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John Graves Simcoe

Simcoe coat of arms

1714 Father, Capt. John Simcoe RN, born in Staindrop, Co. Durham

1747 He married Katherine Stamford, Bath

1752 John Graves born, 25th. Feb. at Cotterstock, Northants., third son of four.

1759 His father died on H.M.S Pembroke on journey to Quebec with troops.

1765 J.G. at Eton College, Windsor.

1768 J.G. joined School rebellion, left,
entered Merton College, Oxford.

1770 Joined Army, 35th. Regmt. of Foot.

1774 Lieutenant Simcoe posted to America, (War of Independence).

1779 Commanding Queen’s Rangers; taken prisoner; released 31st. December.

1781 Defensive battle at 'Cooper's Ordinary'. British surrender.
Col. Simcoe returned to England, stayed with Godfather, Admiral Graves.



Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim

Gwillim coat of arms

1720 Thomas Gwillim m. Elizabeth Steward of Cotterstock: E.P.G.’s grand-parents.

1726 their son, Thomas, born at Cotterstock Hall.

1743 Elizabeth Steward, nee Creed, widow of Sheriff of Northants., buried at Whitchurch.

1744 Thomas and Elizabeth built Grave Enclosure at Whitchurch, around her tomb.

1759 son, Col. Thomas Gwillim, Brigade -Major to General Wolfe at Quebec.

1761 returned to England, Dec., to wife Elizabeth, nee Spinkes, (m. 1750).

1762 29th. January Col. Gwillim died, while posted to Germany, aged 35.

22nd. September, Elizabeth Posthuma born, Aldwinkle Manor, Northants, her Mother died in childbirth.

1766-67 Gwillim grandparents died.

1769 Aunt, Margaret Spinkes, married Admiral Samuel Graves, of Hembury Fort House, Devon.

1776 grandmother, Jemima Spinkes, died; Elizabeth, aged 14, went to live at Hembury Fort House.

1781 Col. Simcoe came to Hembury Fort House to convalesce.


1782 30th. December, John Graves and Elizabeth Posthuma married at Buckerell Church, Devon.

Simcoe Gwillim coat of arms

1784, 85,87,88,89 five daughters born. Simcoe became M.P. for St. Mawes Cornwall. Lobbied Parliament about risks of attack on Canada. Bought and rebuilt Wolford Lodge, with 5,000 acre estate, near Honiton.

1791 First son, Francis Gwillim, born June. Simcoe becomes first Lt. Governor of Upper Canada: took 43 days to cross Atlantic.

1792 July, Inauguration of First Parliament at Newark, now Niagara-on-the-Lake.

1793 January, baby Katherine born. 30th. July City of Toronto founded.

1794 General Wayne threatens invasion. April, Katherine died.

1795 Simcoe promoted to Major-General. Jay’s Treaty brought uneasy truce.

1796 Maj. Gen. Simcoe retired due to ill-health. Family returned to England.
October: Simcoe is posted to San Domingo (Haiti).

1797 August: returned home due to ill-health.

1798 January: new appointment to defend South-West England against Napoleon. July: John Cornwall born, died March 1799.

1799 Headquarters moved to Plymouth from Wolford. Maj.Gen. Simcoe meets Lord Nelson.

1800 Henry Addington born 28th. February. Aunt Sophie Gwillim, owner of Old Court, died at Whitchurch.

1801 Baby girl born, re-using the name Katherine after J. G. Simcoe's mother.

1802 Wolford Chapel dedicated. Simcoe celebrates his 50th. birthday.

1803 at war again with Napoleon.

1804 Last baby, Anne, born 21st. July. At Christmas Francis and Simcoe climb
British Camp, Malvern Hills.

1805 Battle of Trafalgar – mourning and celebrations at Wolford.

1806 Simcoe offered post of Commander-in-Chief of Forces in India, but first sent to Portugal to advise on tactics against Napoleon. Taken ill, sent back to Exeter, died on 26th. October.

1812 Francis, with 27th.Inniskillen Foot, was killed at the siege of Badajoz on the Spanish/Portuguese border, on the 6th. April, aged 20.
Widowed Elizabeth lived on at Wolford. Travelled widely, North Wales, Cornwall, Northants, etc. John Bailey, servant and coachman, drove her carriage.
Henry Addington was the only offspring to have children.

1850 Elizabeth died at Wolford, in January, in her 88th. year.