[...] The character of the ill-fated Donnelly family has been painted more than once in colours so dark that it may not be amiss to give the views of a man who has seen something of the inner aspect of the Biddulph troubles, and who does not look on the family as deserving all the reprobation heaped upon them. The person referred to is Mr. Thomas Johnston, who is at present living on the Davenport road. During the years 1873-77 he acted as constable in London East [...]

On being asked whether he thought the Donnelly family had committed all the evil deeds attributed to them, Mr. Johnston said: -

“They were no doubt guilty of some of them, many of the stories told about them by their enemies were untrue. Why, one time a telegram came to London saying that the Donnelly boys were murdering everybody in Lucan, and assistance was wanted from the London police. Detectives Phair and Murphy and myself went out to the village and found great commotion in the streets, but we found none of the Donnellys there except Mike, who was then living in Lucan. We went to his house, and although we had no search warrant he made no opposition to our searching his house, and even showed us through it himself.”

Source: Unknown, "The Donnellys," Toronto Globe, April 17, 1880.

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