1833 Snow, John 1833

PorchlightCanada
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1:55 AM - Mar 25, 2012 #1

Historical Society To Examine Last Hanging Case
Saturday , March 24 2012

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A very cold case will be reopened next week as the province's Historical Society re-examines the murder trial of Catherine Snow, the last woman executed in Newfoundland.

The case has fascinated historians for decades. In 1833, Catherine Snow of Bay Roberts was tried along with Tobias Mandeville and Arthur Spring in connection with the murder of Snow's husband, John. He had gone missing in August, which led to an inquiry that discovered dried blood on his fishing stage. It was determined that Snow had been shot, but his body was never recovered. No direct evidence linking Catherine Snow to the murder was ever presented in court, but she was found guilty and sentenced to hang along with her co-conspirators. Her execution was delayed because she was pregnant at the time with her eight child.

The case garnered a great deal of public sympathy for Snow, and her hanging, outside the courthouse on Duckworth Street, drew a huge crowd. Her final words were: "I was a wretched woman, but I am as innocent of any participation in the crime of murder as an unborn child."

A panel including Supreme Court Justices Carl Thompson and Seamus O'Regan, along with defence lawyer Rosellen Sullivan will examine how the case was conducted nearly 200 years ago, and discuss how it would be handled today. The event will take place Thursday, March 29th at 8 p.m. in Hampton Hall at the Marine Institute.
http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?mn=2&id=21823&latest=1
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2:00 AM - Mar 25, 2012 #3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Mandeville_Snow
Catherine Mandeville Snow, (c. 1793 – July 21, 1834) was the last woman hanged in Newfoundland, Canada.

Born Harbour Grace, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, Snow as a young woman moved to Salmon Cove near Port de Grave where she took up residence with one John William Snow, a native of Bareneed. Together they parented seven children, and married on October 30, 1828. Their marriage was unhappy, and there were frequent fights. According to reports, Catherine would fight back and throw things at him. On the night of August 31, 1833, John Snow disappeared, and neighbours wondered quietly and then loudly if he had been murdered. Magistrate Robert Pinsent launched an investigation, and the general suspicion was confirmed when dried blood was discovered on John Snow's fishing stage.

Catherine and her first cousin Tobias Mandeville were implicated in the murder, along with Arthur Springer, one of Snow's indentured servants. Catherine ran away to the woods, but eventually turned herself in to the courthouse at Harbour Grace. According to the confession, John Snow was shot while going from his boat to the stagehead, but his body was never found. The trial took place at St. John's on January 10, 1834, and despite their confessions, all had pleaded not guilty. Snow and Mandeville were represented by George Henry Emerson, while Springer's lawyer was Bryan Robinson. The attorney general told the all-male jury, I can't prove which one fired the shot, both were present for the murder. As to Catherine Snow, there is no direct or positive evidence of her guilt. But I have a chain of circumstantial evidence to prove her guilty.

During their trial it was discovered that Snow was pregnant with her eighth child. Nevertheless, the jury returned a guilty verdict in thirty minutes and on January 31, 1834, both Arthur Springer and Tobias Mandeville were hanged. Many in Newfoundland were determined that Snow not meet the same fate. Bishop Michael Fleming made Snow a cause célèbre. The governor, Thomas John Cochrane delayed her hanging until the baby was born.

On July 21, 1834, as crowds gathered on Duckworth Street, Snow walked out on the platform. Her last words were,

I was a wretched woman, but I am as innocent of any participation in the crime of murder as an unborn child.

According to the Public Ledger, The unhappy woman, after a few brief struggles, passed into another world.
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12:18 AM - Apr 01, 2012 #6

A case that has fascinated historians for almost two-hundred years was reopened for re-examination last night in St. John's. A panel including Supreme Court Justices Seamus O'Regan and Carl Thompson, along with defence lawyer Rosellen Sullivan, examined how the murder case of Catherine Snow was conducted in 1833.



Snow was tried along with Tobias Mandeville and Arthur Spring in connection with the murder of Snow's husband, John, who had gone missing, leading to an inquiry that discovered dried blood on his fishing stage. It was determined that John Snow had been murdered, although his body was never recovered. Catherine Snow was found guilty and sentenced to hang along with her co-conspirators. She was pregnant at the time of sentencing and was allowed to give birth to her son and nurse him, before her sentence was carried out.



Last night an audience of 460, who also served as the jury, listened intently as the evidence was explored. No direct evidence linking Catherine Snow to the murder was ever presented in court. The jury spoke, with the final verdict 'not guilty,' Catherine Snow is an innocent woman. Snow was the last woman to be executed in Newfoundland.
http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?mn=2&id=22018&latest=1
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