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  • #61
    Bucks Row Project part 2 post 17a - Police
















    We now come to looking at comments by the Police, on the whole, not already covered in other tables.
    We have a mix of press reports from early in the inquest, which are duplicated in the Spratling table, but are included here as well.


    There are Press reports from later in the inquest, involving more than a single officer and a handful of Official Police Reports.


    I shall start by looking at these official reports first.


    The first Official Report is number 8 from the table, dated 7th of September by acting Superintendent Davis, it gives a little background information on Nichols, and mentions leather Apron, this before the murder of Annie Chapman.


    The second Report, 9, also dated the 7th is from Helson/Keating this has already been covered in the Helson table, I include it again because on second reading I noticed one of those coincidences so beloved by many, William Nichols was employed by Messrs. Purkiss Bacon & Co., Whitefriars St. E.C. (my emphasis)


    The next Report 10 is by Abberline and Swanson and has several interesting points, it gives a full report of the events surrounding the discovery of the body of Nichols, including the carmen, and there meeting with Mizen.


    From here we can see the timing is given as about 3.40, we will see that in report 11 this is given as 3.45 and some argue this shows a revision on the part of the Police thinking. It may do or it may just be imprecise timings, these reports still contain error as we shall see, and I humbly suggest that we cannot therefore be sure of the timing the police preferred.


    It also confirms the meeting between The Carmen and Mizen was at the corner of Hanbury Street/Old Montague Street, this suggests the southern side of Hanbury Street, but is open to debate.


    It further says they acquainted him (Mizen) with what they had seen, he proceeded towards the site but found Neil was already there, and that he was signalling for assistance.
    Both he and PC Thain responded.


    Similar is repeated in Report 11, Mizen is told but before he arrives Neil has found the body.


    What is glaringly missing he is Mizen’s claim that he was told he was required by another officer, it is not even mentioned, it is airbrushed out of the account.


    This suggests at the very least the police did not accept it has being accurate report of events, viewing it possibly as a misunderstand, it seems this was the line they indeed took, as no action was taken against Mizen for lying that we are aware of.


    We have a details of Mizen going for ambulance from Bethnal Green Police Station and returns with it and other officers including Spratling and the body is then removed to the mortuary, this is mistaken as Spratling says he is not at Bethnal Green Police Station but in Hackney road, and arrives after the body has left the scene. (Spratling Table Reports: 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14 &15).


    The report with regards to the injuries, may draw on Spratling report (Spratling Table Report 1) however it is not clear. We see it stated that Llewellyn said the abdomen wounds alone could cause instantaneous death. And he believes they were inflicted before the neck wounds. This must be noted, however one must point out that nowhere does Llewellyn in any source actually say what the wounds are, this has been very hotly debated and we be again in part 3 surely, when I will look at it in depth.


    The report goes on to give various background detail, and includes her last known movements, including the sighting by Holland at 2.30am.


    We next have a section on the slaughter men, however the report is clear that their accounts are:


    confirmed by the Police who saw them at work”


    Is the use of “Police” here singular or plural? Does it actually make a difference to the murder?
    This again in part 3.


    we then have discussion on the Chapman case before the following is produced:

    Bucks Row is a narrow quiet thoroughfare frequented by prostitutes for immoral purposes at night and no doubt the yard of 29 Hanbury Street has been used for a similar purpose.”
    unfortunately no source is given to back this statement up. However when seen in conjunction with the attempts of Mrs Green to say there are no “women” about in Bucks Row, one does wonder if this is indeed based on fact, and could explain both Nichols presence and the reputation spoken of by Paul amongst others.

    Moving on to report 11 dated 19 October by Swanson, apart from the sections already touched on above, we have the description of the wounds, this appears to be almost directly lifted from the report of Spratling 31st August (Spratling Table Report 1), with one exception; there is now no mention of the abdomen wounds being first or causing instantaneousdeath this is either a strange omission and a reassessment following the closing of the inquest and possible further enquires. However it is now also said that the doctor is no longer sure of the killer being by a left handed person

    This is followed by details of her last sighting at 2.30am and further reports that despite extensive searching there is no other of sighting of her

    The slaughter men are mentioned again, made clear all interviewed separately with no means of communicating, this suggests all were done at same time, or in series with those not yet interviewed kept separated.

    Also it confirms their accounts are supported:

    in some portions by the Police on night duty near the premises”


    The same questions apply here as to the comments in report 10


    lets now look at the inquest reports, we begin with the early dated Reports 12,13 & 14 these are also included in the Spratling table

    These tell us that sergeant Enright told the mortuary men not to touch the body.

    He also says the cloths were in a heap in the yard Reports 13 & 14.
    That “Lambeth Workhouse” labels had been removed by Helson, however from reading the testimony of the mortuary worker Hatfield (mortuary Table reports 2 & 3) it is more likely he Helson had them cut rather than cut himself. Reports 13 & 14 only.

    Enright also says stays were present in good condition, but he was not sure how they were adjusted. Baxter says it is import to know this. Abberline suggests sending for the clothing(one assumes just the stays). Also only Reports 13 & 14.

    Finally we move onto the later press reports of the inquest. Several points are raised here:

    The main seen walking down Bucks Row while Llewellyn is there is mentioned but there has been no joy in finding him (Reports:1,3 & 5).

    Spratling admitted not all houses had been spoken to yet, (2.5 weeks after event), Baxter replies this “will have to be done” in reports 1 & 3; in reports 2 & 7 Baxters comment is not repeated.

    In reports 4 & 6 an extended version of Spratlings comment is given:

    No; but if anything had come to light down there we should have heard of it. I have seen all the watchmen in the neighbourhood, and they neither saw nor heard anything on the morning in question. The Board school ground has been searched, but nothing likely to throw any light on the
    matter was discovered.”


    In report 5:
    Detective-sergeant Spratling deposed that he had made many inquiries in Buck's-row, but most of the people heard nothing unusual on the night in question. -”


    we can see here the rank is wrong, minor point but indicating less than accurate reporting.


    In Report 1 Spratling says despite extensive questioning no one heard a thing.


    Spratling also now claims he told mortuary men not to touch body (Reports:1 & 3) this appears to be at odd with his own testimony where he merely says he gave no instructions and that of Enright, (Reports 12,13 & 14). one wonders if this is a belated attempt to cover up actual failings.


    Finally there is a question from jury, with regards to if railway could be means of escape (Reports: 1 & 5).


    Overall Baxter appears frustrated and resigned to events.


    Comment


    • #62
      Bucks Row Project part 2 post 18 - Baxter

















      Comment


      • #63
        Bucks Row Project part 2 post 18a - Baxter

















        Comment


        • #64
          Bucks Row Project part 2 post 18b - Baxter



          The first thing to mention when looking at Coroner Baxter is that some of his comments appear in other tables and not here and I shall be referring back to those.


          Baxter appears to be constantly frustrated by the responses of both some Witnesses and Police.


          Lets start by examining his comments with regards to the undressing of the body and the clothing:


          He asks specifically who removed the clothing and who authorised such in Reports 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6.
          The responses he receives are those of men denying giving instructions and taking no responsibility for events. (Reports: 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6).


          This one should point out is odd, in that Helson says he was present when the clothing was removed and one assumes he gave the instruction. (Helson Table, Reports: 1, 4, 9 & 12.).
          It is also odd that on the 17th Spratling, changes his account of what happened (Spratling Table, Reports: 8, 9 & 11 compared to Police Table Reports 1 & 3 ).


          However Baxter appears to just accept all this changing of story with out any comment.
          He is not so interested in who gave instruction, (Reports: 5 & 6) but that someone should have recorded the removal. His main aim is to determine the condition and position of clothing (Reports: 3, 4, 5 & 6); And why the men who did the undressing are not present and that they should be.(Reports 1 & 2).


          This can also be seen by again looking at the Spratling Tables (link) :


          Officials should have been present to record condition of clothing. (Reports: 2, 3, 11 &15).
          Needs to know position of clothing. (Reports: 8, 9, 14 & 15).
          The condition of the clothing is important. ( Reports:10,12,15)
          Baxter says that the men who removed the clothing need to be present, Report 5.”
          This is only solved to a degree when Abberline suggests sending for the clothing.
          Baxter’s comments on the Mortuary attendants are very telling,


          He dismisses Mann, due to his supposed epilepsy, a sign of thinking at the time, more than of Baxter himself and his final comment directed to the police after the questioning of the two attendants:


          we cannot do more”
          showing frustration with not just the inconsistent testimony of the witnesses but of the police as well. (Mortuary Table Report 3) .




          He also has a great deal of frustration with the Slaughter man Tomkins, firstly over if women came to the yard at times (Slaughter House Men Table, Reports 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15 & 16); and later over who was in Bucks row when he arrived (Slaughter House Men Table,Reports 2, 5, 6, 8, 14 & 16.).


          There appears to be an ongoing battle between Tomkins and Baxter to get clear answers, it has been pointed out that they may have met previously at the inquest into Tomkins father, and this may have had an effect on the exchange, nevertheless it is clear by the end of the testimony Baxter is again frustrated.
          He appears to again be frustrated when questioning Spratling over why not all the local residents had been questioned some 2.5 weeks after the murder (Police Table, Reports 1 & 3), and that Spratling was more concerned with finding the weapon than the presence of blood


          "You are looking for the weapon and I am looking for the blood," said the Coroner rather sharply.
          (Police Table, Report 3).




          Baxter’s final summing up is interesting.


          Firstly he says the time of discover can be fixed to close to 3.45am because of:
          so much independent data “ (Reports 7,8 , 9, 10 & 13).


          This by definition surely cannot mean it is based on the timing of just one man, but on the combined timings of several. That would seem to favour the timings of the 3 police constables over that of Robert Paul.


          Report 10 contains the following statement:


          The deceased was first discovered by a carman on his way to work, who passed down Buck's row on the opposite side of the road. Immediately after he had ascertained that the dark object in the gateway was the figure of a woman, he heard footsteps approaching. This proved to be Paul, another carman. Together they went to the woman. The condition of her clothing suggested to them that she had been outraged and had fainted. Neither appear to have realised the real condition of the woman, and no injuries were noticed by them; but this, no doubt, is accounted for by the early hour of the morning and the darkness of the spot. The time at which the body was found cannot have been far from 3.45 a.m., as it is fixed by so many independent data.”


          While Report 11 gives a slightly different account:


          The deceased was first discovered by a carman on his way to work, who passed down Buck's-row, on the opposite side of the road. Immediately after he had ascertained that the dark object in the gateway was the figure of a woman he heard the approaching footsteps of a man. This proved to be Paul, another carman. Together they went to the woman. The condition of her clothing suggested to them that she had been outraged and had fainted. She was only just dead, if life were really extinct. Paul says he felt a slight movement of her breast, and thought she was breathing. Neither of the carmen appeared to have realized the condition of the woman, and no injuries were noticed by them; but that, no doubt, was accounted for by the early hour of the morning and the darkness of the spot. The carmen reported the circumstances to a constable at the corner of Hanbury-street, 300 yards distant, but although he appeared to have started without delay, he found another constable was already there. In fact, Constable Neil must independently have found the body within a few minutes of the finding of it by the two carmen.”


          These two Reports are both from his summation of the inquest and are very clear in what they say, that is when Lechmere first saw the body, he was briefly alone until he heard the footsteps of Paul, and that there was no one else around.
          They both walked on until they saw Mizen and informed him of what they had seen.
          Baxter is clearly of the impression that both Carmen were involved in the exchange with Mizen has he says “the Carmen”.
          Also of note is there is no mention of the claim made by Constable Mizen.


          In Report 11 he says that Llewellyn :


          who saw the body about a quarter of an hour afterwards, “


          It is however unclear if Baxter is referring to the initial discovery or that by Neil.






          He also says that the presence of Slaughter men working near by may have helped the killer leave the scene without being suspected due to such often having blood on them (Reports: 7,8,10 & 11).
          He discusses all the recent murders , Smith, Tabram, Chapman and Nichols, and says there are some similarities between all, but there are distinct differences between the first two victims and the last two (7,8,10,11,13),who are very similar, that both may have been stunned by blows to the face,
          and may have been committed by same man. (Reports: 7,8,9,10,11,12 & 13).


          He comments that no residents heard any disturbance and yet the murder occurred where the body was found.


          He also takes what is a clear position on the wounds and disagrees with the comments of Llewellyn (Reports 7,8,10, 11 & 12), it is argued that he is not a Medic, and that the View of Llewellyn should be final here, however it is not as clear as some argue, and this we will look at in far greater detail in Part 3.


          One final point that must not be missed, while examining Lechmere on the 3rd questions are asked as to the nature of the exchange between Lechmere, Paul and Mizen. The answer is a disagreement; yet on the 17th when Paul is questioned and gives his testimony, any such similar question to clarify the situation is missing. This strongly suggests that a conclusion as been reached, possibly in private about what was said, and that Paul’s testimony was not needed.

          Comment


          • #65
            Bucks Row Project part 2 post 19 - Press

















            Comment


            • #66
              Bucks Row Project part 2 post 19a - Press

















              Comment


              • #67
                Bucks Row Project part 2 post 19b - Press














                Just a few brief comments here on the press in general, one could go into very in depth analysis and study of these; However I choose to just point out a few things and let others looks at these in depth themselves. If they wish to go further. There is plenty of scope for them to look at not just the articles presented here, but those in the press section on this forum and other online archives which I have not included due to space constraints.




                Report 1 says the clothing was saturated with blood


                Report 2 say blood “flowing profusely,” there is however nothing in the report to suggest this is a report from an eyewitness. There are also statements which are repeated in other papers and which are contrary to evidence from later in the investigation and the inquest. These include that a severe struggle had taken place and that her clothing was both torn and cut.
                The report also refers to “Bucks Row, Thomas street,” suggesting this was where the Row began and the direction Neil was walking.

                Report 3 says Neil finds her at 4.30, and that the bowels were found to be protruding in Bucks Row. It also claims the murder took place about 2am, and that the body was taken to Bucks Row after death. Finally it claims she had been kicked in face by attacker.


                Report 4 again says “profusely,” and again offers no support for this claim, it is not presented as an interview or quote. We have the claim that the body was lying in a pool of blood and that the clothing were cut and torn. We have the same comments about Bucks Row as in report 2.


                Report 7 carries both “profusely” and “in a pool of blood” it suggests there are signs of a severe struggle and says cloths cut and torn.


                We can already see a pattern emerging, probably from one or two common sources, lots of genuine mistakes such as the clothing cut and torn and that there were clear signs of a struggle. Any claims in these early reports need to be treated most carefully.




                Report 8 is really most odd it carries the story that Neil, with help of scavengers carried body to mortuary, and then he, the scavengers and the mortuary keeper undressed the body.


                Report 9 says Mr Seccombe, the assistant of Dr Llewellyn is of the belief that the body was taken to the scene.


                Report 17, the Lloyds Weekly News of the 2nd gives far more detail, it again says “Blood was flowing profusely”; however it seems clear this is taken from earlier reports. The Paper in several articles presents interviews with locals and uses quotation marks when using quotes, such is not used for the use of “profusely”
                We also have the story of the earlier possible attack in Brady street in some detail.


                Reports 18 & 19 are the first to suggest a time for the beat,saying it is very short and would take only 12 minutes to walk. No details are given of the beat, and one wonders if this refers to the beats before the death of Tabram, after which it seems they were changed. (Report 29)
                The report also says that neither Mizen or Thain had not seen anyone leaving the scene to attract attention!! This seems completely at odds with what Mizen is to later claim.
                How can two men coming up to you, and telling you a woman is lying in the place the body is found not be said to attract attention!


                Report 20 claims more than one person is involved in the murder, it hints at slaughter men but does not actually name, it is also the very same edition which send a report to Mumford to apparently try and get him to open up.


                Report 22 repeats much of earlier stories, including signs of struggle, it also says that nothing above an ordinary brawl or disturbance was heard by residents, which appears to be at odds with comments about it being unusually quite that night.


                Report 24 gives an impression of Bucks Row being very respectable and not dangerous, and Winthrop being much worse and that the murder done there and body brought to Bucks Row, again pointing at Slaughter House men without naming them.




                Report 26 again says the murder took place elsewhere and claims pools of blood leading to body.


                Report 27 attacks earlier comments on the character of Winthrop.


                Finally Report 29 gives details of the police beats, these appear to have changed following the murder of Tabram. When these are measured they seem within reason for a Police Beat, although it must be said that the Beat of Thain appears very long compared to the others. We shall consider this again in Part 3.




                One could look at the attitude shown by elements of the press to the police, and it seems clear from reading the sections of Part 2 on Baxter, The Police and the Mortuary that the Police may have been open to some justified criticism.
                That they responded quickly to these possible early failings is something which should be noted.
                By the time of the Chapman inquest they were performing much better than they had been only a week before.


                It seems clear that there were many papers who just printed the same as others, particularly those whom relied on agency reporters, rather than there own.
                Its also clear at first that there was great suspicion on the 3 men at the Slaughter house, and the press appear to have pushed this hard.


                We have of course the isolated stories such as that of Neil and street Scavenger carrying the body to the mortuary, no mention of Llewellyn and then suggesting that Neil is involved in undressing the body. An extremely odd report to say the least and one is left to wonder where it came from, there is nothing in any other source to even hint at such events.


                Overall I hope this section if nothing else gives a good overall view of the type of reporting at the time of the Bucks Row murder.


                And that brings us to the end of Part 2 of The Bucks Row Project, it has been a very tiring process and has helped me in rejecting some ideas, accepting others and even producing a new take on one issue.
                I do hope others even if they do not agree with my comments find the setting of the sources in one place, and broken into useful sections, helpful with their research.


                I am writing up part 3 now, but some areas will be left open for a few weeks at least to see if any more suggestions or criticism comes in.


                Part 3 will no doubt be far more controversial to some, and again it will be posted as separate sections so that response is easier.


                I had originally said I did not expect to be posting Part 3 until mid-late October at the earliest and maybe not until November. However looking at the sheer volume of work, there is a lot to write up, rewrite and possibly reject and discard, I will therefore revise that and say it is likely to be late November at the very earliest, and possibly later.


                Steve Blomer –-- 10th September 2017.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Offer OF Searchable Witness Source Data Tables

                  I did say I would release the witness statement tables and I am now able to do that. The files are in the form of searchable PDF's of the posted Tables minus my comments.

                  The total size of the files is approx 1.4megs. There is of course no charge at all.
                  If anyone is interested drop me a pm and I will email the the files.

                  Cheers


                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Steve,

                    If anything, Henry Tomkins was the most experienced slaughterman of the three. He had been brought up among the knackers yards of Belle Isle and Newton Heath, his father was a slaughterman and so was his brother, Thomas. By 1888, Henry had been at the game for at least a decade.

                    I don't believe Charles Bretton was living in Buck's Row in 1888, the electoral registers and censuses suggest he was living in Winthrop Street between 1887/8 and 1891. In Ripper Confidential Tom suggests that Bretton may have moved from Buck's Row because of suspicions against him. That doesn't appear to have been the case at all. It was in 1881 that he was living in Buck's Row. He was then described as a horse-keeper and was living with Alfred Barber's brother-in-law, Frank Wand, who was a horse slaughterer. Bretton's mother was a Mumford and Alfred Barber's sister married a Mumford. All very cosy, Barber was in the habit of employing family members. Tomkins, his brother and father were not only newcomers to the East End, but also not family, which is why I consider him the odd man out of the three that night.

                    Tomkins's misogyny seems destined to become one of the myths that the case is plagued with. As far as I'm concerned. Tomkins did not stand up in court and say 'I hate all women', he said 'I have nothing to do with prostitutes at my place of work.' Very different. In Tom's book it is said that Tomkins would have come under more suspicion if 'the more respectable and married (and less openly misogynistic)' Bretton had not vouched for him. The implication is that the 29-year-old Tomkins was not married, which, if it had been the case, might add some weight to the accusation of misogyny against him. But it wasn't the case - by 1888 he had been married for a decade.

                    Incidentally, Alfred Barber lived 'over the shop', so if the slaughtermen had left the yard unoccupied, they would have been taking quite a risk.

                    Cheers,

                    Gary

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                      Steve,

                      If anything, Henry Tomkins was the most experienced slaughterman of the three. He had been brought up among the knackers yards of Belle Isle, his father was a slaughterman as was his brother, Thomas. By 1888, Henry had been at the game for at least a decade.
                      Good point let me qualify the comment then, he was the least experienced in working at that site


                      Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                      I don't believe Charles Bretton was living in Buck's Row in 1888, the electoral registers and censuses suggest he was living in Winthrop Street between 1887 and 1891. In Ripper Confidential Tom suggests that Bretton may have moved from Buck's Row because of suspicions against him. That doesn't appear to have been the case at all. It was in 1881 that he was living in Buck's Row. He was then described as a horse-keeper and was living with Alfred Barber's brother-in-law, Frank Wand, who was a horse slaughterer. Bretton's mother was a Mumford and Alfred Barber's sister married a Mumford. All very cosy, Barber was in the habit of employing family members. Tomkins, his brother and father were not only newcomers to the East End, but also not family, which is why I consider him the odd man out of the three that night.
                      I will need to look at that issue again before part 3, however it is unlikely to make much difference, it just blocks one possible course of events.

                      Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                      Tomkins's misogyny seems destined to become one of the myths that the case is plagued with. As far as I'm concerned. Tomkins did not stand up in court and say 'I hate all women', he said 'I have nothing to do with prostitutes at my place of work.'
                      Agree entirely, hoped I had made that clear.


                      Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                      In Tom's book it is said that Tomkins would have come under more suspicion if 'the more respectable and married (and less openly misogynistic)' Bretton had not vouched for him. The implication is that the 29-year-old Tomkins was not married, which, if it had been the case, might add some weight to the accusation of misogyny against him. But it wasn't the case - by 1888 he had been married for a decade.
                      Never even considered if he was married or not, given that I consider the misogyny charges to be unfounded. Like many including Mrs Green, his prime concern seems to be there are no prostitutes around here, and if they do come by I have nothing to do with them as you say above.

                      Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                      Incidentally, Alfred Barber lived 'over the shop', so if the slaughtermen had left the yard unoccupied, they would have been taking quite a risk.
                      A risk certainly, but maybe one worth taking, if he slept until around 5-6, and only at that time came down regularly to the works. am as Mumford suggests.

                      Thanks for the input Gary all helps. I don't think that sections been updated much since Casebook and your input there.


                      Steve

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Steve Blomer View Post
                        Good point let me qualify the comment then, he was the least experienced in working at that site




                        I will need to look at that issue again before part 3, however it is unlikely to make much difference, it just blocks one possible course of events.



                        Agree entirely, hoped I had made that clear.




                        Never even considered if he was married or not, given that I consider the misogyny charges to be unfounded. Like many including Mrs Green, his prime concern seems to be there are no prostitutes around here, and if they do come by I have nothing to do with them as you say above.



                        A risk certainly, but maybe one worth taking, if he slept until around 5-6, and only at that time came down regularly to the works. am as Mumford suggests.

                        Thanks for the input Gary all helps. I don't think that sections been updated much since Casebook and your input there.


                        Steve
                        Steve,

                        I don't believe Mumford used the word 'only'. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, my guess would be that the manager of the yard, a hands-on master knacker and part-owner of the business who lived at the yard, probably did pop his head in now and again during the evenings. Boilers can be dangerous things: one exploded at HB's Marsh Lane Gate premises in 1898 and killed two of their employees. I doubt the yard was left completely empty, with gates open, during the night while the cat's meat was bubbling away. Especially not with all those dodgy 'women' about.

                        Mumford did use the word 'always', though, when describing his mates' nightly trips to the Grave Maurice, which contradicted Tomkins's assertion that he and Bretton went no further than the court (Wood's Buildings) that night. And of course Tomkins contradicted himself by then claiming that there were 'all sorts of women' in the Whitechapel Road (where he supposedly hadn't been). That he was 'badgered' by the jury about it suggests they had serious doubts about his account of his and Bretton's midnight ramble.

                        Perhaps he was telling the truth and he and Bretton stood in the Wood's Buildings for 40mins to an hour eating their sarnies. Possible, but unlikely I would have thought.

                        Gary

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                          Steve,

                          I don't believe Mumford used the word 'only'. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, my guess would be that the manager of the yard, a hands-on master knacker and part-owner of the business who lived at the yard, probably did pop his head in now and again during the evenings. Boilers can be dangerous things: one exploded at HB's Marsh Lane Gate premises in 1898 and killed two of their employees. I doubt the yard was left completely empty, with gates open, during the night while the cat's meat was bubbling away. Especially not with all those dodgy 'women' about.

                          Mumford did use the word 'always', though, when describing his mates' nightly trips to the Grave Maurice, which contradicted Tomkins's assertion that he and Bretton went no further than the court (Wood's Buildings) that night. And of course Tomkins contradicted himself by then claiming that there were 'all sorts of women' in the Whitechapel Road (where he supposedly hadn't been). That he was 'badgered' by the jury about it suggests they had serious doubts about his account of his and Bretton's midnight ramble.

                          Perhaps he was telling the truth and he and Bretton stood in the Wood's Buildings for 40mins to an hour eating their sarnies. Possible, but unlikely I would have thought.

                          Gary
                          You are right of course Gary, the "only" is my insertion. However it is plausible that Barber slept for much of the night and so long as one worker was present it was not an issue. That worker could say the other two had just popped out . Of course we have no way of knowing exactly what happened on a regular nightly basis.

                          I will take all this information on board when I do the full writeup. Can I thank you for this very useful insight.

                          Cheers


                          Steve

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                            Steve,

                            I don't believe Mumford used the word 'only'. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, my guess would be that the manager of the yard, a hands-on master knacker and part-owner of the business who lived at the yard, probably did pop his head in now and again during the evenings. Boilers can be dangerous things: one exploded at HB's Marsh Lane Gate premises in 1898 and killed two of their employees. I doubt the yard was left completely empty, with gates open, during the night while the cat's meat was bubbling away. Especially not with all those dodgy 'women' about.

                            Gary
                            Gary

                            Am I right in assuming then that the boilers were like large pressure cookers?
                            Any idea how they were fired? Gas? Coal?

                            Steve

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Steve Blomer View Post
                              Gary

                              Am I right in assuming then that the boilers were like large pressure cookers?
                              Any idea how they were fired? Gas? Coal?

                              Steve
                              I'm not sure, Steve. The boiler that exploded was pressurised - for boiling blood, I believe. The ones used for boiling cat's meat were called coppers and there are descriptions of workmen stirring the meat, so presumably they weren't pressurised. On one occasion a worker at a Wolverhampton yard fell into an open copper.

                              As for the fuel used, I would imagine gas in Whitechapel in the 1880s. And gas lighting too, which raises the question of how easy it would have been for Neil to identify the workers in the yard as he passed.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                                I'm not sure, Steve. The boiler that exploded was pressurised - for boiling blood, I believe. The ones used for boiling cat's meat were called coppers and there are descriptions of workmen stirring the meat, so presumably they weren't pressurised. On one occasion a worker at a Wolverhampton yard fell into an open copper.

                                As for the fuel used, I would imagine gas in Whitechapel in the 1880s. And gas lighting too, which raises the question of how easy it would have been for Neil to identify the workers in the yard as he passed.

                                Thanks Gary

                                Steve

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