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History of London - 1793 to 1843


Beginning as the administrative and legal centre of the London District, a business community begins to evolve at the Forks of Thames. Commercial enterprises included the founding of Labatt Breweries and the opening of London’s first bank. Official recognition of London’s “town” status came 57 years after its first sighting by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe.

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  • 1793
    • ​March 2 - Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe and his party first viewed the main forks of the Thames River on their return journey to Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake) from Detroit.

  • 1796
    • ​A parcel of land comprising the lower (main) forks of the Thames River was purchased from the Chippewa Indians by the Provincial Government.
  • 1800
    • ​The District of London was proclaimed.
  • 1819
    • ​Wesleyan Methodism was brought to London by George Washington, circuit rider.

  • 1808
    • ​A 1,000 acre tract of land was surveyed by Mahlon Burwell at the Main Forks of the Thames, to be held under a licence of occupation by Joshua Applegarth for the purpose of cultivating hemp.

  • 1819
    • ​Wesleyan Methodism was brought to London by George Washington, circuit rider.

  • 1825
    • ​Laurence Laurason was appointed the first Deputy Postmaster at the London Postal Station, at the south-east corner of the present Sanatorium Road and Oxford Street.
  • 1826
    • ​Royal assent was given to a Provincial Bill designating the forks of the Thames as the administrative and legal centre of the London District.
    • First house was built - Peter McGregor.
    • The survey of the town plot of London was completed by Mahlon Burwell, District Surveyor.

  • 1827
    • ​The Court House of Western Upper Canada at Vittoria, Norfolk County, was destroyed and rebuilt at London.
    • The Forks Post Office was opened.

  • 1829
    • ​Goodhue's Drug Store was made post office.
    • Rev. Edward Jukes Boswell was first resident Anglican clergyman.

  • 1830
    • G. Goodhue's general store and real estate office opened.
      The first execution in London occurred with the hanging of Cornelius Alverson Burley for the shooting death, in Bayham Township, of Constable Timothy Conklin Pomeroy.
  • 1832
    • ​Rev. Benjamin Cronyn and Dr. William Proudfoot settle in London. 
    • Drs. Moore and Donnelly fight Asiatic cholera epidemic. 
    • Labatt's Brewery established. 
    • St. Paul's Cathedral erected.
  • 1833
    • ​Hyman Tannery established.
    • Methodist Church built W. Ridout north of Carling Street.
    • The United Associate Synod Congregation (later to form First Presbyterian Church) was formally organized by Rev. William Proudfoot.

  • 1834
    • St. Laurence Church, the first Roman Catholic Church, was established at the corner of Maple and Richmond Streets.

  • 1835
    • ​London's first bank, the Bank of Upper Canada, opened under the management of Richard Richardson.


  • 1836
    • ​Hodkin's "Gazette and London Times" published. 
    • The first fair in London was held the first Tuesday of October.
    • First member, Tory, Mahlon Burwell, elected to Parliament of Upper Canada, defeating Reformer, John Scatcherd.

  • 1838
    • ​E. Leonard & Sons locate in London.
  • 1840
    • ​Royal assent to Provincial Bill incorporating the Town of London and establishing a board of police therein - population 1,816.
      (Town to be governed by elected Board of Police). 
    • The Wesleyan Methodist Church, southeast corner of King and Talbot Streets, was formally dedicated.
  • 1841
    • ​The London Mechanics' Institute was re-established.
    • The eastern boundary of the Town of London was extended south from Trafalgar Street to the South Branch of the Thames River.

  • 1843
    • ​Middlesex County Land Registration Office transferred from Dunwich Township to London, effective May 1

  • 1831
    • The initial issue of London's first newspaper, The London Sun, published and printed by Robert Heron and edited by Edward Allen Talbot - publication ceased December 1833.
  • 1831

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