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The Town of Richmond Hill was founded by a group of British Loyalists in 1794, including Captain John Graves Simcoe. The area was named after Henry Frederick, Duke of Richmond and Lennox (1736–1806), the fourth son of King George III who became the first Duke upon his father's death in 1805. The town grew as a result of its location along Yonge Street, one time Upper Canada's main north-south thoroughfare but which gradually gave way to Highway 7 after completion between Woodstock and Barrie in 1930.