Date Published: 1805
Binding: No binding
SCARCE TO THE MARKET SIGNED JOHN GRAVES SIMCOE LETTER
ALS signed “J. G. Simcoe, Lt. General,” one page, 6.75 x 9.5, June 27, 1805. Trimmed edges, and small areas of paper loss affecting one word of text, otherwise, in very good condition. Letter issued from his headquarters at Exeter, in part: "I hereby certify that the Royal First Regiment of Devon Yeomaning Cavalry commanded by Colonel Lord Rolle assembled with my consent and did military duty in the following manner: - Three Troops in Exeter or its neighbourhood on Monday the 29th of April last, for seven consecutive days - one Troop at Cullompton May the 6th for seven days…and the whole Regiment at Tiverton & Cullompton for four days; making in the whole, including the day they marched, eleven days instead of ten, as first proposed."
Simcoe would be dead 16 months later after writing this letter. In July 1806 the ministry that followed Pitt’s death appointed Simcoe commander-in-chief in India. Diverted, in joint command with the Earl of St. Vincent of an expedition for the relief of Portugal, he fell ill and was brought back to die at Exeter at only 54 years of age.
John Graves Simcoe was a British Army general and the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1791 until 1796 in southern Ontario and the watersheds of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior. He founded York (now Toronto) and was instrumental in introducing institutions such as courts of law, trial by jury, English common law, and freehold land tenure, and also in the abolition of slavery in Canada. During the Revolutionary War, he saw action during the Siege of Boston, at the Battle of Brandywine, and in New Jersey.
In greater Toronto area the Simcoe Day holiday is celebrated on the first Monday in August. In the Ontario Legislature in Queen's Park on the main floor of the east wing, on the north wall, there is an Ontario Heritage Trust Simcoe plaque.
John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle was a British peer who served as a Member of Parliament in general support of William Pitt the Younger and was later an active member of the House of Lords. He was instrumental in forming the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry and the North Devon Yeomanry.