The building at 723 Dundas Street, St. Paul's Church, is set back from Dundas Street near Huron (Street) Road, in the City of Woodstock. The red-brick church was designed using elements of the Gothic and Classical architectural styles and was constructed in 1834. The exterior of the building and select elements of the interior, as well as the scenic character of the property are protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust conservation easement (1986). A Provincial plaque was erected to St. Paul's Church in 1958. The property is also designated by the City of Woodstock under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (Bylaw 5256-76).
Located at 723 Dundas Street in the City of Woodstock, St. Paul's is set back from the street, on a large plot of land. The property also contains a cemetery.
St. Paul's Church is significant for its association with Admiral Henry Vansittart (1778-1843), Captain Andrew Drew (1792-1878), and the development of the City of Woodstock. Drew came from England to Canada in 1832 as Vansittart's agent, to acquire land and invest money on his behalf. One of Drew's first undertakings was to build a brick church on one of the lots he acquired. This location was selected for the church with the intention that a town would develop around it.
Vansittart and his family set out for Canada on May 1st, 1834, accompanied by Rev'd Wm. Bettridge. Bettridge was sent out by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (an Anglican mission agency) to be the rector of St. Paul's.
When the Vansittart family and Rev'd Bettridge arrived in Woodstock on June 21, 1834, the church was not finished. Vansittart and his sister, Mrs. East, donated £370 toward the church's construction; the cost of the original project was £1800.
During the Rebellion of 1837-38, St. Paul's was used as a temporary jail for suspected rebels captured by local militia.
NEW St. Paul's Anglican Church was built at the intersection of Wellington and Dundas Streets in 1879 to accommodate the growing congregation. As a result of this relocation, St. Paul's was closed in 1879 and then re-opened to serve the Anglican community in 1882. St. Paul's was renamed as OLD St. Paul's.
St. Paul's is an early example of the Gothic Revival style in Ontario church architecture. The Gothic features include the lancet windows and dichromatic brickwork. The chancel was added to the original church in 1843 and the transepts were added in 1851. The window and dooropenings have vernacular brick hoods. There is a combination of lancet and pointed-arch windows on all facades. The front elevation has a classically-inspired returned cornice, a semi-circular transom over the main entrance door with a brick pediment and pilasters. The tower has a hexagonal cupola with louvered, pointed-arch openings. The base of the cupola is decorated with a dentil trim and bracketed cornice. The low-pitched, timber-frame roof is an example of construction methods used during the 1830s.
There is wainscoting and crown moulding encircling the sanctuary, and hardwood floors. The surviving box pews are a prominent feature of the interior. The stained-glass window in the Baptistry is the work of the McCausland Co. of Toronto. The series of additions made to the church have resulted in an irregular plan.
Sources: OHT Easement Files; Illustrated Historical Atlas of Oxford County Ontario 1876. Oshawa: Maracle Press, 1972.; “Old St. Paul's Church: is the mother church of the Anglican Communion in the City of Woodstock, Ontario.
DREW, ANDREW, naval officer; b. at London, Eng., 27 Nov. 1792, son of John and Mary Drew; m. in 1832 Mary Henderson by whom he had five sons and one daughter; d. in England, 19 Dec. 1878. Andrew Drew entered the Royal Navy as a first class volunteer in May 1806. He took part in operations at Boulogne, Copenhagen, and Walcheren Island and was promoted lieutenant in 1814. He remained on active duty until 1824, when he was promoted commander for distinguished service during the Ashanti War and placed on half-pay.
In 1832 Drew entered into a partnership with Vice-Admiral Henry Vansittart*to develop a farming estate in Upper Canada. Under the terms of the partnership Vansittart supplied capital of £1,800, one half on his own account and one half as an interest-free loan for Drew’s share of the capital. Drew took up land in Blandford Township in July and played a leading part in developing the district. His efforts led to the laying out of the town of Woodstock, which he had Charles Rankin survey; he erected the first church, with money supplied by Vansittart, and built some of the first houses.
When Vansittart arrived in 1834, he and Drew quarrelled. There were several reasons for Vansittart’s dissatisfaction: all the land was held in Drew’s name; Drew refused to hand the church over to the parish because, he claimed, there was money owing to him for construction costs; and certain investments made by Drew on Vansittart’s behalf did not meet the latter’s approval. As a result the partnership was dissolved, on terms arbitrated by Christopher A. Hagerman.
Drew devoted himself to improving the land he retained – about 350 of the 700 acres originally granted, including 40 in the town plot – until the outbreak of the rebellion in Upper Canada. He was appointed to command a naval brigade attached to the force raised and led by Allan MacNab to expel William Lyon MacKenzie and a party of Americans from Navy Island in the Niagara River.
Mackenzie’s supporters hired a steamer, Caroline, to carry supplies to the island, and on 29 Dec. 1837 MacNab ordered Drew to cut out the vessel. That night he led a naval expedition to Fort Schlosser on the American side of the river, seized the ship after a fight in which one of her crew was killed, set her on fire, and cut her adrift to burn in the river.
This affair embittered relations between England and the United States for many years. The Americans regarded the deliberate attack on an American ship in an American port and the death of an American citizen as acts of piracy and murder. In Upper Canada the attack was regarded as proper punishment for bandits who were trying to overthrow the government of the province and who should have been restrained by the American authorities. An American jury indicted Drew for murder. The American government demanded compensation for the loss of the ship, and the incident formed the excuse for the outrages of the Patriot Hunters.
Drew remained on duty during the winter of 1838, and, when Captain Williams Sandom was sent to command the naval forces in the province, acted as naval adviser to the lieutenant governor, Sir George Arthur. In the summer of 1838 he was ordered to prepare plans for a provincial marine which Arthur intended to use, if needed, to defend the upper lakes in the event of an American invasion of the province. In November, Drew was asked to raise the force and proceed to Amherstburg to help repel a threatened attack. Damage to his two ships as a result of a fire stopped him, however, and he spent the winter at Dunnville.
He continued to serve until the summer of 1839, during which time he was employed by Arthur in various other matters, including preparations to capture Fort Niagara in the event of war with the United States. In July he was relieved of his command by Sandom on charges of being absent without leave and of signing a false muster roll. Drew requested a court martial and was acquitted but was not employed again in Canada.
In 1842 Drew left Canada, as a result, he claimed, of attempts to murder him for his part in the Caroline affair, and he never returned. In England he went back to active duty in the navy, serving in the West Indies. In 1843 he was promoted captain on half-pay and at his death was an admiral. ***************
**Andrew Drew, A narrative of the capture and destruction of the steamer ‘Caroline’ and her descent over the falls of Niagara on the night of the 29th of December, 1837(London, 1864). MTCL, Robert John Turner papers. PAO, Marston collection, Andrew Drew papers, 1836–1839; RG 1, A–IV, 44 (Blandford); RG 1, C–IV, Oxford East Township, Vansittart family papers. PRO, CO 42/459, 144; 42/465, 160, 166; 42/473, 41; 42/474, 134, 138.Arthur papers (Sanderson). O’Byrne, Naval biog. dict. John Ireland, “Andrew Drew and the founding of Woodstock,” Ont. Hist., LX (1968), 229–45; “Andrew Drew: the man who burned the Caroline,” Ont. Hist., LIX (1967), 137–56.
First Rector of Old St. Paul's
BETTRIDGE (aka Betteridge), WILLIAM CRADDOCK, soldier and Church of England clergyman; b. Warwickshire, England, 30 Aug. 1791; d. Strathroy, Ont., 21 Nov. 1879.
William Craddock Bettridge joined the 81st foot as an ensign, 7 April 1813, and saw service in the Low Countries; he was town adjutant of Brussels during the battle of Waterloo. He became a lieutenant, 31 Aug. 1815, and was retired on half-pay, 25 Feb. 1816.
After the war he traveled in Europe and was, by his own account, a student at the University of Jena (where he matriculated on 24 Oct. 1817), a soldier in the employ of Ferdinand I, king of the Two Sicilies, and an aide to General Sir Richard Church.
When Bettridge returned to England, he was made deacon by the archbishop of York, 18 July 1824, and was appointed assistant curate of Ecclesfield, near Sheffield, Yorkshire, where he had married Mary Hounsfield in 1823. He was admitted to St John’s College, Cambridge, on 15 June 1824 without coming into residence and was ordained 18 Dec. 1825, the day he went to his second curacy at Elvington, near York. From 1828 to 1833 he was in charge of the newly opened St Paul’s Church, Southampton.
He was accepted in 1834 as a missionary for Upper Canada by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and went out that spring with Admiral Henry Vansittart and the other military and naval personnel who were founding the town of Woodstock. In 1836 he became rector of St. Paul's parish and remained so until his death in 1879.