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Dr. Julius Jacobsen, Police Court interpreter

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  • Dr. Julius Jacobsen, Police Court interpreter

    I am wondering if anyone knows anything about Dr. Julius Jacobsen, police court interpreter in Hull 1859-82.


    A native of Denmark, he was educated as a tailor but wanted to go abroad to learn foreign tongues. This he did, being employed in Hull as interpreter, apparently interpreting at least Danish, German, Polish and Italian.


    If Charles Grande did not speak English during his trial in Hull, Jacobsen would have been the translator.



    I believe it was somewhat progressive for the police to employ an interpreter at such an early stage, but of course Hull was a very international place with a teeming port.


    Jacobsen received several commendations during his tenure, both from private organisations and from the court system.


    He is always referred to as Dr., although most articles I've seen notes that he was selfeducated. He is considered a pleasant, kind fellow.


    He wrote a book called The Revelations of a Police Court Interpreter, 1866, which can be read online here. It's full of fanciful stories of foreigners getting into trouble in the UK. It has some interesting insights into how international the society was, and how many scam artists and petty schemers plied their trades.


    He was the father of Julius Leigh Jacobsen, considered a chess prodigy who beat Bird at an early age, and later became chess champion of Australiasia.


    I've found minor references to him, such as a reference to his appointment letter, but I'm wondering if anyone has any more info?


    He would certainly have known Christian Neilson (Charles Grande's presumed alter ego convicted in Hull).

  • #2
    Kattrup:

    I sent a message to Mike Covell, local Hull historian, who might be able to help out.
    I'll let you know if he gets back to me.
    To Join JTR Forums :
    Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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    • #3
      Thank you Howard.

      It seems he was born ca. 1818 and is said to go to Hull in 1840.

      His father was Aron Jacobs, a Prussian Jew who settled in Aalborg and had a number of children who went on to become very successful.

      They adopted the danish Jacobsen surname probably around 1830.

      In 1869 he is presented with a gold watch as thanks for his service. He is said to speak six of the seven major languages.

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      • #4
        Mike Covell has this to say, Kattrup :

        He was mentioned a lot in the Hull Watch Files, which was the group that was run by Hull Corporation and used to oversee the police. He appeared in the Hull Newspapers on a couple of occasions too.

        Maybe a look in those Hull papers would be fruitful, Katt.
        To Join JTR Forums :
        Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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        • #5
          In the censuses, he was in St George in the East in 1851, and thereafter in Hull until his death in 1882. Kattrup, do you have his obit from the "Hull Packet"?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
            Mike Covell has this to say, Kattrup :

            He was mentioned a lot in the Hull Watch Files, which was the group that was run by Hull Corporation and used to oversea the police. He appeared in the Hull Newspapers on a couple of occasions too.

            Maybe a look in those Hull papers would be fruitful, Katt.
            Thank you Mike and Howard, Iíll see what I can find

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
              In the censuses, he was in St George in the East in 1851, and thereafter in Hull until his death in 1882. Kattrup, do you have his obit from the "Hull Packet"?
              Thank you Robert - I donít have it, so far I assumed that he died 1882, since he stopped at the police court that year, but I havenít seen any mention of his death.

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              • #8
                Here you go, Kattrup :


                HULL PACKET, 10th Nov 1882
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Hi Kattrup.


                  A good place to try would be Hull History Centre.


                  http://www.hullhistorycentre.org.uk/home.aspx


                  Also I live in Hull so if I can help with any look ups, please let me know.


                  Rgds
                  John

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                    Here you go, Kattrup :


                    HULL PACKET, 10th Nov 1882

                    Thank you, Robert. That places his year of birth ~1823.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John Savage View Post
                      Hi Kattrup.


                      A good place to try would be Hull History Centre.


                      http://www.hullhistorycentre.org.uk/home.aspx


                      Also I live in Hull so if I can help with any look ups, please let me know.


                      Rgds
                      John
                      Thank you, John. While Julius Jacobsen seems an interesting character, he only really touches upon the world of Ripperology because he interpreted for Charles Grande when he was (allegedly) convicted in Hull in 1876.




                      Justin Clement posted a snippet from the Hull Packet and East Riding Times, January 14, 1876 which mentions the conviction of Christian Nielson: "Dr. Jacobsen interpreted".


                      It would be interesting to know more about the case, i.e. the actual case files from the court, if they exist.


                      I searched in Hull History Centre catalogue, but am unable to find much about the police court. Perhaps its papers have not survived.

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                      • #12
                        In an item from 1871 Jacobsen lists his languages as German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

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                        • #13
                          Hi Kattrup,


                          I'll have a dig around a few places and see if I can find anything locally.


                          Will post here if I find anything.


                          Rgds
                          John

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                            Thank you, John. While Julius Jacobsen seems an interesting character, he only really touches upon the world of Ripperology because he interpreted for Charles Grande when he was (allegedly) convicted in Hull in 1876.




                            Justin Clement posted a snippet from the Hull Packet and East Riding Times, January 14, 1876 which mentions the conviction of Christian Nielson: "Dr. Jacobsen interpreted".


                            It would be interesting to know more about the case, i.e. the actual case files from the court, if they exist.


                            I searched in Hull History Centre catalogue, but am unable to find much about the police court. Perhaps its papers have not survived.

                            This is the calendar entry for the 1876 knife stealing incident if it helps locate any documents:

                            Christien Neilson, age 22, engineer, committing magistrate A. Bannister and H.S. Smith Esq., received in to custody 25 Jan 1876 charged with stealing two pocket knives the property of Juliana Perrin on 6 Jan 1876 also stealing 7 razors the property of Elizabeth Townsend on 6 Jan 1876, Tried 6 April 1876, guilty of stealing knives, sentenced to hard labour 4 months. Kingston-Upon-Hull

                            The 1877 Marylebone court conviction that resulted in a 7 year sentence being given indicates that his 1876 conviction in Hull was under the name Briscona.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks, John and Debra



                              I do hope there's something that might give more of a clue as to his origins. Briscona/Brisconey is unlike any Danish name I can think of. Brisgaard exists, but is not realy close. Whereas Christian Nielsen is far too common to find anything.

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