The Talbot Settlement

 

Yellow - Original boundary of the Talbot Settlement

Pink - Roads built by Talbot

Blue - Longwoods Road

Between 1803 and 1808, 20 families had settled in the Talbot settlement.  So to attract more people, Talbot built a water-powered grist-mill in 1806 and started to layout roads.  By 1815 he states that there are 350 families and in 1817, 804.

His style of settlement was opposed by many, including government officials.  Fees were not being paid to the government in the appropriate time frame as Talbot’s power was increasing.  The only record of settlement could be found in Talbot’s “Castle” on maps with pencilled in names of settlers.  He could easily rub a settlers name off the map for reasons including personal dislike or political views.  The land would then be given to someone else, with the government not being involved at all.  Sometimes years and even decades would go by between the initial settlement and the issue of any legal papers to the settler, stating that the land was indeed theirs. 

By 1828, Talbot stopped receiving anymore land from the government. 

In 1832 he gave his famous St. George Day Speech due to “rampant political agitation instigated by the American settlers in Yarmouth and Malahide Townships” He attacked the Reformers (a political party), whom he blamed for this.    

Official assessments of the Talbot Settlement were completed in 1836 and it reveals that over 3000 lots had been settled, and that 63% had not been reported to the surveyor general (government) as occupied and only 25% of the settlers had official documentation that the land was indeed theirs. 

1837 a new district was separated from the London district and named after Talbot (east of Elgin County).

In 1838 Talbot as told to “wind up his affairs” by Lieutenant Governor Sir Francis Bond Head.  Talbot’s settlers had populated an area of Ontario running from east of London call the way to Windsor.  It had become too large to manage for the aging Talbot who was over 60 at this point.

Grants of Land

Dunwich Year     Grants of Land Aldborough Year      Grants of Land
  1804 5000   1816 2800
  1806 1200   1816 800
  1807 2000   1821 5950
  1808 800   1821 25256
  1813 400   Total 34806
  1820 3500
  1821 3350
  1821 14514
  Total 30764