The front page banner from the Royal Gazette & Miscellany of the Island of Saint John published on 26 August 1791
Vital Statistics

Royal Gazette & Miscellany

July 1791 to July 1794

The Royal Gazette, and Miscellany of the Island of Saint John was published between 15 July 1791 and 12 June 1794. Originally it was printed bi-weekly but, over time, appeared only on an irregular basis. Between the dates mentioned there were a total of 41 issues printed over two volumes, all of which are extant. I believe this is the earliest newspaper (or, at least, the earliest surviving newspaper) published on Prince Edward Island.

Using microfilmed copies (Microfilm F-1326: Centre d'études acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson, Université de Moncton), I have extracted the vital statistics listed in the Royal Gazette and Miscellany. Below is a list of dates of publication, along with their respective volume and issue numbers. Many contained no discernible vital statistics, and that is noted after the date.

Some vital statistics may have been deliberately overlooked during the transcription process. However, for the most part, those omitted did not involve people from Prince Edward Island.

Although I have made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and completeness of these transcriptions, there is a possibility of error. The data below should be confirmed from the original source - I accept no responsibility for any errors resulting from the use of this data or conclusions derived from it.

15 July 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 1)

No notices appeared in this issue.

29 July 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 2)

Mr. James Lawson, to Miss ---- Miller, both of Cove Head.
At Tracadie - Mr. William Gillies, to Miss Mary MacDonald.

Lately died, at his house, in London, Sir Archibald Campbell, Knight of the Bath, Major Gen. in the army, and Colonel of the 74th regiment of foot.

12 August 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 3)

Mrs. Garforth, of a daughter.

26 August 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 4)

No notices appeared in this issue.

9 September 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 5)

No notices appeared in this issue.

23 September 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 6)

Mrs. Clark, of a daughter.
Mrs. Thomas Webster, of a son.

7 October 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 7)

A daughter to the Rev. Theophilus Desbrisay.
Mrs. Hillman, of a son.
Mrs. Derby, of Bedeque, of a daughter.

21 October 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 8)

Mrs. McCallum, of a son.

5 November 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 9)

Died lately at London, of an apoplectic fit, Captain Dugald Stewart, of this island, regretted by a numerous acquaintance.

Mrs. Robins, of Bedeque, of a son.
Mrs. John Webter, jun. of this town, of a son.

19 November 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 10)

No notices appeared in this issue.

3 December 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 11)

Yesterday morning an official despatch, from the Honourable Richard Bulkeley, at Halifax, brought from Poictou by Mr. Pagan, was received here by his Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, acquainting him with the melancholy news of the death of his Excellency John Parr, Esq., Lieutenant Governor, Commander in Chief, and Vice Admiral of his Majesty's province of Nova Scotia, who died on Thursday the 24th ultimo at Halifax, after an illness of 14 days. By his death, the government of that province devolves, by his Majesty's Royal Instruction, on his Excellency Lt. Governor Fanning, Commander in Chief of this Island, he being senior Lieutenant Governor.

It is not without much concern we learn, that his Excellency will, in the course of the next week, leave this place for Nova Scotia, to take upon him the government of that province - to the great regret of the inhabitants of this Island, and, we trust, to the no less satisfaction of those of Nova Scotia.

Lately died, at his house in Hart street, Bloomsbury square, London, in the 82d year of his age, the Hon. W. Bull, a native of South Carolina, and many years Lt. Gov. and Commander in Chief of that province, which he left, with the British troops, in 1782, and has ever since resided in Great Britain. - At Brest, the celebrated French Admiral, M. de la Mothe Piquet.

17 December 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 12)

A young man, by the name of Alexander Corbett, left this town, about ten days ago to return to Lieutenant John Macdonald's up the West River, where his wife resides, and as he has not since reached that place, it is much to be apprehended he is lost. - He had been absent many days without occasioning any uneasiness to his friends, the cause of his absence not being suspected. But at length, his wife growing unhappy at his staying so much longer than he had intended, came to town in quest of him, where, alas! she was only able to learn what would infinitely heighten her anxiety, that he had been put across the North river in the evening of the same day he left town; and the distance from thence to the place of his destination being only five miles through the woods, leaves but little room to entertain hope of his safety. With this distressing information, the poor woman returned home, inconsolable for her loss, which was now too evident, near ten days having elapsed since her husband was last seen. The neighbours, being made acquainted with this lamentable circumstance, with a humanity every way praiseworthy, left their domestic business, and proceeded into the woods in every direction in search of him, using their utmost exertions, but without being able to discover any the least traces of him. There can scarcely remain a doubt of his having either fallen a prey to the bears, or perished in the woods; the former of which, however, is the most probable, the weather having been so mild as to induce a belief that he would have been able to have reached his home ere this if he had only lost his way through the darkness of the night. [Note: Further information regarding the loss of Mr. Corbett can be found in the issue dated 24 March 1792 - DLM]

Mrs. Rea, of a son.

Deaths: Mr. Dugald McCallum, of Cove Head. - Mrs. Catherine McCallum, of the same place. - Miss Betsy Penman, of Tryon.

31 December 1791 (Vol. 1, No. 13)

A son to Dr. Alexander Gordon.

14 January 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 14)

No notices appeared in this issue.

28 January 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 15)

Mr. Ronald McDonald, to the very agreeable Miss Nelly McDonald, both of Grand Tracadie.
Mr. James Dingwell, of Saint Peter's, to Miss Peggy Saunderson, of the same place.
Mr. Angus McFee, of this place, to Miss Kitty McEachran.

[Note: Please see the correction posted in the issue of 11 February 1792 concerning the first marriage listed in this issue. - DLM]

11 February 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 16)

Mr. John McDonald, of Red Head, to Miss --- McKinnon, Sawmill.
Mr. James McDonald, to Miss Gillies, Fort Augustus.

Errata: In our last, in the second Column of the last Page, under the Charlotte Town Head, 4th line, for "eight" read "sixteen" under O. And in the third Column, under the Head of Marriages, first line, for "Ronald" read "Alexander". [Note: The first correction listed in the Errata does not involve any of the vital statistics from the previous issue. However, the second correction does refer to the first marriage that was listed in the issue of 28 January 1792. - DLM]

10 March 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 17)

This issue was originally intended for publication on 25 February 1792. However, it appears to have been withheld until 10 March 1792. This fact is indicated both in the front page banner as well as in the doubling of the pages from 4 to 8.

Was lately married, Mr. William Hunter, of Richmond Bay, upwards of 70, to Miss Katherine McEachran, of 20.

Mrs. Cinsabaugh, of Three River, of twins, daughters.

24 March 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 18)

Since our last, the remains of Alexander Corbett, the person who was lost in December last, on his way to the West river settlement, were conveyed through this town on the road to Scotch Fort, where they go in order for interment. The body of this unfortunate man was found in the woods surrounding the Settlement, about a quarter of a mile from the house of Mr. Crosby. The flesh had been nearly all devoured by the foxes, before he was discovered. The real occasion of this melancholly death cannot well be accounted for. [Note: Further information regarding the loss of Mr. Corbett can be found in the issue dated 17 December 1791 - DLM]

11 April 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 19)

Mr. William Chappell to Miss Anne Bremble, both of Bedeque.

Mrs. Gillies and Mrs. Barret, both of sons.

Mrs. Dingwell, of St. Peter's, in an advanced age.

21 April 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 20)

Marriages: Mr. Ronald McDonald, Retland, to Miss Isabell McDonald, of Red-head.
Mr. Angus McDonald, Maple-hill, to the agreeable Miss Kitty McDonald, of Allisary.

Mrs. McDonald, Allisary, of a son.

5 May 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 21)

A man by the name of Pensom, who came from Halifax to this Island last fall, was lately found dead on the road between this and New London. He was lying on the snow, without shoe or stocking, and otherwise wretchedly clothed. His feet and legs were exceedingly lacerated and bruised. - So much had he been in want of necessary nourishment, that he had eaten the bark from his walking stick. It is supposed he had missed the road, and taken to the woods during a snow storm which came on just after he had left New London - and from his tracks it appeared that he had only been able to reach the road before he perished.

21 May 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 22)

No notices appeared in this issue.

5 June 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 23)

No notices appeared in this issue.

19 June 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 24)

No notices appeared in this issue.

14 July 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 25)

PUBLIC NOTICE - All persons indebted to William Grace, of Charlotte Town, are desired immediately to come and settle their Accounts, and discharge the same to Margaret Grace, Attorney to the said William Grace; and all those who do not immediately come and settle, and pay off the same, may expect to be sued therefor, without loss of time, or further notice.
Attorney for Wm. Grace
Charlotte Town, 3d July 1792

Was lately married at Tryon, Mr. Phillips Morris Callbec to Miss Anne Warren, daughter of William Warren, Esq. of that place.

A daughter to the Honourable Major Charles Lyons.

30 July 1792 (Vol. 1, No. 26)

A son to Thomas Wrigh...[Page torn - some data missing]...his Majesty's Surveyor General.

In pursuance of a special Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery, for the purpose of trying Joseph Farrow, then in custody, charged with having committed a rape on the body of a young girl between the age of 12 and 13 years, the Honourable Peter Stewart, Chief Justice, Judge Robinson, and the Hon. Charles Lyons, Justice, Commissioners appointed by the aforesaid Commission met at the Court House in this town on Friday the 20th inst. and the Court being opened by proclamation, the Grand Jury were called and sworn - After a short, but pertinent charge from the Chief Justice, the Jury retired for about a quarter of an hour, when they returned into Court A BILL of Indictment found against Joseph Farrow.

The Prisoner was then ordered to be brought to the Court and set to the bar; where being arraigned, the indictment was read - to which he pleaded 'Not guilty.'

The question 'whether he was ready for his trial,' being put to the prisoner by the Court, and answered in the affirmative, he was informed of his right to challenge the jury as they came to the book to be sworn - and after having exercised this right agreeably to his judgement, the jury was completed, and the prosecution was opened by Mr. Attorney General with that propriety and decency of language which could not fail to arrest the approbation of an audience possessed of the least sensibility. The Evidences for the Crown were then called and examined. They both swore positively to the fact. Several persons were called and interrogated as to the character and behaviour of the unfortunate young girl, all of whom declared, that though they had known her for many years, they had never seen any thing but what was perfectly innocent and decent.

Our readers, no doubt, will spare us the pain of detailing the Evidence as delivered on the part of the Crown; it could only tend to wound the feelings of delicacy, which we profess it our intention ever to avoid. It would be equally unnecesaary to excite their indignation against the violator of female innocence by a recital of the circumstances. Suffice it to say, that the Evidence was distinct, positive, and under such circumstances as hardly ever accompanied the commission of a rape before, a small boy of about 17 being eye witness to the whole transaction. No part of this was attempted to be contradicted by the prisoner.

The prisoner had no evidence in his behalf. The Counsel for the prisoner was placed in an embarrasing situation - between the desire of defending his client, and the fear of attacking the character of the young girl - there was no alternative - on the one hand, while endeavouring to preserve to an unfortunate and wretchedly distressed woman the husband of her bosom, the protector of herself and her three little helpless innocent babes, he might blast forever the character of the young girl, on whom, Mr. Attorney General had observed, 'not even the foul breath of fame had ever dared to blow,' - and heap affliction on the already too unhappy parents, then bewailing the misfortune of a darling child. Every attempt to vindicate the one would be a stab to the other.

In closing the prosecution, as indeed through the whole business, the Attorney General showed much poignancy of feeling for the unfortunate situation of the parents and daughter.

The jury retired, and in about half an hour returned with their verdict GUILTY.

The Chief Justice then told the prisoner that if he had any thing to say in arrest of judgement, he must prepare it against the next morning.

The Sheriff was then ordered to take the Prisoner back to jail, and have him well secured - and to bring him before the Court on the next morning to receive his sentence.

The prisoner was brought next morning, and received sentence of death, to be executed on Monday the 30th of this month.

He was asked if he had anything to say in vindication of himself, he replied 'No.' He was taken back to jail, and again put in irons.

July 28

During the night of Wednesday the Prisoner had nearly effected his escape. He had filed off his irons, and was prizing open the bars of the window before he was discovered - when the guard were called and he was again secured without any resistance. Whether unfortunately for the prisoner, or not, we cannot say, but at that time a petition was handed about in his behalf, which this attempt entirely silenced.

Monday, July 30

This day, a little after twelve o'clock, and pursuant to his sentence, Joseph Farrow was taken from the public jail to the gallows, wither the Rev. Mr. Desbrisay attended him in prayer and exhortation for a considerable time, and amidst a great number of people, who were mournful spectators of most this horrid scene, he was launched into eternity. Thus died Joseph Farrow, a victim to passion, which we all have in common with him, and which it is our duty circumspectly and diligently to watch over.

He died with that composure which only a confidence in the mercy and goodness of his Creator could inspire.

He has left a disconsolate and amiable wife, with three little innocent babes, to deplore their loss. - We trust that no passionate language need be used on this mournful occasion to excite the benevolence of a compassionate public.

Just before the Minister left him he gave a paper into his hands, the substance of which is as follows: "That notwithstanding he was condemned to die for a rape, he declared to the world he was not guilty of this crime. He hoped that it might be a warning to all beholders, and the means of awakening them to those important duties which the spirit of our holy Religion requires, and which could be attained only through the merits of a blessed Redeemer. It had pleased God to awake him to a sense of his unworthiness by a heavy stroke; but he desired to praise his holy Name for his loving kindness, and for all his mercies manuifested towards him. He observed, that it would hereafter be said, that Farrow was hung - but it was better, he said, for him to die now, with an interest in the blessed Jesus, than to have a longer continuance in sin. - I desire, says he, gratefully to praise God for having graciously brought me to a sight of my lost state by nature, and enabled me to lay hold on the Rock of my Salvation."

And now, addressing himself to his unhappy wife, he says, "My dear wife, I pray that you would not mourn for me - but mourn rather for yourself. Be earnest in prayer to God, that he would, for his dear Son's sake, who was crucified for the Redemption of the world, make us all partakers of his heavenly glory. I pray that you would not give 'Sleep to your Eyes, nor Slumber to your Eyelids, till you find Peace to your Soul" - I pray that you and all others may take...[Illegible]...heart, and search and try yourselves. This from your dying husband Joseph Farrow."

It is difficult to reconcile the last words of this dying man, with his behaviour on the trial, where he did not even endeavour to vindicate himself. It would be unnecessary to comment on this circumstance - we leave it to every one to weigh as they think most proper - and shall only observe, that as it is not the lot of mortality to be omniscient, so it is our duty neither to attack the innocent, or to defend the guilty. -

As this is the first execution that ever took place in this Island, it is to be hoped, that hereafter there will be no necessity to repeat so dreadful an example for the terror of all evil doers --- but that all our actions may be such as that we may not be even the objects of Suspicion itself.

The attention paid to this unfortunate man, while in jail, by the Rev. Mr. Desbrisay, and others, exhorting him to prepare for that most awful of all scenes, the dissolution of nature, and his appearance before the Throne of that transcendant, eternally glorious, and mercifully Supreme Being, who 'willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he would turn from his wickedness, and live,' - before whom no subterfuge can avail, and from whom nothing can be hid, merits the highest praise. That their endeavours were successful, it is our sincere hope.

?? August 1792 (Vol. 2, No. 27)

No notices appeared in this issue.

3 September 1792 (Vol. 2, No. 28)

Charlotte Town, September 3
Since our last we have received from Malpeck the melancholy account of the loss of a Boat near that place on the 21st ult. during a very high wind. The circumstances that led to the discovery of this unfortunate event prove beyond contradiction that all on board (supposed 7 in number) must have perished - for, on the morning following the storm, several kegs, chests, and other articles, together with pieces of the boat, and a dead dog, were found, some floating, and others lying on shore, but no appearance of one of the crew to be seen. It is conjectured this boat was from Piercy - We wait anxiously for further accounts, which we shall probably obtain by a vessel which is every day expected from thence.

By a Gentleman who came through direct from Halifax to Fanningsborough, and from thence to this place in the government Cutter on Sunday morning last, we are informed, that the Packet with the July mail had not yet arrived, but was hourly expected at Halifax.

Letters have been received in town from Halifax, containing information of a dreadful fire which lately happened there. We have been favoured with the following paragraph thereof extracted from a letter written by a gentleman on the spot, to a friend in this town, dated August 22, 1792. "Since my last we have had the most dreadful fire ever known in this place - which, had not the Lord interposed, must have destroyed a great part of the town. It broke out about 12 o'clock on Friday night, (and continued til three in the morning), from a small old house adjoining the building of Mr. Schwartz, then in the possession of Mrs. Robertson, who kept a store in it. In this house lived an old man and woman by the name of Welnor. I am told that the man was carried home that night very drunk - How the house was set on fire is not well known - It was first discovered by a party of gentlemen coming from Galligan's tavern, who immediately ran up to the house and endeavourded to force open a door or window, but at that time all the inside of the house was in one flame, and the two old people (as I supposed) suffocated, for they neither heard or saw them. The bones of these unhappy victims were found next day. The large building above mentioned belonging to Mrs. Robertson, was burnt to the ground, together with 4 or 5 other dwelling houses adjoining, and a blacksmith's shop belonging to the ordnance department. Several other houses near, tho' not burned, were pulled down in order to save buildings of more consequence. In short, imagination can scarcely paint the horrors of the night.

26 September 1792 (Vol. 2, No. 29)

Two of the men who were in the boat mentioned in our last to have been lost near Malpeck were picked up a short time since by the inhabitants - one, named Baxter, had an arm torn off. [Note: Further information regarding the loss of the boat mentioned here can be found in the first paragraph of the issue dated 3 September 1792 - DLM]

17 October 1792 (Vol. 2, No. 30)

The Master of the Eagle informs, that the brig Hopewell, Chadwell, Master, belonging to Mr. Cambridge, of this Island, merchant, was lost, a few days sail from Turks Island, in a violent hurricane in the month of August last - and that all on board perished, except the master and a boy, who were fortunately picked up from a part of the wreck. Many other vessels which were in this hurricane also suffered very much; and 14 or 15 sail of square rigged English vessels put into Boston port, while the Eagle was there, greatly damaged.

Was lately married at Tryon, Mr. Ebenezer Ward, of Bedeque, to Miss Peggy Clark, of Tryon.

Mrs. Richardson, of a daughter.
Mrs. Foy, of Tryon, of a daughter.
Mrs. Wright, of Tryon, of a son.

ca. 20 December 1792 (Vol. 2, No. 31)

No notices appeared in this issue.

30 January 1793 (Vol. 2, No. 32)

Last week two Scotch women, sisters, and both in the last stage of pregnancy, were unfortunately drowned by falling thro' the ice in crossing Hillsborough river a few miles from town. And we hear that another woman was lost not long since, in going from Murray Harbour to Three Rivers.

12 April 1793 (Vol. 2, No. 33)

PUBLIC NOTICE - All persons having Demands against Mr. Leonard Wisenor, late of this Town, deceased, are desired to bring in the same, properly attested - and those indebted, to make immediate Payment to the Subscriber, who is duly authorised to receive and settle the same.
W.A. Rind
Charlotte Town, April 10, 1793

29 April 1793 (Vol. 2, No. 34)

No notices appeared in this issue.

3 June 1793 (Vol. 2, No. 35)

No notices appeared in this issue.

28 June 1793 (Vol. 2, No. 36)

No notices appeared in this issue.

20 December 1793 (Vol. 2, No. 37)

No notices appeared in this issue.

This issue was originally supposed to appear on 18 October 1793 but publication was with-held until 20 December 1793, when a 4-page supplement to the original copy was added.

13 February 1794 (Vol. 2, No. 38)

No notices appeared in this issue.

25 March 1794 (Vol. 2, No. 39)

No notices appeared in this issue.

30 May 1794 (Vol. 2, No. 40)

No notices appeared in this issue.

12 June 1794 (Vol. 2, No. 41)

No notices appeared in this issue.

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