First Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada enters office

On today’s date in 1792, John Graves Simcoe assumed office in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., as the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. He remained in office until July 20, 1796.

In 1794, Simcoe ordered a halfpenny token to be struck for Upper Canada. He was an esteemed military officer who earned recognition during the American Revolution and after establishing the capital at Toronto, which he renamed York. His regiment still exists today as the Queen’s York Rangers. It’s believed only a handful of these tokens ever existed. Struck by the Soho Mint in silver and copper, the tokens were engraved by the die-engraver Ponthon.

John Graves Simcoe after he was sworn in as Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant-Governor outside Navy Hall in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

John Graves Simcoe after he was sworn in as Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant-Governor outside Navy Hall in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Simcoe was also featured on a $2 trade token struck by the City of London in 1993. That same year, Simcoe was commemorated alongside his wife Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim on a medal marking the 200th anniversary of the founding of York (present-day Toronto).

Simcoe died in England in 1806. He was buried in Wolford Chapel on the Simcoe family estate near Honiton, Devon.

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