Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Felton Strudwicke [Strudwick] Chapman (1864-1936)

Educator, physician, abortionist.

Born at Cape Town, South Africa on 6 February 1864, son of master mariner and nautical engineer Captain C. Chapman (?-?), he came to Canada in 1883 and arrived in Manitoba that same year, teaching at Clegg School (1883). In 1886, he obtained a special teaching certificate prior to attending the Winnipeg Normal School, where he earned a first class professional certificate (1887) and a collegiate certificate (1888). He obtained a BA degree by 1890. He was teacher (1887-1889) and Principal (1888-1889) of Selkirk School, followed by tenure as Principal of Birtle School (1890-1891). In between school placements, he offered private tutoring in Winnipeg and he saved up for enrollment at the Manitoba Medical College, from which he subsequently graduated (1895). While attending college, he married Lily Rosalind Imlach (1874-1903, daughter of Henry Imlach) on 2 August 1894 at her father’s residence at 175 Hargrave Street. They had a son, Felton Charles Chapman (1896-?).

Following graduation, he joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba in January 1896 and opened a medical practice in Winnipeg, initially maintaining an office at 384 Notre Dame Avenue (1896-?). He later lived and had an office at the Stobart Block (1911), 579 Broadway (1912), and Steele Block (c1913-1921).

During his 25-year medical career, he twice faced the criminal justice system, in both instances being represented by Robert Andrew Bonnar. His first encounter was during the Summer Assizes of 1908 in front of Justice David Marr Walker, facing a charge of unlawfully using instruments with intent to procure the miscarriage of Florence May Graham. Found not guilty of the abortion, he faced a similar yet more serious case 13 years later.

Following the 2 February 1921 death of Susan Elizabeth Allan Lamond (1895-1921, wife of Hugh Russell Lamond), who Chapman had attended prior to her death, an inquest was held by Coroner Benjamin James McConnell at the Central Police Station. Chapman was arrested and the matter was referred by Police Court Magistrate Hugh John Macdonald to the Court of King’s Bench. He was tried by jury in a proceeding before Justice Daniel Alexander Macdonald. The charges comprised one count of murder and four counts of using instruments, and additional means unknown to the deceased, with intent to render a miscarriage.

In April 1921, the jury returned all five counts as guilty. Convicted a month later on two lesser charges of manslaughter and pressuring Lamond for an abortion, Chapman was sentenced to five years in the Manitoba Penitentiary. While jailed, his medical license was revoked by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and he was struck from its registry on 4 October 1922. Evidence suggests he gained an early release from jail as, by November 1924, he had returned to Winnipeg. He resumed a reduced medical career offering technical services including x-rays, blood diagnostics, and electro-therapy from his office at the Steele Block (1924-c1930) and 276 Carlton Street (c1930-1933).

He retired to British Columbia around 1934 and died at Vancouver on 25 January 1936 with burial in the Mountain View Cemetery.

Sources:

1901 and 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.

1921 and 1926 Canada censuses, Library and Archives Canada.

Birth [Susan Allan & Felton Charles Chapman], marriage [Susan Allan & Hugh Russell Lamond], and death [Lily Rosalind Chapman & Susan Elizabeth Lamond] registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Morning edition local [F. S. Chapman, of Winnipeg ...],” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 30 May 1894, page 8.

“Married [Chapman - Imlach],” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 3 August 1894, page 7.

“Heavy August death rate,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 31 August 1894, page 1.

“Medical examinations [Final],” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 25 March 1895, page 4.

“More Doctors made [Final Year - C.M.],” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 17 April 1895, page 7.

“Business cards [F. S. Chapman - MD, CM, MCP&S],” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 1 April 1896, page 7.

“The new teachers,” Brandon Sun, 2 September 1886, page 1.

“Teachers exams,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 6 July 1887, page 4.

“City and country [Mr. F. S. Chapman ...],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 2 November 1887 page 4.

“Manitoba matters,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 16 May 1888, page 3.

“Board of Education,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 7 September 1888, page 4.

“Professional - private tuition,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 22 January 1890, page 1.

“People in paragraphs,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 1 September 1890, page 8.

“Private tuition,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 15 October 1890, page 1.

“Private tuition,” Manitoba Daily Free Press,, 29 October 1890, page 2.

“Martin's school policy,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 15 December 1890, page 5.

“Birtle,” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 31 March 1891, page 5.

“At the city hotels [Brunswick Hotel],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 21 July 1891, page 8.

“Mrs. F. S. Chapman passed away,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 6 July 1903, page 2.

Obituary [Mrs. F. S. Chapman], Manitoba Daily Free Press, 8 July 1903, page 8.

Obituary [The obsequies of the late Mrs. Chapman ...],” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 8 July 1903, page 2.

“Doctor in trouble,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 April 1908, page 16.

“City and general [The first court to bne held in the new central police station ...],” Manitoba Free Press, 22 April 1908, page 16.

“Assizes open on June 23,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 May 1908, page 1.

“Chapman case in progress,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 July 1908, page 7.

“Is honorably acquitted,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 July 1908, page 4.

“To introduce old invention,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 February 1914, page 14.

“Physicians and surgeons [Dr. Felton S. Chapman],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 31 January 1921, page 21.

“Lamond inquest opened,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 February 1921, page 20.

“Nurse denounced by coroner at inquest,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 February 1921, page 3.

“Doctor held for murder,” Manitoba Free Press, 11 February 1921, page 1.

“Physician arrested on charge of murder,” Manitoba Free Press, 11 February 1921, page 2.

“City and district [Comments on murder charge],” Manitoba Free Press, 17 February 1921, page 37.

“Doctors will testify in manslaughter case,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 April 1921, page 8.

“Medical testimony heard,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 April 1921, page 9.

“Expect verdict today,” Manitoba Free Press, 13 April 1921, page 7.

“Dr. Chapman convicted,” Manitoba Free Press, 14 April 1921, page 2.

“Auction sale of the complete contents of Dr. Chapman's suite and office,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 June 1921, page 2.

“X-Ray exams,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 November 1924, page 23.

“Dr. F. S. Chapman,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 February 1925, page 34.

Summative half-yearly returns for school districts (A 0051), GR0571, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg criminal registers (A 0107), #2366 in Register 3 - Queen’s Bench, GR3636, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg criminal files (ATG 0007A), #2/1074 - King vs. Felton S. Chapman, GR0273, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg criminal files (ATG 0007A), #3/2366 - King vs. Felton S. Chapman, GR0180, Archives of Manitoba.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

We thanks the College of Physicians and Surgeons for providing additional details used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 19 November 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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