Ewan Wardle - "[D]ouble allowance and nothing to do": A Study of the Watercolours of Surgeon Edward Walsh

While serving with the 49th Regiment of Foot, surgeon Edward Walsh (1756-1832) created a series of watercolours that have unique value to the scholarship of early Upper Canada. The works are important not only because they provide contemporary visual records of British North America, but because they are among the earliest views we have of many landscapes. Although these images are often reproduced in modern publications, they are rarely accompanied by scholarly information to flush out the people, places, buildings, and vessels they depict. Relying on the extensive archival research of his friend and colleague Chris Laverton, Ewan Wardle will explore how Walsh's works carefully document military posts at particular moments in time, and also how they communicate the surgeon's personal relationships with the subjects he portrays.

Ewan Wardle is a program development officer at Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto. Over the past 17 years, he has served in various roles and has delivered a wide variety of programs about Fort York and its place in the city's past. In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contributions to Fort York. His life-long interest in early 19th century British military history has also led to a longstanding involvement in War of 1812 re-enacting. He currently lives in Oakville, Ontario, with his wife and daughter.