In June of 1814, the harsh sentence against 15 men convicted of high treason was read aloud to a hushed courtroom at the Court of Assize in Ancaster, Upper Canada: “You are to be drawn on hurdles to place of execution, hanged by the neck but not until dead, cut down while alive and your entrails taken out and burnt before your faces, your heads cut off, bodies divided into four quarters, heads and quarters to be at the King’s disposal.”
On July 20, 1814, eight were executed at Burlington Heights (where Dundurn Castle now stands). The remainder were exiled.
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To help mark the 200th anniversary of Canada’s historic Bloody Assize a weekend of free events will be held at Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum, July 19-20, to acknowledge the 19 men and their families whose lives were forever changed by the 1814 treason trials. Descendants of both the accused and their prosecutors will be traveling to Ancaster for the event.
Highlights will include the exhibit, Noose, Knife and Fire, exploring the events that took place in 1814, the Zooid Aerial Theatre’s performance of The Hangman’s Reprise, the film screening of Shipwrecked on a Great Lake, an acknowledgement ceremony and plaque unveiling, and Music at Fieldcote’s presentation of the 1812 Overture with the Boris Brott Orchestra.
All events take place rain or shine.
For more information, call 90-648-8144 or visit www.hamilton.ca/museums.