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TITLE
Plaque commemorating the Glengarry Emigration from Knoydart to Canada in 1786
EXTERNAL ID
PC_BJMACDONALD_001
PLACENAME
Williamstown, Ontario, Canada
DATE OF IMAGE
5 June 2012
PERIOD
1780s
CREATOR
B.J. MacDonald
SOURCE
B.J. MacDonald
ASSET ID
43909
KEYWORDS
plaques
emigration
Plaque commemorating the Glengarry Emigration from Knoydart to Canada in 1786

On 29 June 1786, around 530 people left Knoydart and North Morar, bound for Glengarry County, Canada. This number included about half of Knoydart’s tenant farmers.

Crop failures and poor harvests between 1782 and 1784 led to landlords introducing sheep to their estates and raising tenants’ rents. As a result of this, as early as April 1784, significant numbers of tenants began to prepare for emigration.

The emigration of 1786 was organised by Lieutenant Angus Macdonell, a Half-Pay officer from the 71st Regiment of Foot who had fought for the Crown during the American Revolution; Father Alexander Macdonell, the Roman Catholic priest on Knoydart; and Angus Ban Macdonell, an influential tenant farmer. Crucially, Angus Ban and Father Alexander had relatives who had been granted land in the newly-surveyed Glengarry County and were thriving there.

Following a nine week voyage on the ship McDonald they arrived at Quebec on 31 August. After a couple of days they continued southwest to Montreal, and finally arrived in Glengarry County in early October. The government agreed to provide them with food through the winter until the harvest of 1787 allowed them to feed themselves.

This plaque is in the grounds of St Raphael's Church, now a ruin. The church was built in the 1820s and served the congregations of the Highland emigrants.

Many thanks to B.J. MacDonald for the image. This, and others, can be found on her excellent blog

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Plaque commemorating the Glengarry Emigration from Knoydart to Canada in 1786

1780s

plaques; emigration

B.J. MacDonald

On 29 June 1786, around 530 people left Knoydart and North Morar, bound for Glengarry County, Canada. This number included about half of Knoydart’s tenant farmers.<br /> <br /> Crop failures and poor harvests between 1782 and 1784 led to landlords introducing sheep to their estates and raising tenants’ rents. As a result of this, as early as April 1784, significant numbers of tenants began to prepare for emigration. <br /> <br /> The emigration of 1786 was organised by Lieutenant Angus Macdonell, a Half-Pay officer from the 71st Regiment of Foot who had fought for the Crown during the American Revolution; Father Alexander Macdonell, the Roman Catholic priest on Knoydart; and Angus Ban Macdonell, an influential tenant farmer. Crucially, Angus Ban and Father Alexander had relatives who had been granted land in the newly-surveyed Glengarry County and were thriving there.<br /> <br /> Following a nine week voyage on the ship <i>McDonald</i> they arrived at Quebec on 31 August. After a couple of days they continued southwest to Montreal, and finally arrived in Glengarry County in early October. The government agreed to provide them with food through the winter until the harvest of 1787 allowed them to feed themselves.<br /> <br /> This plaque is in the grounds of St Raphael's Church, now a ruin. The church was built in the 1820s and served the congregations of the Highland emigrants.<br /> <br /> Many thanks to B.J. MacDonald for the image. This, and others, can be found on her excellent <a href= https://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/touring-glengarry-st-raphaels/ target="_blank">blog</a>