William Telford Sr.

The life of a pioneer in Peterborough County during 19th Century was one marked by hard work, long days and constant uncertainty. To temper the harshness of that life with a soft touch of poetry took a remarkable human being.

‘Remarkable’ is an apt word to describe William Telford Sr.

Born of humble origins in Scotland, Will Telford came to the Peterborough area in 1850 and toiled as a farmer, and stonemason. To this day, many homes still stand as testament to his stonemason craftsmanship. In the best Scottish tradition of Robbie Burns, Will found time to pursue his love of poetry, finding inspiration in his ancestry and the beauty of the world around him. His many poems led him to be dubbed ‘the Bard of the St. Andrew’s Society’ and the ‘the poet laureate of Peterborough with the gentle brogue and lilt.’ The volume of Will’s poems, found in print, attest to his stature as one of the most prolific and widely read poets ever to live in the Peterborough area.

William Telford Sr. was an artist in both stone and poetry, and it’s indeed poetic and fitting that both his stonework and his written words have endured.

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