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Description found in Archives

Irvine family fonds [textual record, graphic material, philatelic record]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

17 cm of textual records.
ca. 2 photographs multiple processes, b&w.
11 postal covers.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of documents representing the activities of the Irvine family: Acheson Godford Irvine, Matthew Bell Irvine, John George Irvine, James Irvine, and Katherine Irvine. The fonds includes personal and business correspondence written to and from family members. Subjects include the Red River Rebellion, the Crimean War, the Ashanti Expedition and letters from the Colony of Western Australia. Also included are military commissions, travel diaries, and a marriage contract of John, photographs, family history, and diaries kept by Katherine Irvine. Additionally, documents relating to the French Republic, Upper-Lower Canada arbitration as well as James' election candidacy to the Lower Canadian Legislative Assembly are included. Fonds contains photographs of Elmsley House, Toronto, Ont., during the period in which it served as Government House; officers of the 2nd Quebec Rifles Battalion; nineteenth century photographs dealing with Quebec City and the Irvine family. Also included are postal covers (1870-1874) mailed by Major Acheson Gosford Irvine and Matthew Bell Irvine to various correspondents.

Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Textual records
90: Open
from 1 to 2
90: Open
Philatelic records
90: Open
90: Open
Philatelic records
90: Open
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Photographs: No restrictions. Copyright expired. Credit: National Archives of Canada / PA- .
Postal covers: No restrictions. Copyright remains with the family. Credit: National Archives of Canada.

Photographs: Item level descriptions are available in the MINISIS database. (Electronic)

Postal covers: Photocopy list in accession file. (Paper)

Biography / Administrative history

Acheson Gosford Irvine. Colonel A.G. Irvine, (1837-1916) was born in Quebec. He was first commissioned in the Canadian Militia in 1864, and served in the Red River Expeditionary force in 1870 as a Major, 2nd Battalion, Quebec Rifles. He remained in Manitoba as Commanding Orricer of the Provisional Battalion of Rifles, and joined the N.W.M.P. in 1875 as a superintendant and inspector, later becoming Assistant Commissioner. In 1880 he was made Acting Commissioner of the force, and was confirmed as Commissioner in 1882, resigning in 1886. He was warden of Stony Mountain Penitentiary, 1892-1913 and of Kingston Penitentiary, 1913-1914. See: Encyclopedia Canadiana, Vol. 5, p. 330; Canadian Encyulopedia, 1985, p. 904.

Matthew Bell Irvine. Sir Matthew Bell Irvine C.B. (1832-1893) was born and educated in Quebec and joined the Commissariat Department of the British Army in 1848. During his career with the department, he served in many parts of the world, including as a combattant in the Crimean War and a soldier in Western Australia and British Guiana. His most notable campaigns were both under Major-General Garnet Joseph Wolseley: the Red River campaign of 1870, and the Ashanti campaign of 1874. He retired in 1881 with the honorary rank of Commissary-General. See: George Maclean Rose, A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography, Vol. 2, p. 337.

John George Irvine. Born in Quebec City, Irvine (1801-1871) was educated at the University of Edinburgh and was commissioned in the 31st Regiment of Foot, British Army. In Canada, he first worked for the business firm Irvine, McNaught and Company. During the 1837 rebellions, he served as a captain in the Royal Quebec Volunteers, he served as a captain in the Royal Quebec Volunteers and in 1838 was appointed Deputy Quartermaster in the Canadian militia holding the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In the same year, he was commissioned as a major in the Queen's Volunteers of the active militia of Canada. After 1851, he filled various Aide-de-Camp positions to the Governors of Canada. See: George Mclean Rose, A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography, Vol. 2, p. 337; Williams Notman, Portraits of British Americans, p. 325.

James Irvine. Born in England, James Irvine (1766-1829) emigrated to Canada in the late 1760's with his parents Adam Irvine and Elizabeth Johnston. James Irvine became a successful merchant in Quebec City with the firm of Irvine, McNaught & Co. He served on the Executive and Legislative Council of Lower Canada and in the militia, 1803-1822, retiring as a Lieutenant-Colonel. See: George Maclean Rose, A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography, Vol. 2, p. 337; Joseph Desjardins, Guide parlementaire historique de la province de Quebec.

Additional information

The Acheson Gosford Irvine manuscript history was presented by Mrs. John Peter Turner of Ottawa and the remaining material was presented in 1984 by Mr. Brian McGreevy of Victoria, B.C. The Matthew Bell Irvine material was presented as follows: the Red River Rebellion journal in 1924 and the notebook in 1929 by Colonel William Wood of Quebec; the Crimean War letters and family material and Katherine Irvine documents in 1983 and 1984 by Mrs. Jenny Marriott of Ottawa; the Ashanti Expedition and Red River Rebellion letters in 1984 by Mr. Brian McGreevy. The John George Irvine material, the James Irvine material and the John George Irvine material was presented in 1984, 1985, 1986 and the George Irvine material was presented by Mr. McGreevy in 1985 and 1986.

The postal covers were donated in 1984 by Brian McGreevy to the National Postal Museum. They were transferred to the archives as part of accession 1989-565.

Subject heading

1. Canada. Canadian Armed Forces - Officers, 1870 John Macdonald, n.d.
2. Red River Rebellion, 1869-1870 Katherine Irvine, 1857, 1871.
3. Indians of North America - Canada - Treaties, [1870-1871] Isabella Cochran, n.d., 1796-1843.
4. Red River Expedition, 1870 Anna Winslow, n.d., 1796-1843.
5. Great Britain. Army - Canada, 1870 Margaret Lindsay, n.d., 1796-1843.
6. Great Britain. Army - India, 1870 Jean Leslie, n.d., 1796-1843.
7. Great Britain. Army - Officers, [1854-1874] Mrs. James Irvine (née Anne Pyke), n.d., 1796-1843.
8. Crimean War, 1853-1856 Lord Dalhousie, [1792-1827]
9. Crimean War, 1853-1856 - Battlefields, [1853-1856] Lower Canada. Legislative Assembly, [1792-1827]
10. Crimean War, 1853-1856 - Destruction and pillage, 1853-1856 Lower Canada. Militia, [1803-1822]
11. Allied operations (Military science), 1853-1856 James Irvine, [1792-1827.
12. Ashanti War, 1873-1874 - Campaigns, 1874 1st French Republic, [1797-1814]
13. Great Britain - Armed Forces - Ghana, 1874 James Baby, 1823-1824.
14. Ghana - History - To 1957, 1874 Monsignor Joseph-Octave Plessis, [1805, 1810, 1922-1923]
15. Great Britain - Armed Forces - Australia, [1852-1855] Sir Isaac Brock, [1805, 1810, 1822-1823]
16. Quebec (Québec) - Armies, 1838-1840 A.I. Howe, [1874-1886]
17. Great Britain - Description and travel, 1833-1834 Lord Lansdowne, [1874-1886]
18. Customs administration - Upper Canada, 1823-1824 Gold Coast Castle (Ghana), 1873-1874.
19. Customs administration - Lower Canada, 1823-1824 Australia, 1852-1855.
20. France - Politics and government - 1789-1815, [1797-1814] Mathew Bell Irvine, 1852-1855.
21. Politicians - Lower Canada, 1809 Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 1915.
22. Lower Canada - Politics and government, [1809-1827] Acheson Gosford Irvine, [1870-1875, 1888, 1915]
23. Quebec (Québec) - Property, 1809 A. Vankoughnet, 1888.
24. Irvine family - Genealogy, n.d. Lieutenant-Governor Archibald, [1870-1871]
25. Ottawa (Ont.) - Social life and customs, 1867, 1871 Lieutenant-Colonel Jarvis, [1870-1871]
26. Lieutenant-Colonel Casault, [1870-1871]
27. Lower Canada. Militia. 2nd Battalion. Quebec Rifles, 1870.


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1986-051 NPC