Friday 1 June 2012

June 2, 1876

“Tomorrow afternoon, commencing at two o’clock, a scratch game of cricket will be played on the grounds. This will open the season for the Hamilton Cricket Club.”
Hamilton Spectator   June 2, 1876
The thriving Hamilton Cricket Club had purchased a huge tract of land in Hamilton’s west end, between Queen and Locke streets, north of Charlton Avenue. The prospects for a successful season seemed very good, as the club began competition in early June 1876.
The Spectator was ever ready to make suggestions about things in Hamilton and the issue of that paper published on June 2, 1876 had a suggestion relating the public open area, Prince’s Square, located in front of the Wentworth County Court House:
       “This pretty little pleasure ground now presents a very attractive appearance and looks quite inviting to promenaders. By the way, could not some of our city bands give some music in the square in the evenings, as was the custom last year? What is the Caledonian Band about? They would be sure to meet with a cordial reception, should they come out.”
The police cells in Hamilton came under close scrutiny as regards their appalling condition once again:
 “Time and again the city papers have pointed out the necessity for better accommodation for police prisoners than that which is afforded by the cells. The Grand Jury at present Assizes pronounced them a disgrace to the nineteenth century, and no one can speak of Indian cruelty in referring to the Black Hole of Calcutta, who has had a peep at the Hamilton police dells. This morning about two o’clock, the cells were pretty well filled with all kinds of characters – vags, tramps, drunks, and women of ill-repute – all crowded together in one small space. At the hour named, a terrific commotion took place, the women shrieking and men shouting like bedlamites. The police rushed down and finally succeeded in restoring quiet, when a woman named Mary Russell declared that she had been assaulted with intent by another lodger, named Edward Dunn. She said she had been sleeping on a bench, and that the last time she had noticed the prisoner, he was lying on the floor beside her. She had been woke up by the prisoner interfering with her, and immediately gave alarm. Dunn was tried this morning at the Police Court. The husband of Russell, who was present at the fracas, said he did not believe the charge, and the Magistrate taking this and the character of he defendant into consideration, dismissed the case.”
In the late edition of the Spectator of the previous day, there had been a suggestion that the escaped murderers, the Youngs were in the Hamilton vicinity:
“As stated in Yesterday’s SPECTATOR, the Chief of Police, with a squad of fifteen or twenty searched the woods in the vicinity of Hamilton for the hiding place of the escaped Youngs. It is the opinion of the Chief that should be anywhere in the vicinity of Cayuga it would be difficult to find them, as they have a great many relations and friends who would naturally harbour them.
The authorities were informed that they were in the vicinity of the old camp ground, and this vicinity was searched but no trace of them could be found. It is generally believed they are in the country, and the people fear that if they escape arrest they will organize another Townsend band – a thing they are quite capable of doing.”

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