First Generation: William Treggett
The first Treggett to settle in lower Canada was William Treggett. He was born on October 26, 1827, in England. He joined the British Army on July 25th, 1844 and spent a little over 12 years in the military. During those years, he served in Gibraltar, the West Indies, and Canada. On April 30th, 1857, on his request, Private Treggett of the Sixteenth Regiment of Foot was discharged in Quebec. He received a Gratuity of £10 for being a settler in Canada under the Royal Warrant on May 24th, 1847.
Brian Memories – William Treggett (captions available in both FR and ENG) – View the video with a transcript.
In 1858, William Treggett was hired by John Gilmour, a well-respected merchant and shipbuilder, to work as a gardener at his estate, “Marchmont.”
The Marchmont property was a well-cultivated farm located west of Quebec City where there were outbuildings and facilities for raising cattle, poultry and fish stocks. Agricultural pursuits were highly encouraged and carried to a high state of perfection on the property.
During his seven-year tenure at Marchmont, he learned a great deal about being a horticulturist. In 1865 the Board of Directors offered William Treggett the position of Superintendent. William was in charge of the cemetery for 43 years from 1865 to 1908.
“My great-grandfather was an expert gardener, responsible for all the beautiful floral designs around the cemetery. He also supervised the planting of annual flowers on the individual lots. The flower beds, which decorated the grounds, were filled with flowers from the cemetery greenhouses. He also designed cedar basket planters to be used for decoration throughout the cemetery to enhance the beauty of the surroundings. The raised floral displays in the cemetery were an indication he had horticultural training. A question one might ask is what an experienced gardener was doing in the British Army?” -Brian Treggett