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Ancaster Bloody Assize Bicentennial

Saturday, July 19, 2014 & Sunday, July 20, 2014

On the 200th anniversary of the Bloody Assize trial, we acknowledged the 19 men and their families whose lives were changed by the 1814 Treason Trials in Ancaster. Descendants of some of these men were at the event.  We learned about the events that took place in 1814 when eight local men were sentenced to hang at Burlington Heights for high treason. Historical re-enactors were on hand, dressed in the clothing styles of both military and civilians of the time. Visitors were encouraged to visit in period fashion as well. Please see below for weekend event highlights:

Saturday, July 19:

Exhibit: Noose, Knife and Fire: The Bloody Assize

Click for full-size image of Fieldcote - Bloody AssizeDiscover Ancaster’s experience during the War of 1812 in this exhibit which focuses on the Bloody Assize trial and resulting disruption to local farmers and the divided loyalties revealed.

Hangmans RepriseZooid Aerial Theatre performs: The Hangman’s Reprise

It’s July,1814 and eight local men are sentenced to hang at Burlington Heights for the crime of high treason. As the curious onlookers gather on hanging day, a travelling side-show arrives to entertain the crowd and maybe make a buck! This was a unique cabaret experience on the grounds of Fieldcote as we used circus, music and theatre to interpret this fascinating chapter in Canadian history. Was justice done or did innocent men die? You decide.

Sunday, July 20:

Film Screening: Shipwrecked on a Great Lake

The new film tells the story of the sinking of the Hamilton and the Scourge, two American 1812 warships now shipwrecked under 100 meters of water in Lake Ontario. The film tells the story of the maritime disaster from the viewpoint of one of the few survivors through vivid and harrowing re-enactments.

Shipwrecked on a Great Lake – Trailer from Peter Rowe on Vimeo.


Acknowledgement Ceremony & Plaque Unveiling

The nineteen men and their families whose lives were changed by the 1814 Treason Trials in Ancaster were acknowledged during a plaque unveiling ceremony. A plaque observing the fate of the eight men who were executed on July 20, 1814 was also unveiled. This plaque will later be installed on the grounds of Burlington Heights (now home to Dundurn Castle) where the execution took place.

Music at Fieldcote presents 1812 Overture with Boris Brott Orchestra

The internationally-recognized conductor Boris Brott led this Music at Fieldcote performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Bloody Assizes and Beethoven’s Wellington March. The concert was preceded by a short play entitled “Eliza’s Journey” presented by the Binbrook Little Theatre.

Boris Brott

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