The Bangle Files: #23 | John Bangle On Trial

Thanks to John Bangle, I had my very first experience in digging in Quebec Archives criminal records in Montréal. Not only was it fascinating but it also proved to be an opportunity to upgrade my knowledge for that period, namely the 1820s.

The trial of John Bangle started on Monday, November 6, 1820, and ended nine days later on November 15, 1820, date on which his sentence has been imposed. John Bangle was tried before the Court of Oyer and terminer.

You don’t need me to follow this. Let the documents tell the story:

Monday 6th November 1820
“No 26
Dominus Rex
John Bingle

Indictment For Murder

A True Bill

The Prisoner was set to the Bar and arraigned upon said Indictment to which he pleaded Not Guilty.”

Thursday 9th November 1820
“The Court met
The Honbl. James Reid
Honbl. Louis C. Foucher
No 26
Dominus Rex
John Bingle

On Indictment For Murder

The Prisoner was set to the Bar and being Ready for his Trial the following Jurors were called and sworn to try the Issue — Viz.

Joseph Herse
James Lane
Pierre Martineau
Joseph Nadeau
Robert Drummond
Jean Bapt. Castonguay
Francs. Lecarreau
Pierre Malo
Augn. Tullock
André Auclaire
Chas. Boudria
J. Mittleberger

Sollicitor opened the prosecution and called John Shortland, Nathaniel Craig, Dr Cristopher Carter, and Charles Myers who are sworn and examined as Witnesses of the part of the Crown.

Mary Hogan, Catherine Bingle, and Joseph Tibeau, are sworn and examined as Witnesses on behalf of the Prisoner.*

The evidence being closed Hn Justice Reid charged the Jury who retired to deliberate upon their verdict under charge of Joseph Cire a Constable sworn to keep them and having Returned into Court and being called over appeared and said by their Foreman Augustin Tullock that they find the Prisoner Guilty of Manslaughter and so they say all”

*By the way, there is no record for these witnesses’ accounts. None of them were kept.

Wednesday 15th November 1820
“The Court met
The Honbl. Mr Justice Reid
Honbl. Mr Justice Foucher
Honbl. Mr Justice Pyke
Dominus Rex
John Bingle

Indicted For Murder
Convicted of Manslaughter


That the Prisoner be burnt in the hand in face of the Court, and that he be afterwards imprisoned in the Common Gaol of this District, for and during the space of Twelve Calendar Months.”

Montréal’s First Courthouse- 155, rue Notre-Dame Est, 1803-1844, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Albums de rues E.-Z. Massicotte. B-11-a.

First, the bad news.

There is no prison register for that time period so there is no way to validate if or when (as the case may be), John Bangle was released (he might have died in prison). There is no way either to find out about Marie-Louise Quevillon. What can be expected at this point is that she probably died in 1847 in Montréal, already a widow of John Bangle.

Now, for the good news.

Still, I was so excited to notice the names of Mary Hogan and Catherine Bangle! Both women, I believe, are the daughters of John Bangle.

Mary Bangle married William Hogan in 1810. But let’s forget about her for now. There are too many details to report on.

Catherine Bangle, who at first I presumed was John’s sister, has to be his daughter born in 1786. Why do I think that? First of all, in the case at hand, Mary Bangle is identified under her married name. Consequently, by any logic, Catherine Bangle would thus have been referred to as Catherine Smith. Moreover, we know for a fact that Catherine Bangle was a godmother to Josette Bangle’s daughter in 1806. It could not have been Catherine Bangle Smith as she was not a Catholic. And as there is no marriage for this Catherine Bangle before 1820, she was most likely still a single woman at age 34 in Sorel. It may also be possible that she was living in the house with her father and sister Mary at that time.

As you know, one brick wall is down, another one is building up. November 1820 is our new brick wall for John and Louise. What happened to them? After their release, have they stayed in Montréal? Have they returned to Sorel? As soon as this detective gets information about them, you’ll be the first to read about it.

I will tell the story of Mary and William Hogan’s family in the next post.

See you in two weeks!

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

8 thoughts on “The Bangle Files: #23 | John Bangle On Trial

  1. Diane you certainly are a great family detective. You have a way of finding facts about the past. Looking forward to your next discovery.

  2. Wow! Murder to manslaughter, we criminal defense lawyers would still deem this a victory. But, hand-burning?!

    As always, so impressed with your work!

    • Thank you Monica 🙂

      I read that hand-burning was quite frequent at the time. More to come on this in a future post.

  3. He must not have appealed this verdict. The recorded testimony is only transcribed in case of appeal. Too bad. It would be fun to see what everyone had to say. Manslaughter and a 12 month sentence sounds like a fight with one of the fighters dying. No premeditation or desire to kill anyone. Thanks Diane. This is so cool.

  4. This is excellent detective work Diane! I enjoy reading the discoveries very much and look forward to the next. It is as if we are subscribed to a serial drama. 🙂

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