Stewart, Peter
B: 1724, Scotland, UK
D: 10 Nov 1805, Charlottetown, PE, CAN. Buried on 13 Nov 1804 in Charlottetown, PE, CAN
M: (1) 10 Jan 1758, Helen MacKinnon, dau of John Og MacKinnon and Margaret MacLeod who was b. 10 Jan 1758 and d. about 1770 in SCO, UK

M: (2) Abt 1770, Sarah Hamilton, dau of Captain James Hamilton and Unknown. She was b. in 1746 d. 11 Jul 1829 and was buried in PE, CAN.

FN: Charles Stewart, Reverend
MN: Annabella Campbell

Excerpts from the Stewart Family File, compiled by Nina C. Ross:

"Peter Stewart was descended from a branch of the Stewarts of Blackhall in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Of his life in Scotland we know but little. When young he studied law but the details are scanty. He became a writer in Campbelltown and later the Provost of the town.

With two partners he engaged in the herring fishing industry and it may have been in connection with this business that he became a merchant there.

This business failed and left Peter with a considerable debt.

Appointment to office in the colonies always involved much preparation and expense on the part of the recipient. Peter Stewart's personal and business affairs had to be settled. In August 1775 he made an Assignment of £60 to be paid annually from his salary to his creditors in order to pay off his debt.

He prepared ready for shipping, building supplies, bedding, clothing, utensils, a year's supply of food, etc. It was fall before Peter left Scotland to take up his new position in America.

On or about the 10th of September 1775, Peter Stewart, his second wife, some of his children, servants, etc., with a few settlers boarded the "Elizabeth" with Capt. Russell, at Cork, Ireland, for St. John's Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They arrived there two months later.

The north shore of the Island, where they found themselves, is and was not noted for its gentle breezes and calm waters. Their first night saw them blown out to sea again and it was some days before they attempted to land. The force of the wind and waves lifted their small vessel through the breakers on to the long sand bank which lay along the shore. Most of the cargo was lost with the supplies of the passengers. The date was November 6th.

It was an inauspicious arrival for the new Chief Justice. In a Memorial to the Board of Trade & Plantations dated October 1781, Peter Stewart claimed his loss to have been £1500.

Peter and his family spent the winter somewhere in the vicinity but the location is indefinite. The story that they lived in tents during the winter is doubtful. Men were available on the Island well able to build a log hut and there was no lack of trees. It was spring before the party finally arrived in Charlottetown, the little Capital of the Island. Peter was sworn into office 25 Jun 1776. There Peter lived until his death, with nothing found to suggest he ever returned to Scotland.

In his new life Peter Stewart had his problems, some of his own doing and some of his relatives' and in-laws'. Life on St. John's Island during those years of the Revolution was a matter of keeping body and soul together. With the coming of quieter years, conditions improved but money always was in short supply. Like others before and after him, Peter came to the Island in debt and never got out of it. Those in public office found the necessity to keep up some degree of appearance on a meagre and often non-existent salary to be beyond their achievement. It was a time of "each for his own".

Peter and his family were not inclined to compromise. Through the years many lawsuits in the Island Courts involved him and his children."

Burial Notes:Old Protestant Burying Ground, Elm Avenue.

See The Last Will and Testament of Peter Stewart on The Island Register Wills Database

Children of Peter Stewart and Helen MacKinnon:
Children from this marriage were:

1. John "Hellfire Jack" Stewart
B: Abt 1758, Kintyre, Argyllshire, SCO, UK
D: 22 Jun 1834, Lot 37, Mount Stewart, PEI and was buried in Charlottetown, PEI

2. Charles Stewart, Honorable Attorney-General, P.E.I.
B: Abt 1759, Campbeltown, Argyllshire, SCO, UK,
D: 06 Jan 1813, Charlottetown, PEI, Buried 10 Jan 1813, Charlottetown, PEI
M: Mary Desbrisay, dau of Lt. Gov. Thomas De La Cour Desbrisay and Ellen Landers, in Chester, ENG, UK. b. abt 1764 d. 16 Mar 1847, buried 21 Mar 1847.

3. Margaret Stewart
B: 27 Jul 1762, Scotland
D: 02 Mar 1851, Charlottetown, PEI. Buried 06 Mar 1851, Charlottetown, PEI
M:12 Aug 1778, Charlottetown, PEI, Reverend Theophilus DesBrisay, son of Lt. Gov. Thomas De La Cour DesBrisay and Ellen Landers. Rev. was b. 09 Oct 1754, Thurles, Tipperary, Ireland d. 14 Mar 1823, Charlottetown, PEI. Buried 19 Mar 1823 in Charlottetown, PEI.

4. Annabella Stewart
B: Scotland

5. Penelope Stewart
B: 1764, Campbeltown, Argyllshire, SCO, UK
D: 1846, Darnley, Lot 18, PEI
M: Abt. 1783, James "Jamey" M'Nutt in PEI, James b. 1760 in Ireland, d. 03 Feb 1835, Darnley, Lot 18, PEI. Buried in Malpeque Peoples Cemetery, Malpeque, PEI

6. Robert Stewart
B: Abt 1768, Scotland
D: 26 Nov 1816 and was buried in Charlottetown, PEI
M: Margaret Penelope MacDonald

7. Flora Stewart
B: Abt 1768, Scotland
D: 1843, Amherst, NS, and was buried in Amherst, NS
M: William Townsend


Peter next married Sarah Hamilton, daughter of Captain James Hamilton and Unknown, about 1770. Sarah was born in 1746, died on 11 Jul 1829 and was buried in PE, CAN.)

Excerpt from Lecture delivered by the Very Reverend Dr. Daniel MacDonald in the Market Hall on Thursday, January 27, 1881.

"I am indebted to the late Mrs. Irving, daughter of Chief Justice Stewart, for some few scraps of correspondence between Father MacDonald and her mother, Sarah Hamilton Stewart, on the subject of immigration to this Island while Father MacDonald was doing missionary work in Drummond, before coming out here. Mrs. Stewart, who was a pious and exemplary lady, was among the circle of his acquaintances.

When her husband received the appointment of judge for this little colony, she very naturally wrote to Father MacDonald for information respecting the state of the colony. Although we may well suppose that the devoted priest would like to have a few persons of Mrs. Stewart's high accomplishments and well-known piety added to his little community, yet he honestly and sincerely advised her by all means not to come and if possible, to prevail upon her husband to decline the appointment.

Notwithstanding this advice Chief Justice Stewart came to the Island shortly after, and for many years he and his son, the late Captain Stewart of Mount Stewart, called after him, exercised considerable influence in the Colony.

Sarah Hamilton Stewart was born of non-Catholic parents. Her father, Captain Hamilton, was killed in the Battle of Fontenoy the 30th of April, 1745, and his wife, who happened to be on the continent at the time with her two daughters, mere children, formed the acquaintance of a community of nuns, through whose influence she became a Catholic, and to whom she entrusted the education of her two daughters. Some time after her return to Scotland, Sarah was married to Stewart, who had a family by a previous marriage.

Mrs. Stewart did not receive the kindest treatment from her husband and step-children out here, but she persevered to the last, and died as she had lived, a good exemplary Catholic and was buried in the Catholic cemetery at St.Andrew's."

Burial: Catholic Pioneer Cemetery at St. Andrews.

Marriage Notes:Their marriage record has not been found.

Children of Peter Stewart and Sarah Hamilton:

James Stewart
B:
D: Before 16 Jun 1804 in West Indies.

Ralph Stewart
B:
M: Never married

Mary Dundas Bishop Stewart
B: 1779
D: 14 Jan 1872 and was buried in PE, CAN.

Paper sent to H.R S. by T. E. MacNutt (Oct. 27, 1866 --- copied from Notre Dame Annals).

Mrs. Irving, 86 years of age, the only Catholic of a large Protestant family, a person of fine noble qualities has been asking of us for a long time the favor to end her days at Notre Dame. On account of lack of space we regretted not to be able to grant her request but promised her room in the new building when it was finished. However, as she feared, on account of her advanced age, that her days were few we ceded to her wish and placed our Community Room at her disposal.

Her Autobiography:

I have been requested to give statement of my family connection but I know very little about them and regret that I did not obtain more information from my mother which she could have given clearly and distinctly from proceeding generations. All I recollect is that my mother was a lineal descendant of Robert Bruce, the celebrated king of Scotland, who having no son, married his daughter to the Lord --- Steward of Scots from whom descended the kings of Scotland and England of the name of Steward; from this family my father was lineal descendant. It was so well understood that when his father was at College he met a friend one morning who wished to console with him on the death of his cousin: My grandfather said he had not heard of any deaths in the family; his friend replied: Have you not heard that the Queen's dead? Queen Ann of Scotland and England. Sir Walter Scott says in his writings that the Black Hall family of Steward, which was my father's were the nearest to the throne. Thus both these royal families meet in me and die in me, as I have no child. My mother was first cousin to the gallant Sir Ralph Abercrombie who was killed in Egypt. Their mothers were sisters, daughters of Dundas of Mannor, and nearly related, being first cousin to the Earl of Elgin whose name was Bruce, descendant of King Robert Bruce above named. My father was nearly 30 years Chief Justice of P.E.I. but from old age resigned and retired on a pension. My father's name was Steward,

Mary Dundas Bishop Irving, Widow.

(Jan, 1872 --- copied from Notre Dame Annals). Mrs. Irving, aged 93 years, died on 14th January in the old convent. She edified us all by her strong spirit of faith and great simplicity. Her remains were taken to St. Andrews, near Mt. Stewart. The pupils of Notre Dame sang at the High Mass which was celebrated in the Cathedral and received Holy Communion for the repose of her soul.

Burial: St. Andrews Pioneer Cemetery.

Peter Stewart
B:.
He was a career soldier and resided in Gaspé and Nova Scotia. He served in the Militia and left many descendants.


Contributors:

Stewart Families, Terry Spear, Thomas Woodman Stewart, Waldron Haslam Leard, Donna Collings, Al McNutt, Owen Gray, Patricia Alnes and Anna Lee Hogan.