Amherst House, November 1939: Carl Riordon in his umber or umbra hat.
Amherst House, Montreal named after Sir Jeffery Amherst
During the French regime there were a few of Scottish descent here but they were exiled Scots who had become soldiers of the French monarchy. One recalls a French soldier like the Comte de Fraser or the eleventh governor of Montreal, Claude de Ramezay, whose Chateau still stands opposite Montreal City Hall, perhaps partly because it was kept in such good condition by another Scot, William Grant, who purchased it in 1763. When, however, the Scots really descended upon Montreal was soon after the conquest. Montreal capitulated on September 8th 1760. Some of you may remember the story: how the plan was for three British armies to march against the city for a simultaneous attack, even if in those days there was no telegraph or wireless to co-ordinate the troop movements. One force under Sir Jeffery Amherst came in from the west; another under a Lowland Scot, General James Murray, came from Quebec City; and the third moved north from Lake Champlain. Amherst arrived first and settled his troops for the night in a field which is now the Cote des Neiges Reservoir. He planned to move the next morning down the gully between the two hills to attack the little city on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. But that night the French plenipotentiaries came out to negotiate for the surrender at the farmhouse, which later became known as ‘’Capitulation Cottage”. It was in the reservoir field and not, as many have thought, the bigger freestone house known as ‘’Amherst House'’ further along Cote des Neiges The latter at the end of the Victorian Era was owned by Lieut. Colonel J.A.L. Strathy, who commanded our local regiment of Highlanders from 1893 to 1897; he knew the history of the district and gave his home the Amherst name.
When the capitulation was signed Amherst led his troops down the present Cote des Neiges into the city. With them were two battalions of The Royal Highland Regiment. This was the first occasion when the streets of Montreal reverberated to the Pipes and Drums of The Black Watch. Amherst became ‘’Lord Amherst of Montreal'’ for his bloodless victory. Actually, the other two armies arrived almost immediately. With Murray were the Frasers and the Montgomerie Highlanders who, the previous year, had led the scaling of the Clif at Wolfe’s Cove and had performed so gallantly at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. On September 11th, 1760, three small armies paraded on the Place d’Armes at Montreal, among them four battalions of kilted Highlanders. Murray, the Elibank Scot, became the first military governor of Canada and was later often in trouble with his Scottish compatriots who flocked to Montreal as merchant adventurers and led a local agitation for representative government.
The complete article can be found at:
See THE EARLY SCOTS AT MONTREAL by Col. Paul Phelps Hutchison
This articles homepage is can be found here: http://www.scotsgenealogy.com/online/early_scots_at_montreal.htm