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Five thieves and forgers at liberty 1889

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  • Five thieves and forgers at liberty 1889

    Came across this in the Danish NA.

    Thought it might be of interest:

    Great Scotland Yard
    14 October 1889
    Sir,
    I have the honour to forward herewith a confidential circular consisting of photographs and descriptions of five notorious bank thieves and forgers who are now at liberty.

    It is believed they are now planning fresh offences in this country and on the continent.
    I have the honour to be,
    Sir,

    Your obedient servant,
    R Anderson
    Assistant Commissioner
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Kattrup,

    Great find!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Best wishes,

    Sean.

    Comment


    • #3
      Just saw this now....what a find !
      Great job, Kattrup !!
      To Join JTR Forums :
      Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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      • #4
        Excellent.

        Monty

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Kattrup,

          I really enjoy seeing previously unpublished documentation relating to officials involved in the case. It makes one wonder what else is out there, secreted in archives and private collections around the world.

          Given the international traffic in official correspondence at the time of the Ripper murders, it's obvious that there is still much new information to be located.

          Again, well done.

          Best wishes,

          Sean.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, glad it's of interest.
            Originally posted by Sean Crundall View Post
            I really enjoy seeing previously unpublished documentation relating to officials involved in the case. It makes one wonder what else is out there, secreted in archives and private collections around the world.

            Given the international traffic in official correspondence at the time of the Ripper murders, it's obvious that there is still much new information to be located.
            Absolutely! I've just been looking through the archives of the Danish consulate/embassy, and there's a lot of correspondance about arrests, sending detectives to meet escaped criminals, extradiction of prisoners etc.
            So the records in France, the US, Germany etc. will of course contain much more.

            Personally, I think the international connections will prove to be an important area of future finds. Even if the numbers reported in the papers are inaccurate, it's obvious that the Ripper-investigation was international in scope.

            Comment


            • #7
              Besides being a damned good researcher and asset to The Forums and Casebook, Kattrup....your thoughts on international archives rings a bell with me.

              Personally, I think the international connections will prove to be an important area of future finds. Even if the numbers reported in the papers are inaccurate, it's obvious that the Ripper-investigation was international in scope.

              Which is, in my own limited way, why I set up the non-English speaking section of the boards. Each year I notice more non-English speaking individuals becoming involved with research in one form or another. I should have done that years ago, but better late than never.

              Even if nothing of earth shattering importance....like we wish....the material that can be accessed might tie up loose ends, some of which not even considered by the Old Guard of Ripperology or those who were involved, pre-Internet.
              To Join JTR Forums :
              Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

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              • #8
                I've recently revisited this thread for a variety of reasons, and thought I'd post a bit more about these five jokers.

                First up, this is the 1888 trial in which the five were sentenced for trying to steal 30.000 pounds. They got 18 months each, at the end of which Sir Robert Anderson felt obliged to inform his continental colleagues of the five's imminent release and therefore sent the circular in the OP.



                Thomas Hill was sentenced to 18 months back in 1885, also for fraud, trying to obtain 550 pounds. He was apparently from Dublin and was known by some as Harrison.
                One of the witnesses in the trial was Edward Oram, I wonder if he's a relation to Jane Oram, Polly Nichols' friend?

                Edward Fairchild: FAIRCHILD then PLEADED GUILTY to a conviction at Middle sex Sessions in July, 1887, of obtaining money by false pretences; also to a conviction at this Court in May, 1881, of uttering a forged order.

                The second conviction is this one, under the name Walter Selwyn: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/brow...=t18810502-509

                He was convicted six months later for selling stolen bonds: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/brow...v=t18811121-56


                He was convicted again in 1892, among other things using the ingenious alias Retlaw Newles (his name backwards). Frederick Abberline investigated after recently retiring from the police force: The COURT highly commended the skill and ability displayed by Inspector Abberline in the case. Afterwards, Selwyn apparently sent a postcard to the Police with regards to "Lipski and Abberline, the romancer" https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...-who-is-lipski


                Thanks to Steve Athey who has researched Alden Carter Weston as part of his family genealogy, there are quite a lot of details about Weston on this page.

                Alden Carter Weston was born in Baltimore but lived for many years in Paris, the son of a US emissary Jonathan Alden Weston. In the 1880s he lived the life of a conman, swindling the gullible upper-class. In 1887 he wanted to divorce his wife Charlotte Anne Weston née Campbell (they married 1877) - according to Steve Athey, the proces was dismissed on a technicality, but both he and his wife remarried later, so at some point the divorce probably was granted.

                He called himself Baron de Loando, apparently a title he thought up because his respectable brother was working in Angola for the Portuguese.

                After the 1888-trial Weston was convicted again in 1890. He received seven years and was released as a habitual criminal in 1896.
                Famed music hall entertainer Belle Bilton was involved in his 1890-trial - she and Alden had an illegitimate child together and he tried to get money from her and her connections - at the same time as her divorce case from Lord Dunlo (the two had wed in 1889 in secret and Dunlo was being forced by his father to divorce Bilton). There is a 2018-novel by Nuala O'Connor about Bilton's life including her dealings with Alden Weston.


                While in prison, he changed his name to Douglas Hale. He married and was again convicted, nine months, in 1903. He then changed his name again to Douglas Alden and apparently kept on the straight and narrow. At least Steve Athey has so far not found any further documents about him until his death in Croydon as Douglas Alden in 1936.

                Courtesy of Steve Athey, part of a transcript from Daily Telegraph, Apil 1st, 1903:
                Hales, it was proved, was formerly known as Al den Weston^ a forger 'with a history,'' who has figured. very prominently before the public on many occasions. He is a man of considerable education, suavity, and knowledge of the world, and was connected some years ago with a well known music hall lady who married a peer. Under the alias of Baron Loardis (sic) he engineered a gang of forgers, and for a considerable time lived by uttering worthless bonds.

                He rented an expensive flat in the West End of London, and. posing as a man of means, obtained loans upon fictitious bonds and other securities, manufactured to suit the particular occasion. Being an expert card player, men about town and young 'bloods' with more money than brains accepted the Baron's invitations to dinner, only to find themselves fleeced be fore the evening was over.' In conjunction with other very clever 'crooks,' he established a club near Panton Street, W., upon which same £2000 was spent in furniture and decorations. Members of his gang, having given themselves high sounding titles, ' scraped acquaintance with country gentlemen and wealthy Americans, -who were in due course inveigled into the club and 'sharped.' The most youthful victims were induced to sign l.O.U.'s for their debts, which by means of a system of blackmail were sub sequently 'collected.'

                In 1888 Hales was convicted of con spiracy, and sentenced to 18 months' hard labor. In 1890 he received at the Old Bailey a sentence 'f seven years' penal servitude for forgery. Upon his release after the last term he migrated to Paris, where he took part in an ingeniously worked turf fraud. Return ing to England, he gave Scotland Yard a great deal of trouble, and, failing to observe the terms of his ticket-ofIeave, was re-arrested. He defended himself, however, with great skill, and, much to the surprise of the officers engaged in the case, was discharged by the magistrates with a caution.

                About this time he made the acquaintance of a lady of means, whom he married. Before doing so, however, he changed his name, under a deed poll, at the cost of some 30 odd pounds, to Douglas Hale. He then went to live at Croydon, where he ran a club, bought racehorses, and posed as a racing gentle man. He kept a large establishment with several servants, drove a dogcart with a man in livery, and swindled tradesmen right and left, drawing cheques for sums as large as £300, when his actual balance at the bank *was — 9d. Disappearing from Croydon, he was next found exploiting the West End as a card sharper and' blackmailer

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                • #9
                  After JerryD posted this thread on Casebook, astatine linked to a page including police officer Sagar's assessment of George Johnson, nr. 3 in the OP circular.


                  january 9th 1905:
                  Originally posted by Morning Leader
                  In the opinion of Mr. Sagar the king of forgers is George Johnson, who was sent into penal servitude in 1890 for forging letters of credit on a City firm.

                  Like the Bank note forger whom he arrested at the opening of his official career, this man was a "gentleman" who frequented expensive West-end restaurants. He always went home by a most circuitous and baffling route, and was eventually arrested - in Bethnal-green!

                  At this house there was a good deal of evidence to show that Johnson was an expert engraver.
                  Originally posted by Daily News
                  Well, Schmidt was very clever, but the smartest man I ever knew at that game was an American named Johnson, who, together with a man named Phillips, was awarded seven years for forging letters of credit on a City firm. Johnson was most polished in his manners, and always dressed in the height of fashion. He spent most of his time in swell West-End restaurants, and was generally known as the "Captain." He would never let even his best friends know where he lived, and would dodge in and out of stations on the Underground if he found that he was being watched.

                  "One day we tracked him down at a house in in Bethnal Green. Whilst examining the premises I came across the head of a wire nail which had been driven into the partition on the stair landing. I had almost cut away the wood underneath the nail when I heard something drop on the other side. This I afterwards found was a bundle of the finest imitations of Bank of England notes I have ever seen."
                  February 4th, 1905:
                  Originally posted by Seattle Daily Times
                  "The notorious Schmidt," who figured in the last Barmash case two years ago, is held by many to be the cleverest forger in the world. "For my part," says Inspector Sagar, "I would give the palm to the American, George Johnson, who, with another man, named Phillips, was in 1900 sentenced to seven years for forging letters of credit on a well known city firm."

                  This is the 1890 Old Bailey-trial Sagar refers to

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