Some Emigrants from Shropshire to Canada in 1834


This is a list of emigrants from Shropshire to Canada in 1834. About 40 people from Sutton Maddock and Brockton left with William FARMER, who owned most of the houses at Brockton. He chartered the ship "Kingston" and brought all the (itemized) contents of his manor-house and barns, including animals and poultry. He also brought all the tenants of his lands (I suppose that is who they are). Most of the children are named, as are the occupations of the men.

There is an account of the voyage written by a son of the Farmer family. Most of these people deserted Mr Farmer on his arrival (apparently), but the information of the voyage is quite extraordinary.

The information here is MUCH abridged. If a serious researcher wants more information, I'll send it on to them. The information here is a compilation from several sources in my possession. The church that the Farmers were associated with in Salop was at Sutton Maddock - not too far from Brockton. I am not sending a list of their children, but it might be of interest to note that the second Mrs William Farmer was a Devey from Kingslow.

If anyone wishes to reproduce this information for publication, please ask my permission first.

Paul Grimwood,
Ancaster, Ontario, Canada [The email address is provided using a small piece of Javascript code. You will not be able to see it, as either the web browser you are using does not support javascript, or you have chosen to disabled it. I apologise if this is inconvenient, but if it helps to prevent the harvesting our email addresses to use for mass mailings I think it's worth it! You will therefore have to turn on Javascript to to see the email addresses]

The family of Farmer is of considerable antiquity in England. From manuscript still extant in the family archives in Canada there is recorded a will dated 9th of September 1485, and probated on the 8th November following, from which the lineage of this subject can be clearly traced. Then again there lies buried in a chapel, on the south side of the chancel of Somerton, a Mr. William Fermour and his lady. Under a great raised monument of grey marble, you will find the portraitures of a gentleman and his wife, in brass, and below the following inscription:

"Here lyeth buried Mr. William Fermour Esqr. whych was Lord of this Town and patron of this church, and also clerk of the crown in the King's Bench in King Henry VIII dayes which dyed the 20th September in the year of our Lord God MCCCCCLII, and also here lyeth Mestres Elizabeth Fermour his wife which was the daughter of Sir William Norris Kt. upon whose and all christian souls jesus have mercy"

William Farmer the sixth of Brockton and New House was born February 4th, 1794, baptized at Sutton Maddock, England, February 5th 1794, died at Brockton House, Ancaster Ont. Canada, March 7th 1880, aged 86 years. He was the father of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, all of which lived to good ages. In fact, the last, being the youngest daughter, is still living in Victoria, B.C., and will be 92 years of age on the 24th of August, 1934. Seven of the children, five by his first wife, and two by his second wife, were born in England, and five were born at Farmer's Rapids on the Gatineau River, Quebec.

He had great estates in England, of which he disposed and in the month of March 1834, having sold the greater part of his property, he commenced actual preparation for leaving the home the Farmer family had been born in, lived and died in for over two hundred and fifty years. This preparation being completed, William Farmer with his wife and seven children on the 6th of June 1834 left Brockton Court (the residence of his mother). the large stage coach which conveyed the family to Birkenhead, was drawn by four fine, grey horses, and left at nine o'clock in the morning for Birkenhead, arriving there at sundown.

The vessel chartered by Mr. Farmer for his voyage out to Canada was the ship Kingston of Liverpool, under command of Captain Willis, a Yorkshire man, and his crew. The ship was 430 tons, had nine square sails, a cabin with berths, sitting room and a dining room on deck. It was fitted up very comfortably.

Mr. Farmer engaged and brought with him a colony of ten families, a total of 45 souls, in addition to himself and his own family with general house servant, house-maid and nurse. The heads of these families included various journeymen and craftsmen, as well as lawyer and tutor. The name of each, and his wife, and the name of each member of his household is still in the Farmer family records [and added at the end of this record].

Mr Farmer also brought valuable livestock. The famous dark-grey, mottled Clydesdale Stallion called Briton - 4 years old; a grey Clydesdale mare bought in Scotland, mother of the said stallion; an iron-grey mare; two Durham bulls; two Hereford bulls; six cows (Durham, Hereford and Highland Scotch); two Southdown rams; fourteen Southdown ewes; one Leicester ram; thirteen Leicester ewes, Scotch; one Berkshire boar; one Shropshire boar; nine sows; ten dogs (pointers and bull terriers and a fox terrier); and a number of game-cocks and hens. All the food and fresh water was adequately provided for by Mr. Farmer for this stock. On stormy days the horses and cattle were all suspended in strong, canvas slings and pulley-blocks to the beams of the decks above them. Not a single animal was lost on the sea voyage.

The good ship Kingston sailed from Liverpool early morning June 18th 1834 (Waterloo Day), and arrived at Quebec, Friday August 8th, 1834, at sundown - after 51 days. The whole undertaking by one man was unique and was recorded in the Quebec Mercury and in the Montreal Gazette, the latter of date August 26th, 1834.

The packages which Mr. Farmer brought from Shropshire to Canada would take much space to enumerate and would set antiquarian lovers agog were they recorded here, especially because so much is still in the family, as well as the invoices of that which was specially purchased for his Canadian home. Besides forty-two cases, all labelled and numbered, of household effects only, there were coils of ropes too, and implements, barrels, bags of barley, peas and wheat, several barrels of glass of all kinds for table use. There were five or six dozens of champagne glasses, besides dozens of wine glasses of different styles and sizes, finger bowls and decanters. Barrels of china contained no less than six Coalport dinner sets, two dozen meat dishes, vegetable dishes, gravy bowls, fruit and fancy dishes. six large beer pitchers, sugar bowls, cream pitchers, cups and saucers and etc.
[I list just the contents here of just two cases:]

Case No. 1 Curtains, side-board, two beds, bolsters, pillows, linen, clockcase, blankets, waistcoats, clothes, bags, bedquilts, etc. the side-board was made to order for Lord Bradford, but was too small for his purpose and was bought by Wm. Farmer when he married and moved into New House.

Case No. 15 Table, bidet, rings and heater to tea-urn, and an Indian tea chest containing canisters of the first Indian tea; it had been sent as a present to the Emperor Napoleon from the Emperor of China, but the ship containing this prize while on its way to France was sighted by a British ship and brought to England and ultimately came into the possession of George Devey.

Those who came to Canada with Wm. Farmer on the ship Kingston, 1834:

Jemima Rudkins, housekeeper & nurse
William Dukes, a lawyer
Arthur Vickins, tutor, a Cambridge student
Thomas Barnfield, miller & wheelwright
Mr. Williams, groom and waiter
Mrs Williams, his wife, George, Joseph & James Williams, sons and 3 daughters
Amos Bonnell, wheelwright
Mrs Bonnell, Catharine, George, William, Fanny, and Thomas Bonnell
William Furnivall, blacksmith (Mrs Bonnell's brother)
Samuel Langford, gardener
Mrs Langford, Mary, Samuel, William, Richard, Annie and Bessie Langford
Thomas Child, a general purpose man
Mrs Child, Bessie, Thomas, Richard & James Parton, Child's stepchildren
Peter, Fanny, Mary, Annie Child, his own children
James Green, a mason
Mrs Green

[Page created by Alan Stanier and updated 27 Feb 1999]