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Canadian History
Charles George Charteris


Charteris, Charles George, Chatham Ontario, was born on the 25th July 1828; in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and is the youngest son of Charles Charteris, of CuIlivait House, in the same country, by his wife, Diana, daughter of John Reed, off Craggs, Northumberland, England. The Charteris family is a very ancient one in the annals of Dumfriesshire,—the Charteris, of Amisfield, who are believed to have been originally French, having settled in Scotland in the reign of Malcolm IV. (1153), more than seven centuries ago. A large tract of land in Dumfrieshire was granted. to the family for important services to the king, and a portion of this land is still in the possession of some of the descendants. The following may prove interesting in connection with the ancient history of the family. On the night of April 4th., 1608, James VI. slept at Amisfield, on his way to England, and the bed on which the king slept on this occasion is still preserved in the Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh; as also a door on which a hero of the Charteris family is represented in the act of tearing the jaws of a lion asunder, the same being the representation of an incident verified in the history of the family. Mr. Charteris’s father was a captain in the 28th Light Dragoons, and on the disbandment of that regiment, he became adjutant of the Dumfriesshire Yeomanry Cavalry. Charles George received his education in part at the High school of his native county, and at a private academy in Brampton, England. In his eighteenth year he set out to seek his fortune in the new world, and on reaching Chatham, was for a time employed in the establishment of Witherspoon & Charteris, general merchants and agents for the Gore Bank, his cousain, Alexander Charteris being one of the partners. Five or six years later Mr Charters engaged in the lumber business with William Baxter, and continued in the same until 1857, when he received the appointment of treasurer of Kent county. This office he still holds, and there is not in the province, if the testimony of the inhabitants of the county is to be accepted, a more popular and capable official. Mr. Charteris has had a conspicuous career in municipal politics. He sat for two terms in the town council; was the second mayor of Chatham (1857) and acted for a period as chairman of the Board of School Trustees. In numerous ways he has rendered good service to the community, and has always had the progress of his adopted place and the people at heart. Mr. Charteris is a staunch Reformer of much local influence, and his religious tenets are those of Presbyterianism. He was at one time agent for the Bank of Upper Canada at Chatham, and was retained in the disposal and management of its real estate in Kent county. He married on the 25th December, 1849, Elizabeth, daughter of William Baxter, and by this lady has had a family of eight children. Five of these survive, three sons and two daughters.


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