Disorderly Conduct

[ Exterior of the Courthouse in London, Ontario, Unknown, University of Western Ontario Archives RC41355 ]

While perhaps the best-known troublemakers in Biddulph and Lucan, the Donnelly clan were clearly not the only characters “up to no good.” Like many communities in Ontario in the nineteenth century Biddulph and Lucan commonly dealt with numerous crimes ranging from the somewhat frivolous (using abusive language), to the more serious (robbery, assault), to the most grave crime of all--murder. But bringing criminals to justice was not easy. The majority of constables were untrained and others were, quite simply, criminals themselves. Likewise, for a variety of reasons, the courts did not always hand out reasonable punishments. Sometimes witnesses feared testifying; other times it was the juries who would not convict despite ample evidence. The political, ethnic or religious leanings of the magistrates involved could also impact a case. Below you will find a very small sample of the types of crimes that took place in Lucan and the surrounding area in the years leading up to the murder of the Donnellys.


Court Documents

Diaries, Journals or Reminiscences


Newspaper or Magazine Articles