Mrs. Redpath, widow of the wealthy sugar refiner, and her son Clifford, die mysteriously after three shots from a revolver

Horrible calamity causes great consternation throughout Montreal

All of English high society in our city is in a great stir today following a dark tragedy that has occurred in its midst. Never, we believe, has a family been struck by a more deplorable disaster, and the people of Montreal cried out in horror upon hearing the grim news. An honourable woman and her son, both prominent in the English aristocracy of the country, have died.

The details of the tragedy are particularly painful and conceal a mystery that no one in the world will ever penetrate.

Though everything was done to keep this affair quiet, sufficient word leaked out for the entire city to be aware of the news today. As always in such cases, rumour takes on a life of its own and the versions being reported are either wildly exaggerated or completely improbable.

The widow of Mr. John Redpath, the famous sugar refiner who died some twenty years ago, was living with her children in a magnificent property located at number 1065 Sherbrooke Street, near McKay Street. Mrs. Redpath, who was very elderly, led a mild and peaceful existence there among her children. With age she had become rather sickly, and the pain of seeing her youngest son, Clifford, subject to fits of epilepsy, cast a shadow over her happiness. Nevertheless, all was going well, and young Clifford, 25 years of age, having articled brilliantly at McGill University, was preparing zealously for the final examination to obtain his title of advocate. For the past few days in particular, the young man had been working relentlessly. Constantly immersed in his books, he took no rest, and barely took the time to sit down to table for meals.

Such excess must have had a disastrous effect on his morale. People had in fact noticed that he was looking more weary than usual.

Yesterday afternoon at around four-thirty, young Clifford, upon returning home from the University, entered the room of his brother, who happened by chance to be at home. After exchanging a few words with him, Clifford left and entered his mother’s room, which was on the same floor. Mr. Redpath (the brother), who was dressing, barely paid any attention to the young man. An instant later, a shot, immediately followed by another, was heard in Mrs. Redpath’s bedroom, freezing with fear the unfortunate son who had stayed in his room. Recovering immediately, Mr. Redpath rushed forward, but as he was about to open the door to his mother’s room, a third shot rang out from within. Throwing his shoulder against the door, Mr. Redpath broke it down and entered the room. A horrible scene awaited him. His mother, with a hideous wound to her head, lay in a pool of blood. Young Clifford lay next to her, also covered in blood.

Panic-stricken, Mr. Redpath tried to revive his mother. Unable to do so, he rang the bell desperately to summon the two servants who were alone with him in the house. He enjoined them to run to the nearest doctor, and a few moments later Drs. McKenzie, Campbell and Patton arrived on the scene.

The examination they made of the bodies revealed a most unfortunate state of affairs. Both cases, in their opinion, were hopeless.

On their advice, young Clifford was taken to Victoria Hospital, where Dr. Bell tried in vain to revive him. The same was done for Mrs. Redpath, who in spite of every care, died at around ten o’clock.

An hour later, a telephone message announced that young Clifford had also died.

As soon as he was informed, the coroner arrived on the scene and made a routine report. He allowed the two bodies to be buried and fixed the inquest for three-thirty this afternoon, at the home of the deceased.

Oddly enough, the police were not officially informed of this sombre tragedy.

Source: Unknown, "A Blood-Soaked Tragedy," La Patrie, June 14, 1901. Notes:

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