Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Jarvis Family: 60 Years Fighting Revolutionaires And Radicals — And How It All Backfired

UK TOUR DAY THIRTEEN (LONDON): I returned to London for the last few days of the Toronto Dreams Project's UK Tour. And on my first day back, I headed to this spot on The Strand. It's in the middle of the city, on the edge of the financial district, just a few blocks from Trafalgar Square, right around the bend of the Thames from the Westminster. I came here because in the very late 1700s and very early 1800s, this place was home to the Crown & Anchor tavern, a hotbed for radical politics with a special connection to one of the most conservative families from the early history of Toronto.

The story of William Jarvis starts on the other side of the Atlantic — in Connecticut. This was back in the days when being an American meant you were British, too. And Jarvis liked it that way. He was deeply loyal to the Crown. When the American Revolution broke out in the 1770s, he was convinced the rebels were wrong. So even though he was just a teenager, he joined the British army. He spent the next few years fighting against the Patriot rebels as a member of the Queen's Rangers.

But Jarvis, of course, had picked the losing side. And he paid a heavy price. At the end of the war, he tried to return to his home in Connecticut. But he wasn't welcome there anymore. One day, while he and his family were on their way to a picnic, they were attacked by a mob of angry Patriots. That kind of thing was happening to Loyalists all over the brand new United States. Just a few years earlier, pro-British opinions had been accepted as conventional wisdom; now, they were treason. Jarvis' own sister was attacked over and over again in the wake of the Revolution, her home invaded, her children threatened with bayonets, her husband eventually driven to suicide. While she and tens of thousands of others escaped north to the British colonies in Canada, William Jarvis fled across the Atlantic to England. He spent the next nine years living here in London — in exile.

He wasn't alone. Thousands of American Loyalists headed for the British Isles, including a young woman by the name of Hannah Owen Peters. She was the daughter of the Reverend Samuel Peters, a slave-owning Anglican preacher so famously reviled that more than 200 years later, he got his own chapter in a book called Jerks in Connecticut History. He, too, had been driven out of his home by violent Patriot mobs. And he, too, came to London. Hannah followed him here.

So it was in England that William probably met Hannah for the first time (although they were both from important Connecticut families, so it could have been earlier). And it was here that they got married. The ceremony was held at a church just a few blocks from Buckingham Palace: St. George's Hanover Square (the exact same spot where, a century later, Sir John A. Macdonald would marry his second wife while he was in town negotiating Confederation).

St. George's Hanover Square
Soon, the new couple would become one of the founding families of Toronto. While they were living in London with Hannah's dad, Jarvis was still in close contact with his commanding officer from his days in the Queen's Rangers: John Graves Simcoe. And when Simcoe was chosen as the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada — a brand new province specifically created to be a home for Loyalist refugees — he picked Jarvis to be part of the government.

But that wasn't the only new job Jarvis was going to have in the new province. And that's where the Crown & Anchor tavern comes in.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Crown & Anchor was one of the most important taverns in all of England. Some of the biggest names in Britain came here to drink and to argue, to hold meetings and give lectures: people like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Samuel Johnson, William Godwin, Thomas Hardy and William Hazlitt. The tavern was especially famous as a hotbed for left-wing politics. It became an icon of its time, synonymous with the Radicals and Reformers who were fighting to make England more democratic. Many of them were being thrown into prison for their ideas, some charged with treason and locked away in the Tower of London. At the Crown & Anchor, hundreds and sometimes even thousands of them gathered in the elegant and spacious rooms, listening to speakers, holding meetings, or throwing a party when someone was finally released from jail. They used the tavern to print pamphlets and radical texts like Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, a defense of the French Revolution. They were also ardent supporters of the American Revolution. In other words, they were the ideological opposites of William Jarvis.

But there was lots of space at the Crown & Anchor. Not everyone who held a meeting there was a radical. Far from it. And in the very late 1700s, the tavern was home to a series of meetings by the most famous secret organization in the world: The Freemasons.

A new province in Canada meant a new Grand Lodge. And the Freemasons in London just happened to have a brand new member who was going to be living there. William Jarvis had been inducted into the organization just a month earlier. So, at one of their meetings at the Crown & Anchor, they chose him to be the very first Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada.

Of course, the famous Masonic secrecy means that we can't be entirely sure what kind of a Grand Master Jarvis was. But he also played a much more public role as a prominent member of another anti-democratic, conservative-minded group trying to concentrate power in the hands of a few well-connected members: The Family Compact. Over the course of Toronto's first few decades, just a few Loyalist Tory families — the Jarvises among them — managed to keep most of the power in the new province to themselves, cracking down on anyone who argued in favour of democratic reform.

William Jarvis & Samuel Jarvis, ROM
And when you read about Jarvis and his role in that early Toronto government, the same kind of adjectives keep popping up: "inefficient and careless", "incompetent and corrupt", "incompetent, lazy, selfish and dishonest". Even worse than that, the Jarvis family was one of the very few families in the history of Toronto to own slaves. And when Simcoe wanted to outlaw the practice, the pro-slavery members of his government — including, presumably, Jarvis — forced a compromise that saw it gradually phased out instead.

The Jarvis family doesn't seem to have gotten along very well with Toronto's other founders, either. William once tried to challenge four men to a duel all at the same time; Hannah called the rest of the city's ruling class "a lot of Pimps, Sycophants and Lyars." When one of their slaves escaped, the man wrote a letter to Jarvis explaining why: "your wife vexed me to so high a degree that it was far beyond the power of man to support it..."

One of their sons, Samuel Jarvis, would end up inheriting their confrontational attitude. As a young man, he infamously killed a teenager in a duel under suspicious circumstances — probably over gambling debts. And as a member of the Family Compact, he became one of the arch-enemies of William Lyon Mackenzie. The rebel mayor's politics had been deeply influenced by the American Revolution and those same Crown & Anchor reformers; he'd even met at least one of them during a trip to England and used his own Torontonian newspaper to print the writings of Thomas Paine, just like they'd done in London. He drove the Jarvis family nuts. In fact, it was Mackenzie who came up with the "Family Compact" nickname.

Once, when Mackenzie called Samuel Jarvis a murderer for killing the man in the duel, the young Jarvis struck back. In a bizarre echo of the Patriot attacks that had terrorized his own family in the United States, he organized an angry mob, dressed them up in a parody of First Nations clothing, and attacked Mackenzie's home and business while he was out of town. His family was there, though; they hid in fear while the rioters destroyed Mackenzie's printing press and threw the type into Lake Ontario. We call it The Type Riot.

It backfired. Mackenzie sued and got a big settlement, enough to expand his newspaper business. Now, his radical politics had an even bigger voice: within a few short years, he'd become the first mayor of Toronto and led a rebellion against British rule. On the day he marched his army down Yonge Street, the Jarvis family were there again, taking up arms just like they'd done in the United States 60 years earlier. In fact, it was a ragtag force led by their cousin — Sheriff William Botsford Jarvis — who turned Mackenzie's rebels away.

But the days of the Family Compact were numbered. True democracy was going to come to Canada anyway. And despite having to spend years in exile, Mackenzie would be a leading voice in Canadian politics for decades to come. In a weird twist, thanks to the Type Riot, it was the conservative Jarvis family who had helped to make it happen.


A dream for Samuel Jarvis at St. George's Hanover Square
Crown & Anchor, right, an empty construction lot now
The Crown & Anchor
Crown & Anchor, right, in a famous political cartoon
Another political cartoon, inside the Crown & Anchor


A version of this story will appear in
The Toronto Book of the Dead
Coming September 2017

Pre-order from Amazon, Indigo, or your favourite bookseller
Read more posts about The Toronto Dreams Project's UK Tour and the connections between the history of Toronto and the United Kingdom here.

I wrote a full posts about Samuel Jarvis' duel for Spacing here. You can learn more about Henry Lewis, the slave who escaped from Jarvis, thanks to the Archives of Ontario here. The Toronto Museum Project has William Jarvis' Queen's Rangers coat on display online here, along with some words about the Toronto Purchase from former mayor David Crombie. You can learn more about William Jarvis' sister, Polly, whose husband was driven to suicide by the American Patriots in this PDF. His cousin shares his own account of the war — and the Patriot attack on the Jarvis family — here and more about it here. Jarvis' entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography is here. And there's more about him in Eleven Exiles: Accounts of Loyalists of the American Revolution, which is on Google Books here. Plus, you can learn more about the Crown & Anchor tavern here and here.

You can still see the gravestone of John Ridout — the teenager Samuel Jarvis killed in the duel — in the doorway of St. James Cathedral on King Street East. 

This post is related to dream
09 The Ghost of John Ridout
Samuel Jarvis, 1826

Monday, July 28, 2014

How The Simcoes Fell In Love — And The Magical Hills Where It Happened

UK TOUR DAY TWELVE (THE BLACKDOWN HILLS): These are the Blackdown Hills. They're one of England's official "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty," all rolling green hillsides and yellow fields and ancient trees lining roads so old they've worn deep groves into the ground. It's a land of magic and of myth: of pixies and fairies, of warrior ghosts and witchcraft, of Druids and Romans, of poachers and smugglers, of Iron Age hill forts, Bronze Age burial mounds and Stone Age earthworks. And this is where the founders of Toronto fell in love.

The story of the Simcoes starts with a man named Samuel Graves. He was an Admiral in the British navy; he spent much of the 1700s fighting. He was the Captain of a ship during the Seven Years' War and he was the head of the whole North American fleet during the early days of the American Revolution. That bit didn't go very well: he was ordered to control the entire east coast of the United States with only a couple dozen ships. Those orders have gone down in history as one of the most impossible tasks ever asked of a naval officer. Graves was doomed to fail. Eventually, he was replaced and he headed home to his country estate, where he'd live out the rest of his days in relative peace and quiet.

His house — Hembury Fort House — was in the Blackdown Hills. In fact, it still is; it's a retirement home now. And while Admiral Graves didn't have any children of his own to take care of, he did have a niece. Her name was Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim.

She was an orphan from the very beginning. Her father had been a military man, just like Graves. Thomas Gwillim had fought in Canada during the Seven Years' War, as Aide-de-Camp to the legendary General James Wolfe. He was there at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, one of the most famous moments in all of Canadian history. And unlike Wolfe, he survived. But the Seven Years' War had been raging on battlefields all over the world — it was the first truly global war; one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history. So after Canada, Thomas Gwillim was sent to Germany. And it was there, for a reason that has been lost to history, that he died.

He never knew that his wife was pregnant. It was a surprise: she was 38; they'd never had any other children. And soon, she would follow her husband to the grave. The strain of giving birth was too much for her. She lived just long enough to see her baby daughter before she passed away. That's how the infant Elizabeth got her middle name — Posthuma — because both her parents were dead.

Growing up as an orphan, young Elizabeth spent her childhood living with relatives. Some were in Northamptonshire — in the middle of England, "the county of spires and squires" — where she was born. Some were in the verdant Wye Valley, on the border with Wales. But it seems that most of her time was spent with her uncle, Admiral Graves, in the Blackdown Hills. She became the daughter he never had.

"Elizabeth fell in love with the beautiful Devon landscape," her biographer, Mary Beacock Fryer, writes, "which she grew to regard as her spiritual home. She roamed the rolling countryside, and the moor rising above the green fields with their underlayer of red sandy soil." She went for long rides and walks through the hills, sketching the countryside and collecting plants. At home, she turned those sketches into watercolours and stayed up late reading or chatting with her best friend. Those same skills would eventually earn her an important place in Torontonian history — her diary, drawings and paintings provide a remarkable record of the founding of the city.

But Elizabeth wasn't the only young person who shared the affections of the old Admiral. During his days in the Royal Navy, Graves had become friends with the captain of another ship: Captain John Simcoe. He, too, fought in Canada during the Seven Years' War. But he never came home. He caught pneumonia just a few months before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and was buried at sea near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. He left a wife and two sons behind. The eldest was named after his father and got his middle name from his godfather, Admiral Graves. He was called John Graves Simcoe.

Simcoe followed in the footsteps of his father and his godfather, fighting for the British in North America. This time, it was during the American Revolution, where he quickly made a name for himself as one of the Redcoats' most successful commanders. He adopted guerrilla tactics, never lost  a battle, survived serious wounds and months in an American prison. But while he was gone, his mother died. Simcoe was still in his 20s — now he was an orphan, too.

After the war was over, he returned home to England to nurse his wounds. And since he didn't have any immediate family left to stay with, he headed to his godfather's house in the Blackdown Hills.

There's a chance he might have already met Elizabeth by then. But even if he had, she would make a whole new impression now. She was 19 years old, pretty and slight, just about 5 feet tall. She could paint and draw and do needlework, was well-read and spoke three languages. And for his part, Simcoe was a dashing young officer in his late 20s, a hero of the war against the American rebels with political ambitions and a passionate interest in the distant Canadian colonies.

Simcoe, too, fell in love with the Blackdown Hills. He was fascinated by the history of the place — those stories of fairies and ghosts and smugglers. As soon as his wounds had healed enough, he started to join Elizabeth on her long walks through the countryside, up and down those big green hills. They would both make sketches of the picturesque landscape and turn them into full paintings when they returned home to Hembury Fort House. And while at first, they were accompanied by the Admiral's wife — who was skeptical of the young relationship — soon, she let them go out on their own. They would stride down those ancient, sunken roads, with Elizabeth having to run every few steps in order to keep up with the tall soldier.

"From walks the couple graduated to long rides each morning before breakfast," Fryer writes in her biography. "To Mrs. Graves’ chagrin, she found herself looking on, helpless, as the two were obviously falling in love. Admiral Graves was delighted with the train of events, and sought to give the couple every encouragement."

It worked. Just a few months after Simcoe arrived in the Blackdown Hills, the two were engaged. It was the summer of 1782. That December, they made the short trip down the hill from Hembury Fort House to a nearby church in the tiny village of Buckerell. There, they were married in front of their friends and their surviving family members. With Elizabeth's inheritance, they bought a beautiful estate of their own, just across the fields from Hembury, where they would raise their family. They spent the rest of their lives in the very same hills where they'd first fallen in love.

Except, of course, for one long trip to Canada, founding a new city in a new province in another land they loved.


Dreams for the Simcoes outside Hembury Fort House
The fields of the Blackdown Hills
The view from the Simcoes' estate
Road through the Simcoes' estate
The cows of the Blackdown Hills
The ancient, sunken roads
The road down the Hembury Fort hill
The village where the Simcoes got married
St Mary & St Giles, where the Simcoes got married
A dream for John Graves Simcoe
A dream for Elizabeth Simcoe


Read more posts about The Toronto Dreams Project's UK Tour and the connections between the history of Toronto and the United Kingdom here.  

I've already written posts about: the ancient red soil beneath the Blackdown Hills; the ancient church where the Simcoes got married; the ancient River Otter, which flows along the southern edge of the Simcoes' estate; the deaths of John Graves Simcoe, his mother and his brother. I'll be writing more about the Blackdown Hills, too, including the nearby chapel which is officially part of the province of Ontario and the prehistoric fort that gave Hembury Fort House its name.

You can buy Mary Beacock Fryer's biography of Elizabeth Simcoe here, or buy it here. You can do the same for her biography of John Graves Simcoe — co-written with Cristopher Dracott — here and here. And Elizabeth Simcoe's own diary here and here.

You can read about "The battle of the fairies and the pixies" in the Blackdown Hills on Landscape Tales, the blog of Dr. Lucy Ryder of the University of Chester. She also tells the story of some of the ghosts of the Blackdown Hills: Part One and Part Two.

This post is related to dream
01 Metropolitan York
John Graves Simcoe, 1793

This post is related to dream
34 The Upper Canadian Ball
Elizabeth Simcoe, 1793

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Samuel Taylor Coleridge & The Simcoes' Hometown River

UK TOUR DAY ELEVEN (THE RIVER OTTER): This is the mouth of the River Otter. It's in Devon, part of what they call the West Country, in the far south-west of England. The river has a connection both to the Simcoes — founders of Toronto — and to their family friends, the Coleridges. It also flows through some pretty spectacular scenery.

Here, where it meets the English Channel, the Otter is part of a World Heritage Site: the Jurassic Coast (which I wrote about yesterday). I reached its banks at the end of a long walk through the countryside and along the top of towering coastal cliffs. The sun was just beginning to set; the tide was coming in. People were riding the waves as they swept upstream (a bizarre sight for someone from Toronto) and into the marshes at the mouth of the river. You can just see the edge of those wetlands in this photo, on the right. They've been protected as a nature reserve, where saltwater and freshwater mix together in a green Eden of reedbeds and shallow pools. There are birds everywhere — and strange, colourful insects I've never seen before. There's so much biodiversity, in fact, that it's listed as a site of Special Scientific Interest.

The whole surrounding area, for miles and miles and miles around, is also one of England's official "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty". For most of its length, the Otter flows through rolling green and yellow fields, some of the most beautiful landscapes the United Kingdom has to offer. A few kilometers upstream, you'll find the picturesque village of Otterton, home to a watermill that's been spinning on that site for at least a thousand years. (That's where I had lunch during my walk.) And if you keep following the river upstream, you'll soon find yourself in another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the Blackdown Hills. There, the rolling slopes get even bigger and more spectacular, some of them rise 800 feet into the air, so high they're almost mountains. From the top of some of those hills you can see far off to the distant horizon, all the way west to the rugged moors of Dartmoor National Park.

The Otter was a particularly important river for the Simcoes. They had connections to both ends of it. As I wrote yesterday, when they got back from Canada, they bought a summer home in Budleigh Salterton, the town at the mouth of the river. But by then, they'd already developed a close relationship to the Otter. Their estate was in the Blackdown Hills. The river ran just beyond the southern edge of it. And a small tributary of the Otter — the River Wolf — flowed right through their lands.

The Blackdown Hills
The Coleridge family lived nearby too, in the parish of Ottery St. Mary. The Reverend George Coleridge was the headmaster of the local school. And after the Simcoes got back from Toronto, that's where they sent their son Francis to study. The young boy had spent his earliest years growing up in Canada. And we still remember him with a subway station in Toronto — it got its name from the log cabin the Simcoes built on a spot overlooking the Don Valley. They jokingly named it after their toddler: Castle Frank.

The Reverend's brother, James Coleridge, was in the army. He served as aide de camp to John Graves Simcoe in the years after the founder of Toronto returned home. Simcoe had been made into a General. And when it looked like Napoleon might invade England, he was put in charge of the defenses for the entire West Country. According to Simcoe's biographers, James Coleridge would climb to the top of a nearby hill every morning to look through his telescope toward Simcoe's house. If there was a towel hanging in the window, it was a signal that Simcoe needed him. And Coleridge would rush to his General's side.

It was a third brother, however, who would go down in history as one of the most famous poets of all-time. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery St. Mary. And so, he grew up on the banks of the Otter. He even wrote a poem about it right around the same time the Simcoes were travelling to Canada.

It's called "To the River Otter" and it goes like this:

Dear native brook! wild streamlet of the West!
How many various-fated years have passed,
What happy and what mournful hours, since last
I skimmed the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps! Yet so deep impressed
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,
And bedded sand that, veined with various dyes,
Gleamed through thy bright transparence! On my way,
Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled
Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs:
Ah! that once more I were a careless child!

The poem — and the poet's connection to the Simcoes — leaves me wondering what kind of impact Francis Simcoe's years in Canada had on him. Sadly, he didn't live long; he was killed as a young soldier fighting Napoleon in Portugal. But for those brief years, did he remember the Don River or Lake Ontario the same way Coleridge remembered the Otter? The same way children who've grown up in Toronto still do, more than 200 years later?

The River Otter
The Otter Estuary Nature Reserve
The Otter Estuary Nature Reserve
The Otter Estuary Nature Reserve
The East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


I'll write more about Francis Simcoe one day. Maybe even soon, as one of these UK Tour posts. One of my favourite stories about him comes from his biography by Mary Beacock Fryer. She writes that when he got back to England, he was so used to life on ships that when he descended the stairs at the Simcoe's hotel, he did it backwards.

Read more posts about The Toronto Dreams Project's UK Tour and the connections between the history of Toronto and the United Kingdom here

This post is related to dream
30 The Conference of The Beasts
Francis Simcoe, 1796

This post is related to dream
01 Metropolitan York
John Graves Simcoe, 1793

This post is related to dream
34 The Upper Canadian Ball
Elizabeth Simcoe, 1793

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dinosaurs, Sir Walter Raleigh & The Simcoes

Budleigh  Salterton from the Jurassic Coast

UK TOUR DAY TEN (BUDLEIGH SALTERTON): The tenth day of The Toronto Dreams Project's UK Tour took me to a small, seaside town with an awesome name: Budleigh Salterton. It's probably most famous for being the site of a super-important painting called The Boyhood of Raleigh. Sir Walter Raleigh grew up in these parts; the painting shows him and his brother sitting on the beach as children, listening intently as a sailor tells them tales of life at sea. Raleigh would go on to become one the giants of the Elizabethan age — "aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, politician, courtier, spy, and explorer..." He searched in vain for El Dorado, popularized tobacco in England, and spent two separate stints in the Tower of London before finally being executed. (Clive Owen played him in the second Elizabeth movie.) According to Wikipedia, the painting — by the famous Victorian artist Sir John Everett Millais, who made the trip to Budleigh Salterton to do it — "came to epitomise the culture of heroic imperialism" all the way from the height of the British Empire in the 1800s to its final days after the Second World War.

Here it is:

Off in the corner of the painting, you can see just a little bit of Budleigh Salterton's iconic red cliffs. They tower over the beach on either side of the town, stretching off into the distance as far as you can see. And they're incredibly important, too. In fact, they're a World Heritage Site. It starts a few kilometers to the west and continues east along the cliffs for 150 more — an enormous stretch of the southern coastline of England. There's a footpath you can walk the whole way. I did about 8 kilometers of it, and it was spectacular; from the top of those cliffs, you can see the whole enormous stretch of coastline spreading out around you.

They call it "The Jurassic Coast". And that's because this is the only place in the world where you can see the entire archeological history of the dinosaurs from start to finish: from the strange, reptilian beasts that came before them all the way through to their final days. The record spans 185 million years. That's about a third of the entire evolution of animal life on our planet.

The way it works is that the further west you go, the further back in time. And since Budleigh Salterton is near the western edge of the Jurassic Coast, the cliffs here are the oldest. This red earth is from nearly 250 million years ago: The Triassic Period. Back then, this spot was part of the super-continent Pangaea — not that far, actually, from what would one day become Toronto. Budleigh Salterton was in the middle of a desert region; that's why the dirt is so red with iron. It was roamed by the bizarre reptile ancestors of dinosaurs, crocodiles and birds. Creatures like rhynchosaurs (squat, mammal-like plant-eaters with sharp beaks), thecodonts (kind of like tall alligators), labyrinthodonts (huge carnivorous amphibians) and bromsgroveia (relatives of the ancestors of crocodiles).

They've even found footprints from those beasts in the rocks around here. I got to see some of them at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. They have rhynchosaur fossils on display, too.

The beach at Budleigh Salterton
But the region wasn't completely dry back then. When it did rain, nearby mountains fed rivers that swept through the desert. Big pebbles from those riverbeds are still here. In fact, they're everywhere. You can see them in the cliffs; they erode out onto the beach. That's what Budleigh Salterton's beach is made of: big, prehistoric pebbles instead of sand. You can see some of them in the Raleigh painting, too.

And of course, those ancient pebbles were here 200 years ago — which is when the history of Budleigh Salterton overlapped with the history of Toronto. Pretty much as soon as the Simcoes got back from founding our city in the very late 1700s, they bought a summer home in the seaside town. Today, it's still there — though very much renovated and modernized — on a hill overlooking the beach. It's even called "Simcoe House". There's a plaque and everything.

On my first night in town, I headed to the Sir Walter Raleigh pub, where I got to meet a bunch of people from the local Fairlynch Museum. We talked about the Simcoes, The Toronto Dreams Project and the connections between the history of Budleigh Salterton and the history of North America. There are quite a few people in England with a passionate interest in the Simcoes — I'll write more about that in a future post — and the Fairlynch is planning to embrace the connection. They'll be incorporating the Simcoes and the founding of Toronto in a new room dedicated to the ways the history of their town has overlapped with the history of North America. And it looks like among the very first things to go on display will be copies of the three dreams I've written for members of the Simcoe family.

The Jurassic Coast
The Jurassic Coast, looking east to Sidmouth
RAF WWII base on top of the Jurassic Coast cliffs
The South West Coast Path
The mouth of the Otter at Budleigh Salterton
The mouth of the Otter at Budleigh Salterton
Across the Otter from Budleigh Salterton
The red cliffs of Budleigh Salterton
The beach at Budleigh Salterton
The beach at Budleigh Salterton
The Sir Walter Raleigh Inn in East Budleigh
A dream for John Graves Simcoe at Simcoe House
The plaque at Simcoe House
A dream for Elizabeth Simcoe at Simcoe House
A dream for Francis "Castle Frank" Simcoe at Simcoe House
Old-timey Budleigh Satlerton, via Fairlynch Museum
Michael Downes shows me around the Fairlynch Museum
Michael Downes shows me around the Fairlynch Museum
My dreams for the Simcoes at the Fairlynch Museum


Read more posts about The Toronto Dreams Project's UK Tour and the connections between the history of Toronto and the United Kingdom here.

You can learn lots more about the red cliffs here and the prehistory of the region here.