St. Matthew's Cemetery's Fascinating Links to the Past

It has been good to follow the news reports about St. Matthew's Cemetery. It is a place with many fascinating connections to the history of Quebec City. It is pleasing to see the city take an interest in the place where such names as Robert Wood, possible half-brother of Queen Victoria, and the other illustrious brother of Sir Walter Scott... but that is material for another day.

Your article on page one of the July 29th issue has a statement that is a tad faulty. The report says "basically, all the Anglophones who lived in the city before 1860 are buried there". I beg to differ, but I am caught, shall one say, on the horns of the proverbial dilemma: All Anglophones --- before 1860--- are buried there. What about the thousands of Irish Catholics who lived in Quebec City starting in the 1790s? Perhaps they were not Anglophones, but still Gaelic speakers. But many were English speakers. Buried from Notre Dame de Quebec basilica, they would not likely be brought to a Protestant graveyard. The 8000 Irish who lived in Quebec City in the 1830s, the builders and supporters of St. Patrick's Church, and who died here, would not very likely be buried at St. Matthews. They were Anglophones.

The article about the Grosse Ile pilgrimage of August 15 invited people to come to the commemoration. I hope that many more Quebec City people will show our compatriots from Ireland that we remember with the same fervour as our fellow citizens reacted in 1847 to care for the victims of famine who streamed into the city in 1847.


Please keep up the good work.

Sincerely yours,

Marianna O'Gallagher