Letters from P.E.I. - Letters from Percy Pope to Raymond Clare Archibald, 1908


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Transcribed by Gary Carroll, garycarroll@hotmail.com


Source: Both the Harry Hyde letters and Percy Pope letters from the R. C. Archibald papers at the Ralph Pickard Bell Library at Mount Allison University, Acc 5501/2/4/8 and also Acc 5501/2/4/9

Raymond Clare Archibald (1875-1957) wrote a book called "Carlyle's First Love" and this was part of the research he did.


Letters from Percy Pope:

Assistant Receiver General
Charlottetown, P.E.I.
April 24th 1908

My dear sir

In so far as I can be of any assistance to you in your enquiry you can command my services. my grandmother third wife of Hon. Joseph Pope (1803-1896) knew Lady Bannerman very well, as did also my Mother - from them I gain the following facts. Lady B's mother was a natural daughter of Walter Patterson, by a Miss Hyde. She and her sister were born under Pattersons roof, at the "Warren Farm" the Government House of that day.

Whether they were known as Miss Pattersons or not they cannot be sure, but their impression is that the Governor brought them up as his daughters. One, Lady B's mother, married a Dr. Gordon, M.D. they think the marriage took place at Halifax. The other married a titled gentleman whose name they cannot remember. Dr. Gordon died in Scotland (?) and his widow married Dr. Guthrie. Lady B. told my grand mother that she was as often called Miss Guthrie as Miss Gordon. Lady B was a tall stately woman, a thorough woman of the world, a most gracious hostess, and filled the position of Governors lady to perfection. She was not of a religious turn of mind and her connection with St. Pauls was inspired more by a sense of decorum than of devotion.

After leaving here they went to the Bahamas and later to Newfoundland in each instance to Government House. Sir Alex was a large souled hospitable gentleman and never forgot an old friend. My grandmother did not correspond with Lady B after they left P.E.I., as the enclose letter of Sir Alex will explain, kindly return this last . My grandmother has no recollection of Lady B. having ever mentioned Carlyle's name. She seldom referred to her youth possibly because of the facts before mentioned. When she came to P.E.I. as Sir Alex's wife, she knew nothing of her connection with Governor Patterson. An old lady here "Miss Irving" told her and she never betrayed a particle of emotion. Simply thanked her for the information and changed the topic of conversation.

Whether Dr. Gordon was a descendant of Chinese Gordon I cannot find out here. The records of St. Paul's Halifax ought to contain Dr. Gordon's marriage to Miss Hyde or Patterson Old Walter Patterson would never have permitted young DesBrisay the then Rector of Chtown to officiate. If I come upon any further information will let you have it.

Yours sincerely
Percy Pope

Ray C Archibald Esq.
Acadia University
Wolfville, N.S.

Have a photo of Sir Alex but none of Lady B will enquire if one is in existance.

Charlottetown May 13, 1908

Ray C Archibald Esq.
Wolfville, N.S.

My dear sir

Walter Patterson undoubtedly brought his bride with him to P.E.I landing at Ch'town Aug. 30th, 1770. For in his dispatch to the Earl of Hillsborough 23rd May 1771 he says "the climate was not especially rigorous as I had no fire in my bedroom all winter and Mrs. Patterson was quite comfortable. As far as I can gather he spent this first winter in a log house erected some years previously by Surveyor General Morris of Nova Scotia. In his dispatch to Lord Hillsborough dated Sept. 2nd 1773 speaking of the great need of a clergyman he says "we have children of all ages unchristened. I myself have two, one of them upwards of two years old, i.e born in 1771. As he left for England 2nd Aug 1775 the letter you refer to dated Feby 1776 in which he speaks of his four infant children, must have been written in England where he spent the next three years. The Miss Hyde by whom he had natural children acted as his housekeeper. I should imagine before his wife left P.E.I., for both the children were undoubtedly begotten before he left P.E.I. 2nd Aug 1775. Our parish records gives three records of baptisms - "Edward son of Doctor Alex Gordon and Margaret Patterson his wife, born 29th Oct., 1794. Baptized 16 Nov. following." "Mary Helen daughter of Alex Gordon and Margaret Patterson, his wife born 23rd Sept. 1795, Baptized 18 Oct. 1796. "Margaret daughter of Doctor Alex Gordon and Margaret Patterson his wife born 24th Aug 1798 baptized 23rd Sept., following.

As Margaret Patterson was probably about twenty when she married Dr. Alex Gordon this would agree with the assumption that she was born 1772--1775

Lord Germaine in his dispatch of 7th May 1778 ordered Patterson to repair to his government as there was a probability of a rupture with France, but Patterson did not leave until late that year went to the Southern States - (Colonies) and did not reach P.E.I. until June 26th 1780. Callbeck and Wright (my great great grandfather) were carried off by Am. privateers during his absence and it is worthy of note that the received idea that General Washington censured the perpetrators of this outrage is a mistake. They were released mainly because their captors had plundered them of all their personal effects and left Mrs. Callbeck who was enceinte without any food for the winter and no one to look after her. Wright in his letters complains bitterly of the hardship of seeing the wives of their captors flaunting about decorated with the jewellry which they stole and never returned.

The Warren Farm is a plot of over three hundred acres in the center of which the old French "Port la Joie" was situated The earthworks of the fort being still plainly discernable. It lies on the west side of the entrance of the harbour about two miles as the crow flies from Charlottetown. Patterson granted it to a retainer of his, who reconveyed it back to Patterson. He built a house there and lived in it. When Patterson fell into disgrace the English Government ordered Fanning to escheat. it and Fanning did so. It was then granted by the English Government to the French Minister of Finance Calonne to establish a loyalist Colony but never used though the "Abbe Calonne" occupied it for some time. It then passed into the possession of the Fannings. Col. Cumberland who married a Miss Fanning occupied it for many years. There is a tradition that the farm acquired its name from the sons of a naval officer named Warren who took part in the seige of Louisburg. These young men accompanied Col. Rollo in his expedition to P.E.I. and it is said took possession of this land.

I do not know that Patterson was a bad man - judged by the standard of those days I imagine he was above the average. His crime was to attack as he did the interests of the absentee proprietors who were all powerful at home, As regards irregular relations with women - think of the conditions. Thes men were under no conventional restraints. Lady Fanning was not Sir Edmunds wife when she came here with him. It is supposd 5 she had another husband living. She was married to him years later. Yet her daughters married members of the British nobility.

The photo I referred to, Bannermans is evidently the same as that Mr. Warburton has. My mother has no letters of Lady Bannerman. She had no intimate friend. She was not particularly devoted to her husband, not an affectionate nature. Her eyes were dark blue, hair brown her features strongly cut, though not massive She was not pretty, or handsome, but had style - a capable woman.

The history of that period would fill a volume and once embarked upon it one does not know when to stop. This however I must now do

Yours sincerely
Percy Pope

I have Bannerman's punch bowl.


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