Robert Irwin, tavern keeper


Robert Irwin 1817-1873

Hugh Irwin 1818-1844

In memory of Mills Edwin, infant son of Robert and Sarah Irwin who died January 21st 1844, aged 10 months.



There are no marked graves in this large Irwin lot (unclaimed in 1886) other than that of the infant Mills.

Robert and Hugh Irwin, brothers, came from Scotland via Cork in 1831 with two sisters, Margaret and Mary Ann, and a cousin, Robert. They came with John Moore and his wife, an aunt of the young Irwins. John Moore and his wife settled at Beaver Dam.

Robert Irwin worked in the tavern of Ebenezer Nicholson, and in 1841 married Sarah Nicholson and became the proprietor. The children of Robert and Sarah Irwin, all baptised by the Reverend Dr. Brooke, were Mills, Robert, Lucy Mills, and Sarah Ann.

Robert’s sister Margaret married Robert Colwell in 1838, and Mary Ann married John Arbuckle of the City of New York in 1840. His brother Hugh became a stone mason in St. Mary’s and married Matilda, a daughter of William Grieves. After the death of his wife, Hugh Irwin lived with Benjamin Hanson and his family. His daughter Elizabeth lived with her maternal grandparents, and later was the first wife of J. R. Howie.

The tavern of Robert Irwin was popular. In 1846 he advertised his hotel, and on the 30th of November of that same year the Fredericton St. Andrew Society celebrated there. A stage from Fredericton to Newcastle run by George McBeath commenced in January 1847, taking passengers at Robert Irwin’s hotel on Regent Street. William Grieves, a brother of the deceased Mrs. Hugh Irwin, succeeded Robert Irwin as proprietor after many years’ connection with the hotel. The name of the hotel became the Waverley and later on the Colonial. William Grieves was succeeded in turn by his son, John Brooks Grieves.

The administrators of the estate of Robert Irwin were John Moore, David Fisher, who was a son-in-law of John Moore, and George H. Hart of the Crown Land office, who, like Robert Irwin, had arrived in Fredericton in 1831. George Hart was older when he came to the city and already married to a sister of the Honourable John A. Beckwith.

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