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A 19th century Upper Canada wooden Rebellion Box dated Toronto 1838

made by John Goldsbury Parker of Hamilton (1794-1875) while imprisoned for treason in the Toronto jail, inscribed with poems, verse and dedications.


Measurements: 2-1/2 inches x 2 inches x 1-5/8” inches



Raible, Chris. "Cast Down but not Destroyed: Trials and Triumphs of John Goldsbury Parker" (2005).

Raible, Chris. "From Hands Now Striving to be Free: Boxes Crafted by the 1837 Rebellion Prisoners" published by The York Pioneer & Historical Society (2009). 

Miller, Linus. "Notes of an exile to Van Dieman's Land [microform] : comprising the incidents of the Canadian Rebellion in 1838, trial of the author in Canada, and subsequent appearance before Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench, in London, imprisonment in England, and transportation to Van Dieman's Land" (1849)


Inscribed on lid: 'Mrs Austin'
Inscribed on front side: 'From John G Parker In Prison'

Inscribed on left side: 'Toronto 1838'

Inscribed on right side: likely reads 'This box honors those...'
Inscribed on reverse side - 'The pris'ners faith brings Jesus near
           The chains dark cells & bolts are here
           his hours of sorrow yet will end
           And darkness flee and light ascend'

Also inscribed with verse on bottom board.


This rare Prisoner of War box was made in the Toronto jail after the uprising in Toronto, known as The Toronto Rebellion. Many prisoners made small boxes for loved ones, thinking they would be hanged like other prisoners. Two prisoners,  Matthews and Lount, were hanged in Toronto for their part in the rebellion and  their names traditionally appear on the ends of each box; their names may appear on this box under the darkened varnish.


This box is dedicated to Mrs. Austin and made by John Goldsbury Parker (1794-1875), notable as one of the Canadian prisoners charged with High Treason during the Upper Canada Rebellions who petitioned the British Crown from their Toronto prison cells, were sent to England and heard before the Court of the Queen's Bench in London. Having escaped prison at Fort Henry and been recaptured, John G. Parker was eventually released and exiled from Canadian soil.


A wonderful example of Canadian history in superb condition.



A 19th C Upper Canada Rebellion Box by John G. Parker in Toronto prison, 1838

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    Phone:  905-727-3334


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