The town of Newcastle was established on the bay side of Presqu'ile Point in response demand for small town lots in a place that promised to be an important centre of government and business in the future. In the era when travel was on the lake and not on the land, the value of the bay as a harbour of refuge for sailing ships on Lake Ontario was evident. David William Smith was the Deputy Surveyor General of Upper Canada and he created this "Projection for the Town of Newcastle" which showed his vision of a busy and prosperous town, including the market, the clergy Seventh, the burying grounds and, of course, the prison.
Newcastle was designated the "County Town" of Newcastle District in 1802 and Charles Selleck and George Gibson built the court house and jail building where the prison was indicated on Smith's 1797 plan. Late in 1803, Charles Selleck received a Crown Grant of 1 acre of land, along the shore near the court house and jail, where he was required to build a serviceable wharf for the community. This document is the Crown Grant for that 1 acre. This document was presented to the Municipality of Brighton by Bud and Jill Guertin of Brighton in December 2018 and now hangs in the clerk's office. Here are some details about the document, including a full transcription and my analysis.
Only a few months after the loss of the Speed, a petition by inhabitants of Newcastle District said the location of Newcastle, in the role of county town, was "inconvenient" and it should be moved. See the petition and legislation on Appendix E of the book. The Act to revoke the status of county town from Newcastle appeared in the Upper Canada Gazette of May 4, 1805, after it was passed by the legislature on March 2, 1805. It authorizes the magistrates of Newcastle District to look for another location for the county town, and the court house and jail, mentioning that it must be in the townships of Haldimand or Hamilton. The Act set the limit of two years for someone to come forward with a donation of land. At the very end of that limit, Asa Burnham of Amherst (later part of Cobourg) provided land and a new court house and jail was built. That's why Cobourg is the county seat of Northumberland County today.
Newcastle: Move to Mainland
In the early 1820s the movers and shakers at Newcastle and over on mainland petitioned the government to help them move the town of Newcastle to the mainland. This sketch of the bay and area was part of the petition and shows the relative situation of Newcastle, on the bay side of Presqu'ile Point and the peninsula across the bay where they thought was the best place to relocate the town. The move happened over a few years and was probably complete by 1828 or so. Much later, in the 1840s, the name Newcastle was changed to Gosport when the post office was re-organizing the mail system, which meant removing duplicate names.