Cumpston Research

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Watson Cumpston death cert Trinity House Hull lloyds ship Voilier withernsea pier

Basil Arthur Cumpston b. 1861 sent from Barton Hall Cumberland UK to Wapella Manitoba Canada m. Florence Jane Ashton

Beginning in the 1880's, groups of British Remittance Men came to Canada looking for a new life. A Remittance Man was called that because most received a scheduled remittance or allowance from their families. These payments were often made in order to keep the man away from Britain where it was thought he would cause problems for his family. The 'Remittance Men' who came to Canada were second sons, which under British tradition of the time meant that these individuals should expect to inherit nothing from their family's estate. Following British tradition, all wealth and property were given to a family's oldest son, assuring that the family's fortune stayed in one piece. The second sons of such families often led purposeless lives, many of them not knowing what they would do to earn a living. Some of these sons were uncontrollable young men who were an embarrassment to their families on account of their indulgence in drinking, gambling and continuing rounds of parties. All were seen as a drain on the family's revenue. Whatever the case, the main solution to their situation was often the same. They would be sent off to a far corner of the British Empire to make whatever living they could.


Some British immigrants of this class, however, did not fit the regular Remittance Man stereotype. A number of them were hardworking, married, did not receive regular remittances (if any at all) and who went on to be valuable and well thought of members of Canadian society. The Remittance Men came to British Columbia from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland traveling by ship across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip took approximately two weeks and they journeyed in luxurious surroundings. They ate well, slept in comfort and played cards while smoking fashionable cigars. These men were known for not traveling lightly. They brought all they thought they would need to continue living the life of luxury they were used to in Britain. They found, however, that their best suits were of no use when hunting and ranching in the Canadian West.


Upon arrival in British Columbia, the Remittance Men tended to live in communities established by British people. These communities were places such as Windermere in East Kootenay and Nelson in West Kootenay. Towns like these were advertised in Britain as being plentiful and beautiful paradises in which British people could recreate the aristocratic lifestyle they were accustomed to.  Reality however was much different; their land was not cleared, the homes they had to build did not resemble British cottages, and the regions they came to looked nothing like that featured in the promotional materials. In the majority of cases, their homes were cabins, although some managed to build Victorian and Edwardian houses. The men continued to live and behave as they had done in Britain, holding themselves apart from the Canadian society. They hunted, fished and some ranched while other became involved in investment schemes.  


The Remittance Men received an education that was to prepare them for life in the British aristocracy, but in Canada this education was of no use. Many did not know how to farm or how to clear land, so they appeared to be foolish. Because the Remittance Men did not take part in Canadian society, many Canadians disliked them. The Remittance Men were mocked and jokes circulated about the foolish behavior of these marginalised individuals. They were often considered to be eccentrics who lived by themselves and had little contact with their neighbors.

Communities were enriched by the architecture and culture Remittance Men shared. This helped to develop regions that were culturally diverse, and in these cases Remittance men shared some of the cultural value they brought with them.


 Ms. Elfreda Florence Cumpston b: Oct 1903 in Ontario, Canada Father: Mr. Basil Arthur Cumpston Mother: Ms. Florence J

Married His Honour Mr Justice Everett Lane Weaver b: 03 May 1901 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada d: 12 Apr 1971 Age at death: 69

Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928 about Elfreda Florence Cumpston  Birth Place: Weston Ont Age: 24 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1904

Father Name: Paril Arthur Cumpston  (This should read Basil) Mother Name: Florence Jone Ashton

Spouse Name: Everett Tom Lane Weaver Spouse's Age: 27

Spouse Birth Place: Hespeler, Ontario Spouse Father Name: Tester Everett Weaver

Spouse Mother Name: Yda Louise Milligan

Marriage Date: 9 Jun 1928 Marriage County or District: York


Western Land Grants (1870-1930)  Legal Land Description Part Section Township Range Meridian  W 3 15  33  W1 Reference:   Volume: 104Folio: 212Microfilm reel number: C-6017 Names: Basil A Cumpston

1893 Toronto Canada Cumpston Basil Lancelot son of Basil Arthur Cumpston and Florence Jane Ashton. Birth 1916 6th June. Cumpston Basil Lancelot age 23 Border Regiment Lce Corpl from PPCLI London Gazette.  Promoted to temporary 2nd Lieuteneant on probation with effect from 7th Mary 1916.


1917 Thursday 10 May Achiet Le Grand Cumpston Basil Lancelot age 24 2nd Lieutenant 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment death.  Died of wounds.  Son of Basil A and Florence J Cumpston, of 443 Walmer Road, Toronto, Canada, age 24.

Basil Arthur was a 'remittance man' sent to Canada by his family in Barton Hall Westmorland.  See description below of Remittance man.

1901 Northwest Territories Canada vol 489 Canada Cumpston Basil Arthur aged 41 farmer Lovell's directory Manitoba Volume/Page: 489


Western Land Grants (1870-1930) Legal Land Description Part Section Township Range Meridian

W 3 15  33  W1 Reference:  Volume: 104Folio: 212Microfilm reel number: C-6017

Names: Basil A Cumpston Letters Patent:  [father of Basil Lancelot Cumpston] from Barton in Westmorland, England.

Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913  

Geo Outhwaite Cumpston  Date of Birth: 24 Dec 1901  Gender: Male

Birth County or District: York Father's Name: Basil Arthur Cumpston Mother's Name: Florence Jane Ashton

Daughter of Basil Arthur Cumpston and Sister of Basil Lancelot Cumpston


7401-23 George Warburton SPRAGGE, 30, school master, Cobourg, Port Hope, s/o Albert Warburton SPRAGGE (b. Toronto) & Elizabeth Harriet DUDLEY, married Jean Marion CUMPSTON, 27, Wapella Sask., Toronto, d/o Basil Arthur CUMPSTON (b. Penrith England) & Florence Jane ASHTON, witn: T. KITCHENER & Treda CUMPSTON, both of farmer, 26 Dec 1923 at Christ Church

Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928

Name: Joan Manon Cumpston

Birth Place: Wapella, Sask Age: 27 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1896

Father Name: Basil Arthur Cumpston Mother Name: Florence Isaac Ashton

Spouse Name: George Warburton Spragge Spouse's Age: 30 Spouse Birth Place: Cobourg, Ontario

Spouse Father Name: Albert Warbarton Spragge Spouse Mother Name: Elizabeth Harriet Dudley

Marriage Date: 26 Dec 1923 Marriage County or District: York Registration district: Durham

1892 Wapella NW Terr Canada Cumpston Basil Arthur age 31 married Florence Jane Ashton 20.6.1892

1861 England Census

Name: Joseph H Cumpston

Age: 40 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1821

Relation: Head

Spouse's Name: Ellen Cumpston

Where born: Carlisle, Cumberland, England

Civil Parish: Watermillock

County/Island: Cumberland

Country: England

Street Address:



Household Members:

Name Age

Joseph H Cumpston 40

Ellen Cumpston 40

George R Cumpston 4

Mary Eliz Cumpston 3

Ellen Edith Cumpston 1

Basil Arthur Cumpston 4 m.

Margaret Foster 28

Eliza Johnstone 28

Elizabeth Davidson 18


Registration District: Penrith

Sub-registration District: Greystoke ED, institution, or vessel: 10 Household Schedule Number: 12 Piece: 3903 Folio: 4 Page Number: 3


1871 England Census

Name: Basil A Cumpston Age: 10 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1861 Relation:Son

Father's Name: Joseph H Cumpston MotherMary Ellen Cumpston

Where born: Watermillock, Cumberland, England

Civil Parish: High Barton

County/Island: Westmorland

Country: England


Household Members:

Name Age

Joseph H Cumpston 50

Mary Ellen Cumpston 50

Mary Elizabeth Cumpston 13

Ellen Edith Cumpston 11

Basil A Cumpston 10

Emma Picard            26

Elizabeth                    S Johnston           40

Elizabeth Richardson 26

Margaret Menzies 28


Registration District: West Ward Sub-registration District: Lowther ED, institution, or vessel: 7 Household Schedule Number: 20 Piece: 5275 Folio: 57 Page Number: 6


1901 Census of Canada Name: Basil A Campston Gender: Male Marital Status: Married

Age: 40 Birth Day & Month: 13 Dec Birth Year: 1860

Birthplace: England

Relation to Head of House: Head Immigration Year: 1883

Racial Origin: English

Nationality: Canadian

Religion: Church Of England

Occupation: Farmer

Province: The Territories

District: Assiniboia (east/est)


Household Members:

Name Age

Basil A Campston 40

Florence Campston 30

Basil L Campston 8

Jean M Campston 4


District Number: 203

Sub-District: Wapella

Sub-District Number: T3-1


Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 Name: Basil Cumpston Gender: Male Age: 47

Estimated Birth Year: abt 1861 Date of Arrival: 4 Sep 1908 Vessel: Victorian

Port of Arrival: Quebec Port of Departure: Liverpool, England Roll: T-4759

1911 Census of Canada

Name: Basil Cumpston

Gender: Male Marital Status: Married Age: 50

Birth Date: Dec 1860

Birthplace: England

Relation to Head of House: Head Spouse's Name: Florence J Cumpston

Immigration Year: 1883

Tribal: English

Household Members:

Name Age

Basil Cumpston 50

Florence J Cumpston 40

Basil L Cumpston 18

Joan A Cumpston 14

Geo Joe Cumpston 10

Elfreda Cumpston 7

Sopha Johnston 26


Province: Ontario District: York South District Number: 138

Sub-District: Toronto

Sub-District Number: 35

Place of Habitation: 144 Lawton

Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 Name: Florence Jane Cumpston

Gender: Female Age: 58 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1871 Birth Country: England

Date of Arrival: 17 Aug 1929 Vessel: Regina Search Port of Arrival: Montreal, Quebec Port of Departure: Liverpool, England Roll: T-14757

UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 Name: Florence Cumpston Birth Date: abt 1871 Age: 58 Port of Departure: Montréal, Québec, Canada Arrival Date: 19 May 1929 Port of Arrival: Liverpool, England Ports of Voyage: Quebec [Belfast]

Ship Name: Laurentic Shipping Line: White Star Dominion Line Official Number: 149642


1881 England Census

Name: Florence Jane Ashton

Age: 10 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1871 Relationship to Head: Daughter Father:William O. Ashton

Mother:Margaret Ashton

Gender: Female Where born: Islington, Middlesex, England Civil Parish: Charlton Next Woolwich County: London Country: England Street Address: Bugle Horn Charlton The Village

Occupation: Scholar


Household Members:

Name Age

William O. Ashton 47

Margaret Ashton 46

Bessie Ashton 17

Isabella Ashton 15

Louisa Edith Ashton 12

Florence Jane Ashton 10

John Ashton 9

Maud Marion Ashton 7

Elizabeth Tracker 22

Frederick Sparks 19


Registration District: Woolwich

Sub-registration District: Charlton

ED, institution, or vessel: 8 Piece: 741 Folio: 32 Page Number: 16