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Funerals and Festivals

Some of the Mother Country funeral customs were evidently practised in York, Upper Canada . At least one correspondent of the Upper Canada Gazette was very critical of the typical funeral:

From a mistaken feeling of hospitality and attention, Trays of Cake and Wine are often carried out to those surrounders, presenting an appearance to any stranger who may be accidentally passing by, that some merry-making was going forward, and who, if not accustomed to such scenes, would be horror-struck with the idea that this was the Feast of Mourning.[i]

The Festival of St. Andrew was a convenient occasion for making merry into the wee hours and Mr. McDonald's Inn in Williamstown was a convenient location for doing it:

On Wednesday evening, the 30th, being the festival of St. Andrew, the County Glengarry St. Andrew's Society dined together... After the usual routine toasts had been duly drunk, several songs were sung, and the party broke up at a late, or rather an early hour, highly delighted with the festivity and social harmony which prevailed throughout the evening.[ii]


[i]               The Champlain Society, The Town of York , 1815-1834, p. 315, quoting from the "Upper Canada Gazette" and "U.E. Loyalist", September 30, 1826.

[ii]               British Colonist, Dec. 14, 1842.


The Scarboro Heights Record V13 #6