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Memorial Tiles: Col. William Crawford

CRAWFORD, Col. William: 1765 - 1839

Tile ordered and paid for by Canon Mulock, Montreal, Quebec, September, 1888

William Crawford served as an ensign in the King’s Royal Regiment of New York (KRRNY) during the Revolutionary War. Prior to the war, his father, William Redford Crawford, had held lands as a tenant of Sir John Johnson and was a captain in 2nd Battalion, KRRNY. William junior enlisted in his father’s company in May 1780, and held the rank of ensign in Crawford’s Company as of August 24, 1782.(1)

Father and son both settled in the Fredericksburgh area after the war and are listed in the muster rolls of the KRRNY as having settled in Cataraqui Township No. 3 (Fredericksburgh) in 1785. The Crawfords received official deeds to lot 18 in concession 1, Fredericksburgh Original in 1803 and lot 1 and lot 17 in 1804. In 1783, William Redford Crawford had been instrumental in acquiring the agreement of the Mississauga Indians to sell the title to their lands in the area.

It was policy at the time to encourage regiments to settle as a group because further hostilities and aggression from the Americans were anticipated. The commandant of the 2nd Battalion, James Rogers (Tile # 27) settled, with other members of the regiment, in Third Town (Fredericksburgh). After settling William was active in the militia established to defend the region. William Crawford held the rank of major in 1794, lieutenant-colonel in 1813(2) and was appointed Colonel in the 1st Regiment, Lennox Militia, receiving his Commission August 22, 1825.(3)

William Crawford’s obituary in 1839 reads as follows:

On the 30th instant, at his residence in Fredericksburgh, William Crawford, Esq. aged 75 years. This gentleman served during the Revolutionary war as a Lieutenant in His Majesty’s Service, and since the last war with the United States has been in command of the 1st Lennox Militia. Every person acquainted with him will regret the loss, although from his years, to be expected, of an exemplary Magistrate, a loyal subject, a kind and hospitable friend, and an honest man.(4)

The sponsor of this tile, Reverend J.A. Mulock, had been Rector of the Parish of Adolphustown from 1851 – 1857, when a small frame church known as St. Paul’s stood just west of the present site of St. Alban’s. He left the parish in 1857 when he became Rector of St. Peter’s Church, Brockville and Canon of St. George’s Cathedral, Kingston. Presumably he wished to show his support of the new church building, begun in 1884 in his former parish, by underwriting the cost of this tile dedicated to Col. William Crawford. He was evidently unclear as to his friend’s military history and seems to have combined William Crawford’s service with the King’s Royal Regiment of New York with Roger’s Rangers and commissioned the wording to be inscribed on the tile as Royal Rangers.


1. Ernest Cruikshank, King’s Royal Regiment of New York, rev. ed. (Global Heritage Press, 1984), p. 166.

2. William Gray, Soldiers of the King: The Upper Canadian Militia 1812-1815 (Boston: Boston Mills Press, 1995) .

3. Bruce S. Elliot, ed., Men of Upper Canada: militia nominal rolls, 1828-1829 (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1995).

4. “Obituaries,” Kingston Chronicle & Gazette, 31 August 1839; Kingston Frontenac Public Library microfilm.