could not
walk in them, so I laid them aside.

When the spring came round, the French again made their appearance
on high ground between the town and Abraham's Plains, and General
Murray must needs march us out to fight them. At this time
scarcely a man in the garrison but was afflicted with colds or
coughs. The day fixed on orders was the 28th April, 1760, at seven
in the morning, and cold and raw enough it was! Before the sortie
I took a biscuit and, spread a bit of butter over it, and I set
about 'cranching' it, and said to Hector Munro, for whom I had a
great attachment: "You had better do as I am doing, for you cannot
know when you may be able to get your next meal." Hector answered,
"I will not touch anything; I have already taken my last meal, for
something tells me that I shall never require another meal in this
world." "Hout! man," said I, "you are talking nonsense; take a
biscuit, I tell you." But no, Hector would have none! Well, the
hour came for parading, and we were soon afterwards marched out of
the garrison. It was my lot to act as covering sergeant to
Lieutenant Fraser of our Grenadiers, who had already been wounded
at the affair of the Falls, through the belly and out at his back,
without his scarcely having felt it. (This Lieutenant Fraser was
nephew to my friend Captain Baillie, who was the first man killed
at the landing at Louisbourg, and who, had he lived, would have
been the means of securing to me my commission, as had been the
understanding between him and Colonel Fraser, when I volunteered
in Scotland for service in America). Early in the action with the
French, Lieut. Fraser received a shot in the temple, which felled
him to the very spot on which he then stood, and as not an inch of
ground was to be lost, I had to move up into line, which I could
not have done without my resting one foot upon his body! The
affair went altogether against us, and we had to retreat back into
the town. When I got back to my quarters, I there found poor
Hector Munro, who not being able to walk, had been carried in,
owning to a wound he had received in the lower part of the belly,
through which his bowels were coming out! He had his senses about
him, and reminded me of our conversation just before the battle.
He was taken to the Hôtel Dieu, where he died the next morning, in
great agony. When I first saw the French soldiers I thought them a
dirty, ragged set--their clothing was originally white. Many of
them, particularly in the 'Regiment de la Reine,' had a bit of
blue ribbon to the buttonhole of their coat, with a little white
shell fixed to it, which they called 'Papa,' and this, it seems,
was a mark of honour for having distinguished themselves on some
former occasion. I, at first, mistook them for Freemasons! After
the battle of the Plains of Abraham, on the 13th September, fifty-
nine, when a great many of the French lay killed and wounded on
the field (we killed seventy-two officers alone) it was horrid to
see the effect of blood and dust on their white coats! They lay
there as thick as a flock of sheep, and just as they had fallen,
for the main body had been completely routed off the ground, and
had not an opportunity of carrying away their dead and wounded
men. I recollect to have lost a regimental coat by their means.
There was no place about the town to put the wounded in, and they
had to be carried down the bank to Wolfe's cove, and from thence
put into boats and taken across to the lower ferry-place at Point
Levis, for the purpose of their being placed under the care of our
surgeons at the church (St Joseph's), which was converted into a
temporary hospital. Our men had nothing better to carry them on
than a handbarrow with canvass laid across it. By this means it
required two of our men to carry one of them to the top of the
hill at Point Levis.

The business going on very slowly, I at last got out of patience
looking at them, so I set to work and took up a wounded man to my
own share, and did not let him down at the top of the hill but
landed him safe at the temporary hospital. By the time that we had
done with them I was fatigued enough, and 'afaith, I spoiled my
red coat into the bargain!

The poor fellows would cry out lustily when they were in an uneasy
position, but we could not understand a word of what they said.
One of them had one of his cheeks lying flat down upon his
shoulder, which he got by attempting to run away, though he had a
Highlander at his heels. When the French gave themselves up
quietly they had no harm done them, but faith! if they tried to
outrun a Heelandman they stood but a bad chance, for whash went
the broadsword!"--(_Related in August, 1828, as stated in the
Diary of Volunteer Sergt. Jas. Thompson._)


"The hill they climb'd, and halted at its top, of more than mortal

"The horror of the night, the precipice scaled by Wolfe the empire he
with a handful of men added to England, and the glorious catastrophe
of contentedly terminating life where his fame began... Ancient story
may be ransacked, and ostentatious philosophy thrown into the account,
before an episode can be found to rank with Wolfe's."--(_William

The successful landing at this spot of the English forces, who, in 1759,
invaded Quebec, no less than its scenery, lends to Wolfesfield peculiar
interest. Major, afterwards General, John Hale, later on conspicuous for
gallantry during the long and trying siege of Quebec, in 1775-6, was one
of the first men who, in 1759, put his foot on the heights in front of the
locality where now stands the dwelling, having climbed up the hill by the
_ruisseau St. Denis_, heading the flank Company of the Lascelles or
47th Regiment. General Wolfe made the main body of the army march up,
Indian file, by a pathway which then existed where the high road is at
present. At the head of this path may yet be seen the remains of the
French entrenchments, occupied on that day by a militia guard of 100 men,
chiefly Lorette militiamen, a portion of whom had that very night obtained
leave to go and work on their farms, [224.] who fired at Major Hale's
party, and then, says an old manuscript, thinking they had to deal with
the whole English army, they surrendered, with their officer, Capt. De
Vergor, who, being wounded, could not escape, and exclaimed, "Sauvez
vous." This was shortly after midnight, and Wolfe, notwithstanding the
grievous indisposition he was then labouring under, organized a plan to
get up supplies and ammunition from the _bateaux_, this he had
accomplished by four in the morning, when he drew up his men on Marchmont
field. The sailors of the _bateaux_ were the men employed in carrying
up the provisions and ammunition. Wolfe had grog served out to them as
they reached, tired and panting, the top of the hill with their loads,
using to each kind and encouraging words. The crowning success which
followed is lengthily described elsewhere. The first house built at
Wolfesfield was by Captain Kenelm Chandler, [225] David Munro, Esquire,
was the next proprietor. The occupant for forty years was an old and
respected Quebec merchant, well known as the "King of the Saguenay," on
account of the extensive mills he owned in that region--William Price,
Esq., the respected father of a patriarchal family of sons and daughters.
Mr. Price added much to the beauty of the place, which enjoys a most
picturesque river view. In front of the dwelling there is a fine lawn,
shaded by some old thorn and oak trees, with comfortable rustic seats
close by the ravine St. Denis. This ravine is a favourite locality for
botanizing excursionists. Wolfesfield, without being as extensive as some
of the surrounding estates, is one of the most charming rural homes Quebec
can boast of.

As these pages are going through the press, we clip from a Quebec journal
the following tribute to the worth of our late excellent neighbour, Wm.
Price, Esq., a son of the Laird of Wolfesfield:


"A large and costly monument in granite is now in course of erection
at Chicoutimi to the memory of the late Wm. Price. The people of
Chicoutimi are erecting the monument as a token of their respect and
admiration for the memory of their late representative in the
Legislative Assembly of Quebec. The column will be fifty feet in
height, and will, it is expected, be completed by the month of
September next. Being placed upon an elevated site, it will be visible
for many miles up and down the Saguenay river."


The following dramatic account of the capture of Quebec is taken from
the fifth volume of Mr. Carlyle's _Biography of Frederick the Great_:

"Above Quebec, night of September 12-13th, in profound silence, on the
stream of the St. Lawrence, far away, a notable adventure is going on.
Wolfe, from two points well above Quebec ('as a last shift, we will
try that way'), with about five thousand men, is silently descending
in rafts, with purpose to climb the heights somewhere on this side of
the city, and be in upon it, if Fate will. An enterprise of almost
sublime nature; very great, if it can succeed. The cliffs all beset to
his left hand; Montcalm, in person, guarding Quebec with his main

Wolfe silently descends; mind made up; thoughts hushed quiet into one
great thought; in the ripple of the perpetual waters, under the grim
cliffs and the eternal stars. Conversing, with his people, he was
heard to recite some passages of Gray's _Elegy_, lately come out
to those parts; of which, says an ear-witness, he expressed his
admiration in an enthusiastic degree: 'Ah, these are tones of the
Eternal Melodies, are not they? A man might thank heaven had he such a
gift; almost as we might for succeeding here, gentlemen!'

Next morning (Thursday, 13th September, 1759), Wolfe, with his 5.000,
is found to have scrambled up some woody neck in the height, which was
not quite precipitous; has trailed one cannon with him, the seamen
busy bringing up another; and by ten of the clock, stands ranked (just
somewhat in the Frederick way, though on a small scale); ready at all
points for Montcalm, but refusing to be over-ready. Montcalm on first
hearing of him, had made haste: _Oui, je les vois où ils ne doivent
pas être; je vais les écraser_ (to smash them)!" said he, by way of
keeping his people in heart. And he marches up beautifully skilful,
neglecting none of his advantages. His numerous Canadian
sharpshooters, preliminary Indians in the bushes, with a provoking
fire. 'Steady!' orders Wolfe; 'from you, not one shot till they are
within thirty yards!' And Montcalm, volleying and advancing, can get
no response, more than from Druidic stones; till at thirty yards, the
stones become vocal--and continued so at a dreadful rate; and in a
space of seventeen minutes, have blown Montcalm's regulars, and their
second in command, and their third into ruin and destruction. In about
seven minutes more the army was done 'English falling on with bayonet,
Highlanders with claymore'; fierce pursuit, rout total--and Quebec and
Canada as good as finished. The thing is yet well known to every
Englishman; and how Wolfe himself died in it, his beautiful death."


Elm Grove, until recently owned, though not inhabited, by the Marquise de
Bassano, will be familiar to many, from having been the residence during
the summer of 1878, of His Holiness the Pope's Apostolic Ablegate--Bishop

This eminent prelate, prematurely struck down by death at Newfoundland, in
the midst of his mission of peace and good will to all men spent many
busy, let us hope pleasant, hours in this cool retreat.

The plantation of elms from which this seat takes its name, together with
other trees, conceals the dwelling so entirely from the road, that unless
by entering the grounds no idea can be formed of their beauty and extent;
amidst the group of trees there is one of lordly dimensions, in the centre
of the garden. The new dwelling at Elm Grove is a stately, substantial
structure; its internal arrangement and heating apparatus, indicate
comfort and that _bien-être_ for which Quebec homes are proverbial. A
winding, well-wooded approach leads up to the house from the porter's
lodge and main road. From the upper windows an extensive view of
Charlesbourg, Lorette, Beauport, Point Levi and surrounding parishes may
be obtained.

Elm Grove, owned for many years by John Saxton Campbell, Esq., was
purchased in 1856 by J. K. Boswell, Esq., who resided there for nearly
twenty years. John Burstall, Esquire, late of Kirk Ella, has within a few
months acquired it from Madame la Marquise de Bassano, and it bids fair
ere long to take its place among the first and best kept country seats in
the environs of the city.


".....let us pierce into the midnight depth
Of yonder grove, of wildest, largest growth,
That, forming high in air a woodland quire,
Nods o'er the mount beneath"

There is a peculiar feature noticeable about Quebec country seats which
speaks volumes for their attractiveness as healthy and pleasant retreats;
not only have they been at all times sought after by wealthy and permanent
residents, Canadian born, but also by men of European birth, holding for
the time being the highest position in the country, both under the French
and under the English monarchs. Thus the celebrated Intendant Talon was
the first owner of Belmont; Intendant Bigot had his luxurious château at
Charlesbourg; Attorney General Ruette D'Auteuil used, near two centuries
back, to spend his summer months at Sillery, where, later on, Bishop
Dosquet, a French ecclesiastic, had his pretty villa at Samos (Woodfield).
Vaudreuil was also a Canadian land-owner. Later on Governor Murray
purchased extensively on the St. Foy road, amongst others, Belmont and the
"Sans Bruit" farm, Governor Haldimand must have his lodge at Montmorenci
Falls, subsequently occupied by the father of our august Queen; Hector
Theophilus Cramahé (afterwards Lieut.-Governor), in 1762, had his estate--
some 500 acres of cornfield and meadows--at Cap Rouge, now Meadowbank,
owned by Lt.-Col. Chs. Andrew Shears. The Prime Minister of Canada, in
1854, and a late Governor of British Guiana, Sir Francis Hincks, following
in the footsteps of Sir Dominick Daly, must needs locate himself on the
St. Lewis road, and in order to be close to his chief, the late Earl of
Elgin, then residing at Spencer Wood, the Premier selected and purchased
Thornhill, across the road, one of the most picturesque country seats in
the neighbourhood. You barely, as you pass, catch a glimpse of its
outlines as it rests under tall, cone-like firs on the summit of a
hillock, to which access is had through a handsomely laid out circuitous
approach between two hills. An extensive fruit and vegetable garden lies
to the east of the house; a hawthorn hedge dotted here and there with some
graceful young maple and birch trees, fringes the roadside; a thorn
shrubbery of luxuriant growth encircles the plantation of evergreens along
the side of the mound which slopes down to the road, furnishing a splendid
croquet lawn. One of the chief beauties of the landscape is the occasional
glimpses of the Grande Allée and Spencer Wood, obtained from the house.
The dwelling was erected many years ago by Alexander Simpson, Esq., then
Manager of the Bank of Montreal, at Quebec. Forming a portion of it to the
west, and looking towards Charlesbourg, there is a snug English-looking
little nest, "Woodside," with the prettiest of thorn and willow hedges.
Thornhill has exchanged hands, and been for many years the seat of
Archibald Campbell, Esq., P.S.C., at Quebec.


On the South side of the St. Louis road, past Wolfe and Montcalm's famed
battle-field, two miles from the city walls, lies, embowered in verdure,
the most picturesque domain of Sillery--one might say of Canada--Spencer
Wood. [226]

This Celebrated Vice-Regal Lodge was (1780-96) known as Powell Place, when
owned by General Henry Watson Powell. It took its name of Spencer Wood
from the Right Honorable Spencer Perceval, [227] the illustrious relative
of the Hon. Henry Michael Perceval, whose family possessed it from 1815 to
1833, when it was sold to the late Henry Atkinson, Esquire, an eminent and
wealthy Quebec merchant. Hon. Mr. Perceval, member of the Executive and
Legislative Council, had been H. M.'s Collector of Customs at Quebec for
many years, and until his death which took place at sea, 12th October,
1829. The Percevals lived for many years in affluence in this sylvan
retreat. Of their elegant receptions Quebecers still cherish pleasant
reminiscences. Like several villas of England and France, Spencer Wood had
its periods of splendor alternated by days of loneliness and neglect,
short though they were. Spencer Wood, until 1849, comprised the adjoining
property of Spencer Grange. Mr. Atkinson that year sold the largest half
of his country seat--Spencer Wood--to the Government, as a gubernatorial
residence for the hospitable and genial Earl of Elgin, reserving the
smaller half (now owned by the writer), on which he built conservatories,
vineries, a pinery, orchid house, &c., far more extensive than those of
Spencer Wood proper. Though the place was renowned for its magnificence
and princely hospitality in the days of Lord Elgin, there are amongst the
living plenty to testify to the fact that the lawns, walks, gardens, and
conservatories were never kept up with the same intelligent taste and
lavish expenditure as they were during the sixteen years (1833-1849) when
this country seat owned for its master Mr. Atkinson.


Through the kindness of Mrs. Peter Sheppard, of Quebec, we are enabled
to furnish some further particulars touching the estimable and
accomplished lady who, during the protracted sojourn of her family at
Spencer Wood, seems to have won the hearts of all those admitted to
her charmed circle some fifty years ago. Mrs. Sheppard [228] not only
renders to the worth of her lamented friend a merited tribute, she
also furnishes a curious page of Quebec history, Quebec festivities in
the olden times, which may interest our readers. "The Honorable
Michael H. Perceval was closely connected with the Earl of Egmont's
family, who were Percevals. The "Spencer" was borrowed from the Earl's
eldest son "Spencer;" the name was given to their beautiful domain
purchased from old LeHoullier about 1815, as well as to their eldest
son, Col. (now Major General) Spencer Perceval, who was here in
garrison in 1840, in the Coldstream Guards, as well as his uncle, Col.
Perceval, also serving in the Guards. When a girl in my teens, many
happy days did I spend in the Perceval family, who were as
passionately fond of music, as I then was. They had "at homes" every
Monday, one week for dancing, the next for music, (the latter I never
missed attending, to play on the harp,) they had also grand dinners
_de cérémonie_. Amongst the _habitués_ I can yet recall some names;
Hon. Mathew Bell and lady; (Mrs. B. was a Miss McKenzie, of Three
Rivers,) Miss Bell (Mrs. Walker,) Sir John Pownal, the Montizamberts,
Judge Kerr and Misses Kerr, Miss Uniacke, the Duchesnays, the
Vanfelsons, De Gaspés, Babys and others. (I may be wrong in quoting
some names after half a century.)

Mr. Perceval, was a member of the Legislative Council, as well as
Collector of Customs, an imperial appointment which yielded him £8000
in fees per annum. English and French society were equally welcome
under his hospitable roof. His beautiful and accomplished wife, was
the eldest daughter of Sir Charles Flower, Lord Mayor of London, in
1809--had filled the position of Lady Mayoress, when 18 years of age,
her father being a widower; she brought her husband £40,000 and
subsequently inherited £100,000. She was eminently fitted to grace
Spencer Wood--her beauty, her refined and cordial manners made her
receptions eminently attractive. Her education was perfect, she was
mistress of four languages, English, French, Italian and Latin, which
studies she took great trouble in keeping up and which she herself
taught to her children, ten in number, besides teaching them the
piano, the harp and drawing. Instead of fancy work the young ladies
were taught to repair their clothes and do plain sewing; this did not
prevent them from making most brilliant matches. The family left
Spencer Wood in 1828, to spend a year in Italy, at Florence, intending
to return, but the Hon. M. H. Perceval, died at sea on the 12th Oct.,
1829, and the family never returned.

The daughters married as follows: the eldest, Eliza, was wedded to Sir
George Denys, Bart.; the second, Caroline, to Col. Alexander Houstoun,
of Clerkington; the third, Isabella, to a wealthy French nobleman,
Baron de Veauce; the fourth, Mary Jane, to Sir James Matheson, Bart.;
the fifth died at the age of 18. The eldest son [229] "Spencer" is a
General officer. There were several other sons; George Ramsay, who
entered the army, Michael Henry and Col. Charles Perceval.

I can recall the time also when Lady Dalhousie and Mrs. Sheppard, of
Woodfield, would come to Spencer Wood, in their botanizing excursions.
Spencer Wood, later on, was also a favorite resort of Lady Aylmer, in
1832, whilst at an earlier period, the Duke of Richmond's family, in
1818, used to come and ramble about the grounds, lunching there with
all the junior folks.

This charming and beloved lady, my old friend, Ann Perceval, died at
Lewes Castle, Stornaway. Scotland, the seat of her son in law, Sir
James Matheson, on the 23rd Nov., 1876, most deservedly regretted, at
the very advanced age of eighty-seven years."--24 January, 1877.

Spencer Wood garden is described in London's _Encyclopedia of Gardening_,
page 341, and also in the _Gardener's Magazine_ for 1837, at page 467. Its
ornate style of culture, which made it a show-place for all strangers
visiting Quebec, was mainly due to the scientific and tasty arrangements
of an eminent landscape gardener, M. P. Lowe, [230] now in charge of the
Cataraqui conservatories.

Well can we recall the time when this lordly demesne extended from
Wolfefield, adjoining Marchmont, to the meandering Belle-Borne brook,
which glides past the porter's lodge at Woodfield, due west, the historic
stream _Ruisseau Saint Denis_, up which clambered the British hero,
Wolfe, to conquer or die, intersecting it at Thornhill. It was then a
splendid old seat of more than one hundred acres, a fit residence for the
proudest nobleman England might send us as Viceroy--enclosed east and west
between two streamlets, hidden from the highway by a dense growth of oak,
maple, dark pines and firs--the forest primeval--letting in here and there
the light of heaven on its labyrinthine avenues; a most striking
landscape, blending the sombre verdure of its hoary trees with the soft
tints of its velvety sloping lawn, fit for a ducal palace. An elfish plot
of a flower garden, alas! how much dwarfed, then stood in rear of the
dwelling to the north, it once enjoyed the privilege of attracting many
eyes. It had also an extensive and well-kept fruit and vegetable garden,
enlivened with flower beds, the centre of which was adorned with the
loveliest possible circular fount in white marble, supplied with the
crystal element from the Belle-Borne rill by a hidden aqueduct;
conservatories, graperies, peach and forcing houses, pavilions
picturesquely hung over the yawning precipice on two headlands, one
looking towards Sillery, the other towards the Island of Orleans, the
scene of many a cosy tea-party; bowers, rustic chairs _perdues_ among
the groves, a superb bowling green and archery grounds. The mansion itself
contained an exquisite collection of paintings from old masters, a well-
selected library of rare and standard works, illuminated Roman missals,
rich portfolios with curious etchings, marble busts, quaint statuettes,
medals and medallions, _objets de vertu_ purchased by the millionaire
proprietor during a four years' residence in Italy, France and Germany.
Such we remember Spencer Wood in its palmiest days, when it was the ornate
home of a man of taste, the late Henry Atkinson, Esquire, the President of
the Horticultural Society of Quebec.

May I be pardoned, for lingering lovingly on this old spot, recalling
"childhood scenes" of one dear to me and mine!

The following, written by a valued old friend of Mr. Atkinson, is dated
Brighton, England:

On a sketch of Spencer Wood sent to the writer (Miss A.), with her
album, Oct. 18, 1848.

Dear Spencer Wood! What a group of pleasing remembrances are clustered
around me as I gaze upon this visible image and type of thee. Thy
classic lawn, with its antiquated oaks and solemn pines; thy wood-
crowned cliffs and promontories, with the sparkling sunlight reflected
on a thousand sheaves from the broad surface of Jacques Cartier's
river, hundreds of feet below. And then the quiet repose of thy ample
mansion, with its stores of art and models of taste within and
without; thy forest shades, thy gardens, thy flowers and thy fruit.
But most of all, thy gay and happy inmates, their glad and joyous
hearts beating with generous emotions, and their countenances
brightened with the welcome smile. Ah! how I seem to hear, as in time
past I have heard, their lively prattle, or their merry laugh echoing
across the lawn, or through the flower garden, or along the winding
paths down the steep slope to the pavilion.

And can it be that I shall never again realize these happy scenes! I
would fain hope otherwise; but life is a changeful drama, and time
fleeting; this world is _not_ our home.

Adieu, then, dear friends. May God's blessing ever rest upon you; and
should it be His providence that we meet not again here, may we all so
use His dealings with us in this disciplinary state that we may be
sure to meet.

Brighton, Dec. 20th. In memory of some pleasant moments.


In the beginning of the century Spencer Wood, as previously stated, was
known as Powell Place. His Excellency Sir James Henry Craig spent there
the summers of 1808-9-10. Even the healthy air of Powell Place failed to
cure him of gout and dropsy. A curious letter from Sir James to his
secretary and _chargé d'affaires_ in London, H. W. Ryland, Esquire, dated
"Powell Place, 6th August, 1810," has been, among others, preserved by the
historian Robert Christie. It alludes in rather unparliamentary language
to the _coup d'état_ which had on the 19th March, 1810, consigned to a
Quebec dungeon three of the most prominent members of the Legislature,
Messrs. Bédard, Taschereau and Blanchet, together with Mr. Lefrançois, the
printer of the _Canadien_ newspaper, for certain comments in that journal
on Sir James' colonial policy. Sir James had spent the greatest part of
his life in the army, actively battling against France; a Frenchman for
him was a traditional enemy. This unfortunate idea seems more than once to
have inspired his colonial policy with regard to the descendants of
Frenchmen whom he ruled.

Born at Gibraltar, of Scotch parents, James Henry Craig entered the
English service in 1763 at the age of 15, and on many occasions
distinguished himself by his courage. During the war of the American
revolution he served in Canada, and was present at the unfortunate affair
of Saratoga.


QUEBEC, Powell Place, 6th August, 1810.

My Dear Ryland,--Till I took my pen in my hand I thought I had a great
deal to say to you, and now I am mostly at a loss for a subject. * * *
We have remained very quiet; whatever is going on is silently. I have
no reason to think, however, that any change has taken place in the
public mind; _that_ I believe remains in the same state. Bishop
Plessis, on the return from his tour, acknowledged to me that he had
reason to think that some of his _curés_ had not behaved quite as
they ought to have done; he is now finishing the remainder of his

Blanchette and Taschereau are both released on account of ill-health;
the former is gone to Kamouraska to bathe, the latter was only let out
a few days ago. He sent to the Chief Justice (Sewell) to ask if he
would allow him to call on him, who answered, by all means. The Chief
Justice is convinced he is perfectly converted. He assured him that he
felt it to be his duty to take any public occasion, by any act
whatever that he could point out, to show his contrition and the sense
he entertained of his former conduct.

He told the Chief Justice in conversation that Blanchette came and
consulted him on the subject of publishing the paper, "Prenez vous par
le bout du nez," and that having agreed that it would be very improper
that it should appear, they went to Bédard, between whom and
Blanchette there were very high words on the occasion. I know not what
Panet is about, I have never heard one word of or about him. In short,
I really have nothing to tell you, nor do I imagine that I shall have,
till I hear from you. You may suppose how anxious I shall be till that
takes place. We have fixed the time for about the 10th September; till
then I shall not come to any final resolution with respect to the
bringing the three delinquents to trial or not. I am, however,
inclined to avoid it, so is the B----; the C. J. is rather, I think,
inclined to the other side, though aware of the inconvenience that may
arise from it. Blanchette and Taschereau have both, in the most
unequivocal terms, acknowledged the criminality of their conduct, and
it will be hinted that if Bédard will do the same it may be all that
will be required of them; at present his language is that he has done
nothing wrong, and that he does not care how long he is kept in

We have begun upon the road to the townships (the Craig Road, through
the Eastern Townships) * * * We shall get money enough, especially as
we hope to finish it at a third of what it would have cost if we would
have employed the country people. (It was made by soldiers.)

The scoundrels of the Lower Town have begun their clamour already, and
I should scarcely be surprised if the House should ask, when they
meet, by what authority I have cut a road without their permission.
The road begins at St. Giles and will end at the township of Shipton.

Yours most faithfully,

(Signed,) J. H. CRAIG.

(History of Canada, Christie, vol. VI., p. 128.)

Very different, and we hope more correct, views are now promulgated on
colonial matters from Powell Place.

If Sir James, wincing under bodily pain, could write angry letters, there
were occasions on which the "rank and fashion" of the city received from
him the sweetest epistles imaginable. The 10th of August of each year (his
birthday, perhaps) as he informs us in another letter, was sacred to
rustic enjoyment, conviviality and the exchange of usual courtesies, which
none knew better how to dispense than the sturdy old soldier.

The English traveller, John Lambert, thus notices it in his interesting
narrative in 1808:--"Sir James Craig resided in summer at a country house
about four or five miles from Quebec, and went to town every morning to
transact business. This residence is called Powell Place, and is
delightfully situated in a neat plantation on the border of the bank which
overlooks the St. Lawrence, not far from the spot where General Wolfe
landed and ascended to the heights of Abraham. Sir James gave a splendid
breakfast _al fresco_ at this place in 1809 to all the principal
inhabitants of Quebec, and the following day he allowed his servants and
their acquaintances to partake of a similar entertainment at his
expense."--(Lambert's Travels, 1808, p. 310.)

Spencer Wood has ever been a favourite resort for our Governors--Sir James
Craig--Lord Elgin--Sir Edmund Walker Head--Lord Monk--Lord Lisgar, and
Lord Dufferin on his arrival in 1872, none prized it so highly, none
rendered it more attractive than the Earl of Elgin. Of his _fêtes
champêtres_, _recherchés_ dinners, _château_ balls, a pleasant remembrance
still lingers in the memory of many Quebecers and others. Several
circumstances added to the charms and comfort of Spencer Wood in his day.
On one side of St. Louis Road stood the gubernatorial residence, on the
opposite side at Thornhill, dwelt the Prime Minister, Sir Francis Hincks.
Over the vice-regal "walnuts and wine," how many knotty state questions
have been discussed, how many despatches settled, how many political
points adjusted in the stormy days which saw the abolition of the
Seignioral Tenure and Clergy Reserves. At one of his brilliant
postprandial speeches,--Lord Elgin was much happier at this style of
oratory than his successor, Sir Edmund Head,--the noble Earl is reported
to have said, alluding to Spencer Wood, "Not only would I spend here the
rest of my life, but after my death, I should like my bones to rest in
this beautiful spot;" and still China and India had other scenes, other
triumphs, and his Sovereign, other rewards for the successful statesman.

Sir Edmund Head's sojourn at Spencer Wood was marked by a grievous family
bereavement; his only son, a promising youth of nineteen summers, was, in
1858, accidentally drowned in the St. Maurice, at Three Rivers, while
bathing. This domestic affliction threw a pall over the remainder of the
existence of His Excellency, already darkened by bodily disease. Seclusion
and quiet were desirable to him.

A small private gate still exists at Spencer Grange, which at the request
of the sorrowful father was opened through the adjoining property with the
permission of the proprietor. Each week His Excellency, with his amiable
lady, stealing a few moments from the burthen of affairs of State, would
thus walk through unobserved to drop a silent tear on the green grave at
Mount Hermon, in which were entombed all the hopes of a noble house. On
the 12th March, 1860, on a wintry evening, whilst the castle was a blaze
of light and powdered footmen hurried through its sounding corridors, to
relieve of their fur coats and mufflers His Excellency's guests asked at a
state dinner that night--Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Geo. E. Cartier, Mr.
Pennefather and others--the alarm of fire was sounded, and in a couple of
hours, of the magnificent pile a few charred ruins only remained. There
was no State dinner that night.

One of the last acts of the Ministry in retiring in 1861, was the signing
of the contract to rebuild Spencer Wood. The appropriation was a very
niggardly one, in view of the size of the structure required as a vice-
regal residence. All meretricious ornaments in the design were of course
left out. A square building, two hundred feet by fifty, was erected with
the main entrance, in rear, on the site of the former lovely flower
garden. The location of the entrance and consequent sacrifice of the
flower garden for a court, left the river front of the dwelling for the
private use of the inmates of the _Château_ by excluding the public.
Lord Monk, the new Governor-General, took possession of the new mansion
and had a plantation of fir and other trees added to conceal the east end
from public gaze. Many happy days were spent at Spencer Wood by His
Lordship and family, whose private secretary, Denis Godley, Esq., occupied
the picturesque cottage "Bagatelle," facing the Holland Road, on the
Spencer Grange property. If illustrious names on the Spencer Wood
Visitor's Register could enhance the interest the place may possess,
foremost, one might point to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, visiting in 1860
the site probably more than once surveyed and admired, in 1791-4, by his
grand-father, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, in his drives round Quebec,
with the fascinating Baroness de St. Laurent. Conspicuous among all those
familiar with the portals of Spencer Wood, may be mentioned other Royal
Princes--the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Arthur, Princess Louise, Prince
Leopold; with Dukes and Earls--the Duke of Newcastle, Manchester,
Buckingham, Argyll, Athol. Sutherland, Prince Napoleon, Generals Grant,
Sherman, &c.

Since Confederation, Spencer Wood has been successively tenanted by Sir.
N. F. Belleau, Lieutenant-Governor Caron, Lieutenant-Governor Letellier de
St. Just, and Lieutenant-Governor Robitaille, the present occupant of the

To the late Lieut.-Governor Letellier is due the initiation of the
_soirées littéraires_, which united under his hospitable roof the literary
talent of the Ancient Capital, and his successor, Lieut.-Governor
Robitaille, not only followed this enlightened course, but also added
_soirées musicales_ and _artistiques_.

Spencer Wood was not included in the schedule and division of property
handed over by the Dominion Government to the Province of Quebec--it was,
however, about that time presented as a gift to our province, solely as a
gubernatorial residence--as such to be held, and consequently cannot be
sold by the Government of the Province of Quebec.

HENRY WATSON POWELL was commissioned a Lieutenant in the 46th Foot,
March 10th, 1753. He was promoted to a captaincy in the 2nd Battalion
of the 11th Foot, September 2nd, 1756, but upon that battalion's being
detached from the 11th and renumbered in 1758, his regimental number
became the 64th. He served in the expedition against the French West
India Islands in 1759, and went with his regiment to America in 1768.
June 2nd, 1770, he became Major of the 38th Foot, and July 23rd, 1771,
Lieutenant-Colonel of the 53rd Foot, which was then stationed at
Minorca. He accompanied his corps to Canada in the spring of 1776, and
on June 10th of that year, a few days after his arrival, Sir Guy
Carleton appointed him a Brigadier General and assigned him to the 2nd
Brigade, which consisted of the 34th, 53rd and 20th Regiments. When
Gen. Gordon's brigade was broken up on the death of that officer,
August 1st, 1776, the 62nd was added to Powell's brigade, and in
November of that year, upon General Nesbit's death, Gen. Powell was
transferred to the command of the 1st Brigade, consisting of the 9th,
47th, 31st and 21st Regiments, save that the 53rd was substituted for
the 21st. Gen. Powell served under Gen. Carleton in 1776, and the next
year accompanied Burgoyne. In organizing the troops for Burgoyne's
expedition in 1777, Gen. Powell was assigned to the 2nd Brigade,
consisting of the 20th, 21st and 62nd Regiments. The 62nd was left at
Ticonderoga, however with Prince Frederick's (German) Regiment and a
portion of Captain Borthwick's company of the Royal Artillery July 5th
when the Americans evacuated that fort, and August 10th Gen. Powell
was sent back to assume command of that post, his regiment, the 53rd,
being also ordered to relieve the 62nd. Though he successfully
repelled the American Col. Brown's attack on Ticonderoga and for four
days maintained a gallant defence, the enemy retreating September
22nd, yet inasmuch as a considerable part of four companies of the
53rd were surprised in the old French lines and at the outposts by the
American advance, and a number of American Prisoners were recaptured,
the affair was not one of unmixed satisfaction to either side.

When the toils of adversity began to tighten round Burgoyne in October
Gen. Powell was sorely puzzled as to his duty for though he was out of
Sir Guy Carleton's military jurisdiction yet that officer was
accessible while Burgoyne, his own proper commander was not. The
following letter, there fore, written by Sir Guy to Gen. Powell, after
Burgoyne's surrender, though in ignorance of that event, throws some
light upon the awkwardness of Powell's situation. The letter reads as

QUEBEC, the 20th October, 1777.

SIR,--I have this moment received your letter of the 19th instant,
wherein you demand orders from me for your guidance in your present
emergency. It is impossible that I should give orders to you, not
alone because the post you are in has been taken out of my command,
but the distance is too great for my being able to judge of the
situation of Gen Burgoyne or of the exigencies of the place you are at
which must depend upon the other, as if you were subject to my
commands ignorant as I am of the strength or weakness of your post, I
should under all the other circumstances think it best for His
Majesty's service to suffer you to act by your own judgment, so you
will there fore easily see the greater necessity there is as matters
are for my leaving you to pursue such steps, as shall be suggested to
you by your own prudence and reason. I can only recommend to you not
to balance between two opposite measures, whereby you may be disabled
from following the one or the other with advantage but that either you
prepare, with vigour to put to place in such a situation as to be able
to make the longest and most resolute defence or that you prepare in
time to abandon it with all the stores while your retreat may be
certain. Your own sense will tell you that this latter would be a most
pernicious measure if there be still hopes of General Burgoyne coming
to your post.

I am, sir, &c.

Though Sir Guy did not feel at liberty to issue orders to Gen. Powell
yet he immediately despatched Gen. Maclean with the 31st regiment, the
Royal Highland Emigrants and a detachment of artillery with four guns
to take post and entrench at Chimney Point, near Crown Point, in order
to keep up communication with Ticonderoga. Two or three weeks later
Gen. Powell abandoned Ticonderoga and withdrew to Canada. After a
short tarry at St. John's he was posted at Montreal, where he
commanded during the winter of 1777-8. Then he was stationed at St
John's and in the autumn of 1780, after Lieut.-Colonel Bolton's
unfortunate loss on Lake Ontario, we find him in command of the upper
posts with his headquarters at Niagara. By Gen. Haldimand's order of
October 21st, 1782, Brig.-Gen. Maclean was assigned to the command of
the upper posts, and Gen. Powell was appointed commandant of Quebec.
How long he remained at Quebec has not been ascertained, but in 1780
he bought a fine estate on the St. Lewis Road, about two and a half
miles from Quebec to which he gave the name of Powell Place and which
he did not dispose of until 1796, when he sold it to Francis
Lehoullier. This place was subsequently known as Spencer Wood, but it
has since been divided, the larger portion being still known as
Spencer Wood, and serving as the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor,
while the smaller portion consisting of about forty acres and known as
Spencer Grange, belongs to and is the property of J. M. LeMoine,
President of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec.

Gen. Powell became a Colonel in the army February 19th, 1779; a Major
General, November 20th, 1782; Colonel of the 69th Foot, April 16th,
1792; Colonel of the 15th Foot, June 20th, 1794 (not April 20th, as
printed in Burgoyne's Orderly Book); A Lieutenant-General, May 3rd,
1796, and a General, January 1st, 1801. He died at an advanced age at
Lyme, England, July 14th, 1814.

Army Lists--Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 84, p. 190; Burgoyne's Orderly
Book, p. 10; Hadden's Journal; Haldimand Papers; LeMoine's Maple
Leaves, 3rd series; J. M. LeMoine's Title Deeds." (_From Gen. Horatio
Rogers' Notes on HADDEN'S JOURNAL of Burgoyne's Campaign_, 1776.)


(From the French of P. A. DeGaspé.)

"At half-past eight A.M., on a bright August morning (I say a bright
one, for such had lighted up this welcome _fête champêtre_ during
three consecutive years), the _élite_ of the Quebec _beau monde_ left
the city to attend Sir James Craig's kind invitation. Once opposite
Powell Place (now Spencer Wood) the guests left their vehicles on the
main road, and plunged into a dense forest, following a serpentine
avenue which led to a delightful cottage in full view of the majestic
St. Lawrence; the river here appears to flow past amidst luxuriant
green bowers which line its banks. Small tables for four, for six, for
eight guests are laid out facing the cottage, on a platform of planed
deals--this will shortly serve as a dancing floor _al fresco_; as the
guests successively arrive, they form in parties to partake of a
_déjeuner en famille_. I say _en famille_, for an _aide-de-camp_ and a
few waiters excepted, no one interferes with the small groups clubbed
together to enjoy their early repast, of which cold meat, radishes,
bread, tea and coffee form the staples. Those whose appetites are
appeased make room for new comers, and amuse themselves strolling
under the shade of trees. At ten the cloth is removed; the company are
all on the _qui vive_. The cottage, like the enchanted castle in the
Opera of Zemira and Azor, only awaits the magic touch of a fairy; a
few minutes elapse, and the chief entrance is thrown open; Little King
Craig followed by a brilliant staff, enters. Simultaneously an
invisible orchestra, located high amidst the dense foliage of large
trees, strikes up "God Save the King." All stand uncovered, in solemn
silence, in token of respect to the national anthem of Great Britain.

"The magnates press forward to pay their respects to His Excellency
Those who do not intend to "trip the light fantastic toe" take seats
on the platform where his Excellency sits in state; an A.D.C. calls
out, _gentlemen, take your partners_, and the dance begins.

"Close on sixty winters have run by since that day, when I,
indefatigable dancer, figured in a country dance of thirty couples. My
footsteps, which now seem to me like lead, scarcely then left a trace
behind them. All the young hearts who enlivened this gay meeting of
other days are mouldering in their tombs, even _she_, the most
beautiful of them all, _la belle des belles_--she, the partner of
my joys and of my sorrows--she who on that day accepted in the
circling dance, for the first time, this hand, which two years after
was to lead her to the hymeneal altar--yes, even she has been swept
away by the tide of death. [231] May not I also say, with Ossian,
'Why art thou sad, son of Fingal! Why grows the cloud of thy soul! the
sons of future years shall pass away, another race shall arise! The
people are like the waves of the ocean, like the leaves of woody
Morven--they pass away in the rustling blast, and other leaves lift
their green heads on high.'

"After all, why, indeed, yield up my soul in sadness? The children of
the coming generation will pass rapidly, and a new one will take its
place! Men are like the surges of the ocean, they resemble the leaves
which hang over the groves of my manor, autumnal storms cause them to
fall, but new and equally green ones each spring replace the fallen
ones. Why should I sorrow? Eighty-six children, grand-children, and
great-grand-children, will mourn the fell of the old oak when the
breach of the Almighty shall smite it. Should I have the good fortune
to find mercy before the Sovereign Judge: should it be vouchsafed to
me to meet again the angel of virtue who cheered the few happy days I
passed in this vale of sorrow, we will both pray together for the
numerous progeny we left behind us. But let us revert to the merry
meeting previously alluded to. It is half-past two in the afternoon,
we are gaily going through the figures of a country-dance, 'Speed the
plough' perhaps, when the music stops short, everyone is taken aback,
and wonders at the cause of interruption. The arrival of two prelates,
Bishop Plessis and Bishop Mountain, gave us the solution of the
enigma; an aide-de-camp had motioned to the bandmaster to stop on
noticing the entrance of the two high dignitaries of the respective
churches. The dance was interrupted whilst they were there, and was
resumed on their departure. Sir James had introduced this point of
etiquette from the respect he entertained for their persons.

"At three the loud sound of a hunters horn is heard in the distance;
all follow His Excellency in a path cut through the then virgin forest
of Powell Place. Some of the guests from the length of the walk, began
to think that Sir James had intended those who had not danced to take
a "constitutional" before dinner, when, on rounding an angle a huge
table, canopied with green boughs, groaning under the weight of
dishes, struck on their view--a grateful oasis in the desert. Monsieur
Petit, the _chef de cuisine_, had surpassed himself, like Vatel,
I imagine he would have committed suicide had he failed to achieve the
triumph by which he intended to elicit our praise. Nothing could
exceed in magnificence, in sumptuousness this repast--such was the
opinion not only of Canadians, for whom such displays were new, but
also of the European guests, though there was a slight drawback to the
perfect enjoyment of the dishes--_the materials which composed them
we could not recognize_, so great was the artistic skill, so
wonderful the manipulations of Monsieur Petit, the French cook.

"The Bishops left about half an hour after dinner, when dancing was
resumed with an increasing ardor, but the cruel mammas were getting
concerned respecting certain sentimental walks which the daughters
were enjoying after sunset. They ordered them home, if not with their
menacing attitude with which the goddess Calypso is said to have
spoken to her nymphs, at least with frowns; so said the gay young
_cavaliers_. By nine o'clock, all had re-entered Quebec."


"Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books"--_Thomson_

When Spencer Wood became the gubernatorial residence, its owner (the late
Hy. Atkinson) reserved the smaller half, Spencer Grange, some forty acres,
divided off by a high brick wall and fence, and terminating to the east in
a river frontage of one acre. A small latticed bower facing the St.
Lawrence overhangs the cliff, close to where the Belle Borne rill--nearly
dry during the summer months--rushes down the bank to Spencer Cove, in
spring and autumn,--a ribbon of fleecy whiteness. To the south, it is
bounded by Woodfield, and reaches to the north at a point opposite the
road called Stuart's road which intersects Holland farm, leading from the
St. Lewis to the Ste. Foye highway. The English landscape style was
adopted in the laying out of the flower garden and grounds; some majestic
old trees were left here and there through the lawns; three clumps of
maple and red oak in the centre of the meadows to the west of the house
grouped for effect; fences, carefully hidden away in the surrounding
copses; hedges, buildings, walks and trees brought in here and there to
harmonize with the eye and furnish on a few acres a perfect epitome of a
woodland scene. The whole place is girt round by a zone of tall pine,
beech, maple and red oaks, whose deep green foliage, when lit up by the
rays of the setting or rising sun, assume tints of most dazzling
brightness,--emerald wreaths dipped into molten gold-overhanging under a
leafy arcade, a rustic walk, which zigzags round the property, following
to the southwest the many windings of the Belle Borne streamlet. This
sylvan region most congenial to the tastes of a naturalist, echoes in
spring and summer with the ever-varying and wild minstrelsy of the robin,
the veery, the songsparrow, the red-start, the hermit-thrush, the red-eyed
flycatcher and other feathered choristers, while the golden-winged
woodpecker or rain fowl, heralds at dawn the coming rain of the morrow,
and some crows, rendered saucy by protection, strut through the sprouting
corn, in their sable cassocks, like worldly clergymen computing their
tythes. On the aforesaid walk, once trodden over by the prince of American
naturalists, the great Audubon, whilst on a visit to Mr. Atkinson at
Spencer Wood, was conferred the name of _Audubon Avenue_, by his Sillery
disciple, the author of the _Birds of Canada. The grand river views of
Spencer Wood, are replaced by a woodland scenery, sure to please the eye
of any man of cultivated taste, accustomed to the park-like appearance of
the south of England. In front of the mansion, close to the lawn, stands
the noblest elm tree of Sillery (_Ulmus Americanus_), leafy to its very
roots. Here, amidst literature and flowers, after leaving Spencer Wood,
lived for several years Henry Atkinson, a name in those regions once
synonymous with ornamental gardens and flowers. Graperies, conservatories,
an orchid house soon sprung up under his hand at this spot, larger than
Spencer Wood had ever boasted of in its palmiest days, since 1860, it is
the seat of J. M. LeMoine.

The advent in Quebec of the great Audubon is heralded thus in the
Quebec _Gazette_ of the 23rd September, 1842:--

"To the Editor of the Quebec _Gazette_"

SIR,--It does not appear to be known to the Quebec public that one of
the most distinguished men of the present age is now on a visit to our
city--John James Audubon, the author of the magnificent work entitled
'Ornithological Biography; or an Account of the Habits of the Birds of
America, etc.' I understand that Mr. Audubon devoted nearly fifty
years of his life to this interesting subject, and has placed before
the world, at a cost of £27,000 sterling, the whole family of the
feathered tribe, giving to each its natural size, and coloured to the
very life. Mr. Audubon has brought one copy [232] of his work with
him, let as hope it may be secured by our citizens. It is his first
visit to Quebec, the splendid scenery of which has induced him to
prolong his stay a few days. His present portfolio contains several
beautiful specimens of the quadrupeds of America, now in course of
publication by him as a companion to the above splendid work, which
only requires to be seen to ensure him a numerous list of subscribers
in this neighborhood.

"In order to afford Mr. Audubon every facility in the pursuit of his
arduous and interesting undertaking, the President of the United
States and the Commander-in-Chief, General Winfield Scott, have
furnished him the necessary documents to ensure him a cordial
reception throughout the Union.

"Mr. Audubon thus speaks of his meeting on the coast of Labrador, a
British officer well known to us all in Quebec--"But few days had
elapsed, when one morning we saw a vessel making towards our
anchorage, with the gallant flag of England waving in the breeze and
as she was moored within a cable's length of the _Ripley_, I soon
paid my respects to her commander, Captain Bayfield, of the Royal
Navy. The politeness of British naval officers is proverbial, and from
the truly frank and cordial reception of this gentleman and his brave
companions in arms, I felt more than ever assured of the truth of this
opinion. On the _Gulnare_ there was an amiable and talented surgeon,
who was a proficient in botany. We afterwards met the vessel in
several other harbors.'

"The name of John James Audubon, we should hope, is quote sufficient
to ensure him a cordial welcome throughout the British dominions in
America, and we sincerely hope that his visit to Quebec may hereafter
be a source of pleasing remembrance to him.


"Quebec, Sept. 23, 1842."

(_From the Antiquarian and Numismatic Journal._)



[Translated from the French.]

One of the greatest attractions for me, says Mr. Sulte, in visiting
Spencer Grange, was its museum of Canadian birds, comprising two-
thirds of the Feathered tribe of the Dominion, with a fair sprinkling
of foreign specimens in the skin, and a collection of birds' eggs. Our
friend, long known among Canadian naturalists for his persevering
efforts during twenty years to popularize [233] the beautiful and
instructive study of ornithology, had evidently met with more than one
ally--in fact, many sympathizers. I am inclined to think--in his
special branch of natural history., Each class of birds, in this
apartment, has its corner; judging by the label, its "habitation,", as
well as name.

The thrushes and flycatchers of Canada, from their exquisite bright
tints or delicate arrow-shaped markings, are particularly conspicuous.

The cinnamon-backed cuckoo must be a graceful minstrel in our green
hedges in July, though I am ashamed to admit I never was lucky enough
to meet him. The oriole, blue jay, officer-bird, summer red-bird,
indigo-bird and golden-winged woodpecker form a group of striking
beauty; a most excellent idea, I would say, to thus place in
juxtaposition the most gorgeously habited of our feathered choristers
for the sake of contrasts.

A succession of drawers contain the nests and eggs, scientifically
labelled, of many Canadian species, and of some of the most melodious
songsters of France and England; pre-eminent stands the Italian,
French and Devonshire nightingale and its eggs. Our time was much too
limited to allow us to treasure up all the anecdotes and theories
anent birds, their mysterious spring and autumn migrations, their
lively memory of places, so agreeably dealt out to us. We cannot,
however, entirely omit noticing some curious objects we saw--the tiny
nest of a West Indian humming bird male out of a piece of sponge, and
he _cubiculum_ of a redheaded woodpecker, with its eggs still in
it, scooped out of the decayed heart of a silver birch tree, with the
bird's head still peering from the orifice in the bark. Here, as well
as in the library, the presentations were numerous: Col. Rhodes was
represented by a glossy Saguenay raven. I listened, expecting each
moment to hear it, like Poe's nocturnal visitor, "ghostly, grim and
ancient," croak out "nevermore!"

The late Hon. Adam Fergusson Blair, once a familiar of Spencer Grange,
was remembered by some fine Scotch grouse, ptarmigan and a pair of
capercailzie, in splendid feather, brought from Scotland. A good
specimen of the silvery gull, shot at Niagara Falls, was a gift from
John William McCallum, Esq., now of Melbourne, E.T.--an early friend
of our friend, whilst a very rare foreign bird (a Florida or glossy
ibis), shot at Grondines, had been contributed by Paul J. Charlton,
Esq., a Quebec sportsman. What had brought it so far from home?

At the bead of the grave, omniscient owls, like the foreman of a grand
jury, stood a majestic "grand duc," the largest owl of the Pyrénées,
resembling much our Virginian species,--a donation from a French
_savant_, Le Frère Ogérien. The owls have ever been to me a deep
subject of study, their defiant aspect, thoughtful countenances, in
which lurks a _soupçon_ of rapacity, remind me of a mayor and
town council bent on imposing new taxes without raising too much of a

A gaudy and sleek bird of Paradise had been donated by Miss Caron, of
the adjoining _château_. There was also a newly-patented bird-
trap, sent by a New York firm, in the days of Boss Tweed, Conolly,
Field and other birds of prey I noticed boxes for sparrows to build
in, designed by Col W Rhodes. On the floor lay a curious sample of an
Old World man-trap, not sent from New York, but direct from England, a
terror to poachers and apple stealers, French swords and venomous
looking bayonets, of very ancient design, a rusty, long Indian musket
barrel together with _tibiae_ and _tarsi_, labelled 1759-60, presents
from H. J. Chouinard, Esq., the owner in 1865 of the site of the
battlefield at St. Foye, where stands _Le Monument des Braves_. A
bristling-fretful porcupine, a ferocious-looking lynx, and several
well-mounted specimens of game had been donated by McPherson Le Moyne,
Esq., the President of the "Montreal Fish and Game Protection Club,"
also several other contributions from the same.

Who had sent the colossal St. Bernard dog, like another Maida,
talking over the lawn, we had not an opportunity of asking. We patted
him, all trembling.

The flower garden is laid out in the modern landscape style. Fences
carefully concealed, a deep fringe of hard wood trees on one side, a
trim lilac hedge on the other, and a plantation of shrubs, roan,
barbary, sumac, lilac and young maple. On the side west of the house
was observable, next to a rustic seat, in the fork of a white birch,
an archaeological monument made with the key-stone of Prescott and
Palace Gates when removed by order of the City Corporation, [234] it
stands about ten feet in height.

From this spot, spanned by a little rustic bridge, a walk meanders
round the property to the west, canopied by a grove of silver birch,
oak, beach, pine and maple. Along the serpentine brook, Belle-Borne,
now so diminutive, and which, according to the historian Ferland, two
centuries ago turned the wheel of a mill below, is visible a dam,
creating a small pond in May, June and July, a favorite bathing place,
we are told, for the thrushes, robins and other songsters of the
adjoining groves. This tiny runlet is fringed with several varieties
of ferns, dog-tooth violets and other algae--(_From L'Opinion


"We have many little Edens
Scattered up and down our dales;
We've a hundred pretty hamlets,
Nestling in our fruitful vales,
Here the sunlight loves to linger,
And the summer winds to blow,
Here the rosy spring in April,
Leapeth laughing from the snow."

On the western corner of the Spencer Grange property, and dependant to it,
can be seen from the road, _Bagatelle_--a long, straggling, picturesque
cottage, in the Italian style, with trees, rustic seats, walks and a
miniature flower-garden round it; a small prospect pavillion opens on the
St. Lewis road, furnishing a pretty view of the blue range of mountains to
the north; in summer it peeps from under clusters of the green or purple
leaves of some luxuriant _Virginian_ creepers--our American ivy--which
climb round it. _Bagatelle was generally occupied by an _attaché_ of
Spencer Wood, in the days of the Earl of Elgin and Sir Edmund W. Head.

Bagatelle is a quiet little nest, where our Canadian Laureate, Fréchette,
might be tempted to pen an invitation to his brother bard of the city,
LeMay, somewhat in the manner of the soft warbler of Albion towards his
friend the Revd. P. D. Maurice:

"Where, far from smoke or noise of town,
I watch the twilight falling brown
All round a careless ordered garden,
Close to the ridge of a noble down.

You'll have no scandal while you dine,
But honest talk and wholesome wine,
And only hear the magpie gossip
Garrulous under a roof of pine.

For groves of pine on either hand,
To break the blast of winter, stand;
And further on the hoary channel
Tumbles a breaker on chalk and sand."

The poet has sometimes received as well as sent out poetical invitations.
Here is one from Water Savage Landor.

"I entreat you, Alfred Tennyson,
Come and share my haunch of venison,
I have, too, a bin of claret,
Good, but better when you share it.
Though 'tis only a small bin
There's a stock of it within,
And, as sure as I'm a rhymer,
Half a butt of Rudesheimer,
Come, among the sons of men is none
Welcomer than Tennyson?"


"Deambulatio per loca amoena."--_Frascatorius_

"Unquestionably the most ornate and richly laid-out estate around Quebec
is Woodfield, formerly the elegant mansion of the Honorable Wm. Sheppard,
afterwards of Fairymead, Drummondville. For many years past it has become
the permanent residence of the Gibb family. The horticultural department
and conservatory are under the immediate charge of Andrew Torrance, Esq.,
Mrs. Gibb's brother. His taste is too well known to require any praise,
and truly may it be said that the lovers of sweet flowers, trim hedges,
and fairy scenery, can easily beguile several hours together in exploring
the broad acres of Woodfield, equal in extent to Spencer Wood itself. In
the year 1646, the company of New France, under M. de Montmagny, conceded
this land, a lot of ground, with a frontage of three _arpents_, to
Jean Bouvart dit Lafortune. Jean Beauvart resold in 1649 to Barthélémy
Gaudin, in 1702 this land was possessed by Guillaume Pagé dit Garey. In
1724, Nicholas de la Nouiller purchased it and sold it in 1731 to
Monseigneur Dosquet, Bishop of Samos. In 1762, the seminary, then
proprietor of these grounds, conceded to Thomas Ainsley, the portion on
which stood the house, built by Bishop Dosquet. Judge Mabane acquired it
in 1769, he died in 1792, when his sister Miss. Isabella Mabane purchased
it in 1794 and held it until 1805, when the Honorable Matthew Bell
purchased it.

Let us hear on this subject one who knows how to describe and embellish a
country seat.--

"In the early part of the last century," says the Honorable Wm. Sheppard,
"this estate was in the possession of Monseigneur Dosquet, [235] titular
Bishop of Samos _in partibus infidelum_, and he gave it that name
after his Episcopal title. He built a substantial stone residence near the
brow of the hill, overlooking the St. Lawrence--a one story house--with a
high peaked roof, long and narrow, after the mode of building in those
days, something in the style of the manor house at Beauport. The name of
Samos is now superseded by that of Woodfield, yet it is still in use as
applied to the high road passing on its western side, commencing at the
termination of the road leading from Quebec in that direction, called the
Grand Allée, where it forks into the Samos road and the Chemin Gomin at
Spencer Wood. It is not known how long Bishop Dosquet occupied his estate.

"Soon after the cession of Canada to the British Crown, this property
passed into the hands of Judge Mabane, [236] by purchase, from the
reverend proprietors of the seigniory. Mr. Mabane changed the name to
Woodfield, and made extensive alterations to the house, adding to it a
second story, giving it by other additions a more imposing appearance from
the river, and adding two pavillion wings, connected with the house by
corridors. In 1775-6 it was converted into an hospital for American

"About the year 1807, the late Honorable Matthew Bell purchased Woodfield
from Miss Mabane, the Judge's sister. Mr. Bell occupied the house as a
summer dwelling only, and it is not known that he improved the estate to
any extent, unless it were the garden, which he enlarged and stocked with
choice fruit trees. Previous to the purchase of Mr. Bell, Woodfield was
occupied as a dwelling during several years (1795-1802) by Bishop
Mountain, the first Protestant Bishop of Quebec. During his occupation he
removed a bridge which spanned Bell Borne Brook, with the intention of
cutting off communication with Powell Place (Spencer Wood), the
neighboring estate, for reasons which it is not now necessary to enter
into. The bridge was subsequently restored, by the sons of Sir R. S.
Milnes, Governor General, and was known by the name of Pont Bonvoisin.

"In 1816 Woodfield passed into the possession of Mr. William Sheppard, by
purchase, from Mr. Bell. Mr. Sheppard improved the house and grounds
greatly, erecting vineries and a large conservatory, changing the front of
the house so as to look upon a rising lawn of good extent, interspersed
with venerable oaks and pine, giving the whole a striking and pleasing
aspect. The alteration in the house gave it a very picturesque appearance,
as viewed from the foot of the old avenue, backed by sombre pines Mr.
Sheppard added to the estate about sixty acres of land on its southern
side, it being now bounded by the road leading to St. Michael's Cove.
During the alterations made in the house, a leaden foundation plate was
discovered, stating that the house was built in 1732, by Bishop Dosquet.
This plate was deposited for safe keeping in the Museum of the Literary
and Historical Society, where (if still extant) it may be consulted.

"In December 1842, the house was unfortunately destroyed by fire, and with
it a valuable library of some three thousand volumes, many of them costly
illustrated works on Natural History and other sciences. Shortly
afterwards a new house was built on a more desirable and commanding site,
in the midst of splendid old oaks and pines, looking down upon an
extensive lawn, with the St Lawrence in the middle distance, the view
terminated by the South Shore, studded with cheerful-looking cottages. To
suit the new site Mr. Sheppard laid out a new approach, placing the
entrance somewhat nearer Quebec, than the old avenue, following the
roundings of Belle Borne Brook, and leaving it with a striking sweep,
among groups of trees, to the house. This approach is one of the greatest
attractions of the place. He also built a large conservatory in connection
with the house.

"Woodfield changed hands in 1847, having been purchased by Thos. Gibb,
Esq., who exchanged it with his brother, Jas. Gibb, Esq., a wealthy
merchant of Quebec, president of the Quebec Bank, who added much to the
beauty of the estate. [237] Woodfield, with the improvements and
embellishments made by the preceding proprietor is one of the most
imposing and showy places in Canada, well worthy the encomiums passed upon
it by J. Jay Smith, Esq., of Philadelphia, editor of the
_Horticulturist_, who, with a party of friends, visited it in 1857.
He says, in that work, 'James Gibb, Esq., at Woodfield, possesses one of
the most charming places on the American continent. Thoroughly English in
its appurtenances, and leaving out its views of the St. Lawrence, its
lawns, trees, and superb garden are together, a model of what may be
accomplished. The whole scene was enchanting. The traveller felt as if he
was transported to the best parts of England, our whole party uniting in
an exclamation of pleasure and gratification. Here is everything in the
way of well-kept lawns, graperies and greenhouses, outhouses for every
possible contingency of weather, gardens, redolent of the finest flowers,
in which bulbs of the best lilies make a conspicuous figure, and every
species of fruit that can be grown. The traveller who does not see
Woodfield hah not seen Canada in its best trim.'

"The remains of one redoubt [238] are visible near Belle Borne Brook, just
above Pont Bonvoisin, or Bridge of Friendship, no doubt intended to guard
the approach to Quebec by the footpath from Pointe à Puiseaux. Another
large one was on the west side of Samos road, nearly opposite the entrance
gate of the new approach to Woodfield, it commanded the Samos road.

"Woodfield once could boast of a well-stocked aviary. The garden, of large
extent, has always been celebrated for its fruit and flowers, for the
taste in which it was laid out, and for the beautiful prospect obtained
from it of the Citadel of Quebec, of the intervening portion of the St.
Lawrence, with the numerous shipping in the harbour busily engaged in
taking in their return cargoes of the staple article of exportation."

Since this sketch was published in the _Maple Leaves_ for 1865, death
has borne heavily on the estimable Gibb family we then knew at Woodfield;
and in 1879, Mr. John Lawson Gibb sold the old homestead as a site for an
ornate rural cemetery.

"WOODFIELD CONSERVATORY--On 10th Feby, 1869 we availed ourselves of
the opportunity afforded to the public of visiting this celebrated
conservatory, and feasting our eyes on the immense mass of floral
treasures which it contains. Flora's rarest gifts from every quarter
of the globe are here in full bloom. The Indian Azaleas are
magnificent beyond description--the one near the entrance called
'Criterion" is exquisitely beautiful, Roi Leopold, purpurea and alba
are also very handsome. The Dielytra, or Bleeding Heart, is chaste and
beautiful the Joy plant (Chorozema) from the Swan River, struck us as
particularly interesting, the colours of the flower are so
harmoniously blended, the Golden-leaved Geranium (Cloth of Gold)--well
worthy the name, with intense scarlet flowers, is very pretty Numerous
Camelias of every shade and colour, these we think may well be called
the Queen of winter flowers rivalling in beauty the famous "rose." The
Cinerarias and Cape cowslips are very fine, and so are the Acacias
Many beautiful and interesting Ferns, the most remarkable being the
elks-horn, walking fern, hearts-tongue, maiden-hair and silver-
braken."--_Morning Chronicle._


This country seat, two miles from the city limits, stands in view of
Pointe à Puiseaux, at Sillery, exactly fronting the mouth of the Etchemin
River Imagine a roomy, substantial, one story cottage equally well
protected in winter against the piercing north, east and west winds,
surrounded by large oaks and pines to temper the rays of an August sun,
and through whose foliage the cool river breeze murmurs in the vernal
season, wafting pleasure and health to the inmates Add one of those
unrivalled river landscapes, peculiar to Sillery, well cultivated fruit
gardens, pastures, meadows, and lawns intersected by a long curving
avenue, fringed with single trees at times, at others tastefully concealed
in a clump of evergreens, and leading to the house by a circuitous
approach, which hides the mansion until you are a few feet of it Place in
it a toiling professional man, eager, after a dusty summer day's work in
St Peter street, to breathe the coolness and fragrance of his rustic
homestead, and enjoy the presence of his household gods, again, add to it
the conviction in his heart that country life has increased the span of
his existence by twenty years, and you have a faint idea of one of our
many Canadian homes, of _Sous les Bois_ the former residence of Errol
Boyd Lindsay, Esq., one of the few remaining Quebecers who can recall the
festivities of Powell Place, when Sir James Craig flourished there in

In 1870, _Sous les Bois_ was disposed of for educational purposes. The
flourishing Jésus Marie Academy, with its shiny dome and lofty walls,
looms out in the very centre of the demesne The Lindsay manor, at present,
is the hospitable lodge of the devoted and talented almoner of the
Convent, Rev. Abbé Octave Audette.


This handsome dwelling, is situated at the foot of the Cape, close to the
Jesuits' old house, on a line with the river: it stands in the centre of
an extensive garden, with here and there some large forest trees

The residence was built a few years back by the late John Sharples,
Esquire, of the firm of Sharples & Co., whose vast timber coves are in
view from Sillery house.


"A rural chapel neatly dress'd,
In covert like a little nest;
And thither young and old repair
This Sabbath day, for praise and prayer."
--_The White Doe of Rylstone_.

St. Michael's Church was built by some spirited parishioners, in front of
Mount Hermon Cemetery; a not inappropriate monument on their part to the
memory of the ancient and worthy patron of the parish. St. Michael's
Church was weekly honoured by the attendance of the Sovereign's
representative and _suite_ when inhabiting Spencer Wood; and on fine
summer days by the rank and fashion of the neighbouring metropolis. It is
a handsome cut-stone church, in the Gothic style. The incumbent for many
years has been the Rev. Anthony A. Von Iffland.

This neat Gothic structure was erected in 1854, at a cost of $12,400,
the proceeds of the munificent donations of several members of its
congregation and others. The ground on which it stands was presented,
as a gift, by Mrs. Jas. Morrin. Several handsome stained-glass
windows, representing scriptural scenes, have been recently added. We
read, amongst others, the following names on the list of subscribers
to the foundation of the chapel, parsonage and school-house:--

Sir Edmund Head Lord Monck The Lord Bishop Mountain
Colonel Rhodes Henry Lemesurier Denis Godley
Ed. Burstall Charles E. Levey Jos. B. Forsyth
Captain Retallack Captain Pemberton Colonel Boomer
J. Walker E. Jackson F. H. Andrews
Miss Mountain D. D. Young C. N. Montizambert
Miss Cochran Rev. A. Mountain Mrs. Carroll
F. Burroughs W. F. Wood Robert Hamilton
Wm. Petry Honorable W. Walker Mrs. J. Gibb
W. Price Michael Stevenson Major H. W. Campbell
T. K. Ramsay Mrs. Helmuth Okill Stuart
Lieut.-Colonel Mountain John Jordan
Miss Guerout Hon. Henry Black G. B. Symes & Co.
J. F. Taylor Mrs. Montizambert C. Coker
G. Alford Mrs. Forsyth H. S. Scott.
N. H. Bowen G. Hall Mrs. G. R. Mountain
Charles Hamilton J. K. Boswell James Gibb
Rich Tremain T. G. Penny J. H. Oakes
Miss Taylor W. Drum Mrs. Woodbury
Dr. Boswell W. Herring Miss George
Charles Wilson John Giles Charles O'Neill
Preston Copeman Thomas Nelson Society for the Promotion
Thomas Beckett Barthy W. Goff of Christian Knowledge

Through the aid and efforts of the late Charles E. Levey, Esq., of
Cataracoui, a handsome organ was subscribed for in England, and now
graces St. Michael's Chapel.



Oh, Hermon! oft I wander o'er,
Thy silent records of the past,
In fancy, when the storm and roar
Of icy winter holds thee fast,
But, when the gentle spring-time tells
'Tis time to rove amid the flow'rs,
I love to walk amid thy dells,
And dream once more of happy hours.

All seems a dream! thy lovely slopes,
O'ershadowed with primeval trees,
Are rich with many blighted hopes,
And ceaseless tears, _He_ only sees
What broken hearts, and scatter'd homes,
And grief of mourners ne'er since met,
One pictures by these solemn tombs,
This scene of parting and regret!

Bless'd spot! though long, long years ago
That loving one was buried here,
My soul still ever seeks to know
When once again we shall be near!
A day ne'er pass'd in foreign climes,
At home, or on the restless sea,
But I have sought thee many times,
Oh, Hermon! ever dear to me.
S. B. F.

In this neighbourhood is situated Mount Hermon Cemetery. It is about three
miles from Quebec, on the south side of the St. Lewis road, and slopes
irregularly, but beautifully, down the cliff which overhangs the St.
Lawrence. It is thirty two acres in extent, and the grounds were
tastefully laid out by the late Major Douglas, U. S. Engineers, whose
taste and skill had been previously shown in the design of Greenwood
Cemetery, near New York. A carriage drive, upwards of two miles in extent,
affords access to all parts of the grounds, and has been so arranged as to
afford the most perfect view of the scenery. The visitor, after driving
over the smooth lawn-like open surface, finds himself suddenly transferred
by a turn of the road into a dark avenue of stately forest trees, from
which he emerges to see the broad St. Lawrence almost beneath him, with
the city of Quebec and the beautiful slopes of Point Levi in the distance.

Many beautiful monuments now adorn the grounds, some of which are from
Montreal and some from Scotland; but the great majority are the
productions of Mr. Felix Morgan, of Quebec, and do credit to his taste and
skill. Many of them are beautiful and costly structures of Italian marble.
The Aberdeen and Peterhead granite is much used at present for monuments
to the departed.

A neat gothic lodge at the entrance of the grounds contains the office and
residence of the superintendent. In the former, a complete plan of the
grounds is kept, every separate grave being marked upon it with its
appropriate number, so that at any future time, on consulting it, the
exact spot of interment can be ascertained, and the Register which is also
kept, affords information respecting the places of birth, age, and date of

There are few sites round Quebec more attractive to visit, especially
during the month of September, than the last abode of the departed,
crowning the green banks of the St. Lawrence at Sillery--the Cemetery of
Mount Hermon. Apart from possessing some of the most picturesque scenery
in America, this spot borrows from the glories of autumn tints of a fairy
brightness. In providing for the repose of the dead, the citizens of all
denominations seemed to have vied to surpass one another. Scarcely had the
skilful designer, Major Douglas, U.S.E., completed the laying out of the
Mount Hermon grounds, when a strong desire was manifested in all quarters
to do away with _intra mural_ burials. In a very short time, the
Roman Catholics had selected as a cemetery the lovely old seat of the late
Mr. Justice P. Panet, on the banks of the St. Charles, whilst a few years
later the shady groves of Belmont, on the Ste. Foye road, were required
for a similar object. The ornamentation of a _necropolis_ must naturally
be a work of time, trees do not spring up in one summer, nor do lawns
clothe themselves with a soft, green velvety surface in one season, and if
the flowers in Mount Hermon are so beautiful and so well attended to, the
secret in a measure possibly rests with the landscape gardener located at
the entrance, and who professes to furnish flowers for the adornment of
cemetery lots, and to plant and keep them fresh during the summer. The St.
Charles, St. Patrick and Belmont Cemeteries, which do not enjoy in the
same measure these facilities, cannot be expected to possess all the
rustic adornments of their elder brother. One may safely predict that ere
many summers go by, our public cemeteries, by their natural beauty, are
likely to attract crowds of strangers, as Greenwood and Mount Auburn do in
the States. Chaste monumental marbles, on which can be detected the chisel
of English, Scotch and Canadian artists, are at present noticeable all
over the grounds, tastefully laid out and smiling _parterres_ of annuals
and perennials throw a grateful fragrance over the tomb where sleeps
mayhap a beloved parent, a kind sister, an affectionate brother, a true
friend, a faithful lover. How forcibly all this was brought to our minds
recently on strolling through the shady walks of Mount Hermon. Under the
umbrageous trees, perfumed by roses and lilies, tombs, [239] silent,
innumerable tombs on all sides, on marble, the names of friends, kindred,
acquaintances, solemn stillness all round us, at our feet the placid
course of our majestic flood. There were indeed many friends round us,
though invisible, nay, on counting over the slumberers, we found we had
more, though not dearer friends, in this abode of peace than within the
walls of yonder city. Overpowered by mournful, though soothing thoughts,
we walked along pondering over those truthful reflections of Washington

"There is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song, there is a
recollection of the dead to which we turn ever from the charms of the
living Oh, the grave! the grave! It buries every error, covers every
defect, extinguishes every resentment. From its peaceful bosom spring
none but fond regrets and tender recollections. * * * The grave of
those we loved--what a place for meditation. There it is that we call
up in long review the whole history of virtue and gentleness, and the
thousand endearments lavished upon us almost unheeded in the daily
intercourse of intimacy; there it is that we dwell upon the
tenderness, the solemn, awful tenderness of the parting scene; the bed
of death with all its stifled grief; its noiseless attendants; its
mute, watchful assiduities; the last testimonies of expiring love; the
feeble, faltering, thrilling (oh, how thrilling!) pressure of the
hand; the last fond look of the glazing eye, turning upon us from the
threshold of existence; the faint, faltering accents struggling in
death to give once more assurance of affection! aye, go to the grave
of buried love and meditate! There settle the account with thy
conscience for every past benefit unrequited, every past endearment
unregarded of that being who can never, never, never return to be
soothed by thy contrition. If thou art a child and hast ever added a
sorrow to the soul, or a furrow to the silvered brow of an
affectionate parent; if thou art a husband and hast ever caused the
fond bosom that ventured its whole happiness in thy arms to doubt one
moment of thy kindness or thy truth; if thou art a friend and hast
ever wronged in thought, word or deed the spirit that generously
confided in thee; if thou art a lover and hast ever given one
unmerited pang to that true heart that now lies cold and still beneath
thy feet, then be sure that every unkind look, every ungracious word,
every ungentle action will come thronging back upon thy memory and
knocking dolefully at thy soul....

Then weave that chaplet of flowers and strew the beauties of nature
about the grave; console thy broken spirit if thou canst with these
tender, though futile, tributes of regret; but take warning over the
dead, and be more faithful and affectionate in the discharge of thy
duties to the living." Reader, allow not pensive September to close in
without visiting Mount Hermon, linger under its silent shades, go
partake of the joy of grief, and meditate at the grave of a buried

"MONUMENT TO LIEUT. BAINES, R.A.--Few of our readers but recollect and
cherish the name of Lieut. Baines, who unfortunately lost his life
while gallantly endeavoring to arrest the progress of the
conflagration which destroyed the greater portion of St. Roch's
suburbs in October, 1866. His gallant devotion to duty, and his zeal
in one of the most praiseworthy and charitable objects that ever
engaged the attention of man, has caused his memory to be cherished
with love and respect by every one of our citizens. Last year the
ladies of the General Hospital sent a tribute of their gratitude to
his widowed mother in England, worked by their own hands. Now the
citizens of Quebec have completed their share of the grateful task. We
had the mournful pleasure yesterday of viewing one of the most chaste
and graceful monuments that adorn Mount Hermon Cemetery, erected by
public subscription, and placed over the grave of one whose memory is
so dearly cherished by all. The monument is of the Egyptian style of
architecture, an obelisk 18 feet in height, with a base of 4 feet 10
inches, designed and modelled by our talented fellow-citizen, Mr. F.
Morgan, sculptor, St. John street, so many of whose classic memorials
of the dead grace Mount Hermon. It is cut from a solid block of
imported sandstone, and in chasteness of design or execution is not
excelled on this continent. It bears the following inscription:--

Erected by the citizens of Quebec
To preserve the memory
and to record their gratitude for the
gallant services of
Lieut. Henry Edmund Baines,
Royal Artillery,
whose death was occasioned by his noble
efforts to arrest the progress
of the calamitous fire
which, on the 14th Oct., 1866
destroyed a large portion of the city.
Born at Shrewsbury, England, April 4, 1840
Died at Quebec Oct. 27, 1866

Surmounting the epitaph is the coat of arms of the Royal Artillery,
chiselled out of the solid block by the hands of a finished artist,
with the motto of the regiment in a scroll underneath--"_Quo fas et
gloria ducunt_' The erection of this, monument to the memory of the
brave but unfortunate young officer is a noble tribute of gratitude on
the part of our citizens, and in entrusting its execution to our
talented fellow-townsman, Mr. Morgan, the committee has shown a wise,
discretion that makes the completion of their task one upon which they
may heartily congratulate themselves.



My dust lies sleeping here,
Mother dear!
In this, far off distant land,
Away from your little band,
And the touch of loving hand,
Your boy lies sleeping here,
Mother dear!

The Ocean rolls between
Mother dear!
You and your own boy's grave,
And the distant rush of waves
On the pebbly shore to lave,
Is the requiem sung between,
Mother dear!

Mine is a sweet green spot.
Mother dear!
And the song of the bird
Is ever heard
In the trees that gird
Us, in this quiet spot
Mother dear!

And echo answers here
Mother dear!
The tinkle of chapel bell,
And the murmur of its knell
And the mourners "_It is well_,'
Echo answers here,
Mother dear!

To picture my last home,
Mother dear!
I am laid me down to rest,
Where "Our Father" saw 'twas best,
In this quiet little nest,
For my last home,
Mother dear!

And my spirit is with Him,
Mother dear!
In the precious home above,
Where all is light and love,
There rests your own dear dove,
Now with Him,
Mother dear!

Through Jesus' blood I'm here,
Mother dear!
In this happy, heavenly land,
One of a glorious band,
Touched by His healing hand,
Through Jesus I am here,
Mother dear!

So dry that bitter tear,
Mother dear!
'Twill not be very long
Ere with Jesus you'll sing the song,
Sung by those who to Him belong,
And wipe that bitter tear--
Mother dear!



Back to Full Books