Not Guilty in the Murder of His Grandmother –George Watt Jr.




Queen versus George Watt—Larceny—two cases—Prisoner is indicted for stealing a pocket book and ring from his grandmother Mrs. Campbell who was killed in the township of Dalhousie in October last and for which crime he was tried at the last Assizes and acquitted. The bottom line is that the case appeared to be of a circumstantial nature and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty He pled guilty to the larceny and was sentenced to four years imprisonment in the penitentiary.

Perth Courier, April 15, 1864

The Watt Murder Case:  This was an indictment against George Watt, Jr., for the murder of his grandmother Jane Campbell an old woman living at the time of her death with George Watt, Sr., father of the prisoner.

Alexander Campbell, sworn:  Living on East ½ Lot 1, 2nd Concession Dalhousie; deceased was my mother; Neil Campbell was my father; he was drowned five years ago; at the time of his death he owned the east ½ lot 6, 1st Concession Dalhousie; after his death my mother lived on that lot; daughter of the deceased married George Watt, Sr., and his family came to live with my mother in April of 1863.

The last time I saw her alive was on the Monday preceding her death; she died on Wednesday, 29th Oct., 1863; saw her on the Thursday after her death; I saw injuries on her head, hands, legs, sides and breast, some of them serious; some appeared to be caused by the heel of a boot; the skin of the neck was ruffled as if drawn over the ground and the hair of the head was matted with grass.

The deceased was 78 years of age but quite hale and hearty; the property on which she lived was her own; she used to come to my place frequently—sometimes stayed overnight but generally returned the same day; told me that she could not stay longer at Watt’s and spoke of selling the place. I knew of unpleasant feelings between the deceased and the prisoner; prisoner said to the deceased 8 or 10 days before her death that he “would kick her damned guts out”.

The deceased had a gold ring and little pocket book which she generally carried in her bosom; the father of the prisoner on finding the body suggested that she had been killed by a ram; do not know where the prisoner was on Thursday or Friday after her death—was not at home.

Other witnesses were called—After the verdict was rendered, the learned Judge inquired whether there was anything further against the prisoner, and on request of the Crown Counsel, detained him in custody to answer to the charge of stealing the pocket book and ring referred to in the evidence.  The bottom line is that the case appeared to be of a circumstantial nature and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.  He pled guilty to the larceny and was sentenced to four years imprisonment in the penitentiary.

Read the full transcript here:


The Watt Murder Case!
Acquittal of Prisoner!

Transcribed and submitted by Margaret Bradford
Originally published in the Perth Courier, Friday April 15th 1864.

Pulished in the LCGS Newsletter, March through October, 1999.

Related Stories

Fame and Murder Came to Balderson in 1828

The Thomas Easby Murders in 1829 — Foulest Ever in Lanark County

Murder in Carleton Place –Peter Cairns

The Buck Lake Murderer

The Media Then and Now–Johnny Gillies Had a Gun

Shocking Murder in Almonte–Michigan Charlie

Murder on Maple Island

Bitten by the Kissing Bug — A Shocking Conclusion to the Life of Carleton Place’s Daniel E. Sheppard

The Tale of a Pirate named Bill Johnston with Pirate Dog Supermodels

Assassinated Gossip about Lincoln, Payne and the Thousand Islands

The Man Who Would Be The Revenant

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

Did Samuel Pittard of Ashton Murder His Wife?

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s