Historical & Archaeological Groups
The Gwillim Simcoe Trail
The Gwillim Simcoe Story
John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806), the first Governor of Upper Canada, was born at Cotterstock near Oundle in 1752. (The church has a fine monument to his father, a naval captain). His army service in the American War of Independence, his work in Canada and command of defence against invasion by Napoleon in the West of England would have led to higher appointment but he died in 1806.
Elizabeth Postuma Gwillim (1762-1850), the Governor’s wife, was born at Aldwincle, near Oundle, in 1762 and was brought up by her grandmother and aunt, descendants of the Creed family. (Her mother’s grave is in All Saints, Aldwincle.) Married in 1782 and mother of eleven children, she left a valuable record of life in Canada in her diary and many sketches, paintings and maps. The chapel built by the Simcoes near their home at Wolford, Devon now belongs to Canada.
Elizabeth’s cousin William Walcot (1753-1827) left his Oundle and Ashton estate to the Simcoes’ son Rev. Henry Addington Simcoe who sold it to the Oundle brewer John Smith.