Collection : 1770-1876.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .R6W5C5
Category: Family
Creator: Robertson, William, 1760-1806.
Description: 2 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            William Robertson was born in Scotland, settled at Detroit in 1782, and became a very successful businessman. Kinship played a significant role in establishing his business connections. He was related to John Askin through his brother's widow, Catherine Askin, and became his partner in 1784. In 1785 Catherine married Robert Hamilton, the leading merchant in the Niagara area. Robertson acted as his financier, supplier, patron, and customer. His major concern was the fur trade, and with Askin and Alexander Grant, he became one of the leading merchants in the area. He held public office, serving as a militia officer and sitting on the executive and legislative councils of Upper Canada from July to November 1792 when he resigned from both bodies. William Robertson died in England a wealthy man, and placed the bulk of his estate in trust for his daughter Elizabeth who married Dr. Henry Ronalds (1791-1847) of Old Brentford, England.            
            The collection consists of five series.

Series I, 1770-1806, contains material directly related to William Robertson and includes public and private correspondence; Robertson's copy book, 1803-1806; statements of accounts; bonds; bills of sale; promissory notes; receipts; and records of land transactions. Most of the material relates to activities in the vicinity of the Detroit River. The correspondence includes letters from John Askin, Detroit; Robert Hamilton, Landing/Queenston; and Todd McGill and Company, Montreal.

Series II, 1806-1819, relates to the chancery cases of Lawrie et al. vs. Bodenham et al.; the guardianship and education of Robertson's daughter Elizabeth Lucy Robertson; and the estates in both Upper Canada and in the United States, all of which make up the bulk of this section. The material includes promissory notes; receipts; statements; and correspondence from, for example, the firm of Maclure and Robertson, Philadelphia; Charles Welling Hare, Philadelphia; John Jacob Astor, New York; and Baring Brothers and Company, London, England.

Series III, 1820-1876, pertains to the Ronalds estate. Robertson's only child and heiress-at-law married Dr. Henry Ronalds (1791-1847) of old Brentford, England. The bulk of this material is composed of correspondence with agents and attorneys for the Ronalds estate in America, as well as correspondence between the various members of the Ronalds family. In addition, there is correspondence with such individuals as Andrew Mercer of York and John Prince of Sandwich. Also included in this section are printed copies of the legal documents of the Ronalds' estates as relating to land in Canada. Included are land lease agreements and public notices issued as part of the requirements in petitioning for patents to certain lands before the commissioners for ascertaining the heirs, and devisees, and assignees of the original nominees of the crown.

Series IV, 1836-1859, consists of letters, mainly of Ronalds family interest. Many of the papers relate to Henry Ronalds' business and private affairs in Upper Canada. A few of the papers bear an indirect relation to the Ronalds estate.

Series V, 1842-1849, consists of Ronalds family correspondence.
Originals: The original records are held by the University of Western Ontario, London.
Archival Ref. No.:
Finding Aids:
            An inventory description and table of contents are found at the beginning of each reel.

An inventory description, microfilm shelf list and table of contents are available in print.
Electronic Finding Aid Record: Robertson, William Shelf List.pdf
Notes: The table of contents on the reel is incomplete. Series V also includes Ronalds family correspondence, 1842-1849.

The handwritten title at the beginning of the reel is misleading. The correct title should be, The Henry Robertson and Henry Ronalds Collection.
Part Of:
Other With: