Petition for Release of Prisoners

To the Hon. O. Mowatt, Attorney General,
Province of Ontario. -


WE, the undersigned ratepayers of the Township of Biddulph and adjacent townships, of the villages of Lucan, Ailsa Craig, Claudeboye, Granton, and of the City of London. Respectfully request that you will order the liberation from prison, on substantial bail, of the following prisoners now confined in the gaol in London, viz, James Carroll, Marin McLaughlin, John Kennedy, Thos Ryder, Jas, Ryder, Jr. & John Purtell, all charged with murder.

WE would respectfully call your attention to the fact that the first named of the said prisoners has just had a fair and impartial trial before a jury of his fellow countrymen, which resulted in a verdict of seven for aquittal, four for conviction, and one undecided. Making it virtually eight for aquittal and four for conviction or two to one in favor of the prisoners. Under such Circumstances we think that pending a new trial it would be no more than common justice, to admit these men to liberty on approved bail. They have now been confined for eight months, and those depending on them are suffering severly in Consequence. To further imprison them until the Spring Assizes, would indeed be a great hardship especially in the face of the result of the trial just completed, and in view of the great principle in law and justice that a man is innocent until proved guilty.

WE would call you honor's attention to the fact that none of the accused have ever attempted to evade the due course of the law, nor have thay ever made the slightest effort to escape from imprisonment, and we feel certain tha judging from their past conduct the people of this country will join us in stating that they will promptly appear when called on to be further tried.

WE hope your honor will review all the circumstances of their case, and we earnestly but respectfully request that you will order their liberation.

And we in duty bound will ever pray.

Dated, Lucan, this 11th day of October, 1880.

Source: J.J. Talman Regional Collection, University of Western Ontario Archives, Donnelly Family Papers, B4877, File 86, Unknown, Petition for Release of Prisoners, October 11, 1880.

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