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Proof of Innocence?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
    I have always enjoyed bantering with Jonathan about Druitt, and that's what it is. But I guess after two books (I have his rather expensive first volume) he feels very committed and this discovery (which he seems to claim he had prior knowledge about) deals a rather severe blow to it. How severe is in the eye of the beholder.
    In my opinion it is a fatal blow as, even if were theoretically possible to get up to London and back to murder between innings , it is somewhat preposterous to suggest it - and by his reaction I think Jonathan knows this.

    I have some ideas to chase down some potential loose ends but I'm too busy work wise to apply myself.

    Every 'suspectologist' lays himself (or herself) bear to potentially being undone by a fatal discovery. But that is the nature of the beast.

    As for Druitt, he is hardly an unfashionable or marginalised suspect. Proposing Druitt as JTR is hardly regarded as a Ripperological heresy that excites fanatical condemnation... compared to other suspects.
    I’ve no issue with the points that you’ve made Ed, but I personally don’t see this as even putting a dent in Druitt as a candidate but some will disagree with this view of course and that’s fair enough. From my own point of view there could have been any number of reasons why he chose to return to London after the first game that are simply unknown to us. As I mentioned in an earlier post, perhaps he didn’t initially intend to return to play in the second game but plans were changed for whatever reason? On the last part though (emboldened) I’d point you in the direction of Casebook where, for a minority of posters, any mention of Druitt has them close to foaming at the mouth. Then again, you’d correctly point out how some get angry at the suggestion that a certain carman might have been the ripper.

    Its all down to individual interpretation and assessment of course and as you say, the killer blow could be found at any time for any suspect. Or just a discovery that make them more or less likely. It shouldn’t be the end of the world if a suspect can be crossed of the overlong list.

    All of that said, thanks go to Joanna for bringing this to our attention.
    Regards

    Michael🔎


    " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

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    • #47
      There is something about this I don't understand, perhaps reflecting my ignorance of cricket.

      This game took place on a Thursday. If it was played in the daytime, does that mean that all the players were gentlemen who were free to spend their time in leisure pursuits? Or were rural employers expected to give members of the local cricket team a day off whenever there was a match?

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      • #48
        That’s a good point Chris. I think it’s safe to say that these players would have been ‘gentleman’ and so not all tied down with work commitments but there would probably have been others like Druitt that did have professions (the Rev. Pierce being one.) There would have been a squad of players so that they could still field an eleven should any players be unavailable to play.
        Regards

        Michael🔎


        " When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains no matter how improbable......is probably a little bit boring "

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
          That’s a good point Chris. I think it’s safe to say that these players would have been ‘gentleman’ and so not all tied down with work commitments but there would probably have been others like Druitt that did have professions (the Rev. Pierce being one.) There would have been a squad of players so that they could still field an eleven should any players be unavailable to play.
          I just had a look in the 1891 census for what I thought was the least common name, G. Upward (though it seems it may not be all that uncommon in Dorset), and all the Dorset candidates seemed to be manual workers. With only initials to go on, it's a bit difficult to know.

          The idea of a Victorian village cricket match I have in my mind involves a fair number of farm labourers, but I'm not sure where that comes from and it may be erroneous.

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          • #50
            I have the impression from the names of the teams, that this was a humorous middle class challenge match, rather than one between villages. Druitt wasn't from the Isle of Purbeck for starters.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
              I have the impression from the names of the teams, that this was a humorous middle class challenge match, rather than one between villages. Druitt wasn't from the Isle of Purbeck for starters.
              I must be missing something. You think the names "Blandford" and "Isle of Purbeck" imply it was humorous and middle class?

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
                There is something about this I don't understand, perhaps reflecting my ignorance of cricket.

                This game took place on a Thursday. If it was played in the daytime, does that mean that all the players were gentlemen who were free to spend their time in leisure pursuits? Or were rural employers expected to give members of the local cricket team a day off whenever there was a match?
                I've been studying the players on the Isle of Purbeck's team (for whom Druitt played) and I think I am correct in saying that the team was organized and run by the Rev. Spencer Compton Spencer-Smith, the Vicar of Kingston. Here he is, below. His brother had been an Oxford Blue in cricket, and I think he also played in college (one old book states he played for Cambridge, but this is wrong-- he went to Balliol College, Oxford). The Spencer-Smiths were quite a prominent family with several Sirs and Ladies, etc.


                Click image for larger version  Name:	Spencer-Smith.jpg Views:	0 Size:	4.3 KB ID:	588136



                There are at least two other clergymen on the team besides the Rev (I think three) as well as two brothers who were the sons of the Rev. Eldon Bankes, the rector of Corfe Castle---'E. Bankes and 'A. Bankes.' Eustace Banks was a student of Natural History at Oxford in the 1880s, his brother evidently ran the 'farm' as listed in the 1891 census. They were wealthy.

                So there was a lot of religion out on the pitch that day, which evidently explains why Druitt was mistakenly referred to as the 'Rev. M.J. Druitt,'--mislabeled on the score card possibly.

                The one name on the Isle of Purbeck's team that is puzzling me is 'A. Laing.' There is a youth, Arthur C. Laing, quite a bit younger than everyone else (age 17) who was a student living in Wimborne in 1891, but I don't think it is him, as there appears to have been an 'A. Laing' playing in matches ten years earlier. I don't know who he is.

                Whether this is a crippling blow to the Druitt theory really depends on what one thought about the theory in the first place. If one believes Macnaghten was a windbag and Druitt was wrongly implicated, this can be taken as quite compelling evidence that MJD was down south at the time of the Nichols murder--which is what Sugden already suspected regarding the Tabram murder.

                If, however, you think Druitt was truly sexually insane and his mind was cracking-up (he would be dismissed from his long-time employment and commit suicide within 90-odd days of this match), one might be more amendable to the idea that his behavior was becoming so unpredictable and even bizarre that an unexplained overnight trip to London isn't out of the question.




                '

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                • #53
                  I never really understood Jonathan Hainsworth's argument that if MM could have found any way to eliminate Druitt as the killer he would definitely have done so, therefore the evidence against him must have been really powerful. On the surface this may seem reasonable, but having destroyed his private information, would there have been any obligation on MM to name the deceased Druitt, as one of three suspects he personally believed were more likely than Cutbush to have been the ripper? Giving three names implies uncertainty and an element of doubt in each case, which would have given MM a reasonable excuse, if he'd wanted one, for not including Druitt's name in the first place. Could he not have kept his belief in Druitt's guilt to himself, if it ran so contrary to his instincts to suspect such a man?

                  I have to wonder how the cricket matches on 30th August and 1st September 1888 would have affected MM's thinking. Assuming he didn't know about them when naming Druitt, would he not have had second thoughts if he had found out at a later date? On the other hand, if MM had this information at the time, he could have used it to provide Druitt with the official benefit of the doubt and leave his name out of it, regardless of what he may still have privately believed.

                  If it went against the grain for MM to have to accept that Druitt was the ripper, the same cannot be said for Jonathan!

                  Love,

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

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

                    I just had a look in the 1891 census for what I thought was the least common name, G. Upward (though it seems it may not be all that uncommon in Dorset), and all the Dorset candidates seemed to be manual workers. With only initials to go on, it's a bit difficult to know.

                    The idea of a Victorian village cricket match I have in my mind involves a fair number of farm labourers, but I'm not sure where that comes from and it may be erroneous.
                    Come to think of it, it may be a memory of the Alan Bates character in "The Go Between", which was set in 1900.

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                    • #55
                      'S. Nash' for the Isle of Purbeck was also a clergyman. Stanwell Webb McKenzie Nash, the Vicar of East Holme.

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                      • #56
                        Yes sorry Chris I got mixed up with the Wareham whatevers and Lulworth thingys

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                          Yes sorry Chris I got mixed up with the Wareham whatevers and Lulworth thingys
                          Ah - thanks, that would explain it.

                          Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                          'S. Nash' for the Isle of Purbeck was also a clergyman. Stanwell Webb McKenzie Nash, the Vicar of East Holme.
                          Just out of interest, did you find a more upwardly-mobile Upward than the ones I saw?

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
                            Just out of interest, did you find a more upwardly-mobile Upward than the ones I saw?
                            I think G. Upward is George Upward, captain of the Church Knowles Cricket Club in 1889.

                            He is listed as a 'clay miner' in one census, but this might be deceptive--he is listed as a clerk in another.

                            There is evidently some connection between Upward and the "L. Pike" also listed as on the team, because L. Pike must be Laurence Warbuton Pike, who owned a clay mine in the area. This was evidently no small affair, because probate records show Pike was worth over 67,000 pounds in 1900. The 1891 census shows he has four maids and a gardener, so he's not short on cash. Maybe Upward worked for him (?)


                            Click image for larger version  Name:	L. Pike.jpg Views:	0 Size:	16.4 KB ID:	588143

                            Some of these people were active in Dorset politics--Conservative Party, the Primrose League, etc.

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                            • #59
                              The clay mining is interesting as one of the main tourist attractions on the Isle of Purbeck is a disused clay mine... Blue Pool. I wonder if Pike owned it?

                              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Pool,_Dorset

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                              • #60
                                Yes!
                                Small world!

                                https://www.dorsetlife.co.uk/2013/05...the-blue-pool/

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