Kingston Historical Society
P.O. Box 54
Kingston, Ontario


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A Troublesome Berth - The Journal of First Lieutenant Charles Allan Parker, Royal Marines: The Canada Years 1838-1840

edited by Robert J. Andrews & Rosalyn Parker Art

A Troublesome Berth
This book features Lieutenant Parker’s own stirring, insightful, and witty remarks during his military tour in the Maritimes, Lower Canada, and Upper Canada, during and after the troubled times of the Rebellions of 1837 and 1838. Wounded during the Battle of the Windmill, he continued to lead his men: “the first battle in which I had the honour to serve and bleed for Victoria.” His journal, offered for the first time to the public, is amply annotated by the editors, including an essay on his biography and career, maps and images tracking his journey, notes on the ships and people he mentions, and much more.

Included are a dozen colour plates, index, references; perfect bound cover in colour, 336 pages, 8.5 x 11, 75 illustrations, ISBN 978-0-919770-12-6.

The book is available by mail-order from the Kingston Historical Society, P.O. Box 54, Kingston ON K7L 4V6 for $52 ($40 book + $12 shipping). It is also available at selected retail outlets in Kingston, including the Novel Idea Bookstore at Princess & Bagot Streets.

From the foreword by Dr Brian S. Osborne, Professor Emeritus of Geography, Queen’s University at Kingston:

"The journal of Lieutenant Charles Allan Parker, through pen and paper, penetrates the visual patina to explore the underlying social structures and cultural practices. His journal makes a rich contribution to our insight into Upper Canada in general, and Kingston in particular, in the 1838-40 period. It combines two genres of 19th century writing: a visitor’s commentary on the “new world” which he is visiting, and a reflective personal journal which is replete with colourful commentary on his host community, contemporary events, and social mores. Of course, it also exposes his own beliefs, prejudices, and preferences. Parker’s personal and public world is one of a constant awareness of gentility and politesse, expressions of patriotism and courage, and an awe of the inseparable wonders of God and Nature."

Quotation from the Parker Journal by Lt Charles Allan Parker concerning the Battle of the Windmill near Prescott:

"14th Novr 1838. Numbers of the unfortunate wounded were consumed in the Conflagration; by degrees it subsided; a few burning embers of the houses remained that rendered more deathlike the appearance the Scene had now taken. The Bugles now Sounded the retreat and the Belligerents, marched into Prescott, one party in all the exultation of complete victory, the other with the gloomy forebodings of a bandit’s ignominious death before their eyes."
Kingston Historical Society, est. 1893