THE WELSH SETTLEMENT NEAR LONDON, ONTARIO MURIEL E. CHAMBERLAIN [The present writer is engaged in compiling a database of the Welsh in Canada but this paper is largely based on F.T. Rosser's The Welsh Settlement in Upper Canada, presented for the degree of Ph.D. in the University of Western Ontario in 1953.' Dr. Rosser, a descendant of the original settlers, had been researching his family history since the 1930s, but his work is difficult to obtain in this country and it seems worth summarising his findings in the hope that it will bring further information to light. The discussion after the present author had given a paper to the R.I.S.W. in March 1991 suggests that the story is remembered locally.] There were few 'organised' Welsh settlements in Canada, even though Jones is said to be the most common name in the telephone book in many parts of that country. Most Welshmen and women emigrated as individuals, usually from English ports, and soon disappeared into the general mass of Anglophone Canada. As a result, until very recently, there has been little literature on the Welsh in Canada.2 One exception was the settlement organised by John Matthews of Llansamlet near to what became London, Ontario. From the beginning it had the critical mass of Welsh speakers needed to maintain its separate identity through several generations. All the original settlers came from Llansamlet and most had been faithful members of the Calvinistic Methodist Capel-y-Cwm. Once established, it attracted other Welsh speakers who had emigrated to Upper Canada, as Ontario was then called, who liked the idea of joining their fellow countrymen. John Matthews was clearly a remarkable man. Born in 1764 in Glamorganshire, the son of William Matthews, who is described as 'a gardener', he is said to have been employed in some capacity in the British Embassy in Paris at the time of the French Revolution. A family legend, which is unsubstantiated but not inherently impossible, is that he endangered his own life by trying, unsuccessfully, to rescue a young French woman from the guillotine. Some American friends are said to have helped him to escape to the United States. There appears to be no doubt that he was living in Philadelphia between 1793 and 1811. He was first a clerk in a government office and subsequently the owner of a stationer's shop. That he was both a man of substantial means and one who knew his way around government bureaucracy is apparent from his later career. Some time in the second decade of the 19th century he returned to visit his relatives in Wales. Dr. Rosser thinks that he came before the outbreak of war between Britain and the United States in 1812 but, as Matthews found his family