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Windsor,  Nova  Scotia, Canada – c. 1800
by Garth Vaughan © 2001
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King’s College

Hist of King’s
Charles Inglis
John Inglis
J.Inglis Memo
69 Acres
Plan of Lands
Founded 1789
Pres. Cochran
T.C.H. Starts School
T.C.H. on King’s
Procuring Food
TCH Reminiscences
King’s View
Seat of the Muses
The Three Elms
Fire 1871
Fire 1920

King’s Pictures
King’s 1800
King’s View
Hensley Chapel
Hensley Plaque
Winter 1803

King’s Record


King’s College 1934
by Clara Dennis

…Strolling through the beautiful little town (Windsor) itself, I come to the shaded grounds where untill a few years ago, when fire destroyed its ancient halls, stood King’s College, the oldest English College in Canada. What a time there was launching higher education in Nova Scotia! Plans were submitted to the British Government in 1783 for a college where youth might receive a "virtuous education, thus diffusing literature, loyalty and good morals among his Majesty’s subjects in Nova Scotia."

Windsor seems instinctively to have been chosen as the seat of the college. Towards its erection £15,000 was contributed by the Imperial Government and the Assembly at Halifax gave a grant of £400 a year. In 1790 the work of the building was begun. Seven years later the college was completed suffieciently for occupation and it’s doors were opened. At that time there were five principal religious bodies in the Province – Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists. The Episcopalians were the smallest of the five.

All went well until the statutes of the college were drawn up. These, according to the charter which had been granted by the Crown in 1802, were to be drawn up by the Governors of the College. The charter named certain officials who were to be Governors. One of the officials was the judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court. At the time this judge was Dr. Alexander Croke.

Dr. Croke was one of those figures who from time to time have entered the stage of Nova Scotia history for a brief period, then passed into the wings to reappear no more but who, while on the stage, dominated the scene. Shortly after Dr. Croke arrived in Halifax to take the position of the Vice-Admiralty Court which was in the year 1801, he was appointed to the Council, occupying a position next to the Chief Justice in Rank.

Dr. Croke purchased for his home thirty acres on the Peninsula of Halifax and called the place "Studleigh" in honour of Studleigh Prior, his family estate in Oxfordshire, On this beautifully wooded property, within sight of the entrance to Halifax Harbour and the waters of the North West Arm, Judge Croke built himself a fine house and laid out attractive and beautiful grounds… Judge Croke exerted a strong influence on higher education in our Province. It was he who drew up the statutes for the college. With the drawing of the statutes it became apparent that instead of being open wide that all might enter, the doors of learning had been but set ajar and admitted only a few, namely such students as signed the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England.

On the committee that drew up the statutes for the college, besides Judge Croke, there were two others, the Bishop (Bishop Charles Inglis) and Chief Justice Blowers. The Chief Justice concurred in all the statutes, but the Bishop dissented from the statute requiring all students on matriculation to sign the Thirty-Nine Articles of Belief. The Board of Governors, however, adopted the statutes as drawn by judge Croke and they were printed and circulated.

The Bishop prosecuted the appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury with the result the the whole code was vetoed and a new code which the Bishop approved was drawn up and adopted. After fourteen years it was printed and circulated.

The new code set the doors of the college further ajar, but did not open them wide. Still only the few might enter, for while this new code permitted students to enter the halls of learning it did not allow them to leave with honours or with degrees unless they had perscribed to the Thirty-nine Articles of Belief. Under the new statutes also, students were obliged to swear not to frequent Romish Mass or meeting houses of Presbeterians, Baptists or Methodists or places of worship of any other dissenters, but to attend religious exercises of the Church of England within the college walls. Such was the beginning of higher education in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Time brings great changes. In 1923 King’s College became part of a university whose doors are wide open to all, irrespective of creed, and, strangely enough, stands on what was once Judge Croke’s estate of Studleigh in Halifax.

Excerpt From – Down in Nova Scotia ; My Own, My Native Land
by Clara Dennis
The Ryerson Press, Toronto 1934
HRL 917.16 D41d

Pg 63 – 66


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