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The Petworth Emigration

At the beginning of 1832 a Committee was formed at Petworth, Sussex, England, under the sanction of the Earl of Egremont, the aim of which was to afford assistance to current residents of the area who might wish to emigrate to Canada. These emigrations were part of a general initiative on the part of many English parishes to send surplus workers to the new, available lands in Canada.


Between 1832 and 1837 around 1800 people moved to what was then known as Upper Canada in the hope of a new and more prosperous life. The image below was the sort of picture that was shown to prospective emigrants, with a view to persuading them that they were heading to a paradise.

The Petworth Emigration Scheme scheme had the patronage of George O'Brien Wyndham, the third Earl of Egremont. Thomas Sockett, the rector of Petworth, planned and organized the emigrations, hiring superintendents to conduct the emigrants as far as Toronto. Financial aid for individual emigrants came from over 100 parishes in Sussex and neighbouring counties, from Lord Egremont, and from lesser landlords and sponsors.


Anyone wishing to take part in this mass emigration was asked to deposit the sum of £2 per adult and £1 per child under 14 years to secure a place on the outgoing ships. The rest of the cost, amounting to a total of £10 for adults and £5 for children under 14 years was to be paid upon embarkation. Infants could travel for free.


Shortly after being advertised, all of the available places were taken up and another ship was therefore commissioned. Both ships, the Lord Melville and the Eveline, subsequently set sail for Upper Canada.


The passage across the Atlantic was unfortunately longer and rougher than was usual at that season, to the great, though unavoidable, discomfort of many on board. However, the whole party, with the exception of one infant in each ship (who died at sea) reached Quebec, alive, and generally speaking, in good health.


After arriving in Quebec, the parties left there just two days before a severe outbreak of cholera there and (with one or two exceptions) escaped its ravages during their progress up the country. This was not always the case as cholera manifested itself with great violence where some of them had subsequently settled.


After the emigrants arrived at York they were forwarded to various places in the province, by direction of the Lt. Governor Sir J. Colborne, and either settled on land, or got immediate employment, at comparatively high wages. 


I have several different branches of my family, under various names, that went out to Canada under this scheme. The only Kingshotts' to do so, however, were Joseph Kingshott and his family.  

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