CON. 9, LOT 31
BRUDENELL TOWNSHIP, RENFREW COUNTY
Typed 4 November 1990 by Dolly Allen.
St. Leonard’s church stands on land acquired in 1859 by John Samuel James Watson, a founder of the village of Rockingham. Records indicate that a congregation was formed about 1864 and a building was constructed for use as a church. In 1882, the Rev. A. W. MacKay became the first Church of England Clergyman to serve the Mission of Brudenell. Services were conducted here regularly until 194l when they were discontinued.
Mr. John S. J. Watson who served as Warden of the County of Renfrew (1383-l884) is buried in the church cemetery along with other pioneer settlers who made significant contributions to the development of the comnunity. Funded by the Ministry of Culture and Communications of the Province of Ontario. (Stone unveiled in July 1990)
The above commemoration is on a bronze historical plaque, attached to a large rock at the entrance to the cemetery, which is on a steep hill. The church is on the top of the hill and is unlocked as there is a guest book hanging in the porch. The pews still have the padding on them of grey cotton.
Some grave stones are enclosed within their own fence. There are approximately 20 stones all told. Restoring the church is the next project, if the Province would supply the funding.
Information from store proprietor and Geraldine Kuehl, Sept. 29, 1990
Only a small piece of property belonging to St._Leonard’s Church, now grown up with brush. No cemetery stones. The property is located behind Rockingham General Store.
Other information by Joan McKay, 1979
This isolated cemetery is in neglected condition, overgrown with brush and weeds. It is located on the slope of a steep hill at the bottom of which a stone and wire retaining wall was erected a few years ago but nothing further appears to have been done.
The land for St. Leonard’s Church and Cemetery was donated by John S. Watson, who was born in India but grew up at the ancestral home, Rockingham Castle, Rockingham Village, Northampton, England. Against his family’s wishes he married ?? (Jane) Martin, a scullery maid of the Castle, and, as a result, was granted a sum of about 10,000 pounds by his father on condition that he and his bride emigrate to Canada. John and Jane settled at the present site of Rockingham in 1860. What was once a bustling community is now almost deserted.
Among those buried in the cemetery are some of the men brought to Canada by John Watson. One of these, Dr. Joseph Kinder, was a former veterinarian but acted as an early family physician for the area. Also buried here are members of the Martin family, relatives of Jane (Martin)
This cemetery record contains headstone inscriptions.
Lucy C. (GURNEY)