I’m currently reading Janice Nickerson’s Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Researcher’s Guide. Highly recommended!
John Kelly’s trial for the murder of Michael Hourigan took place on Thursday, 20 May 1841, at the original Bathurst courthouse in Perth.1 The following is based on the account published in the Bathurst Courier (28 May 1841), which enlivened its recital of the facts of the case with bits and pieces of boilerplate didacticism (much like the tablid press of today).
A Fatal Affray
‘They finally made it up over some beer,…but got disputing warmly afterwards about a child.’
On Good Friday, 9 April 1841, John Kelly arrived at Henry Smith’s brewery “between 9 and 10 o’clock” in the morning, and “stopt some hours there.” His brother-in-law Michael Hourigan (spelled Horrogan in the newspaper account) came to Smith’s brewery at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. While there initially appeared to be “some coolness between them,” the two men “finally made it up over some beer, at the suggestion of Horrogan.” However, the truce was short-lived; and Kelly and Hourigan “got disputing warmly afterwards about a child” (two-year old Ann Kelly, daughter of John Kelly and his wife Mary Hourigan and granddaughter and goddaughter of Mary [Lahey] Hourigan) in the presence of Henry Smith the brewer.
After leaving Smith’s brewery (whether together or separately is not clear), Kelly and Hourigan were seen together by two witnesses, John Brennan and William Headley, both residents of March township. William Headley was apparently the first of the two witnesses to see the two men together, when he and his wife came by in a sleigh. Having been shown “a stab on the side of [the deceased’s] head, inflicted by the prisoner,” Headley urged Michael Hourigan to get into his sleigh. Unfortunately, Hourigan refused, stating that “he would have satisfaction;” and Headley and his wife drove on.
- At the northwest corner of Craig and Drummond Streets. This building, erected in 1822, was destroyed by fire on 1 December 1841 (Bathurst Courier, 7 Dec 1841), and replaced by a new District Court House and Gaol in 1842-43. ↩
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The BBC reports on a demographic study based on the parish records of Charlevoix and Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean, Québec:
The towns not only boast dairy farms, charming villages and sandy beaches but some of the best ever-kept marriage records – comprising more than a million people.
Canadian census records might be recorded in English, in French, or in a combination of both languages.
Here’s an example of a French-English combination, from the 1901 census of Ottawa (see right; click thumbnail preview to enlarge). This is the household of Alexander Michael Moran, with his wife Anna Maria Benton; his sons Allan Jerome and Orville Alexander Moran; his sister Emma (Mary Emilia Moran) Lenahan; and his sister-in-law Margaret Anne Benton. The six members of this household were listed with a combination of English and French descriptors, some of which were as follows:
|Racial or Tribal
|Alex Moran||Chef [Head]||Irish||Anglais [English]|
|Anna Moran||épouse [wife]||“||“|
|Allan Jerome Moran||fils [son]||“||“|
|Alex Moran||fils [son]||“||“|
|Emma Lannehan||Dom [domestique/domestic]||“||Anglais [English]|
|Maggie Benton||Dom [domestique/domestic]||“||“|
Continued from The Queen vs. Kelly: Part I.
The Queen vs. Kelly
“We are informed it was committed whilst in a state of intoxication,” wrote the Bathurst Courier (16 April 1841) of John Kelly’s fatal stabbing of his brother-in-law Michael Hourigan.
Not surprisingly, the Courier took a lively interest in the case, publishing three brief notices of Kelly’s arrest and detention, along with a lengthy account of his trial. A case like Kelly’s offered the newspaper a chance to entertain its readers with the lurid details of a brutal act of violence, while moralizing on the theme of peace, order, and good government. The fact that “the unfortunate man Kelly” was the only person arraigned at the Assizes for a crime, opined the editors at the Courier, “[said] much for the otherwise peaceable and orderly condition of the Districts.”
Found in the household of John Killeen in the 1901 census of Torbolton township, Carleton County (Ontario, Carleton, Torbolton, pp. 12-13, family 98):
- James Ingram, male, white, Orphan, single, date of birth 15 Nov 1887, age 14, born England u [urban], racial or tribal origin Irish, nationality Canadian, religion R. Cath [Roman Catholic].
The information on James Ingram’s religion and racial/tribal origin may or may not be accurate: the head of this household, the widowed John Killeen (widower of Margaret Fahey, whose mother was a Lahey), was accurately listed as a Roman Catholic of Irish origin; and the census enumerator then used ditto marks to indicate the origin and religion of all other members of the household (accurate for John Killeen’s children, daughter-in-law, and grandchild, certainly, but perhaps not for James Ingram).
In July 1900, a James Ingram, age 13, travelled from Liverpool to Québec with a party of children from the Barnardo Homes. Is this the same James Ingram as found above?
John Reid asks, “Is Canada Neglecting Its Journalistic Past?”
Audrey Collins asks: “What is your ‘real’ name?”