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Reynolds News, Sunday 29 October 1950

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  • #31
    What is of interest as well is that the story of the 'Lynch of Galway', which Terence Robertson elaborated on between the years of 1949 and 1952, was actually a piece of romantic fiction written by the Reverend Edward Margin in 1807, that then went on to become accepted as genuine history, despite the author protesting that he had made it all up! I think this shows Robertson's interest in the story, in that it made him aware that one could invent a character like 'Fairy Fay', weave a clever story and plot around that character, and hey presto Fairy Fay marches out of fiction to become fact! I haven't seen the 'A to Z' in years but I would assume Fairy Fay occupies a factual place in there somewhere? Of interest as well is that many of the Lynch family of Galway were named 'Fay', both as a surname and first name, and they seemed to have had a bookmakers firm called Fay for many years until quite recently, so that could well explain the horse called 'Fairy Fay', as a lot of Irish bookmakers were race horse owners?

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    • #32
      AP,

      The idea that there was an 1887 victim goes back to the 19th century, doesn’t it? So Robertson merely gave her a name.

      Gary

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      • #33
        Good point, Gary, but I've always been of the opinion that we still do not have an exact tally of the victims of the Whitechapel Murderer, and my own researches in that area led me to be very wary of ascribing other murders in the years surrounding 1888 to the same killer, and I would add that even some of the so-called victims from 1888 might not fit the remit. We know that both Martha Tabram and Elizabeth Stride as victims of the same killer is still a very disputed argument, so wherever you turn in this bed of nettles you are going to get stung! I think it fair to say that Robertson not only gave her a name, but perhaps more importantly gave the basic idea credence in the 20th Century.

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        • #34
          Click image for larger version

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ID:	574040 AP,

          Did you notice that he called Nichols ‘Pretty Polly’? He seems to have been fond of a catchy moniker. ‘Fairy Fay’ wasn’t only the name of a race horse, it was the name of a character in pantomime and children’s stories.

          I’ve always thought that Fairy Fay was thought of as a fictional creation by most - a name randomly applied to the unnamed, and almost certainly non-existent, December 1887 victim who appeared in early lists of the victims.

          The website above may be of interest, I can’t access it myself, but it seems to give the author of the Lynch play as a J. Fay. The Lynch legend goes back at least to 1674 (or so Wiki tells me ;-)).

          Gary

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          • #35
            I think I must have found that 'J.Fay' link a few seconds after you, Gary! Yes indeed, there was a very famous serialised children's story called 'The Wendy Hut' which appeared in many newspapers in the 1920s and 30s, with its central character as Fairy Fay, perhaps that was young Robertson's first foray into journalism? As well as your horse Fairy Fay, which in the early days was owned by a Mr RM Liddell, wealthy Irish linen manufacturer from Belfast, there was a very famous coursing greyhound called Fairy Fay in the LVP whose bloodline commanded enormous fees for that time period. So it would seem that the name Fairy Fay would have been commonly known amongst the Irish fratenity of London, as most of the 'slippers' - the men who controlled and then released the greyhounds at the course meetings - were of Irish origin. Hopefully I have successfully bookmarked a site here which makes it quite plain that the Lynch legend was a work of fiction! https://www.advertiser.ie/Galway/art...e-lynch-window

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            • #36
              I’d like to see Mitchell’s full article. I think he came to the conclusion that the 1674 tale by a ‘Spanish Dominican’ was fictional because he could not find an earlier version.

              I also found the references to the coursing dogs. I looked into this some time ago when Chris G (I think) raised the issue.

              The 1948 ‘Fairy Fay’ ‘Fair Victim’ reference was the one that particularly struck me.

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              • #37
                This is the old thread I had in mind:

                https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/the-...ge2#post384977

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                • #38
                  Thanks for the link, Gary! I would love to hear more from Chris George on his comment in that thread! 'There is good reason to think that Terence Robertson did have gambling debts. I will be talking about him in my talk Saturday, November 5 at the Arbor City Hotel . The talk is a follow-up to my article in Ripperologist a decade ago. I now have a lot more information about Robertson and his life that I will be revealing to the audience at the conference a week tomorrow.' As I know Robertson did have serious debts and he paid them off in a very novel and spectacular manner!

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                  • #39
                    A.P.

                    Any chance your talk will be recorded ? I for one would love to hear it.


                    Gary

                    Check your p.m.s...
                    To Join JTR Forums :
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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                      A.P.

                      Any chance your talk will be recorded ? I for one would love to hear it.


                      Gary

                      Check your p.m.s...
                      Thanks, How!



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                      • #41
                        This one is a bit off-topic, but it does show that Terence Robertson inhabited a very murky and quirky world for someone who was, after all, a highly successful and acclaimed writer of some very serious factual war books, so factual and revealing that questions were asked in the House of Commons as to where he had obtained the material from for his book on the Suez Crisis as that was covered by the Official Secrets Act; and then the next minute he is offering an obviously insane killer a six figure sum for the film and book rights of his story? https://archive.macleans.ca/article/...rious-assassin

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                        • #42
                          Following are two slides from the talk I gave on Terence Robertson and Fairy Fay at the Arbor City Hotel. You can readily see where Robertson was coming from whenever it came to writing about historical events, i.e., it's okay to add a bit of fiction, as long as the "basic truth" is told. No wonder Canadian military historians have a low view of his book on Dieppe.


                          Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                          https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                          Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                          Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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                          • #43
                            Thanks Chris, much appreciated! I think your comments to be very valid where his work concerned WWII, but he seems to have somehow obtained a lot of confidential documents for his expose on the Suez Crisis, leading, as I said, to questions being asked in Parliament as to how Robertson got hold of this material. But, yes, he was entirely without scruple, when it came to his private or public life, and he would do just about anything - and I mean anything - to get good copy, as you will see when my effort is published in a few weeks time. I think some of your quotes from above would apply very readily to a large number of Ripper writers who were also not going to let pesky little facts get in the way of a good story!

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                            • #44
                              Thanks for that info, C.G.

                              Donald McCormick was a little like Robertson in that he invented dialogue for his 1959 ' Identity of Jack The Ripper'
                              To Join JTR Forums :
                              Contact [email protected]

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                              • #45
                                Courtesy of a colleague, I managed to get access to the Mitchell article.

                                The Rev. Mangin claimed his 1807 version of the story was largely his own invention based upon a traditional tale. The earliest extant written version of the tale is from 1672, but that was copied from an even earlier version, originally written in Latin.

                                Mitchell mentions a play called ‘The House of Lynch’ which was written by ‘ ‘J. Fay’ ( G. A. Little)’ and performed in 1938 and 1950. Unless Mitchell’s ‘J’ was an error, Robertson is unlikely to have been inspired to come up with the Fairy Fay name in connection to the Lynch legend.

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