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

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  • Thank you very much Chris and Debra, I have been able to pick up the thread, everything "clear" so far. Now following closely

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    • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

      Rubenhold's treatment of this point is quite revealing. She bases it on a report of comments made by Polly's father after her murder, in the East London Observer, 8 September 1888:
      "He believed that three or four years ago the deceased lived with a man who kept a smith's shop in York-street, Walworth. He did not know that she had lived with any other man: but on one occasion the parish of Lambeth summoned her husband for her maintenance. His defence was that she was living with another man. She denied it, but the summons was dismissed."


      Based on this, she suggests that Polly's husband would have employed a private investigator to follow her and investigate her movements. And then:
      "Eventually, at the behest of Lambeth Union, Nichols was summoned to the Magistrates' Court in order to explain himself. He had his answer prepared well in advance. He produced the skilfully gathered evidence of his wife's 'adultery without consent'. According to Edward Walker, his daughter denied that she was living with another man, but the judge seemed convinced by the material. It was ruled that William was now absolved of his financial responsibilities ..."
      [page 55]

      "Adultery without consent" is not a quotation from the newspaper report, but relates to Rubenhold's earlier discussion of the Matrimonial Causes Act, which she says forbade orders for maintenance if the wife was guilty of adultery without her husband's consent.

      But Inspector Helson's report also gives some details of why Lambeth Union's claim was refused. As a police report, it might be expected to be both more accurate and more objective than the recollections of Polly's father. Why should Rubenhold not have referred to it? This is what Helson wrote:
      "For some time he allowed her 5/- per week, but in 1882, it having come to his knowledge that she was living the life of a prostitute he discontinued the allowance. In consequence of this she became chargeable to the Guardians of the Parish of Lambeth by whom the husband was Summoned to show cause why he should not be ordered to contribute towards her support, and on these facts being proved, the summons was dismissed."
      [Ultimate Sourcebook, p. 26; my emphasis]

      Clearly the most important of the facts that were proved would have been that she "was living the life of a prostitute".
      To correct what I said before - Rubenhold's source is a report of the inquest, and while her father did give evidence about this episode, it's her husband's evidence that is more relevant. It includes:
      A Juryman: It has been stated that you were summoned for her maintenance by the Lambeth Guardians, and that you refused to pay because she had been living with another man. Is that true?
      Witness: Yes, with another man or men. I had her watched.
      A Juryman: You don't know whether she lived with that man up till recently?
      Witness: I think not.
      Mr. Horey: How long is that ago?
      Witness: It is about seven years ago since I was summoned.


      Comment


      • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
        For her date of leaving, I was thinking William's claim that the last time she left the youngest child was a year and four months old sounded fairly precise and also the kind of detail he might have remembered:
        https://www.casebook.org/press_repor.../dt880910.html
        I'm still trying to get my notes in order. Now I see that Rubenhold on p. 42 claims to know the exact date: "On 29 March 1880, the day after Easter".[i.e. Easter Monday] I think this would be consistent with other indications, but no source is cited and I can't see it elsewhere. Shelden says "during Easter".

        I wonder where she got the date from.

        Comment


        • P. 233:

          On Sunday they [the pupils of ‘Dowgate’ school] were expected to attend no less than two services, usually at St Paul’s Cathedral, in whose shadow the school had been built.

          That’s one hell of a shadow. Dowgate is over by London Bridge. I suspect this is another example of the author’s ‘rubbing shoulders’ syndrome. St Paul’s is the equivalent of Dickens or Queen Vic.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

            I'm still trying to get my notes in order. Now I see that Rubenhold on p. 42 claims to know the exact date: "On 29 March 1880, the day after Easter".[i.e. Easter Monday] I think this would be consistent with other indications, but no source is cited and I can't see it elsewhere. Shelden says "during Easter".

            I wonder where she got the date from.
            Could there be another settlement record as I mentioned elsewhere? That may also give this date?- I am sure Stewart Evans once briefly posted on Facebook a settlement record for Mary Ann Nichols that I had never seen before or been able to locate. I remember it because it seemed to say something about her having a step father.
            https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/the-victims/mary-ann-polly-nichols/17375-new-mary-ann-nichols-family-information

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post

              Could there be another settlement record as I mentioned elsewhere? That may also give this date?- I am sure Stewart Evans once briefly posted on Facebook a settlement record for Mary Ann Nichols that I had never seen before or been able to locate. I remember it because it seemed to say something about her having a step father.
              https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/the-victims/mary-ann-polly-nichols/17375-new-mary-ann-nichols-family-information
              Actually, Rubenhold does have another Holborn settlement reference in her bibliography - HOBG/535/21, described along with the one the LMA staff member found, HOBG/510/18, as "Holborn Union Workhouse Settlement Examinations".

              Confusingly, immediately afterwards she has HOBG/535/020–023, described as "Holborn Union Workhouse Admissions and Discharge", and in the LMA catalogue it is indeed described as Endell Street Workhouse, Admission and Discharge Register, 1887 Apr - 1887 Nov. I can't see any indication in the catalogue that this is available at Ancestry.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

                Actually, Rubenhold does have another Holborn settlement reference in her bibliography - HOBG/535/21, described along with the one the LMA staff member found, HOBG/510/18, as "Holborn Union Workhouse Settlement Examinations".

                Confusingly, immediately afterwards she has HOBG/535/020–023, described as "Holborn Union Workhouse Admissions and Discharge", and in the LMA catalogue it is indeed described as Endell Street Workhouse, Admission and Discharge Register, 1887 Apr - 1887 Nov. I can't see any indication in the catalogue that this is available at Ancestry.
                There is another book that may have something, it is in the same section the man at the LMA found the other record but is dated differently.
                Camden>Holborn Settlement papers, orders of removal outwards 1888-1899 (MAN was ordered out from Holborn to Lambeth in Feb 1888). It has no file number written on the inside cover unfortunately and it is an un-indexed 4.840 pages long! I've started working through it but it may take a while.

                Comment


                • The good news is I found the cover sheet for the record in the book 362 pages in:
                  Click image for larger version

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                  The bad news is:

                  Click image for larger version

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                  The cover sheet is all that remains of the record

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                  • A real pity, after so much effort

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                    • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                      The good news is I found the cover sheet for the record in the book 362 pages in:
                      Click image for larger version

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ID:	593970

                      The bad news is:

                      Click image for larger version

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ID:	593971
                      The cover sheet is all that remains of the record
                      Many thanks for braving that 4840-page document and for finding the cover sheet!

                      In case it saves someone else some trouble, comparing Ancestry's description with the LMA catalogue, it looks like one of HOBG/515/37-45 (presumably the first), Orders of Removal, Outwards, 1888-1899,

                      Comment


                      • Thanks to Debs's suggestion I also had a look at some records on Ancestry, and clarified one small point that had intrigued me. Neal Shelden's article in True Detective mentioned that the Removal Register described her as "Mary Ann Nichols, otherwise known as Gray", which I didn't remember having seen before. This Removal Register is on Ancestry (BOGH/518/1), and in the index at the front there is indeed an entry for her with the words "otherwise Gray" immediately above her name. But unfortunately when the entries are checked, it turns out that the alias belongs to Ann Nash on the line above, and not to Mary Ann Nichols.

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	BOGH_518_1_index.jpg Views:	0 Size:	17.5 KB ID:	593987

                        Below are the entries for the two removal orders for Mary Ann, the first of which was "Not accepted".

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	BOGH_518_1_1_1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	67.0 KB ID:	593988
                        Click image for larger version  Name:	BOGH_518_1_1_2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	43.6 KB ID:	593989
                        Click image for larger version  Name:	BOGH_518_1_2_1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	40.0 KB ID:	593990
                        Click image for larger version  Name:	BOGH_518_1_2_2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	74.6 KB ID:	593991

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
                          Thanks to Debs's suggestion I also had a look at some records on Ancestry, and clarified one small point that had intrigued me. Neal Shelden's article in True Detective mentioned that the Removal Register described her as "Mary Ann Nichols, otherwise known as Gray", which I didn't remember having seen before. This Removal Register is on Ancestry (BOGH/518/1), and in the index at the front there is indeed an entry for her with the words "otherwise Gray" immediately above her name. But unfortunately when the entries are checked, it turns out that the alias belongs to Ann Nash on the line above, and not to Mary Ann Nichols.
                          I meant to mention that I thought these entries would be among those that Debs had seen and posted previously, and indeed they were, e.g. here in the current thread:
                          This thread is for people to post corrections of errors, warnings about possibly incorrect statements, and uncredited sources of other material in Hallie Rubenhold's book. Periodically I'll try to collect these into lists to be maintained in the resources section of the site. Initially, I had thought we could also collect

                          Comment


                          • HR devotes 3 pages to Polly Nichols’ experiences in Samuel and Sarah Cowdry’s household in Wandsworth, but there is no evidence that Polly ever lived with Samuel and Sarah. The only clues we have is that she lived with a family named Cowdry at ‘Ingleside’, Rose Hill Road, Wandsworth. Judging by electoral records and press reports it was Samuel’s son, Francis, and his wife, Martha, who lived at ‘Ingleside’, which was 18, Rose Hill Road. Incidentally, Martha had lived in Lambeth before she married, so it makes more sense that she was the one who contacted the Lambeth Guardians.




                            Attached Files

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                            • I don’t pretend to know how religious Francis was, but he was obviously a much younger man than his 60-something father, and within a few years of Polly’s departure from his household it appears he had abandoned his wife and relocated to Turkey. He seemingly remained in the Middle East until his wife died and then returned to England and promptly married a much younger woman named Johanna Rainbow.

                              Martha Cowdry died in April, 1921 and when the 1921 census was taken (19th June) Johanna Rainbow was living with Francis.

                              Comment


                              • HR let her imagination run away with her when describing the Cowdry episode - how much more interesting it could have been if she’d identified the right household. Frank was an adventurer, possibly unhappy in his marriage to Martha who was considerably older than he was. What was the effect of Polly’s arrival in that household, and did it in any way contribute to the breakdown of the Cowdries’ marriage? Perhaps Polly’s days and nights weren’t so empty as HR imagines.

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