James Watson– Bigamy and Shoes



Perth Courier, March 30, 1877

Bigamist—Mr. James Watson, shoemaker, formerly of Perth , was recently married to Miss Avery, Seaforth , Ontario .  Mr. George Curry, detective of Perth , being informed of the event, telegraphed to Seaforth on Wednesday to have Watson arrested for bigamy, as he has a wife and child in Perth .  For the past five years, Watson has neglected to support his wife in any way and now has taken himself another.  The friends of Mrs. Watson in Perth have gone to testify against the inhuman husband and he will no doubt have his just reward.


So what caused Mr Watson to become a bigamist? I found him on a military list on the Lanark  County Genealogical Society list from 1866, when a company of men were on duty at Fort Wellington. Perth had two or three distinct militia companies in the old days, and the history of the one recorded here belongs to the company officered by Captain Edmond Spillman, Lieut. Moffatt and Ensign Douglas.

  • Pte. James Watson, shoemaker, brother of the late Wm. Watson, who ran a shoe repair shop for years in the Clements Block; whereabouts not now known.


Well if you ask me Pte. James Watson did not go missing– he just hightailed it back to Perth where he not only reestablished a shoe cobbling business but also dabbled in the wife-gathering business. Being on duty must have been stressful along the St. Lawrence seaway– well one must assume:)

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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