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  • Edward Stow
    I do wish you had told me of your Da Vinci Code prediction before I said it, not after.
    Quick - who will win the Ebor Handicap in York?
    They set offing half an hour - I was given a tip, Opinion. It's 11/2 - should put my house on it?

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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    Yes, I predicted that you would run the 'Da Vinci' code low blow to the gonads.

    In fact, you are late with that particular knee-to-the-groin.

    What I can't get across to you is that far from being a 'secret' Edwardians believed, because they were authoritatively informed, that the Ripper mystery was solved. Had been solved in 1888, which was a fib, but solved nonetheless.

    Macnaghten tried to be more frank about that solution in his 1913 comments and memoirs, fat lot of good it did him. His daughter tried to set things right in 1959, fat lot of good it did her father's rep.

    I have answered all of your questions, and many times published or pointed to the many Mac sources.

    I posted a huge amount from Palmer which went unanswered.

    It's up to you now.

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  • Edward Stow
    I wonder if you will also be able to write this one?
    I hope I avoid incriminating myself with it again.

    You seem to be back peddling from your earlier recommendation that Chapter 2 of the Days of my years was a window into Macnaghten’s soul?
    Do you have another written source for me to check out in its place?

    I also infer that you think he did play for Eton against Harrow?

    I presume you think he deliberately dropped misleading hints in the Preface as a sort of game he was playing at everyone’s expense. The Days of My Years is a cypher, rather like the Da Vinci Code, and can be unravelled. If we have the key (that you possess) we will be able to determine which bits are contrary and which bits are true.

    Incidentally who said Macnaghten had an elephantine memory – one of his sycophants?

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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    You know, Edward, I could have written your post myself as your, let's say, reductionist take on this topic is very predictable.

    You grasp just as little about Dr. Tumblety, Littlechild and Andrews.

    Everything you have written in the previous post is demonstrably wrong. But that's not a crime, is it? Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and yours is certainly lively.

    You're wrong because, and this is a common fallacy here by some, you do not compare this source with others by Mac, or by his proxies or about him.

    As with most secondary sources you have misunderstood the import of his preface, which is very brief--yet lo and behold the fiend appears. You have misunderstood it because decades of entrenched 'received wisdom' claims the opposite of what he is saying. You are in good company, however, as even Tom Cullen got this wrong.

    Mac uses 'enterprizing' the same as Anderson does, in his memoirs, about the reporter who hoaxed the Ripper letter (Tom Bulling) whom Mac claims to have identified in Chapter IV in June of 1890.

    eg. It was once claimed by an enterprizing, as in a deceitful reporter that ... but if the readers take the trouble to ...

    The tipped-off reader then arrives at Chapter IV and there in the very title, 'LAYING THE GHOST OF JACK THE RIPPER' , they find the truth, a truth which matches the primary sources between 1888 and 1891.

    Yes, he is saying, I was too late as the Ripper was long dead but at least I 'laid' his 'ghost' to rest, a phantom who haunted the Yard because until 'some years after' they, as in I, did not know he was deceased. But based on infomation received from 'his own people' a 'conclusion' could be reached from 'certain facts'. I, Mac, confirmed that this 'Simon Pure' was 'in all probability' the killer--though it could never be proved in a courtroom.

    It was not a complete failure.

    Of course Mac is being deceitful as he did claim at his 1913 retirement press conference that it was the disappointment of his life that he was too late to stop [the un-named] Druitt.

    Interestingly in 'Days of My Years' he writes about cricket and his school days but never mentions being excluded from the top team in a match against Harrow.

    The bit about errors of memory is another deception. Apart from having a memory like an Indian elephant, he was using two documents at his elbow to write his memoirs, 'Eton Memories' and the draft or rewrite of his 'Home Office Report', an act of documentation, furthermore, he never mentions in his chapter on the Ripper.

    It also acts as a pre-emptive excuse, eg. it means that if the Ripper did not kill himself on the 10th of Nov., well, maybe it was the 11th, or the 12th, or ...

    Macnaghten was an 'action man' (Griffiths, 1898) at Scotland Yard as he reinvented himself as a roving sleuth and retired admired and beloved.

    For example, he saved Adolf Beck and he helped catch Crippen.

    One of his greatest achievements, though one to be forever unsung on Jack the Ripper message boards, is he posthumously identified the Ripper and shared it with the public (albeit the specific identity was discreetly fictionalized). He wanted the 'better classes' to know that the killer was not a foreign Jew but 'one of us': a Gentile, Christian professional man (though not an Old Etonian, thank the Lord for small mercies).

    Jack the Ripper in the Edwardian Era was not a mystery. It was rebooted as an 'unsolved mystery' after Mac and Tatcho passed away in the early 20's.

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  • Edward Stow
    Macnaghten most certainly doesn’t suggest the enterprising journalist made it up.
    He uses the journalist as a device as if to say – ‘I’m not saying this, the journalist did’. It is faux modesty. Why include it in the preface if he did not share the viewpoint and how did the journalist come to that conclusion?

    The errors of memory bit is a standard ‘all the errors herein are mine’ opening remark that is found in many memoirs.

    Public school boy life was about tests of pluck and testing the boundaries. The better teachers understood this and encouraged it – hence the ‘don’t get caught’ mantra. However, it was a case of don’t get caught doing slightly naughty things. Such as coming out of a pub when everyone went in the pub and a blind eye was turned to it, and soon after the rule forbidding going in the pub was relaxed anyway.
    Going into the pub when strictly you were not supposed to showed puck. Getting caught and that being the reason the rule was soon after relaxed showed he tested the boundaries.

    Ethically this is light years away from what you suggested he got up to with the Druitt situation.

    I don’t see Macnaghten as an over grown school boy. He harped on about his school days in a rather sad way as he never reached his potential in adulthood. They were his happiest days as his later life was in fact tinged with failure and disappointment.
    He left school with nothing to do and ended up bumming around the family plantations in India for twelve years.
    Luckily he met Monro who put him forward for a very senior position at Scotland Yard that he had absolutely no qualification for. Very properly he as rejected, only for Monro to give him the job a while later. Totally unmerited and he must have inwardly known this.

    Even then his term at Scotland Yard was blighted by failure in the Ripper investigation.
    That is why he felt compelled to pretend he had solved it – single handed if posthumously. His background made him susceptible to the public school culprit. How could a common oik bamboozle the Yard?
    But it shouldn’t be a proper member of the public school class – better someone from only a ‘fairly good’ family.

    I don’t see Macnaghten as an action man – he didn’t make the first 11 at cricket. He didn’t like hunting wild animals in India. How was he an action man?

    While imbued with the public school ethos, Macnaghten was a weak man full of disappointment and nursing wounds at the slights he had endured.
    He made up for it with his ridiculous claims about Jack the Ripper, as being senior in the CID and failing to have a clue about the killers identity was more than his ego could take.
    But he couldn’t say it openly as that would invite ridicule from other officers so he indulged in hints and got his sycophantic nominees to test the water

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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    I appreciate that you have given it a go, but you have missed certain things.

    In the preface he claims that an 'enterprizing' reporter made it up about his two regrets. That's not true. But the point is that he is asking the readers to reject the mnotion that he was entirely too late to do have a go at the Ripper.

    He also tellingly juxtaposes championship cricket, the Ripper and errors of memory.

    Just a coincidence?

    What he says of Eton, that it was the happiest days of his entire life and he knew this as he was living them and this shows remarkable arrested development. It reads like the comic books of the day without the slightest adult reflection whatsoever.

    He also learns he says that getting caught is worse than the sin

    For me 'Old Mac' remained a boy-man perfectly willing to be the action man saviour-hero figure and also to be a rogue element within the Yard because he was an Old Etonian and they were not.

    His remraks about why he did not get on the Froce in 1888 is quite simply an outright lie. When he talks about Bloodhounds, much later on, he really gives it with both barrels to the un-named Warren.

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  • Edward Stow
    I have followed your instructions and read Chapter 2 in ‘The Days of My Years’ – which I confess I had not read before.
    But before I got to Chapter 2, I read the Preface and came across this passage:
    ‘I have had my like and dislikes, but, so far as I know, no enemies in the world…’
    I guess your take on this is that Anderson was excluded from this dictum?

    The Preface contains the well-known statement:
    ‘It was said once by an enterprising journalist that I only owned up to two disappointments, the first being that, although I played in several trial matches, I was turned out of the Eton Eleven before the Harrow match, and the second that I became a detective officer six months after the so-called “Jack the Ripper” committed suicide, and “never had a go at that fascinating individual”.’

    This self-serving passage is rather similar to the clever dick response to that facile job interview question:
    “What are your weaknesses?”
    The answer being:
    “I try too hard and work too hard”.

    Melville’s only regrets in life – we are to believe – were that he didn’t play in an inter school sports match and that Jack the Ripper eluded him but only because he died before he joined the police and, by the way, you heard it here first. So if you are browsing this book in a shop – pay your money and read on…

    Is Macnaghten telling the truth though?
    Chapter 3 details his years in India and includes an account of when he was knocked senseless by a mob of natives in 1881. This led to Macnaghten meeting James Monro. In 1884 Mono was made Assistant Commission of The Met, in charge of the CID. When Mcnaghten came back to Britain from India in 1888 Monro wanted to appoint Macnaghten as his no 2, as his CID Chief Constable.
    But Warren, the Commissioner, vetoed it. Reportedly because Macnaghten’s confidence and authority had been compromised due to the incident with the natives.
    Monro only managed to get Macnaghten in place in June 1889, and then only as Assistant Chief Constable.
    Are we to believe that this whole episode was not a bigger disappointment to Macnaghten than not being selected to play for Eton against Harrow?

    How does Macnaghten in his memoirs deal with his 1888 rejection by Warren as the CID Chief Constable?
    ‘Four years later, on my return from India, he (Monro) asked me if I was prepared to take up work as his Assistant Chief Constable at Scotland Yard. Flattering though the proposal was, I was not in a position to accept it at the moment, as family work and private interests claimed my whole attention...’
    What do you make of that?

    Anyway Chapter 2 and Eton.
    Macnaghten’s portrayal of his time there is a veritable caricature of Victorian public school life. Every boy, when asked if he had committed some transgression, would readily admitted it. They did not lie to get out of trouble. There is the sense of duty as illustrated by the tale of ‘Peter Wilks’ who drowned to save another soldier in the Transvaal.

    The Eton motto was ‘Floreat Etona’ (Let Eton Flouish) and it was immortalised by Lady Butler’s 1898 painting of the same name. This painting commemorates the death of old Etonian Robert Elwes who fell fighting for the Empire at the battle of Laing’s Nek in the First Boer War of 1881. Elwes died in a suicidal attack that was characterised by the troops stoicly carrying out ridiculous and unimaginative orders. No matter what the consequences. No shirking of responsibilities.

    That was the ethos that Macnaghten tried to conform to.

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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    Thanks Roy

    To Edward Stow

    You don't know Macnaghten at all, at least not as he exists in the surviving records by him, about him and by his proxies.

    You are relying on cliches about the Victorian upper class, whereas a depper readoing of the sources shows that Macnaghten's machinations from 1891 to 1914 (and maybe 1921) make perfect sense with how he understood 'playing the game'.

    I recommend you read Chapter II of his memoirs, they are available online, and I believe that you will see what I mean.

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  • Edward Stow
    By killing himself, Druitt actually conformed to that ethos and the social order that in life he could not

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  • Edward Stow
    I wasn't in the least bit stressed or irate.

    The main failing here is that you propose that Macnaghten engaged in a deceitful game of shadow boxing to hide or protect the family of the perpetrator of the worse and most notorious series of murders then known in these shores - and (but this makes less sense as he could have publicised the solution unless protecting the fairly good family was his overriding aim) to protect Scotland Yard's rep - but this flies in the face of the patrician pro consular ethos that Macnaghten was born into.
    The blind rule of law by which we ruled India for example - a cover up such as you suggest runs counter to everything his family will have taught him and everything he will have learnt at Eton - play up, play the game.
    To protect someone who was clearly not quite the thing and who was refused election to the Oxford Union? Never!

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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    Thanks Roy

    and you absolutely right.

    Ther is no absolute solution from fornesics, or whatever.

    Macnaghten's solution can only ever be a provsional one, and he and they could have been mistaken.

    A ghastly mistake, mind you, if they were wrong.

    Therefore other solutions are possible, depending on the merits of the argument based on the same scraps.

    I think the Tumblety argument is very strong because he was actually a police suspect whilst alive in 1888, Macnaghten certainly never committed his name to any file of his making, and yet the flamboyant American arguably shadows the Mac sources (and his proxy Sims) of the 1900's.

    I think the Anderson-Swanson-Kosminski argument is very weak because other primary sources of the day elbow it to one side.

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  • Roy Corduroy
    Originally posted by Jonathan Hainsworth View Post
    My theory has nothing to do with so-called 'Ripperology'.

    It is based on the premise that there is no a mystery and has not been one since 1891, and this solution was broadly, though partly ficitiously shared with the public from 1898 and then confirmed by the police sleuth who solved the case--really it weas handed to him--
    Well no, there is and has always been a Ripperology because whatever was handed to Melville Macnaghten has not made its way to us. Not like the carpet fibers and dog hairs from Wayne Williams mama's house. On the other hand, when the proposed criminal perpetrator is deceased, things get all free willy.

    But I do think, Jonathan, that you do a good job enunciating this particular avenue of inquiry. A fresh approach that goes back to the beginning.


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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    You're so irate. Take a stress pill and calm down.

    My theory has nothing to do with so-called 'Ripperology'.

    It is based on the premise that there is no a mystery and has not been one since 1891, and this solution was broadly, though partly ficitiously shared with the public from 1898 and then confirmed by the police sleuth who solved the case--really it weas handed to him--in 1913 and 1914.

    But by then the 'doctor' element, the ficitious bit, was already ascendant, while the tormented-suicide element was rapidly fading.

    Then in 1923 William Le Queux created 'Ripperology'; the police were clueless but I have solved it.

    Why didn't Macnaghten share his solution with the Met?

    Let's think that one through, shall we.

    The moment you tell anybody at the Home Office or the Met it will leak, and the Druitts will be exposed and so will the Yard at not having known about his indentity for years.

    Sure he pout it on file when he feared the house of cards was going to collpase due to Cutbush but it didn't and he mothballed his own Report. It lay there for insurance purposes.

    I think that in 1895 Mac shared with Anderson the Druitt solutuon, impenetrably veiled by 'Kosminski', and sure enough his boss started telling people right away.

    He did not want the Vicar to tell the whole truth because it would humiliate the Yard. He used Sims to quash the Vicar about the police being just about to arrest the fiend, who had no time to confess anything to anybody--which in real life he did.

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  • Edward Stow
    I'm glad I didn't commit a criminal offence just then - although I am aware that some people think that critiquing a rival theory is an offence against 'Ripperoloogy'!

    You haven't come near making a case that anything I Said was wrong apart from Macnaghten not being an old man in 1898 - and I will concede that to you.

    Why didn't he just let the vicar say everything in full and then just add details in a knowing manner?
    If he wanted to protect the rep of the Met why did he kept it secret from his colleagues that he had solved the most notorious case in the Met's history?

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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    Everything you have written is wrong, which is not a crime.

    1. Mac was not old in 1898, when he started his anonymous propaganda campaign.

    2. He had to do it to head off the Vicar of 1899, then relaxed in the 1900's and combined both tales.

    3. The rep of the Yard might not have been enhanced and so it was dressed up as about to arrest him but he killed himself.

    That's what Macnaghten chose to do, rightly or wrongly.

    4. Nobody else knew about Druitt at the Met, or the Home Office. (Anderson knew of him refracted via Aaron Kosminski: eg. a madman believed by his own people, and safely dead soon after Kelly.)

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