This Anglican Church burial ground is one of the oldest consecrated cemeteries in Ontario.
Loyalists, who wanted to continue living under British rule, came to Kingston after the American Revolution. A Loyalist soldier, Corporal Forbes of the King's Royal Regiment of New York (Royal Greens), was the first to be buried here in 1783. There were about 600 more burials over the next 80 years.
This is the resting place of most of Kingston's original settlers including several prominent people. The bodies of some aboriginals, slaves, soldiers and sailors also lie here. One notable person interred in this burial ground is the Mohawk matriarch Konwatsi'tsyayén:ni later called Tekonwatón:ti (Mary or "Molly" Brant) (c 1736-1796). An Anglican Loyalist, she was the consort and close advisor of Sir William Johnson (c 1715-1774). He was the superintendent of Indian affairs for Britain's northern colonies.
The Rev. John Stuart (c 1740-1811) and ten members of his family are buried here in a walled "Lair". He was a missionary to the Mohawks and founded the Anglican Church in Upper Canada. John Stuart consecrated this burial ground in 1784.
In addition to Anglicans, Protestants of other denominations were also buried in this cemetery in the early years. Anglican clergy officiated at all burials, regardless of the deceased
person's actual faith. This was unacceptable to the Presbyterians. They wanted to have their own clergy officiate at burials. The dispute ended in 1825 when the military cemetery, called the Upper Burial Ground (now McBurney Park), was expanded to make room for the Presbyterians.
A stone wall was built around the Lower Burial Ground in 1799-1808. Remnants of that wall still exist in the section along Montreal Street. St. Paul's Church (1845) and the Parish Hall (1872) were both built on parts of these grounds, covering many early graves.