Mary Beatrice Stedman, Grandniece of Edmund Cockshutt

Extra research for Season 4 – Episode 4 – The Tea Party

The Cockshutt Family figures prominently in the story of the City of Brantford. Frank Cockshutt (1857-1938) was the President of the Cockshutt Plow Company. William Foster Cockshutt was a Member of the Canadian Parliament for Brantford. Henry Cockshutt (1868-1944) was the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The Cockshutt Family was always generous with their time and money to the citizens of Brantford.


Edmund Lister Cockshutt (1861-1956) was the sixth child of Ignatius and Elizabeth Foster. He was a farmer and proprietor of a year-round flower shop called the Winter Garden Company. Edmund, an expert in horticulture, was the first commercial grower of hothouse tomatoes and mushrooms in the Brantford area. He wanted to build his dream home to house his extensive art collection and design gardens where he could share them with people which he loved to do.


In 1914, to fulfill his dream, he purchased 16 acres of land along the Grand River (la rivière Grand in French and O:se Kenhionhata:tie in Mohawk) from the Stratford family who had named their home “Glenhyrst”, after a family home in Scotland, and Edmund decided to keep the name.


Because of World War I and the lack of building supplies, Edmund had to wait to build his 2-storey, red brick, Edwardian-style home and turn 15 acres into a splendid garden. By the time he moved into Glenhyrst, around 1922, he was already in his mid-60s.


Mary Beatrice Stedman is the Granddaughter of Mary Margaret Cockshutt, Edmond’s step-sister from his father Ignatius’ first marriage to Margaret Gemmel, and seems to be one of the spirits occupying her Granduncles’ beautiful home.


Edmund remained a bachelor until his death in 1956 at the age of 95 when he bequeathed Glenhyrst Gardens to the City of Brantford.


— Joanne Schiavoni


Photo credit:Mary Beatrice Stedman, Grandniece of Edmund Cockshutt, The Expositor (2014-11-10) Obituaries. Brantford, ON

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