London and Western Ontario Branch is one of 27 branches of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada and was formed after twelve people applied to the Dominion Council for a Branch Charter on October 26th, 1972. The first charter meeting was held Saturday, May 26, 1973 with a membership of thirty.
In the ensuing years three London and Western Ontario Branch members have gone on to serve as President of the UELAC including first branch President John Eamon.
New members always welcome!
Who Were The Loyalists?
Excerpted from "A Short History of the United Empire Loyalists" by Ann Mackenzie M.A.
Over two hundred years ago the American Revolution shattered the British Empire in North America. The conflict was rooted in British attempts to assert economic control in her American colonies after her costly victory over the French during the Seven Years War. When protest and riots met the British attempts to impose taxes on the colonists, the British responded with political and military force. Out of the struggle between between the Thirteen Colonies and their mother country emerged two nations: the United States and what would later become Canada.
Not all the inhabitants of the Thirteen Colonies opposed Britain. The United Empire Loyalists were those colonists who remained faithful to the Crown and wished to continue living in the New World. Therefore, they left their homes to settle eventually in what remained of British North America.
The Loyalists came from every class and walk of life. Some depended on the Crown for their livelihood and status and had considerable wealth and property. Many were farmers and craftsmen. There were clerks and clergymen, lawyers and labourers, soldiers and slaves, Native Americans, college graduates, and people who could not write their own names. Recent immigrants from Europe also tended to support the Crown.
They had little in common but their opposition to the revolution. Their reasons for becoming Loyalists were as varied as their backgrounds. Some had strong ties with Britain: others had simply supported what turned out to be the losing side. Local incidents, fear of change, self-interest, political principles, emotional bonds - one or any combination of these influenced their decision to remain loyal to the Crown. The common thread that linked these diverse groups was a distrust of too much democracy which they believed resulted in mob rule and an accompanying breakdown of law and order. The Reverend Mather Byles mused, "Which is better - to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?"
Loyalists believed that the British connection guaranteed them a more secure and prosperous life than republicanism would.
Historians estimate that ten to fifteen per cent of the population of the Thirteen Colonies - some 250,000 people - opposed the revolution; some passively, others by speaking out, spying, or fighting against the rebels.
Because of their political convictions, Loyalists who remained in the Thirteen Colonies during the revolution were branded as traitors and hounded by their Patriot (rebel) neighbours.
Read more of this gripping account...
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