Agnes Strachan Partelow, wife of Henry J. Robinson


Agnes Strachan, beloved wife of Henry J. Robinson, Esq. late of H.M. 76th Regiment. Died at Saint John Sept. 12th, 1868, in the 34th year of her age.

Henry Jeffrey Robinson of H.M. 76th Regiment of Foot was an Irishman who remained in Fredericton when his regiment departed, and married Agnes Strachan Partelow, daughter of the Honourable John R. Partelow, Provincial Secretary of New Brunswick from 1848 to 1854. He and his wife lived in the house which is now numbered 868 George Street. In 1865, they bought another house, 725 George Street, then newly improved. It was said that the ill health of his wife marred the first few years in that house.

In 1869, Henry Robinson took for his second wife Sarah Black, a sister of the late John Black, Barrister, and a daughter of Rev. John Black of Springhill. Her unmarried sister Eleanor lived with them. Some years later Henry J. Robinson took his wife to Ireland to live and her niece, Ethel Rainsford, visited them there. Henry Robinson was well-connected. He had no children.

Gleaner, Fredericton, NB, 4 April 1896:

A cable from Port Rush, Ireland announces the death at that place today of Col. H.J. ROBINSON, brother-in-law of John BLACK, M.P.P. of this city. Col. Robinson, who resided in this city about 14 years ago, was stricken with paralysis some months since and latterly no hope of recovery was held out. Mrs. Robinson will have the sympathy of friends in her affliction.

Dr. James Robb


Lot #45 was jointly owned by the Robb and Ward families. Today there is no sign of the wooden fence which once enclosed the lot.

Sacred to the memory of James Robb, M.D., Professor of Natural Science in the University of New Brunswick, born at Stirling, Scotland, Feb. 2, 1815, died at Fredericton, N.B., April 2, 1861.

Erected by members of the Fredericton Society of St. Andrew as a token of respect for the memory of one who long and ably filled the office of their President and who was universally esteemed as a gentleman, a scholar and a benefactor to this Province.

A St. Andrew’s Cross marks this grave.

Dr. James Robb, who joined the staff of King’s College in 1837, was the first professor of Chemistry. He had studied medicine in Edinburgh University but was more interested in Natural Science. He came to New Brunswick to accept the position of lecturer in Chemistry and Natural History in King’s College. A loved and respected teacher, Robb devoted himself to the agricultural interests of the Province. He was appointed Secretary of the Provincial Board of Agriculture when it was established in 1858. His valuable collection of species is now in the New Brunswick Museum.

Dr. Robb was a surgeon, 3rd York County Militia. He was prominent in the formation, 23 April 1847, and continuance of the Fredericton Athenaeum, a scientific and literary society of which Archdeacon Coster was president. Robb was the secretary, and prepared the astronomical material for the almanac issued by the society. In 1849 he was a chosen a member of the first Council of Fredericton. It was he who designed the city’s coat-of-arms.

Dr. Jack, Dr. Robb, and Marshal d’Avray together weathered the stormy criticism of King’s College during the 1850s, until in 1859 the Act to establish the University of New Brunswick was passed. All three are buried in this graveyard, near the grave lot of John Gregory, a foremost critic. Although James Robb and John Gregory held different views as to the necessary curricula for New Brunswick youth, when James Robb was president of the St. Andrew’s Society in 1860, the first vice-president was John Gregory.

Dr. Robb’s wife, Ellen, was a daughter of the Venerable Archdeacon Coster, and she is buried here beside her husband in an unmarked grave. Their daughter Catherine E. married John Black, a barrister of Fredericton. In 1900 when Mrs. Clarke Murray of Montreal founded the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire, Mrs. John Black formed the first Chapter.

Henry Thorne and family


Henry John Thorne (1813-1883), his wife Agnes Chestnut (born 1819), and daughters Agnes C. (1844-1931), Anna C. (1846-1914) and Harriet (1850-1953), are buried here in a row.

In the rear is the grave of Henry Thorne’s granddaughter, Madge Thorne Sterling, born 1873, who died 13 September 1895, aged 21, at Boston, Massachusetts.

There is no tombstone marking the grave of Henry Thorne, who was born 1813 in Plymouth, England. He was married in 1837 to Agnes, daughter of Robert Chestnut, whose burial plot this one adjoins. In 1851 Margaret Chestnut, 78, was a lodger in the Thorne home.

This was a Methodist family. Henry Thorne had been assistant postmaster for ten years or more when he was appointed Postmaster on 1 March 1875, succeeding Andrew Straton Phair. He resigned this post in 1880 and died in 1883. Before entering the service of the Post Office, he was a merchant.

The census of 1861 shows Henry J. Thorne, 48, living with his wife, Agnes, 42; Henry J., 19; Agnes, 17; Anna C., 15; Robert Chestnut, 13; Harriet, 11; and Ella L., aged 6 years. The record of the baptism of their younger son may be seen in the old records of the Wilmot United Church:

Robert Chestnut, son of Henry John, merchant, and Agnes Thorne, born Nov. 22, 1847, baptised April 9, 1848.

The elder son, Henry John, born in 1841, married Matilda Yerxa and is not buried here. Harriet married William Charles Black. Agnes and Ella Thorne, buried here, were noted teachers in Fredericton and Ella formed the first King’s Daughters Circle. Margaret, the eldest daughter, married John Allen Sterling, and their daughter Madge is buried here with her grandparents and aunts.