“Last evening the fine band of the Caledonia Society, played in the Prince’s Square, and in spite of the threatening aspect of the weather large crowd of people assembled at the resort for “Auld Lang Syne.” And certainly none who went with the expectation of enjoying the promenade and the music were disappointed.”
Hamilton Spectator June 22, 1876
For the most part, it was a pleasant evening of sitting to listen, or promenading while listening, to the music of the newly-formed Caledonian Band
As reported in the Spectator, the open square off Main street, in front of the Wentworth County Court House was the pleasant locale for the concert, but there was an incident which marred the event:
“The band under the instruction of the Messrs. King have made splendid progress, and the excellent music which they discoursed last evening stamps them as a highly efficient organization, and a credit to the Society to which they belong. The only thing which occurred to mar the pleasure of the promenaders was that at one time some parties threw a few stones into the Square. This is a dangerous practice, and it is hoped that on similar occasions in the future there will be no more exhibitions of such carelessness.”
The same society that the band represented, the Caledonian Society, was anxious to organize an excursion for its members for the following July 1st:
“There is to be a meeting of the Caledonia Society this evening to discuss the question of having a grand excursion to Queenston Heights on the 1st of July. The idea is a good one, and we hope that the decision will be favourable to it. There is no grander or romantic spot in Ontario for excursionists to visit than the place mentioned. The Caledonians could scarcely spend Dominion Day more pleasantly than in sailing across the lake, and up the Niagara River, with its high and rocky banks lined with trees , and then to spend a few hours on the heights where Brock’s monument stands, which have associated with them so many historic memories, and in close proximity to which is to be seen a picturesqueness and sublimity of natural scenery, unsurpassed in Canada.”
The long-awaited horse race, between Tempest and St. Patrick was underway when the Spectator’s afternoon edition of June 22, 1876 hit the streets:
“The sporting fraternity is assembled at the Race Course in strong force this afternoon to witness the much talked of race between Tempest and St. Patrick. Pool selling took place at the St. Nicholas Hotel last night with St. Patrick as the favourite, betting about $5 to $2. A considerable number of pools was sold. Both horses were in fine condition for the race. A full report will be given tomorrow.”
Five short items also appeared in that particular newspaper:
- Not a bad day for ice cream.
- Garden party at Miss Reid’s grounds, James street, this evening.
- The Standards and Maple Leafs, of Guelph, play at the Palace grounds on Saturday.
- Livery horses were given to understand that it was a delightful day for driving in the country.
- The garden party by the ladies of St. Paul’s Church, takes place this evening at Miss Reid’s, James Street south.
Thursdays were the day of the week when the weekly edition of the Hamilton Times was issued. The issue of June 22, 1876 contained many of the same stories which had appeared in their daily editions over the previous week, but often with significant details added because there were more pages, and hence more space in the weeklies.
For example, the dinner in honour of new Judge Sinclair was significantly longer than in the Daily Spectator, to the point of even including the menu:
“On Friday evening at the Royal Hotel, the members of the Bar of the County of Wentworth welcomed His Honor Judge Sinclair to his new high position with a complimentary dinner. There were a large number present.
Myles O’Reilly, Esq., Q.C., occupied the chair, and on his right were seated the guest of the evening, Judge Sinclair, and Mr. Greer, Registrar of the county, and on his left, His Worship the Mayor, Deputy Judge Smart, and Mr. Alexander Secord, foreman of the Grand Jury. There were present, Messrs. Robertson, Q.C., E. Martin, Q.C., Pringle, Barton, Waddell, Duff, Spohn, Lazier, Carscallen, Jones, Macdonald, Haslett, Gwynn, Gibson, Crerar, Ghent, White, Wink, Boultbee, H. Mackenzie, Gage, Bogue, Bell, Kilvert, Lemon, A. Bruce, Barker, Parkes, Darcy, Chisholm, and Laidlaw.
The vice chair was occupied by Mr. W. F. Walker.
The table was very prettily laid, and the whole arrangements reflected the greatest credit on the Messrs. Hood, proprietors of the Royal Hotel, The following was the bill of fare :
St. Julien. Mock Turtle
Boiled Salmon Trout, Madiera Sauce.
Baked White, wine sauce.
Chicken Patties a la Creme
Lobster Currie with French Toast
Fricandeau of Veal Larded.
Lamb Chops. Green Peas.
Buffalo Tongue, German Salad, Spiced Beef.
Campbell’s Sugar Cured Ham.
Campbell’s Sugar Cured Ham
Boiled Leg of Mutton, Caper Sauce.
Surloin of Beef with Horse Radish.
Turkey Red Currant Jelly.
Spring Lamb, Mint Sauce.
Potatoes. Stewed Tomatoes. Spinach.
Plum Pudding, Brandy Sauce. Rhubarb Pie.
Peach Pie. Cocoanut Pie. Blanc Mange.
Lemon Ice Cream. Wine Jelly. Lemon Jelly.
Strawberries and Cream.
Apples. Layer Raisins. Fresh Figs. Oranges.
Naples Walnuts. Soft Shell Almonds.
Filberts. Cocoanut Cake. Fruit Cake. Coffee.
Siliced Pine Apples.
Fueeheerd’s Port. St. Julien Claret
Mackenzie’s Sherry. Barton & Guceteer’s Claret.
Louis Roederer Champagne
After the cloth was removed, the Chairman, with a few appropriate remarks, gave “The Queen.” The toast, as usual, was drunk with enthusiasm, the National Anthem being sung.
The Chairman rose and gave the toast of the evening. In doing so he said, he believed that the appointment of Mr. Sinclair had given general satisfaction to the Bar of Wentworth and the profession generally. He himself individually welcomed the Judge, and was sure his fellow barristers did the same.
The health of Judge Sinclair was drunk with enthusiasm.
Judge Sinclair, who, on rising, was greeted with tremendous cheering, said ; “Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I have to use the old hackneyed phrase that words cannot express my feelings on this occasion. I cannot tell you how I thank you for this grand, and I might say, splendid reception, of which anyone might feel proud. If I had known that my reception was what it has been, I should have been content to speak the few hurried words I have strung together during dinner. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and the gentlemen present for the very handsome repast given to me tonight. All here, till lately, were strangers to me, and I feel on that account all the more the congratulations extended to me. I little thought when I was here six months ago, conducting the Crown business, that I should be so soon among you as Judge. Several of my friends around this table know that I did not seek this Judgeship, and I may mention among them Mr. Robertson, Mr. E. Martin and Mr. B. B. Osler. I thought, however, it was my duty to accept the position when it was offered me, and I feel prouder having accepted the Judgeship of the County of Wentworth than of any other county in the Dominion. The gentlemanly and kindly feeling which characterises the Bar makes me feel that I have done right in taking the Judgeship. Though it was hard to sever old connections, yet the new ones I have made will, to a certain extent, make up for them. I hope soon to be a resident and a taxpayer rand help Mr. Mayor pay off some of the fines and penalties which are said to be hovering over the city. I admit, gentlemen, that like others, my failings are numerous: but I can assure you gentlemen, that I shall strive to correct them. When I came to this city, I met with the kindest reception from all, no matter what their political opinions were, and I hold it to be a duty of a man, as soon as he becomes a public officer, to cease from all party connection. (Applause.) The Americans said that our judges were elected on account of personal and legal attainments. I hope it is so of Miles O’Reilly and Judge O’Reilly, and I only hope that I shall be able to emulate his example and be as bright an ornament to the bench, and carry out all my dealings and perform my duties in the same manner he did.
Judge Sinclair resumed his seat amid loud applause.
The Hon. A. McKellar proposed the toast of the Bar of Hamilton, and referred to the two Judges who had recently been appointed from its members, viz., Vice-Chancellor Proudfoot and Mr. Justice Burton; also to the Q.C.’s lately created. He called on Judge O’Reilly and Messrs. Martin, Robertson, Mackelcan and Osler to respond.
Judge O’Reilly briefly responded, and said that he would leave a more lengthy response to Mr. Robertson.
Mr. Robertson, in returning thanks, said that he thought the Bar of Wentworth and the inhabitants had reason to congratulate themselves on the appointment of Judge Sinclair. He knew that great persuasion had to be used, before Mr. Sinclair would accept the position, but no one was more pleased than he (Mr. Robertson) that he had done so. It was a difficult position to be placed in and the work was hard, but he was sure Mr. Sinclair would be equal to it. As regarded the Bar of Wentworh, Mr. Justice Strong had said that it was second to none in the Dominion and he was sure that all the members would lend their heartiest co-operation.
Messrs. Martin, Mackelcan and Osler also returned thanks.
Mr. E. Martin, Q. C., proposed the health of the Sheriff.
The Shreriff responded, and said that he was a stranger among them, but had been most warmly welcomed. He had been absent for some little time, and, no doubt, a great many people would be glad if both he, and the gentlemen around the table would be absent altogether. (Laughter.) He was glad to be present to welcome judge Sinclair.
Mr. Robertson proposed the health of His Worship the Mayor. He said that he had known him for 27 years, and that he thought he was the right man in the right place.
His Worship responded and said he had no ideas that he would be called upon to speak to such an individual toast. He thanked them for the way they had received it. He was very much pleased to be present to offer his congratulations to the Judge, and hoped he would be spared to fulfill the duties of his position.
Mr. Gibson proposed the health of Deputy Judge Smart.
Judge Smart responded in suitable terms.
Judge Sinclair proposed the health of the Grand Jury and the officials of the County of Wentworth, speaking of them in the most flattering terms.
Mr. A. Secord, Foreman of the Grand Jury; Mr. Greer, the Registrar, and Mr. Ghent, Clerk of the Court, replied.
The toast of “The Press” was responded to by Mr. G. Mainwaring, of the Times.
The party broke up at a late hour.
There was a little more detailed coverage of the fire in Carlisle in the Weekly Times than had appeared in the Daily Spectator:
“About two o’clock Tuesday morning, a fire broke out in Readhead and Sons general store at Carlisle, which resulted in the total destruction of the building, together with the stock and outbuildings. The inhabitants of the village turned out en masse and succeeded in confining the flames to the building and outbuildings in which they originated, but several of the houses in the vicinity suffered from the intense heat evolved by the burning mass. The loss is estimated at from $6,000 to $7,000. The losers, we learn, are insured in various companies in this city for about $4,000 or $5,000.”
The proceedings of all the cases at the latest session of the Wentworth County Court were reported fully in the Weekly Times of June 22, 1876. As well the full Grand Jury report was reprinted in full, plus the indictment filed against the County of Wentworth by the Wentworth County Court House:
“The Court opened at 2 p.m.
THE QUEEN VS. AARON KING, an INDIAN, BURGLARY”
Case for breaking into the house of Obed Howell, of Jerseyville, with intent to commit a felony.
As it appeared that the window had been left open, and that there was, technically, no “breaking,” the Crown did not press the case; in other words, the case broke down. Indians will please notice that this case is not to be taken as an authority for entering farmers’ houses in the night time, by any windows which may have been left open.
Mr. Osler for the Crown; Mr. Begue for the prisoner.
BAINS VS. JOHNSTON
Appeal against a conviction for selling whiskey after lawful hours. The prosecutrix swore that she knew it was whiskey, as some of it spilt on her dress and froze there, and she knew from the taste of the ice that it was whiskey. The appellant contended that the material was vinegar, the word being used in a Corktonian sense.
Appeal sustained, and conviction quashed with costs.
Mr. Osler, Q.C., and with him, Mr. Gage for the respondent.
The Grand Jury came into the Court at 5 p.m. with no bill in the case of The Queen vs. Carpenter, nuisance and the following:
To His Honour the Judge Presiding:
We, the Grand Jurors for Our Lady the Queen, beg to make this presentment:
That having disposed of all the business given us by the County Attorney, we are happy to state that our duties have been light, as but few cases for the Crown have been submitted, and none of a very serious character. We have to express our thanks to Mr. McKellar, the Sheriff, also to the Crown Attorney, for their attention to us and advice so readily accorded when required, thus aiding us very much in the discharge of our duties.
We have visited the gaol and have much pleasure in reporting that everything connected therewith being in good order, and under the management of Capt. Henery, the Governor, is perfect in every detail.
We found the number of prisoners to be fifty-three, twenty-three males and thirty females.: males under sixteen, one; males over sixteen, twenty-two; females under sixteen, one; over sixteen, twenty-nine; under sentence, seventeen males and twenty-six females; waiting trial, two males; on remand, one; default of sureties, one;: insane and idiotic, two males and four females, whom the Jurors would suggest should be removed to the Asylum.
We also visited the Insane Asylum lately penned for incurables, under the able management of Dr. Bunk, Medical Superintendent, and Dr. Covernton, Assistant, who showed us great kindness and gave every information as regards the internal management and accommodation.
There are now one hundred and twelve female, and sixty-eight male inmates. The doctor informed us that those lately from the London Asylum are very troublesome and destructive to the property where they are confined.
We also hear with regret that the County Council and the City of Hamilton are about making arrangements to take a portion of the Court House for city cells, which, in our opinion, should be a place separate from all other buildings.
We also visited the Orphan Asylum, Mr. Wilson of the institution, showing us through all the different departments, and have much pleasure in reporting that everything connected therewith is in good order. The number under his instruction are; - boys, twenty-four; and, girls, six: total, thirty.
We also visited the House of Refuge, Mrs. Sievile of the institution, showing us through all the different departments, and have much pleasure in reporting that everything connected therewith is in good order, except the building. We would recommend a more suitable building before next winter. Number of persons’ thirty-one.
We also visited the institution under the care of the Sisters of Charity, and are happy to report that the institution is in a highly creditable condition.
We beg to recommend to the attention of the County Council the necessity that exists for the erection of a County Poor House.
ALEX. A. SECORD,
We beg to congratulate Your Honour on your elevation to the Bench, and the County on the appointment of Your Honour as Judge.
ALEX. A. SECORD.
(Signed on behalf of the Grand Jury.)
His Honour then thanked the Jury and relieved them of further duty.”
“The County is not going to get off any easier than the city in the way of indictments, as the following is the one brought against the County on account of the Court House –
COUNTY OF WENTWORTH: The jurors of Our Sovereign the Queen, upon their oath, present that from a date prior to the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, 1874, there was, and still is, a certain public building called, and known as, the Court House of the County of Wentworth, situate in Prince’s Square, City of Hamilton, in the said County, used by the Court of Assize, and general jail delivery for the said County of Wentworth, and the County Court of the County of Wentworth, and by the Court of General Sessions of the Peace for the said County, and by the County Judges, Criminal Court, and by the Court of Chancery for Ontario, and as and for the place and house of holding for the said several Courts, as and when the same are by law appointed to be held from time to time, and for long spaces of time to sit in use and occupy the same many of Her Majesty’s Justices of assize, the Judges of the Courts of Chancery, and the Judges of the County Court and the Grand and Petit Jurors summoned to serve at the sittings of the several Courts, and the several suitors, counsels, attorneys, and witnesses engaged or interested in the causes and matters brought before the said several Courts, at the various and several sittings thereof, and the sheriff, deputy-sheriff, crier, constables and other officers connected with the said Courts and each and every one of them.
And that the said Court House, on the said First day of January, in the year of our Lord, 1874, and continually afterwards until the day of entering this inquisition, was, and is, in a foul, noxious and unwholesome state, for want of due reparation, ventilation, cleansing, and amendment of same, so that the judges and jurors and other persons as aforesaid, are obliged by law to come, be and remain therein for the purposes aforesaid or any of them during the time inst. Aforesaid, could not come, be and remain therein without danger to their lives and injury to their health, to great damage and common nuisance of all Her Majesty’s liege subjects coming, being and remaining therein for any of the purposes aforesaid.
And that the Corporation of the County of Wentworth, in the said County of Wentworth, the said Court House, as aforesaid, and as aforesaid, being foul, noxious and unwholesome, ought to repair, cleanse, ventilate, and amend when and so often as it should or shall be necessary.
B. B. Osler,
Finally, The WeeklyTimes gave extensive coverage on the inquest into the death of Thomas Ireland whose body had just been recovered in the Desjardins Canal Basin:
“In our Tuesday’s issue, a brief telegram appeared announcing the finding of the body of the late Mr. Thomas Ireland, who, it will remembered, was carried away during the recent floods and drowned in Dundas Creek. The facts of the case are, doubtless, still fresh in the minds of our readers, who will also remember that the most tremendous efforts were made to find the body, and a large reward was offered for the recovery, but it could not be found. Tuesday afternoon, however, about one o’clock a teamster named George McDermott was down with some other parties watched the steamer Transit coming into her wharf. They remained there till she left, and after her leaving, McDermott saw something in the water on the south side of the Canal. Thinking it was the body of a man, two people went over and discovered that it was and brought the body over. There was no coat or vest on the body – only the shirt, pants and boots. In the pants pocket was a knife, a small key and ten cents. The body was terribly decomposed, but it was recognised by his brother, Mr. John Ireland, by his partner, Mr. William Russell, and several other reliable witnesses. The peculiar circumstances of the case are that there were no bruises or any marks of violence on the body which would account for the loss of coat and vest. The deceased had on him a watch and chain also when he fell in, but these, of course, have disappeared with the vest.
In the evening, an inquest was held at the Town Hall, Dundas, before Coroner White, when the body was fully identified and the following verdict given : “That the said Thomas Ireland came to his death accidentally, on the afternoon of the 13th day of April last, by falling off a flume and being drowned in Dundas Creek.”