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Lambton County, Ontario Canada, Map

A reproduction of this very interesting map, on a small scale, will be found contained herein.
The "County of Lambton" first appears in 12 Victoria, Chapter 78, (1849), sections 30 and 31, and was then first officially recognized by the Legislature. Prior to that the territory forming what is now the 'County of Lambton was included in Kent County. There is nothing to show that it was officially recognized, before that year. In the Minutes of the District Council (the Western District) composed of the Counties of Kent and Essex from 1842 to 1849 the name "Lambton" does not appear.

In 1841 there were petitions presented asking that the Northern Townships of Kent be erected into a separate District, and a Bill was reported, but no effective action was taken by the Legislature.
Other petitions were presented to the same effect in 1844-45, and also in 1846 and 1847, but no action was taken thereon evidently, except on those presented in January 1845 by which the petitioners desired the new District to be known as "Moore" and a bill to give effect to this was brought in, which reached a second reading and then was given the six months hoist.

In March, 1848, another petition was presented, and according to the Journals of the House for that year, the petitioners were H. Jones and others of Enniskillen Township, and others from Townships in the Western District, praying that a new District be set apart, with Port Sarnia as the District Town.

In 1850 petitions were presented from the Townships of Enniskillen, Dawn, Brooke and Euphemia praying that the Act establishing the 'County (clearly 12 Victoria, Chapter 79, of 1849), be amended so as to place the County town in Enniskillen; and a counter petition from Port Sarnia was also presented that the prayer of the petition be not granted, but that the County Town be located in Port Sarnia, which latter, evidently, had its effect.

The librarian of the Legislative Assembly, Toronto, Mr. Avern Pardoe, gives a very feasible reason why the name "Lambton County," like Topsy, "growed" instead of being officially born in the usual way.
Under the Union Act of 1840, each Province (Upper and Lower Canada) had to have an equal number of members, and each had sixty-five in the Legislative Assembly. The Canadian Parliament did not possess the power to alter this except by increasing the number in both Provinces. Hence the Representation by Population agitation, as the population of Upper Canada, at first less than that of Lower Canada, outgrew the latter.

One of the consequences of this state of affairs, was, that a new County could not be formed in the rapidly growing west of the Province of Upper Canada, until a seat could be established in the slowly growing Eastern Province.

It is quite likely that the formation of Lambton County had been decided upon, and its name unofficially determined, but that the step could not go into effect until a seat in the East had been arranged.
There are on record instances, in which there have been sharp rivalries between different localities, for the name of the new Governor.

That name furnishes an easy reference to the date of the formation of a County, or other municipality. In the case of "Lambton" it excludes everything before 1838, the year Earl Durham was Governor.
Mr. Pardoe further points out, that while there is nothing to show that Lambton was recognized officially till 1849, between 1838 and 1849 there are facts which show that it was not. The Act forbidding spearing of fish, 6 Victoria, Chapter 13, (1843), refers to, among others, the Counties of Essex and Kent; if there had been a Lambton County it would certainly have applied to it. And also that "Moore" was suggested by petition in 1845.

While, however, there is nothing prior to 1849 on the subject, Chapter 11, of that year, may inferentially, bear on it.

That Act recites that whereas the Union Act, 1840, required Townships to be erected by Proclamation, the erection of Townships in Upper Canada had been done according to the pre-Union Act method, without any Proclamation, presumably under 31 George III. (Imperial), 1791, second 14, which authorized the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to divide the Province into Counties or Districts.

This power being Imperial legislation, could not be interfered with, except by the Imperial Parliament; and as they continued to act under the old powers with respect to Townships, they probably continued to do so as to Counties also. Besides which, the publication of Orders-in-Council was in these days more "honored in the breach than in the observance," being exceedingly spasmodic and capricious.
The minutes of the Municipal Council of the Western District were not kept from the first meeting, held on the 11th February, 1842, until October, 1846. Printed minutes are in existence from the latter date, and on a perusal of the volume containing the minutes from October, 1846, to the end of 1849, the name "Lambton" is not mentioned in any part of it.

Many attempts were made to have the District divided ( or a new District formed), containing the Northern Townships of the County of Kent, between 1841 and 1849, but no name seems to have been given to it. I think it is quite evident the petitions did not contain a name subsequent to 1841, except in 1845 when "Moore" was proposed but not accepted, and until the County of Lambton was mentioned in 12 Victoria, Chapters 78 and 79, passed in 1849, it does not appear. No Order-in Council has been found as yet, but as the Indices are wanting, we cannot, so far, find any Order-in-Council, calling the territory by the name County of Lambton, if such were ever passed.

Map

Lambton County


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