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An Outrage in Whitechapel in 1885

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  • An Outrage in Whitechapel in 1885

    This is from The People of 25th October, 1885.

    There are a number of versions of the incident, all of which are somewhat reticent about the nature of girl’s injuries, but it’s obvious that it was very similar to the attack on Emma Smith.

    In the South Wales Echo version we are told, ‘The men first threw her to the ground, and then assaulted her with a stick in the manner described.’ She was seen by Dr Swyer (he of 68, Brick Lane) who, without being specific, spoke of the injuries being caused by a blunt instrument.

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  • #2
    Excellent find, Gary.....

    I wonder if this is the first instance of these two being involved with this sort of bestial behavior.
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    • #3
      Nina checked the criminal register and they received sentences of 18 months each.

      Another flimsy sentence for violence to women.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
        Excellent find, Gary.....

        I wonder if this is the first instance of these two being involved with this sort of bestial behavior.
        I can’t find anything else against them. Lewis/Louis was found guilty of indecent assault and received 18 months’ hard labour. Dr Swyer also at one time attended a woman whose husband had cut her throat. Although such extreme violence was fortunately rare, it did happen.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
          I can’t find anything else against them. Lewis/Louis was found guilty of indecent assault and received 18 months’ hard labour. Dr Swyer also at one time attended a woman whose husband had cut her throat. Although such extreme violence was fortunately rare, it did happen.
          Nina beat me to it.

          Yes, it beggars belief that such a disgusting crime should be so lightly punished.

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          • #6
            I remember coming across these reports many years ago when I was searching for Israel Schwartz.

            The three day trial got quite a bit of coverage across the country. The Pall Mall Gazette even suggesting the Home Secretary should look into the case. A familiar name in D.S. Enright was involved in the case.
            Thanks for your time,
            dusty miller

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dusty Miller View Post
              I remember coming across these reports many years ago when I was searching for Israel Schwartz.

              The three day trial got quite a bit of coverage across the country. The Pall Mall Gazette even suggesting the Home Secretary should look into the case. A familiar name in D.S. Enright was involved in the case.
              Yes, I was searching for info on Dr Swyer when I lighted on this affair. I think the assault took place in Backchurch Lane, which is a fair distance from Brick Lane. I wonder why Swyer was chosen?

              There are those who parcel up Smith and Tabram with the C5 because of the similarity of the attacks - wounds, locations, victims etc. I think that’s unwise.

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              • #8
                It’s curious that not only was Sarah Schwartz taken to see Dr Swyer, but Mary Keavy also visited him and apparently described the attack in detail, through an interpreter. Having gone through a form of marriage with a Jewish woman whose husband turned out to be still alive (surprise?), perhaps Swyer was trusted by some in the local Jewish community.

                As I say, although the newspapers were reluctant to describe the girl’s injuries in detail, its obvious the attack was of a similar nature to that on Emma Smith. The attack was described as an ‘outrage’; the men acted in a ‘shocking’ way towards the girl; a stick was used ‘in the manner described’; and Swyer found recent bloodstains on her underclothing.

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                • #9
                  Three days after the attack, Keavy approached Simon Geller, the girl’s previous landlord, and offered £3 to ‘square’ the girl. She refused, insisting on £10. The £10 was duly given to her by a man named ‘Scott’, who was clearly one of the attackers as he implored her, ‘Don’t bring me to prison.’

                  Nevertheless, Marks Rubenstein took Sarah to the Thames Court and applied for a warrant on her behalf. This was granted, the magistrate instructing Rubenstein to keep the girl at his residence.

                  Simon Geller was initially coerced by Keavy’s associates into lying to the defence counsel, and as a consequence he was supoenaed as a defence witness. However, when he appeared in court he changed his story.

                  Dr Swyer appeared to present his medical evidence and he also revealed what Mary Keavy has told him, which apparently corroborated the victim’s account.

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                  • #10
                    South Wales Echo (31/10/1885) 1.

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                    • #11
                      South Wales Echo 2.

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                      • #12
                        South Wales Echo 3.

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                        • #13
                          Good stuff! I hadn't seen these before.
                          Thanks for your time,
                          dusty miller

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                          • #14
                            Ditto to that....Good find, Gary...
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                            • #15
                              I think it’s the most detailed account of the incident I’ve come across. It’s not on FindMyPast/British Newspaper Archive, I found it here:

                              https://newspapers.library.wales/

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