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Title: Tombstone of John Skynner
Identifier: 985.5.1
Donor: Wardens of St Peter's church
Item Date: 1846
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2007
Location: Museums of Mississauga

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Description: A rectangular headstone inscribed to commemorate the burial place of Commander John Skynner, of the Royal Navy. The central inscription reads "Sacred to the Memory of John Skynner, Commander R.N. who departed this life July 12th, 1846 aged 84 years". At the bottom is another inscription which reads: "Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." Below this is incised a biblical reference for the verse: "1 Thes IV C XIV" (1 Thessalonians Fourth Chapter, Fourteenth Verse). A carved relief image of two weeping willow trees, one on either side of a river decorates the top of the tombstone. The top corners of the tombstone are trimmed off at 45 degree angles. The tombstone is pitted and cracked in several places.

History: This tombstone was the original for John Skynner saved by Tommy Adamson who was one of the Warden's of St. Peter's Anglican Church. He paid to have a second tombstone set up at St. Peter's Anglican Church on the original plot. Commander John Skynner was born in England in 1762 to a family steeped in the traditions of the Royal Navy; both his father and grandfather had been high ranking officers. From 1802 until at least 1807, Skynner was stationed in the Mediterranean, with command of his own vessel after 1804. The Hirondelle was a fast-sailing French privateer which had racked up many prizes in the Indian Ocean before being captured. During the Napoleonic wars, protection of the East India fleets was paramount to the British economy. In the Mediterranean, the attacks on convoys from hostile privateers was so insistent that the British fleet was hard pressed to provide the necessary escorts and to keep the whole complicated convoy system in smooth running order. Skynner immigrated to Upper Canada in 1839 and made their home in The Anchorage, a comfortable and stylish cottage on the shores of Lake Ontario. The property itself had belonged to the Jarvis family who had used the protected waters as a shipping point for goods to and from York (Toronto) and Niagara. For information on Skynner, see: O'BYRNE'S NAVAL BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY, 1849 (2007.1.34).
Copyright: Museums of Mississauga
Rights & Permissions: Museums of Mississauga
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