Murder of F. C. Benwell, The [Laws E26]
DESCRIPTION: J. R. Birchell is condemned to die for murdering F. C. Benwell. He had tried to pretend innocence in the trial; the attempt failed. His wife bids him farewell, and he is hanged
EARLIEST DATE: 1918
KEYWORDS: homicide execution
Feb 17, 1890 - John Reginald Birchall kills Frederick C Benwell "in the Blenheim swamp in southwestern Ontario." (source: Fowke-Ontario and _The Canadian Encyclopedia_)
Nov 14, 1890 - John Reginald Birchall is tried and hanged for the murder. (source: _The Canadian Encyclopedia_, "Birchall, John Reginald")
FOUND IN: US(MW,Ro) Canada(Ont)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Laws E26, "The Murder of F. C. Benwell"
Fowke-Ontario 50, "John R. Birchall" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 65, pp. 148-149, "The Death of Bendall" (1 text, joined with "Charles Guiteau")
Burt, p. 228-229, "(J. R. Birchell)" (1 text)
Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 135-136, "The Murder of F. C. Benwell" (1 text)
DT 732, MURBENW*
Lamont Tilden, "The Murder of F. C. Benwell" (on Ontario1)
cf. "Charles Guiteau" [Laws E11] (tune & meter) and references there
NOTES: According to Spaeth, "J. R. Birchell killed F. C. Benwell in the swamps near Blenheim, Ontario, and then wrote the account of his own execution...." As, however, no date is offered, and the same story is told about every "Charles Guiteau" variant, the reader is advised to take this with a grain of salt.
This is not to deny that the event is historical. Fowke-Ontario, p. 189, calls this "the most famous murder case in Ontario's history." She also declares the song "remarkably accurate" (p. 190). - RBW
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