Tercentenary of the Alliance with the Crown

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In April 1710, a delegation of four sachems of the Iroquois Confederacy visited the Court of Queen Anne in London, England.  Treated as ambassadors, they received every honour, including entertainment, fine dining, and exposure to the pomp and might of the Tudor kingdom.  The outcome of the meeting was a political alliance that would last for the next three hundred years, albeit in ever-changing ways, and a request from the Mohawk ambassadors for a priest of the Church of England to come to New York to instruct them in the Christian faith.  In 1712, Queen Anne sent a chaplain to Fort Hunter and Queen Anne's Chapel was built and endowed with a fine set of silver-plate Communion vessels.

Over the years, the Mohawks have not forgotten their alliance with the Crown.  During the American Revolution the Mohawks of the Mohawk Valley fought alongside the British forces.  For their troubles, they lost their ancestral homeland in the Mohawk Valley and were exiled to Canada, where they settled in 1784 along the Grand River and at Tyendinaga.  In the War of 1812, the Mohawks again fought alongside the British and ensured the British did not suffer an embarrassing defeat in the Niagara Peninsula.

One should note that the Mohawks have remained loyal to the alliance with the British Crown.  They are not Loyalists in the strictest sense because they are not subjects of the Crown, but allies.  Since Confederation, the Canadian Government has done its best to assimilate indigenous peoples and to eradicate their languages and cultures.  It has been forgotten that the indigenous peoples were creating the history of Canada long before the English and French arrived and the exploits of Cartier, Champlain, and the English following the Conquest are hardly the origins of Canada.  It is no small wonder that First Nations in Canada are increasingly militant in their desire to gain recognition of their sovereignty and the importance of their history in the shaping of the Canada we know today.

The Parish of Tyendinaga was honoured to know that Her Majesty The Queen remembered the alliance between the Mohawks and the Crown and desired to give a gift to her Chapel Royal at Tyendinaga.  On Sunday 4 July 2010, a delegation of ten parishioners and the Chaplain, the Rev'd Bradley Smith, attended the Sunday liturgy of Mattins (Morning Prayer) in the Cathedral Church of St James, Toronto.  The Chaplain was invited to read the Second Lesson.  After the liturgy, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh signed the Royal Bible given by Queen Victoria and The Queen presented the Chapel Royal with a handsome peal of eight handbells from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London.  The peal's tenor bell is pitched to C15 and the remaining bells ascend through the diatonic scale (i.e. C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C).  We are very pleased to have been honoured with this fine gift from The Queen and we are excited to begin training bell ringers so these beautiful bells may sing out in worship for years to come.


Royal Tour at the Cathedral Church of St James
from the Premier of Ontario's website
This video features the beginning of the liturgy, including a quick shot of the Chaplain,
the Rev'd Bradley Smith, in the clergy procession from 0:43-0:49.

Royal Tour 2010
Government of Canada
This video features a demonstration of the handbells, including a change-rung peal
and a verse of the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy", beginning at 0:28,
and the signing of the Six Nations Bible from 1:53 to 2:24.


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The full peal of 8 bells.  The bells were made by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, in London, England, which is the oldest and most distinguished manufactory of bells in the world and the oldest continuing factory in the United Kingdom.  This peal of bells is diatonic, meaning it has no accidentals (sharps or flats) in the octave.

The inscription on the tenor bell
HM Chapel Royal of the Mohawk
Sachems' Audience with Queen Anne

The tenor bell, pitched to C15.


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