Ryder vs. Donnelly, Arson of Ryder's Barn, 1880

Adjourned court in the case of Ryder versus Jas [James] and Julia Donnelly [...]

[testimony of Patrick Ryder]
I was awakened by a noise of fire and on looking out saw the west of the South barn on fire. I ran out as soon as I could get dressed. I saw the south barn on fire in the west end. I ran to the stables and called to let out the horses and cattle.


Have known the prisoners Jas and Julia Donnelly over twenty years - they live about 100 rods from me. Donnellys and me have lived on our respective farms for thirty years during this time Donnellys and I have never quarreled in any way. They have never made any threat against me. [...]None of the Donnellys was at my place on that night. [...]I did not accuse any one of burning my building. [...]My reasons for suspecting Donnelly of burning my barn was- Mrs. John Carroll told my daughter Mary that my son would not be long riding in a buggy- and this buggy was burned in the building. She further said that Mrs. Jas Donnelly made this threat. This threat alarmed me - but I took no precautionary measures against them [...].

(signed) Patrick Ryder
x his Mark

[...] Mrs. Carroll sworn lives in Biddulph

[...] I remember the cows was lost. [...] Mrs. Donnelly was angry at the way her family was used. All I remember Mrs. Donnelly to say was on the day of the cow she said is this not a pretty way we are used. I said yes if you do not deserve it.[...] Have not heard Mrs. Donnelly say anything of and the Ryders fire.

(signed) Mary Caroll
x her Mark

Source: J.J. Talman Regional Collection, University of Western Ontario Archives, Donnelly Family Papers, B4877, File 34, Unknown, Ryder vs. Donnelly, Arson of Ryder's Barn, January 27, 1880.

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