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TOPSAILRe. St. John's Circuit
Reports on State of The Work of God -
1829 - 1878 - Newfoundland Conference Archives - St. John's
1832 John Pickavant & John Tompkins - Report - visited several times. Few inhabitants and extremely poor. A small class formed, no suitable leaders or place to meet. Building planned but people poor.
1833 John Haigh - Reports - From its very great remoteness and there being only one preacher on the circuit the past year has not been visited. 3 members.
1836 J. Smithies - Reports - Raising a small chapel 30 x 18 feet. The word is taking effect
1837 J. Smithies - Reports - A neat place of worship lately opened which will contain about 150 people. Visited frequently by excellent local Preacher. A class there.
1838 W. Faulkner - Reports - Topsail visited, has a society to keep up our doctrine and discipline which receives the word with gladness.
1839 W. Faulkner - Reports - Suffers much loss for want of the stated means of grace.
1840 Class members recorded - James Allen, Mary Mayo, Joseph Miller, Elizabeth Miller, Ann Miller, Elizabeth Fowlow, William Hiscock, Robert Miller, Thomas Miller, Elizabeth Mayo.
1842 Class members recorded - Henry Allen, James Allen, Mary Allen, Joseph, Miller, Elizabeth Miller, Jane Mercer, Ann Fowlow, Elizabeth Fowlow, Edward Hiscock.
1866 Meeting Nov. 28th - Monies received from Rev. Mr. Gaetz, Topsail, 21. 17s. 7d
1867 Meeting March 5th - Monies received from Mr. Gaetz, Topsail, 3. 8s. 6d
DO Meeting March 18th - The meeting felt it desirable to have a separate circuit for the Southern Shore (hitherto was in St. John's Circuit) to include Portugal Cove and to have a married minister instead of a single "who should reside at Topsail". Annual statement - Contributions from Topsail 25. 5s 6d (year ending May)
DO Meeting July 22 - "Rev. Mr. Combden who yesterday arrived at Topsail, must be in Town every Sabbath until the arrival of Rev. Mr. Ackman from England."
DO Meeting Dec. 4th - Receipts from Topsail reported as 8 3s 10d
- Furniture for topsail Mission House at 15.
- December half yearly statement - Topsail 11. 11s 4d
1868 Meeting Feb. 7th - Deputation appointed for Missionary Meeting at Topsail; Committee to attend from St. John's, Rev. Mr. Prince, if possible, and Messrs. Rogerson, March, S. Rendell, White and Gear.
DO March 4th meeting - Topsail contribution Rev. C. Comben 4. 0s. 6d. The Hopewell cause poor; it is suggested that the chapel there be moved to Topsail. Also the labours of the minister of the Southern Shore is confined principally to Topsail, which could easily be supplied from St. John's (Allowance for Mr. Comben's horse 20.) Public Meeting at Topsail. 4. 18s 0d.
1868 September - The Circuit Steward to arrange with Mr. Gear for removal of the furniture in the Topsail House to the Mission House here (St. John's), carriage of it cost 5sh.
DO Meeting Dec. 9th - Deputation to Topsail Missionary Meeting - Rev. Mr. Ackman, Messrs. March, - half year contributions from Topsail 5 4s 11d.
1869 Public meeting June - Topsail 2. 5d. And by Dec. 15 Topsail 5.15s. At which meeting was mentioned the necessity of replacing Topsail Church with new one.
1870 Meeting Jan. 4th - Topsail additional contribution 1.5s. 10d.
March 23 meeting - Topsail Missionary meeting 6.0s. 0d.
1871 September Meeting - What day is best to open the Topsail new church as it will probably be finished the first week in October?
DO November 12 Meeting - Messrs. Ayre & Lead to get up party for Topsail Missionary Meeting (brought 6) - Other contributions 6 4s. 6d
1872 Nov. 29th Meeting - Messrs. March, Angel, Rogerson, attended the Missionary Meeting from St. John's.
1873 March 5th Meeting - collection at Topsail 4 (poor voyage this year), Brother Gear to attend Missionary Meeting (brought 7.17s.2d)
1874 Brother Gear - also attended Missionary Meeting at Topsail this year.
1878 - Jan. 14 Meeting - Mention of Rev. Thomas Fox at Topsail.
DO July 1 Meeting - Rev. Thomas Fox granted 15.
1889 Rev. Thomas Fox - Mr. Fox died at Topsail aged 77. He was 33 years in the Ministry.
1894 Value of Methodist Church Property at Topsail - 3 churches seating 280 people and Organ and Furnishings - $1950.00 - 1 Parsonage $1570.00 - 2 Cemeteries $150.00 - Total $3820.00 - No debt.
Methodist Clergymen stationed at Topsail
1878 - Probably Rev. Thomas Fox 1879 -
1880 - 1881 -
1882 - 1883 -
1884 - 1885
1886 - Rev. Mark Fenwick 1887 - (Rev. Mark Fenwick
Rev. Thos. Fox, Supernumerary
1888 - Rev. W. H. Adams & Rev. Thos. Fox, supernumerary
1889 - 1890-1891 - Rev. Samuel Snowden
1892-1893 - Rev. John Reay 1894-1896 - Rev. A. Hill
1897-1899 - Rev. F. G. Willey 1900 - Rev. Jesse Hayfield
Ref. Wesleyan School Reports -
1844-1859 - Newfoundland Conference Archives - St. John's1846 Rev. Richard Williams - Reports - Not able to be visited through the last long and universally tedious winter. Hope will be visited soon. Some 40 children.
1847 Rev. Richard Williams - Reports - In Topsail and Pouch Cove schools they feel the want of teachers and books; the children have been unable to attend from want of clothes as well as books. Now schools are reopening; signs of progress.
1848 Rev. Richard Williams - Reports - No comfortable place to meet, so no S. S. lately even; church services irregularly held. Several of the parents supplied with our catechisms have catechised their children. The people preparing to repair the chapel and we hope soon to re-establish the school.
1851 Rev. E. Botterrell - Reports - School on the whole doing well, though unavoidably suspended a few winter months. The children read the Holy Scriptures admirably and have been diligently instructed in the Conference Catechisms. 22 males, 18 females.
1852 Rev. E. Botterrell - Reports - 22 boys, 17 girls, 3 male teachers.
1853 Reports - No increase in numbers owing to the depressed conditions of the people the greater part of the year. The Sabbath School, however, carefully attended to, 21 boys, 16 girls, 3 male teachers.
1854 Reports - School kept most of the year. The children well acquainted with our excellent catechisms. 19 boys, 21 girls; 3 male teachers.
1855 Reports - Teachers commended for their perseverance, shown in children's proficiency in 1st and 2nd Catechisms of which they repeat very correctly. 3 male, 1 female teachers; 15 boys, 20 girls.
1858 Rev. Henry Daniel - Superintendent of circuit - Reports - Children assembled on Sabbath mornings in the summer. Ministers much gratified with their knowledge of our first Catechism; school exercises a good influence on them. Teachers: 2 male, 2 female, 12 boys, 18 girls.
1859 Reports - About 10 boys and 15 girls with 2 male teachers. The scholars are attentive and serious but little progress made from a paucity of help.
Journal 1 of House of Assembly - 1844 - 1862 Wesleyan Methodist Day School
1861 James Allen - Teacher - Salary 50. Fees 2. 19s 6d. - 36 children.
1863 James Allen - Teacher -
1866 James Allen - Teacher - Salary 50 - 36 children.
Hutchinson's Newfoundland Directory - 1864 - 1865 - Topsail - Jas Allen Sr. Teacher. Jas. Allen Jr. Carpenter - Wm. Allen, Carpenter - Sam Churchill, Carpenter. Patrick Daley, General Dealer - Jas. Moyes, Blacksmith - Rev. Chas. Palairet, Wm. Styles, School Teacher.
References on Topsail History -
D. W. Prowse History of Newfoundland. 1st. Edition pp 427, 512, 623, 624
D. W. Johnson History of Methodism pp 263, 264
Archdeacon Wix - Six months of a Missionary's Journal p 14
Frances Briffett - Story of Newfoundland & Labrador p 111
Mosdell, H. M. - When was that? (In Nfld.) pp 45, 130, See Foxtrap, Topsail
A. Murray & J. P. Howley Geological survey of Newfoundland. Report for 1868 on p 143, 145.
Geology of Topsail.
Jukes, J. B. - Excursions in and about Newfoundland. Vol. 1 pp 3-6, - 275 & perhaps 261
Lovell's - Province of Newfoundland Directory for 1871, pp 354, 355. Population of Topsail was then 230.
Hutchinson - Newfoundland Directory for 1956 p D - 79 - List of Topsail businesses.
Prowse's History p 427
"All the great improvements around St. John's may be said to date from Sir Thomas Cochrane's time. The roads to Topsail, Bay Bulls, Torbay and Portugal Cove had been commenced before his arrival; it was, however, his energy that pushed them forward."
P. 512 - "For five days the whole population from Topsail to Indian Pond were in an insane state of excitement. Though it was the busiest time of the year, they never did a stroke of work; all day long they watched the engineers and the small posse of police, and followed them from place to place. From Topsail to Indian Pond the whole population believed the advent of this terrible monster, the railway, meant their ruin."
Mosdell on P 45
Says the battle of Foxtrap took place June 26, 1880 when the women of Foxtrap drove out Judge Prowse and his force of police who went there to prevent obstruction of railway surveyors.
Prowse's History pp 623-624
"Experience has shown us that we might have built the line (to Hr. Grace, I think, L. W.) for about half the money it cost, and that it would have been one of the best paying short lines in North America. The engineering was very unsatisfactory and incomplete; instead of running into Topsail, the most important pleasure resort and best paying station in the railway, the line has to be reached by a steep uphill road, a mile long; a much better route could have been selected if there had been a more complete preliminary survey.
For a colony railways should be run to secure traffic or to encourage settlement; the Topsail line should have commenced at the west end of St. John's.
Mosdell's - When was That? P 130
Corner Stone of R. C. Church, Topsail laid by Archbishop Roche, September 26, 1920.
Church consecrated by His Grace October 16, 1922.
Then there would be other sources like the census at 10 year or so intervals from 1836. Also there are almanacs giving lots of data re governmental statistics re post offices, education, lists of doctors, government officials and departments -- from the mid 1800's I think, to the modern reports of government. (A question here, how has confederation affected Topsail, what difference has it made; would make a good last page)
Page Revised: February - 2003 (Don Tate)
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