The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 20 Apr 1901

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p.1 Georgian Bay Canal - English firm anxious to construct.



Three lake tows of the M.T. company cleared today.

The sloop Laura D. unloaded grain at Richardsons' elevator this morning.

The schooner S.H. Dunn cleared from Craig's wharf last night for Charlotte to load coal for Toronto.

The schooners Acacia, Eliza White, and Tradewind are windbound at Oswego, all coal-laden for Kingston.

The schooner Freeman, stuck in an ice-jam near Gananoque, found its way out, and is now discharging coal at the latter port.

The steamer India and consort Ceylon cleared last evening from Garden Island for Toronto. The Calvin company has over 6,000 sticks of timber there.


Kingston's Ancient Mariner Entered Into Rest.

Another of Kingston's venerable citizens has entered into rest, one who lived while four British sovereigns reigned. This morning at six o'clock, Capt. William R. Taylor, one of England's and Canada's ancient mariners, after a storm tossed voyage of long duration, entered the sweet haven of rest, where billows surge not and troubled waters are unknown. His death occurred at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. James Minnes, Bagot street, where the captain has long resided. For the past two weeks he had been confined to his bed, suffering from a severe attack of erysipelas. A few days ago he was brighter, but the burden of old age was heavily upon him and against recovery. He yearned to see his ninety-first birthday which occurred today, and a kind Providence spared him so that he rejoiced to see the anniversary of the day upon which he entered into the world, and upon which his spirit should take its flight to a bright world beyond.

The late Capt. Taylor was born in the sea-port town of Blythe, on the Tyne, in England, April 20th, 1810. At the early age of thirteen years he went to sea, being apprenticed for six years. His apprenticeship document is an interesting paper, and is still in good order, notwithstanding that it was drawn seventy-seven years ago. His first voyage was to Montreal, and over six weeks was then taken to cross the ocean. After serving his apprenticeship, Capt. Taylor continued to serve with the same owners. After two years before the mast he became second mate, and in another year he was appointed first officer, being then twenty one years old. His first command was the England, on which he remained for two years. He made many voyages to Baltic seaports, and was three times to St. Petersburg.

When twenty-two years old, Capt. Taylor came to Canada to settle. He landed in June, 1832, at Kingston, on what was known as McGuire's wharf, next to Richardsons' property. He came as a perfect stranger, knowing nobody and nobody knowing him. But he was of the right calibre, and success attended him. He shipped on Hon. John Hamilton's steamboat called the Queenston, as a wheelsman. In three months he had become second officer, and shortly afterwards he assumed command. In 1833 he went on the Willie Fourth, as second mate, which position he held for two years. The following two years he spent as chief officer on the steamboat Cobourg. Then he left the steamboat business, and sailed a schooner of Hooker & Henderson, of Prescott, for four years, trading on Lake Erie. His next charge was with Macpherson & Crane, Kingston, large forwarders and vessel owners. Capt. Taylor sailed four of their vessels for fifteen years.

After he went into business for himself. The first vessel in which he had an interest was the Shamrock, but this was lost on Lake Erie in the third year he sailed her, but all the hands were saved. After this Capt. Taylor bought a one-third interest in the Governor, built at Portsmouth. Later he owned the vessel himself, and sold it. Following this he built three vessels, Mary Taylor, Annie Minnes, and Annie Falconer, the latter two still being in the grain and coal trade about Kingston. At one time Capt. Taylor owned the schooner Queen of the Lakes, now the property of Capt. Staley, Barrie street. Capt. Taylor also sailed the barque Superior.

In 1860 he gave up sailing and sold all his vessels, as they were not paying at the time. He was then appointed inspector of the Inland Lloyds' insurance company, with headquarters at Toronto. This position Capt. Taylor held for sixteen years, and resigned much against the desires of the company. His son succeeded him as inspector, and continued as such until his death in December, 1898. Thus Capt. Taylor retired to private life in 1876, after having been in the marine business for fifty-three years. In his long career as a mariner, Capt. Taylor was never shipwrecked at sea. He had been driven ashore, but was never in great danger.

To the very last Capt. Taylor possessed a wonderful memory. He could recall with rapidity event after event which occurred in his boyhood days. In marine matters and in the events of the day he maintained a great interest. Two weeks ago he was about as usual; now that he is gone, no figure on the streets of Kingston will be more missed.

Capt. Taylor was twice married. Mrs. James Minnes is the only surviving child by his first wife. Those of the second family surviving are: George, in Malone, N.Y.; John in Coteau; Albert in New York; and Henry, of Kingston. Thirteen grand-children and eight great grand-children are his descendants. The captain was a member of St. Paul's church, and though past ninety years he was a regular attendant at divine service.

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20 Apr 1901
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 20 Apr 1901