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  • #76
    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


    • #77
      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.


      • #78
        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?


        • #79
          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.


          • #80
            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?


            • #81
              Most disappointing Jonathan.
              Where was your prediction?
              You're not sulking over your crushed gonads I hope?
              Luckily I kept my Nelson Eddies in my Sky Rocket.
              Opinion didn't get a good start and never made up the ground.


              • #82
                Based on the discovery of a new primary source from 1897 I believe that I was wrong to think that Sims was excluded by Macnaghten from the truth about 'Dr. Druitt'.

                In fact Sims did know it was a deliberate disguise, and was likely in on the ruse.

                It had always bothered me that Sims seemed particularly gullible in the 1900's when he was so sharp about the clueless constabulary in 1888 and 1891.

                It also seemed impossible that he could miss that Macnaghten, in his memoirs, had pulled the rug out from under his pal about the police close to arresting the 'Mad English Doctor'.

                The new source recently discovered by Chris Phillips, 'Anderson's Fairy Tales' by Sims, 1910, also shows cognition on the writer's part that there was more than one version of the so-called 'Home Office Report' and that. in the 'final' one for file, the trio of suspects are in equipoise as to their likelihood of being Jack.


                • #83
                  What is the 1897 article please Jonathon?


                  • #84
                    Dear Nemo

                    It's not electronic, so give me a chance to scan it.


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Jonathan Hainsworth
                      'Pearson's Weekly' , July 24th 1915

                      From an article by George Sims

                      'I was able...

                      ...There was no question of the insanity of revenge upon a certain class of women as there was in the case of the mad doctor who lived with his people at Blackheath and who, during his occasional absences from home, committed the crimes which won him world-wide infamy as 'Jack the Ripper'...'

                      Any mature graduate of the Valentine school who read this article could think, well, what a coincidence--Jack the Ripper lived in Blackheath where I went to school. He was a bit of a recluse, being judged 'mad', but was noticeably absent on the nights of the murders by the people he lived with, presumably his family.

                      You know, I had a sporty, young teacher at that school in 1888 and he went AWOL and it turned out he had killed himself--and he was judged insane too.

                      Of course that's where the coincidence ends, as Mr. Druitt lived with us at the school and was a barrister who 'absented' himself only once, poor man...

                      ...And finally 'Blackheath' the only time known in the extant record that Sims so baldly wrote the actual suburb in which the fiend resided (he had alluded to a 'suburb six miles' from Whitechapel in his 1907 article).

                      If you were a Valentine graduate and you were familiar with several of Sims/Dagonet's writings on the Ripper you would have been struck by yet another coincidence: the fiend lived in the same suburb and, of course, drowned himself in the Thames.

                      But the differences would have outweighed the similarities to Mr. Druitt and his inexplicable and untimely death in 1888.

                      Apart from having a different vocation, and age, Mr Druitt lived at the school as a lodger and he killed himself in early Dec. not early Nov. 1888.

                      It baffles me that so many people actually believe that this obvious shielding of, for example, the grown-up graduates of the Blackheath school must be ... just a happy and convenient side-effect for all concerned due to a police chief's terrible memory, a memory otherwise lauded for its voluminous accuracy (and a police chief who regarded his own school days as the happiest of his entire life).

                      Just a coincidence ...?
                      Hi Jonathan,

                      You seem to be saying here that Druitt's former pupils would have remembered only the one absence, when he left the school for good, and would therefore not have associated their master with anyone who had 'occasional absences from home' which coincided with, or at least included the murder nights. This of course assumes that none of his pupils were ever aware of any such absences, otherwise the similarities would surely have outweighed the differences to the tune of one rather large Indian elephant in the room.

                      You are only giving us two possibilities here: either Druitt's absences to commit murder in Whitechapel went completely unnoticed and unremarked upon by his former pupils (luckily for whoever did make the awful connection and wanted the boys shielded both from discovering the truth and blabbing it abroad); or there were no such absences, and Sims et al were barking up the wrong Blackheath tree.

                      So let's assume Sims was fed sound information and Druitt really did absent himself from the school on the murder nights, fortunately without his pupils being any the wiser. Which member(s) of staff do you think knew about these absences and later not only put two and two together, but passed on this incriminating evidence to whoever was charged with cunningly disguising the suicidal Blackheath schoolmaster as a mad Blackheath doctor, to protect the guilty man's family and friends from the shame of it all?

                      I'm not being funny - clearly if anyone at the school did realise that Druitt had been absent each time a victim was being murdered, that would surely beat the hell out of Farqhi's gossip, the supposed family suspicions, the circular arguments about Druitt being a sexual maniac because that's what the ripper was, and especially the alleged confession to a loose-lipped member of the clergy.


                      I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen


                      • #86
                        I'm sorry I can';t follow what you are arguing here?

                        I am not arguing that druitt was noticeably absent multiple times.

                        That's the fictional overlay Macnaghten created both via Sims and his own memoir.

                        Druitt was only missing once, and was deceased as his brother searched for him.

                        A graduate would of course know that poor Mr Druitt was a lodger at the school.

                        Macanghten is anxious to dispose of the novel, 'The Lodger' ,accidentally getting that half-right. eg. Mac asserts that Jack was not a lodger and never 'detained' in an asylum (take that Anderson!)

                        Instead, Jack lived at home with his own people, by implication his own family.

                        But ...

                        Again we can see how Mac and Sims reshape the data according to the spcific audience.

                        Are the 'his own people' the same 'friends' who are terrified that their pal, the mad doctor, is the fiend because he confessed to his doctors he wanted to rip up East End harlots?

                        What, so, the reclusive, une,mployed medico lives with his friends?

                        This kind of tangle exposes the pair somehwat, but nobody was looking hard at the sources then (why should they have?) and so they got away with it.

                        Unfortunately it creates a legacy of confusion today, where it is seriously argued that Macnaghten was unbelievably incompetent (though not by Evans or Begg, though they came to different provisional conclusions as to why)


                        • #87
                          No response Caz ...?

                          I'm not surprised.

                          A new source from 1897 has been discovered (a poor choice of words because it is has been in the public domain since publication) that for the first time ever gives us a potential insight into Montague Druitt's adult personality.


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Jonathan Hainsworth
                            I am not arguing that druitt was noticeably absent multiple times.

                            That's the fictional overlay Macnaghten created both via Sims and his own memoir.

                            Druitt was only missing once, and was deceased as his brother searched for him.

                            A graduate would of course know that poor Mr Druitt was a lodger at the school.
                            Hi Jonathan,

                            I have not responded because I am still trying to make sense of the above, in terms of Druitt being the ripper.

                            Where was he living then, when he is meant to have gone out at nights to commit murder? Blackheath or somewhere else? Because if he was a lodger at the school during this time, he must have gone missing on several occasions, not just the once. Are you saying none of those absences were noticed, and therefore played no part in the later suspicions about him? Did he slip out of bed while off duty? Or were his duties daytime only, in addition to his legal work as a barrister? Or did he manage to slip out at night unnoticed, while he was meant to be awake and in charge of the sleeping boys?


                            I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen


                            • #89
                              It is an assumption, and a fair one, that Druitt had nightwarden duties at the school.

                              Perhaps he did and went out, and nobody noticed. Or Mac and Sims are reflecting the scandal of his 'absences' and this the 'serious trouble' that got him dismissed to his face, if such a thing happened.

                              Or, perhaps Montie was periodically and legitimately absent, or at least late, due to his commitments to another career and county sport (and presumably a social life for a handsome, sporty bachelor).

                              The overall point is that from the material produced for the public by Macnaghten and Sims, it is unlikely that a grown-up graduate of the school would recognise their tragic Mr. Druitt in the profile of the drowned Doctor and the mostly opaque 'Simon Pure' of the memoirs (the latter shies away from even mentioning the Thames).

                              Nobody has ever engaged me in debate on this point. That Montague Druitt's true identity was hidden from the boys-men of the school.

                              Was this by accident or by design?


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Jonathan Hainsworth
                                Nobody has ever engaged me in debate on this point. That Montague Druitt's true identity was hidden from the boys-men of the school.

                                Was this by accident or by design?
                                That's exactly what I've been trying to do - engage you in debate on this very point.

                                Have you thought about how hard anyone could have been trying to hide Druitt's true identity from his former pupils if he had nightwarden duties at the school and must have absented himself to commit the murders? How could anyone have been confident that none of those former pupils had noticed those absences and would recognise the story (however cunningly disguised) because of them?

                                I'd wager therefore, that if Monty was indeed the ripper, his identity was hidden from the boys more by happy accident than design.

                                I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen