An Old Cemetery
A walk through the Old Cemetery on Malpeque road (Elm Avenue).
"Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre". -- Grey
There is history for all and reminiscences for many in this old graveyard.
Here may be found not a few reminders of people of whom we have read in
books of history and been told about by our forbearers - people who were
closely associated with the welfare of the Town as well as with the
government of the Island in its early days after it had become a separate
colony under the Crown. Several of the monuments and headstones, which have
not altogether succumbed to the touch of time and the wear of the elements,
bear names of prominent individuals, well known to a very few of our people
who can remember back to the middle of the nineteenth century, but the great
majority of those whose remains lie here were unknown to any now living.
Many of the memorials show very beautiful carvings, ornamentation's to be
seen in old - time steel engravings "olde" English lettering,
"line of beauty" flourishes, etc., etc. Some are standing, others lying flat
on stone or iron supports, still others in the form of sarcophagi, which
many, it is sad to say, have suffered from vandalism, being broken in pieces
and scattered about. Surely, something can be done to restore, even
partially, these latter to something comprehendible to those who visit here,
for it is of great interest to many who have read the early history of the
Island to find the names here recorded of a large number of people who
figure in such archives of the Province as have been preserved.
Take for instance, the name of Thomas Tremlett, the sixth Chief Justice of
Prince Edward island, who was not a lawyer and altogether unfitted for such
an office (see Warburton's History). A memorial to one of his family is to
be found here. Tremlett was a special protégé of Governor Charles Douglas
Smith one of the early Governors of the Province, who autocratically ruled
for ten years, and was then recalled by the Home government. A monument to
the Governor's wife is to be seen in the southeast corner of the cemetery.
Governor Smith was a brother is the celebrated Admiral Sir Sydney Smith,
G.C.B., the hero of Acre. In Governor Smith's conduct of affairs he was
ably assisted by his son - in - law, whose monument is near by and is inscribed
as follows:"Sacred to the memory of Captain the Honorable Ambrose Lane,
H.P. 98th foot, Lieut.Colonel, Adjutant - General and inspector of Militia of
this Island .. departed this life 7th Sept. 1853, in the 62nd year of his age".
"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth ere gave
Await alike the inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave". -- Grey
Of happy memory was Colonel John Ready, probably the most popular of all
the early English governors of the colony, a monument to whose daughter,
Susan, is to be seen in this old cemetery. She died on the 13th day of
February, 1827, at the early age of eighteen years. Governor Ready was a
grandfather of the late Lord Milner, formerly governor - general of South Africa.
There are a few still living who may remember a well known figure in
Charlottetown in the fifties and early sixties, viz., Capt. Paul Mabey, * the
inscription on whose monument contains the following; "Died March 22 1863
aged 76 years. The Lord shall raise him up". On the same stone is the
following: "George Mabey, died March 4 1848, aged 89 , and also his wife,
Mary, died April 1, 1836, aged 75. The trumpet shall sound and the dead
shall raised incorruptible.(1st Cor. xv, 52)".
Others living will probably remember the name of George R. Goodman, who
died in 1870 and whose remains are here deposited. His wife predeceased
him by 22 years. The monument to her memory is still in good preservation
and reads: " Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth Isabella, (Bremner) the beloved
wife of the Hon. G.R. Goodman, who departed this life December 18, 1848,
aged 42 years".
A few of our townspeople will remember the subject of the following
epitaph: "Sacred to the memory of Charles Welsh Esq. Who departed this life
October 20, 1873, in the 77th year of his age" ; "Blessed are the pure in
heart for they shall see God". Charles Welsh was the father of the late
William Welsh, M.P. (of the firm of Welsh & Owen) and of Pope Welsh and
James E. Welsh both deceased.
The name of Stewart is a prominent one in early Island affairs, and is
particularly mentioned in Warburton's History of Prince Edward island. It
might be interesting to note here the inscriptions to be seen on two large
stones in this old graveyard; thus reads one:
"Sacred to the memory of Peter Stewart, Esq. Who after a faithful discharge
of his duty as Chief Justice of this Island for the space of 25 years
departed this life the Xth day of November MDCCV, Aged LXXX years".
Foot Note * Paul Maby represented Charlottetown in the House of Assembly
for several years, and a colleague of his, during the administration of
Governor Smith, was Robert Hodgson, afterwards Sir Robert Hodgson, Chief
The other of the same name is quaintly inscribed as follows, " To the memory
of John Stewart, of Mount Stewart, Esquire, Deputy Paymaster general of
H.M. Forces, and collector General of Quit Rents in this Island, who departed
this life the 22nd day of June, A.D. 1834, aged 76 years". Intimately
connected during a long and active life with the teaching interests of the
country. The energies of his mind were ever devoted to the advancement of
education. "The paths of duty lead but to the grave".
The graving of this stone, as well as the companion stone to the memory of
his wife, is beautifully executed, which is true of many other of the old
Another history mark bears the following inscription to the memory of the
first Postmaster of Prince Edward Island: "In memory of Benjamin Chappell,
late Postmaster of Charlottetown, who died January 6, 1825. Aged 76 years".
Still another historical figure: "In memory of Rev. Theophilus Desbrisay, of
Trinity College, Dublin who for upwards of 47 years discharged the duties of
Rector of this parish. Died the 14th March, 1823. Aged 69". (The First
Rector of St. Paul's).
There maybe one or two yet living who can remember the late Judge Jarvis,
on whose monument is the following: "In memory of Edward James Jarvis, Chief
Justice of this Island, who died May 9, 1952. Aged 63 years". "The memory
of the just is blessed". Prov. 10:7. (He was the father of the wife of the
late Charles Palmer, Q.C.).
Many may remember the greatly beloved Hammond Johnson, M/D., who died on
September 28, 1868, at the early age of 39 years. A stone erected to his
memory stands just inside the cemetery entrance, also one to his aged
father, Dr. the Hon. Henry A. Johnson, who died in 1872. Aged 83 years.
A monument linking the present with the past, shows the name of Com'dr.
Beazeley. He was at one time owner of the property now occupied by the
provincial Exhibition and Driving park commissioners.
Prominent in the social and religious life of the people of Charlottetown
in the sixties, was Commander John Orlebar, R.N. A monument to the memory
of his daughter is to be seen at the eastern end of the cemetery. His
residence, while living in Charlottetown, was that now owned and occupied by
Mr. Justice Haszard. Also the street adjacent thereto is called Orlebar Street.
Space will not permit of extended notes of many others quite as prominent
as those already mentioned people who were well known in Island affairs in
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Such names as Thos. Pethick, Thos.
Owen, Ralph Brecken, T.H. Haviland, Sr., Mark Burcher, Jabez Barnard, John
S. Bremner, William Smardon (Owner of corner known in later years as Beale's
corner, but now the "Capitol Theatre"). Benjamin Dest. Croix, Donald
McKinnon, Thos. Dodd, Sr. Isaac Smith, Charles and John Binns, Ewen
Cameron, T.B. Tremaine, Edward R. Humphrey (head master of Central
Academy now P. of W. College) Joseph and John Ball, John Plawe, architect,
and an host of other names identified with the history of the Island in the
middle of the nineteenth century, such as Bayfield, Hodgson, Brecken,
Palmer, Douse, Coles, Longworth, Cambridge, Swabey, Nelson, Jenkins Davies,
Yates, Haszard, Gardiner,Pippy, Gall, Dempsey, Compton, Mawley, Webb,
Trenaman, Worthy, Morris, etc.,
"No farther seek their merits to disclose
Or draw their frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of their Father and their God". -- Grey
The old Cemetery was closed by law on the 1st of January 1874.
The following beautiful sentiment expressed by the late John P. Tanton,
appears in the P.E.I.. Magazine of January 1900:
As we wander over its numerous mounds, besides its broken stones, dilapidated
rails and verdant shrubbery, we think of 'man's inhumanity to man,' and of
how many tears were shed over those who lay in the narrow portals of the
tomb, of the memories of the past, and varrity of the present; and as
thought after thought arises from a perusal of its engraved records, we are
led to the conclusion that the unwritten history of the Island lies buried
in the old graveyard.
Benjamin Bremner, an exert from "Memories of Long Ago"
Transcription courtesy: Eileen Bremner - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Old Protestant Burying Grounds Biographies on our Biographies Page!
View the tombstones of the Old Protestant Burying Grounds on our Photos Page !
Queries Email - email@example.com
PEIGS - Home Page
Old Protestant Burying Grounds - Main Page
Last Modified: 4/5/2005 11:33:16 PM