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Special Branch ledger entries relating to the Whitechapel Murders

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  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

    Returning for a moment to the exciting world of correspondence reference numbers, I notice that there is also a very small group of 'Ripper' letters from September 1889 that are filed under different numbers, which is somewhat curious.

    For instance, there are two anonymous letters from 10th and 11th September 1889 that are given the number 58895. This same number turns up in the MEPO files in reference to the New York Herald/John Cleary episode--the report of a body being found in Backchurch Lane. One MEPO report dated 10 September refers to 58895/16 which suggests this must have been a relatively new number, I would think, yet it also states "ff. 375-7." Does the different reference number (58895) suggests that Scotland Yard's first instinct was to file the Pinchin Street correspondence separately from the Whitechapel Murders correspondence because the cases were unrelated (?)

    Yet, at the same time, two other anonymous letters from 10 & 12 September 1889 are given the number 57885/186 and 57885/207. Why they weren't just filed along with the other correspondence is unclear--there isn't anything particularly unusual about these two letters.

    This second number 57885 appears several times in the MEPO files--many of the reports about Sadler/Francis Coles use it, but also discussion of a letter from the Rev. Barnett published in The Times in July 1889 . Also a letter to the Under Secretary of State from Sir Robert Anderson, warning that the correspondent E.K. Larkins (the Customs House official of the cattle boat theory) is a 'busybody' is given this number.
    My understanding is that the registers/ledgers were compiled in alpahabetical order from other files/records which were in existence and needed filing and storing away to create space and I belive they were created sometime after 1912.

    There are no smoking guns in them to positively identify the Ripper

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Leave a comment:


  • R. J. Palmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
    Excellent! So we have a dating system for 52983. At a guess, both the Churchill and the Medbey entries would be mid to late November 1888. (Assuming the volume of material went back up immediately after the murder of Mary Kelly.) Though apparently the Prince of Wales's visit to Middlesbrough, which Debs referred to on the same page as the Medbey entry, was on 23 January 1889. But if there are some other entries between them, that could work.

    As "Medbey" doesn't seem to be a known surname, I wonder whether it should be "Medley"?
    Returning for a moment to the exciting world of correspondence reference numbers, I notice that there is also a very small group of 'Ripper' letters from September 1889 that are filed under different numbers, which is somewhat curious.

    For instance, there are two anonymous letters from 10th and 11th September 1889 that are given the number 58895. This same number turns up in the MEPO files in reference to the New York Herald/John Cleary episode--the report of a body being found in Backchurch Lane. One MEPO report dated 10 September refers to 58895/16 which suggests this must have been a relatively new number, I would think, yet it also states "ff. 375-7." Does the different reference number (58895) suggests that Scotland Yard's first instinct was to file the Pinchin Street correspondence separately from the Whitechapel Murders correspondence because the cases were unrelated (?)

    Yet, at the same time, two other anonymous letters from 10 & 12 September 1889 are given the number 57885/186 and 57885/207. Why they weren't just filed along with the other correspondence is unclear--there isn't anything particularly unusual about these two letters.

    This second number 57885 appears several times in the MEPO files--many of the reports about Sadler/Francis Coles use it, but also discussion of a letter from the Rev. Barnett published in The Times in July 1889 . Also a letter to the Under Secretary of State from Sir Robert Anderson, warning that the correspondent E.K. Larkins (the Customs House official of the cattle boat theory) is a 'busybody' makes reference to correspondence that was given this number.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post

    Who's asking

    I wonder where people stand in terms of discussing or posting entries they may or may not have collected.
    I think that I have had the most dealings with these records and I am more than happy to answer any questions relating to them to help reserarchers get a beter understanding of them and how they were used and what for.

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Leave a comment:


  • Debra Arif
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

    I wonder if people have been collecting the photos that have been posted online, in the interests of conservation.
    Who's asking

    I wonder where people stand in terms of discussing or posting entries they may or may not have collected.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris Phillips
    replied
    Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
    Click image for larger version Name:	New Suspects.jpg Views:	0 Size:	129.3 KB ID:	590428

    Here are two entries which are Ripper related these were sent to me by the police before the registers were destroyed

    The SB ledger contained 30.000 one line entries
    The SB Register contained 6000 entries between 1888-1912

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk
    Thanks for posting that image.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Click image for larger version  Name:	New Suspects.jpg Views:	0 Size:	129.3 KB ID:	590428
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
    I'm just curious. Obviously a fair number of photos of the pages of this historical record were taken, before it was destroyed by people who are supposed to be public servants. It's perhaps an unfortunate side-effect of Freedom of Information legislation that if people can play the game well enough to block immediate release of historical records, they think that somehow entitles them to destroy the records for all time.

    I wonder if people have been collecting the photos that have been posted online, in the interests of conservation.
    Here are two entries which are Ripper related these were sent to me by the police before the registers were destroyed

    The SB ledger contained 30.000 one line entries
    The SB Register contained 6000 entries between 1888-1912

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris Phillips
    replied
    I'm just curious. Obviously a fair number of photos of the pages of this historical record were taken, before it was destroyed by people who are supposed to be public servants. It's perhaps an unfortunate side-effect of Freedom of Information legislation that if people can play the game well enough to block immediate release of historical records, they think that somehow entitles them to destroy the records for all time.

    I wonder if people have been collecting the photos that have been posted online, in the interests of conservation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris Phillips
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

    Thanks. So the numbering system is different for the "CID Registry" items, with the number after the slash indicating an individual document rather than a file. That was really what I was getting at when I asked whether there could be thousands of files.

    Clutterbuck says the ledger is partly referring to incoming correspondence, and partly internal reports (pp 69, 70). What I'm not understanding is is why internal reports should have a "folio in the correspondence register", which all the entries have in the extracts I've seen, except those that have "CID Registry" instead.

    From what you've just pointed out, is it all correspondence - either correspondence in the CID Registry, or correspondence indexed in the Special Branch correspondence register?
    I see that I was wrong in thinking the entries that didn't have "CID Registry" in the last column had a folio number instead. A new thread on this subject on Casebook refers back to photos posted by Simon Wood in 2017.

    Those include some entries with the folio column left blank and another with the reference 11/88 instead of a folio number. Interestingly that one also has an unsusual 52983 reference, in which the slash is followed not just by a number, but by "H Div. 12". So apparently some files under 52983 were numbered with a prefix "H Div.".

    Leave a comment:


  • Debra Arif
    replied
    if
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
    Excellent! So we have a dating system for 52983. At a guess, both the Churchill and the Medbey entries would be mid to late November 1888. (Assuming the volume of material went back up immediately after the murder of Mary Kelly.) Though apparently the Prince of Wales's visit to Middlesbrough, which Debs referred to on the same page as the Medbey entry, was on 23 January 1889. But if there are some other entries between them, that could work.

    As "Medbey" doesn't seem to be a known surname, I wonder whether it should be "Medley"?
    That's very interesting, and thanks for taking the time to work the numbering out R.J. and Chris. The Morris Mendelstein entry I was interested in appears two above the Medbey entry, which, going by what you've said, suggests that Eva Hartstein's husband to be was a member of the Berner St club before November 1888. I had no way of dating the entry before and that's interesting from the point of view that the Berner Street witness evidence of grapes and the Hartstein sisters seeing a grapestalk in the yard may have some point of connection if the Morris entry is a few months earlier (just an idea I am exploring).

    Yes, the name Medbey only seems to appear as a typo for other names in documents, so very likely a similar sounding name.

    As an aside, I hadn't noticed that there was an entry with the name Legrand in it until I looked through all this again yesterday. It's an anarchist related entry, some pamphlets being addressed to someone of that name. Just mentioning this as it I hadn't noticed anyone else mention it before and I've grapes on my mind now.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris Phillips
    replied
    Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

    Yes and in that book I highlighted the flaws in what I saw in the ledgers, and went to great lengths to show what they were used for and how they were formulated. They were an early collators system in which information was collated, that information was gathered from a variety of sources, i,e the public stopping an officer on the street and giving information, anonymous information being received in the post etc etc. I am not suggesting that all should be disregarded but it is clear from what I have read when exmaining the ledgers first hand before they were destroyed that great care should be taken when assesing and evaluating some of the entries

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk
    Obviously.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

    You wrote a book on it.
    Yes and in that book I highlighted the flaws in what I saw in the ledgers, and went to great lengths to show what they were used for and how they were formulated. They were an early collators system in which information was collated, that information was gathered from a variety of sources, i,e the public stopping an officer on the street and giving information, anonymous information being received in the post etc etc. I am not suggesting that all should be disregarded but it is clear from what I have read when exmaining the ledgers first hand before they were destroyed that great care should be taken when assesing and evaluating some of the entries

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris Phillips
    replied
    Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

    into what could be a combination of malicious, false and unfounded information gathered back then in 1888 !!!!!!

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk
    You wrote a book on it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

    What I see is people doing collaborative research.
    into what could be a combination of malicious, false and unfounded information gathered back then in 1888 !!!!!!

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris Phillips
    replied
    Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

    No, but what I do see are people getting carried away with what is in the SB ledgers and it highlights my remarks about how the ledgers were used

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk
    What I see is people doing collaborative research.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post

    I doubt anyone here was getting too carried away by the idea of Mr Churchill being the Ripper.
    No, but what I do see are people getting carried away with what is in the SB ledgers and it highlights my remarks about how the ledgers were used

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

    Leave a comment:

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