Charles Duncombe (Upper Canada Rebellion)


Charles Duncombe (Upper Canada Rebellion)

Charles Duncombe (28 July 1792 – 1 October 1867) was a leader in the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837.

He was born in Connecticut and became a doctor in 1819. He then settled in Upper Canada, and in 1824 he established the first medical school in Upper Canada, in St. Thomas, under the patronage of Colonel Thomas Talbot. Duncombe was a Freemason, serving as first master of the Mount Moriah lodge at Westminster; in 1836, he set up a grand lodge independent from the British lodges and became its first grand master. In 1828 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly as a representative for London. He was originally a Reformer in the same vein as Robert Baldwin, but was attracted by William Lyon Mackenzie's more radical reform movement. In 1836 he travelled to Britain to argue the case for reform in Canada, but he was unsuccessful.

In December 1837, Duncombe heard reports of Mackenzie's rebellion in Toronto. Duncombe, with Robert Alway, Finlay Malcolm, Eliakim Malcolm, and Joshua Doan, gathered about 200 men on 8 December and marched towards Toronto; this is sometimes known as the Western Rising. A few hundred more rebels joined them on their march, but they dispersed near Hamilton on 13 December when they learned of Mackenzie's defeat, and that a militia under Colonel Allan MacNab was on their way to stop them. Duncombe and Eliakim Malcolm fled to the United States; Duncombe remained there for the rest of his life, despite being pardoned in 1843. Joshua Doan was executed in 1839.

Duncombe moved to Sacramento County, California in 1849, and established a Masonic lodge in Sacramento in 1852. Although one of first doctors to arrive in Sacramento, he did not qualify to practice in the state until 1851. He married Lucy Millard of California. In 1859, he was elected to the California State Assembly as one of four members from Sacramento County, but was disqualified because he was not an American citizen. He became a citizen and was elected again in 1863 as one of the county's five representatives. He died in Hicksville, California in 1867 after a severe case of sunstroke and buried in the Masonic Section of the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery in Sacramento, California.[1]

References

External links

California Assembly
Preceded by
Four members
California State Assemblyman, 9th District
1859
(with three others)
Succeeded by
Four members
Preceded by
Five members
California State Assemblyman, 16th District
1863
(with four others)
Succeeded by
Five members

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