“Yesterday afternoon, about five o’clock, a little boy, about five years of age, a son of Mr. Robert Edgar, No. 80 McNab street, attempted to climb on a stick of timber drawn on a heavy wagon by six horses.”
Hamilton Spectator May 27, 1876
It was nearing the end of the effort but on May 26, 1876, huge logs were still being pulled through Hamilton city streets to be floated on the bay and then gathered in huge rafts to be taken away.
For a five year old boy, the temptation to jump on one of the logs as it was slowly being dragged by was too tempting.
Robert Edgar made an unsuccessful effort to pull himself up on a log:
“While in the attempt his foot slipped and he fell, the wagon passing over his arm and one of his legs. Fortunately no bones were broken, but the limbs were much lacerated.”
In a related news item, the Spectator reported that the first of the rafts of large logs had left after the supper hour the previous day:
“Last evening, the major part of Bradley and Flatt’s raft passed out of the bay, towed by a steamer, en route for Prescott. The remainder will leave in about a week. The raft is composed of first class timber, and will undoubtedly meet with a ready sale at Quebec.
There was a light docket at the Police Court during the morning session of May 27, 1876:
“Police Court : Police Magistrate Cahill Presiding”
Friday, May 27.
Jas. Henry Livingstone, having come up for the five hundredth time for being drunk, he was fined $2.
COWS AT LARGE
Daniel McBride, John Connell and Mrs. Connors were accused by a couple of cow detectives with allowing their cows to run at large. Defendants were fined $2 each and costs.
BEATING HIS WIFE
Edward Tompkins was placed in the dock, charged with beating his wife. The unfortunate woman was unable to appear.
The nasty case of Edward Hopkins received an extra paragraph in the Spectator that day:
“This morning a man named Tompkins was charged before the Police Magistrate with brutally assaulting his wife. The poor woman was so badly hurt that she could not appear in court. It is feared she is seriously injured. The case was postponed.”
Two other young men got into some trouble at the Beach and had to pay the consequences at the afternoon session of the Police Court :
“This afternoon His Worship the Magistrate fined two boys named Delaney and Compart $3.75 each, for disorderly conduct at the Beach on Queen’s Birthday. They knocked over a refreshment stand and committed other depredations. Seven other lads are to be arrested for the same offence.”
In another case at the afternoon Police Court involved a gentleman of a great age standing accused:
H. Raymond, a man eighty years of age, who keeps a drug store in Ancaster village, was charged before the police magistrate yesterday afternoon with receiving stolen goods. The magistrate deferred sentence on account of the old age of the prisoner, who was allowed to return home, being bound over to appear when called for.
The manufacture and sale of illegal liquor was an ongoing problem in the Hamilton of 1876, but at least one bootlegger was apprehended :
“On Thursday evening, Col. Patton, Collector of Inland Revenue, assisted by Mr. John Stuart, seized an illicit still in the house of a man named Howard, on the corner of Ray and Market streets. Five gallons of crooked whiskey were discovered, which was thrown out. The plant was all confiscated. It was very ingeniously hidden, and had evidently been a long time in use. The plant is very valuable and had been evidently been set by a practical hand. Howard was let out on bail. The matter will be investigated at an early date when Howard will appear in court. Col. Patton intends continuing his investigations throughout the city, as it is believed that several other places in the city are the hiding places of plant for the manufacture of crooked whiskey.
Ancaster figured in the following two items in the Spectator of May 27, 1876, particularly the stage coach which ran regularly between that village and Hamilton
“Mr. S. D. Lauder has purchased the line of stages between the city and Ancaster formerly owned by Mr. Phillippo. The stages are very comfortable, the drivers careful, and the teams fast. The fares are very moderate.
“This morning, the proprietor of the Ancaster Stage line, not being ready to start, and being behind time, sent the mail to this city in a buggy in 26 minutes, a distance of over seven miles. The horse was owned by Mr. Lauder and driven by Geo. Brown.”
The Hamilton Young Men’s Christian Association received special mention because of the good work it was doing for young men in the city, and because of the improvements made to the group’s meeting hall:
“Last evening, the members of the Y.M.C.A. very successfully inaugurated a series of receptions which are intended to be given regularly hereafter, on the fourth Friday of every month. The programme prepared last night, and the manner in which the various pieces of vocal and instrumental music, readings, etc. were executed, reflect great credit on all concerned, as might be inferred from the hearty applause given by the audience, and promises well for the future success of those that are to follow, as well as for the attainment of the end in view. The Rev. J.C. Smith, (St. Paul’s) occupied the chair, and ably conducted the proceedings. The recent alterations made in the seating arrangements of the hall, and the addition of an excellent piano, are great, and necessary improvements, and will, we have no doubt, be found both convenient and useful. We trust the public will appreciate the efforts that are being used by this association in thus providing attractive and profitable entertainment for the youths of our city, for the purpose of drawing them away from the many allurements to evil that cross their daily path.”
The last item of note in that day’s Spectator was the final evidence given and verdict delivered in the disturbing coroner’s inquest into the death of Georgia Macrae:
“At the close of our report yesterday, Dr. John Mackelcan was on the witness stand. In his cross-examination, in reply to Mr. Osler, he said :
“ I would look for serous effusion in her case as more probable than sanguineous effusion as the result of disease; a blow would not bring on serous effusion; if she received blow shortly before coma set in, I would think that and the attendant excitement would be likely to cause death; a blow which ruptures a blood vessel does so by vibration or shock; if the head is resting on anything when struck, the vibration could be greater than if a person were standing up when it was inflicted; the long time which the ryes of the deceased remained black indicated a weak state of the system; in her state an outward bruise would be more easily produced than in a healthy person; there are cases of internal haemorrhage from violence without any external mark being left.
To Mr. Martin – A blow with a hard instrument would undoubtedly leave external marks.
Dr. Kittson was next called and gave medical testimony agreeing in general with that of Dr. Mackelcan.
This closed the evidence.
The Coroner asked counsel if it was their intention to address the jury.
Mr. Osler said that he had no desire to do so.
Mr. Martin said it was his intention to do so.
Mr. Osler – In that case, I shall reply.
Mr. Martin – If the counsel for the Crown addresses the jury he should do so first. If, however, the Coroner will charge the jury, I am willing to forego the privilege of addressing them.
This course was agreed to.
The Coroner then said : Mr. Foreman and gentlemen; we have come to the end of a long and painful investigation, the most painful which I have ever been called upon to take part in, and I trust I shall never take part in such another. I have to thank you for the attention you have given to the lengthy examination of the witnesses, and shall deem it necessary only to call your attention to two or three points. There is no doubt that the cause of death was the clot of blood on the brain. Dr. Macdonald says so most positively, and the other medical gentlemen in the main agree with him. There is evidence to show that on the afternoon of the deceased’s death, she received a blow from her husband, and if you believe the evidence of Anne Foster and Hatchard, you must say that there was systematic ill-treatment, and further, if you do believe that evidence, it points strongly to malice on the part of the accused towards the deceased. If this is the case, it will be your duty to bring in a verdict of murder. (The Coroner here read the law defining the distinction between murder and manslaughter.) I will now leave you, gentlemen, to bring in a verdict according to your discretion. If you wish any of the evidence read over to you, I shall be happy to read it. I would remind you that twelve of you must agree in order to bring in a verdict.
At five o’clock, the court room was cleared and the jury were left to their deliberations. It was the general opinion among the crowd that a verdict of some kind would be speedily arrived at, and a large number remained around the door awaiting it. At seven o’clock, it was reported that the jury stood eleven for a verdict of wilful murder and five for manslaughter, and that there was no present prospect that either party would give way. All that was certain, however, was that a verdict had not been agreed upon. Throughout the evening, the court room was the centre of attention, and groups of men stood upon the sidewalks waiting for the result and discussing the points of the case. At half-past 11 o’clock the jury managed to agree and brought in the following
That said Victoria St. George Macrae came to her death from the effects of injuries inflicted on her by her husband, John Ottavius Macrae.
The above verdict was concurred in by 12 out of 16 jurors.”