Bloody Assize of 1814

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The Bloody Assize in Upper Canada was a series of trials held at Ancaster during the War of 1812.

During the war, a number of settlers from the Niagara and London Districts had taken up arms against their neighbours. Many later fled to the United States.

In 1813, several groups were taken prisoner. In 1814, nineteen people were charged with high treason and charges were also filed against a number of persons then living outside Canada. In May of that year, a special court was established at Ancaster and a series of trials were held in June. The judges presiding over these trials were:

The prosecutor was the attorney general for the province, John Beverley Robinson.

Fifteen men were convicted and sentenced to death. Eight were hanged on Burlington Heights on July 20, 1814 and the other seven were banished. Of those, three died of typhus while still in captivity and one escaped and was not recaptured.

Those convicted included:

  • Jacob Overholser]- died of typhus

Vol. XX. Records and Papers of Canadian Historical Society States Aaron Stevens together with Adam Crysler, Dayton Lindsey, Noah Payne Hopkins, George Peacock, Jr., Isaiah Brink, Benjamin Simmons and John Dunham were executed for High Treason July 20, 1814 at Burlington Heights, Ontario, after the famous trial of the “Bloody Assizes” at Ancaster, Ontario. All their possessions were confiscated. It is said the neighbors purchased the homestead and presented it to the widow Maria and her family.[1]


  1. ^ "Archives of OntarioThe War of 1812 - Loyalty and Treason". Retrieved 2012-08-26. 

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