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ATROCIOUS MURDERS IN
On the 21st January the following dread- ful murders took place in the London dis- trict of Upper Canada :-A man named Henry Sovereign called at a neighbour's house, and pointing to a slight wound in his breast and left arm, said that there were two men at his house, and he was afraid they would kill his wife and family. The neighbour, followed by Sovereign, imme- diately went to the fatm. The first object that attracted his notice on his arrival, was a little infant about three or four months old, burning on the fire ; one of its legs was burnt off nearly to the knee, the back part of its head was consumed, and its body was much burnt. Near the hearth lay another child in a state of insensibility (since dead). By the side of the door was another, in a sitting or squatting posture, having been struck on the head with a bludgeon, or some large instrument, which occasioned instant death. A fourth was found out of doors at the corner of the
house, lifeless and bleeding on the ground. About a rod from the house, in a patch which led to an old hovel, was seen a fifth in the same state. Nearly a rod farther in the same path was found a young woman, about seventeen years of age, a lifeless corpse. In the yard in front of the hovel, lay the mother and another little boy, close together, weltering in their blood. Close by the mother was observed the blade of a knife, all bloody. This was recognised as Sovereign's knife. Sovereign, when other persons came to the scene of slaughter, denied that it was his knife, and took it out from his pocket, and it was also covered with blood ! Sovereign has long brutalized himself by intemperance, and had rendered hjs family very unhappy, whom he fre- quently threatened to kill. The bodies had the appearance of having been dead some time before the arrival of the neighbours. These and other circumstances were de- tailed at the inquest on the dead bodies, and the result was the apprehension and committal of Sovereign to gaol. The Rev. William Ryerson, who relates these particulars in a letter, states, that the day after the murder he called at the house, where the mangled bodies still remained. He then gives the following harrowing des- cription :-" Picture to yourself, stretched on one bed, close by the side of each other, all stiff and cold in death, a mother and five lovely children-the most of. them.were very handsome-with the half-consumed remains of an innocent babe, three or four months old, in her arms. At the foot of the bed stood the aged father of the lifeless mother, whose soul appeared to be oppressed with grief too big for utterance-a grief that wrung and chilled the very heart, so as to deny him the melancholy consolation of bedewing the cold remains of his children with the tear of affection and sorrow. I
was deeply affected with the old gentle- man's submission and resignation to this mysterious and most painful dispensation of Divine Providence. After showing me the several places where the children were found, and returning to the h.ouse, he took me by the hand, and, with a faultering voice, said, " My case is like that of Job-all my children are taken from me in one day ; hut T must submit." By the side of the old man
stood an elder sister and brother of the mur- dered mother, both of them overwhelmed with sorrow. On being introduced to the woman she .appeared to be incapable of re straining the violence of her feelings, but, weeping aloud, said-" Oh ! Mr. R-, did you ever witness such a sight? who would believe that any man could come to this ?" &c. Indeed, such were my feelings, that after saying a few words to the afflicted friends I left the place as soon as possible,"