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  • #46
    Originally posted by Dave Knott View Post
    Henry Wentworth Bellsmith was born in London on September 3, 1849. He was one of twelve children, two of his siblings becoming quite famous - the first born, Frederick Marlett Bellsmith [1846-1923] followed in his father's footsteps as an artist, and the youngest, Florence Rosalind Bellsmith [1864-1942] married a well known missionary, Jonathan Goforth, and wrote a number of books about his work.

    Henry married his first wife, Susannah Anne Sturch [1843-1921] in England in 1871. They moved to Toronto in 1878, the rest of the family having gone to Canada in the 1860s. Henry and Susannah had five children.

    Early in 1888 Henry and Susannah separated. The reasons for this are not known, although interestingly one record states that Susannah died in 1888 - this is certainly not true. Henry came over to London early in 1888, leaving for New York on November 4. Over the next couple of years he appears to have travelled backwards and forwards between England and New York (in 1889 he was in London working for George Eastman, the founder of Kodak). Also during this period he met his second wife, Caroline Taylor [1866-1953] although I have been unable to find a record that they were ever legally married. In 1891 they moved to New York, and thereafter appear to have stayed in New York, Caroline moving to Florida after Henry's death.

    Caroline had three children, Francis Taylor Bellsmith [1887 - ?], Gertrude Bellsmith [1893 - died in infancy] and Henry Wentworth Bellsmith jr [1894-1965] - it is not clear if Henry was the father of the first of these.

    In most records Henry's occupation is shown as either book-keeper or accountant. His 1897 book reveals that he was also a Socialist fund-raiser, and member of the Brotherhood of the Co-Operative Commonwealth.

    With regard to his Ripper candidacy, he will remain of interest to those who think that Kelly was not one of Jack's victims. Here is a quote from his book just for fun (albeit out of context!)

    "Murder, adultery, selfishness, hypocrisy, everything we call evil or sinful are equally meritorious with the most spotless purity of soul and body ... sin becomes a misnomer and crime another name for virtue"

    Thanks so much for supplying this material,Dave ! This is an excellent bit of work on your part.

    All of us.
    Hi David,
    This may be old news as your original post is quite old but some recent posts on casebook made me look a bit closer as Bellsmith and I noticed this thread.
    Regarding Henry Wentworh Bellsmith working for Kodak Eastman; Harold Septimus Bellsmith, Henry's brother, was a well known photographer in New York, Jersey Ciy and Buffalo and worked for the Eastman Kodak Co.,travelling and giving lectures. In most photographic magazines he is named as Henry S Bellsmith rather than Harold S Bellsmith. Harold (as Henry) was lecturing in the UK in the late 1880stoo. I wonder if some of the records for Henry Wentworth Bellsmith are mixed up with his brother Harold's?

    Again,apologies if this is old news.

    Comment


    • #47
      Just a small correction to the above-Harold Septimus is listed as H S Bellsmith and sometimes H G Bellsmith but not as 'Henry' as I said.

      Harold Septimus Bellsmith, photographer, travelled/lectured and worked for Kodak Eastman according to his 1916 obituary.
      In early Dec 1888 a H G Bellsmith was appearing at a photographic society meeting in Chester, England, demonstrating Eastman products including he new Kodak 'Detective Camera'
      Unless Henry Wentworth Bellsmith also worked for Eastman Kodak in 1888?

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      • #48


        This pic is from a large ad for H S Bellsmith's NY studio-I'm presuming it's of him.

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        • #49
          Most excellent, Debs !
          XXXXXXXXXXXX
          To Join JTR Forums :
          Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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          • #50
            Hi Debra,

            Apologies for the delay in replying, I really must drop by a little more often!

            I also wondered whether the H W Bellsmith who is named as a promoter for Eastman might actually have been H S Bellsmith, but I am inclined to think it was Henry rather than Harold as he gave his occupation as 'company promoter' during this time, whereas throughout the rest of his life he described himself as a book-keeper or accountant.

            David

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            • #51
              Thanks David.

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              • #52
                Bellsmith

                Just some facts, I think very worthy to highlight on Henry Wentworth Bellsmith.

                1) Bellsmith wrote the ripper letters, look at the words "Dear Boss", a saying commonly used in America? The words his cousin picked up on when Bellsmith returned to London after his time in the America's, and when the two of them met, he said: "Well Boss, how are you?" See how the word Boss is used!

                2) The ripper letters were postmarked, EC. Bellsmith had an office behind St Pauls Cathedral in Godliman St (east city) and most people would never dream of sending letters to the Central News Agency; one's own instincts would be to send them to a mainstream daily newspaper. It seems Bellsmith did know this but targeted the CNA.

                3) CNA were based in New Bridge Street, a mere 6 minute walk from Bellsmith's office.

                4) Bellsmith had at least 50-60 written manuscripts describing the fallen women and his complete hatred of them, so he could write and, pen words.

                5) He was also a wealthy and clever man, as seen in the letters, that I am certain he wrote and, are all genuine.

                6) Bellsmith also owned a pair of rubber sole boots, ironic, when you think nobody, not even the police heard footsteps in the quiet streets when the murders had taken place. Especially as they were never far from the crime scenes.

                7) Bellsmith mentioned to his cousin he could cut woman up inside out, in no time at all and, when he was back in Canada, they called themselves Jack Ripper.

                8) HWB said in the "Dear Boss" letter, Don't mind me giving the trade name", meaning Jack the Ripper, which the CNA picked up on and the name was born and instilled into all of us and history.

                9) He also gave many clues to the police, hinting of a trade he wasn't and that they were on the wrong track. Only an intelligent and calculating person would be able to continue like this and taunt the police.

                10) I do believe HWB did have an accomplice. This being a sailor, as witnesses described someone looking like a sailor in the close vicinity of the murders, and, the description of the man seen with the victims matched that of HWB: his build, height, attire, face features, fair moustache, dark hair.

                My overall opinion is that Henry Wentworth Bellsmith was Jack the Ripper, and that Mary Kelly was not a victim at all of JtR but of another hideous murder altogether.

                Paul
                Last edited by Paul Sullivan; February 4, 2016, 08:25 AM. Reason: Updates

                Comment


                • #53
                  HWB

                  ) Bellsmith wrote the ripper letters, look at the words "Dear Boss", a saying commonly used in America? The words his cousin picked up on when Bellsmith returned to London after his time in the America's, and when the two of them met, he said: "Well Boss, how are you?" See how the word Boss is used!

                  2) The ripper letters were postmarked, EC. Bellsmith had an office behind St Pauls Cathedral in Godliman St (east city) and most people would never dream of sending letters to the Central News Agency; one's own instincts would be to send them to a mainstream daily newspaper. It seems Bellsmith did know this but targeted the CNA.

                  3) CNA were based in New Bridge Street, a mere 6 minute walk from Bellsmith's office.

                  4) Bellsmith had at least 50-60 written manuscripts describing the fallen women and his complete hatred of them, so he could write and, pen words.

                  5) He was also a wealthy and clever man, as seen in the letters, that I am certain he wrote and, are all genuine.

                  6) Bellsmith also owned a pair of rubber sole boots, ironic, when you think nobody, not even the police heard footsteps in the quiet streets when the murders had taken place. Especially as they were never far from the crime scenes.

                  7) Bellsmith mentioned to his cousin he could cut woman up inside out, in no time at all and, when he was back in Canada, they called themselves Jack Ripper.

                  8) HWB said in the "Dear Boss" letter, Don't mind me giving the trade name", meaning Jack the Ripper, which the CNA picked up on and the name was born and instilled into all of us and history.

                  9) He also gave many clues to the police, hinting of a trade he wasn't and that they were on the wrong track. Only an intelligent and calculating person would be able to continue like this and taunt the police.

                  10) I do believe HWB did have an accomplice. This being a sailor, as witnesses described someone looking like a sailor in the close vicinity of the murders, and, the description of the man seen with the victims matched that of HWB: his build, height, attire, face features, fair moustache, dark hair.

                  My overall opinion is that Henry Wentworth Bellsmith was Jack the Ripper, and that Mary Kelly was not a victim at all of JtR but of another hideous murder altogether.

                  Paul

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Hello all,

                    I have a bit to add to this thread after spending a few days re-examining Forbes Winslow's interesting suspect, Henry Wentworth Bell-Smith.

                    A few items of note that I didn't find in this thread.

                    It is believed that Bellsmith left London for New York in 1891. I think that may be due to the faulty 1900 census showing their immigration date in 1891. However, Bellsmith's U.S Naturalization record (July 23rd, 1897) shows his date of arrival in New York on January 10, 1890. It shows him at an address in Brooklyn at 183 Spencer Street in 1897 with an occupation of accountant, born September 3rd, 1849. Coincidentally, after looking at google maps, this address was about a mile and a half from the East River Hotel where Carrie Brown was murdered in 1891. Whether he lived here upon arrival in 1890 is currently unknown. But we know he was there in 1897 and the 1900 census has him listed with Caroline and Francis (Frank). They are listed in Ward 21, New York Election district. Spencer Street is included in this Ward. So they may have been at the same address in 1900. Note: It was in 1897 that he wrote his book, Henry Cadavere.

                    As this thread states earlier, Bellsmith married his second wife, Caroline Bellsmith, nee Taylor, in 1889. They had a son, Frank T Bellsmith born on 9 November, 1890 in New York City, not England, according to the draft registration. Frank married Miriam H Johnson on Feb 18, 1919 in Denver, Colorado. On his 1942 Draft Registration card he is listed as 51 years old living in Phoenix, Arizona. (I think it was stated earlier in the thread he lied about his age to get into the service). Miriam Bellsmith is listed on the card. Frank's description on this registration is 5'8" and 145 lbs, blue eyes, gray hair and light complexion. Winslow stated H.W. Wentworth had blue eyes but a dark complexion.

                    Winslow thought Bellsmith left for Africa shortly after he penned his 1889 correspondence about Callaghan's lodger. In all reality, Bellsmith probably left England in late December 1889 to arrive in New York on Jan 10, 1890.

                    Maybe Bellsmith was playing his "funny little games" when he named his son Frank, after his pal Winslow, "Old Frank".

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      I found a Henry Bellsmith living at 1050 Park Avenue NY,NY in October 1890.

                      On the map I have provided here, assuming this is our Henry W Bellsmith, the locations show where he would have been between 1890 and 1900. *EDIT* Sorry, That was 1990 not 1890 for the Henry at Park Avenue. lol At least it shows the Spencer Street address.

                      Blue Arrow= East River Hotel at the corner of Catherine Slip and Water Street.
                      Red Arrow= 183 Spencer Street, Brooklyn
                      Bubble mark at top of map= 1050 Park Avenue

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                      • #56
                        Naturalization Record

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                        • #57
                          The June 1905 census has them still in Brooklyn and living with them is Harold S Bellsmith (brother) and Henry Jr (age 11). By 1915 they had moved to Bergen County, New Jersey. The 1905 census states he has lived in the U.S for 16 years.

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                          • #58
                            The trees on Ancestry agree he died in 1926, only differing as to the place (New York v Florida).

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                            • #59
                              Why connect the Brown murder with Bell Smith?

                              Wolf.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Wolf Vanderlinden View Post
                                Why connect the Brown murder with Bell Smith?

                                Wolf.
                                Hi Wolf,

                                I had said earlier it was coincidental that he may have lived close to that murder site. I always throw a map down, Wolf. It seems to help me, at least, get a bigger picture of events.

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