Justice or Vengeance? The Lazier Murder Trial of 1884

Justice or Vengeance? The Lazier Murder Trial of 1884

One of the most enduring stories in Prince Edward County is about a murder that took place at Christmas 1883 when three masked men knocked late at night on the kitchen door of an old Quaker homestead just west of the village of Bloomfield. The men were after money – $550 paid to a Quaker farmer for his hop crop. They didn’t expect any resistance from Quakers known for their peaceful nature. What they didn’t know is that the family had a visitor who resisted their robbery attempt. A shot was fired. The visitor died. And within hours a search party was following tracks in the snow that led to the homes of two men living along West Lake. The trial of these local men in May 1884 is insight into the temper of a community out for blood and the limitations of the law of the period – factors which cost two men their lives. To this day it is uncertain whether justice was served.

You can judge the case for yourself by attending a lecture at the Drake Devonshire in Wellington at 3 pm on Sunday, November 22, 2015. Guest speaker Judge Robert Sharpe of the Ontario Court of Appeal and author of a book on this trial, will review the facts, the personalities, and the laws that governed the case – a defining moment in the history of Prince Edward County.

The Drake Devonshire is hosting this event and tickets can be purchased at the door for $20.00 which also includes a free beverage.

Picture of Peter Lockyer

Peter Lockyer

Local historian and former CBC Journalist, Peter has been a life-long resident in Picton, Ontario.

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