Mohawk Chapel

bluekrypton

London, Canada

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Originally called St. Paul’s, this chapel was the first Protestant church in Upper Canada and is now the oldest surviving church in Ontario. It is the only Royal Chapel in North America.

Built by the Crown in 1785, it was given to those Mohawk Indians led by Joseph Brant who had supported the British during the American Revolution. Their choice cost them their lands in New York. To compensate for the loss the Mohawks were granted 760 000 acres on the Grand River complete with two mills, a school and a chapel. Although the church has undergone many alterations, it stands as a reminder of the important role played by the Loyalist Mohawks in the early settlement of Ontario.

The first Chapel of the Mohawks was built at Fort Hunter in 1712 during the reign of Queen Anne. Representatives had made an historic visit to her Court from the Six Nations people, then living in the Mohawk Valley. They pledged their loyalty and Friendship to the Crown, and made a request for a Chapel and Priest.

Consequently, the Queen Anne Chapel was built, and a Minister was provided through the New England Company. Upon completion of construction, Queen Anne presented her Chapel of the Mohawks with a Bible, Silver Communion Service and prayer books. This Chapel was destroyed as an aftermath of the American Revolution.

During this war, many of the Six Nations people, under the leadership of Captain Joseph Brant, chose to ally themselves with those in the Thirteen Colonies who remained Loyal to the British Crown. Upon the defeat of the British Crown Forces, and the formation of the United States of America, the loyal Six Nation people, rather than swerve from their loyalty to the Crown, chose to abandon their homelands in their beloved Mohawk Valley, and moved North into Canada, a British Crown colony.

Through the terms of the Haldimand Treaty of 1784, Joseph Brant secured a land grant for the native loyalists six miles on either side of the Grand River from its source to its mouth. Brant also negotiated for and received a Church, the present St. Paul’s Her Majesty’s Chapel of the Mohawks, built upon the banks of the Grand River in 1785, in the reign of George III. The Mohawk Chapel, as it is commonly known, stands as a shrine to the Six Nations as a symbolic link between the Crown of England and the people of the Grand River Valley.

Artwork Comments

  • neilbrunton
  • LisaBeth
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