Fonds F00878 - William Morris fonds

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William Morris fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00239 F00878

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1823-1853 (Creation)
    Morris, William

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Physical description

0.5 m of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

William Morris (1786-1858) was born in Paisley, Scotland and came to Canada at the age of 15. He served throughout the War of 1812 as a Militia officer and in 1816 settled at Perth, where he established a business. His political career began in 1820 when he was elected for Lanark to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. He represented this constituency continuously for sixteen years. During his time in parliament Morris became the leading spokesman of the Church of Scotland in Canada, seeking equal rights with the Episcopal Church and a share of the Clergy Reserves. In 1836 he was appointed to the Legislative Council of Upper Canada, and in 1841 to the Legislative Council of the United Provinces. From 1844 to 1846 he acted as Receiver-General in the Draper Administration,and from 1846 to 1848 as President of the Executive Council. He continued to be an advocate for the Church of Scotland and on two occasions, in 1837 and 1851, undertook missions to England to bring the claims of the Church to the attention of the Imperial government. During the 1840's , along with his political career, William Morris was an enthusiastic supporter and promoter of Queen's University, and served as the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the institution. Morris retired from public life in 1853 and died at Montreal in 1858.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, commissions, and other documents pertaining to a variety of topics and interests of William Morris - elementary and university education, Clergy Reserves, church missions, synod and presbytery affairs, church unions and contemporary politics, particularly where the affairs of state bore religious consequence. The material is relevant to Morris's political career and includes several Royal Warrants authorizing his appointment to the Legislative Council, the Executive Council, and as Receiver-General of Canada as well as material pertaining to the history and founding of Queen's University. Of particular note is one letter from John A. Macdonald.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Purchased from Fred G. Ketcheson - 1967


Language of material

  • English

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Public domain

Associated materials

See also Sir Wilfred Laurier fonds, microfilm 136-139.

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No further accruals are expected

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  • Shelf: 2139