Cannington Manor English Colony

Cannington Manor, Saskatchewan, Canada

Cannington Manor English Colony, Didsbury Mansion, and Humphrys/Hewlett House, History

A touch of Jolly Old England on the bald Saskatchewan Prairie? Yes there was!

Located 6 miles north of Manor SK, South West of Moose Mountain Provincial Park

As per the newspaper articles below show, Captain Edward Michell Pierce, set up his own English Village, and what became an English Colony, and called it Cannington Manor, in 1882.

Located at Section 14, Township 9, Rge 1, W2

He left England with his 2nd oldest son, Harvey Pierce, on June 20, 1882, and went to Toronto. His oldest son Duncan Frederick Pierce, came with the rest of the family leaving England on July 4, 1882. Duncan headed West First, to look for land, and called for his father, and brother Harvey Michell Pierce shortly after he found this area.

The land they chose was not open for homesteading. Capt Pierce had to go to Ottawa, and bargain for the land, which was opened for 1 day, basically for him, so he and 3 sons got a homestead in the end. A full section of land, but another record says he had 5 quarters. See list below, I think they had 6 quarters in the end.

He came West in 1882 with 2 sons seeking homesteads, leaving his wife and daughters in Toronto. He then sent word for the ladies to come to Winnipeg. Jan 25, 1883 son Duncan went to Winnipeg to get them, via the train to Moosomin, arriving back on Jan 28, 1883 at Cannington.

First thing Captain Pierce did was build his house, which he called Cannington. the Church, described below, was the second structure built, by Settlers bee, partly by money from England. They then formed the Moose Mountain Trading Company, to build the Grist Mill, Hotel, Store, Blacksmith Shop, Shoemaker's Shop, Coach Builder's Shop, Major Charles Edmund Phipps's Land Agent's Office, (opened in 1889 then moved to Oxbow in 1891), and houses as needed. A School was added later, with a Community Hall overhead. Today a 1920 era, one room School is used as the visitor's centre.

Cannington Manor School District #160, in 1985, from Carlyle Museum

He started a Farming Training School for Remittance men from England. For £100 a year they were given training in farming, and Canadian Country life. These were sons of wealthy men in England. Usually sent to Canada or one of the British Colonies, because they were basically spoiled rich rotten brats, from what I can figure out. 2 of the Beckton brothers were part of this group. (See Didsbury Mansion History below) Captain Pierce was to babysit them. But he sadly died early.

Edward Michell Pierce
b- Mar 27, 1832, Merriott, Somerset, England
Baptized Sept 13, 1832 in Merriott
d- June 20, 1888 in Cannington Manor, Saskatchewan
Buried in All Saints Anglican Cemetery at Cannington Manor

He was a British Army Officer
A Vintner in Lympstone, Devon England
Edward married Lydia Bishop Bowdage
b- Aug 18, 1825, Crewkerne, Somerset, England
d- June 26, 1911 in Southampton, Hampshire, England
daughter of Emanuel Bowdage and Philippa Galhampton Winter

Edward and Lydia had 9 children
4 daughters, and 5 sons.
(note- all records but 1 say 8 children, but I have seen a family tree with 9 listed? 1. Duncan Frederick Pierce 1853–1910 2. Lydia Pierce 1854–1933 3 Annie Elizabeth Pierce 1855–1882 4. Frances Michell Pierce 1857–1930 5. Jessie Harriett Pierce 1858–1944 6. Harvey Michell Pierce 1860–1908 7. Hamilton Du Vernet Pierce 1862–1862 8. John Harvey Pierce 1864–1905 8. Edward Camperdown Pierce 1869–1933

Youngest daughter, Jessie Harriett Pierce, married Ernest Beckton, (see Didsbury Mansion below)
Jessie was living in Victoria BC in 1942, where she died Dec 30, 1944

Captain Pierce supposedly was named after a famous Brig. General Edward Michell.

Father- Edward Pierce (Snr)
b- Apr 25, 1799 in Axminster, Devon, England,
d-May 23, 1874 in Yeovil, Somerset, England,
Shown as a Nursery man in 1832, and in his father's will
He was obviously a famous Nurseryman as he was listed in a special book on the subject, as a Nurseryman in Yeovil, Somerset, at the time. (see Ext Link below)
Edward Pierce Snr's Will.

Mother- Elizabeth Eleanora Michel
b- May 4, 1794-in Langport, Somerset, England,
d- July 26, 1869 in Yeovil, Somerset, England)
Daughter of John Michel, from Dorset, and Elizabeth nee ?

Grandfather Dr. John Harvey Pierce, see Ext link below on his life. A source of money for Edward Snr and Jnr no doubt.

Edward Michell Pierce's Will

Edward M. Pierce Applied for a Homestead Grant, Aug 23, 1886
Homestead Number: 36330
SE Section: 28, Township: 9, Range: 1 , W2

other Homesteads applied for:
Item Number Names Part Section Township Range Meridian
48317 Lydia Bishop Pierce NE 14 9 1 W2
48323 Duncan Pierce NW 14 9 1 W2
48342 Edward M Pierce SE 14 9 1 W2
48350 Duncan Pierce SW 14 9 1 W2
48678 Edward C Pierce SW 24 9 1 W2

Lots of stories about this man, going bankrupt from a Bank Failure in England in 1881, a Commercial Shipping line failure, and many more.
Lots of folks trying to figure this guy out, but so far it appears he might have made some of these stories up.
He told stories he was raised in the Taunton Castle at Taunton, Somerset, but nothing has been found to verify that either.
I do see some of the children were born in Taunton Somerset though. So who knows.

found a newspaper clipping which says he was made Captain, of the First Devon Volunteer Militia, so that was true. Edward Michell Pierce, Esq., to be captain, vice Brent, ?? 25 ; Second-Lieuteniant Robert Giles Lethbridge resigns hie ?? 25; Duncan Frederick Pierce, (his oldest son) tno, gent., to be second-lieutenant, vice-Lethbridge …
Published: Wednesday 02 October 1872
Newspaper: Exeter Flying Post
County: Devon, England

They worked at advertising and promoting their community back in England.

Cannington Manor is a thriving prairie settlement in Assiuiboia, close to the Moose Mountains a low-lying range of hills, beautifully wooded and pastured, containing many lakes which abound in fish and wild-fowl …
Published: Saturday 19 August 1893
Newspaper: Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News
County: London, England

Our pictures are from sketches sent us from the remote station, of Cannington Manor, in the North-West Territory of Canada. Our correspondent, Mr. E. N. Maltby, writes us Cannington Manor is a thriving prairie settlement in Assiniboia, close to the Moose …
Published: Saturday 24 February 1894
Newspaper: Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News
County: London, England

FOX-HUNTING IN THE CANADIAN NORTH-WEST–A MEET … season's hunting on the cheap, I would say go to the North- West there are hounds at Winnipeg hunted by Mr. Johnson, at Cannington Manor in tho southern part of Assiniboia the Becton Brothers keep a pack on their large horse ranch, ..
Published: Saturday 19 September 1896
Newspaper: Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News
County: London, England

… 21st June, at All Saints’, Cannington Manor, Assiniboia, Canada, by the Rev. Frank V. Baker, Principal of St. John’s College, Qu’appelle Station, N.W.T., the Rev. George Nelson Dobie, Priest- in - charge of Cannington Manor, to Franoea Elizabeth Brockman …
Published: Saturday 09 July 1892
Newspaper: East Anglian Daily Times
County: Suffolk, England

… sport, a capital pack of foxhounds, shooting, and also pike fishing, all on from £150 to £300 year. This being done at Cannington Manor, Moose Mountains, Assiniboia, Canada. There aro many misconceptions England with regard the climate here. true that paper …
Published: Monday 05 June 1893
Newspaper: Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser
County: Greater Manchester, England Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser

… Saints', in this parish, will, I am sure, substantiate my remarks on the matter. Yours, MICHELL PIERCE, J.P., Captain. Cannington Manor, Assiniboia, N.W.T., North America, March 19, 1883. To the Editor of the Manchester Courier. Sir, —A friend of mine …
Published: Thursday 12 April 1888
Newspaper: Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser
County: Greater Manchester, England

Western Times
… bull's-eyes and an inner, making up total of twenty-two bull's-eyes and two inners—a score of 118 out of a possible 120. Captain E. M. Pierce, of the Lympstone Artillery, has resigned. Lieut. W. Fowler, of the Keyham Artillery, is promoted to the rank of captain …
Published: Monday 19 April 1880
Newspaper: Western Times
County: Devon, England

… short of that number on parade on Tuesday, there being six officer?, six sergeant, two trumpeters, and 59 rank and file. Captain Pierce was in command, and th« other officers present were Lieuts. Rochfort and Pierce, Surgeon Barton, Veterinary Surgeon H …
Published: Thursday 24 August 1876
Newspaper: Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams
County: Devon, England

… Bolt, Gunner Barrable, Gunner Shears, Lieut. Pierce, and Corpl. Rous. At five o'clock the battery proceeded to Captain Pierces house at Lympstone, and were drawn up on the lawn, where they were put through company drill by Capt. Pierce, and the prizes were …
Published: Friday 20 September 1878
Newspaper: Exeter and Plymouth Gazette
County: Devon, England

… returned to Exmouth on their way to Lympstone, where the Captain took them to his house and distributed the prizes. This was followed by a dinner iv the drill-shed, which was provided at the expense of Captain Pierce, who presided. After the meal the gallant …
Published: Saturday 11 July 1874
Newspaper: Western Times
County: Devon, England

Fox Hunting, Cricket, Lawn Bowling, Tennis, Horse Racing, Polo Matches, Dog Breeding, Billiards, Rifle Club, Soccer, Theatrical Plays, and Boating, were just a few “English” Style adventures, they took part in in this area, in the 1880's and 1890's.

Today 2017, it is a Saskatchewan Provincial Park. Established as a Prov. Park in 1964. Not much left to see, basically a few buildings and the oldest Church, in Saskatchewan is all that remains. I was disappointed as the highway signs said they were open for the season, when I visited in June 2017, but they were sadly closed. Plus it is an ALL gravel road, to get there. Of course the main building was closed as well.

They operated a Grist flour mill which won a prize at the 1885 Chicago World's Fair, per article below. The foundation is all the remains.

Also a sawmill was operated.

The village's future was killed when the CPR transcontinental railroad went south of the village.

Mr. Ernest Newcombe Maltby, the First Postmaster (see below) one of the ownersof the Moose Mountain Trading Company Store, Blacksmith Shop, Mitre Hotel, and other buildings and business in the Village. See also Manor SK page

From display sign at site, see photo page

Owned by the Moose Mountain Trading Company (see below)

Opened in late 1887 or early 1888, and closed in 1904

The popular hotel in the village was once a 50 x 80 ft structure.
Whiskey was sold for 10 cents a glass

Company was formed by Captain Edward Michell Pierce, Robert Montague Bird,(short bio below) (one record says Harry Bird) and Ernest Newcombe Maltby (see Bio below)
They built the Mitre Hotel first, then the store, then the roller process Flour Mill.

The Flour mill was one of the First in the NWT

Robert Montague Bird
b- Jan 1863 in Cheltenham Reg Dist, Gloucester, England
Baptized Feb 20, 1863, Cheltenham, Gloucester, England
d- Mar 25, 1939 Oak Bay BC, age 76
son of Charles James Bird and Emily Honor Bird
Homestead Application Date: 2 Dec 1884
Homestead Number: 32295
SE Section: 36, Township: 9 , Range: 1 , W2
He was in Nelson BC at one point.

Built in 1884 in one record, or 1885 in many others.
The Oldest Church left in Saskatchewan

The Service of Consecration was the First held in the NWT, by the First Bishop of Qu'Appelle, Bishop Anson.

“Willard Hill shaped the roof beams, while his brother, Chipman Hill, Cornered the old Church, helped by William Albert Moore, and Thomas Albert Downey”, per Mrs. A. E. M. Hewlett Apr 25, 1942.

Rev. George Nelson Dobie, Priest-in-charge of Cannington Manor, July 1892, per article above. June 1st, 1892, he married Ernest Maltby and Mary Humphrys at All Saints

Cannington Manor Post Office History

Office Name: Cannington Manor

Electoral District: Assiniboia (Saskatchewan)

Office Opened Mar 1, 1888
Closed July 7, 1923

Located at:
Sec.14, Twp.9, R.1, W2 - Mar 1, 1888
Sec.15, Twp.9, R.1, W2 - Oct 1, 1909 ; Item Number: 18430

Name of Postmaster Date of Appointment Date of Vacancy Cause of Vacancy
Ernest N. Maltby (See Below) 1888-03-01 1901-01-28 Resignation
Ronald T. Dunning 1901-08-01 1903-01-12 Resignation
W. H. “Clifton” Catterall 1903-05-01 1903-07-09 Death
Mrs. Mary Catterall, nee Pigott 1903-07-10 1903-10-22 Acting
J. F. Wood 1903-10-22 1905-08-02 Resignation
William A. Vandome 1906-03-31 1909-02-11 Resignation
C. E. Hackworth 1909-03-18 1909-08 Resignation
W. H. Maher 1909-10-01 1919-02-06 Death
Miss Nellie Maher 1919-04-30 1923-07-07 Closed

This reproduction is NOT represented as an official version of the materials reproduced,
nor as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the National Archives of Canada.
The source of this material is the National Archives of Canada

First Postmaster- Ernest Newcombe Maltby
b- Oct 5, 1861 in Saint Thomas Mount, Madras, India
d- Sept 19, 1944 in Vancouver, BC age 82
immigrated in 1887
1921 he was a bookkeeper for a Power and Light Co. living in North Vancouver BC
wife- Mary Maltby, nee Humphrys,
b- June 27, 1871, Hull, England,
d- May 11, 1961 in Vancouver BC, age 89
daughter of James Humphrys, and Jane Emma Pearson (see above)

Ernest and Mary had a daughter- Margorie Ellen Maltby
b- July 1, 1890 in Cannington Manor, SK
married John Henry Brown, May 17, 1919, North Vancouver, BC
b- 1891, Booth, England

son- Ronald Pennyquick Maltby b- May 25, 1894 in NWT

Father- Edward Maltby
mother- Jane Maria Pennycruik

3rd Postmaster- W. H. Clifton Caterall
b- Dec 8, 1856 in England
d- July 9, 1903 in Cannington Manor, age 46
Buried in All Saints Anglican Cemetery at Cannington Manor
he and his wife Immigrated in 1885
Married to Mary J. Caterall, nee Pigott (4th Postmaster)
b- Mar 1864 in England
they had a son Cyril “Vivian” Caterall
b- Mar 30, 1893 in Preston, Lancashire, England,
d- Sept 9, 1936 in Vancouver BC, age 43 Buried in Mountainview Cemetery, Vancouver BC He immigrated in 1903
He enlisted in WWI Dec 19, 1914 in Moosomin SK, Occupation Auto Mechanic, Reg #10302

C. E. Hackworth, possibly Percy Clifford Hackworth

W. H. Maher, possibly William Joseph Maher

This is a CBC News Picture CBC picture.
If copyrighted please call and I will remove it.

Same for this one I found online. I believe it is old enough not to be copyrighted.

Three Beckton brothers joined the Colony in 1888, setting up the Didsbury Farm on land purchased by Matthew Curtis, Lord Mayor of Manchester, the Beckton's Grandfather. The land they bought was from the estate of Captain Pierce.

The mansion was built and owned by the 3 Beckton Brothers, Ernest, William and Bertie, who left Saskatchewan in 1897.

Ernest Beckton
b- Mar 1867 at Didsbury, Manchester, Lancashire, England
d- Jan 10, 1911 at Bridge, Kent, United Kingdom

William Beckton
b Mar 29, 1868 at Didsbury, Manchester, Lancashire, England
d- Oct 20, 1927 at Isle of Man, England

Herbert “Bertie” Beckton
b- July 6, 1869 at Didsbury, Manchester, Lancashire, England d- Nov 4, 1908 at Portland Place London

All Sons of Joseph Beckton and Amelia Curtis who had 10 children total.

It is still privataly owned, but is in a derelect condition, as the roof has collapsed, and stone walls are in pieces. See link below which describes it better than I can.

“It had 20 rooms, with an added Batchelor wing, with separate entrance. Verandah, Hall and Bedrooms over the billiard room. Also included was a stone house for the foreman, a bunk house for the strappers, usually eight, a great stone racing barn, 120 x 24 ft, lined with varnished matchboarding, expensively fitted with glass cupboards in the harness room, a barn for brood mares, a cow barn, which usually held one cow, and a bunch of saddle ponies, Kennels, housing a pack of Fox Hounds, and other pedigreed dogs, driving shed, with cutters, buggies, and a special English dog cart, made by the English Coach builder in the village, a hog house, and a games house” “the racing barn had brass and steel work, that was polished daily.” “floor was scrubbed daily, and cleaned 3 times a day by stud groom, Harry Neal” per Mrs. Arthur E. M. Hewlett in 1942. She came from Yorkshire, England in 1911.

All materials had to be brought in from Moosomin, the nearest railway station approx 40 miles to the north.

Mr. Arthur Hewlett came to Canada in 1894 to live with his cousins Mr. and Mrs. William Beckton.

Large 3 story house, 65 x 55 ft, built in 1888 by the James Humphrys family. Mr James Humphrys died in 1903. House sold in 1904 to Arthur Hewlett, who is buried at the site.
Wood Frame building.
Top floor, under a mansard roof, was designed to hold 100 soldiers, from England if necessary, to keep peace in the area.

Huge Wood burning furnace in the basement. Took cord length wood.

The Humphrys operated a Pork Factory 100 ft from the house. Pork was shipped to England from here.

Nickname “Shiney” was from the Natives in the area, due to the tin roof

Large House, also a Provincial Park, not far from Canngton Manor, heading West. Links below describe it in detail. It was also closed for the season, even thought the signs said open? not good for tourist Saskatchewan Parks Department! Seen another couple there, and they were very disappointed as well.

James Humphrys
b- Oct 23, 1837 in Dartford, Kent, England
d- Jan 3, 1903 at Cannington Manor, SK
Buried in All Saints Anglican Church Cemetery
He was JP in this area.
wife- Jane Emma Humphrys nee Pearson, age 42 in 1891
They had 10 children, all shown born in England, the youngest James Jr. was age 3, so they immigrated right after he was born obviously. Oldest child Earnest Humphrys, age 21 in 1891 Oldest daughter Mary Humphrys married Ernest Newcombe Maltby (see below)

Newspaper Archived Articles

June 3, 1891

Mar 22, 1894

Aug 7, 1919

Apr 25, 1942

Oct 22, 1949

1974 they did excavations of the Mitre Hotel looking for artifacts

Other Important Names from the area.

C. D. Steedman (alt: Steadman)
Rev. H. B. Cartwright
Arthur Piggott
Arthur L. Bellhouse
Bertram Tennyson QC (Nephew of Lord Tennyson) (a lawyer in Moosomin, visited here)
Mrs. A. G. B. Bannatyne died May 1908, age 78, at her daughter, Mrs. Gerald Simpson's house, in Cannington Manor. Daughter of Andrew McDermott, who owned half of the property that Winnipeg MB was founded on. Her and her husband gave land to build the first hospital in Winnipeg.

Click to view June 2017 Photos from the Cannington Park Site

  • Last modified: 2021/05/25 13:21
  • by dlgent