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Home >> From 1600 to 1867 >> Identity, Culture & Communities >> Articles/Diaries/Ephemera/Journals

Daily life and challenges for the various groups involved in the fur trade.

Image 1 | Image 2
Author: Frances Simpson
Location: HBCA - Archives of Manitoba
Copyright Holder: Expired; no restrictions on use. Please credit HBCA - Archives of Manitoba.
  -41- Frances Simpson: Fort Garry Churches

Frances Ramsay Simpson (b. c.1812 - d. 1853), the daughter of a London merchant, married her cousin, HBC Governor George Simpson, in 1830. She initially accompanied him to Rupert's Land but her health deteriorated during her first pregnancy, and she was often an invalid therafter. Her husband settled her first in London and then in Lachine, where she died after giving birth to her fifth child.

This entry from the journal of her first canoe trip is dated June 7th 1830. They are now at Fort Garry. p15, 3rd pgh: "There are two Protestant Churches... pleasing address."

"There are two Protestant Churches, the lower one (situated near the house of Mr. Cocrane) being the larger on account of the greater number of Settlers residing in that quarter: the upper one next the Parsonage House is small, and attended by the inhabitants of the Fort, who regularly observe the Sabbath with due & respectful deference.

Opposite to Fort Garry, across the river, are the Church and House of the Catholic Bishop, who is held in high veneration by the Canadian party here resident - he is a clever, sensible man, of majestic stature, fine open countenance and an easy & pleasing address."

Other Related Material
Read excerpts from Frances' journal - enter 'Frances' in the search box to your left.

What does Frances Simpson look like?

Discover a personal object that once belonged to Frances.

Check the Beaver Index - e.g., Journey for Frances [Parts 1-3], by Grace Lee Nute, December 1953, March 1954 and June 1954.

St. Andrew's Rectory and Church are part of Canada's National Historic Sites. Would you like to visit?

Did You Know?
The "lower" church to which Frances refers is St Andrew's on the Red (which is still standing, on the River Road near Lower Fort Garry north of Winnipeg), where Rev. William Cockran presided.

The "upper" church was St John's at Kildonan (in the north end of present-day Winnipeg), where Rev. David Jones presided -- although he lived at Upper Fort Garry and did not get along with his fellow Anglican missionary, Rev. Cockran.

The Roman Catholic bishop was Joseph-Norbert Provencher, whose magnificent cathedral at St Boniface was destroyed by fire in 1861.