Fonds F2182 - Cartwright and Wood Families fonds

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Cartwright and Wood Families fonds


  • 1806 - 1968 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.6 m of textual and other records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

The Cartwrights were a prominent Upper Canadian Loyalist family, living in the Kingston area and later in York (Toronto). The Hon. Richard Cartwright Jr. (1759-1815) had twin sons, Robert David Cartwright (1804-1843), an Anglican minister, and John Solomon Cartwright (1804-1845), a Kingston lawyer who became involved in banking, real estate, and politics. The youngest of John Solomon Cartwright’s children was John Robison Cartwright (1842-1919), a lawyer who became deputy attorney general of Ontario.

In June 1868, John Robison Cartwright married Emily Boulton (1845-1920), in Cobourg, Ontario. Emily’s grandfather, D’Arcy Edward Boulton (1785-1846) had built The Grange in Toronto as his family home. Her father D’Arcy Edward Boulton (1814-1902) and mother Emily Mary Caroline Heath married in 1838 and raised their ten children at their home, known as The Lawn, in Cobourg. D’Arcy was a lawyer active in town affairs, serving as mayor of Cobourg from 1854 to 1857. John Robison Cartwright and Emily Boulton Cartwright had six children: Mabel (1869-1955), John Macaulay Boulton (1872- 1877), Stephen Hayter (1875-1909), Ralph Bingham (1877-1899), Edwin Aubrey (1879-1951), and Winifred Macaulay (1883-1953).

Their first child, Mabel Cartwright, was born in Kingston, Ontario, in 1869. She grew up in Toronto and later went to England where she was educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. Mabel earned honours in the School of Modern History, taught in Oxford High School and, upon her return to Toronto, at Bishop Strachan School for four years. In 1903 she was appointed the second Lady Principal and in 1925 Dean of Women at St. Hilda’s residence, Trinity College. She taught English at Trinity College until her retirement in 1936. In 1925 she was granted a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by the University of Toronto. Through the years she held numerous posts including that of resident of the Women's Auxiliary of the Diocese of Toronto.

After Mabel Cartwright’s retirement from St. Hilda’s, she lived at 32 Prince Arthur Avenue in Toronto with her invalid sister Winifred and her friend and former student, (Hilda) Fern Wood until her death in 1955. Born in Orillia, the daughter of Edward A. Wood and Sarah Weafer Wood, Fern Wood (1889-1962) was the executor of Miss Cartwright’s estate.

Archival history

The papers were kept by Fern Wood, who moved to Orillia after the death of Mabel Cartwright. Her niece, Qennefer Browne, the daughter of Fern’s sister Elizabeth Wyn Wood, donated the papers to the Trinity College Archives in 1981.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of records relating to three generations of the Cartwright family, their relatives, friends and colleagues. Most prominent are the papers of Mabel Cartwright, which includes correspondence with her family and relatives, diaries, notebooks and photographs.

Correspondence and other records from earlier generations of Cartwrights are included, most from Mabel Cartwright’s parents dating from the late 1860s to the early 1920s. Letters from Mabel Cartwright’s siblings, including Stephen, a missionary in Japan, are included. Financial and legal documents are included from the time Mabel Cartwright lived with her sister Winifred. The fonds also contains material accumulated and written by Hilda Fern Wood about Mabel Cartwright, and some records relating to the Wood family.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Materials arranged by the Archivist.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Some material is in fragile condition. Access to these materials is at the discretion of the archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction

Various copyright holders. It is the researcher's responsibility to obtain permission to publish any material from the fonds.

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Some material is in fragile condition.

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Uploaded finding aid

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Related units of description

Mabel Cartwright’s records as Principal and Dean of St. Hilda’s can be found in F1008, Office of the Dean of St. Hilda’s College fonds, Series 1.

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Fonds includes approximately 150 photographs, 8 cartes de visites and 2 academic hoods.

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  • English



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