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Cutbush : "Canvassed For A Directory"

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    Don't forget that Thomas was born in 1865. He was listed as a commercial clerk in the 1881 census. Plenty of time for him to have done normal work before mental illness set in.
    Hi Robert,

    Well noted!

    Best wishes,



    • #17

      Thank you.
      I thought (incorrectly) that this canvassing gig was closer in time to 1888 than 1881.
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      • #18
        Hi How

        As far as I recall, we don't know when he was canvassing. It may have been 1888, but could have been earlier.


        • #19
          As best I recall, he was employed as a clerk and a traveller at a tea merchant’s near the Minories. It was whilst employed there or elsewhere in the Minories that in July 1888 the Sun newspaper claimed that Cutbush threw an elderly employee downstairs. The man was unconscious for several weeks and it was not until he regained consciousness that the truth was discovered and Cutbush was fired. I think he took the canvassing job after this incident, but some sources also say his mental issues already existed by 1888. I'm not sur whether he canvassed for 'a' directory or for something called the Directory.


          • #20

            Thank you for that update.
            It's a heck of a thought to contemplate. That he was hired in that frame of mind as a rep of the Directory firm.

            When you mentioned you weren't sure he was hired in that capacity, are you disputing Macnaghten's remark in the Memoranda ?

            (From Casebook) :

            The case referred to in the sensational story told in 'The Sun' in its issue of 13th inst, & following dates, is that of Thomas Cutbush who was arraigned at the London County Sessions in April 1891 on a charge of maliciously wounding Florence Grace Johnson, and attempting to wound Isabella Fraser Anderson in Kennington. He was found to be insane, and sentenced to be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure.

            This Cutbush, who lived with his mother and aunt at 14 Albert Street, Kennington, escaped from the Lambeth Infirmary, (after he had been detained only a few hours, as a lunatic) at noon on 5th March 1891. He was rearrested on 9th idem. A few weeks before this, several cases of stabbing, or jabbing, from behind had occurred in the vicinity, and a man named Colicott was arrested, but subsequently discharged owing to faulty identification. The cuts in the girl's dresses made by Colicott were quite different to the cut(s) made by Cutbush (when he wounded Miss Johnson) who was no doubt influenced by a wild desire of morbid imitation. Cutbush's antecedents were enquired into by C.Insp (now Supt.) Chris by Inspector Hale, and by P.S. McCarthy C.I.D. -- (the last named officer had been specially employed in Whitechapel at the time of the murders there,) -- and it was ascertained that he was born, and had lived, in Kennington all his life. His father died when he was quite young and he was always a 'spoilt' child. He had been employed as a clerk and traveller in the Tea trade at the Minories, and subsequently cavassed for a Directory in the East End, during which time he bore a good character. He apparently contracted syphilis about 1888, and, -- since that time, -- led an idle and useless life

            Thanks !
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            • #21
              Hi Howard,
              No, I'm not disputing Macnaghten. Just trying to recall the details and to add the story about Cutbush pushing that elderly fellow down the stairs. The 1881 census lists Cutbush's occupation as a commercial clerk. Perhaps the company for whom he worked as a canvasser didn't know about the stairs incident - probably it couldn't be proved, or discussed because of libel? Cutbush was suspected of being Jack the Ripper, or thought he was.



              • #22
                Thank you, sir.
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