Inmates at the Gaol

[ Flogging of a Prisoner at the Toronto Gaol, 1871, This illustration originally appeared in

The Donnellys and many of their neighbours, as you will see, were accustomed to violence and often had contact with legal authorities in the form of the local constables, jailers and judges. Many of those incidents would be serious enough to send the Donnellys to jail, or the gaol as it was commonly known in the nineteenth century. For instance, James Donnelly spent seven years in the Kingston Penitentiary for killing Patrick Farrell. He learned first hand what a dark place the gaol of the nineteenth century could be. It is no surprise that those implicated in the murder of the Donnellys would do whatever it took to escape a similar fate.

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