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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 92-1007


F.M. de la Fosse fonds. -- Photocopied [between 1990 and 1992]. -- 1 folder.

Biography / History

Frederick Montague de la Fosse was born in England in 1859. He emigrated to Canada when he was 18 years old and worked on a farm in the Muskoka's. He built a house before 1882 and started to clear the land on which he lived. He left in 1883 for the prairies where he joined a surveying team. The story of his adventures in the west are written in "The Western Reminiscences of F.M. de la Fosse". He married Mary Jane Graham Bell in 1885 and they had four children: Margerie, Francis, Bartholomew and Philippa. Between 1885 and 1896 they lived near Lake Rousseau in Stisted Township, since de la Fosse's house had burnt down the year he had returned and before he was able to move into it. He remarried, Amy Vernon Halliday, after his first wife died. Eventually the family moved to Toronto where de la Fosse became the recording secretary of Trinity College. He published many poems in "The Trinity Review" during this time. He moved to the Peterborough area and became the copy editor of "The Peterborough Examiner" from 1907 to 1910. On December 5, 1910 F.M. de la Fosse accepted the position of Peterborough's first public librarian. In 1946 he retired from the library. Under the pen name of Roger Varden, he published "English Bloods" in 1930 which was a story of his arrival in Canada and the subsequent years. He also privately published books of his poetry: "Verses Gay and Grave" in 1937 and "A Dream and an Allegory" in 1944. He also wrote on a wide range of topics including "Centenary History of St. John's Anglican Church, 1827-1927" which was published in 1927. In 1948 he sent a poem to Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) for which he received an acknowledgement from her. Frederick Monatague de la Fosse died at Peterborough on September 26, 1950. (Taken from: Rahmel, Fern. "A Literary Discovery: the 'western reminiscences' of F.M. de la Fosse, Peterborough's first librarian." Occasional paper. Peterborough Historical Society, 1994.)

Custodial History

This fonds was in the custody of Sylvia Boorman before she gave it to Jean Cole, a member of the Friends of the Bata Library, who donated it to the Trent University Archives.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists a photocopy of a manuscript written by de la Fosse describing his brief experience in the Canadian West. There is a short introduction by Sylvia Boorman as well as concluding remarks. Two pages are missing and are mentioned by Sylvia Boorman in her introductory letter which accompanies the manuscript. The introductory letter is dated July 5, 1990.


Title based on creator of fonds.

This fonds was donated by the Friends of the Bata Library.

Restrictions: N

For related records see: 89-1041 and 94-005.