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Dates & Events During Uniacke's Life
Richard John Uniacke

1753
§ Born, Ireland.
1769
§ Placed with a Dublin attorney.
§ At around this time, Blackstone brought out his Commentaries on the Law of England.
§ A thirty-three year old mathematical-instrument maker by the name of James Watt, in 1769, filed a patent for an engine which called for strange things such as condensers and steam jackets; by 1784, Watt's company, the Soho Engineering Works, was manufacturing pump machines run by steam.
1771
§ "The improvement characteristics of the Eighteenth Century was more marked in manners and intelligence than in morals and the stricter virtues. Gambling raged among the wealthy even more than in our own time, and drinking deep was scarce thought a blemish. The best of the upper class aimed at the full and rational enjoyment of this life, rather than at preparation for the next, of which they spoke seldom and then with cheerful scepticism." (George Macaulay Trevelyan.)
1772
§ Quarrels with father.
§ Arrived at Island of St. Kitts.
1773
§ December 16th: Boston Tea Party.
1774
§ September 5th: The first Continental Congress takes place at Philadelphia.
§ Arrived at Philadelphia.
§ Arrived at Cumberland, Nova Scotia.
§ The census of 1774 revealed that the population of Nova Scotia to be "17,000 exclusive of the French Acadians, who may amount for about 1,300."
§ May 6th: The Albion arrives at Halifax from Hull with Yorkshire Emigrants aboard destined for the Chignecto area. (See, "The Early Settlement of the Chignecto Townships.")
1775
§ April 19: Fighting erupts at Lexington and Concord; it was followed by the capture of Fort Ticonderoga from the British, the battle of Bunker Hill (June), and the unsuccessful colonial assault on Quebec.
§ Married Martha Maria Bonner DelesDernier (1762-1803).
1776
§ July 2nd: The Continental Congress carries a motion for the independence of the 13 states on the East coast of America. Two days later the Declaration of Independence is adopted.
§ November: Participated in the "Eddy Rebellion" at Cumberland.
1777
§ Sailed for Ireland to take up his legal studies, again.
§ Son, Norman Fitzgerald Uniacke born.
1779
§ Admitted, King's Inn, Dublin (June).
1781
§ Arrived at Halifax, back from Britain.
§ Admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar (April).
1782
§ Made Solicitor General.
§ Peace negotiations between England and the United States were signed in November, and with France and Spain in January 1783.
1783
§ Son, Crofton Uniacke born.
§ "The loyalists came from Boston in every vessel, and the final evacuation of New York by the British forces in 1783, brought to our town over 25,000 persons. Halifax at close of the year, was so crowded etc." [NSHS, vol. 12 (1905) p. 78.]
§ Elected to the House of Assembly representing the Township of Sackville.
1784
§ The population of Nova Scotia (which at this time included part of present day New Brunswick): "Old British inhabitants," 14,000; "Old French Acadians," 400; and "Disbanded troops and loyalists, called new inhabitants" 28,347: For a total of 42,747.
§ Daughter, Mary Uniacke born.
§ Became the Advocate General of the Vice-Admiralty Court.
§ Two territories are cut away from Nova Scotia, to be governed separately: New Brunswick and Cape Breton.
1785
§ Daughter, Martha Uniacke born.
§ Daughter, Alicia Uniacke born.
§ The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax was founded.
§ Quaker Whalers arrived from Nantucket to settle at Dartmouth.
§ "At a court of Admiralty held on Friday, the 25th of August, 1785, for the trial of piracies committed upon the high seas, M. Buckley and Belitham Taylor were tried, committed and sentenced to death for running away with the schooner John Miller of Chedabucto and her cargo. Two men were also hanged this year for robbery committed to the eastward of Halifax." (Akins.)
§ 11 Nov: [At Liverpool:] "Margaret Robertson [charged with theft] is sentenced to receive 25 stripes on her naked back, then to be committed to the House of Correction six months & pay charges of prosecution. The stripes are laid on, & she is returned to Goal." (Perkins Diary.)
1786
§ Received a grant for a 1000 acres on the Windsor Road (Mount Uniacke).
§ October 10th, Prince William Henry (1765-1837) (Duke of Clarence, future king, William IV) arrived at Halifax in the naval ship, Pegasus (28 guns).
1788
§ November 1st, an academy, the predecessor to King's College, Windsor, opens.
1789
§ Son, Richard John Uniacke, jr., born.
§ Chosen as Speaker of The House.
§ 23 Jun: [At Liverpool:] "Sending a list of the shipping owned here, to Mr. Uniacke, in order to apply home for a Custom House to be established here." (Perkins Diary.)
§ The House of Assembly for the establishment of King's College grants £500 for land at Windsor and another like sum annually for its operation.
1790
§ July: A whaling fleet arrived at Halifax. Five vessels with their holds filled with "sperm oil" and "black oil."
§ 3 Oct: "The brig Union arrives from Halifax, and reports that there is a fresh report of war being probable. The Rashlia [Rashleigh] brings it from London. They had their men pressed 7 and the pressing was going on in England." (Perkins.)
1791
§ The British Parliament passes the Constitution Act of 1791: The act set up new provinces in Canada, Upper and Lower Canada.
§ At Windsor, Bishop Inglis laid the corner stone for a new building for King's College which, in a rented house, had first opened in 1788.
§ Captain John Clarkson of the Royal Navy arrived at Halifax on October 7th, 1791. Two weeks after that he sailed for Shelburne and brings up twelve hundred Negroes, who sailed from Halifax early in 1792 for Sierra Leone, Africa.
1792
§ May 12th: Sir John Wentworth arrived at Halifax. Two days later, he was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. He remained so for the next sixteen years, until 1808.
§ The "Great Pictou Road" was opened. It was driven through to Musquodoboit and then on to Dartmouth.
1793
§ On January 21st, Louis XVI was beheaded. George III sent the French ambassador packing. Diplomatic relations were severed. France invaded England's ally, Holland; and, on February 1st, France declared war on England.
§ A new period, one of war, started. The period lasted through to 1815 and saw the erection of "many new fortifications at Halifax."
§ In an election, Uniacke loses his seat to a Loyalist.
§ March 20th, 1793: The 7th General Assembly sits. This assembly sat for a total of seven sessions over its six year life (1793-99).
1794
§ May: Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent arrived at Halifax, 12 days from St. Kitts, appointed commander-in-chief of the Nova Scotia military district.
1796
§ "Oct'r 31st, 1796, a man convicted of forgery, was sentenced by the Supreme court to stand one hour in the pillory, and have one of his ears cut off." (Murdoch.)
1797
§ Made Attorney General.
§ Son, Robert Fitzgerald Uniacke born.
§ July 10th, 1797: Commissioners are appointed "to determine upon a proper site" for two buildings: Government House and Province House.
1799
§ The 7th General Assembly, elected in 1793, was dissolved. An election was called and commenced at Halifax on Monday, 18 November, at 11, A.M., and closed there on Saturday, the 23rd. The election led to the 8th General Assembly which was dissolved in 1806. The voters in 1799 were freeholders only. (Murdoch.) "The 1799 election saw the birth of political parties in Nova Scotia ..." (Cuthbertson.)
§ Uniacke ran, uncontested, in Queen's county.
§ Napoleon takes over as a dictator and the French Revolution ends.
§ Son, James Boyle Uniacke born.
1800
§ June 23rd: "For sale, for term of years, as may be agreed on, a likely stout Negro girl, aged 18 years, good natured, fond of children, and accustomed to both town and country work." (Murdoch.)
§ August, the Maroons, having arrived in Halifax during 1796, were placed on the ship Asia and sent off to a new British colony in Africa, Sierra Leone. "They had become discontented, and were a dead weight upon his Majesty's Government ..." (Murdoch.)
§ (September 11th) The corner stone of Government House at Halifax was laid by Sir John Wentworth. This Georgian stone house, Government House stands and is in use today, the pride of Halifax.
§ 26 Dec: "... Hay sold at auction. ... I buy two bundles ... Very dear keeping cattle. ..." (Perkins.)
§ 31 Dec: "... The small pox still mortal in Halifax. ..." (Perkins.)
1801
§ Great Britain and Ireland come together under one legislative body. In June, a 100 Irish members became part of the house of commons; and, 28 temporal and four spiritual peers took their seats in the House of Lords.
1803
§ The wealth of Nova Scotia was being exported at the turn of the century using wooden sailing ships which were built by her people. "It was estimated that fifty vessels, ranging from 100 to 1000 tons each, would sail from the district this year. Some carried timber to the mother country -- others, fish, oil, cattle and lumber, to the West Indies and to Newfoundland." (Murdoch.)
§ In the legislature, four resolutions are passed "on the motion of Mr. Tonge regarding the rights of the House to control the granting of money and the passing of money bills.
§ King's opens at Windsor.
1804
§ The Code Napoleon, that "Draconian work" and leveler of all class distinctions is promulgated in 1804.
§ December 13th, Joe Howe is born.
1805
§ "28 Dec'r. The committee of supply voted £12,000 for civil list, £6,000 for roads and bridges, £2,000 agriculture, £3,000 fisheries, £2,500 for the new Government House, £500 bounties to seamen to enlist in H. M. service, conditioned that no inhabitant or fisherman be impressed." (Murdoch.)
§ Uniacke published a consolidation (1758-1804) of the province's statutes. The house allowed for the cost at £650. Of the 400 copies (Halifax: John Howe and son, king's printers, 1805) 100 were given away and 300 sold for 27s. 6d. each.
§ October 21st, Nelson's victory at Trafalgar, by it both the French and Spanish navies were annihilated; and, the danger of any invasion of England melted away.
1806
§ For most of the first have of the year, was visiting England and Ireland.
1808
§ January 27th: The government of Nova Scotia declares it will reward £3.10 to any person who gives information which leads to the apprehension of any deserter from the army or navy.
§ New army uniforms made their appearance at Halifax: "... cocked hats, pigtails, breeches and gaiters disappeared, and in their place troops wore shakos, short haircuts, red tunics, and trousers."
§ April 24th: The Halifax Fire Insurance Company, the first and oldest Canadian fire insurance company, opened for business.
§ In support of a Spanish rising, in July, Arthur Wellesley (later to become known as the Duke of Wellington) leads the first small British force of 9000 men into the Peninsula of Spain; a gate into the hostile fortress of Napoleonic Europe. This was the first time that British troops were to fight in Europe, since 1793, the beginning of the Napoleonic wars. Britain, up to 1808, fought the French on the seas and by sending money to her European allies.
§ Made a member of Council.
1809
§ From the Halifax paper, the Royal Gazette, established c.1790, its edition of Tuesday, January 19th: "Married, Thursday evening, by the Rev. Dr. Stanser, Richard Uniacke, Attorney General, &c., to Miss Eliza Newton, daughter of the late Captain Newton, of H.M. 45th regt." (Murdoch.)
§ Horse racing is carried on by the officers of the garrison; the Rockingham Club holds diners. As the artist, Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) wrote in his autobiography: "Wherever the British settle, wherever they colonise, they carry and will ever carry trial by jury, horse-racing and portrait-painting."
1810
§ March 10th: The Superintendent of Trade and Fisheries (Geo. Leonard) advises Prevost, that, "due to the Americans taking advantages of the unprotected state of the coasts ... smuggling has increased enormously ..."
§ July: The Bank of England at London fails followed by another in Exeter and a third in Salisbury. Merchants started to refuse bank notes in payment and the want of confidence was spreading rapidly. "In August another London bank failed, this time one of the old-established houses, bringing down a number of country banks in its train. ... The war, the commercial embargoes, the heavy taxes, the new machinery, and the paper money were all blamed for the distress of the people."
§ Son, Andrew Uniacke born.
1811
§ 16 January: "W. Madden begs to acquaint the ladies and Gentlemen of Halifax, that he has fitted up Three Carriages etc. etc. .. these Carriages to be found on the stand fronting the Custom House ..."
§ With his father, George III, seriously ill, the Duke of Wales (1762-1830) took over as the Prince Regent. On his father's death, in 1820, the Prince Regent became George IV.
§ The Bill allowing £15,000 to be spent on roads and bridges was passed by the house, but returned by the Council. Same old problem, the rural areas, well represented in the house, want roads; and the Council, the members of which represent the interests of those in Halifax, do not.
§ August 13th, "The corner stone of the Provincial Building was laid yesterday by His Excellency Sir Geo. Prevost." (Liddell.)
§ "On 16 October, General Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, K.B., arrived with his lady and family at Halifax, after 37 days passage from Portsmouth, in H.M.S. Manilla [36 guns]. At 10, A.M., Lady Sherbrooke and her sister landed, and went to Government House. His excellency landed at 11, at the king's slip, and was sworn in at the Council chamber." (Murdoch.)
§ "At this time, government and all other bills drawn on England could not be disposed of at less than 15 to 20 per cent." (Murdoch.)
§ His father-in-law, Moses Delesdernier (1716-1811) died.
1812
§ War of 1812, United States v. Great Britain. On 18 June, 1812, President Madison and the American Congress declared war on Britain. It was a war, historians will agree, that was caused by the British orders in council forbidding neutral trade with French-occupied Europe and the British impressment of sailors on American ships.
1813
§ Great Britain and the United States have been, at this point, in January of 1813, six months at war: Nova Scotia is British territory.
§ "13 Jan'y. 21 American prizes were condemned in the vice admiralty court at Halifax." (Murdoch.) And, by order of the Court of Vice Admiralty, on 7 April, at 12:00 noon, some 30 odd "ships and vessels, with their cargoes" were sold by auction at Halifax.
§ April 27th, American forces raid York (Toronto) looting and burning buildings, including the governor's house and the provincial legislative building.
§ Built home at Mount Uniacke
§ June 6th, "Arrived [at Halifax] HMS Shannon Capt Broke with the US Frigate Chesapeake Capt Lawrence her prize." (John Liddell.)
§ Commerce in the colony continues, it seems to be based on the export of boards, planks, staves, dry fish, smoked herrings and fish oil.
1814
§ August, The British sack Washington and attempt to do the same at Baltimore. The land force was under the direction of Major-general Robert Ross (who died in the effort and was buried at Halifax).
§ December 24th, Treaty of Ghent signed and with it, the war with the United States came to an end.
1815
§ June 18th, The Battle of Waterloo. Not until August did the citizens of Halifax get any details of the battle.
§ The Cunards obtain their first Royal Mail contract to carry the mail to Bermuda.
1816
§ In February, there was established a scheduled run, twice a week, by stage-coach, Windsor/Halifax.
§ June 27th, 1816, Sir John Sherbrooke embarked for Canada.
§ In England, "gold was declared to be the sole standard and full legal tender, and a new coin, known as the sovereign ... was put into circulation."
§ October 24th, Earl of Dalhousie and his family arrive at Halifax in H.M. frigate Forth. That autumn Dalhousie was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.
§Due to the discoveries of Volta, there comes into being the Voltaic battery.
1817
§ Alexander Keith came to Nova Scotia seeking his fortune.
§ Lord Dalhousie proposes the establishment of a "seminary for higher branches of education ... much wanted in Halifax, the seat of the legislature -- of justice -- of the military and mercantile." The result: Dalhousie University. Its cornerstone was laid by Dalhousie during May of 1820.
1818
§ The American flag now has 20 stars.
§ February: Anthony H. Holland, the publisher of the Acadia Recorder was brought to the bar of the house in custody; after apologizing he was reprimanded and dismissed. It seems that Mr. Holland's crime was that he subjected an Edward Mortimer, a member of the house, to a "jocose critique" in his paper.
§ An act passed "to prohibit corporate bodies issuing paper money, -- [and] an act for £15,000 in province notes, of £5, £2, and £1."
§ May 27th: The Regent in London declared that Halifax and Saint John were to be free ports. On August 13th, at Halifax the Lieutenant Governor proclaimed it to be a free port.
§ July 25th: The first of Agricola's "letters" appeared in the Acadia Recorder, the 23rd and last, came out on December 26th. These letters, though inserted in the paper anonymously, were written by a Halifax citizen, John Young, with the view of improving agriculture in the province.
1819
§ February 11th, The Eleventh Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature convened. It met, for the first time, at the new legislative chambers, one made of stone, Province House, which had been nine years in the building and situated at the center of the Town of Halifax.
§ April 6th, first sitting of the Supreme Court at Province House.
§ The political issues of the day: "The question of marriage licence to dissenters & sectarians; the annexation of Cape Breton as in 1763 to this Province, & the subdivision of the Counties of Halifax & Annapolis; and the farther confirmation of the Agricultural Societies are all objects of great interest here." (Dalhousie's Journal.)
§ Uniacke received another grant for 4,000 acres at Mount Uniacke.
§ July 21st, Richard Uniacke, Jr., mortally wounded William Bowie in a duel on the North Government Farm.
§ November 11th, Naval Hospital, near Dockyard, Halifax, destroyed by fire.
§ Halifax Insurance Co. incorporated by statute.
1820
§ January 29, 1820: George III died, George IV (1762-1830) takes the throne, due to his father's derangement he had been the Prince Regent since 1810. A proclamation was made at Halifax on 7th of April.
§ During February, England issues gold ingots ("Ricardos"), freely exchangeable with its paper money. By the following year (1821) England was fully on the gold exchange.
§ Saturday, April 8th: Sir John Wentworth, aged 84, dies at Halifax.
§ April 28th: Election Writ issued; Returnable July 10th. "The election lasted three days ... Freeholders or owners of real estate only had the privilege of voting at this period."
§ During the April term, the Supreme Court at Halifax sentenced a young man to two years of hard labour, he "had published a pamphlet, imputing blame to the magistrates in pecuniary matters, and to H. M. council, for neglect of duty in not auditing their accounts according to law."
§ May 22nd, The cornerstone for Dalhousie College is laid by Lord Dalhousie.
§ June 1st, 1820, Sir James Kempt, after a 42 day passage from England, arrived at Halifax and, next day, is sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.
§ On Friday, June 9th, Bishop Burke, attended by his clergy, laid the corner stone of the present St. Mary's cathedral in Halifax.
§ By an act of the legislature, the province issues notes to the extent of £20,000 in denominations of £2 and £1.
§ October 9th: Proclamation re-annexing, as a county, Cape Breton to Nova Scotia.
§ "In 1820 the two provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had as many people as Upper Canada; in 1850 Upper Canada was twice as populous."
1821
§ The coronation of George IV takes place on July 19th.
1822
§ The full unfavorable effects of the war coming to an end made themselves felt, the country was "thoroughly paralyzed." The garrisons and the fleets were reduced and the circumstances of all those that serviced them were correspondingly reduced; businesses stagnated; and the value of real estate went down.
§ January: 109 ex-soldiers, 109 of them, some of who likely had occupied the lands for a few years prior to this date, were given a grant of near 20,000 acres at Sherbrooke (New Ross).
§ Halifax: On account of the fire hazard, wooden buildings are subject to height restrictions.
1823
§ Wax (candle light) and not gas is being burnt for illumination.
§ Thursday, July 24th, 1824: "A ball was held at Province House. Earlier in the month Dalhousie, the Governor General of Canada, came from Quebec (13 days by the government brig). The ball was a festive conclusion to Dalhousie's visit: "The council chamber was used as a ball room, and the supper was laid out in the assembly room. ... A military band was stationed in an elevated orchestra, placed over the central doors. ... At midnight the supper began ... dances were renewed afterwards."
1824
§ New industries were envisioned: railway, gas, steamship, iron, and coal; companies were being organized for them all, most legitimate, not all. London was now experiencing a bull market which ran from summer 1824 to autumn 1825. Speculators elbowed in with dreams for sale; a credit crunch and, in turn, an economic disaster followed.
1825
§ There was a bank crisis in England which came in November. "Over sixty country banks and six London houses failed."
§ The Halifax Banking Company is Incorporated by Samuel Cunard, Enos Collins and others.
§ A voyage was made by sea from Falmouth to Calcutta in 103 days, 64 of which were under steam.
§ Annapolis Iron Co. incorporated by Statute.
1826
§ Elections took place both in England, and here in Nova Scotia during May and June.
§ June 4th: Arrived at Pictou, the brig, Margaret Pelkington. She was "loaded to the gunnels with mining experts and machinery, including the knocked down components of steam hoisting and pumping engines." By September, the "first coal was raised from a newly opened, 212-ft pit. On 7 December a 20-horsepower steam engine, probably the first in Canada, started to pump water and hoist coal at the mine; its 75-ft stack became a local landmark."
§ Measles, smallpox and typhus are brought into the communities as a result of passenger vessels. During the first ten months of 1827 there was 811 deaths at Halifax attributed to small pox.
1827
§ Elected to the the 13th general assembly.
§ In 1827, the steam boat, St. John, was "running between St. John, Eastport, Digby and Annapolis."
1828
§ "A stage coach commences to run between Halifax and Annapolis, three times a week." (Haliburton.)
§ The present day Citadel, the fourth fortification since Halifax's founding in 1749, on a hill in the middle of Halifax, first begins to take shape.
§ In 1828, A college was opened, University of London. "Religious opposition, and the jealousy of Oxford, Cambridge, and the medical associations, delayed the grant of power to give degrees."
§ The Establishment of Horton Academy at Wolfville. In 1838 it became a college; in 1840 it became known as Acadia University.
1829
§ Joseph Howe publishes at Halifax Haliburton's History of Nova Scotia.
1830
§ George IV dies and William IV, the popular sailor king takes the throne.
§ Aug 25th: Election Writ issued; Returnable Nov 8th.
§ The election in Nova Scotia in 1830, known as "The Brandy Election," has been marked as "the beginning of the end for the oligarchy in post-Loyalist Nova Scotia." (Cuthbertson.)
§ October 11th: Uniacke died at Mount Uniacke.
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