1762 – 1828
Who was Ralfe Clench?
Born in Schenectady, New York around 1762, he joined the British side during the American Revolution and fought with General John Burgoyne in 1777. He later served with Captain Henry Bird and then Butler's Rangers. After the war, he settled at Niagara in Upper Canada. He accumulated a number of appointments to government posts in the Niagara District. He served in the local militia, eventually becoming colonel. With Isaac Swayze, he opposed wording in land deeds that they believed compromised people's ability to sell their own land; also with Swayze, he was elected to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th ridings of Lincoln in 1800. They were re-elected in 1804. Clench also represented the 2nd riding of Lincoln from 1812 to 1820. He fought at Queenston Heights during the War of 1812; he was captured by the Americans in 1813 and released at the end of the war. He also served as judge in the district court for the Niagara District.
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