Hen Escapade

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Date(s) occurred: 3 May 1894

Front entrance of Fredericton City Hall,13-14 April 1931. UA PC 16(1); no. 6.

Account of events: On May 3rd, 1894, the McGill University Glee and Banjo clubs performed at the Fredericton City Hall. Among the audience was the Hon. John James Fraser, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, representatives of the clergy and the state, several UNB professors, and members of the public. According to onlookers, UNB students sitting in the gallery concealed hens under their coats and toward the end of the performance threw the hens down into the audience below, forcing the performance to a halt. As an account from the Daily Gleaner on May 4th describes, "Some of the birds alighted upon ladies' bonnets, and, flapping their wings wildly and flying from one place to another, created great excitement and confusion."

The joke was denounced by the Daily Gleaner, the performance goers, and by the McGill University Glee and Banjo Clubs. An update on May 19th reported that "three of the hens were never returned to the person from whom they were appropriated," and that the S.P.C.A. was investigating the matter. The incident was never mentioned in the university student newspaper, The University Monthly, and none of the participants in the prank were named, nor was there any indication of a fine or penalty for the students involved.


  • UA Case 128; Section 2; File 1; "The Hen Escapade."

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