John Elliot Woolford, artist and architect

Woolford

In memory of J. E. Woolford, Esq., late Barrack Master, Fredericton, died 12th Jan. 1866, aged 88 years.

In memory of Margaret, wife of J. E. Woolford, Esq.

Royal Gazette, Fredericton, NB, 6 February 1833:

Died on Wednesday morning last, the 30th ult., Mrs. Margaret Fullerton, wife of J. E. Woolford, Esquire, Barrack Master of this place, deeply and deservedly regretted.

John Elliot Woolford of the Barracks Department was appointed Assistant Barrack Master at Saint John in 1823. He bore the title until 1839 or 1840 when he was described in the New Brunswick Almanack as Deputy Barrack Master, and in 1842 as Barrack Master. He had charge of the army buildings in Fredericton.

J. E. Woolford was in charge of the building of Government House, and the very fine plans of the same are now in the Archives, Ottawa. The contract for building Government House was awarded to Jedediah Slason, and it was built in 1827.

New Brunswick Royal Gazette, 14 March 1826:

Contracts will be received by William F. Odell, Thomas Wetmore and Samuel D. Street… building a college… rough stone, hewn stone for the corners, boards, planks and scantling.

William F. Odell and the Reverend George Best advertised contracts in the New Brunswick Royal Gazette, April 1826, for a building for King’s College. The contract was awarded to James Taylor and also to Cross and Murray of Saint John. J.E. Woolford was the architect, and a model of the college building which he designed stood in his home.

Had there been a public library at that time, Mr. Woolford probably would have designed it, as the following notice suggests:

Royal Gazette, Fredericton, NB, 19 July 1839:

Fredericton Library — A General Meeting of the Proprietors is requested at the residence of Mr. Woolford on Friday afternoon next at 21st instance at 4 o’clock to decide upon the selection of a Library Room and such others matters as may be brought before the meeting. By order of the President. R. Gowan, Secretary.

J.E. Woolford resided in Regent Street opposite the Park Barracks until 1841.

Royal Gazette, Fredericton, NB, 10 July 1839:

Notice "The Subscriber" respectfully intimates to his friends and the Public that he has taken that commodious and pleasantly situated House in Regent Street owned by Captain James Segee next door to J. E. Woolford, Esq. and nearly opposite to Mr. Donald McLeod where he intends keeping a Genteel Boarding House for the reception of permanent and Transient Boarders. Good staffing is required. Joseph Estabrooks.

Royal Gazette, Fredericton, NB, 1 November 1841:

Welner-Baile Tailoring Shop in the House lately occupied by Barrack Master Woolford, Regent Street.

He was one of the artists who exhibited at the Grand Exhibition in Saint John in August 1842, and was President of the Floral and Horticultural Society of New Brunswick in 1843. He retired in 1859 from the Barracks Department, but remained in Fredericton until his death.

The Head Quarters, Fredericton, NB, 17 January 1866:

John E. WOOLFORD, Esq., late Barrack Master in this garrison was a native of England, born in London; served under Duke of York in Holland, afterwards under Sir Ralph ABERCROMBIE in Egypt where he was present at all the principal engagements. It was there that his merit as a sketcher of landscapes attracted the attention of Lord Dalhousie, under whose patronage he settled in Scotland on his return as an artist. On Lord DALHOUSIE’s appointment to the Government of Nova Scotia, he accompanied him to that country. In 1821 when his Lordship made a tour through Upper and Lower to Lake Superior, he attended him as an artist, and took views of all the principal residences on their route. In 1823 on a change being made in the Barrack Dept., he received his late appointment to this garrison and held it until 1858. It was the plans of Mr. WOOLFORD that both the College and Government House were built. He was married to a lady of the ERSKINE family, related to Lord BUCHAN and the late Lady DOUGLAS wife of Sir Howard DOUGLAS.

Dr. James Robb

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.