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The Remarkable Journey of Charles MacDonald

Soldier Settler Sinner

by Jane Simpson

Soldier Settler Sinner reveals the complex life of Captain Charles MacDonald, an officer and gentleman in the Royal Marines during the Napoleonic Wars.  Born in 1789, Charles emigrated from Northumberland, the coldest and least populated county in England to settle eventually on the Bay of Quinte in the mid-1830s. He was known among the farmers and fishermen of the Bay as someone who, unlike them, “always had money in his pocket.”
He was active on three continents turning this tale into a ripping travelogue as he cheated death in island battles in the Caribbean, outbreaks of tropical disease, mutiny, hazardous sea voyages, and a cholera outbreak in Quebec City upon arrival in the New World.
Scandal followed Charles as his moral shortcomings were exposed. Women brought him love and wealth but also disgrace and finally peace. The twists and turns of this saga demonstrate why some historians have branded Charles the man “who didn’t want to be found.”  Lucky to escape death as a young man, he survived and sired 17 children throughout his adventures. not all with the same woman. Among MacDonald’s descendants was the Ontario painter, Manly MacDonald, and the author of this book, Jane Simpson.
Soldier, Settler and Sinner features dozens of photographs encompassing MacDonald’s life in England, the West Indies and finally, the quiet shores of the Bay of Quinte. The foreword is provided by Vern Whalen, author of Point Anne: History of a Cement Factory Village.

Soldier Settler Sinner
About Book
Official Website of
About Jane

Oct 10, 2020

10:00 am to 11:30 am

Soldier, Settler, Sinner: The Remarkable Journey of Charles MacDonald, presented by the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa

This is an online Zoom presentation - registration required, information to follow.



Jun 10, 2018

2:00 PM

Soldier, Settler, Sinner: The Remarkable Journey of Charles MacDonald (1789 to 1848).

North Lanark Historical Society

Appleton Museum, Appleton Side Road

May 12, 2018

1:30 PM

Patriot, Puritan, Prince, Pauper:  The History of the Belnap Family of Hastings County

Bay of Quinte Branch, United Empire Loyalists Association

Adolphustown Township Hall

Loyalist Parkway, Hwy #33

Apr 17, 2018

7:00 PM

Soldier, Settler, Sinner:  The Remarkable Journey of Charles MacDonald (1789 to 1848)

Lennox and Addington Archives,

97 Thomas St. E, Napanee, Ontario

Sep 29, 2017

to October, 1st, 2017. 

British Isles Family History Society Conference

Jane will be selling books at the 23rd British Isles Family History Society Conference,

Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

Sep 20, 2017

Local authors book reading

September 20th – Local authors book reading, Stittsville Public Library.

Jun 17, 2017

Jun 18, 2017

OGS Conference

Jane will be at the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Marketplace at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario. Her book Soldier, Settler and Sinner will be  available for purchase.

Jun 03, 2017

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Book signing

Jane will be on site at Chapters to sign copies of her book.

Chapters, Bell Boulevard, Belleville Ontario from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

May 16, 2017

Stittsville Public Library

Writer’s Group - Topic -  The Process of Self-Publishing

Apr 23, 2017

11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Book signing

Jane will be on site at Chapters to sign copies of her book.

Chapters, Bell Boulevard, Belleville Ontario from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Apr 22, 2017

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Jane will be at the Belleville Library on the 3rd Floor in Manly MacDonald Gallery for her official book launch presentation!

Apr 16, 2017

on CJBQ 800

Hear Jane's interview on Newsmaker!

Jane will be featured on Newsmaker Sunday with Mary Thomas on CBJQ 800 am radio.

Mar 09, 2017

7:00 am to 8:30 am

Kanata International Women's Day Breakfast

Jane will join local authors presenting their books at the Kanata International Women's Day breakfast to be held at the Mlacak Centre, 2500 Campeau Drive. This is a free event. 

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About Jane

Story teller at heart.

Jane Simpson is a retired nurse, living in Kanata, Ontario with her husband and dog.     Throughout her career, she held administrative positions in health care and lectured at the University of Ottawa.  She is a lifetime member of the Hastings County Historical Society, a member of the Marilyn Adam Genealogy Research Centre and a member of the Capital Crime Writers in Ottawa. 

Her interest in her MacDonald family arose while spending summer holidays with her grandparents by the Bay of Quinte.  She knew who her great grandparents were but nothing of generations before them.  Her grandfather was a cousin of Manly MacDonald, the painter who provided essential documents for Charles Macdonald’s remarkable story.  She is the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles MacDonald.  

Jane has published excerpts of a mystery novel in the anthology, Strangers in a Small Room and a short story about her dog in the US.  She was a member of Rick Taylor’s writing group in Ottawa.    

Farm near Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland

Jane's travels and events.

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