Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Morris Eagle

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Morris Eagle

    Here's some information which I believe has escaped notice. I'll pass it on in case anyone wants to research it further.

    I personally don't suspect the members of the Berner Street club of any crime, but if there was "world enough and time," one guy I might study further is Morris Eagle.

    He seems to have left London for South Africa sometime after 1894, and he may well have absconded, for he was accused of stealing 200 pounds (a lot of money) from his business partner, Harris Brodney, a Russian watchmaker, later shown to be living in Bermondsey.

    Somewhere I have Morris Eagle on a passenger list, headed for Cape Town in the 1890s, but I can't seem to find it at the moment, but I'll keep looking. Meanwhile, neither he, nor his wife, are in the 1901 UK census (you can find them in 1891) but his children are in the home of his parents-in-law, Julius and Fanny Kopolansky, 183 Whitechapel Road, and one of them is listed as having been born in Cape Town around 1898. His name is 'Harry,' which was the same name of Eagle's disgruntled business partner, if that means anything (!) Morris's wife's name was Kate Kopolansky and she has relatives living next door in 1891.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	Eagle Children, 1901.JPG Views:	0 Size:	76.6 KB ID:	578479


    I haven't found much about Harris "Harry" Brudney/Brodney but, being a Russian, the name is likely to have been anglicized, of course. He can be found in 1901 and 1911, and was once involved in a bicycle accident wherein he ran over a pedestrian and was sued, but he escaped punishment when his brother was wrongly accused of having been the careless cyclist and was forced to pay the fine. So he may have been a bit dodgy, too.

    Morris Eagle returns to London in 1902 and is arrested for the 1894 theft, but the case is dismissed because so much time has passed, and witnesses were no longer available. One account:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Dodgy Eagle.JPG Views:	0 Size:	92.4 KB ID:	578480


    It looks like it didn't end well for Eagle. It's pretty certain that he returned to South Africa--at the time of the Boer War, no less--and was drowned in the great Bloemfontein disaster of January 1904, a flash flood that killed several dozen people. The age is a little off, but it varies from account to account, and is fairly close to Eagle's age in the 1891 census. It's interesting to note that, among the Jewish dead, at least one man is listed as having an alias, but what this means I have no idea. Jacob de Bock.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Jan 1904.JPG Views:	0 Size:	44.0 KB ID:	578481

    This may not be Eagle in the flood, but, all things considered, I'm fairly certain it is.

  • #2
    Great find!
    Thanks for your time,
    dusty miller

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm looking at little Harry, only 3 in 1901. That's awfully young to be away from his mother, and I'm finding no sign of Kate in the UK after 1891. Did she die in South Africa, or did she and Morris send the children back to London during the war, and, for some reason, she never returned? The children are still with her parents in 1911--but still no Kate.

      Eagle returns before the end of the fighting--and just in time to be arrested.

      He is perhaps a more complicated figure than realized; is it me, or is it a little strange that a supposed radical socialist (by 1880s standards) or even an anarchist is in British Colonial South Africa?

      From what I'm reading, Bloemfontein during the Boer War was most infamous for its large concentration camps of women and children, leading to as many as 20,000 casualties, and first brought to the world's attention by British social work and feminist, Emily Hobhouse. Of course, there is no evidence that Eagle--if this is the correct Eagle--was there anytime before 1904, by which time the camps would have been closed.

      I'm hoping someone with the ability to research South African records might take up the hunt and find out what Morris Eagle was up to, as it would be interesting to find out.

      The following link shows images of the great flood of 1904, along with descriptions of the disaster.

      The Bloemfontein Flood of 1904 | National Museum Publications


      Click image for larger version

Name:	flood.JPG
Views:	197
Size:	37.9 KB
ID:	578488


      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting stuff.

        I Don’t think it very strange for an ardent socialist to end up in a colony.
        150 years ago, in 1871, Louis Pio was instrumental in founding the Danish Socialist Party, today’s Social Democrats. After a prison sentence, he emigrated to NZ.

        Some who sought alternative forms of society found more freedom in other places.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
          I'm hoping someone with the ability to research South African records might take up the hunt and find out what Morris Eagle was up to, as it would be interesting to find out.
          Unfortunately I never had any success to speak of with South African records. I once managed to get a naturalisation certificate, after a very long wait, but it turned out not to be the right person. But that was some time ago, and maybe things are easier now.

          Of course there was quite a lot of Jewish emigration to South Africa in general, so perhaps it's not incongruous to find a Jewish socialist there.

          I notice that it's now possible for non-subscribers to get one-off access to the Jewish Chronicle archives, which I found to be an invaluable source when tracing the Kozminski descendants and other Jewish families (though the electronic text is far from perfect). There were certainly announcements placed there by people who had emigrated to South Africa. When I did that research it was necessary to buy a year's subscription to get access:
          https://www.thejc.com/archive/subscr...required-7.102

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
            I'm looking at little Harry, only 3 in 1901. That's awfully young to be away from his mother, and I'm finding no sign of Kate in the UK after 1891. Did she die in South Africa, or did she and Morris send the children back to London during the war, and, for some reason, she never returned? The children are still with her parents in 1911--but still no Kate.


            Hi RJ
            Just a quick one
            Kate died of pneumonia in 1899 in Woodstock Capetown, SA. Morris was present at her death.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by R.J. Palmer
              It looks like it didn't end well for Eagle. It's pretty certain that he returned to South Africa--at the time of the Boer War, no less--and was drowned in the great Bloemfontein disaster of January 1904, a flash flood that killed several dozen people. The age is a little off, but it varies from account to account, and is fairly close to Eagle's age in the 1891 census. It's interesting to note that, among the Jewish dead, at least one man is listed as having an alias, but what this means I have no idea. Jacob de Bock.
              There are no next of kin details for the Morris Eagle who drownded 17th January 1904 at Bloemfontein. His age was estimated to be 45 and his occupation a book maker.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post

                Hi RJ
                Just a quick one
                Kate died of pneumonia in 1899 in Woodstock Capetown, SA. Morris was present at her death.
                Thank you. I suspected something along those lines. So it is logical to conclude that the children were shipped/brought back to London after Kate's death, and we see they were thereafter raised by her parents.

                I was looking at the definition of 'book maker' in a 1913 edition of the OED. In the States, we sometimes call an accountant a bookmaker, but it didn't seem to have that meaning in the UK, so the Morris Eagle drowned in Bloemfontein was evidently a printer/publisher, unless they meant he ran a bookie shop, which would be fun, but I imagine doubtful.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                  Interesting stuff.

                  I Don’t think it very strange for an ardent socialist to end up in a colony.
                  150 years ago, in 1871, Louis Pio was instrumental in founding the Danish Socialist Party, today’s Social Democrats. After a prison sentence, he emigrated to NZ.

                  Some who sought alternative forms of society found more freedom in other places.
                  You're entirely right, of course, but I was mentally coupling his move to South Africa with his business partner accusing him of theft in July 1894, and was pondering whether he may have been a bit of a political pretender whose commitment to a just society wasn't all that pure, but this is merely my own musing and could be entirely wrong.

                  As Sherlock Holmes once said: data, I need more data !

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Someone posted this article on Ancestry. Apparently one of the drowning victims, mentioned among the dead along with Morris Eagle, was a detective in the C.I.D., Charles Alexander MacDonald. He was originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, and was said to have been a grandson of the Rev. Alexander Hislop.

                    After saving several people, he was swept away, but was still smiling when last seen. Many of the victims appear to have been staying at the local hotel, which was destroyed by the flood. I wonder if McDonald was investigating the chap with the alias, who may have been one the three 'cowards' alluded to in the article below. There were evidently three brothers staying at the hotel, all named de Bock, one alias 'Simon Fervier'

                    HEROISM AT BLOEMFONTEIN. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXI, Issue 10017, 7 April 1904, Page 3

                    INCIDENTS OF THE DISASTROUS FLOOD.

                    Some of the many acts of heroism witnessed during the recent disastrous flood at Bloemfontein are recordedy a correspondent there. In particular, he says, the conduct of a young English nurse, Miss Hollidge, aroused the admiration of the spectators. She was on the balcony of the Royal hotel when it collapsed, and most of its occupants were swept away. Her one thought was apparently to save the infant child of the proprietress. She tied the child to her back, seized a rope that was flung to her across the street, and plunged into the torrent. After a fearful struggle she was rescued m an unconscious condition, with the child still alive. Captain Elliott, R.N. (retired), and his wife, who were also on the balcony, acted with great heroism, and were instrumental in saving many lives. The captain, remembering the traditions of the service, was actually the last person to leave the doomed building before it finally collapsed. Detective Charles MacDonald, of the C.I.D., a native of Edinburgh, succeeded in saving five women and children, but on returning into the flood to assist an old man he was swept away and drowned. Many colored persons were drowned while attempting to save the whites. A native nurse girl succeeded in saving her mistress and a child, but was drowned in an attempt to save another white lady. One dreadful scene of panic occurred on the hotel balcony, when three white men fought with a lady for the possession of a rope, and thereby caused her to fall into the flood, where she was drowned. Next instant all three men were swept away and were dashed to pieces amongst the wreckage. This was almost the only instance of cowardice which has come to light, and it is comforting to reflect that the men referred to were not of English origin. The women all behaved with magnificent courage. General Stephenson, commanding the forces, also rendered conspicuous service, standing for several hours up to his armpits in the flood while assisting to drag unfortunate sufferers ashore by means of a rope.



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There's an interesting piece about the temporary Jews Shelter in London and the role it had in the number of Jews who emigrated to South Africa. Morris Eagle appears to have left London for South Africa in 1896, followed at the end of 1896 by Kate and the two children Rose and Nathan. According to figures in the study by Aubrey Newman this was one of the peak years of emigration to South Africa through the temporary Jews Shelter mainy due to the 'Union Castle Line' who made travel there cheaper and also donated funds to the Jews Shelter. Morris and Kate and her children used this line in 1896.

                      http://www.jewishroots.uct.ac.za/CastleLine.htm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks again. Somewhere I have Morris Eagle's name on a list bound for South Africa, but I can't seem to find the darned thing, and I don't remember whether it was also 1896.

                        I see now that his business address in 1894 was No. 15 John Street, Minories (ie., City of London). If someone has access to the 1894/95 post office directory they might be able to figure out what the business was.

                        It's the last two names on the sheet: Harris Brudney and Morris Eagle. Brudney was the man who accused him of stealing the business's funds.

                        Click image for larger version

Name:	15 John Street.JPG
Views:	130
Size:	79.8 KB
ID:	578604

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In 1894 the Moroko Tobacco Co. is listed at No. 15 but by 1895 there was no number 15 listed.

                          Click image for larger version  Name:	1894 15 John St EC.JPG Views:	0 Size:	32.8 KB ID:	578607

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks, Debs!

                            That makes a great deal of sense; Eagle's in-laws were in the tobacco business, and Budney is a tobacconist in 1911.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There is a transcribed searchable database of the registers of the Poor Jew's Temporary Shelter relating to emigration to South Africa for anyone interested, available here: http://www.jewishroots.uct.ac.za/Shelter.aspx

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X