“Every Day I Dislike This Country More and More”:

Harriet Brock Pengelley in Canada , 1835-1836

Harriet Brock was born on the Isle of Guernsey in 1809. She was the daughter of Esther and Daniel DeLisle Brock and a niece of Sir Isaac Brock. DeLisle Brock (1762-1842) was the Bailiff of Guernsey, a respectable — in fact the highest — administrative position on the island, but not a very well-paid situation. Harriet was a skilled artist, sketching her beloved Guernsey in and around the environs of her home “Bonair” near St. Peter Port. Harriet Brock married Lieut. Robert Lamport Pengelley in 1834. The circumstances of their leaving Guernsey for Canada the next year are curious. A huge land grant, 12,000 acres in Upper Canada had been dispensed to the four brothers of Sir Isaac Brock in 1817. Several years later, Robert Pengelley was hired as their agent to go to Canada to represent their interests in the sale of these lands. He was to receive 200 acres in exchange for his work. Most of the Brock land was around the Guelph area in Flamborough Township but 3,000 acres were in South Monaghan Township , Northumberland County . After travelling firstly through to Guelph and looking at the lands there, Robert and Harriet turned back to Monaghan and chose Lot 7, Concession A, on the north shore of Rice Lake in Monaghan as the site of their future home, “Brockland.” Harriet had drawn up plans for the house before leaving Guernsey but never did see the house which was not started until 1837. The next year in Canada was unending misery for Harriet and she died in April, 1836. Her Diaries are a rich source of information; they give a very realistic impression of what settlers in early Canada were facing.

Look at Harriet Brock's watercolours here.

Read Harriet Brock Pengelley's diaries here.