Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1871, November 22 - Passenger car deliberately uncoupled while at speed near Stittsville, Canada Central Railway

Almonte Gazette 24 November 1871

Uncoupling a car while at Full Speed - "Andy" in a New Role.
The train from Ottawa on the Canada Central, on Wednesday evening last, was crowded with passengers; and among that number was that ubiquitous individual, Andy Burrows, alias James Parker. While approaching Stittsville, the coupling-pin between the passenger and baggage cars was pulled out and thrown away, and the passengers had the pleasure of seeing the rest of the train rapidly leaving them. One or two passengers and an employee on the train saw "Handy Andy" perform the trick, and the excitement of the passengers at this intelligence, rose to summary vengeance was about being taken there and then. The train proceeded several miles when the passenger car was found missing; and in consequence of the delay occasioned in returning for it, the train was an hour late in arriving at Carleton Place. We have not heard what action - if any - has been taken by the railway officials, but it is hardly improbably that it will go unpunished. A very serious accident, and much loss of life, might have resulted, and in justice to the travelling public, it is but right that such insane and criminal tricks should be promptly and severely punished.

Almonte Gazette 22 December 1871

The Queen vs. Andrew Burrows - Assault
The notorious "Andy" was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to a charge of assaulting one Joseph Sloan, an employee of the B. & O. R., at Perth, on the 3rd of October last. Joseph Sloan being sworn, stated that he had been placed at one end of the passenger car on the day above mentioned, by Mr. Fraser, the station master, with instructions not to let Andy on board unless he produced a ticket. In the execution of these orders Sloan took up a commanding position and covered the entrance to the car with his bulky body. Andy made his appearance and demanded admission, which was refused by Sloan until he should produce his ticket. Andy, nothing daunted, seized his opponent by the shoulder, and flourishing a "bit of a stick" over his head, tried to drag him from the car, tearing his vest and doing other damages. The attack was, however, unsuccessful, and Andy fell back on the platform.
Cross-examined, by Andy in person.- you are an employee of the B.  & O. R.?-Yes.
At the time when you say I assaulted you had you any badge to show that you were in the employ of the Co? - No.
Andy, triumphantly,-"No, and I took you for a French butcher from Ottawa."
Can you repeat the Lord's prayer and the ten Commandments? - Yes.
Andy- I don't believe a word of it. I appeal to your Worship, the gentlemen of the Jury, and the honorable Court, to make him repeat the Lord's prayer and the Ten Commandments.
The Honorable Court, however being deaf to the appeal, Andy told the witness he might stand down, at the same time informing the court that he was entirely unworthy of belief.
Thomas Malone corroborated Sloan's evidence in every particular.
For the defense, Robert Story was called. On entering the box Robert said that he had not been paid for his day's attendance, and declined to take the oath until he was. The funds not being forthcoming the witness was allowed to retire.
F. A. Hall was then called who stated that he had seen Andy at the time in question, and that he had a good ticket for Smiths Falls. This closed the defense and Andy proceeded to address the jury somewhat in the following strain:
May it please your Worship, the honorable Court and gentlemen of the Jury. I am brought up here for an assault. It is a conspiracy by the B. & O. R. Co. to injure my personal character. I have sued the Co. for $5000 damages, and the case will come on in the spring, and they want to injure my character. I am as innocent as the child unborn. The ALMONTE GAZETTE has got up a story that I took a pin out of the cars, coming from Ottawa and uncoupled them. It is all a lie, made up between the GAZETTE and the railway company. I hold in my hand a paper, (flourishing the Carleton Place Herald over his head) containing a letter which entirely rebuts the evidence of the Almonte GAZETTE. It is a first-rate letter, written by myself. I appeal to the honorable court to be allowed to read it. The court decided in the negative, Andy proceeded: They say I am guilty of this assault, but fortunately for me I am innocent. I did not assault Sloan, he assaulted me, I am at a great disadvantage; one of my witnesses who could rebut their testimony, being in Ireland, another lying sick at Boston, and a third at Manitoba; but you will see that this prosecution is entirely frivolous and will acquit me. If I am convicted, you see, gentlemen I will have to pay all the costs, or be consigned to the tombss. In conclusion I call upon you as twelve righteous men to acquit me and cover with shame the tyrannical company who would blast the fair fame [sic] of one as innocent as the babe unborn.
Notwithstanding Andy's able and eloquent address the righteous twelve brought in a verdict of guilty, with a recommendation to mercy. Sentenced to pay a fine of $1and costs, and to remain in custody until paid.

The Queen vs. Andrew Burroughs.- Assault.
Andy was again indicted for an assault upon Patrick Cardigan, baggage man of the B. &  O.R., on the 9th Oct., at Perth station. The assault was clearly proved by several witnesses and the Jury, after a short absence, returned with a verdict of guilty. Sentence the same as in first case.
The fines and costs in the two cases amounted to about $75, and Andy, not being in funds, was consigned to the tombs.

Perth Courier 22 December 1871


These Courts opened on the 12th inst., before His Honour Judge Malloch. The following cases were disposed of:

THE QUEEN vs. BURROWS. - Defendant indicted for an assault an Patk. Sloan, an employee on the B. & O. Railway, at the Station, on the 2nd of October last. Verdict - guilty. Sentenced to pay a fine of one dollar and costs, and to remain in gaol until paid.

THE QUEEN vs. BURROWS. - Defendant indicted for an assault on Patk. Madigan, baggage-master on the B. & O. Railway, at the Perth Station, on the 9th of October last. Verdict guilty. Sentence same as above.

When these two cases were before the magistrate, Andy objected to their being disposed of summarily, and consequently they had to be sent up to the Sessions. Had they been disposed of by the magistrate, Andy would not have had to pay, probably. more than $10 or $12. As matters now stand, he will have to pay some $74 for costs, and to remain in gaol until paid. Andy conducted his own defence, and in pathetic appeals to the jury in each case not to render a verdict that would "casserate" him in prison, and thereby "lasserate" his "personal feelings." All was of no avail with the hard-hearted jurymen, however, and Andy, being unfortunately short of funds, is now boarding with Mr. Kellock at the public expense, where he has ample time to meditate on the uncertainty of mundane affairs.

[Since the foregoing was placed in type, we learn that a near relative of Andy's, pitying his "incasseration," and with a view to soothe the  "lasserated" feeling of a "champion of the dames," footed the amount of the fines and bills of costs above mentioned, and Andy once more inhales free air.]

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