The Old Burial Ground in Fredericton, located within tranquil surroundings, holds significant historical importance in New Brunswick. It is here that many Loyalist families, the founders of New Brunswick, have their final resting place. These include the province’s inaugural clergy, judges, and government officials, alongside the families of English governors, British regiment members stationed in Fredericton, and early settlers from the British Isles.
Originally planned as the central town square during the new settlement’s surveying in 1786, this area was repurposed when the need for a cemetery in the City became evident. Consequently, the square was transferred to the Church of England for use as a burial ground.
The earliest documented burial took place in 1787 and was for Anthony Foster, an English officer whose tombstone remains in place. The cemetery stopped accepting new interments in 1886, although a few occurred into the mid-20th century.
A point of interest within the grounds is the grave of Julia Catherine Hart (1796-1867) situated at the junction of Sunbury and George Streets. Hart is the author of “St. Ursula’s Convent,” the first English novel published by a Canadian-born author.
Just outside the cemetery gates on Brunswick Street stands a monument commemorating the bicentennial of the Loyalists’ arrival in 1783. Along the pathway through the Burial Ground, there is a dedicated monument to the British soldiers who served in Fredericton between 1784 and 1869.