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Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments



John Patrick Cuddy – Assault and Battery, Montreal 1862

Montreal Herald, 24 Jan 1862 page 2


Police Court – Thursday

Assault and Battery

John Cuddy vs Mary Jane O’Neill – Cuddy said that on Wednesday he was knocking the snow off the roof of his house in St Mary Street, and when he went down stairs, his wife told him that Mrs Walker (defendant) had been in the house scolding. He then went into defendant’s house and asked her why she had been scolding.  Without answering she struck him, and made use of abusive language.

On the other hand, a witness for the defence stated that Cuddy went into defendant’s house without knocking or asking permission, and that Mrs Walker told him to go away three or four times.  As he would not leave she pushed him gently out of the way.

The court observed that the case was one of such a trifling nature that it should never have been brought there at all. Action dismissed.


Obituary, William C Leitch, La Presse, 1924

La Presse, 2 May 1924, page 11


Entrepreneur bien connu qui disparait


M William-C Leitch, est decede hier, après une maladie de plus de deux ans, a sa residence, 476 avenue Strathcona, Westmount. Le defunt qui était ne a Cornwall, Ont, était age du 57 ans.

Pendant plusieurs annees il fut a l’emploi de Moffat Hodgkins & Clark, fabricants de machines hydrauliques, de Syracuse, NY; il y a 33 ans, il vint demeurer a Montreal, ou il occupe le poste de surintendant de la Montreal Water & Power Company.  En 1904 M Leitch fit partie de la firme Laurin, Leitch & Company, depuis ce temps.  Il occupa activement de construction.

Sa femme, nee Mary Cashion, et deux fils lui survivent.

La depouille sera transportee a Williamstown, Ont, demain.


King Tut would have chose Dow Old Stock Ale, 1923

Montreal Gazette, 26 Feb 1923, page 19


Undoubtedly King Tut-Ankh-Amen Would have Chose Dow Old Stock Ale – Fully matured.

Because it is the standard of strength & quality

Credit is given for the invention of brewing to an ancient King of Egypt.  Abundant records of beer are still found on the Great Pyramid.

St Andrew’s Society Meeting, Rasco’s Hotel, Montreal, 1835

12 November 1835, page 2


We beg to remind the members of the St Andrew’s Society that the November quarterly meeting will be held at Rasco’s Hotel, this evening, at seven o’clock.  As the election of office-bearers for the ensuing year, by the Rules of the Society is appointed for this general meeting, a numerous assembly of members is expected.


We are glad to find the example shown by Montreal in the formation of the St Andrew’s Society, followed in different parts of the two provinces.  Already we have recorded the proceedings of the sons of Scotia resident in Quebec and Niagara; we have now the pleasure of directing attention to the following proceedings by which it will be observed that a St Andrew’s Society has been established for the Newcastle District in the upper province.

At a numerous meeting of gentlemen held at Piper’s Hotel Grafton on Friday 30th October, favourable to the formation of a St Andrew’s Society in the district.


John Steele Esq of Colborne being called to the Chair, and Mr John Irvine of Coburg appointed secretary, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:


Resolved that in the opinion of this meeting, it is expedient to form a St Andrew’s Society for benevolent purposes

Resolved that the society be called “The District of Newcastle St Andrew’s Society.”

Resolved that a committee of eight be appointed to draft rules and regulations for the government of the society, and that they be empowered to receive the names of such individuals as may be inclined to become members – four of whom to form a quorum.

Resolved that the following gentlemen constitute the committee: Messrs John Steele, Dugald Campbell, John Taylor, Alexander Jack, John Irvine, David Brodie, Kenneth Mackenzie and Capt John Macdonald.

Resolved that a public meeting of the society be held at Grafton on Monday 16th November next at three o’clock pm to receive the report of the committee to adopt rules and regulations for the constitution of the society, and to elect office-bearers for the ensuing year – and that a notice be given  in the Cobourg papers of the same.

Resolved – that the editors of the Cobourg papers be requested to publish the foregoing resolutions.

John Steele, Chairman

John Irvine, Secretary

Grafton, 30th October 1835.

Montreal – Canada’s Monte Carlo, 1899

Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 23 May 1899 p 3

Canada’s Monte Carlo

From all accounts, Montreal is a veritable Monte Carlo.  Gambling is carried on there of an audaciously open character.  The police say they cannot touch the lotteries, and the policy shops and pool rooms, stud-poker, joints and gaming houses for craps, faro and roulette, provoke no intervention from the law.

The fever has seized men, women and children; tickets are vended about in street, in office, and in public business, as though they formed a legitimate part of the city’s commerce, and whereas the United States have suppressed these various gambling institutions, Canada appears to treat them with astounding laxity.

The lotteries are run as art associations.  As such they cannot be touched, although the pictures nominally won are never claimed by the winners, but redeemed in money at the rate of one-half of the assumed value. Four of the policy shops – all the places are conducted under the cloak of charity – deal with huge sums, and last year over three million dollars were contributed to three large lottery concerns.

More than fifty so-called clubs, though ostensibly organised for “recreation and amusement” are gambling houses pure and simple, run by one or more proprietors who live entirely on the proceeds.

Probably the stiffest games of poker on the American continent can be found in Montreal.  Not even in the big cities of the United States can be found openly carried on as big poker games as in Montreal.  French Canadians always great gamblers, principally make these establishments such paying institutions in Montreal.

12th of July, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Gazette, 6 July 1877, page 2

THE TWELFTH OF JULY – Many rumors have been circulated pro and con during the past few days relative to the Twelfth of July and an Orange parade on that day.  In an interview with Ald Wilson, Chairman of Police, the latter remarked that he did not apprehend any trouble on the day in question; in fact he thought there was much more speculation in than reason for the rumors to the contrary.  The following letters have passed relative to the affair, and were omitted accidentally from the Gazette of yesterday:-

[copy] Orange Hall, no 81 St James Street

Montreal, July 3, 1877

Sir – I have been instructed by the Celebration Committee to write to you, to inform you that the Orangemen of the city intend to celebrate the anniversary of the 12th July by having a peaceable religious ceremony at some place to be hereinafter named, if they are allowed so to do without being molested with on the way.

But having been threatened with violence, we ask and claim the protection of the police.

And we also intend to claim military protection, in order to assist the civil authorities.

I am, sir,

Yours, etc

John Hamilton

Secretary C Committee

To His Worship the Mayor

Mayor’s Office, City Hall

Montreal, 4th July 1877

John Hamilton, Esq, Secretary Orange Celebration Committee:-

Sir, I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday, in which you inform me that the Orangemen of the city intend celebrating the anniversary of the 12th of July, by a religious ceremony and procession.

I will state in reply, that I am advised that inasmuch as the Association referred to in your letter is not legally constituted, it has no right to claim as a body any further protection from the civic authorities than that which every citizen is individually entitled to under ordinary circumstances.

I may add, that in view of the excitement and ill-feeling which the proposed demonstration is likely to create in our mixed community, and the many threatening rumors which have recently reached me, and anxious as I am that the harmony and good feeling characterized the relations between the different creeds and nationalities, of which our fair city is composed, should be preserved, I would most earnestly and confidently entreat the Orangemen to reconsider their decision, and, as good and loyal citizens, to avoid in their celebration any outside demonstration which may provoke a conflict, the evil consequence of which could not but be most deplorable.

I have the honor to be, Sir

Your most obedient servant,

Jean Louis Beaudry

Mayor of the City of Montreal

Caledonian Games, Montreal, 1873

Alloa Advertiser, 20 Sep 1873 p2

The Caledonian Games at Montreal – the eighteenth annual athletic sports of the Caledonian Society of Montreal were held in Decker’s Park on 21st August, and were a great success.  Over 3000 people were present.  Great interest was taken by the Canadians in the games, more especially those regarded as more exclusively Scotch – putting the stone, Highland dancing, bagpipe playing.  At the dinner held at the close of the gathering, the President, Dr JT Finnie occupied the chair; and the Mayor of Montreal, Col Fletcher, Col Stevenson and a large company were present.  It was suggested that the society should devote its attention more to literary matters, and should bring out some of the most popular lecturers from Scotland; and this, we believe, is to be acted upon.

St Andrew’s Day, Montreal, 1822

The Scribbler, Montreal – 26 Dec 1822 pgs 4-6


Laprairie, 10th Dec

Mr LL MacCulloch

Saint Andrew, with his wintery robes, has been so ill received by his Mount Royal children [I never before knew St Andrews day pass in Montreal, without two or more public dinners.  It has been said that the chief persons of note of the Scotch nation, being all conspicuous unionists, and having been stigmatised as a Scotch faction, determined on discouraging a meeting on St Andrew’s Day, alleging that it would add to the popular opinion of their caballing together, and confirm that party-designation, by which they are now generally known.  The paltry and vulgar pride that prevented a ball taking place that evening, is exposed in the sequel; and well do such beggarly sentiments deserve exposure. LLM] that he has deigned to honour this place with a visit on his natal day.  A select party of his would-be sons assembled at Mr Campbell’s to indulge in the pleasures of national partiality, and to criticise wiser and better men than themselves, as well as to partake of the comforts of the feast. The room was decorated with numerous transparencies and emblems of the “native soil”.  (I cannot say whether they had a fiddle;) and the whole, the dinner particularly, did great credit to the landlord.  When it was on table, the hoarse tones of a hoarse bagpipe, summoned the party to the gorge. The gathering of the clans, seemed however, rather out of place, when the native countries of the guests are considered, and a Dutch medley might have been better. The gallant Old Buck presided, and filled the chair with the consequential dignity of a feudal chieftain, though he did not seem to be so much at home as when acting the quack-doctor before a dozen squaws in an Indian wigwam. Daddy Dull, who makes his scholars smart, was the nightingale of the day, and, occasionally giving a stave or two of the pathetic, made himself more agreeable, than when reciting his Sunday prayer, with his covenanting whine.  Mr Billytap was also one of the select, and, as usual, put too much brandy in his water: at his earnest request, the pleasure of his company was soon dispensed with, and (as the president did shortly after) he walked into the street, and laid himself comfortably down on a pile of wood near the door, where he slept for two hours, in a heavy rain, until he was as completely drenched without as he was within.  Mr Shortleg Donaldson, shewed his wit by his manners, but, being young and thoughtless, it is not surprising he should behave a little foolishly.  Another genius marshalled the decanters in a truly bacchanalian style, and displayed his soaking qualities so wonderfully, that one would have thought him a sponge. The rest were well Dunn up, and looked as Dow-dy as you please. Another distinguished guest had been invited, but to the great uneasiness of the party, did not make his appearance in due time: it appeared that, having set off in high spirits, the grocer found when he got almost within smell of the haggis, that he had put an old coat on, by mistake, so he thought it behoved Mac to lean towards home again to change it, and crossed the St Lawrence for the purpose.

After dinner, the jovial cup passed and repassed in flowing bumpers, to the numerous toasts which had been prepared for the occasion?  And certainly most of them were the worse for wear, and may easily be traced by looking over old newspapers; that, however is nothing, and is perfectly excusable, as the whole party could not have made them of their own, without pilfering.  But, Mr Scribbler, here comes the rub. I should not have thought it worth my, or your while, to have given you an account of a dinner, attended by eight or nine persons, and those almost entirely insignificant characters; had this party not been puffed in the Montreal Herald, where it occupied full half a column; and why? Because in the plentitude of their folly, these cacklers, wanting to have something to distinguish themselves by, gave amongst their toasts, one in favour of the union of the two provinces, and stigmatising the opposers of that measure as illiberal, designing and ignorant. Ignorant, indeed! But fools always think themselves wise men: the lord have pity upon these uneducated ninnies! But, it is right that every man should have and maintain, his own opinion, but, in social meetings, party questions should never be introduced.  However, without this, these eight or nine blockheads would neither have made a figure in the Herald, nor have been, by reaction, immortalized in the Scribbler.

As to the second part of the fete, suffice it to say that, its etoient tous fous naturellement, and as Sawney says, by the frequent tasting “the joys of the shell,” they were a’ fou. Burns’ much admired song on Bannockburn, was sung by the whole party, but the following parody, will better describe the finish.


Scots let’s nae gang yet to bed,

Till grog has filled each empty head,

Till a’ our senses far hae fled,

Till we nae mair can see.

This is the boozing hour of night;

Drink till a’ our eyes are white

Noise must be when fools unite,

Sae noisy let us be.

Wha wadna’ swill till roarin fou,

The beer that yon mon there doth brew?

And so we’ll a’ be drunk enow,

Then push about the bree.

Wha for Aundra loud wull ca’?

Wha for Bacchus gies hurra?

Like topers sup, like topers fa’

Then tak a dram wi’ me.

By rum, brandy, wine and gin,

By all the liquids, thick and thin,

We will drink till day peeps in,

For we shall not, shall not flee.


This bold resolution, however, was soon laid aside, when they were informed that it was Sunday morning, and that no singing or drinking would be allowed after twelve on Saturday night.  They then reeled off singing,


Bid McKay na’ longer blow,

Lay the noisy piper low,

To bed let us a’ reeling go,

Nid noddin a’ are we


Your’s faithfully,

Nicodemus Watch-em.

Canadian Fashions, 1914


Montreal Daily Star, 26 November 1914, page 11


By Lillian E Young

Brass buttons do make an appeal.  We always did accept that assertion in the abstract, but now no more convincing proof of the respect accorded them, and all things military is needed than the alacrity with which such styles have been adopted and brought to the fore of the fashion world.

The war, of course, is responsible, and as one young woman was heard to remark when trying on a martial looking suit, “I almost feel as if I could go there and enlist.”

Here is one in black velvet with oxidized silver buttons and braid, and a woven silk hussar such in dull blue. The fur for the military collar and cuffs may be of Australian opossum, taupe moufflon or skunk. The short jacket stands outward at its lower edge and runs a trifle longer in back.

The fronts fasten closely about the neck and are trimmed on either side with horizontal strappings of silver braid.  The jacket hooks directly down the centre front.  A five inch band across the bottom of the jacket in front, holds in a barely perceptible fullness of the blouse portion above and is one with the entire back of the jacket, started from the underarm scam.


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