Bloody Assizes | Hamilton Ontario | Canada

The Bloody Assizes took place where the Hamilton Cemetery and The Admiral Inn are today – MAP

We believe the gallows stood across the street, between today’s Hamilton Cemetery and Admiral Inn.  A long scaffold with eight nooses carefully draped.

This is where history fails us – –

Were they only hanged, or was the full sentence carried out?

We don’t know due to blurred history and confusion from the event’s namesake.  The other “Bloody Assizes” was a series of trials in England after the Battle of Sedgemoor.  Some of the 300 men and woman sentenced to die were drawn and quartered.

If the men at Burlington Heights met this gruesome death, they would have went through horrific steps representing punishment for different offences…

Plaque in Ancaster - - Location of courthouse where trial occurred
Plaque in Ancaster – – Location of courthouse where Bloody Assizes trial occurred
  1. For Theft – – Related to ‘theft of trust’ from the monarchy, they would hang but not until dead
  2. For Turning their back on the Crown – – Coming between the King, Queen and their subjects, they would be disemboweled and their organs burned
  3. And so they’re unrecognized in the afterlife – – Bodies were quartered and the parts were left to decompose before the family was allowed a burial

The severed heads sent back to England to be at the King’s disposal.  Many times they were displayed outside the Tower of London, or in the traitor’s hometown… so everyone could see what happens when you defy the British Crown.

Hamilton’s Poor Execution Skills – –

One depiction of Canada’s “Bloody Assizes” shows off Hamilton’s poor reputation of executing criminals.

**This story of a separate and insane historical act is told on Hamilton’s Dark History.

Few people know it started here, when the scaffold failed.  8 men hanging, struggling for air as the wood sagged.  Leaning over to one side and lowing them to the ground.

This was unacceptable at the great entertainment of the day.  Random men jumped out from the crowd to hold up the scaffold.  Joints were strengthened with nails and the execution continued.

What we know for sure – –

8 men died at Burlington Heights in 1814 for the charge of treason.  How they died and if they were guilty remains a mystery.

The hanging of traitors at the "Bloody Assizes" by artist Lori Le Mare (on display at the Fieldcote Museum in Ancaster)
The hanging of traitors at the “Bloody Assizes” by artist Lori Le Mare (on display at the Fieldcote Museum in Ancaster)

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