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  • Paul Kearney A.K.A. NEMO
    replied
    Thanks Jonathon

    It's gradually sinking in (no pun intended)

    Do you think the drowned doctor suspect represented one of, if not the, most controversial theory as to the Ripper's identity - similar to the Royal conspiracy today?

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    replied
    To Nemo

    It's not strange.

    George Sims was famous and widely read. He said it was a drowned doctor, and with his top contacts, this became the conventional wisdom of his era.

    The public even knew what the fiend looked like -- he looked just like Sims, when the latter was younger and thinner (incredibly, this is true).

    I think you are conflating two sources, or two alleged sources involving priests and confessions by killers?

    Of the two, the 1899 Vicar tale is in my opinion -- and I'm alone here -- the missing piece of the jigsaw as to why the Druitts, M.P. Farquharson, the 'good many people' he blabbed to, and Sir Melville Macnaghten were pretty much convinced of Montie's guilt from just hearing the tale.

    Because Montague Druitt was a tormented figure who had confessed to a priest between the Kelly atrocity and his own self-murder.

    The unsolicited article by the un-named Vicar was sent to 'The Daily Mail' and was bizarrely called 'The Whitechurch Murders: Solution to a London Mystery' which they declined to publish because the writer would not identify what was fact and what was fiction.

    Tantalizingly, Montie's first cousin the Rev. Charles Druitt, later himself a Vicar and deceased by 1900, worked in a parish named 'Whitchurch'. When the Vicar of 1899 said that the article he had sent was 'substantial truth under ficititous form' he may have meant only the title of the piece, not the content which, though meager, matches Druitt.

    And if even if that is all correct, they may have all misunderstood a vivid delusion on the part of Druitt which had no basis in reality (I do not think Macnaghten could be so easily fooled).

    The 'North Country Vicar' was one of the sources I analysed in my recent essay 'A Pair of Jacks' for 'The New Independent Review' (Thanks
    Don).

    My essential thesis was that George Sims, a Mac mouthpiece, rudely (and inaccurately) rejects the 1899 Vicar's story because the real fiend had no time to confess anything to anybody, because after what he had done to Kelly he was reduced to a shrieking, imbecilic husk -- with just enough energy to stagger to the Thames (all the way to Chiswick?? Without being noticed by anybody?).

    In fact, the Vicar is correct about Druitt -- if that is to whom he is referring-- as Montie had a comfortable three weeks to confess and then commit suicide.

    In effect, two Rippers who were both 'substantial truth in fictitious form' were competing with each other, though the public only knew that the cleric was being honest about mixing fact and fiction to hide his deceased suspect.

    But that is exactly what Macnaghten-Griffiths-Sims were doing too, and not admitting it (the writers probably did not know).

    And of course the version Macnaghten was propagating, via cronies, to the public was much, much better for the Yard's rep: we nearly caught him but he took his own life, the swine.

    I also argued that Macnaghten does provide a fictitious version of the slam dunk confession by, from 1902, having Sims write that the 'doctor' had confided to physicians about his maniacal desires, before he was ludicrously released onto the streets by a penny-pinching state to do exactly what he threatened to do: kill and mutilate harlots.

    An objection to this theory is that Macnaghten makes no such claim in his memoirs, a source about which I make so much.

    Yet the critical evidence, that the un-named Druitt killed himself 'on or about Nov. 10th ...' is arguably the compression of the true story (with the river detail dropped because hitched to this tale of murder-self-murder within hours of each other it was patently silly).

    That truth was much messier and potentially much more shocking to Edwardian sensibilities (Druitt was playing cricket and advocating in court in those weeks) which Macnaghten kept veiled, but the thematic meaning of the events of those weeks was retained in the compressed, melodramatic version: a tormented figure who 'confessed' by his subsequent self-destruction.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Kearney A.K.A. NEMO
    replied
    It is strange how it is stated like a well known fact that the Ripper was a medical man who committed suicide

    Is there any connection with the papers left with Sir Edward Bradford by the vicar who professed to know the Ripper's identity via the confessional and to have given substantial truth in fictitious form?

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Thanks very much for sharing these scans, Stewart

    Leave a comment:


  • SPE
    replied
    Many Thanks

    Many thanks for that Jonathan, interesting and appreciated.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    replied
    Thanks Stewart.

    My interpratation of the significance of this source is this:

    The people who knew the Druitts would recognise their late member who had topped himself in the Thames twenty or so years before, if he was described as a young barrister who killed himself about a month after the most ghastly murder.

    But they would not recognise Montie if he was described as a middle-aged doctor who killed himself in early November 1888.

    I do not believe that Macnaghten, a discreet, reticent and affable officer, would have told anybody Montague Druitt's actual name if he thought it would leak to the public -- even in this rhyming form.

    Unless ... Mac already knew that the authentic name would be cocooned by fictitious details. Mac told Sims even more details about 'Dr D' (super-affluent, an asylum vet, an orphan, concerned pals, the subject of a fast-closing police dragnet) all fictional exaggerations of the real figure, rendering Druitt unrecoverable -- and he was not recovered.

    I think that since Richardson, a minor comic writer, knew Druit's name it came from Sims, a much, much more famous and better connected writer (eg. Mac's pal) and self-ordained 'criminologist' -- and somewhat indiscreet.

    Mac anticipated this failing in his name-dropping chum.

    I think that Sims used the 'Dr D' abbreviation in 1913 not because he did not know the [alleged] Ripper's full name, but because he was being discreet -- though in a very pompous and condescending way towards Littlechild, no less than the ex-head of the forerunner to Special Branch!

    The latter's devastating reply, saying that 'Dr T' was the true mad medico suspect of 1888 arrested by police, also pointedly used Tumblety's full surname.

    I think that 'Dr Bluitt' also shows that it was common knowledge among the upper bourgeoisie that the fiend was one of their own, like it or lump it, but what they did not know was his true vocation -- in this case a fellow barrister.

    Macnaghten's 1914 memoirs tried to 'cut this knot' of his own making, but he did it so opaquely that it was missed then, and is mostly missed now. If only he had asserted clearly that the Ripper was not a doctor, and not just asserted that he had not been sectioned and was not the subject of a super-efficient dragnet ...

    Leave a comment:


  • SPE
    replied
    Frank Collins Richardson

    Frank Collins Richardson was born in 1870 and educated at Marlborough and Christ Church, Oxford. He entered the Inner Temple and was called to the Bar. He admitted that he was a failure at law and took to writing his King's Counsel, a novel, in 1902. He wrote about a dozen other books and his peculiar subject of humour was the subject of whiskers.

    He was found dead (aged 46), his throat cut, in his chambers in Albemarle Street, Piccadilly on August 1, 1917. An inquest was held by the Westminster Coroner, Ingleby Oddie, on August 3, 1917 and evidence was given by his sister and ex-valet which showed he was given to 'alcoholic excess' and of late had been depressed. He had a cataract of one eye and feared that it would affect the other and he would go blind. Besides being a barrister and novelist he was a company director and the two companies he was connected with were stated to be doing well. The jury returned a verdict of suicide whilst of unsound mind.

    Leave a comment:


  • SPE
    replied
    The Worst Man In The World

    The Worst Man In The World by Frank Richardson, London, Eveleigh Nash, 1908. Red cloth, black titles, gilt lettering on spine, 269 pages, + 36 pp publisher's ads.

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  • SPE
    replied
    Pages 220-223

    Pages 220-223 -

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  • SPE
    replied
    Pages 216-217

    Here are pages 216-217 of the book.

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  • SPE
    replied
    Frank Collins Richardson

    In view of Jonathan's ongoing fascination with Druitt I was reminded of the connection with the subject of this thread, the novelist and barrister Frank Collins Richardson.

    Richardson's references to Jack the Ripper in his 1908 novel The Worst Man in the World continue to intrigue me, especially as Richardson was also a barrister and also committed suicide (by throat cutting his chambers). It seems he had some 'inside' information which coincided with Macnaghten's pronouncements.

    Below are the references cited in his book.

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  • Jonathan Hainsworth
    replied
    To How

    Thanks.

    It's a funny old mystery.

    On the one hand, we have the name of the suspect, Montague John Druitt.

    He certainly existed, and he fits the broad outline supplied by Macnaghten, even by Richardson: an English, Gentile Gentleman.

    We have, in Sir Melville Macnaghten, an excellent source for the credibility of this Ripper suspect because he was a distinguished police administrator, he had no public axe to grind about the case [until 1913 he had never publicly mentioned it], and in his memoirs was prepared to admit that the fiend was unknown to the investigators at the time of his manaical reign of terror [in a stroke arguably rendering all other police memoirs redundant, because they would not necessarily be privy to this belated private information].

    On the other hand, far from being 'case closed', Macnaghten seems to have little accurate information about Druitt and therefore this brings into question if he ever did; if he ever knew what, or even whom, he was talking about?

    It's the question.

    Because, if he did know, then Anderson/Swanson/Kosminski begin to cicrle the plug-hole.

    For the 'Anderson's Suspect' theory to work, Macnaghten -- who rejected Kosminski by name -- must remain where conventional wisdom now places him: a significant yet befuddled enthusiast who was never as certain about Druitt as Anderson was about his Polish Jew -- in fact, was it even Druitt he was even fumbling around about?

    Macnaghten must remain a minor figure, who in complete, bureaucratic honesty and yet with remarkable incompetence [alas no notebook!] put together a flawed Report in 1894 which seems to have gone nowhere.

    Later on, perhaps sick of being pestered by fellow gentlemen like Griffiths and Sims, he granted them access to the so-called 'orginal' draft of that failed Report -- which was riddled with even more errors!

    Dear, oh dear.

    It's a miracle Mac made it to be Assistant Commissioner, or was he somebody's nephew -- as apparently Cutbush was not?!

    Oh dear, another Mac shambles?

    Even the obvious enmity between Anderson and Macnaghten must be denied, or downplayed, as it suggests that the competing Ripper suspects might be motivated by personal reasons.

    Dangerous idea are afoot, so you who want to keep it nice and clean and simple, when the scraps we are left are anything but.

    For example, Macnaghten may have so despised Anderson that he elevated a minor suspect in Druitt to undermine the Polish Jew 'fact' -- to undermine Anderson.

    Yet such schoolboyish shenanigans from the eternal Etonian would still secure the primacy of Anderson and Kosminski.

    But it would also open a door which might swing the other way too.

    You see it might mean that Anderson chose Kosminski -- if it was Aaron Kosminski, to play this parlour game -- not for professional reasons [after all there was never going to be a prosecution] but rather to undermine Macnaghten's finding the fiend -- 'laying the ghost' -- over two years after the Kelly murder, and very soon after the Coles murder.

    Macnaghten claims that Kosminski was a minor suspect in the official report, in the unofficial report and in his memoirs he is not even worth mentioning at all even to dismiss him.

    What if Macnaghten is right?

    What if he is correct about Kosminski being a nothing 'suspect' -- why then did Anderson choose him?

    Notice that Macnaghten several times mentions the named and un-named Druitt and Kosminski [via Grittish and Sims too] whereas Anderson never, ever even alludes to the existence of the un-named Druitt. In his 1914 memoirs Macnaghten paid him the reverse compliment of mentiniong neither Anderson nor Kosminski -- they both cease to exist.

    Are we seriously to believe that this enmity played no part whatsoever in their conclusions as to the identity of the fiend?

    Are we seriously to believe that there was no enmity of any signficiance?

    I think that the identification of the 'West of England MP' as Henry Farquharson completely upends the now-calcified conventional wisdom about Macnaghten, and why he chose Druitt -- and it was Druitt of course.

    Here was a a source which predated Macnaghten, and was just as certain, and was just as toffy.

    Whether Macnaghten, within a few years began to misremember bits of Druitt [his father was a doctor, but was he one too? Damn my lack of a notebook!] or whether he began to fudge, then to openly deceive to shield the Yard from a libel trap, is interesting but almost beside the point.

    Druitt's guilt, right or wrong, began with a member or members of his family, the terrible 'belief' leaked to an MP and near-neighbour becoming his 'doctrine', and then fell into the lap of a police chief who was obsessed with the case and who on the first occasion he ever committed his own name to the mystery made no bones about his belief in the un-named druitt's guilt.

    The 'son of a surgeon', who will evolve within a generation into the semi-fictional 'Dr Bluitt', was still orginally Montie Druitt, whom initially a police chief was arguably briefed about by a person who did have accurate information about this person.

    The detour which Druitt's identity took is not as important as that the 1891 MP's story matches Macnaghten's 1913 comments and 1914 memoirs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howard Brown
    replied
    Thanks to Debs,JH and Chris for kick starting this thread back up.
    A lot of people, especially new members, may not be aware of the find by Chris Phillips from one year ago on this matter.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris Scott
    replied
    many thanks for that Debs
    Very helpful - and very quick:-)

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  • Debra Arif
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Scott View Post
    "The Worst Man in the World" by Frank Richardson is on Google Books but with very limited previews, not the full copy.
    Apart from the "Bluitt" reference on pages 58/9 I found this limited reference on page 146:
    "... his masterpiece in Miller's Court had flung himself, raving into the Thames, so Sir Rupert, hopelessly insane, was now seized with homicidal mania."
    What the beginning of this sentence is I do not know.
    If anyone has the book I'd be very interested to know the missing part...

    Hi Chris,
    Here's the beginning of the sentence:

    "Clearly the chords of sanity had snapped. Even as the medical man who will for ever be known as Jack the Ripper after the curious fantasies of his masterpiece in Miller's Court..."

    Leave a comment:

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