Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00140 - Charles Fothergill Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Charles Fothergill Papers


  • 1795-[ca.1875] (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

53 boxes and items (2.4 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Fothergill was a naturalist, politician, author, printer and publisher. Born at York, England, in 1782 into a prominent Quaker family, he was devoted to natural history from childhood. At the age of 17, he published Ornithologica Britannica. The Wanderer, his next publication, appeared in 1803. In 1811 Fothergill married Charlotte Nevins of Larchfield and emigrated to Upper Canada in 1816. He plunged into the life of the colony. At the end of 1821 he was appointed King's Printer at York (Toronto). In 1824 he had become member of parliament for Durham riding. During the last ten years of his life, he succeeded in publishing an essay on the Quadrupeds of North America and in having another on The Migration of Salmon in the Rivers Tributary to the St. Lawrence read at the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec in 1835. He died in 1840.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Many of Fothergill's notebooks had been deposited in the ROM Library by Mr. J.H. Fleming, and by the author's descendants.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection includes correspondence both private and public, diaries, natural history notebooks, a few sketches, and scrapbooks. Much of the material pre-dates Fothergill's arrival in Upper Canada in 1816. Some of the family correspondence continues for over 30 years after his death in 1840.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

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Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Notes area

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Description identifier


Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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