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Prince Edward County

Origin of the name [1]

When Edward, Duke of Kent, visited Upper Canada in 1792, and went as far as Niagara on this visit, he made a call at Smith's Bay and met Col. Hildebrand Valleau, Lieut. Henry Young, and the other leading men of the settlement. This County had been named after him in Governor Simcoe's proclamation of July 16 in that year, dividing Upper Canada into counties.

from Alexander Campbell Osbourne (1835-1924) in OHS Papers and Records, Volume XXI

Governor Simcoe, on his arrival here [2], assembled his Executive Council, and after opening his commission, solemnly proclaimed the British Constitution to the Province. The boundary had been previously determined, commencing at the cove west of Point-au-Baudet, in Lake St. Francis, the division line about 50 miles from Montreal, and 150 east of Kingston. After concluding other colonial matters of importance, he issued a proclamation [3], dividing the province into counties, with the following names: Glengarry, Stormont, Dundas, Grenville, Leeds, Frontenac, Ontario, Addington, Lenox, Prince Edward, Hastings, Northumberland, Durham, York, Lincoln, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, which last county is to comprehend all the territory not already described, and not belonging to the Indians, from the northernmost line of Hudson Bay to the utmost limits of the country generally known by the name of Canada.

These 19 counties are to send on the 12th of Sept. to Niagara sixteen members of the House of Assembly. Governor Simcoe is going to Niagara, across the Ontario, one of the wonderful fresh water seas of this continent. He may, probably, this autumn, visit Detroit, and the river La Tranche, hereafter to be called the Thames, parallel with the north side of Lake Erie, communicating with Lake St. Clair, Huron, Superior, on the W. and N.W. by various branches, and Ontario on the S.E., where several people imagine the metropolis of Upper Canada will be built. Prince Edward (Duke of Kent) is expected here from Quebec to visit the Falls.

Letter dated 8 August from Cataraque published 23 Nov 1792 by the Morning Herald, London (England)


[1] [back] The renaming of St. John's Island to Prince Edward Island, again as a compliment to Edward, Duke of Kent, did not take place until 1798.

[2] [back] Cataraque (Kingston); Simcoe arrived 1st (4th?) July, 1792

[3] [back] Dated 16 July 1792



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