As you are probably aware, our own Peterborough is not the only one out there. A quick consultation with Google reveals that are five: one in Cambridgeshire, U.K., the familiar one in Ontario, one in New Hampshire in the U.S.A., one in South Australia, and another Australian example in Victoria. Our post today deals with the one in England, which was visited, back in 1862, by a couple of residents of Peterborough, Ontario.
Click on to find out what they thought of it!
There is, of course, no particular connection between the two Peterboroughs. Our Ontario city is named for Peter Robinson, who initiated the immigration of the Irish settlers who founded the community in the 1820s. The Peterborough of Cambridgeshire, on the other hand, is named for St. Peter himself, patron Saint of the monastery founded there in the seventh century A.D. Probably the most famous attempt to link the two towns in the popular imagination was John Smith’s doomed 1934 plan to canoe from the Ontario example down through the Great Lakes, down the St. Lawrence, across the Atlantic, and up the River Nene to the English Peterborough.
However, some Peterborians did manage to make it from the Canadian city to the English one, as we see from a letter to the editor of the Peterborough Examiner in the July 17th, 1862 edition. Here it is, and in case the image is illegible, I have transcribed it below.
The above name, so familiar and so welcome, was the announcement that met our hearing as the train stopped at a station on the Liverpool and Great Northern Railway, about seventy miles from London. As the time of stoppage was only five minutes, of course we could see little of the place, but the surrounding country is certainly as fine as any we have seen in England. Fields, beautifully hedged in, and as level as a bowling green; hay ready for the sickle, oats in ear, and the other crops proportionately well advanced. The farm houses are the very pictures of contentment, and in every respect Peterborough in England, as far as we could see of it, is as much a credit to the country it is in, as Peterborough in Canada West is to the Province it is located in.
It would seem that Peterborough, England, met with their deep approval!