Thursdays were the day that the Weekly Times was
June 1, 1876 was a Thursday and the highlight of the
issue was a full summary of the coroner’s inquest sessions investigating the
circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Victoria Macrae in the mansion
near the intersection of Queen street north and York street,
The Weekly Times summation included many recounts of
testimony given and the full text of the Coroner’s charge to the jury.
“The adjourned inquest upon the body of Mrs. Macrae was
resumed at seven o’clock on Monday evening.
Mr. Osler, Q.C., appeared for the Crown, and Mr. E.
Martin, Q.C., for Mr. Macrae.
Mr. Stuart of the Consolidated Bank of Canada was the
first witness called. He produced the ledger and turned to the banking account
of the deceased. He said on the 25th of April, the account in our
ledger produced shows that Mrs. Macrae had a cheque debited to her account of
$134.00; on the same day, Mr. Macrae had the same cheque deposited to his
account; there was a transfer of Royal Canadian Bank stock which stood in Mrs. Victoria
St. George Macrae’s name of twenty-one shares of the par value f $40 each to J.
O. Macrae; the transfer is dated May 9th; the power of attorney was
sent from here to Toronto on the 8th May; cannot give the date of
the power of attorney; it is now in the head office of the Consolidated Bank f
Canada at Toronto.
JAMES HONEYORD, sworn – Am an engine-fitter; live in the
lodge at West Lawn, the house occupied by Mr. Macrae; have lived there a year
and ten months; often saw Mrs. Macrae, but never spoke to her but once.
Mr. Martin objected to the witness being examined with
regard to occurrences of a year or two ago.
Mr. Osler said that he intended to cover a period of
five years in order to prove habitual ill-treatment.
Witness continued – About five or six weeks before Mrs.
Macrae’s death, I saw Mr. Macrae drive through the grounds; my little girl
called my attention to him; after getting out of the carriage, Macrae struck
his wife several severe blows on the back with the thick end of the whip; I
called out, “You brute! What are you at again?” Macrae then tore off his wife’s
hat or bonnet, and he caught her by the dress and dragged her into the house,
and I saw no more; there had been many quarrels between the Macraes; have heard
the deceased cry out, “Leave me alone! Leave me alone!” Never saw any blows
struck, only the one time mentioned; never could tell what Mr. Macrae said; he
was always pretty drunk from ten days to a fortnight after I saw Macrae strike
the deceased with the whip; I saw D. Mackelcan coming to see her; it is
forty-seven yards from my front door to Macrae’s front door; have quarrelled
with Macrae; the reason that he pulled my childrens’ ears; this was some time
To a Juror – Mrs. Macrae did nothing but cry when she
received the blows I saw; Mr. Macrae took her by the dress and dragged her into
To another Juror – I heard as well as saw the blow with
the butt of the whip; it was a kind of blow I should not liked to have had.
To Mr. Martin – I measured the distance from the gate
today; nobody suggested it to me; I had a disagreement with Mr. Macrae about
the locks; I did not threaten him with anything; I did what I told him; I
shoved him out of the gate; I made no threats; I have only had two rows with
him; I have never heard him quiet yet; e is not a quiet man by a long chalk; I
am not very good at hearing; when he was speaking to me, he generally kept out
of arm’s distance; I do think I was the noisier of the two; I do not know
whether he was drunk; I never saw him sober; I could not say whether he was
sober or not in the carriage the day he struck his wife; I never moved off my
door step; I cannot tell whether he struck her before St. George’s Day or not;
the horse was not taken away for half an hour; his man took it away eventually;
I do not know whether the horse was tied or not; it stood there fully
twenty-five minutes; I did not see whether any one met them at the door; the
door was open; he pulled her in, shut the door, and the carriage remained
outside; on the occasion I took the revolver from him I did not know it was
unloaded; Mr. Macrae was drunk at the time.
HENRY CARSCALLEN, sworn – I am a barrister practising in
this city; and was employed some time last November by the late Mrs. Macrae;
she consulted me in a professional matter, which I do not think I am bound to
disclose; it related in a manner to her relations with her husband, and as to
changes in her relations with him; I decline to answer any confidential
communications made to me as her solicitor; I know of nothing from her as to
the immediate cause of death.
F.E. RITCHIE, sworn : I am a brother of the deceased,
Mrs. J. O. Macrae, she was married in October, 1850, I think she has had five
children; the youngest living child is about 10 years old, and the youngest, if
living, would be about 8; during the last five years, the deceased and her
husband have not lived very amicably; I know nothing at all of their relations
during that time; Mr. J. O. Macrae and myself have not been friends; during
that time, my sister has left her husband; last November, she left him and came
to my house; she came there very much bruised and hurt for the purpose of
obtaining protection from me against her husband; it was about seven in the
evening when she came; she told me she had walked and ran; she was in an
ordinary indoor dress, not one for a walk on the streets; she stayed with me
from Saturday till Monday; I had some words with Mr. Macrae on the Sunday; he
accused me of harbouring his wife, and I said I did and would do so while he
treated her as he did; she went back on a note being written by her husband to
herself; the last time I saw it was in her hand; she consulted Mr. Carscallen
on the occasion before she received the note; she went back of her own accord;
she was bruised on the face and head; they seemed like bruises inflicted by
manual force; the injuries were apparently very severe; I know of no troubles
between deceased and her husband till a little time before her death; prior to
November, I knew of no specific act of ill treatment, owing to my not visiting
To a Juror – I observed no cuts, but only bruises; the
face was much swllen and very black.
Mr. Osler said he had no further witnesses to all.
The Coroner asked the jury if they wished to call any
After consideration, Mr. Osler said he proposed to call
one more witness, viz. :
MARY KENNEDY, sworn – I have been living till last
Thursday with Captain Roberts’ family; since then I have been home; I lived
with Mr. John Macrae till the Saturday before Christmas as cook; I noticed
quarrelling all the time between Mr. and Mrs. Macrae, with the exception of one
night; I never saw any blow struck, but in November last I saw a wound from a
pen knife, which had been inflicted in the side of the neck near the ear; the
neck was swollen and her hand was cut, it looked like a stab; there was some
thick blood on her collar and on her shoulder and cuff; there was a small but
deep cut on the thumb; it was bleeding at the time I saw it; it was about ten
at night or a little before when I saw it; it was on a Sunday evening in
November; I do not know whether at the beginning or end; I heard quarrelling
before I went out; I heard Mr. Macrae cursing and swearing at her; I heard
oaths; I did not hear Mrs. Macrae say anything; I have heard Mr. Macrae use
threats to his wife; I took her to her brother’s in November; she wanted to go
in the afternoon; Annie Hand would not let her; prior to this he had said By
God, I will kill you!” the words were spoken angrily; when Mr. Macrae came in,
she came to me and asked me to save her; thought she was in danger of being
killed; I opened the door and shoved her down our steps; Mr. Macrae was looking
for her; I shoved her down the steps in order to prevent Mr. Macrae’s seeing
her; she rapped on the outside, and I sent the washerwoman out to her; she said
she wanted me; I went out and she asked me, for God’s sake, to take her to her
brother’s; I took her; only had a scrubbing dress, and, I think, one shoe; this
was on a Saturday; Dr. Mackelcan brought her back on the Monday; when she
returned, there was a change in his treatment of her for one night; after that
he continued to abuse her; he beat her on the Wednesday night after she came
home; the towels in the room were full of blood; we heard the sound of the
blows; Mrs. Macrae told me she was sorry that the taking of her away had not
done her husband any good; about a week previous to my taking her away to her
brother’s, er husband beat her so that she came to my room with two black eyes
and blood in her hair and hair all torn; I hid her from her husband, and she
slept with me for three different nights.
To the Coroner – At the time of the stab in the neck,
Annie Hand asked me to wash the blood off the collars and stuff as she did not
wish the washerwoman to see it, as she might talk.
To Mr. Martin – The stab was inflicted about two months
after I came there; it was on a Sunday evening; she went to her brother’s the
Saturday following; I saw no stab inflicted; from the mark, I know it to be a
stab; I will swear to that; the mark was not quite so visible when I brought
her to her brother’s; she was perfectly sober at the time; I never saw her
intoxicated but once, when she acted a little strangely; I have never seen Mr.
Macrae unable to walk or talk although I believe he was always more or less
under the influence of liquor; when the quarrels occurred downstairs the nose
was always bad enough to awaken us; if he was going to beat her, he would
always shut the door; whenever he had a row, it was generally at the dinner
table or in the library; Mr. Macrae was in the habit of speaking loudly; I
heard cursing when the door was shut; when I was carrying dishes to the
housemaid at dinner time, I have heard them quarrelling; Mr. Macrae was not
always in the habit of speaking in a loud tone of voice; if he got in a
passion, he would speak loud; when I took Mrs. Macrae to Mr. Ritchie, I thought
she was sober.
To a juryman – I saw the mark of a stab on the neck; a
short time before that, I heard before that, I heard Mr. Macrae threaten to
kill her; about seven or eight hours before.
This concluded the evidence for the crown.
Mr. Martin said he understood no more witnesses would
then be called.
Mr. Osler said certainly not, unless he had to call any
evidence in rebuttal.
Mr. Martin said he proposed to call witnesses, but he
could not do so tonight. Anytime which was suitable to the coroner, the jury
and the Crown would be agreeable to him.
Mr. Osler said that he had hastened the case for the
Crown as much as possible, as the defendant was in prison, and could not obtain
bail. As he had finished, the onus of the delay was now on Mr. Martin, he had
no objection to any length of delay.
The inquest was adjourned till 10 a.m. on Friday morning
The inquest on the body of
the late Mrs. J. O. Macrae was resumed Friday morning at 11 a.m., before
Mr. Osler, Q.C., appeared
for the Crown, and Mr. E. Martin, Q.C., watched the case for Mr. Macrae.
The first witness called
THOMAS WILLIAMS, sworn – I
am coachman to Mr. J. O. Macrae; I came there on the 4th of April,
the day after Sarah Young came there; I had other duties besides that of
coachman; I had to attend to the fires, boots, shoes, etc. ; I was in the habit
of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Macrae daily up to the time Mrs. Macrae was taken sick;
Mr. Macrae during that period was most of the time under the influence of
liquor; Mrs. Macrae was in a similar condition; I was in the house in the
morning and in the evening; I have heard quarrelling between Mr. and Mrs.
Macrae in a loud and boisterous tone from both of them; when I say under the
influence of liquor, I mean, seriously under the influence, and it was quite
perceptible; they were intoxicated most of the time I was there up to Mrs.
Macrae’s sickness; they were more under the influence of liquor in the
afternoon than in the forenoon; I never saw Mr. Macrae strike his wife, or she
him; I never heard either threaten one another with violence.
To Mr. Osler – I would see
Mrs. Macrae several times during the day, either in the kitchen or through the
house,or in the library; I attended to all the fires; I very seldom got orders
from Mrs. Macrae, except to on a message; I live at the house, in the west
corner, away from the main part of the building; I could not exactly say how
often during the day I would be in the house; it was frequently; I was there
twenty days before she was taken sick; I saw a black eye when I went there on
Mrs. Macrae; you may say she had two black eyes; one was more discoloured than
the other; they appeared to get better while I was there; I cannot say I saw
Mrs. Macrae everyday I was there; I saw her everyday except for a few days; she
was able to give orders; I heard quarrelling of an evening when I was locking
up the house; I never heard screams; the quarrels took place in the library,
with the door shut; I could hear the sound and not the words; it was not nearly
a daily occurrence – it was more like weekly; I heard it three or four times;
all I heard was in the library and with the door shut; Mr. Macrae was usually
able to give me orders, and was not staggering drunk except on a few occasions;
on each occasion, before I heard the words, I had seen Mr. Macrae drunk a short
time before and had noticed it; I noticed it because he gave me the orders
three or four times over; I have seen him as drunk when he not quarrel with
Mrs. Macrae; he did not quarrel with me and the other servants when he was
O Mr. Martin - On the day
of Mrs. Macrae’s death, Mr. Macrae sent out for Dr. George Mackelcan and his
father; I drove Dr. George Mackelan up and then went back for his father; Mrs.
Macrae was equally as intoxicated as Mr. Macrae during the quarrels.
To a Juror – I heard no
row between Mr. and Mrs. Macrae on the day of her death; I was there in the
morning and between one and two in the afternoon; when Mr. Macrae sent me for
the doctor he was under the influence of liquor; Mr. Macrae had a doctor
attending him a day or so previous to Mrs. Macrae’s sickness; it was Dr. George
Mackelcan; I do not know the cause of the sickness
To another Juror – When
Mr. Macrae gave me orders to go for a doctor, I was in the stable, and one of
the girls came out and told me to go for a doctor; I went into the kitchen to
put my boots on and saw Mr. Macrae, who gave me the orders I have before
stated; he did not say whether the doctor was for himself or his wife; after
Mrs. Macrae was taken sick, I saw Mr. Macrae frequently; he drank as much as
ever after she took to her bed.
JOHN PATTERSON, sworn : I
am a tailor by trade; I lived with Mr. Macrae from the 22nd of
September, 1874 till about the 7th of June, 1875; I was coachman and
general man servant round the house; I had the knives boots, fires, windows,
etc., to attend to in the house; I was in the habit of seeing Mr. and Mrs.
Macrae daily except once; I have frequently seen both of them under the
influence of liquor; I was requested a great many times by Mrs. Macrae to get
Mr. Osler objected and
requested to know what Mr. Martin proposed to prove.
Mr. Martin said he
proposed to prove the exact cause of death.
The Coroner allowed the
Witness continued – I
began to supply her in December, 1874; brought her five dozen of Hennessey’s
quart bottles between that time and the time I left; the greater portion was
supplied during the latter period; I gave it to Mrs. Macrae in the hall; she
generally took it to the bath room; I have taken as many as two dozen empty
bottles from there; Mr. Macrae was always much drunker on the day that Ms.
Marae was so than on any other day; he was not aware I supplied the brandy to
Mrs. Macrae; I have heard them quarrelling; I hav heard them both talking at
first moderately and then increasing in noise; between December and June I have
seen them both frequently under the influence of liquor, particularly during
the latter part.
To Mr. Osler – Have heard
no blows or threats; I have seen Mrs. Macrae with black eyes once or twice; I
cannot tell how long, as they staid so long black when she got them that I did
not notice; I slept off the furnace room; the quarrelling generally went on in
To a juror – The bathroom
is at the head of the stairs, and has trunks in it.
To another juror – I
cannot swear that Mrs. Macrae drank the five dozen of brandy herself; she was
always worse when I brought the brandy to her.
To Mr. Osler – I know the
number of empty bottles I removed.
To a Juror – Mr. Macrae
could have got in the bathroom himself; I always removed the bottles when Mr.
Macrae was out.
To Mr. Martin - never went unless to get the bottles; Mrs.
Macrae sent me; I have brought two bottles in three days; at first, I only
brought one a week; I would take the bottles away in a basket; it was in
January or February, 1875, that I took the bottles away.
To the Foreman – I
commenced bringing brandy in December; I brought about four bottles a week.
To a Juror – I would not
swear whether Mr. Macrae drank the brandy or not with her.
To another Juror – I left
of my own accord, and had given warning other times, but had had my wages
raised through Mrs. Macrae.
To a Juror – I have seen
Mrs. Macrae so drunk that she could not stand up; I have seen her lying on the
sofa in the library, and tried to wake er, but could not; I cold tell the number
of times I smelt liquor on Mrs. Macrae.
DR. GEORGE MACKELCAN,
recalled, was examined on his former oath : Since I gave my evidence before, I
have attended the post mortem made by Drs. Macdonald, Mullin and Malloch,
and have heard their evidence given in court; I saw nothing in the second
examination to change my opinion as expressed in my previous examination
respecting the cause of death; from the pretechnical spots I judged that the
blood vessels were in a diseased state; during the last illness of Ms. Macrae,
she vomited blood from the stomach on one, if not two, occasions; she also
complained of excessive menstruation.
Mr. Osler objected, and
said if Mr. Martin produced any statements of Mrs. Macrae, he would produce all
her statements, which, perhaps, Mr. Martin would not care for.
Mr. Martin pressed the
question, putting it to what the doctor observed.
Witness continued – I
observed the vomiting of blood; on the night Mrs. Macrae went to Mr. Ritchie I
saw her, she was under the influence of liquor; I saw her on the Friday after
her return; I was called to see her; she was laying on the bed, apparently
asleep; I awoke her with great difficulty and found she was intoxicated; on the
occasion of her last illness, I expressed an opinion to her husband that she
was very seriously ill, and that it was impossible for her to recover; she
might not live two or three weeks, but she might live two or three months, but
not longer; I said this one more than one occasion, and I told Mrs. Macrae so;
there is no doubt that intemperance produced disease of the liver, that
disease, with continued intemperate habits, produced haemorrhage, which would
tend to produce the clot in the brain which was the cause of death; deceased
was of quick temper and liable to excitement; a fit of temper would increase
the tendency to haemorrhage; during her last illness, I have seen Mr. Macrae
give her nourishment; he did so in his ordinary manner, such as you would expect
anyone to treat a sick person; in my opinion, if Dr. Macdonald’s evidence –
saying that the clot must have been produced by a blow from some hard
instrument, and not from a fist – is correct, I should expect to find external
marks of violence; I agree with Dr. Macdonald that the gathering outside the skull
had nothing to do with death; if a blow had been struck on the old blow, such
as Dr. Macdonald describes, I should have expected to find a fresh effusion; if
a blow as violent as Dr. Macdonald describes had been dealt to Mrs. Macrae a
few hours before she died, I do not think one would have been able half an hour
later after that to get up and walk; I would expect to find, in the great
majority of cases, that a blow that produces a clot in the brain would leave
outward traces; it is possible, but not probable, for there to be no mark; I
was sent for about five o’clock on the day of Mrs. Macrae’s death.
To Mr. Osler – The
tendency to haemorrhage was very great, and very slight causes would produce
very great effect; my theory corresponds with that of Drs. Mullin and Malloch
in a great measure; I am of the opinion that the tendency to haemorrhage was so
great that a blow of the fist could have possibly produced the clot internally;
before examination, I thought deceased had died from effusion of some kind,
compression of the brain, etc.; I had not made my mind up what to find when I
made the pot mortem ; I will not say the clot was a surprise to me; in
my former examination, I have said that before I made the examination, I
thought death was caused by the diseased condition of the liver; I removed the
clot when making the post mortem examination because it was usual; it
was accidental that it was not replaced; I did not consider it necessary to
take special care of this clot, the actual cause of death; I do not consider it
as necessary as to preserve the contents of the stomach in a case of poisoning;
it is a matter of very great surprise to me to hear of Mrs. Macrae’s getting
out of bed, and going into the hall in the condition she was in by herself, as
I heard she had to be assisted in and out of bed; I cannot say whether there
was any unusual cause for it; I may have been mistaken as to her state; there
must have been something unusual for her to do so, or some exciting cause; I do
not know whether she was capable or not; the fact of her getting up would lead
me to suppose that she was stronger than I thought.
Question by Mr. Osler :
Supposing Mrs. Macrae was in the condition you knew to be in immediately before
her death, and that you were present and saw a severe blow struck with the fist
on the side of the head, and that about half an hour afterwards insensibility
set in, and death took place in the course of two or three hours, and that upon
a post mortem examination you found recently effused blood on the brain
corresponding to the location where the blow was given, would you say that the
effects of the blow were the immediate cause of death?
Answer : Yes; I would
qualify this statement by saying a blow of that violence would stun, and I
would ordinarily expect to see external evidence of the blow
To Mr. Martin – When I
arrived at the bedside of the deceased at 5 o’clock p.m. on the afternoon of
her death, I did not see any recent marks of violence on her head; I observed
no smell of liquor on her.
To Mr. Osler – I saw no
signs of opium taking as a habit.
To Mr. Martin – Mrs.
Macrae was a person of confirmed intemperate habits; I had seen her in a state
of bordering on delerium tremens just before her last illness and at
To a juryman – I was sent
for to attend Mrs. Macrae at her brother’s house; I found her excited and under
the influence of stimulants; she had both eyes black; the injuries did not
The jury adjourned at 1:30
for one hour.
The inquest was resumed at
DR JOHN MACKELCAN,
recalled and examined on his former oath – I have been fifty years in practise
next September, and had a large experience in dissecting while a student at St.
Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, Eng.; I have been in constant practice, and
have attended Mr. Macrae’s family for the last five years; I was frequently in
the habit of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Macrae during that time; I recollect attending
Mrs. Macrae for a severe illness in July, 1875; she was ill from the 12th
till the end of the month; the illness was produced by intemperance; it
commenced with pains in her feet, and then I noticed the spots on her face;
after that, she had all the symptoms of delirium tremens; to produce
this, she must have drunk for some time; either my son or myself attended the
family from that time; I first saw her in her last illness on the 23rd
or 24th of April; she was then suffering from enlarged liver and
dropsy; I attributed this to intemperance and high living; both would tell upon
the liver; intemperance would affect it the most seriously; I went most of the
days with my son to attend to Mrs. Macrae after the 24th of April; I
first noticed the outside clot on Mrs. Macrae’s head on Monday, 1st
of May; I saw her again the day before her death; when I first saw her on that
day, he seemed brighter and better; I was leaning over her speaking to her, and
I noticed she spoke thickly, and I thought she had more stimulant than had been
ordered. Native wine had been ordered to be given her; I was present between
five and six o’clock the day she died; particularly examined the condition of
her eyes to see what was the cause of the coma; I did not remain until her
death; I was at the first post mortem examination, and also apportion of
the time when Drs. Macdonald, Malloch and Mullin held their examination; I
witnessed the whole examination of the head; I saw no marks of violence on the
head at the second examination, or at the former one, or on the day of her
death; if the clot of blood inside had been caused by a blow from a hard
instrument, I would have expected to have found external marks of violence; if
it had been caued by a blow over the old spot, it would have left external
marks of violence; in Ms. Macrae’s state of health, if she had been struck by a
blow with an instrument such as Dr. Macdonald describes, she could not have
walked to the door of the bathroom; she would have been stunned; on the second post
mortem examination, I noticed a petechioe on the back; petechioe marks
indicate a disease of the smaller vessels and a disorganised state of blood; it
would affect all the smaller vessels of the body, either in the brain or
stomach; I noticed in some fluid which was shown to me as having been vomited
by deceased some dark streaks of blood; this would show a weak state of the
vessels of the stomach; Mrs. Macrae was a woman of excitable temper; the
immediate cause of her death was the pressure on the brain through
extravasation of blood; this might have been produced in three ways, either
spontaneously, by disease or by excitement from a fall or a blow; I anticipate
haemorrhage would take place in some part of the body from the disease from
which she was suffering; I expressed an opinion to this effect to Mr. Macrae
some ten days before the deceased died; I told him distinctly from the
beginning of her illness, there was no hope of recovery; I was not altogether
unprepared to find haemorrhage n the brain causing death; I would sooner have
expected serious effusion; some days before her death, my son spoke of coma
coming on through the blood poisoning without either effusion I agreed with
him; I have seen Mr. Macrae during the deceased last illness attending to her
To Mr. Osler – You would
be more likely to find serious effusion as a result of the disease in this case
than sanguineous effusion; a blow would not bring on serious effusion, but
probably sanguineous; if there was evidence of a blow iven shortly before coma
set in, I should think that, with the excitement caused by it, it would be the
cause of death in the state deceased was in; there is a great difference in
force between a blow struck on the head when it is supporting itself and when
it is resting on something; a black eye remaining a long time would indicate a
weak state of the blood vessels; deceased’s circulation was not strong; a
bruise would appear more easily on a person I n her condition than on one in a
healthy condition; the clot was not altogether a surprise to me; it is not
possible to tell when a person dies in a state of coma what to expect; I agree
with the other doctors that internal haemorrhage is possible from violence
without external marks.
To Mr. Martin – A blow
from a hard instrument would produce a mark, and a person in deceased’s
condition would be peculiarly liable to show a mark.
DR. KITTSON was called and
gave evidence corroborative of DR. Mackelcan’s.
The Coroner, in charging
the Jury said :
MR. FOREMAN AND GENTLEMEN
– We have come to the end of a very long and painful investigation – one the
like of which I have never been called upon to hold, and hope I shall never be
called on to hold again. I have to thank you for your careful attention to the
evidence of the different witnesses, and think that, from that attention, it
will not be necessary for me to say much to you about the evidence, as it would
only take up unnecessary time, and you already have lost enough of that, I am
sure. It is conclusively proved, in my opinion, from the evidence, that the
immediate cause of death was the clot on the brain. The medical evidence shows
that this clot might have been caused either by violence or disease, and the
evidence of Dr. Macdonald goes to show that, in his opinion, it was occasioned
by violence. In my opinion, by the evidence of Ada Macrae, a blow is shewn to
have been struck shortly before insensibility set in, by the accused, and the
appearance of the body shows that a great deal of violence had been used to the
deceased, not only by the external bruises and marks, but by the evidence of
the medical men who made a post mortem examination on the body. I refer
more especially to the amount of violence and to the bruises on the chest. If
you believe the evidence of Ann Foster and Emma Hatchard, it shows plainly that
the deceased was being subjected to a systematic course of ill treatment by the
accused, that murderous attacks had been made frequently on her, and that
threats of murder were frequently made. If you believe this evidence, it
appears to me that it is clear evidence of malice; and, taking it in connection with the medical evidence,
it points very strongly to the death of the deceased being caused by violence
at the hands of the accused. If the jury find that the deceased came to her
death at the hands of the accused, and that there was malice, the verdict
should be one of wilful murder - if without malice, manslaughter. I will now
leave you, gentlemen to bring in the verdict according to your discretion. If
you wish any of the evidence read over to you, I shall be happy to do so. I
would remind you that twelve jurors must agree before a verdict can be given.
The Court was cleared at
five o’clock, and at 11:30, the jury brought in the following
That the said Victoria St.
George Mcrae came to her death from the effects of injuries inflicted on her by
her husband, John Octavius Macrae.
The above verdict was
concurred in by 12 of the 16 jurors. “
Other stories of note in
the Thursday included the shutting down of an illegal whiskey manufacturing
“For some time past, the
indefatigable Collector of Inland Revenue has been watching suspicious
proceedings in the west end of the city, which culminated Thursday night in the
seizure of a still and worm; these, for some time past, appear to have been in active use in the
manufacture of whiskey. They were found by Colonel Patton and officer John
Stewart in the cellar of one Howard, who keeps a butcher shop at the corner of
Napier and Ray streets. Some fifteen gallons of “Oh, be joyful !” found on the
premises were also seized. The mash tub, which could not be removed, was
destroyed, and the still and worm were brought to the Inland Revenue office.
Howard was arrested and subsequently admitted to bail.”
A reporter with the Times
was one of several newspaper
representatives who were invited to inspect the new Dundas Gas Works operation:
“On Tuesday evening by invitation, the members of the city
press visited the Dundas Works. The machinery is now completed, and the gas
made is giving every satisfaction to the consumers who find it not only cheap
but very clear and bright. The works are perfect in their way, and are
superintended by Mr. Stamford, of the Montreal Gaslighting Company. They have
now nearly two miles of pipe in use, and near one hundred consumers. The
machinery is so simple that it can be worked by one man, who can make enough
gas in a few hours to do the town for days.”
The Times also announced
the regulations applicable to bass fishing in Burlington Bay and Coote’s
“Those who recently been taking bass from the Bay should
remember that the close season for these fish commenced on the 15th
inst., and will terminate on the 18th day of June next. During this
close season, no person can fish for, catch, buy, sell or have bass of any kind
in their possession – so that even angling for bass is not allowed nor
permitted, and netting for them is prohibited. The law includes all different
species, to wit : Black bass, green bass, rock bass, white bass, speckled bass,
and the Genesee bass. Persons will do well to obey the provision of the law.”