The Bangle Files: #20 | Murder She Wrote


Parish of Saint-Pierre of Sorel
Michel Flynn

On September Seventh, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, I, the undersigned vicar priest, have buried in the cemetery of this parish, the body of Michel Flynn, Roman Catholic, assassinated on the sixth instant, in one of this borough’s houses, according to the testimonies of several witnesses. The said Michel Flynn was about twenty-eight years old. Were present Thomas Pratt and William Pococh, people who have signed with us.

Thomas Pratt
William Pococh — M. Cusson, Priest

[Translation from French: Diane Tourville]


The borough is William Henry (Sorel nowadays) and the victim is Michael Flynn, a private soldier from His Majesty’s 37th Regiment. Being a Roman Catholic, he is most likely Irish.

What about the house where Flynn met his death? You must have guessed it by now. It was John Bangle’s.

This event didn’t take place on the sixth of September 1820 but rather on the evening of the fifth, as proved by the coroner’s inquest:

No. 297

6th Sepber 1820

Inquisition taken at view of the Body of Michael Flynn


“Feloniously Killed & Murdered by one John Bingle”

William Henry

An Inquisition Indented Taken at Wm Henry in the County of Richelieu in the Province of Lower Canada This sixth day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred & Twenty Before me Joseph Levitre Captain of Militia, upon the view of the Body of Michael Flynn Private soldier in His Majesty’s 37th Regt Then & there Lying Dead in the House of John Bingle of the Borough of Wm Henry upon the oaths of Joseph Willment, Peter Beaupré, Thomas Cholette, John Carter, Charles Myers, Jean Bte Craite, Good & lawful men of the aforesaid Borough, Who being Charged & Sworn to Enquire on the Part of our Sovereign Lord the King, When where & in what manner the said Michael Flynn came to His Death, after having Examined Jn Shortland Sergt in the sd 37th Regt & Nathl Craig Private the said Jurors upon their Oaths aforesaid do say that one John Bingle of Wm Henry not having God before His Eyes but being moved & seduced by the Instignation of the Devil, in the Course of the night of the fifth Instant with a certain Musket Loaded, of the value of five shillings, which he Discharged on the Right Part of the Belly of the said Michael Flynn a little Below the Navel, of which wound the said Michael Flynn Instantly Died, & so the said John Bingle then & there feloniously Killed, Murdered the said Michael Flynn against the Peace of our Lord the King His Crown and Dignity

In Witness Whenof the said Jurors have signed these presents the day Month & year above written

Jean Bte Craite (his mark)
Joseph Willment (signed)
John Carter (signed)
Thomas Chaulett (signed)
Pierre Beaupré (signed)
Charles Myers (signed)
Joseph Levitre, Captn Milice

Jn Shortland (signed)
Nathaniel Craig (signed)

[Transcription from the original English version: Diane Tourville]


The Bangle Files are taking quite a dramatic turn, aren’t they?

This case represents a have-it-all example of a research that certainly couldn’t deliver any results online.

You. Need. Time.

You need time to explore the repository’s catalog, to visit the Archives and ask archivists about the records which are indeed available for the timespan you are investigating and learn about the nature of the records you must dig in to come up with what you are looking for. The presence of a friend to assist you to go through the—sometimes dusty—boxes might also be helpful. In my case, her name is Marie-France and we had a ball!

During the course of a genealogy journey, you often wish you would find additional information, because while one question is being answered, four new ones are popping up in your head.

And you are probably wondering what actually happened. Well, believe it or not, you will learn it from the mouth of John Bangle himself and the witnesses that were on the premises. In two weeks!

For related posts about The Bangle Files, please refer to the Introduction Page

10 thoughts on “The Bangle Files: #20 | Murder She Wrote

    • Thank you Anna. I had so much fun in these criminal records. It really gives a picture of a period, I loved it, I am returning for sure 🙂

  1. How very interesting. You are right of course. This gives you an answer or a direction but so many questions follow. Eagerly awaiting the next update to this story.

    • Judy, you know I am writing this because I have other revelations that will end up in more questions as well… 🙂

  2. We had fun that’s for sure! I had my share of findings but not as big as yours 😜

  3. This is becoming screenplay material Diane. So much drama!

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