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Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments

Laurin & Leitch Co – Montreal Construction and Conflict of Interest, 1915

Daily Mail, 30 December 1915 page 4

Court Ordered Quo Warranto Issued

Granted petition of Rodrigue Langlois to have Ald Bastien Appear before court

Justice Maclennan yesterday granted the petition of Rodrigue Langlois and ordered the issue of a writ of quo warranto against Ald Treffle Bastien, ordering the latter to appear before the court and show cause why he should not be removed from office.

The petition, which was presented by Antonio LeBlanc, counsel for Mr Langlois after setting forth the qualifications of Mr Langlois as a taxpayer and elector, alleges that Mr Bastien is interested in divers contracts, granted by the city to Laurin, Leitch and Co, particularly for the construction of the Park Avenue subway and the construction of a system culvert, which contracts were executed by the same employees and the same machinery as that of Laurin and Leitch, of which, it is claimed, Mr Bastien is a member.

The petitioner states that see these [illegible] the respondent has no right to sit as an alderman of the city of Montreal, in virtue of articles 28 and 33 of the Charter which prohibits a person doing contract work for the city from sitting as either Mayor or alderman.

JL Perron, KC, is acting for Mr Bastien.  He offered no opposition to the granting of the writ of quo warrante, but stated that he denied the allegations contained in the petition.

Mr Perron stated afterwards that as soon as the writ is served upon his client he would make a motion that the hearing on merits be proceeded with immediately.  His client, he stated had nothing to fear, and wished to have the matter disposed of as soon as possible.  Ordinarily six days are allowed after service for the filing of plea by a respondent, but Mr Perron is not disposed to wait the six days.  It is possible that the motion for immediate  procedure may be presented to the Court on Friday next.

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.

Servant Question, Ottawa, 1912

Ottawa Citizen, 8 October 1912, page 3

Servant Question – Charity Board Member has Ideas for the Girls

A local member of the charity board of the city when seen by the Citizen regarding the alleged low wages paid to girls and the evil consequences resulting, was of the opinion that the condition of the shop girl was somewhat improved now to what he thought it used to be a few years ago.  While he thought that the small sum of say $3 per week was not all sufficient, when girls had no parents or a domestic home, when they had homes of their parents to go to they could then just manage to get along until they became so proficient as to command fair wages.

“When a girl comes from the country,” he said, “and wants to engage in what they consider ‘genteel’ occupations they must, if they would reflect, expect this state of affairs, but if on the other hand they would go out to domestic service, where there is such a pressing demand, they would not only get better homes but be able to save more money also.

“Within the last ten years,” he went on, “I can remember when girls were glad to work in law offices as stenographers and typists for the experience only.” As this gentleman could not say definitely whether this was the case now or not, he was inclined to believe it was not.

He was a strong advocate of girls supplying this great demand – that of domestic service, for here they would not be exposed and come less in contact with a large amount of immorality which no unfortunately prevails especially in large cities.

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.

George Paulin elected mayor of Henley-on-Thames, 1866

Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 8 September 1866, page 7


The Mayoralty – In accordance with the charter of incorporation of this town, the aldermen and burgesses met at the Town Hall, on Tuesday last, for the purpose of electing the Mayor for the ensuing year, when Mr George Paulin was nominated, and unanimously elected; after the election, the Mayor and corporation attended Divine Service at the parish church.

Photo copyright Kathleen Paulin
Photo copyright Kathleen Paulin

Important Geographical Discovery, McKenzie, 1794

Northampton Mercury, 18 October 1794 p3

Important Geographical Discovery

We have received advice, by a private letter from Montreal of a discovery which has been recently made of the highest importance to the Commercial world. Mr McKenzie, a partner in the house of Frobisher, McTavish and Co of Montreal, has lately returned to Michilimakinac after an absence of near three years, during which he has been so fortunate as to penetrate across the Continent to the Pacific Ocean, and reach a place between King George’s Island and Nootka Sound.

This gentleman, whose persevering and enterprising mind well suited him for such an undertaking, in his travels through the North West country some time ago, to establish a more extensive intercourse with the Indians, and to traffic for furs, arrived at the banks of the river which took a western direction, and which he observed to rise upwards of two fee, by the influence of the tide.  In prosecuting a second expedition from Michilimackinac, after undergoing the unavoidable hardships attendant on such a journey, which was carried on in canoes along various rivers and lakes, and often through forests where men were obliged to carry the canoes, he attained the utmost bounds of the western continent.  This circumstance will, in the course of time, be of the greatest consequence to this country, as it opens a direct communication with China, and may doubtless yet lead to further discoveries.

The distance from Michilimakinac to the Western Coast is supposed to be 1500 miles, of which the Company had before established huts as far as 1000 miles.

Curses to 2016?

A few days ago Carrie Fisher died, and so passed with her another talented performer in a year which seems to have seen the passing of far too many talented people.  Was 2016 really such a striking year for the death of celebrities?  It seems that every year a lot of wonderful and talented people pass away, and so this year in of itself is not as singular as everyone thinks.  But this was the year that saw so many people who were culturally important to me, and my generation.

To those of us growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, people like Bowie, Prince, and George Michael were a part of our lives, they were our idols and the creators of our soundtrack.  With their passing comes the startling realisation that we are growing old.  We are all really quite mortal, and that includes the people who entertained us.  And of course, when we hear the ages of some of they, and we understand how close in age they actually are to us, well…..

In a year that has seen such political and social turmoil, war, strife, and racism, the death of those whom we admire, who possessed so much talent, such capacity to entertain, and bring joy to others, their loss is perhaps the more striking.


Governor Simcoe’s colonial expedition to Upper Canada, 1792

Caledonian Mercury, 29 November 1792, p3

British America

Upper Canada, Kingston of Catarague, Eastern Extremity of Lake Ontario

August 8

His Excellency Governor Simcoe and Major Littlehales, with the civil and military attendants required in a colonial expedition, arrived at Kingston on the 14th of July.  Of this voyage it will not be uninteresting to relate some particulars.

In a progress of nearly 900 miles up this majesty of rivers, the St Laurence, from Cape Roziere, and the Island of Anticosti to this town, it will naturally be conceived, from the description of this tract of the Continent, that we have seen more various and more stupendous views of nature than can be painted by the most inventive imagination. From the Gulph [sic] of St Laurence to Quebec the scene is in general bold, and displays the lofty mountains of both shores to the admiring eye. For the last 100 miles the river gradually contracts, and becomes insulated with a rich variety of natural ornaments. From Quebec to Montreal, that part of Lower Canada, which is principally inhabited by the French or native Canadians, assumes a more cultivated and domestic appearance, with the most beautiful natural scenery, a little improved by art.  There are many neat small towns in this place of 200 miles, and several rivers dissembling themselves into the St Laurence in various directions; such as the Richelieu, the Ratiscan, Les Trois Rivieres, whose source is supposed to issue near Hudson’s Bay, &c &c.

Montreal is situated in an island of the same name.  It is one of the principal towns in Canada, and is surrounded by regular fortification.  The streets are uniform – the houses well built – and a convent and spiral churches add essentially to its handsome appeal.  I was more struck and pleased with it than with Quebec.

From Montreal to Kingston, the north shore of the Troquois, or St Laurence, is in good site of cultivation, and tolerably well inhabited by loyalists, disbanded officers and soldiers, though there are people of all nations, especially Germans. The South Shore has scarcely any inhabitants, except the Indians of St Regis, and another tribe near Fort Ofwegethie, constituting part of the Six Nations, as they are within the treaty line of 1783, in latitude 45.

This view of more than 200 miles does not possess the sublime, but the beautiful in the extreme.  It forms a continuation of small lakes, islands, woods, rivulets, &c and though there is little relief to the eye by any bold, prominent break, except the Alleghany, mountains afar off, yet it possesses the true Claude Lorraine in more perfection than any territory of such magnitude.  The formidable rapids of Gallete, Long Saut, Plat &c, which the Canadians navigate with wonderful dexterity, strongly interest the attention of the traveller.

Upper Canada seems to contain all the natural advantage of Great Britain, with many additions; but it is an infant state, and requires nutriment and care, and must for a few years, look for assistance, at least in a pecuniary way, from the mother country, or it will never come to years of maturity.  It has evident conveniences for commerce and agriculture. The water communication so easy for trade, the soil so reach, that even without manure, the farmer pays little regard to the succession of crops, yet his crops yield him more in proportion than in England. He uses the same implements of husbandry, the plough, the sickle, the spade and the axe.

Governor Simcoe, on his arrival here, assembled his Executive Council, and after opening his commission, solemnly proclaimed the British Constitution to this province.  The boundary had been previously determined, commencing at the Cove west of Point-au-Bauder, in Lake St Francis, the division line about 50 miles from Montreal, and 150 east of Kingston.  After concluding other colonial matters of importance, he issued a proclamation, dividing the province into counties, with the following names: Glengarry, Stormont, Dundas, Grenville, Leeds, Frontenac, Ontario, Addington, Prince Edward, Lennox, Hastings, Northumberland, Durham, York, Lincoln, Norfork, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, which last county is to comprehend all the territory not already described, and not belonging to the Indians, from the northernmost line of Hudson’s Bay, to the foremost limits of the country generally known by the name of Canada. These 19 counties are to send on the 12th of September to Niagara sixteen members for the House of Assembly.  When the people are more numerous, and the country becomes more flourishing, I presume subdivisions will be made, and the representation encreased.[sic]

Governor Simcoe is going to Niagara, across the Ontario, one of the wonderful fresh waters of this continent.  He may, probably, this autumn, visit Detroit, and the river La Franche, hereafter to be called the Thames, parallel with the north side of Lake Erie, communicating with Lakes St Clair, Huron, Superior on the W and NW by various branches, and Ontario on the SE where several people imagine the metropolis of Upper Canada will be built.  Prince Edward is expected here from Quebec to the Falls.

The Indians of the Western Territory, and the Six Nations of this part of Upper Canada, are collecting in the Miami Kingdoms, their chiefs and warriors, to prepare against that active American General Wayne, who is assembling a powerful army on the frontiers, and on the Ohio and Mississippi, to revenge the cause of St Clair, and to endeavour to extirpate the Indians, who are greatly elated with their victory last year.

All the ceded forts still remain in our possession well garrisoned.

I have visited some of the Indian towns, and encampments belonging to the Messissages, Onondagas, Oneidas, Cackowaukas, Mohawks, Senekas, &c.  An account of their manners and customs I shall reserve for another occasion; observing only at present that I cannot suppose it possible that any object, within the range of existence, can strike the eye of a stranger so forcibly as these savages, who are, in every particular, the reverse of civilization.

Highland Ball, London, 1809

Morning Post, 15 April 1809 p 3

Hon Mrs Drummond’s Ball


A very elegant Ball and Supper were given on Thursday night by Mrs Drummond of Charing-Cross. In the interior decoration of the very tastefully fitted up residence nothing was wanting to render the entertainment attractive in every respect.  A suite of rooms, three in number, were appropriated for dancing, cards, &c.  Each apartment was illuminated by Grecian lamps, and bell lights.  Precisely at eight o’clock the dancing commenced with Flora McDonald, a new dance, first introduced a few evenings since at a ball given in Cleveland Square by Lady Mary Drummond; it is a very lively and spirited tune.  The ball was opened by the young Duke of Dorset and the beautiful Miss Drummond.  The Earl of Adoyne danced with the Hon Miss Arden, and Mr Drummond with Lady Kinnoul.  Two sets were formed in the second dance, I’ll mak ye fain follow me.  A very sumptuous banquet the company mustering about 150 persons, partook of about midnight.  The dancing afterwards re-commenced and was kept up until five o’clock in the morning.  Reels were danced; they were given with the true Highland Fling by Mr Stewart, of Greenock; Mr Drummond, of Inverness; and another gentleman, whose name we could not learn.  The company were agreeably surprised, and much amused by the wonderful execution of a native Highlander, accoutered in his proper costume, wearing the fillabeg, &c.  He played on the bagpipes and violin, smoked tobacco, and danced reels, all at the same time.  The Duchess of Dorset, Lord and Lady Arden, and many other personages of first rate distinctions, were of the party; together with every branch of the House of Drummond then in London.

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