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John Watkins estate sous-fonds
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- Watkins, John
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0.45 m of textual records
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Name of creator
John Watkins, hardware merchant and philanthropist, was born at Wormsley, Hereford, England 1789 and died at Kingston, June 19, 1876. His wife Elizabeth Strange, was born at Albany, New York, June 14, 1813 and died at Kingston, June 7, 1864.
Watkins was in Kingston as early as 1819 when he leased property on King Street just south of Princess from Henry Cassady. In 1824, Watkins contracted to build a home on that location. Watkins developed other property on King Street but his commercial premises was at #71-73 Princess Street. Watkins did business there as John Watkins and Company, Importers of Hardware, Cutlery and Dealers in Ship Chandlery, Oils, etc. Watkins also had a partnership with Thomas Dennis Harris, a Toronto iron monger from 1832-1838, but in Kingston he was a partner and joint trader as iron monger with Samuel Muckleston from 1834-1853, at which point Muckleston took over the business.
When Watkins died he left part of his estate to family members, but he also left money to three Anglican parishes in Kingston, the poor of St. George's, his native parish in England, Queen's College - where he also established scholarships, Kingston General Hospital, the Orphan's Home, the House of Industry and his servants.
This sous-fonds forms part of the Kirkpatrick-Nickle legal collection. The documents came from the law firm of Nickle and Nickle, which was founded by Thomas Kirkpatrick in 1828, and which continued under various names (Kirkpatrick Nickle) and with various partners until 1968. The Watkins estate papers were deposited, along with the papers of other clients of the firm, in Queen's University Archives during the 1960's.
Scope and content
The sous-fonds is comprised of documents neccesary to the distribution of an estate in numerous legacies, liquidation and distribution of stock assets, and memorials to John Watkins in St. George's Cathedral and Cataraqui Cemetery. The material consists of correspondence, deeds, financial records and documents relating to wills and partnerships.
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