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  • Hutchinson's lashes

    George Hutchinson's statement has often been ridiculed for being too detailed, including the colour of the man's eyelashes.


    Personally, I've never had much reason to disregard the statement. I do also think Hutchinson may have meant eyebrows instead of eyelashes.


    Obviously the words were distinct back in victorian times, but I found this Old Bailey trial, in which a woman assaulted states:
    "The description I gave of the prisoner was: age, 35; height, 5 ft 10 in; hair and slight side whiskers, dark; weak eyes; no eyelashes; dress, dark suit; hard felt hat; carried a black bag."
    Rather unusual for someone to have no eyelashes, and perhaps even more unusual for the victim they bash to unconsciousness to notice that particular detail.


    It therefore seems she may have meant eyebrows?



    I found some more examples from Old Bailey, some much older:



    This one from 1742 has
    "a perquilated Wound, above the right Eye, (into the Socket which contains the Eye) about four Inches and an half deep, and an Inch long [...]
    Jury to the Surgeon. Did the Wound in the Eye disfigure the Negro's Face?
    Cole. It went quite through the Eye-Lash"
    Which makes it sound like eyelid, but could also be eyebrow.



    This Old Bailey trial from 1744 has
    "Q. Where about on the eye was the wound? Dale. He was wounded upon the eye lash."
    Here from 1865:
    "she struck me on the face, and cut me on the eye, through the eyelash and over the eye"
    And from 1888:
    "he wassutfering from a scalp wound about six inches in length, extending from just above the inner side of the left eyelash up in a semi-circular manner and-down to the left ear"
    So I'd just like to cast doubt on the idea that Hutchinson said "eyelashes", or if he did then most likely he did not mean "eyelashes" as we understand it, i.e. strictly the tiny hairs on the lower and upper eyelid. Rather "eyelashes" could perhaps be used to mean a wider area above the eye, or indeed the eyebrows.



    In his first statement, GH said "dark eyes and eye lashes", in his press interview "dark eyes and bushy eyebrows". The parallel structure ("dark eyes and ...") would strengthen the impression that he actually meant the same thing.



    I wonder if there are other examples of (lowerclass) Victorians apparently using eyelashes for eyebrows?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
    George Hutchinson's statement has often been ridiculed for being too detailed, including the colour of the man's eyelashes.


    Personally, I've never had much reason to disregard the statement. I do also think Hutchinson may have meant eyebrows instead of eyelashes.


    Obviously the words were distinct back in victorian times, but I found this Old Bailey trial, in which a woman assaulted states:
    Rather unusual for someone to have no eyelashes, and perhaps even more unusual for the victim they bash to unconsciousness to notice that particular detail.


    It therefore seems she may have meant eyebrows?



    I found some more examples from Old Bailey, some much older:



    This one from 1742 has Which makes it sound like eyelid, but could also be eyebrow.



    This Old Bailey trial from 1744 has
    Here from 1865:
    And from 1888:

    So I'd just like to cast doubt on the idea that Hutchinson said "eyelashes", or if he did then most likely he did not mean "eyelashes" as we understand it, i.e. strictly the tiny hairs on the lower and upper eyelid. Rather "eyelashes" could perhaps be used to mean a wider area above the eye, or indeed the eyebrows.



    In his first statement, GH said "dark eyes and eye lashes", in his press interview "dark eyes and bushy eyebrows". The parallel structure ("dark eyes and ...") would strengthen the impression that he actually meant the same thing.



    I wonder if there are other examples of (lowerclass) Victorians apparently using eyelashes for eyebrows?
    Hi Kattrup,

    Yes, I've known Eastenders (and others) to muddle the two. It never occurred to me that Hutchinson actually meant eyelashes.

    Gary

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    • #3
      Good thread, Kattrup…..thanks !
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      • #4
        Interesting. Thanks Katrup.

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        • #5
          Thanks Katrup. Very interesting.


          "I wonder if there are other examples of (lowerclass) Victorians apparently using eyelashes for eyebrows?"
          An invitation to eyebrowse the web.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kattrup View Post


            Obviously the words were distinct back in victorian times, but I found this Old Bailey trial, in which a woman assaulted states:
            Rather unusual for someone to have no eyelashes, and perhaps even more unusual for the victim they bash to unconsciousness to notice that particular detail.


            It therefore seems she may have meant eyebrows?

            One of the suspects in the Stride murder had no eyelashes.

            The man was about 5ft. 5in. in height. He was well dressed in a black morning suit with a morning coat. He had rather weak eyes. I mean he had sore eyes without any eyelashes. I should know the man again amongst a hundred. He had a thick black moustache and no beard. He wore a black billycock hat, rather tall, and had on a collar. I don't know the colour of his tie. I said to the woman, "that's Leather Apron getting round you." The man was no foreigner; he was an Englishman right enough.




            Regards, Jon S.
            "
            The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
            " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
            Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wicker Man View Post
              One of the suspects in the Stride murder had no eyelashes.

              The man was about 5ft. 5in. in height. He was well dressed in a black morning suit with a morning coat. He had rather weak eyes. I mean he had sore eyes without any eyelashes.


              Yes, it's interesting. There was a suggestion a few months ago that the guy Bedde from the assault I quoted above was the guy seen with Stride, since they're both described as without eyelashes.


              Even if the usage of "eyelashes" for "eyebrows" was not uncommon, it seems Best and Gardner specifically meant eyelashes, what with the weak and sore eyes preceding it.

              Comment


              • #8
                If the reference was indeed to eyebrows, is it possible that the man might have had fair eyebrows which blended into his face and couldn't really be seen in that light? No eyebrows at all would be a bit odd. If he had fair coloured facial features then that could probably narrow the suspects down a bit. All depends on how much faith you can put into the witness statements, but I too have generally tended to believe Hutchinson for the most part.

                Cheers,
                Adam.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another LVP word which seems a bit ambiguous is 'blinds.' It seems to have been used for 'curtains.' I think this came up in connection with MJK.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Robert,

                    I think you are right:

                    https://www.bing.com/search?FORM=SLB...%20of%20blinds

                    NOUN
                    blinds (plural noun)
                    a screen for a window, especially one on a roller or made of slats.
                    "she pulled down the blinds"
                    synonyms: screen · shade · louvre · awning · canopy · sunshade · curtain · shutter · cover · covering · protection · Venetian blind · Austrian blind · roller blind · jalousie · persienne

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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                    • #11
                      Yes, it is common usage here in North America for window coverings.
                      Regards, Jon S.
                      "
                      The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
                      " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
                      Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When it comes to the LVP and "blinds" I end up wondering, what the heck?

                        My confusion began when reading the Lizzie Borden trial. Probably everyone knows that part of the case turns on the maid being outside, then inside, washing windows. There were a number of questions about when and where she raised the "blinds", or if she did. And then curtains or drapes were mentioned in addition to blinds. And shutters. And it sounded like there were shutters both inside and outside. I can't make any sense of any of it. Shutters outside, then "blinds", then inside shutters, then curtains or drapes? Or curtains and drapes???? (However it went, in that specific case, no one went into the parlour and nobody knows how the blinds, curtains and shutters were on those windows! I find that interesting.)

                        Continuing with this subject, the "blinds" seemed to function a bit like screens on an open window, you know, like keeping out flies. Probably dust too. But screens existed and it sounded like they were somewhat optional and that blinds may have taken their place. Anyway, the maid didn't worry about removing screens before she washed the windows on the outside. (Screens on my windows are there all year and I remove them to wash windows. I am sure that is true for everyone now.) At one point it sounded like blinds replaced a screen which had not bee put up yet. (In August???)

                        One reason given by Lizzie for the trip to the barn was to find a piece of iron to fix a screen. What kind of screen??? Window or fireplace or room divider? Perhaps blinds did fine keeping flies and mosquitoes out of her room?
                        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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