HEROES AND THEIR DESCENDANTS 331
be done with immigrant orphans and widows. They could not be sent back and could not be left uncared for here. It was at this juncture that Bishop Strachan came to the rescue with heroic remedies. 1-Ie had the orphaned children placed in foster homes, and he was credited with arranging something like forced marriages for the widows. One well-authenticated case had to do with a widow who had considerable cash, and a local farmer who had much land but no money and no wife. The bishop had banns proclaimed between these two, and it was not until after the proclamation that the widow was told of what had been done. She was further informed that banns having been published, the marriage must of necessity be gone on with and she was ordered to prepare for the same forth-with. The inevitable was accepted and the union appears to have turned out quite happily."
There were some Good Samaritans at the time of the ship-fever as well as at the time of the cholera plague. Some of the stricken ones among the Irish immigrants having reached Newmarket, an old brewery was turned into a hospital for their accommodation. Volunteers were called for to nurse the patients and Wright Burkett and a harness-maker named Wallace responded. While engaged on their service of mercy, Burkett contracted the fever and died, and Wallace was brought to death's door but recovered.
The facts in this case were given me by John Langstaff at the time he told the story of the tragedies of Yonge Street due to early drinking customs.