“Trinity College,” No. 9 Coy., 3rd June 1861, 2nd Batt. Volunteer Militia Rifles Of Canada.

The status quo, mainstream historian/author, Cadet Corps Roots account as fallows:—

Trinity College Volunteer Rifle Company was formed June 1, 1861 in Port Hope, Ontario. Another 14 of the early “Drill Associations” or “Rifle Companies” stood up in Ontario and Quebec. Canada’s oldest continually serving cadet corps is No. 2 Bishop’s College School Cadet Corps in Lennoxville, Quebec, its roots firmly in the previous drill associations.

The above DHH Ph.D’s, historian/author online equivocal recycled account, is erroneous, the facts are: Upper Canada’s Trinity College on 1st June 1861, organised an independent rifle company, raised by Major Robt. B. Denison, at “Weston Toronto.” Authorised by GO., 3rd June 1861 and incorporated as No. 9 Coy “Trinity College,” 2nd Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada. 2nd Batt. VMR’s C., were reorganised in late 1862, redesignated No. 8 Company, “Trinity College.” The battalion by MGO 18 March 1863 restyled as 2nd Batt., VMR’s C or “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto,” Trinity College was designated No 8 Company.

Rev. Johnson, a pastor of St. Philip’s Church at the village of Weston, Toronto only incorporated “Trinity College School” on 8th Nov., 1864. By 1st May 1865, the school officially opened its doors to a student body of nine: “By the end of the first year there were 38 students and almost doubled again the following year.” The school went through two survival stages, caused by competing for donation, students &c. TCS relocated and officially reopened on Sept. 12, 1868 at Port Hope.

As for “another 14 early Drill Associations or Rifle Companies stood up, in Ontario and Quebec,” is misleading. For Lower & Upper Canada by February 1862 over 60 Independent, Regular, Volunteer, “Rifle Companies,” “Class A & B” were authorised. The amendment Section 11 consisted of; “professors, masters, pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions raised the above mentioned companies,” I only found two non-school’s DA.’s organised. Drill Associations were only assented by the militia act amendment, 9th June, 1862, with minimal interest from educational institutions, the majority preferred Rifle, Infantry, etc., Coy’s or were already authorised as active, independent, volunteer &c., pre amendment. This prompted a new regulation, obligating the Militia District Divisions and Sub-Divisions, of the “Sedentary Battalions, Companies,” too raise Drill Associations. By Dec., 1862 to 7th Feb., 1863, a total of 76 Drill Associations were authorised by GO., though 70 were allotted by Section 11. Circa 1867, post Fenian Raids, a push for University/College, &c., Coy’s, authorised as Independent, Volunteer Militia, Rifle, Infantry, etc., restyled as Drill Associations, was afoot, included non schools. Several factors for reorganisation: “Complying with Drill Associations Section 11: “Independent companies” of infantry composed of professors, masters, pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions……. Associations or Companies shall not be provided with any clothing or allowance therefore, nor shall they receive pay.” Actually, just one factor influenced the Big Wigs, the amount of money saved by the government coffers.

Source: History Of The Second Battalion, The “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto,” 1878: In the year 1856 several Volunteer Rifle Companies were raised in Toronto, who, while regularly drilled, were separate, distinct and independent organizations, under the control only of the Inspecting Field Officer of the Province, until the beginning of 1860, when the late Col. Geo. T. Denison, a militia officer of long standing, and great zeal, then in command of the mounted force at Toronto, proposed to the Government the formation of a Battalion from the several city Companies. To this they at once assented and asked him to undertake the task. A meeting of the officers was immediately called, including those of the Barrie and Brampton Companies, as there were at the time only four efficient companies in the city, and six were necessary for a Battalion; and on submitting the project, the feeling was found to be so unanimous in its favor, that on the 26th April, 1860, the following companies were gazetted as the 2nd Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada; Col. Denison being at the same time appointed Commandant of the District:—

By order dated Quebec, April 26th. 1860, the four rifle companies in Toronto, with Highland Rifle Company of Whitby and Barrie Rifle Company, were incorporated into a battalion styled as, “Second Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada.”

MGO, 26 April 1860. Formed from six independent rifle companies authorized on the following dates: ‘No. 1 Company’ (Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Barrie, 27 December 1855), ‘No. 2 Company’ (1st Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Toronto, 20 March 1856), ‘No. 3 Company’ (3d Volunteer Rifle Company of Toronto, 20 March 1856), ‘No. 4 Company’ (The Toronto Highland Volunteer Rifle Company, 18 September 1856), ‘No. 5 Company’ (The Volunteer Foot Artillery Company of Toronto, 13 November 1856, converted to a rifle company on 26 April 1860), and ‘No. 6 Company’ (The Volunteer Highland Rifle Company of Whitby, 31 March 1858.

In History of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada 2nd Battalion, by Lieut.-Col. J.M. Delamere, CO., Q.O.R. ca 1898: In the later part of 1861, and beginning of 1862 several “independent companies” were organized in the city, some of which were immediately added to the strength of the Battalion, viz.: Capt. Latham’s Company, as No. 7; Capt. Murray’s “2nd Merchants,” as’ No. 8 Company, and Trinity College Company, No. 9, while others did not join until the 21st November, 1862, when by a general order, the corps was made up to a strength of ten companies, exclusive of the Barrie’ and Whitby Companies, which again became independent, and Capt. Latham’s Company, which was transferred to the 10th Battalion. The Battalion thus reorganized was inspected on the Spadina Avenue Commons by General Lord Monck on the 24th September, 1862. Almost immediately after this reorganization, permission was applied for to adopt the title of the “Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto,” which was graciously granted by Her Majesty, in March, 1863……

“Trinity College” was organised on, 1st June 1861 as a, “Independent Rifle Coy.” By GO., 3rd June 1861 Trinity, was designated a “Volunteer Militia Rifles Coy” of the Active Militia and attached to 2nd Batt. Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada, No 9 Coy. The battalion was reorganized in late November 1862: 6 Toronto independent companies were added. Whitby and Barrie companies returned to there original classification as “independent companies,” while Trinity College was now No. 8 Company VMR’s C., until ca late 1868. The University & Colleges Rifle Company was aurthorised May 8th, 1862, attached to 2nd Batt. VMR’s Canada (on post 21st Nov.)  designated No. 9th Company, (later I & then K Company of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada). By MGO., 18th March 1863, restyled, 2nd Battalion, VMR of Canada or “Queen’s Own Rifles” of Toronto: Obviously, not cadet corps roots.


Trinity College School Captain Goodwin First Drill Instructor.

Trinity College School Captain Goodwin First Drill Instructor.



Regular Militia.

  1. We recommend that the Province be divided into such “Military Districts” as the Commander-in-Chief may, from time to time, direct.
  2. That each Military District be divided into “Regimental Divisions.”
  3. That in order to facilitate the enrolment, relief and reinforcement of an Active Force, each Regimental Division be divided into “Sedentary Battalion Divisions,” and subdivided into “Sedentary Company Divisions.”
  4. That each Regimental Division shall furnish one Active and one Reserve Battalion, to be taken as nearly as practicable in equal proportions from the male population ul’ Bach division, between the ages of 18 and 45.
  5. That each Company of an Active Battalion, together with its corresponding Reserve Company, be taken from within the limits of a defined territorial division, the boundary of which shall be identical with that of a Sedentary Battalion Division, or of a distinct portion of such division.
  6. That in order to accommodate the Sedentary Battalion Divisions to the organization of the Active Battalions, the limits of the former be, where necessary, re-arranged.

Volunteer Militia.

  1. We recommend that each of the principal cities of the Province, namely, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton and London, with such portions of the surrounding country as may, from time to time, be added to them by the Commander-in-Chief, shall constitute a Military District, to be divided into Regimental and Sedentary Battalion Divisions, as hereinbefore detailed; that they be allowed to furnish Volunteer Militia of the three arms in the proportions hereinafter detailed, in lieu of Active Battalions of Regular Militia. In the event of these cities failing to furnish their full complement of Volunteers, they shall, in part or altogether, fall under the General Regulations of the Regular Militia, in such manner as the Commander-in-Chief shall direct.
  2. That all the Regiments of Volunteer and Regular Militia shall be numbered from one upwards, the numbers to be drawn by lot.
  • T. GALT,
  • E. P. TACHE,
  • T. E. CAMPELL,
  • THOMAS WILY, Secretary. Quebec, March 15, 1862.


  • Militia Act Amendment: Chapter 1, 26 Victoria, 1862.
  • [Assented to 9th June, 1862.]

 WHEREAS it is expedient to make the following provisions (Preamble) in amendment of chapter thirty-five of the Consolidated Statutes of Canada, intituled: An Act respecting the Militia: Con. Stat. Canada, cap. 35. Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent, of the Legislative Council and Assembly of Canada, enacts as follows:

Pay of the Active Militia on Drill:

  • Section 6: The fortieth section of the said Act is hereby repealed, and the following section shall be substituted for it and bear the same number:
  • “40. The non-commissioned officers and men of the Active Militia (Class A) shall be paid for each day of actual and bona fide drill not exceeding twelve in number, the sum of fifty cents per diem, and a further sum of one dollar per diem for each horse actually and necessarily present belonging to and used for such drill by such non-commissioned officers and men.”

Time For Drill: “2. Notwithstanding any thing contained in the thirty-eighth section of this Act, such days of drill need not be consecutive, unless so ordered by the Commander in Chief, who may also determine the manner in which such number of days of drill shall be computed.”


  • Section 11. (Certain Companies may be organized, &c, but not paid): The Commander in Chief may sanction the organization of associations for purposes of Drill and of independent Companies of Infantry composed of professors, masters or but not paid. pupils of Universities, Schools or other public Institutions, or of persons engaged in or about the same, or of reserve men; but such Associations or Companies shall not be provided with any clothing or allowance therefore, nor shall they receive pay.


Return of Arms, Accouterments, and Great Coats issued by the Military Store Department to the Volunteers of Canada, on requisition from the Militia Department.

Canada Militia Returns Of Arms, Great Coats &c. 1862.

Canada Militia Returns Of Arms, Great Coats &c. 1862.


The Journal Of Education For Upper Canada For The Year & Published In 1862.

 P.47: Trinity College Rifle Corps.— After a recent inspection of the Trinity College Rifle Corps by the Inspecting Officer, Colonel McDougall the Lord Bishop of Toronto, at the request of Major Denison, addressed a few well-timed and happy remarks to the men, which were listened to with deep respect. His Lordship made allusion to his reminiscences of the war of 1812, in which he had borne an active part as Chaplain to the Forces, and added that, while he fervently hoped peace would be preserved to us, the best guarantee was being prepared for the alternative, and he rejoiced to see the loyal spirit which everywhere existed. His Lordship closed his brief address with a few touching remarks on the duties of the corps, as soldiers of the Cross, which be trusted while drilling as earthly soldiers they would never forget.

P.120 — Trinity College Dinner. —The annual dinner to the graduates and undergraduates of University of Trinity College, Toronto, took place in the Convocation Hall, on Thursday evening, the 26th ult., at seven o’clock. The Rev. the Provost occupied the chair, supported on his right by Sir John Beverley Robinson, Chancellor of the University, and on his left by the Lord Bishop of Toronto. About seventy gentlemen sat down to dinner. After the usual loyal toasts had been given, the Provost proposed “The Chancellor,” to which Sir J. B. Robinson briefly replied, saying that the greater leisure the late changes had given him would enable him to bestow more of his time in the interest of the University. He regretted that the present aspect of affairs was not as encouraging as one might desire for institutions of this kind; but he hoped the time was not far distant when the financial affairs of the country—additionally embarrassed by the serious difficulties which prevail in the United States—would so return to their former prosperity as to show the institution over which he had the honour to preside, as useful and prosperous as we could desire. The Provost then proposed “The Lord Bishop of Toronto.” His Lordship rose and said he thanked those present for the hearty manner in which they had responded. He said he had made so many speeches on similar occasions that he felt quite run dry. He would offer a word of advice, however, that his young friends about him would now, in their youth and vigour, live so that in old age they may have pleasure in looking back on a well spent life. He said it was a mistake to suppose that old age was a burden, unless embittered with unpleasant recollections. The Chancellor proposed “The Trinity College Rifle Corps,” coupling with it the name of Major Denison. The Major, who appeared in full rifle uniform, responded. After other complimentary toasts, the company separated.—Leader.


The Active Or Volunteer Militia Force List Of Canada, Apr. 30th 1863.

  • Volunteer Militia Rifle and Infantry Corps.
  • Upper Canada No. 10 M.D.

2nd Batt. or “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto,” April 26, 1860.

  •  No. 8 Coy “University & Colleges”…Authorised by GO., May 8th 1862: 1862. Capt. Henry Croft…May 8th 1862.
  • No. 9Coy “Trinity College”..Authorised by GO., June 3, 1861: 1863. Capt. Thos Henry Ince.. Jany 30, 1863.

The Annual Volunteer & Service Militia List of Canada. 1st Feb. 1865.

  •  Volunteer Militia Infantry and Rifle Corps.
  • Upper-Canada: 2nd Batt. “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto,” April 26, 60.

Special Designation conferred March 18, 63.

  • No 8 Company “Trinity College”….Autho…GO. June 3rd, 1861: 1861 Capt. Thos Henry Ince.. Jany 30, 1863.
  • No. 9 Coy “University & Colleges”…Authorised by GO., May 8th 1862: 1862. Capt. Henry Croft…May 8th 1862.


The Annual Volunteer and Service Militia List of Canada Mar. 31st 1866. Volunteer Militia Infantry and Rifle Corps.

  • Upper-Canada, 8th Division:
  • 2nd Batt. “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto,” April 26, 60.
  • No 8 Company “Trinity College” June 3, 61. CO., Captain L.P. Sherwood….Decr., 15, 1865.
  • No. 9 Coy “University & Colleges”…Authorised by GO., May 8th 1862. Capt. Henry Croft…May 8th 1862.


The Annual Volunteer and Service Militia List of Canada Mar. 31st 1867.

  •  Infantry & Rifle Battalions.
  • 2nd Batt. “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto.”
  • No 8 Company “Trinity College” June 3, 61. CO., Captain L.P. Sherwood….Decr., 15, 1865.
  • No. 9 Coy “University & Colleges”…Authorised by GO., May 8th 1862. Capt. Henry Croft…May 8th 1862.
  • Attached to the Batt.: Upper Canada College Company…Jany 12, 1866. CO., Captain: Frank C. Draper….Jany 12,1866.


Trinity College School 1869-70 Group Picture at Port Hope.

Trinity College School 1869-70 Group Picture at Port Hope.


Source: History Of The Second Battalion, The “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto,” 1878.


 H COMPANY: As previously mentioned, the 2nd Merchants Company when gazetted, was first posted as No. 8 Company, and when on the reorganization of the 2nd Battalion, it became No. 5., the Trinity-College Company, raised by Major Robt. B. Denison. In June, 1861, and posted as No. 9 Company, became No. 8, Capt. Thos. H. Icnce succeeding Major Denison in command. At Limeridge, No. 8 was the left flanking company under Capt. L. P. Sherwood, and at that lime Major Salter M. Janis was a sergeant in the company; he afterwards commanded n, and was succeeded by Capts. Bruce Harman and George A. McKenzie.

The students of Trinity-College never being sufficiently numerous to form a strong company, were always obliged, to some extent, to recruit from those who were neither graduates or undergraduates of the college. In process of time the numbers of the outsiders increased while those of the Trinity men diminished, till shortly after Capt. Nash assumed command, in 1876, the latter ceasing to have a preponderating influence, withdrew altogether from the company. This Company has always been a very steady one, and now takes the left of the Regiment on parade.

I COMPANY: The “University and College” Rifle Company, formed from students of the University of Toronto, was gazetted on the 8th May, 1862, under Captain Henn Croft. Lieut. J. B. Cherriman and Ensign Adam Crooks, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion in November, 1862, as No. 9 Company, in place of the Trinity College Company which then became No. 8 Company. In 1864 it was awarded the prize of $100 for being the best drilled company in this District, the Militia Department having offered a similar prize in each District. At Limeridge, under Ensign Ceo. T. Whitney, then of No. 8 Co’y, (deceased) it bore a distinguished part, for, though at first in the reserve, it was afterwards sent to the right of the skirmish line, and while there and during the retreat, lost three killed. Privates Tempest, Mewburn and McKenzie, and four wounded, Privates Vandersmissen, Kingsford, Patterson and Paul.

Captain Cherriman succeeded Captain Croft in 1867, and in March, 1872, a second company was formed by the students of the University and posted as No. 10 or K. Company, under Capt. W. H. Ellis, but it was found that two companies could not be efficiently maintained by University men proper, though it was not until 1877 that that conclusion was definitely arrived at, and the original idea of one company revived.

Capt. V. H. Vandersmissen was then in command, and the men of both company were put into one company and posted as K. Company the present I Company composed of students from the Toronto School of Medicine, under Capt. Fred. H. Wright, taking the vacant place.

“The School On The Hill Trinity College School 1865-1965,” as fallows: The first crisis occurred almost immediately. During the year 1865, a Church school was opened at Picton under the auspices of Dr. J. Travers Lewis, Lord Bishop of Ontario. From his point of view, competition from Weston would be disastrous. He applied to the Corporation of Trinity College for an amalgamation which in effect would have ended as a merger of both schools at Picton. The Corporation as a whole was favourably disposed to support his request. A Committee reported on November 22, 1865, that “they had met Mr. Johnson who is not prepared under any circumstances to consent to the closing of the School at Weston, or to the removal of the present Head Master (to Picton)”. The firm stand taken by Mr. Johnson, vigorously supported by Professor Jones and Professor Ambery, won the day. After a few years of declining fortunes, the Picton school closed its doors as had an earlier school established in Toronto under the auspices of the College………….. From the many first-hand accounts that refer to him, the man

“adored by all the boys” was Sergeant-Major Goodwin whose boast was that he attained his eighteenth birthday on the very day he fought at Waterloo. When he missed the train to Weston, Canon Jarvis recalled, he used to walk the eight miles from Toronto to keep his appointment despite his advanced years. A gentle and persuasive teacher, he drilled the boys on Saturday afternoons, and two or three of the older boys were provided with cavalry swords and belts which were worn with a great deal of ceremony going to and from the drill ground. It was the School’s first cadet corps. The emphasis on drill was no doubt underlined by the uncertainty of the times and the excitement of the Fenian Raid. It was reported that during the summer of 1866, William Osier drilled a company of youngsters for military service at his home in Dundas. Here he was about 70 miles from

Fort Erie which in June had been captured by John O’Neill’s band during his abortive invasion from across the border. Osier may have volunteered for this service under the influence of ‘Captain’ Goodwin’s tutelage. An expert swordsman himself, their drill instructor also taught them the manly art of self-defence. It was not long before the boys paid tribute to his enormous prestige by bestowing on him the title of Colonel, though he was in the interval referred to sometimes as Captain and sometimes as Major. ‘Colonel’ Goodwin’s son, Henry, an expert swordsman and gymnast, was a magnificent specimen of manhood, tall, full-chested, and erect. He was an ideal disciplinarian and much admired for his physical prowess.


PORT HOPE County of Durham Directory 1869-70.

The public buildings are: a Town Hall and Market House, erected of brick in 1852, entire cost with bell and clock about $7000. A Battalion drill-shed of wood, built in 1867, at the cost of about $2200. The schools are, a united Grammar and Common, with two Primary ones, situated in different parts of the town, together with a branch of Trinity College, known as the Trinity College School; the Union and College schools each have a drill association connected with them, to perfect the youth in military exercises, as well as in the other educational branches. There are two Volunteer Infantry Companies, Nos 1 and 2, of the 46th Battalion, the former of which is commanded by Capt F A Benson, and the latter by Capt Thos Craig. There is also a company of Garrison Artillery, under the command of Capt S Sculthorp, and last though not least, one of light Cavalry, commanded by Col R W Smart. Connected with the 46th Battalion is an excellent brass band, under the able leadership of Prof., W. Philip, and I might here add that this band is one of the best in Ontario. The town also has two fire engine companies.

Source: http://www.porthopehistory.com/durhamdirect1869.htm





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