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Special Branch ledger entries relating to the Whitechapel Murders

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  • Special Branch ledger entries relating to the Whitechapel Murders

    In the past we have discussed a couple of the references in the SB ledgers that were identified as being related to the Whitechapel murders-
    Those relating to William McGrath, of Bedford Gardens, later identified by Chris Philips as the artist William Magrath. We've also discussed the entries for 'Mr Churchill' , Jack the Ripper known at Bushmills and a couple of other references.
    During a discussion on Casebook, I checked back on some notes I made about Morris Mendlestein, husband of Eva Hartstein of grape stalk fame, and his name being recorded in the SB ledger as being a member of the Berner Street club and on the same page I just noticed there is another entry that apparently carries the same ref number that relates to the Whitechapel murders in the C.I.D. Registry. I don't recall seeing this mentioned and wondered if we have discussed it? Does anyone know what incident this relates to?

    Medbey R alleged suspicious person at Tilbury 52983/1522 CID Registry

  • #2
    I did wonder if it related to the apprehension of William henry Piggott, who told witnesses he was going to Tilbury, but he never actually made it and went to the Pope's Head Public House instead, so that doesn't really fit.

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    • #3
      Thanks - that's an interesting discussion on Casebook (starting at the bottom of this page).

      I checked my notes on Magrath, but I don't seem ever to have had any reference numbers for those entries. My source was Lindsay Clutterbuck's thesis (p. 264) which just quotes the text without reference numbers.

      As you say on the Casebook thread, it's known what the column headings in the volume were (Clutterbuck pp. 68-70, available at EThOS).

      (Edited because I had misunderstood what had been said.)

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      • #4
        Thanks, Chris.
        I managed to find the reference numbers for the two Magrath entries:

        “McGrath, William - said to be connected with Whitechapel murders" 1125
        “McGrath, WIlliam - suspicious Irishman at 57 Bedford Gardens" 57008 C.I.D.

        The ref. number given next to the Magrath 'Whitechapel murders' entry is not the same as the 52983 said to ref. the Whitechapel murders file in some other entries.





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        • #5
          Simon Wood on the Casebook thread referred to "the file number 52983, which also appears on Abberline's report into the Kelly murder and Sergeant White's report into the Stride murder":
          https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...012#post783012

          I was just curious about whether the full references for those two were known (including the number after the slash). Also while I can see White's report, I can't find in the "Ultimate Sourcebook" the report by Abberline that Simon meant.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chris Phillips View Post
            Simon Wood on the Casebook thread referred to "the file number 52983, which also appears on Abberline's report into the Kelly murder and Sergeant White's report into the Stride murder":
            https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...012#post783012

            I was just curious about whether the full references for those two were known (including the number after the slash). Also while I can see White's report, I can't find in the "Ultimate Sourcebook" the report by Abberline that Simon meant.
            No, I can't find the Abberline report mentioned by Simon either. There are 20 references to the number 52983 in the sourcebook.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post

              No, I can't find the Abberline report mentioned by Simon either. There are 20 references to the number 52983 in the sourcebook.
              Oh, I see the "REFERENCE TO PAPERS. 52983" at the top of White's report now. I was looking at the HO reference number. I thought the implication was that the documents Simon mentioned had themselves had that reference number at one time.

              So if the ledgers had still existed, they would have enabled a partial list of the contents of the lost CID file to be reconstructed. Presumably just those documents that happened to be of some interest to Special Branch?

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              • #8
                Abberline's report referring to the cry of "Lipski" (dated 1 November 1888) uses that number. So, unless he corrects me, I think Simon might have meant the Stride murder, and not the Kelly murder.

                This might suggest that Schwartz was originally a suspect, because the number seems to be used in reference to reports of men suspected of the murders --'Dick Austin', William Brodie, the hairdresser "Mary," Fred Deeming, and a few others.

                One possible exception is a longish report by Supt. Arnold about the McKenzie murder (dated 17 August 1889) but this mentions Isaac Levy in passing, so was Levy also considered a suspect?

                I can' think of any other explanation, offhand. The number turns up in what are called the "missing suspect files" seen by Knight and Rumbelow.

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                • #9
                  P.S. If this number was used to tabulate a list of men suspected of the murders, I suppose one could argue that the theoretical "Lipski" was the suspect, and not Schwartz.

                  PPS. The same report by Abberline describing the cry of "Lipski," also refers to the suspect "John Sanders", one of the three insane medical students that had been traced.

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                  • #10
                    When the subject of the Special Branch ledgers came up a few weeks ago, I received an email from a correspondent that pointed out the Trevor Marriott had already posted a low-rez image of the ledgers that shows the headings of the columns. It looks like the first column is headed "Name" and the second is "Subject" but the image is very blurry. The headings over the other columns are impossible to decipher, but maybe Trevor can repost? (The image is heavily redacted)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                      Abberline's report referring to the cry of "Lipski" (dated 1 November 1888) uses that number. So, unless he corrects me, I think Simon might have meant the Stride murder, and not the Kelly murder.

                      This might suggest that Schwartz was originally a suspect, because the number seems to be used in reference to reports of men suspected of the murders --'Dick Austin', William Brodie, the hairdresser "Mary," Fred Deeming, and a few others.

                      One possible exception is a longish report by Supt. Arnold about the McKenzie murder (dated 17 August 1889) but this mentions Isaac Levy in passing, so was Levy also considered a suspect?

                      I can' think of any other explanation, offhand. The number turns up in what are called the "missing suspect files" seen by Knight and Rumbelow.
                      Could it not just be a general CID file for papers relating to the murders?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                        When the subject of the Special Branch ledgers came up a few weeks ago, I received an email from a correspondent that pointed out the Trevor Marriott had already posted a low-rez image of the ledgers that shows the headings of the columns. It looks like the first column is headed "Name" and the second is "Subject" but the image is very blurry. The headings over the other columns are impossible to decipher, but maybe Trevor can repost? (The image is heavily redacted)
                        This is what Clutterbuck says in his thesis (p. 69):


                        Click image for larger version

Name:	clutterbuck.jpg
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ID:	590322

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for that. One small correction to Clutterbuck: it looks like the ("briefly") is under Subject, and not under "Name," which makes more sense.

                          As you can see, the photo uploaded by Trevor is very blurry.

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	S.B. Ledgers.jpg
Views:	189
Size:	9.7 KB
ID:	590324

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                            Thanks for that. One small correction to Clutterbuck: it looks like the ("briefly") is under Subject, and not under "Name," which makes more sense.

                            As you can see, the photo uploaded by Trevor is very blurry.

                            Click image for larger version

Name:	S.B. Ledgers.jpg
Views:	189
Size:	9.7 KB
ID:	590324
                            Thanks. Yes - "briefly" certainly makes more sense under "Subject". The rest is too blurred to be sure about, but it looks consistent to me.

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                            • #15
                              Click image for larger version  Name:	ledger sb.jpg Views:	0 Size:	30.1 KB ID:	590327
                              Close up of the headings

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