294: The Quakers and The Killers: The Murder of Peter Lazier

Episode 294: On the evening of December 21, 1883, near Bloomfield, Ontario, visitor Peter Lazier was murdered by two intruders at the farmhouse of Quakers Gilbert and Margaret Jones. The community, deeply affected, quickly organized a search. They traced footprints in the snow, leading to Joseph Thomset and the Lowder family’s homes near West Lake. By the next day, Joseph Thomset and brothers David and George Lowder were arrested and charged with murder.

The legal process moved rapidly. The coroner’s inquest began the next day, followed by formal proceedings within a week. The trial, held at the Prince Edward County Courthouse in Picton just five months later, suggested the motive was robbery, aimed at stealing the $555 Gilbert Jones earned from selling hops. George Lowder and Joseph Thomset were found guilty of murder and hanged in June of 1884. Many felt justice was served, but others believed the law got it wrong, acting hastily without sufficient evidence.


Prince Edward County

The Canadian Encyclopedia | Quakers

The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884 — Robert J. Sharpe

The Kingston Whig-Standard 24 Dec 1883, page 2

Ottawa Daily Citizen 24 Dec 1883, page 1

Manitoba Weekly Free Press 15 May 1884, page 2

The Lazier murder trial of 1884 – did they get the right men?

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