Dr. Rowley James Pegley was born in May of 1813, in Westminster, Middlesex County, England. His parents were Robert and Mary Ann Pegley. His father was a soldier and he had a sister named Jane and a brother named Robert.
According to the 1872 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Pegley joined the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in England in 1835. By 1848, Dr. Pegley was practicing medicine in Chatham. His office was located on King Street in Chatham and he advertised as and M.D.E., Coroner and Druggist. His sister Jane married Dr. Thomas Cross.
On June 4th, 1848 Dr. William Fulford was loading a charge into a canon when it prematurely discharged, shattering Dr. Fulford’s wrists. Dr. Pegley was one of the physicians treating Dr. Fulford’s injuries (one arm was amputated).
Dr. Pegley married Violet Woods. She was born in Essex County in 1822. Dr. and Mrs. Pegley had 4 children, Florence Pegley was born in 1852, a son was born in June of 1854 and died at birth, Elizabeth Woods Pegley was born in 1856 and Robert Edward Pegley was born in 1861. Dr. and Mrs. Pegley had a large estate on Head Street West in Chatham. In 1860 Dr. Pegley purchased the drug store owned by Dr.’s Donnelly and Askin.
Dr. Pegley advertised in a number of business directory’s of the time, including the 1851 Chatham Directory, the 1866-1867 Kent, Lambton and Essex Counties Directory and Gazetteer and the 1870-1871 Kent and Essex County Sutherlands Gazetteer Business Directory.
Dr. Pegley died on the 22nd of June 1872. His brother Charles E. Pegley a prominent lawyer in Chatham was listed on the death record as the informant. Mrs. Pegley was listed in the 1877 Chatham Directory as living at 85 Murray Street in Chatham. Mrs. Pegley died on the 1st of April, 1890 in Chatham. Dr. and Mrs. Pegley are buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Dr. Thomas Cross, Dr. Edmund Donnelly, Dr. Charles Askin and Dr. William Fulford also appear on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.