Robert F. Gourlay 1778-1863

Gourlay was a radical Scot who crusaded for social reform in Britain in the early nineteenth century. His activities in Upper Canada sent shock waves through the province. He arrived in 1817 to examine property he owned just east of here and became interested in promoting settlement. To encourage immigration, Gourlay began compiling his "Statistical Account of Upper Canada" (1822). He soon decided that government favouritism and mismanagement were stifling growth. Gourlay challenged the authorities, organizing protest meetings and publishing colourful, heated attacks on office-holders. Cleared of charges of seditious libel in Kingston and Brockville, he was charged under the Seditious Alien Act late in 1818 in Niagara, jailed for eight months, then banished.


In the park located at the junction of Highway 119 and County Road 18, opposite the Mount Elgin United Church, Mount Elgin

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: County of Oxford

Municipality: Township of South-west Oxford