John Skynner (1762-1846), Mississauga's own "Master & Commander" was born in England in 1762 to a family steeped in the traditions of the Royal Navy. He joined the navy as an "Able Bodied Seaman" in 1795 and quickly rose through the ranks. He became a full Lieutenant in 1802 and one of his first duties was to escort the Duke of Kent, future father of Queen Victoria, from Gibraltar to England. During the Napoleonic Wars, Skynner helped to protect convoys of ships between Gibraltar and Malta keeping the ships and their cargos safe. He was given a silver cup in 1808 by the merchants of Malta for his meritorious conduct and unremitted attention to the numerous convoys under his charge while in the Mediterranean.
John Skynner moved with his family to Merigold's Point in Mississauga in 1838 at the age of 76. Little is known of his personal life but we know he was married to a woman named, Joanna, 22 years his junior, and together they had six children. Skynner passed away in 1846, at the age of 84 but his legacy lives on in the presence of The Anchorage - his retirement home on the shores of Lake Ontario.
The Skynner collection includes the Skynner Cup, a key artifact in the Museums' collection, Skynner's naval signal book, account book and a portrait of his daughter, Caroline Jarvis.