Katherine Jane Ellice ❖
Katherine Jane “Janie” Ellice was a diarist (someone who writes a diary) and an artist. She is most remembered for her writing and watercolour painting about her trip to Canada, in 1838, where she and her sister were taken prisoner during the Battle of Beauharnois.
She came to Canada from England with her husband, Edward. He was going to work as a private secretary for his cousin, who was on track to be the Governor-General of the Province of Canada and Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada.
During the Battle of Beauharnois, Katherine Ellice, and the rest of her household were taken by surprise during a nighttime siege led by François-Marie-Thomas Chevalier de Lorimier. They were held as prisoners. Katherine Ellice negotiated with the rebels so they could be moved to the home of the Catholic priest. From there, they were able to get meat and milk from Ellice’s livestock. In all, 62 people were held as prisoners.
“A brisk firing commenced all around the cottage; bullets coming through the house in all directions. Then came a dreadful rush of Men, women & children, screaming, some falling & being trampled upon in the door way. We thought the rebels were coming to murder us, & locked in Tina’s arms I was trying to compose my mind when Mr. Parker pushed thro’ the crowd & told us we were safe.”
— Jane Ellice, The Diary of Jane Ellice
Katherine Ellice studied drawing. She is known for her watercolour depictions of the 1837 Rebellion, painted while residing in Beauharnois, as well as other works of art that represented Quebec. Her art album is now held at the Library and Archives Canada. A copy of her diary is also housed at the Library and Archives Canada. Some of her art and diary entries are also available online at Katherine Jane Ellice | Watercolour World
Source: Katherine Ellice – Wikipedia. with some modifications.