Did you Know this About the Perth Cannons?


This is where some of your ancestors ended up if they broke the law. Perth Court and Jail

Perth Gaol, 11th May, 1876.

I inspected the gaol to-day and found it throughout in very good order, but not quite so tidy looking as it usually is found partly owing to cleaning going on in some parts of it. The yards were in a welt-kept state. In providing a tank for the soft water the undersigned would recommend an iron one as being cheaper in the long run, and not so subject to leak. The jailor complains of the want of a dark punishment cell, in consequence of which he is unable to control unruly prisoners.

A part of the bucket-room in the north-east comer might be used in the meantime. The knowledge that such a place exists in the jail will a deterrent upon such characters. The gaol clothing is reported to be sufficient for the wants of the prison. There were eleven persons found in custody on this occasion, among them three insane women— Mrs. Nesbitt. Mrs. Jennings, and Ellen Patterson,—who have been so long in custody. The last named idiot will be removed to the asylum as soon as it is ready for the accommodation of that class— about the 15th of June.

Bridget Derring is evidently a case of acute insanity, although of long standing. If the gaol surgeon thinks that she would be benefited by asylum treatment a place in some of the asylums will be found-for her at an early day. I am glad to note a reduction in the number of old resident vagrant lodgers, and I hope no more will be committed. The books were found  in good order.

J Langmuir inspector

February 2 1890-Almonte Gazette

The Perth gaol has been pretty foul of tramps and paupers this winter. Several were liberated a few days ago by the order of the Ontario Attorney. We need to accept employment on the doable track- and a contract between Gananoque and Belleville. This shows the necessity of some change in the mode of dealing with paupers or tramps.

The gaol is not the proper place for them, for two reasons : In the first place, some of these men may comr from misfortune, and not from evil habits,  and have been compelled to seek the shelter and food to be found in the gaol. It is scarcely fair, and certainly not wise, to compel them to associate with criminals of all grades and degrees of wickedness.

In the second place if the county provided a poorhouse, many kinds of light labour could be supplied for feeble paupers, by which means they could earn at least a part of their support. The Brockville town council lately tried in vain to induce the Leeds and Grenville county council to join with them in erecting such a place for the poor, and the Recorder points out that the county pays out yearly for the relief of its poor. The Ontario Government is likely to deal at an early day, if not this session, with this question.

August 1924- Almonte Gazette

James Bros, have completed rebuilding of the old cannon In’ front of tfie court house, PferGL These guns have been the property of the town for many years. The history of the guns is told as follows: by a neatly painted poster. Manufactured in ‘Belguim in 1775; used by Americans in-war 1812; captured by the British at Chrysler Farm; then presented to Perth for military service; rebuilt in 1924 by. James Bros., Perth, Ont.

The Legend of Crysler’s Farm


“Artillery adds dignity, to what would otherwise be an ugly brawl”

The purported history of the cannons guarding Lanark County’s Court House in Perth has,
for two centuries, been an often recounted tall-tale of uncertain origin.In its most familiar form, the story contends that the guns were originally manufactured in Holland or Belgium for the French army. Captured by the Duke of York during the Flanders campaign.

They were sent with a British army to Quebec and saw action in the American
Revolutionary War, but were surrendered to the rebel Continental Army at Saratoga.
Then, nearly 40 years later, during the War of 1812, the guns were re-captured by the British at the
Battle of Crysler’s Farm and sent to Perth for purposes of saluting high holidays, where they were
later mounted on the grounds of the Court House as memorials to Perth’s military heritage.

This account of the much-travelled guns was alluded to in print at least as early as July 5,
1867 when the Perth Courier reported that the salute to Perth’s first Dominion Day was fired by
“two cannon captured from the Americans during the 1812-15 war”. The first detailed version of
the story in print seems to appear in the Ottawa Daily Citizen, of November 5, 1877, as part of a
profile of Bathurst Township resident John Manion (1804-1893). Manion was the son of soldiersettler Sergeant Thomas Manion (1779-1860) and claimed to have been an eye-witness to the battle at Crysler’s Farm where his father fought in the British line with the 49th Regiment of Foot. Read the rest here.. CLICK

The Death Penalty at Early Perth by Ron Shaw

During its first decades, while British law prevailed at the Perth Settlement, the ultimate
penalty of death applied to a list of 230 crimes ranging from the theft of vegetables or a cow to
murder and treason. Over the course of its history, however, only three men were ever executed
at the Bathurst District and Lanark County Jail in Perth. Read here..

Related reading

The Perth Gaol 1876 Almonte Gazette– Names Names Names..:)

Gypsy’s Tramps and Thieves–Are We Turning Thieves and Jailbirds into Role Models?

“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” in Lanark County

Jailhouse Rock in Lanark County Part 2

Throw the Whole Family in Jail!

Newsies — Jailed at Nine Years Old

Run Pig Run–Shake it Off! Convictions of 1870

Throwing a Snowball is Going to Cost you $1- Your Convictions of 1898

To Steal a Barge on Ebb’s Bay— Your Convictions of 1897

Step Right Up- Here are Your Family Convictions-September, 1894

Breach of the Town Bylaws and Other Convictions.. Sept. 11 1888

Justice of the Peace Convictions for the County of Lanark–July 17, 1885

Assault Abusive Language and Bridget McNee

The Notorious Bridget McGee of Perth

Down at the Old Perth Gaol

Justice of the Peace Convictions for the County of Lanark–Dec. 13, 1898-Who Do You Know?

Auctionering Without a License and Pigs on the Loose

Going to the Chapel –Drummond Whalen and Johnson of Carleton Place

The Drunken Desperados of Carleton Place

The Young Offenders of Lanark County

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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