Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Sickert's Lodger theory

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sickert's Lodger theory

    From the Argus, a Melbourne based newspaper, January 8th 1946,

    Jack the Ripper Said to Have Been Delicate Veterinary Student
    FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT IN LONDON
    Walter Richard Sickert, British artist, who died in 1942, confided to friends his belief that as a young man he had occupied a room in which Jack the Ripper had lodged. He wrote Ripper's true name on the margin of a book.
    Sir Osbert Sitwell describes his search for this book in a forthcoming volume of his autobiography, a long extract from which appears in Orion, a miscellany published by Nicholson and Watson.
    EIGHT UNSOLVED MURDERS
    Jack the Ripper provided Britain's classic unsolved murder series. From - Christmas, 1837, until July, 1889, he
    slew and dismembered eight people in the East End of London. Some of the victims were cut up with a skill that suggested that the murderer knew something of surgery.
    Sickert took a room in a London suburb some years after the murders.
    Sir Osbert Sitwell's account says an old couple looked after the house, and when Sickert had been there some months the woman asked him one day as she was dusting the room if he was aware who had occupied it before him. When he said "No," she had waited a moment and then replied, "Jack the Ripper."
    , Her story was that his predecessor had been a veterinary student. After he had been in London a month, or two this delicate looking young man -he was a consumptive-took occasionally to staying out all night. His landlord and landlady would hear him come in at about 6 in the morning, walk about in his room for an hour or two until the first edition of the morning paper was being sold, when he would creep lightly down- stairs and run to buy one.
    Quietly he would return and go to bed, but an hour later when the old man called him he would notice by traces in the fireplace that his lodger had burnt the suit he had been wearing the previous evening.
    The old couple did not know what to make of it. Week by week the lodger's health grew worse, and it seemed improbable that this gentle, ailing, silent youth should be responsible for such crimes. They could hardly credit their own senses, and then before they could make up their minds whether to warn the police or not, the lodger's health suddenly failed alarmingly, and his mother-a widow who was devoted to him-had come to take him back to Bournemouth, where she lived. From that moment the murders stopped. He' died three months later.
    Sir Osbert Sitwell continues: "Before leaving this subject I may add that in talking of this matter to my brother, he reminded me that Sickert told us that when his landlady confided in him that morning the name of Jack the Ripper he scribbled it down in pencil on the margin of a French edition of Casanova's Memoirs, and that subsequently he gave the volume away-we thought he said to Sir William Rothenstein.
    "Sickert added: 'And there it will be now if you want to know the name.'
    "Accordingly I wrote to Lady Rothenstein, but neither she nor Sir William remembered the book.
    BOOK LOST IN BLITZ
    "On my consulting Mrs Sickert, she maintained that her husband had told her he had given the book to Sir William's brother, Mr Albert Rutherston. And this proved to be the case. My friend Mr Rutherston informed me that he had only recently lost the book in the bombing of London, and that there had been several pencil notes in the margin in Sickert's handwriting which were difficult to decipher."

  • #2
    It appears at first glance that Sickert's lodger story is given credence by the later comments of Sitwell

    But it still amounts to hearsay really, though the notes in the margin of the book sound interesting

    That the notes were read but were indecipherable may indicate that no-one of prominence was named

    I've read that Sickert had a photographic memory but it failed him while recalling the name of the vetinary student

    Why so many lodger stories with hindsight? Why did these landlords and landladies not voice their suspicions at the time? Sims' informant waited 20 years!

    PS That article has 1837 in error I think

    Comment


    • #3
      Calling All Researchers

      I’m currently reading Matthew Sturgis’ excellent biography of Walter ‘not the ripper’ Sickert and was surprised to find out that we have a name for Lodger. Before joining JTRForum and Casebook.Org my interest in the case had drifted for the previous few years and so I was perhaps unsurprised that this info had passed me by. When I posted this over on Casebook though I found that a couple of very knowledgeable posters were also unaware of this discovery. There is a slight issue though.

      In Sturgis’ book (in a footnote in which he cites The Camden History Society Newsletter, 2004) he states that the late Nick Warren discovered that the only Veterinary student that ended his studies (at the Royal Veterinary College) before the end of 1888 was a Joseph Reid. And, as the Landlady had said, he did indeed come from Bournemouth. In the A-Z however he is named as Joseph Ride.

      Has anyone looked into this any further? Was it Reid or Ride? Do we know what he died from? And whilst I’m certainly not excitedly proposing a new suspect I’d say that over the years we’ve had suspects with less going for them.

      Someone with his own room/s.
      Someone who came and went at strange hours.
      Some that appeared to have burnt a suit in the fire just after a murder.
      Someone with medical/anatomical knowledge.
      Someone with possible knife skills.
      Someone who provides a reason for the cessation of the murders.

      Does anyone have anymore information on Reid/Ride?

      Thanks all
      Regards

      Michael🔎


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

      Comment


      • #4
        I would start by looking at the BMD registers for Bournmouth, the death registers for 1888/89 in particular. This can be followed up with a search of the 1871 and 1881 census returns.

        Comment


        • #5
          I looked briefly at Reid/Ride when researching my suspect book but omitted him when unable to find evidence that he died in Bournemouth 1888/89 or sight the original article by Nick Warren.

          I was unaware of the Camden History Newsletter and have just contacted the society to ask if they can provide a copy. I'll share this when received.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul Williams View Post
            I looked briefly at Reid/Ride when researching my suspect book but omitted him when unable to find evidence that he died in Bournemouth 1888/89 or sight the original article by Nick Warren.

            I was unaware of the Camden History Newsletter and have just contacted the society to ask if they can provide a copy. I'll share this when received.
            I'll need to check this out, but Joseph Ride was the only student at the Royal Veterinary College who cut short his studies before the end of 1888, in which year he was 27. When he died is not currently known.

            The 1891 Census records that living at 6 Mornington Crescent was an Egyptian-born medical student, R.E. Waller (born c.1871).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paul Williams View Post
              I looked briefly at Reid/Ride when researching my suspect book but omitted him when unable to find evidence that he died in Bournemouth 1888/89 or sight the original article by Nick Warren.

              I was unaware of the Camden History Newsletter and have just contacted the society to ask if they can provide a copy. I'll share this when received.
              Cheers Paul. I look forward to hearing what they say.
              Regards

              Michael🔎


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul View Post
                I'll need to check this out, but Joseph Ride was the only student at the Royal Veterinary College who cut short his studies before the end of 1888, in which year he was 27. When he died is not currently known.

                The 1891 Census records that living at 6 Mornington Crescent was an Egyptian-born medical student, R.E. Waller (born c.1871).
                Hi Paul,

                I wonder if it was an error by Sturgis or Warren himself that resulted in the name being given as Reid rather than Ride?

                If we found out that he died from syphilis we might have another suspect to add to the list.
                Regards

                Michael🔎


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
                  Hi Paul,

                  I wonder if it was an error by Sturgis or Warren himself that resulted in the name being given as Reid rather than Ride?

                  If we found out that he died from syphilis we might have another suspect to add to the list.

                  I think it must be an error by Matthew, rather than Nick, but as I don't have the latter's articles immediately to hand, I can't say. What we don't know is that Ride was ever resident at 6 Mornington Crescent. He was simply the only Royal Veterinary College student to have abandoned his studies before the end of 1888. And, of course, whilst R.E. Waller did live at 6 Mornington Crescent in 1891, we don't know that he was there in 1888. Nothing has moved us along very far, alas.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul View Post
                    I think it must be an error by Matthew, rather than Nick, but as I don't have the latter's articles immediately to hand, I can't say. What we don't know is that Ride was ever resident at 6 Mornington Crescent. He was simply the only Royal Veterinary College student to have abandoned his studies before the end of 1888. And, of course, whilst R.E. Waller did live at 6 Mornington Crescent in 1891, we don't know that he was there in 1888. Nothing has moved us along very far, alas.
                    Thanks for that Paul. I still find it interesting though.

                    I’ve just finished the book and I’m now encouraged to get his biography of Wilde. I noticed that you get a mention regarding the story about Whistler planning to do a painting of a ripper victim.
                    Regards

                    Michael🔎


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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
                      Thanks for that Paul. I still find it interesting though.

                      I’ve just finished the book and I’m now encouraged to get his biography of Wilde. I noticed that you get a mention regarding the story about Whistler planning to do a painting of a ripper victim.
                      Yes, I was also invited to the book launch at a gallery in London where I was surrounded by Sickert paintings! The Whistler story is interesting, I think. There is definitely something at the back of all the Ripper themes connecting back to Sickert and his circle; I'm not suggesting that he was Jack the Ripper, of course.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul View Post
                        Yes, I was also invited to the book launch at a gallery in London where I was surrounded by Sickert paintings! The Whistler story is interesting, I think. There is definitely something at the back of all the Ripper themes connecting back to Sickert and his circle; I'm not suggesting that he was Jack the Ripper, of course.
                        It would certainly be fascinating to find out where these stories actually originated.
                        Regards

                        Michael🔎


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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
                          It would certainly be fascinating to find out where these stories actually originated.
                          That's the view Keith Skinner and I have shared for the past thirty odd years.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Banks View Post
                            the story about Whistler planning to do a painting of a ripper victim.
                            Whistler's Murder?
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen"
                            (F. Nietzsche)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When Dr. Wynn Weston-Davies was promoting his book here, he mentioned in a podcast that his family knew Sickert. He said Sickert was obsessed by the murders and would talk on the subject for hours but that he knew nothing.

                              I wonder if Dr. Weston-Davies might be able to answer some of the questions posed here?

                              Through various works I have the idea Sickert was, to use someone else's idea, one of the first Ripperologists.
                              The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X