Deposition of William Thompson, February 1880

WILLIAM THOMPSON. - I am the husband of the last witness [Mary Thompson]; I live in Biddulph, I was well acquainted with the dead Donnelly’s, except Bridget; they live on the next lot south of me; [...] I recollect the night of the murder; [...] James Carroll was there in the evening, before dark; he came there to stay for good between eight and half past eight, I think; after he came there that time there was no person else there; after coming in the second time James Carroll did not go out before going to bed to my knowledge; [...] Carroll did not go out before twelve o’clock; he could’nt have gone out without my knowing it; I don’t think he went out after that I could’nt swear positively that he could’nt go out but to the best of my knowledge I will swear it; [...] I am a member of the vigilance committee; it was formed last summer; I joined about the time I lost my cow; I signed a declaration, it was to support law and order and to look for anything that was lost and if anyone knew, that they would tell; [...] the clergyman, Father Connelly, suggested it to the parish from the pulpit; [...] some of the meetings were held at the Cedar Swamp School-house on the 9th concession: it was the recognized place of meeting of the vigilance committee: there was no other place of meeting that I know of: I attended some of the meetings of the committee: the first meeting I attended was about the time I lost the cow: I was there, Anthony Heenan, John Kennedy, I think James Carroll, I think: there might have been twenty there: [...] the Donnellys were the subject of considerable discussion: we went on Donnelly’s place to look for my cow, perhaps twenty or thirty of us: we had no search warrant: Mr. Donnelly took us up for that: Kennedy, McGloghlon, James Ryder, James Carroll and about thirty others went on to old Donnelly’s; we found the cow in William McGloghlon’s woods; [...] I think there was a meeting after Patrick Ryder’s barn was burned [...] I have spoken to some people about the arrest of the Donnellys; I told some one that I did not think there was any evidence against them; [...]

Cross-examined by MR. MAHON. - [...] I had not been on neighbourly terms with the Donnellys for some years. [...]

Re-examined by MR. HUTCHINSON. - When I lit the fire, I went out of the kitchen door; it was snowing; I took no notice of tracks; [...]

Source: Public Archives of Ontario, Irving Fonds, F1027, 82 80, MS6500, Unknown, "Deposition of William Thompson," February 31, 1880.

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