Fonds Acc2881 - Peake, Brecken fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Peake, Brecken fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds

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Reference code

CA PCA Acc2881

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1784-1870 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

9.53 m of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Brecken (Family)

Biographical history

For many decades following the arrival of John Brecken, United Empire Loyalist, in 1784 from Shelburne, Nova Scotia, the Brecken family was to play a leading role in the mercantile, political, and social history of Charlottetown and Prince Edward Island. John's son Ralph Sr. (1770-1813) and his grandson Ralph Jr. (1804-1888) were both involved in the Charlottetown mercantile business of Brecken and Co. As well as holding various political offices, the Breckens attained a relatively high place in the social structure of Prince Edward Island. Ralph Sr. married to Matilda Robinson, the daughter of Lt.-Col. Joseph Robinson and Ralph Jr. espoused Phoebe Maria Wright, daughter of George Wright, Surveyor-General and sometime administrator of the Island and Phoebe Cambridge. Ralph Jr.'s son, also named Ralph, born in 1845 became a Methodist minister and served in several locations in the Maritimes including St. John, Halifax and Sackville.

Name of creator

Peake (Family)

Biographical history

James Ellis Peake (1797-1860), son of George Peake, arrived in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, from Plymouth, England, in 1824. He quickly established himself as an important shipowner, shipbuilder, and merchant, perhaps operating as an extension of the family business of Peake and Sons in Plymouth. James imported a wide variety of goods from either a parent company or this branch of the family business in England.

James married Barbara Leila Alice Brecken in 1838. They had at least six children: Elizabeth, Alice Brecken, James Jr., George, Ralph Brecken, and Fanny. Due to his ill health, James and his family returned to Plymouth in 1856 apparently leaving his affairs in the hands of Mr. James Moore of Charlottetown. James died in East Stonehouse, County Devon, in 1860.

In 1863, the James Peake Jr. returned to Prince Edward Island and picked up the threads of his father's business as Peake Bros. & Company. The family business continued to operate at a reduced scale into the 1900's. James personal fortune was greatly reduced 1882 with the collapse of the Bank of PEI in which he had invested heavily. The following year he lost his home, Beaconsfield, to the mortgager, William Cundall. James married Edith Alice Constance Haviland, daughter of Thomas Heath Haviland Jr., on 30 August 1866. They had six children. James left PEI ca. 1888 in hopes of reestablishing his fortune. He went first to St. Paul, Minnesota, and then to Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. James died in Vancouver in 1895.

Ralph Peake, accompanied by his mother Alice, returned to Prince Edward Island in 1866. He married Matilda Haviland. He was partner in Peake Bros. & Company until his death on 11 January 1879 at the age of 34.

George Peake married Alice Rebecca DeBlois on 28 July 1870. George continued to operate the Peake business interests after his brother James left PEI in 1888.

Custodial history

This material was stored for many years in the Carvell Brothers building in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The building, located at 25-27 Queen Street, was erected by James Peake Senior in 1856.

Scope and content

This fonds consists primarily of the business records and associated materials of the Brecken and Peake families of Prince Edward Island. The documents cover the time period 1784 to 1870 although most of the material dates from 1840 on. The Peake business began in 1824 and after 1830 seems to have been connected to the Brecken firm. Some records in the early 1830's may belong to either firm. Also included are some papers of a personal nature. The material has been partially sorted and boxed and is divided into two series: Brecken papers and Peake papers.

Notes area


Items 1095-1103 and 1105 have been deaccessioned. Item 1104 has been moved to RG 21

Language of material

  • English

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Associated materials

See also: Acc3104 - Brecken family fonds; Acc4170 - Peake, Bissett family fonds; Brecken Family File, item HFG-Brecken-8; Peake Family File, item HFG-Peake-39

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Language of description

  • English

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