Robinson, Peter

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Robinson, Peter

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        Peter Robinson was born in New Brunswick in 1785. Actively involved in politics, Robinson was a commissioner of crown lands and served in the Seventh and Eighth Parliaments from 1817 to 1824. In 1823 he was approached through his brother, Sir John Beverley Robinson, Attorney General for Upper Canada, to lead an emigration of 182 families from Ireland to Canada. Most of those emigrants were to settle in the Lanark area of the Ottawa Valley. Two years later he led an additional emigration, and nine over-crowded ships left Cork for Upper Canada. Several people on board were to die before they reached their new homeland. Several of the lists of passengers have survived, and Robinson's table of statistics show that, under his leadership, approximately 2,000 people emigrated to the Peterborough area from Ireland during that time period. In 1827, it was suggested by Frances Stewart, wife of Thomas A. Stewart, that, in honour of Peter Robinson's contribution to the settlement of the area, the name Scott's Plains be changed to Peterborough, meaning "Peter's Borough". Robinson died in 1838. (taken from: LaBranche, Bill. "The Peter Robinson Settlement of 1825" 1975, and Jones, Elwood and Bruce Dyer. The Electric City. Burlington: Windsor Publications, 1987.)


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