Tag Archives: perth jail

Did you Know this About the Perth Cannons?

Standard

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.

PERTH’s VERBRUGGEN GUNS
and
The Legend of Crysler’s Farm

1


“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

ULTIMATE PENALTY OF THE LAW
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

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

Standard

9e8facd75f605ed72ba62433bf4b6025.jpg

 

 

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 0f 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.

Return of Convictions for the Period Ending June 14, 1898

Trespass:

Jno. Reid and Jno Denham, Henry Rescroft, Wilmer Fleming, William Wright, Robert Hornebrook, Andrew Armour, Fred Griffith, George Stewart, Loren Griffith, each fined $1

Drunkenness

Jake Angus and Frank Bennett, each fined $5

Drunk and Disorderly

Jacob Leslie, Dinah Harper and John O’Hare, each fined $2

Selling After Hours:

Michael Dixon and F. Lambert, each fined $20

Sale of Liquor During Prohibited Hours:

Jacob Morris and George A. Jackman, each fined $20

Disorderly:

William Nicholson, fined $5

  1. St. James, and Jas. Phillips, each fined $1

Breech of Game Act

Thomas Needham, fined $5

Insane

David Morreau, committed to gaol

Battery

Robert Cowie, complainant was Frank Boothroyd, fined $2

Assault

Robert Cowie, complainant was Archibald Calhoun, fined $1

Mrs. D. Logan, complainant was Duncan Ferguson, fined $1

Alexander Short, fined $5

  1. Molin, fined $5.25

Richard Duffy, fined $1 plus costs

Congregating on Street Corners:

George Dixon, Reginald Simpson, James Ennis, George Black, Jas. O’Neil, Thomas Willoughby, W. Willoughby, Charles Thornhill, J. Murphy, H. Easton, each fined $5.25

  1. Huddleston, John Davis and Ed. Marquette, each fined $1.50

Vagrancy:

Jacob Thompson, William Henry, Esther Majory, L. Shaw, Susan Bennett, Jno. K. Elliott, each received six months in gaol

Throwing Balls of Snow

Jas. McAllister, fined $1

Practicing Medicine Without a License

Dr. W. McKay, ten days in gaol

Causing a Disturbance on a Public Road

John Salter, fined $9.75

James Nolan, J. Conlin, and George Nolan, each fined $5.25

Refusing to Pay Wages

William Hogg, complainant was Alexander C. Fraser, fine was $40 plus costs

 

 

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

Related reading:

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

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

Jailhouse Rock in Lanark County Part 2

The Drunken Desperados of Carleton Place

The Young Offenders of Lanark County

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

Standard

11228128_649011048532338_853138927059694835_n.jpg

 

 

Perth being the seat of Bathurst District the town was given a courthouse and jail. Opening in 1821, The original building was two storeys high with the courtroom on the second floor and five cells on the main floor along with the jailer’s two room apartment. The cells were often filled with brawling Irish loggers from the Ottawa River. The building was rebuilt in 1841 following a fire. A provincial inspection in 1862 counted 27 inmates including 16 women. Charges ranged from murder and assault, to vagrancy and concealing the birth of a child. The most common offence was found to be “breach of indentureship” by leaving one’s master. On may 23, 1851, Francis Beare, who was convicted of killing William Barry was hanged in front of a crowd that was assembled in front of the courthouse. Five executions were carried out here but few inmates in the Perth jail were there for criminal acts. Most were housed there for shelter for vagrancy until the House of Industry or Refuge (Perth Community Care Centre) was built in 1903. –Perth Remembered

A generation later a similar number of Lanark county occupants of the jail at Perth, mostly “tramps sent in from Smiths Falls and Carleton Place”, included such prisoners as a man charged with stealing a horse and buggy, and “a boy twelve years old, a boot-black and a very cunning youngster, awaiting trial for stealing a gold watch and fourteen dollars.” (July 1898).

Perth Courier, October 6, 1876

Death in Goal—Last Wednesday an old woman named Sela Klyne, confined in the Perth Gaol for vagrancy was found dead on the cell floor in a pool of blood.  Her death was caused by the rupture of some kind of abscess in the lungs or throat.

Return of Convictions for the quarter Ending 11th September, 1894

Nonpayment of Wages:

Patrick Burke, $14.50

Assault on Margaret and George Poole:  David Love, $5

Assault:

William Leclair, $1

John McEwen, $5

Joseph Waler, $1

Larry Byrnes, $2

Beach of the Liquor Act:

John Gemmell, $20

Selling Liquor During Prohibited Hours

David Dowlin, $20.00

Emma Hunter, $25.00

William J. Leach, $25.00

Peter P. Soulter(?), $25.00

James Lee, $25.00

Assault and Battery:

A.R.G. Peden, $5

Intimidation:

Nathaniel Brownlee, $1

Shouting at Insectivorous Birds:

  1. J. Scott, $1

Wantonly and Cruelly Beating and Abusing Two Calves

George Easton, Jr., $1

Drunkeness:

David Patton, $2.00

Allowing Sheep to Wander on the Street:

J.Jones, $2

Grossly Insulting Language:

A Shalt, $1

Drunk and Disorderly:

John Black and Patrick Hogan, $3 each

Vagrancy:

James Ayer, six months in gaol

Catharine Kelly, six months in gaol

Rosanna Jamieson, six months in gaol

Grace Martin, six months in gaol

Insane:

Thomas McMahon, Jr., committed to gaol

11168039_911337852256443_8113856314991249958_n.jpg

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum-Early version of our jail cell window by M.J. Lancaster… which is on the outer back wall of the museum

 

Related Reading

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

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

Jailhouse Rock in Lanark County Part 2

The Drunken Desperados of Carleton Place

The Young Offenders of Lanark County

 

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

 

Down at the Old Perth Gaol

Standard

 

Courthouse-644x526.jpg

Photo and text from Perth Remembered

Perth being the seat of Bathurst District the town was given a courthouse and jail. Opening in 1821, The original building was two storeys high with the courtroom on the second floor and five cells on the main floor along with the jailer’s two room apartment. The cells were often filled with brawling Irish loggers from the Ottawa River. The building was rebuilt in 1841 following a fire. A provincial inspection in 1862 counted 27 inmates including 16 women. Charges ranged from murder and assault, to vagrancy and concealing the birth of a child. The most common offence was found to be “breach of indentureship by leaving one’s master.

perthq3.jpg

Photo by Linda Seccaspina 2015 during a Perth Classic Theatre event

On may 23, 1851, Francis Beare, who was convicted of killing William Barry was hanged in front of a crowd that was assembled in front of the courthouse. Five executions were carried out  but few inmates in the Perth jail were there for criminal acts. Most were housed there for shelter for vagrancy until the House of Refuge was built in 1903. Of special interest, on the green sward in front of the Court House, are two brass field pieces (three-pounders).

perthq4.jpg

Photo by Linda Seccaspina 2015 during a Perth Classic Theatre event
The little “barkers” were originally taken from the French by the Duke of York, in Flan
ders, and did service for the British in the American war, when they were retaken from the Americans by the British of Saratoga. They were retaken from the Americans by the British at the battle of Chrysler’s Farm, on the 11th of November, 1813. They were taken to Perth when peace was declared, and presented to the town, and for years were used for saluting purposes on high days and holidays.

Related stories

Assault Abusive Language and Bridget McNee

Auctionering Without a License and Pigs on the Loose

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

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

Jailhouse Rock in Lanark County Part 2

The Drunken Desperados of Carleton Place

The Young Offenders of Lanark County