Marion Brown

Prominent Events

Murder of Toohey

June 24, 1898

Grand Trunk Railway guard, James Ross, is assaulted by a one-legged tramp and Constable Michael Toohey is shot and killed in the attempt to apprehend the perpetrator

Mass Arrests

June 26, 1898 - September 24, 1898

Chief Williams of the London Police Force instructs officers to arrest every tramp in the county matching the description of the suspect

$500 Reward

June 29, 1898

A $500 reward is offered for the capture and delivery of the suspect to any police station in Ontario

Spreading the Word

July 1, 1898 - July 30, 1898

A description of the suspect is dispatched to every town and village with a population greater than 150 in Canada and the United States

Marion "Peg-leg" Brown is Arrested

September 24, 1898

United States Marshall A. L. Dilley arrests Marion "Peg-leg" Brown in a theatre in Washington State

Return of Brown to London

October 15, 1898

Brown has been extradited to London. A large crowd eagerly awaits the arrival of the notorious suspect.

Is Justice Possible?

November 4, 1898

Brown's first preliminary hearing is held before a crowd of 400 spectators. Brown insists that the trial will not be fair and impartial as the public is prejudiced against him.

Trial Postponed

November 28, 1898

At the request of the defence, Brown's trial is postponed to allow time to prepare their case

Trial Concludes

March 28, 1899

Defence attorney, McPhillips concludes his defence by stating that the wrong man is on trial and that none of the ninety witnesses could "show positively that the man who fired the shot at Toohey was Brown."


March 29, 1899

Brown is found guilty in the murder of Constable Toohey. His is sentenced to hang.

A Last Chance

April 1, 1899 - April 30, 1899

Defence attorney Mr. McPhillips circulates a petition which receives the signatures of over forty lawyers demanding a retrial for the condemned man

The Hanging

May 17, 1899

Marion "Peg-leg" Brown is hanged in front of a select crowd in the closed off yard of the jailhouse