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Hicksite Friends Burying Ground

16580 Yonge Street, Newmarket, Ontario, L3X, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/05/06

Hicksite Meeting House. Demolished 1942; Heritage Newmarket
Meeting House
Overview of burying ground; Heritage Newmarket
Hicksite Burying Ground
Restoration Project of 1991; Heritage Newmarket
Restoration Project of 1991

Other Name(s)

Hicksite Friends Burying Ground
Hicksite Friends Meeting House and Burial Ground

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/01/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Hicksite Friends Burying Ground (also known as the Hicksite Friends Meeting House and Burial Ground) was established circa 1829. The cemetery sits on a rise of ground on the West side of Yonge Street, and is located at 16580 Yonge Street. The cemetery consists of the remains of 73 individuals of Newmarket’s early Quaker settlers.

The Hicksite Friends Burying Ground has been designated for its historical significance by the Town of Newmarket, By-law number 1985-54.

Heritage Value

The Hicksite burial ground is an important feature in the history of Newmarket’s settler families. In 1801, a number of Quaker families travelled north from Vermont and Pennsylvania to settle near the Holland River, establishing a community at the junction of Yonge Street and Highway 9.

Quakerism is a way of life which emphasizes human goodness because of a belief that something of God exists in everyone. By 1829 there was a separation in the Society of Friends (Quakers) caused by a disagreement over doctrinal differences. Elias Hicks and his followers broke off from the existing group and became known as the Hicksite branch. The Hicksites obtained a lot on the northeast corner of the farm of William I. Phillips, on the west side of Yonge street in the village of Armitage. In 1830 a meeting house was constructed and a burial ground began around the building.

The first burial took place as early as 1832. The Newmarket cemetery on north Main Street was established in 1869, but the Quaker cemeteries were still used occasionally. The last burial had taken place in 1919, by which time the number of Quaker followers had declined. The two storey meeting house was purchased and removed in 1942.

Originally, the Quakers did not permit grave markers, as they believed this created distinction between members on the basis of wealth. Therefore the earliest burials were in unmarked plots and in order of death. When grave markers were finally permitted, materials such as fieldstones, wood or marble were used. Surviving marble markers in the Hicksite burial ground carry the names of many of the area’s first Quaker settler families: Armitage, Crone, Daniel, Dennis, Hollingshead, Powell, Southard, and Walton.

In 1989 the Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) resolved that the lands were no longer necessary for their purposes and transferred ownership of the Hicksite Burial Ground to the Town of Newmarket.

A restoration project was undertaken in 1991 to repair and maintain the grave markers and the footprint of where the meeting house once stood. The markers, which had been removed from their original plots, were placed in rows and a historical plaque was erected on the site in 1993.

Sources: Heritage Newmarket file: 16580 Yonge Street-Hicksite Cemetery

Character-Defining Elements

Key character defining elements which illustrate the historical and social value of the Hicksite Burying Ground include:
-the remains of 73 individuals of Newmarket’s early Quaker settlers;
-remaining grave markers;
-park-like setting of the burial ground




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer



Elias Hicks

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Newmarket Historical Society 134 Main Street South Newmarket, ON L3Y 3Y7 Heritage Newmarket c/o Elman Campbell Museum 134 Main Street South Newmarket, ON L3Y 3Y7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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