THE SETTLEMENT OF LANARK COUNTY WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION TO BATHURST TOWNSHIP* In the Fall of 1815, settlement began in Lanark County. Earlier in the year the Earl of Bathurst, his Majesty’s Secretary of State for the colonies, had issued a proclamation in England offering free passage, etc., to anyone who wished to become a settler in Canada. Scottish Highlanders took up the offer that, besides free passage, included one hundred acres of land for each male immigrant over legal age. Three hundred men, women, and children sailed from Greenock on the river Clyde on June 11, 1815. They arrived in Quebec on September 4th only to find that the colonial authorities had made no preparation for their arrival. They proceeded up the St. Lawrence to Brockville where they spent the winter and the next spring in temporary huts. Surveyors were hurriedly brought in to survey a location for them. The greater number of these Scottish immigrants settled on what is still known today as the Scotch Line. The Earl of Bathurst, under whose patronage the “Scotch Colony” was formed and by whose influence at Court the Prince Regent’s sympathies were secured, issued orders whereby these immigrants obtained not only free passage and land grants but also free rations from the British Government for a year, and to each group of four families the necessary tools and implements with which to start ‘life in the bush’ – a grindstone, a crosscut and a whip saw. Each family received an adze, handsaw, drawing knife, one shell augur, two gimlets, door-lock and hinges, scythe and snath, reaping-hook, two hoes, hay fork, skillet camp kettle, and a blanket for each of its members. Most of the families in the Scotch Colony lived in tents or bark huts during the summer and fall of 1816 until the cold weather forced them to build log cabins...
Cottage at Bennett Lake, Ontario
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