OTD: John Simcoe convenes first legislative assembly of Upper Canada

On today’s date in 1792, Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe convened the first meeting of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada at Newark (present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.).

The first session of the legislative assembly was held from Sept. 17-Oct. 15 and introduced a limited form of representative government to the newly created colony of Upper Canada, which includes present-day southern Ontario as well as the area north of the Great Lakes. Statutes of the first session established English property law and civil law as well as trial by jury.

Simcoe convened the first meeting of the legislature of Upper Canada in 1792.

Simcoe convened the first meeting of the legislature of Upper Canada in 1792.

1794 HALFPENNY TOKEN

In 1794, Simcoe ordered a halfpenny token to be struck for use in Upper Canada. It’s believed only a handful of these tokens ever existed. Struck in silver and copper by the Soho Mint—a minting operation established by Matthew Boulton, business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt, in 1788—the tokens were also engraved by Noel Alexandre Ponthon.

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

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