Black Donnellys


The "Black" Donnellys were an Irish Catholic immigrant family who settled in Biddulph township, Upper Canada, about 15 km northwest of London, in the 1840s. The family settled on a concession road which became known as the Roman Line due to its high concentration of Irish Catholic immigrants in the predominantly Protestant area. Many Irish Canadians arrived in the 1800s, many fleeing the Great Famine of Ireland (1845-52). The Donnellys' ongoing feuds with local residents culminated in an attack on the family's homestead by a vigilante mob on 4 February 1880, leaving five of the family dead and their farm burned to the ground. No one was convicted of the murders, despite two trials and a reliable eyewitness.
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