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Suggested annotations for Hallie Rubenhold's book "The Five" (2019)

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  • Page 371:

    Jarrett Kobek…builds a case for attributing the ballad to Kate Eddowes and Conway.

    No he doesn’t. What he says is:

    There is not room enough to discuss here the history or function of gallows literature; it is sufficient to state that based on its title and form-a first person confession narrated by Robinson from the afterlife-these verses are a clear example of this long tradition. This one-sheet was undoubtedly sold at Robinson's execution. Unfortunately, it presents no author's marks, making it impossible to attribute the verses.

    Certain facts do stand out. Eddowes was related to the murderer, Conway and she did peddle booklets, and they may have been in the area at the time. That there is a written account attributing authorship of Robinson-related gallows literature to Conway, and that such a ballad does exist, must be taken into consideration. In this writer's opinion, the odds are 50/50. If Conway did write and sell a ballad at the execution of Robinson, this is it.


    Clearly the 50/50 is based on the fact that the Bugle claimed that Conway wrote the ballad. Kobek spots the traditional aspects of the form of the ballad, but Hallie tells us:

    The perspective of the ballad is interesting. While many authors would have written a dramatic account of the killing, or shaped the events into a tale of murderous love, the lyrics instead paint Robinson as a remorseful figure, worthy of pity.

    This comes across as a rather unsubtle hint that Eddowes wrote the ballad and employed an untypical tone because the convicted man was her relative. But the tone and some of the actual words can be found in other ballads, they are, as Kobek suggests, traditional.

    The unsuspecting reader is left with the impression that there is evidence that Eddowes (and Conway who always gets second billing) wrote ballads. There isn’t. As for her performing them, the only mention I’ve been able to discover of ballads being performed at the Robinson hanging speaks of a male balladeer. The Bugle doesn’t speak of her singing, just of her using her ‘quick wit and repartee’ to help sell the ballad. How on earth could they know that? I doubt the couple were even there.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
      A good start, Chris.

      Re the suggestion that Boekee and Morgenstern moved into 79, PS and lived upstairs from the Millers, we should point out that the evidence suggests the Millers were elsewhere at the time:

      1885 (Nov): John/Sophie Miller - Annie birth @ Manor Lane, Rotherhithe.
      1886 (Feb): John/Sophie Miller - Annie death @ 94, Cornwall Street*.
      1886 (May): John Miller - Charles school enrolment @18, Albert Street
      Yes, that's a good point. If Elizabeth and John Morgenstern had gone to Pennington Street immediately after Louis's death in 1882 - as Rubenhold's narrative suggests - there would have been some evidence to suggest they lived there at the same time as the Millers. As it is, I don't think there is any.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

        Yes, that's a good point. If Elizabeth and John Morgenstern had gone to Pennington Street immediately after Louis's death in 1882 - as Rubenhold's narrative suggests - there would have been some evidence to suggest they lived there at the same time as the Millers. As it is, I don't think there is any.
        Her assumption seems to be that because the Millers were there in 1881 and 1891, they were also there in 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889 and 1890. But as we know they moved about a bit during that period and according to the Booth survey there were no children at that address in June, 1887.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
          Page 371:

          Jarrett Kobek…builds a case for attributing the ballad to Kate Eddowes and Conway.

          No he doesn’t. What he says is:

          There is not room enough to discuss here the history or function of gallows literature; it is sufficient to state that based on its title and form-a first person confession narrated by Robinson from the afterlife-these verses are a clear example of this long tradition. This one-sheet was undoubtedly sold at Robinson's execution. Unfortunately, it presents no author's marks, making it impossible to attribute the verses.

          Certain facts do stand out. Eddowes was related to the murderer, Conway and she did peddle booklets, and they may have been in the area at the time. That there is a written account attributing authorship of Robinson-related gallows literature to Conway, and that such a ballad does exist, must be taken into consideration. In this writer's opinion, the odds are 50/50. If Conway did write and sell a ballad at the execution of Robinson, this is it.


          Clearly the 50/50 is based on the fact that the Bugle claimed that Conway wrote the ballad. Kobek spots the traditional aspects of the form of the ballad, but Hallie tells us:

          The perspective of the ballad is interesting. While many authors would have written a dramatic account of the killing, or shaped the events into a tale of murderous love, the lyrics instead paint Robinson as a remorseful figure, worthy of pity.

          This comes across as a rather unsubtle hint that Eddowes wrote the ballad and employed an untypical tone because the convicted man was her relative. But the tone and some of the actual words can be found in other ballads, they are, as Kobek suggests, traditional.

          The unsuspecting reader is left with the impression that there is evidence that Eddowes (and Conway who always gets second billing) wrote ballads. There isn’t. As for her performing them, the only mention I’ve been able to discover of ballads being performed at the Robinson hanging speaks of a male balladeer. The Bugle doesn’t speak of her singing, just of her using her ‘quick wit and repartee’ to help sell the ballad. How on earth could they know that? I doubt the couple were even there.
          I was interested to read David Barrat's comments on this point a couple of days ago. He suggests that Rubenhold might have misunderstood Kobek's phrase "manufacture and distribution" to imply that Catherine Eddowes had a hand in writing the sheet. While I wouldn't underestimate her ability to misunderstand things, I'm a bit sceptical that it was a genuine misunderstanding.

          I was also pleased to see David thought the collection of these notes was a worthwhile thing to do. I've included several of his comments in the list. It's fair enough comment that other Ripper books would be worthy of the same, but personally I thought it was worth spending some time on this (1) because Rubenhold's book achieved such a high profile and (2) because I thought her treatment of previous researchers was pretty deplorable.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

            Her assumption seems to be that because the Millers were there in 1881 and 1891, they were also there in 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889 and 1890. But as we know they moved about a bit during that period and according to the Booth survey there were no children at that address in June, 1887.
            Yes, probably it is as simple as assuming that they were there the whole time. In a way it's the kind of assumption that it's natural to make, but evidently it's unwarranted in this case.

            Comment


            • Chris,

              I’m hoping you are going to include the Cowdry material. That seems to be another example of either Hallie (or whoever she obtained her research from) assuming that no one moved about between censuses. If Samuel Cowdry was the only Cowdry in the Street in 1881 and 1891, he must have been Polly’s employer of that name in 1888. And then off she goes imagining how Polly fitted in to Samuel’s household. It’s the fictionalising on the basis of inaccurate facts that I find particularly irritating.


              Gary

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

                Yes, probably it is as simple as assuming that they were there the whole time. In a way it's the kind of assumption that it's natural to make, but evidently it's unwarranted in this case.
                It’s an assumption that arises out of superficial research. She spends more time imagining what Kelly might have got up to in the fashionable West End and France than looking into her known East End environment.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                  Chris,

                  I’m hoping you are going to include the Cowdry material. That seems to be another example of either Hallie (or whoever she obtained her research from) assuming that no one moved about between censuses. If Samuel Cowdry was the only Cowdry in the Street in 1881 and 1891, he must have been Polly’s employer of that name in 1888. And then off she goes imagining how Polly fitted in to Samuel’s household. It’s the fictionalising on the basis of inaccurate facts that I find particularly irritating.


                  Gary
                  I haven't got on to that one yet. Please do keep them coming.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

                    I was interested to read David Barrat's comments on this point a couple of days ago. He suggests that Rubenhold might have misunderstood Kobek's phrase "manufacture and distribution" to imply that Catherine Eddowes had a hand in writing the sheet. While I wouldn't underestimate her ability to misunderstand things, I'm a bit sceptical that it was a genuine misunderstanding.

                    I was also pleased to see David thought the collection of these notes was a worthwhile thing to do. I've included several of his comments in the list. It's fair enough comment that other Ripper books would be worthy of the same, but personally I thought it was worth spending some time on this (1) because Rubenhold's book achieved such a high profile and (2) because I thought her treatment of previous researchers was pretty deplorable.
                    Rubenhold presents her own ‘evidence’ for Kate’s involvement in the writing of the Robinson ballad - the unusually sympathetic tone of the ballad.

                    It’s encouraging to hear that David thinks this is a useful exercise. There are others who have been putting together similar lists. Perhaps it might be useful to reach out to them (or for them to reach in) so we can cover as much of the book as possible. An almost page by page commentary, perhaps, which could be printed in some form.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                      I believe there’s only one version of Mrs Phoenix’s statement and, as you say, it doesn’t explicitly say she had no contact with her family, but it does say they were still resident in Cardiff.

                      Another little deception HR employs is to say that Mrs McCarthy said that Kelly revisited her in early 1887.

                      She uses an extract from The Echo of 12th November, 1888:

                      She, however, was awakened by Kelly some short time ago at two o'clock in the morning, when she was with a strange man, and asked for a bed for the night. On that occasion Mrs. Carthy asked the deceased if she was not still living with the man who took her from the neighbourhood. She replied in the negative, and explained her position.

                      and turns it into:

                      ...her former lodger appeared at her door at two o’clock in the morning, during the early part of 1887. She had come in search of a bed for herself and a male companion. The landlady seemed somewhat puzzled and asked ‘if she was not still living with the man who took her from the neighbourhood.’ Kelly replied that the relationship had ended and that she had returned to soliciting.

                      Where does get she get early 1887 from? She made it up because it suits her portrayal of Kelly to push any suggestion of her being a prostitute back to before she met Barnett.
                      That's particularly misleading, because in the report she cites the account of Mrs Carthy begins with her saying Mary Kelly had left her "eighteen months or two years ago" - that is, roughly between November 1886 and May 1887. Following that with "some short time ago" obviously isn't referring to "the early part of 1887".

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                        There is some stuff about Polly on page 51 that interests me.

                        Hallie suggests that William Nichols’ claim that she was a drinker must have been rejected by Thomas Taverner, the Lambeth relieving officer, otherwise she wouldn’t have been awarded the 5s weekly allowance that her husband was asked to pay her. She (HR) quotes from A Handy Book for the Guardians of the Poor:

                        Whenever it is found that a deserted wife is known to drink…out-door relief should not be given, but the workhouse alone offered.’

                        Knowing Hallie’s methods as I do, the … worries me somewhat. What did she leave out? And would an allowance from a husband constitute ‘out-door relief’?

                        Hallie picks up her mournful violin again as she tells us that the meagre 5 shillings William paid Polly would barely have been sufficient to keep a roof over her head, ‘If rent for one room in a down-at-hill part of town cost 4 shillings a week…’

                        But hold on, weren’t MJK and Joe Barnett paying 2s 6d a week for their room in Millers Court? And I’ve seen a 1911 census form where the occupant of a single room in Paternoster Row revealed that his rent was 2s or 2s 6d. Where did Hallie get her 4 bob from?
                        David Barrat kindly pointed out a further problem with this episode. Rubenhold has Taverner, on behalf of the Lambeth Board of Guardians, awarding Polly weekly maintenance from her husband. But Helson's report [Ultimate Sourcebook, p. 26] says that (at some point) he was summoned by the Guardians to show why he should not be ordered to contribute to her support, but the summons was dismissed [thus also Sugden, pp. 43, 44]. David also asks whether a relieving officer would have the power to do what Rubenhold claims was done.

                        The source for this is given as London Metropolitan Archives, HOBG 510/18, which Rubenhold says is a settlement examination that took place on 13 February 1888 when Polly was in the care of Holborn Union. Sugden says this examination took place at Mitcham Workhouse (which belonged to Holborn Union).

                        HOBG/510/018 is described in the LMA catalogue as Holborn Board of Guardians, "Settlement examinations: Grays Inn Road and City Road (Indexed)," and is dated 1888. It should be available on Ancestry, but after spending some time browsing for it (I hope in the right collection(s) this time) I haven't been able to find it. I wonder if anyone here has either already seen it, or is able to locate it?

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

                          David Barrat kindly pointed out a further problem with this episode. Rubenhold has Taverner, on behalf of the Lambeth Board of Guardians, awarding Polly weekly maintenance from her husband. But Helson's report [Ultimate Sourcebook, p. 26] says that (at some point) he was summoned by the Guardians to show why he should not be ordered to contribute to her support, but the summons was dismissed [thus also Sugden, pp. 43, 44]. David also asks whether a relieving officer would have the power to do what Rubenhold claims was done.

                          The source for this is given as London Metropolitan Archives, HOBG 510/18, which Rubenhold says is a settlement examination that took place on 13 February 1888 when Polly was in the care of Holborn Union. Sugden says this examination took place at Mitcham Workhouse (which belonged to Holborn Union).

                          HOBG/510/018 is described in the LMA catalogue as Holborn Board of Guardians, "Settlement examinations: Grays Inn Road and City Road (Indexed)," and is dated 1888. It should be available on Ancestry, but after spending some time browsing for it (I hope in the right collection(s) this time) I haven't been able to find it. I wonder if anyone here has either already seen it, or is able to locate it?
                          I think I posted it on JTRforums a few years back and it recently came up in discussion again concerning the date of Nichols being picked up in Trafalgar Square. I'll have a look for it and link it here

                          Comment


                          • This is the version I once posted, not sure if it is the same one being discussed. it's post No 54 onwards.
                            https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/the-...e-needed/page2

                            Also here is some transcribed material I placed on a different thread concerning settlement:

                            Settlement Examination
                            Infirmary 13 Feb 1888
                            re Mary Ann Nichols, 36, married, destitute
                            Not seen or heard of husband William Nichols 6 or 7 years. Woman lived in Vine Street 4 nights
                            woman lived in Fulwoods Rents 3 nights
                            December 1887 in Edmonton workhouse , Strand Union, 4 or 5 weeks. No home since separated from husband which was no 6 D Block
                            Peabody Buildings Stamford Street, Blackfriars. lived there 6 years paid 5/9 a week left there 7 or 8 years ago.
                            Married at St Brides Church Fleet St 16 January 1864. Maiden name Walker. Husband has got the certificate-When we separated I went
                            direct into Lambeth workhouse from No 6 D Blaock. Then it was agreed husband should allow me s 5/- a week which he did for 2 years
                            which I received from Mr Tavener at Lambeth Workhouse.
                            I was in Lambeth Workhouse December 1887 2 weeks and was turned out. I don't know where husband has been living last 6 or 7 years.
                            Paupers father- Walker at 16 Madewell Street or Maydewell Street, Allbany Road, Camberwell S.E.

                            1. That the Pauper has come to inhabit, and is now inhabiting the Hoborn Union, not having gained legal settlement there, nor
                            having produced a Certificate acknowledging a Settlement elsewhere, nor having become irremovable by residence; and that she has
                            become and is now actually chargeable to and receiving relief therefrom.

                            2. That the said pauper is the wife of William Nichols now absent from her to whom she was married at Saint Brides Church Fleet
                            Street on or about the 16th day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty four.

                            3. That the pauper resided continuously for more than three years prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty at
                            No. 6 D Block Peabody Buildings Stamford Street Blackfriars in your ? parish in such manner and under such circumstances as to
                            gain a residential settlement in accordance with the act 39 & 40 Vic Cap 61 Sec 34.

                            Examination of James William Hill, Clerk to the Guardians of the Poor at Holborn Union, in the County of Middlesex,
                            touching the last place of legal settlement of Mary Ann Nicholls, aged about 36 years. Wife of William Nicholls, now absent from her.

                            Taken and sworn at the Guardians Offices, Clerkenwell Road in the county of Middlesex, the day and year first aforesaid bu us
                            signed Joseph E Green and Joseph J Goode
                            James W Hill




                            Comment


                            • It seems that my version is a copy that came from the Lambeth Union removal inwards paperwork rather than the Holborn settlement examination

                              These are the records I found and posted from both unions besides the copy of the removal outwards paperwork.
                              Mary Ann Nicholls was removed from the Holborn Union to Lambeth on 16th April 1888. The settlement paperwork and the entries below from the removal registers for Holborn and Lambeth detail her removal because she was judged to have settlement in Lambeth through residence.

                              Register of orders of removal outwards Holborn union
                              3342 Nicholls Mary Ann, 14 Feb order 7th March written underneath date, removed to Lambeth, nature of settlement residence,
                              posred 14th Feb 1888, not accepted.

                              3356 7th March Nicholls Mary Ann, settlement Lambeth, settlement through residence, posted at the post office K? Green on the
                              on the 12th March by me signature added William P? delivered to the porter the Lambeth workhouse on 16th April 1888 by the HB??
                              maintenance 1 p 5 s paid 19th May 1888, depns 21/3/88

                              Lambeth Lambeth Orders of Removal Register of orders of removal and adjudication inwards, 1877-1889
                              851 March 7th Nicholls Mary Ann, age 36, order obtained by Holborn Union, March 13th, pauper removed april 16th 1888,
                              from Mitcham workhouse, time charged 13th march 1888 to 16th april 1888, cost 1 pound 4 shillings 5 weeks, paid 2nd may 88

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                                This is the version I once posted, not sure if it is the same one being discussed. it's post No 54 onwards.
                                https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/the-...e-needed/page2

                                Also here is some transcribed material I placed on a different thread concerning settlement:

                                Settlement Examination
                                Infirmary 13 Feb 1888
                                re Mary Ann Nichols, 36, married, destitute
                                Not seen or heard of husband William Nichols 6 or 7 years. Woman lived in Vine Street 4 nights
                                woman lived in Fulwoods Rents 3 nights
                                December 1887 in Edmonton workhouse , Strand Union, 4 or 5 weeks. No home since separated from husband which was no 6 D Block
                                Peabody Buildings Stamford Street, Blackfriars. lived there 6 years paid 5/9 a week left there 7 or 8 years ago.
                                Married at St Brides Church Fleet St 16 January 1864. Maiden name Walker. Husband has got the certificate-When we separated I went
                                direct into Lambeth workhouse from No 6 D Blaock. Then it was agreed husband should allow me s 5/- a week which he did for 2 years
                                which I received from Mr Tavener at Lambeth Workhouse.
                                I was in Lambeth Workhouse December 1887 2 weeks and was turned out. I don't know where husband has been living last 6 or 7 years.
                                Paupers father- Walker at 16 Madewell Street or Maydewell Street, Allbany Road, Camberwell S.E.

                                1. That the Pauper has come to inhabit, and is now inhabiting the Hoborn Union, not having gained legal settlement there, nor
                                having produced a Certificate acknowledging a Settlement elsewhere, nor having become irremovable by residence; and that she has
                                become and is now actually chargeable to and receiving relief therefrom.

                                2. That the said pauper is the wife of William Nichols now absent from her to whom she was married at Saint Brides Church Fleet
                                Street on or about the 16th day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty four.

                                3. That the pauper resided continuously for more than three years prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty at
                                No. 6 D Block Peabody Buildings Stamford Street Blackfriars in your ? parish in such manner and under such circumstances as to
                                gain a residential settlement in accordance with the act 39 & 40 Vic Cap 61 Sec 34.

                                Examination of James William Hill, Clerk to the Guardians of the Poor at Holborn Union, in the County of Middlesex,
                                touching the last place of legal settlement of Mary Ann Nicholls, aged about 36 years. Wife of William Nicholls, now absent from her.

                                Taken and sworn at the Guardians Offices, Clerkenwell Road in the county of Middlesex, the day and year first aforesaid bu us
                                signed Joseph E Green and Joseph J Goode
                                James W Hill



                                Thanks very much - that's very helpful.

                                The image corresponding to the first part of your transcript is at post 54 of that thread:
                                https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/the-...323#post425323

                                The image corresponding to the part numbered 1, 2, 3 was posted by Stewart Evans, who headed it "Holborn Union 12 March 1888":
                                https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/the-...147#post268147

                                I assume the final bit is a continuation of that.

                                As you say, the notes on the examination are a copy from Lambeth records. But unless there was any more than that in the Holborn record cited by Rubenhold, it doesn't appear to say anything about Holborn awarding her a payment. If I understand correctly, it says a payment had been "agreed" at a previous time. And that is according to Polly herself.

                                Comment

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