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The workhouse as a place of remand-Elizabeth Stride at Bromley

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  • The workhouse as a place of remand-Elizabeth Stride at Bromley


    Stepney union Bromley
    Admitted Friday 13 Feb. 1880 Elizabeth Stride born 1834, needle[woman] wife of John, carpenter discharged 13 Feb. 1880 Brought by P.C. 351K taken out by P.C. 148K
    Bromley House admission and discharge
    Admitted Friday 13th Feb 1880, Elizabeth Stride born 1834, occupation-needle, religion C of E, parish admitted from Ratcliff, brought by P.C. 148K from King David P.S. discharged 13th Feb 1880, charged to Ratcliff parish, taken out by P.C. 148K
    STBG/L/132/23 and STBG/L/133/01


    I have asked before if women picked up by police on any criminal charge were sometimes sent to the workhouse as a place of remand until a magistrates court appearance. I know homeless women were sometimes sent by police to workhouses, like those picked up in Trafalgar square, and given workhouse tickets in a scheme to keep them from sleeping rough, but I specifically mean those where it is noted they were taken back out of the workhouse by police. Did they then go on to court on a charge of some sort?

    In one of three workhouse records I found in 2015 for Alice McKenzie, twice admitted for alcoholism, and once found on Dorset Street, Alice was also admitted for being drunk and discharged in what looks like a note saying 'for court' by PC 256L

    Aug 1st 1877 Saint George´s Workhouse, Mint Street Register, 1877-1878 SOBG/106/8
    Alice Mackenzie, hawker, church of England, birth year 1846, admitted from St George parish brought in by PC 110L,
    charged with being drunk discharged wed Aug 1st -how discharged- (for court?) by PC256L


    Presumably there would have been some sort of court record to correspond to this and perhaps there is in the case of Elizabeth Stride too but why was the involvement of police not mentioned about the Bromley workhouse entry for Elizabeth Stride? There may also be a corresponding surviving court record.

  • #2


    I think you’re probably right, Debs. Alice’s last meal on 1st August was breakfast, so it looks like she was brought in in the early hours and then, presumably after she’d sobered up a bit, she was taken out again by the police. I’d read the ‘for court’ note as ‘removed’. Now I’m not so sure.

    There was the 1875 Whitechapel admission for Alice where there was a note about a ‘police report’. Did the police write reports about people they weren’t going to charge?

    It might be worth trawling through a few admission/discharge registers to see whether we can find court appearances immediately following overnight stays in workhouses.

    As for Stride, that age discrepancy is odd. The 1882 admission into the Whitechapel infirmary gives her age as 48 and her husband as John Thomas, Carpenter.
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • #3
      The circumstances around Mary Ann Kelly's 1881 Census records are worth a look.

      MAK 1881 CENSUS.gif
      Not far from Nichols' murder 7 years later,not to mention the London Hospital.

      Here's other records unearthed by Paddy on that other forum.Both parents are gone by 1888.
      Amazing similarity to Barnett's recollections. Mary Ann Kelly family Paddy.gif

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting, Dave, but slightly off topic. What Debs is trying to investigate is whether workhouses were effectively used as police cells/drunk tanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ditto infirmaries.

          I've forgotten the name of the Act which was applied.

          Mary Ann Kelly had syphilis.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
            Stepney union Bromley
            Admitted Friday 13 Feb. 1880 Elizabeth Stride born 1834, needle[woman] wife of John, carpenter discharged 13 Feb. 1880 Brought by P.C. 351K taken out by P.C. 148K
            Bromley House admission and discharge
            Admitted Friday 13th Feb 1880, Elizabeth Stride born 1834, occupation-needle, religion C of E, parish admitted from Ratcliff, brought by P.C. 148K from King David P.S. discharged 13th Feb 1880, charged to Ratcliff parish, taken out by P.C. 148K
            STBG/L/132/23 and STBG/L/133/01


            I have asked before if women picked up by police on any criminal charge were sometimes sent to the workhouse as a place of remand until a magistrates court appearance. I know homeless women were sometimes sent by police to workhouses, like those picked up in Trafalgar square, and given workhouse tickets in a scheme to keep them from sleeping rough, but I specifically mean those where it is noted they were taken back out of the workhouse by police. Did they then go on to court on a charge of some sort?

            In one of three workhouse records I found in 2015 for Alice McKenzie, twice admitted for alcoholism, and once found on Dorset Street, Alice was also admitted for being drunk and discharged in what looks like a note saying 'for court' by PC 256L

            Aug 1st 1877 Saint George´s Workhouse, Mint Street Register, 1877-1878 SOBG/106/8
            Alice Mackenzie, hawker, church of England, birth year 1846, admitted from St George parish brought in by PC 110L,
            charged with being drunk discharged wed Aug 1st -how discharged- (for court?) by PC256L


            Presumably there would have been some sort of court record to correspond to this and perhaps there is in the case of Elizabeth Stride too but why was the involvement of police not mentioned about the Bromley workhouse entry for Elizabeth Stride? There may also be a corresponding surviving court record.
            Similar to Australia today.

            Stride was taken to Bromley House instead of the Ratcliffe Workhouse or a police station cell.

            Depends on the circumstances.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
              Stepney union Bromley
              Admitted Friday 13 Feb. 1880 Elizabeth Stride born 1834, needle[woman] wife of John, carpenter discharged 13 Feb. 1880 Brought by P.C. 351K taken out by P.C. 148K
              Bromley House admission and discharge
              Admitted Friday 13th Feb 1880, Elizabeth Stride born 1834, occupation-needle, religion C of E, parish admitted from Ratcliff, brought by P.C. 148K from King David P.S. discharged 13th Feb 1880, charged to Ratcliff parish, taken out by P.C. 148K
              STBG/L/132/23 and STBG/L/133/01


              I have asked before if women picked up by police on any criminal charge were sometimes sent to the workhouse as a place of remand until a magistrates court appearance. I know homeless women were sometimes sent by police to workhouses, like those picked up in Trafalgar square, and given workhouse tickets in a scheme to keep them from sleeping rough, but I specifically mean those where it is noted they were taken back out of the workhouse by police. Did they then go on to court on a charge of some sort?

              In one of three workhouse records I found in 2015 for Alice McKenzie, twice admitted for alcoholism, and once found on Dorset Street, Alice was also admitted for being drunk and discharged in what looks like a note saying 'for court' by PC 256L

              Aug 1st 1877 Saint George´s Workhouse, Mint Street Register, 1877-1878 SOBG/106/8
              Alice Mackenzie, hawker, church of England, birth year 1846, admitted from St George parish brought in by PC 110L,
              charged with being drunk discharged wed Aug 1st -how discharged- (for court?) by PC256L

              ...
              Thanks for posting this. I think the discharge record says "Taken out by PC 256L". Deciphered only with the help of two similar entries for inmates taken out by a PC on the following page. Both of those were children who had been admitted by order of a magistrate and brought in by the police with the comment "Remanded".

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                I think you’re probably right, Debs. Alice’s last meal on 1st August was breakfast, so it looks like she was brought in in the early hours and then, presumably after she’d sobered up a bit, she was taken out again by the police. I’d read the ‘for court’ note as ‘removed’. Now I’m not so sure.

                There was the 1875 Whitechapel admission for Alice where there was a note about a ‘police report’. Did the police write reports about people they weren’t going to charge?

                It might be worth trawling through a few admission/discharge registers to see whether we can find court appearances immediately following overnight stays in workhouses.

                As for Stride, that age discrepancy is odd. The 1882 admission into the Whitechapel infirmary gives her age as 48 and her husband as John Thomas, Carpenter.
                Thanks Gary and Chris
                I placed four of the workhouse entries for Alice on the thread I started about her being the widow of Joseph (before you discovered she was Alice Pitts) but I think I got muddled somewhere with the transcripts.
                I re checked them all and there is another entry where she was taken out by police:
                In Alice's 20th Dec 1883 to Whitechapel Infirmary it should read Admitted 20 Dec 1883 McKenzie Alice, 37, brought in by P.C. 162 H Leman St., Widow of josh, carpenter, brought in for alcoholism and fits, discharged 21/12/83 'taken out by police'-I missed the taken out by police in this one originally.
                Yes, Gary, the 1875 record you found does say 'see police report' in the notes

                I agree about the age discrepancy with Stride being odd and it had to have been deliberate for it to have been given three times.

                Thanks for the further entries relating to the children being 'remanded' Chris.

                I think it would be a good idea to try and find any correlation between workhouse stays and court appearances.

                I think the entry in Bromely House, Stepney for Stride clearly shows that there was some sort of police involvement before and after her entry to Bromley House on 13 Feb 1880, which Hallie Rubenhold didn't mention in The Five when she mentions this specific stay at Bromley House .



                Comment


                • #9
                  Alice’s August, 1877 admission says, ‘Charged with being drunk.’

                  I had ommitted the references to the police on Alice’s timeline. Now added. Thanks for the reminder.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MEPO 8/17: Metropolitan Police: Instruction Book for the Government and Guidance of the Metropolitan Police Force 1893

                    218 When a prisoner is taken to a workhouse by direction of the Divisional Surgeon, the police are to give intimation to the Workhouse Authorities that the person is a prisoner and will be taken charge of by police when in a fit condition to leave the Workhouse, and a request is to be made that due notification may be sent to the Police prior to the discharge of the prisoner.

                    It looks like prisoners were definitely admitted to the workhouse and taken out by police. I just found this and guess this may have applied in 1881 too. I mentioned on Casebook in response to Paul suggesting police may have taken people to the workhouse when a divisional surgeon was unavailable that I wondered if her entry to the workhouse was to do with the epileptic fits that Elizabeth Stride was said to suffer from. It doesn't say that Elizabeth was taken on to the Bromley Sick Asylum but she was admitted and discharged from the workhouse to police on the same day. I wonder if the police would also need to escort her there for admission is the workhouse found she was ill? Generally people went in to the workhouse and if found ill would be discharged to the Infirmary.

                    Alice was also noted to be admitted with alcoholism and 'fits'

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                      Alice’s August, 1877 admission says, ‘Charged with being drunk.’

                      I had ommitted the references to the police on Alice’s timeline. Now added. Thanks for the reminder.
                      Thanks Gary.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                        MEPO 8/17: Metropolitan Police: Instruction Book for the Government and Guidance of the Metropolitan Police Force 1893

                        218 When a prisoner is taken to a workhouse by direction of the Divisional Surgeon, the police are to give intimation to the Workhouse Authorities that the person is a prisoner and will be taken charge of by police when in a fit condition to leave the Workhouse, and a request is to be made that due notification may be sent to the Police prior to the discharge of the prisoner.

                        It looks like prisoners were definitely admitted to the workhouse and taken out by police. I just found this and guess this may have applied in 1881 too. I mentioned on Casebook in response to Paul suggesting police may have taken people to the workhouse when a divisional surgeon was unavailable that I wondered if her entry to the workhouse was to do with the epileptic fits that Elizabeth Stride was said to suffer from. It doesn't say that Elizabeth was taken on to the Bromley Sick Asylum but she was admitted and discharged from the workhouse to police on the same day. I wonder if the police would also need to escort her there for admission is the workhouse found she was ill? Generally people went in to the workhouse and if found ill would be discharged to the Infirmary.

                        Alice was also noted to be admitted with alcoholism and 'fits'
                        That certainly sounds as though it would explain the workhouse admission entries for adults, to be taken out by the police when fit. And obviously implies the people covered by this provision were "prisoners" because they had been arrested in connection with some offence.

                        Maybe this also covers the similar entries for children, which seem a bit more numerous? Or maybe there was a different provision for children, because the workhouse was considered preferable to other forms of detention, even if they were not "prisoners"?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That’s very useful, Debs. I’m sure you’re right, the procedure probably wasn’t new in 1893, that was just when it was codified.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Alice’s August, 1877 admission seems to have been after she had been formally charged at a police station. Perhaps some health issue (fits, perhaps) had been identified there and it was considered safer to move her to the workhouse rather than leave her overnight in a cell. She was admitted and discharged on the same day, most likely in in the early hours and out again once the police court was in session.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                              Alice’s August, 1877 admission seems to have been after she had been formally charged at a police station. Perhaps some health issue (fits, perhaps) had been identified there and it was considered safer to move her to the workhouse rather than leave her overnight in a cell. She was admitted and discharged on the same day, most likely in in the early hours and out again once the police court was in session.
                              It may be worth a trip to the LMA to check the Wandsworth registers for early August, 1877 to see if there is a record of Alice being imprisoned for drunkenness.

                              I noticed also in 1877 there was a 64-y-o man who was admitted to Mint Street by order of a magistrate and brought in by a PC. He was ‘supposed’ insane.

                              Comment

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