Bewdley (with historical info by Charles Fothergill 1782-1840)

Phone : (905) 797-2810
Your Host(s) : Bewdley Public Library

Bewdley, ON (Nearby: Bailieboro, Campbellcroft, Gores Landing, Port Hope, Fraserville, Frazerville)

169 Rice Lake Dr.,
Bewdley, Ontario
K0L 1E0

Ontario Tourism Region : Kawartha and Northumberland

Description From Owner:
  • Pop. 825. In Hamilton T., Northumberland C., on the S shore of Rice L. and C. Rds. 9 & 28, 24 km S. of Peterborough.
  • The first settler, in 1800, was Nelly Grant, a United Empire Loyalist widow. The place was named in the late 1830s by William Banks for his native town in Worcestershire, England.
  • Charles Fothergill (May 23, 1782 – May 22, 1840) was a businessman, journalist and political figure in Upper Canada.
  • He was born in York, England in 1782, a member of a Quaker family. He developed an interest in natural history at an early age and he published the Ornithologia Britannica at the age of 17.
  • In 1813, he published Essay on the philosophy, study, and use of natural history. In 1817, partly to escape his debts, he came to Upper Canada and settled near Smith's Creek (Port Hope).
  • He opened a general store and became the first postmaster at Port Hope in 1817. In 1818, he was appointed justice of the peace in the Newcastle District.
  • He built a distillery at Port Hope and a sawmill and gristmill at Peterborough. At this point, however, he encountered financial problems and his properties were seized.
  • In 1822, he was appointed King's Printer and moved to York (Toronto). He also published a newspaper, the Weekly Register, and an almanac.
  • The newspaper became involved in controversy when William Lyon Mackenzie claimed that a letter published in his own newspaper, which criticized Chief Justice William Dummer Powell.
  • In 1824, he ran against George Strange Boulton for the seat in Durham in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada
  • Boulton was elected after the returning officer cancelled 3 of Fothergill's votes. Fothergill appealed and won the seat in a by-election.
  • In parliament, he was critical of the administration and he was dismissed as King's Printer in January 1826.
  • After being unsuccessful in gaining reelection in 1830, he attempted to start a number of businesses.
  • During the 1830s, he also published An essay descriptive of the quadrupeds of British North America and another paper on the situation of the salmon in Lake Ontario; these works were well received but did not provide any income.
  • He took over the ownership of two Toronto newspapers in 1837; however, this financial venture also failed. He died penniless in Toronto in 1840.
  • Fothergill wrote the first nature column to appear in an Upper Canada newspaper and is considered to be Ontario's first resident ornithologist.

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