Nothing Says Family Quite Like a Subpoena

Criminal Subpoena

Above is a copy of the subpoena ordering Eleanor Bryan, her son Arthur, and her son-in-law William Skippen to appear in court in Sault Ste. Marie. Although the subpoena appears to suggest that all three would be required to testify, only one of them actually does, and in doing so, Arthur Bryan gives some of the most damning testimony of the trial.

It's not clear why Eleanor Bryan and William Skippen are named in subpoena since they were not actually called upon to testify and William Skippen would have had no direct knowledge of the murder, but considering that Arthur Bryan was just eight-years-old at the time of the trial, one possible reason could be that his mother and William Skippen (who would have been the head of the household where Eleanor and Arthur were living following the murders) were named in the subpoena so that they would be present as the boy's legal guardians.

Based on the real-life 1877 killings of William and Charles Bryan by their neighbours, The Haweaters brings to life some of Manitoulin’s earliest European settlers as they struggle against nature, poverty, and each other in a collective quest to leave their dubious pasts behind them and attain prosperity in this rugged wilderness community. Learn more.