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Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments



Lord Nelson’s Monument, Montreal, 1807

The Ipswich Journal 15 August 1807, p 4

A Monument to the memory of Lord Nelson has been erected at Montreal, in Canada.  It is a pillar of solid stone, sixty feet high, surmounted by a figure of the gallant Admiral, in artificial stone, eight feet high, upon the capital.

Alligator peeking out from the snow on Nelson's Column in Montreal, 2015
Alligator peeking out from the snow on Nelson’s Column in Montreal, 2015

Bad Patriotic Poetry, 1803

Morning Post, 13 August 1803, p 3


Bonaparte’s Answer to John Bull’s Card, Inviting him to England, with a Few Lines concerning his Brothers Taffy, Sawney and Paddy.


Tune “Here we go up, up, up”


My dear Johnny Bull, the last mail

Brought over your kind invitation,

And strongly it tempts us to sail

In our boats, to your flourishing nation,

But prudence she whispers, “Beware,

Don’t you see, that his fleets are in motion;

He’ll play you some d—d Ruse de Guerre,

If he catches you out on the ocean”



Our fears they mount up, up, up,

Our bapers they sink down-y down-y,

Our hearts they beat backwards and forwards,

Our beads they turn round-y round-y.


You say that pot-luck shall be mine,

Fe n’chiens pas ces mots, Monsieur Bull;

But think I can guess your design,

When you talk of a good belly-full.

I have promis’d my men, with rich food,

Their courage and faith reward;

I tell them your puddings are good,

Tho’ your dumplings are rather too bard.


O my Johny, my Johnny,

And O my Johnny, my deary,

Let a few of us come over,

To taste your beet and beer-y.


I’ve read, and I’ve heard much of Wales;

Its mines, its meadows, and fountains,

Of black cattle fed in the vales,

And goats skipping wild on the mountains.

Were I but once safe landed there,

What improvements I’d make in the place!

I’d prattle and kiss with the fair,

Give the men the fraternal embrace.


O my Taffy, my Taffy,

Soon I’ll come, if it please ye,

To riot on delicate mutton,

Good ale, and toasted cheese-y.


Caledonia I long to see,

And if the stout fleet in the North

Will let me go by quietly,

Then I’ll sail up the Firth of Forth,

Her sons, I must own, they are dashing,

Yet Johnny, between me and you,

I owe them a grudge for the thrashing

They gave that poor devil Menou.


O my Sawney, my Sawney

Your bagpipes will make us all friskey,

We’ll dance with your lasses so bonny,

Eat haggis, and tipple your whiskey.


Hibernia’s another snug place,

I hope to get there too some day,

Tho’ our ships they get into disgrace,

With Warren, near Donegall Bay;

Tho’ my good friends at Vinegar-Hill,

They fail’d; be assured, Jack of all this,

I’ll give them French Liberty still,

As I have to the Dutch and the Swiss.


O my Paddie, my paddies,

You are all of you honest creatures,

Art I long to be with you at Cork,

To sup upon fish and potatoes.


A fair wind and thirty-six hours, &

Would bring us all over from Brest,

Tell your ships to let alone ours,

And we’ll manage all the rest.

Adieu! My dear boy, ‘till we meet;

Take care of your gold, my honey,

And, when I reach Threadneedle Street,

I’ll help you to count over your money.


But my fears they mount up, up, up,

And my hopes they sink, down-y, down-y

My heart it beats backwards and forwards,

My head it runs round-y, round-y



Birthday of the Prince of Wales [George IV], 1803

Morning Post, 13 August 1803, page 3

Prince of Wales' Indulgence at Carlton House []
Prince of Wales’ Indulgence at Carlton House []
Never did the metropolis exhibit a more grand and general display of illumination on the anniversary of the birth of our beloved Prince, than last night.  Every individual, any way connected with His Royal Highness, appeared eager to evince the most respectful attachment, by some additional splendour of lights.  A grand gala was given at Vauxhall on the occasion, which was most crowded and brilliant.  Many grand dinners were also given in the metropolis.  At Brighton, Birmingham and at other county towns, we observe by the Provincial Papers, there were public fetes.  St James’ Street, in London was particularly brilliant; the Globe Insurance Office, in Pall Mall, was well lighted up.  As usual, Barfield, His Royal Highness’ Printer, stood pre-eminent, both for the elegance of his arrangement, and the number of his lamps, which could be very little short of 2000.  Around each of the pillars of the portico, on which are erected His Royal Highness’s arms, ran a festoon of variegated lamps, intermixed with laurel leaves; above which a cornice, with a double row of festoons.  In the centre, GP encircled with laurel branches, over these, a most brilliant star; rather lower, but wider extended, were placed perforated vases, lighted, and filled with laurel on each side of the house, reaching nearly 32 feet high, pilasters of the Ionic order; with a few beautiful diamonds; and the whole surmounted by the largest plume of feathers we ever remember to have seen, extending more than 40 feet in height, which produced such a profusion of light, as rendered Wardour-street the resort of thousands, till a late hour this morning.

Bankruptcy of Corley’s Drapery business, Swinford, 1888

Dublin Daily Express, 14 November 1888

Court of Bankruptcy, Ireland

In Bankruptcy

In the matter of Timothy Corley, Draper and Grocer, Swineford, County Mayo, a Bankrupt.

Sale by tender.

The Assignee invite tenders for the stock in this matter, taken as near as possible at Cost Price, amounted to

About £900 11s 2d

Consisting of the following lots, viz:-


  1. Coatings, Tweeds, Friezes, Cords, Moleskins, Hats and Caps £114 12 7
  2. Dresses, Cashmeres, Wisowys, Shirting, prints, shawls, mantles 327 13 9
  3. Blankets, quilts, flannels, tickets, linens, gray and white calicos and muslins 216 4 6
  4. Shirts, Hose, ties, cuffs, collars, skirts, gloves 52 12 1
  5. Millinery, Flowers, Feathers, Ribbons, Laces, Furs and silks 93 17 11
  6. Haberdashery 79 19 4
  7. Sewing machines 5 10 0

£900 11 2

The stock is in good condition, and may be viewed on the Bankrupt’s premises at Swineford, where the stock list can also be inspected, from Thursday, 15th instant, to Thursday, the 22nd instant, between the hours of ten o’clock am and four o’clock, pm, daily.

Sealed tenders, endorsed “Tender for Stock in the matter of Timothy Corley, a Bankrupt” and addressed to Alex Knox McEntire, Official Assignee, No 15 Merchant’s Quay, Dublin, will be received up to Thursday the 22nd instant, when they will be opened at the hours of one o’clock pm in presence of parties attending, the highest tender will be submitted to the Court for approval.

The purchaser, on being declared, must lodge at once one fourth of the purchase money, in cash, with the Official Assignees, and the balance before the stock is removed, which must be within four days from the date of Tender being approaved of, and at purchaser’s expense.

NB – Parties tendering are particularly request not to omit sealing their letters, and writing the words “Tender for Stock” on the outside of the envelope.


15 Merchant’s Quay, Dublin

Richard Davoren, Esq, Dame Street, Dublin, Agent for the Bankruptcy

Dublin 13th November 1888.

News from Montreal, 1866

Ottawa Citizen, 28 December 1866, page 2

From Montreal

Montreal, Dec 27th

One Louis Latour, painter, while engaged in painting the new fire police station at Point St Charles, fell from the roof and broke his leg.

Hon Mr McGee is to deliver an address at the concert of the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society on the 3rd of January.  It will be his last prior to his departure for Europe.

A woman was found dead yesterday in an unoccupied house in College street. She was lying on the floor, her face downwards, and frozen dead.  Her name is unknown, but she is believed to be one more unfortunate gone to her rest.

There was a fire last night in the Boot and Shoe store of S Anderson, 601 St Mary Street.  The stock was considerably damaged by water. How the fire originated is a mystery- supposed to be the work of an incendiary.

An attempt was made at rape on the person of a respectable looking young woman, in a field off Dorchester street, west, from whence cries of murder were heard to proceed.  It was at one o’clock am.  Messrs Ritchie and Dorwin, residents in the street, pinned the man, Daniel Mulhorn by name, and gave him into the custody of the police.  The young woman when relieved ran away.

Our police are over officious.  They upset a merry party of ladies and gentlemen who were enjoying Christmas in the home of a friend, a very respectable citizen, whom they dragged to the station without his boots hat or coat.  The Recorder, after hearing the statement of Mr HJ Clarke, Advocate, who appeared for the defence, severely reprimanded the police, and dismissed the case.

No Procession on the 12th, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Daily Star, 11 July 1877, page 1

No Procession on the 12th

The Orangemen Patriotically Accede to the Request of their Fellow Citizens and Abandon the Procession in the Interest of Peace

A great weight has been lifted off the city by the patriotic conduct of the Orange body in acceding to the request of their fellow citizens, and abandoning , for this year, at least, their intention of walking to the church in procession on the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.  This resolution was not arrived at until a few minutes before midnight last night, and the deepest anxiety was manifested by large numbers of citizens who congregated in several places to know the result.  At St Patrick’s Hall the largest gathering with [illegible] and the heads of the Irish Societies were in session until a late hour.  The course that has been pursued reflects honor upon all concerned.  The sp[illegible] of wise concession and forbearance showed by the Orangemen deserve the highest recognition, and the Roman Catholics were among the first last night to acknowledge the spirit of conciliation that was manifested in the resolution arrived at.  Every one looked forward to serious trouble, if not loss of life if the procession took place, and the feeling that was prevailed for some time past in this community has been a profoundly painful one.  Much of the happy result accomplished is owing to the wise and moderate con [illegible] pursued by the leaders of the Irish societies, who suggested and succeeded in getting truly representative meeting yesterday [illegible] all our National Societies. The sensible speeches of those gentlemen, who met in the parlour of the St Lawrence Hall, and notably the observations of the chairman, could not fail to have effect in averting what was looked forward to as a civil war. Our city has been spared scenes of riot and disorder that would have fallen upon her like a nightmare.  Good sense has prevailed, and citizens now look forward to a long continuance of that peace, harmony and good will that should always prevail among a people and by the ties of a common Christianity and citizenship.  The matter has been acquitted in such a form that both sides can co[illegible] shake hands over the result, and no feeling of triumph or defeat be felt on either side.

We stated in last evening’s issue that the meeting in the St Lawrence Hall passed a resolution earnestly among the Orangemen to give up the procession.  This result was communicated to the leaders of the Orange Society by a deputation and a copy of the resolution signed by all the representatives of National Societies, [illegible] added to Colonel Smith and Mr Grant the latter County Master and Chairman [illegible] the mass meeting of Orangemen which was being held in the Orange Hall. These gentlemen promised to lay it before the meeting without delay and return as early as possible with an answer. The signers remained in session awaiting an answer, and the reports from time to time that arrive, up to the last kept up the most painful anxiety to know the result. At 11:45 pm all felt as if they could breath freely, as an advance courier armed with the pleasing news that the resolution was carried (although by a narrow majority) to abandon the idea of  having a procession.  Messrs. Grant and Smith followed soon after as the ambassadors of peace and evidently well pleased to come in that capacity.  The meeting to receive the report took place at once, with Mr Devlin in the chair.  The following is the substance of what occurred.

Mr Grant said there had been a large attendance of the membership of the order, who after discussion had come to a resolution, which had been carried by a small majority, not to make a public demonstration.  The committee would be served with an exact copy of the resolution which had been arrived at. The society reserved their right to march when they pleased, but there would be no procession on the 12th of July this year. The members would proceed to church about half past eleven and trusted that there would be no disturbance or endeavour to hinder them in the charge of their privilege and duty of going to church.

Col Smith said that he had only to say that this decision had been arrived at after earnest deliberation upon the requests of the societies. They had determined to give way but reserved their right to go to church. He trusted the societies would now do their duty and see that the Orangemen were not molested. The society had acted in deference to the wishes of their fellow citizens.

Mr Grant said he ought to state that a deputation from the City Council had this day waited on the Orangemen which had tended in a great measure to influence their decision.

Mr Devlin said it was only necessary for him to say that he congratulated the societies on the result which had been arrived at, which was calculated to sustain and continue the friendly feeling which had existed for years.  He regarded the result, not as a triumph of party, but as a triumph of peace, good will and fellowship, and as such he regarded it.  He would announce the result at another meeting this evening.  All might rest assured that the proceedings throughout had been conducted with good will as tending to the prosperity of the Dominion and of the city of Montreal.

Col Smith said that in light of the society had acted in the interest of peace and good will.

Mr Devlin said he considered the best thanks of the committee and of the citizens generally were due to the gentlemen who had waited upon the committee, and also to all who had cooperated towards this good result. The Irish Catholic societies did not desire to triumph over Protestants, but were actuated by desires for the best interests of the whole country.

Mr Kerry, St George’s Society, said before the meeting separated it ought to thank the gentlemen of the Orange Society present for the interest they had taken in the matter.  He thought a vote of thanks should be passed to them for their kind offices.

Mr McMaster, of the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society, in seconding the motion, said he had no doubt that the gentlemen had made many personal sacrifices for the peace of the city.

Several gentlemen having spoken in this sense.

Col Smith thought that the vote should be passed to the society generally.

Mr Kerry said he should be glad to amend his motion in that sense.

The motion having been carried.

Col Smith, in acknowledging it, said he hoped after all this would be considered brethren.  The meeting adjourned.

Military Training, Canada, 1880

Montreal Daily Star, 8 July 1880, page 2

Note and Comment

It is impossible- and it would be foolish even if it were possible- for this country to keep up a standing army, but it is not necessarily bad policy to endeavour to have in readiness for any emergency the material from which the officers of such an army might be drawn should it ever become necessary to levy one.  If well-trained officers are available, the work of raising a well-trained army becomes a comparatively easy task; but if the officers have to be educated after being commissioned, the work of organizing an army is necessarily slow and discouraging. There are some uses to which the Kingston cadets may put their knowledge at once, and the more they do in the way of applying it to useful purposes the better; but after all, the fact of having a class of good men scattered here and there over the Dominion with a first-class military education is sufficient to justify the existence of the College, provided the expense of maintaining it is kept down as low as possible. – Toronto Globe.

More Corley v Corley, Swinford, 1889

Dublin Daily Express, 10 May 1889

Chancery Division – May 9

(Before the Master of the Rolls)

Corley v Corley

This suit was instituted to administer the personal estate of the late Mary Corley, a hotelkeeper, of Swinford, who died leaving assets to the value of about £10,000, and the case became before the courts on further consideration of the Chief Clerk’s certificate.  The Chief Clerk had disallowed without prejudice payments on account of legacies to the extent of over £5,000 and had found that Timothy Corley was largely indebted to the estate for assets received.

The Master of the Rolls now allowed the payments for legacies that had been disallowed, and ordered the plaintiffs to prove in the bankruptcy of Timothy Corley for any deficiency that might remain and further ordered an inquiry as to a sum of £1,000 alleged to have been released by Patrick J Corley, one of the legatees.

The MacDermot, QC and Mr Charles O’Connor (instructed by Messrs Maxwell and Weldon) were for the plaintiffs.  Messrs Bewley and Weldon were for the assignees of Timothy Corley.  Messrs Kenny QC and Alexander Holmes (instructed by Messrs Hayes and Son) were for the assignees of Patrick J Corley.

New Year’s Poem, Ottawa, 1867

Ottawa Citizen, 3 January 1867, page 2




Aurora, blushing in the rosy light,

Passed through the eastern portals of the day,

And from the sleeping earth, so still and white,

Fled the dark shadows of the night away.


The golden sunbeams glanced athwart the sun,

The smoke curled upwards, and the sky was clear,

And suddenly arose to busy life

The earliest morning of another year.


The old year, with its manifold delights,

Its slow monotony, its bitter pain,

Has passed away all silently, and we

Welcome a new year to the earth again.


Linger a moment for a tender thought

Of him who greeted us but yester morn,

For while we slept, unconscious of our loss,

The old friend left us, and the new was born.


New Year, that comest with a friendly face,

Standing, half smiling, at the open door.

We love thee, and we dread thee, knowing not

Aught of the good or evil in thy store.


Yet will we use thee well, and welcome thee,

Though what thou bringest us we cannot tell,

So to part with regret, but not remorse,

When the time comes for thee to say farewell.

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