Reprint Series


The Champlain Society – Reprint Series

Champlain LXVI – The Donnelly Documents: An Ontario Vendetta – Reprint (Publication date: 2010):

Editor: James C. Reaney

ISBN: 978-0-9810506-2-1

The climactic event in the infamous drama of the Donnellys of Biddulph Township occurred about midnight on February 4, 1880, when “… a body of men, blackened and masked, entered the dwelling of the somewhat notorious Donnelly family and murdered the inmates: the father, mother, one son, and a girl, a niece.” This newspaper report from Lucan went on to add some significant details: a “small boy named Connor took refuge under the bed, and escaped unhurt”; the “maskers” then set fire to the house which “together with the murdered bodies, was totally consumed”; another son, John, living some three miles away “was called to his door about the same hour and shot. He is also dead.” This terse summary of the principal events of that dark night concluded with the comment, the “township is wild with excitement.”

This collection is an account of the events that culminated in the killing of the “somewhat notorious Donnelly family” and what happened to the survivors, William and Robert Donnelly, up to their departure from Lucan in 1883. What is presented is a thorough treatment of what is known as “The Biddulph Tragedy”: the murder of six Donnellys in 1879-80, a crime for which those who were found guilty by the Crown were never punished.

Champlain Ontario Series V – The Town of York, 1793-1815: A Collection of Documents of Early Toronto – Reprint (Publication date: 2012):

Editor: Edith G. Firth

ISBN: 978-0-9810506-5-2

This reprint of the first of two volumes on the history of the town of York begins in the summer of 1793, with the arrival of Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe and the Queen’s Rangers, and concludes in April 1815, when news arrived that the War of 1812 was officially over. Included are documents relating to York’s role in the war. “The problems of defence, commercial development, and local government, administration of justice, communications, politics, religion, and education are illustrated through contemporary documents,” wrote John P. Robarts, Premier of Ontario, in the introduction.