History of the County of Middlesex

[...] Jonathan Sovereen, one of a large tribe who lived near Applegarth's Flats in the early days of the township moved to a point near Burford in the twenties. [...] Sovereen had planned the extinction of his family, [...] On the day before the murder, he left home in a manner which would be generally known, but returned during the night and carried out his dreadful designs, killing his wife and six children outright, and injuring a little girl of five summers so that she died soon after, leaving a child of three years and the two elder children, who were away, survivors of the family. [...] The neighbors flocked thither, and found the wife between the cabin and barn with an old shoe knife buried to the hilt in her left side, and over her body several wounds. In her hand was a bunch of gray hair, which she plucked from the murderer in her death struggle: within the house were the bodies of the murdered children. There was the stool with which he knocked their brains out, and there the axe clotted with blood and brains and hair. [...] Sovereen's own hair was the simplest tell-tale, and at the Spring Assizes of 1832 he was found guilty, not-withstanding Michael Tenbroeck's able defence. On June 5, 1832, Lawrason and Goodhue's store at the northwest corner of Dundas and Ridout street was filled with people, windows, doors and roof. [...] for the people within a circle of 150 miles came to see the wretch die. [...]

Source: Unknown, "History of the County of Middlesex, Canada" (Toronto: W.A. & C.L. Goodspeed, 1889). Notes: J.J. Talman Regional Collection, University of Western Ontario Archives.

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