Robert Malcomson

Robert Malcomson was born 8 July 1795 in County Cavan, Ireland. He emigrated to Upper Canada about 1819 as a "military emigrant" (i.e, free passage to Canada on a military transport ship bringing soldiers back to Britain after the War of 1812). He married Catherine Stevenson (1799–1853) and together they had seven children - Jane Stinson (1822-), Joseph (1824–1905), Ann Watt (1825–1904), Robert (1825–1905), Sarah Hartin (1830–1904), James (1854-), and Elizabeth ? (1836-). Robert Malcomson died 28 March 1868 and was buried in South March two days later. He left his sons Joseph and Robert $1.00 each, and his daughters Jane Stinson, Ann Watt, Sarah Hartin and Eliza Malcolm (sic) $0.25 each. As well Joseph got 5 acres of Lot 11, Concession 2. The rest of his land, goods, etc. went to son James, who was his executor.[1]

Robert Malcomson
Born8 July 1795
Died28 March 1868
Spouse(s)Catherine Stevenson
  • Jane Stinson
  • Joseph Malcomson
  • Ann Watt
  • Robert Malcomson
  • Sarah Hartin
  • James Malcomson
  • Elizabeth ?

In April 1830 Robert Malcomson purchased the south half of Lot 11, Concession 2, Ottawa front.[2] There, in 1832, he built a tavern on the Richmond Road halfway between Richmond Landing and the military settlement at Richmond, about a half day's walk between the two. This was just west of the intersection between Richmond Road and "the base line" between the Ottawa and Rideau fronts, across the road where Hugh Bell had first established a tavern in 1815. In 1833 a new road was cut through from Richmond Road toward Hazeldean in neighbouring Goulborn Township. Malcomson's tavern was then on the north side of the new intersection in what was to become known as Bells Corners.

Malcomson operated the tavern until 1855 when it was sold to William Corbett. He and his son, William Jr. operated a public house there until selling it to David Hartin (husband of Robert's daughter Sarah) on July 23, 1870. The building was destroyed in the great fire of August 1870. Hartin however rebuilt a new larger stone building on the site in 1871 naming it Hartin's Hotel.[3] Today it is the home of the East India Company restaurant and conference centre.[4] It is one of the oldest buildings in Bells Corners. In November 2014 it was designated a heritage building by Ottawa City Council.[5][6] 45°19′30″N 75°49′36″W / 45.32500°N 75.82667°W / 45.32500; -75.82667

Robert Malcomson died on the 28 March 1868 and is buried in the St. John's Anglican Cemetery, in South March, March Township, Carleton County.[7]


  1. ^ "Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada are". Immigration and Settlement in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, Canada, in the 1800s Including the Cities of Ottawa and Hull / Gatineau. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Appendix C Stage 1 Archaeological Investigation" (PDF). Report On Stage 1 Archaeological Assessment West Transitway Extension Part Lots 8 - 11, Concession 1 Part Lots 8 - 16, Concession 2 Geographic Township of Nepean, Carleton County, Ontario. City of Ottawa. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Historic Building ... a Factory Site?". The Ottawa Journal (26 March 1966). Ottawa, ON: The Ottawa Journal. 26 March 1966. p. 37. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  4. ^ Larry D. Cotton (2007). Whiskey and Wickedness. Lanark, ON: Larry D. Cotton Associates. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-9784875-0-8.
  5. ^ Pearson, Matthew (13 November 2014). "Historic Bells Corners hotel tapped for heritage designation". The Ottawa Citizen (13 November 2014). Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  6. ^ Pearson, Matthew (28 November 2014). "Council grants heritage status to former Bells Corners hotel". The Ottawa Citizen (28 November 2014). Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  7. ^ "St. John's Anglican Cemetery March Township". Retrieved 22 October 2014.