Prince Edward’s Legacy

The Duke of Kent in Halifax: Romance and Beautiful Buildings

by William D. Naftel

Prince Edward's Legacy brings to life Prince Edward who helped launch Halifax from its status as a rum-ridden outpost to a civilized, nineteenth-century city where Canada's economic and political foundations were first laid down.

An illustrated account of how the young Prince Edward, Queen Victoria's father, set new social, cultural and military fashions in Halifax

When Edward Augustus, fourth son of King George III, arrived in Halifax in 1794 he was not only a prince, a colonel and commander-in-chief, he was also living under a dark cloud of debt, indiscretions and parental disapproval. With him he brought his mistress -- Thérèse Bernardine Mongenet, later known as Julie St.Laurent -- and together they became the pinnacle of the social elite in Halifax. They later enjoyed a brief sojourn in Quebec City before Edward returned to Britain and to an official marriage by Edward to a German princess which produced Victoria, the heir to the throne.

The prince applied his knowledge and influence to the task of rebuilding the town's defences, beginning with the Citadel, and moving on the forts around the harbour. Some of Halifax's key architectural landmarks still visible today are the result of Prince Edward's interest and enthusiasm in building projects. The Prince of Wales Tower, a martello tower in Point Pleasant Park is one of several that were built under his command. The Music Room, at Prince's Lodge, the Clock Tower on Citadel Hill, and St. George's Church--the round church--are also the evidence of his legacy.

Author William Naftel brings to life the prince who helped transform Halifax from a rum-ridden outpost to a nineteenth-century city with a garrison of English officers and rising merchant class where Canada's economic and political foundations were first laid down. He shows how a prince had the power and means to make a very big impact in just a few years.

Remembered now in Canada only as the namesake for Prince Edward Island and as the inspiration of some beautiful Halifax buildings, Prince Edward emerges as a fascinating figure for his brief role in Canadian history.

About the Author

William D. Naftel

WILLIAM D. NAFTEL was a historian and regional manager with Parks Canada for thirty years, in Ottawa and Nova Scotia. He lives in Halifax.

Subjects (BISAC)

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