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Jack the Ripper : The Macnaghten Memoranda

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  • Balfour

    Nota Bene -

    Browne's 1956 reference to the Ripper being identified with 'the leader of a plot to assassinate Mr Balfour at the Irish Office' should be read (and internalised) in conjunction with Queen Victoria's 11th August 1888 (note the immaculate timing with regard to the murders) Journal entry on the Balfour plot -





    So this isn't 'pie in the sky' theorising, they are genuine references that should be addressed.

    Comment


    • Posts

      Originally posted by Jeff Leahy View Post
      Right so first I have Stewart Evans claiming I’m Paul Begg amd now Simon Wood claiming I’m actually Dan Norder?
      PS PS Sorry Jon
      ...
      I do not recall ever claiming that you are Paul Begg. What an odd idea. What I have done is to comment on the immaculate wording and spelling of some of your posts that espouse known Begg ideas and thoughts, and are oddly reminiscent of his style of writing. That is an entirely different thing.

      Comment


      • No it isn’t SPE its just ‘lunacy’ and a full moon at that. The variation in my spelling and grammar is due to my dyslexia, no more no less. And while I share some ideas with Paul, as indeed I share some with you, I also have my own thoughts theories and personal preferences, which clearly Paul does not always agree with.

        With regard’s to a political connection to the Ripper crimes, my opinion is that it is largely wishful thinking. The ‘bogymen’ of the time were the fenians, who lets face it had a pretty good case ever since the genocide by Oliver Cromwell, and they would have claimed anything in an attempt to discredit them.

        While these ideas may have been voiced, there is no hard evidence, what so ever, to connect Parnell or the Fenian movement to Jack the Ripper. The fact that there was wild speculation at the time doesn’t make it any more probable.

        Macnaughten clearly came to believe that Druitt was the most likely suspect and as far as I’m aware Druit had no Fenian connections. Unless you’re suggesting his confusion over the ‘doctor’ was connected to Tumblety?

        Pirate

        Comment


        • Thank you for bringing the scans to the fore on this issue, SPE. They're most appreciated. This is very good food for thought and conducive to studying that aspect in greater depth.

          By the way, calling the victims "bag ladies" is a distortion,Jeff....I'll show you why.

          My two cents on this issue are that regardless of the common sense comments made ( in private to me ) by Archaic and here on this thread...that being that the Fenians would appear to have been shooting themselves in the foot by facilitating their removal from the front pages of the various papers by engaging in the murder of random victims in order to make a point....regardless of this situation and how we can scrutinize it with 20/20 hindsight...a condition exists for certain that the Police and Politicians, who were then living in the times, may well have seen things differently without the benefit of our ability to look back into the past and viewed the murders as some sinister attempt on the part of not only Irish nationalists, but by unaffiliated anarchists....just as some of us might do today even with 20/20 hindsight....to exacerbate the political scene in Britain.

          I agree...that it would make far more sense to whack someone in public office to make a point for some political cause....but calling them bag ladies doesn't take into consideration what possible....possible...role they,as well as any non-politically affiliated victim might provide for a cadre of dissidents who didn't necessarily care who they killed in order to make whatever point they were trying to make. The fact is, is that there were those who might give see some connection to a "cause", which SPE has demonstrated with facts

          Its also unusual that non descript bag ladies get send offs to the extent that these victims did:


          The funeral procession, followed by many people, passed slowly along Mile End Road and on through Bow and Stratford. Along the route many people stood expressing their sympathy, not only for the ill-fated woman but also for the mourning relatives following her coffin.
          The cortege was met by a large crowd at the cemetary gates but after it had passed through they were closed against them Until after the service and interment had taken place.
          James Marsh, Ripperologist Magazine, Issue 13, October 1997
          To Join JTR Forums :
          Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

          Comment


          • Good morning Howard

            Nothing wrong with two cents that’s what we all have.

            Firstly, let me agree entirely with you about our perspective of looking back. We should indeed be careful of assuming how and why people would think or behave 121 years ago.

            The generation gap was something even a ‘old Fart’ like me could bemuse over a pint yesterday, as I was reminiscing about staying with my Nana Parnell in the 1970’s, she was of that world and well in her 80’s at the time, and incidentally married an Irish catholic called Leahy. Quite a scandal.

            When I use the word ‘Baglady’ I wasn’t trying to be derogative to the ripper victims, but trying to get a gasp on how these women may have appeared to us today. By and large everything they owned was on their person, they lived from day to day getting money anyway possible. There was no social security, no health care, little hygiene or sanitation. And the world they inhabited was pretty alien world to our own, which had probably changed little over several generations. Not like today.

            However while there are not areas like this today in the UK there are other areas around the world where similar poverty exists and where terrorist organizations exist. Yet NO examples of terrorists choosing to attack and mutilate venerable women. Rape them, yes. But I see nothing to compare to the Ripper crimes. Yet if we look at the historical record we do have other cases with similarities and these murders are committed by serial killers like Sutcliff.

            My point is very simply that logic dictates the probability that these crimes were also committed by a serial killer unless you can provide any other example of terrorist organizations mutilating a series of poor, unknown and defenseless women.

            I just can’t see it I’m afraid but that’s my opinion and two cents.

            Cheers Pirate

            Comment


            • Originally posted by How Brown View Post
              ... calling the victims "bag ladies" is a distortion, ...
              That is precisely what they were, Howard: 'Bag Ladies'; i.e. women who had no homes, of which to speak, ... and no possessions, excepting those that they wore on their backs or carried in their pockets.

              I am quite confident that they 'sponged' their meager levels of subsistence by any means, for which an opportunity might have arisen, in a given set of circumstances: Begging; shop-lifting; pick-pocketing; hawking; 'charring'; sifting through garbage; ... and of course, prostitution.

              If we could somehow determine a winner, I would gladly make you a very large wager: That where prostitution was concerned, the 'John' was more often than not, a panhandling target who suggested himself that there was substantially more to be gained, were 'something' to be provided in return.

              These women were above all else, human beings. They were daughters, sisters, wives and mothers. But, excepting this reality: They were above all else, vagrants! They were 'bag ladies'!*

              * Kelly, Coles and Mylett being the possible exceptions.

              Comment


              • Hi All,

                According to stories in the US press, the Balfour assassination story was a piece of British disinformation.

                Rocky Mountain News, 15th June 1888—

                Click image for larger version

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                Regards,

                Simon

                Comment


                • Dear Colin:

                  Decent response...and allow me to reply.

                  Where I live, "bag ladies" who are less prevalent as they once were in Philadelphia...than say back in the 1970's and 1980's...didn't have a Crossingham's to live in, significant other to fetch them things...vocations such as hop picking, crocheting, cleaning homes... or opportunities to prostitute themselves to fall back on specifically they were either insane or were more than halfway to that state of mind. I see none of those qualities on paper or on the surface in the victims we discuss in this Case.

                  However, that they may have been begging ( at that time of night would make me think otherwise, in all honesty)...is a consideration and that is worth discussing. Thanks for bringing it up once more. I remember the last time I countered your idea, we didn't get to get it on,Colin.

                  Your idea in its way seems to suggest that the killer of these women or the majority of the "Ripper victims" went out with the intent of being accosted by some unlucky woman/future victim...under the guise of acquiescing to a solicitiation of another sort altogether than the mainstream theory whereupon the Ripper approached the victims with the intent of murdering to mutilate.

                  Or perhaps, he didn't go out with any specific intent and it spontaneously transpired that when he was accosted with a beggar....he responded in the manner in which he did.

                  Anyone else care to add to Colin's remarks ? Its some very good out of the box thinking, I think.
                  To Join JTR Forums :
                  Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

                  Comment


                  • Hi, Stewart.

                    I do realize that you are playing 'Devil's Advocate' here and simply raising issues which came up in 1888,
                    and I am all for that.

                    However, others have posted and written their suspicions that there was some kind of a Fenian conspiracy involved in the Ripper murders; one in which there were high-level political machinations and in which
                    Dr. Tumblety played some kind of role.

                    I'm interested in hearing more details of this theory, having read those posts and articles, but the truth is
                    that I have never heard anybody lay out the basic foundations of that argument.

                    My questions were simply an attempt to understand certain points which I would think lie at the basis of this theory, and which anyone who is proposing "Political Embarrassment" or something similar as the motive for the Ripper murders would have already asked and answered for themselves.

                    I thought they would be happy for an opportunity to share those answers with the rest of us...
                    But instead of getting any serious answers, I got told I am ignorant! (A point on which I beg to differ.)


                    You know me, I always ask a lot of questions... But I don't ask because I am trying to 'annoy' somebody,
                    I ask because I'm interested in the subject and wish to understand it better.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Archaic View Post

                      I thought they would be happy for an opportunity to share those answers with the rest of us...

                      But instead of getting any serious answers, I got told I am ignorant! (A point on which I beg to differ.)


                      You know me, I always ask a lot of questions... But I don't ask because I am trying to 'annoy' somebody, I ask because I'm interested in the subject and wish to understand it better.
                      That's forums for you Archaic, you can't please everybody...

                      That aside I totally agree with you with regard to asking questions, if you don't ask you don't get.

                      As for being called ignorant, to be honest I find that insulting, any new members seeing posts like that are highly likely hold back on participating in fear of being the victim of a similar attack...



                      Your new avator.

                      Comment


                      • No Hard Evidence

                        Originally posted by Jeff Leahy View Post
                        ...
                        While these ideas may have been voiced, there is no hard evidence, what so ever, to connect Parnell or the Fenian movement to Jack the Ripper. The fact that there was wild speculation at the time doesn’t make it any more probable.
                        Macnaughten clearly came to believe that Druitt was the most likely suspect and as far as I’m aware Druit had no Fenian connections. Unless you’re suggesting his confusion over the ‘doctor’ was connected to Tumblety?
                        Pirate
                        There is no hard evidence to connect anyone or any party to 'Jack the Ripper'. I wouldn't call the unknown official crime index reference (which we do not know the content of) as 'wild speculation', nor the Macnaghten reference, obviously gleaned from the official files.

                        Whatever Macnaghten's published beliefs may or may not have been (and ostensibly he leaned towards Druitt), we still do not know what official reference by Macnaghten, Browne saw, that indicated Macnaghten, in that reference, linked the Ripper with the leader of a plot to assassinate Balfour at the Irish office. That is not to say that it was Macnaghten's preferred suspect belief.

                        I am suggesting nothing, I am pointing out facts and I am not suggesting that any 'unknown' party was Tumblety and did not say that (what a crass thing for you to say).

                        Comment


                        • Misinformation

                          Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                          Hi All,
                          According to stories in the US press, the Balfour assassination story was a piece of British disinformation.
                          Rocky Mountain News, 15th June 1888—

                          Regards,
                          Simon
                          I am sure that the American press contained much Irish-American misinformation and wouldn't they obviously say, in response, that anything the British might say against them was pure invention. There was more than one Fenian plot to assassinate Balfour when he was Chief Secretary for Ireland (he was an obvious target). This is, of course, historically recognised and leading historian Andrew Roberts, in his 1999 book Salisbury Victorian Titan, has this to say of the latter 1888 plot -

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                            Where I live, "bag ladies" who are less prevalent as they once were in Philadelphia...than say back in the 1970's and 1980's...didn't have a Crossingham's to live in, significant other to fetch them things...vocations such as hop picking, crocheting, cleaning homes... or opportunities to prostitute themselves to fall back on specifically they were either insane or were more than halfway to that state of mind. I see none of those qualities on paper or on the surface in the victims we discuss in this Case.
                            " ... didn't have a Crossingham's to live in, ..."

                            Had the Philadelphia of the 70's/80's borne the burden of a concentration of vagrancy similar to that seen in the various 'rookeries' of the Parish of Christ Church Spitalfields, in 1888; then I am quite certain that a few "Crossingham's" – charging four-to-five dollars per bed, per night – would have emerged. Whether the lowliest of the low, i.e. the so-called 'bag lady', would have been able to afford such accommodation on a regular basis, is of course, … uncertain. Whether the likes of Tabram, Nichols, Chapman, Stride and Eddowes were ever able to afford their respective preferred accommodations with any significant degree of regularity, is also … uncertain.

                            "... vocations such as hop picking, crocheting, cleaning homes ..."

                            These were hardly "vocations", where the likes of these particular women were concerned. In fact, given the likely irregularity, with which such opportunities availed themselves; they were nothing more than various means of 'scrounging'.

                            "... or opportunities to prostitute themselves ..."

                            We must take care, so as not to overestimate the breadth and depth of the market that might have existed in 1888's East End, for the 'services' that these women were apparently willing to provide.

                            Having made the above assertions; I will nonetheless conceded that we are dealing with an issue of semantics, and that perhaps the term 'bag lady' does tend to exaggerate the relative degrees of destitution and vagrancy that these women had to endure.

                            Nevertheless; these women were completely destitute and above all else … vagrants! They were not above all else … prostitutes! They were plainly and simply, above all else … vagrants!

                            Originally posted by How Brown View Post
                            ... that they may have been begging ( at that time of night would make me think otherwise, in all honesty)...is a consideration and that is worth discussing. ...

                            Your idea in its way seems to suggest that the killer of these women or the majority of the "Ripper victims" went out with the intent of being accosted by some unlucky woman/future victim...under the guise of acquiescing to a solicitiation of another sort altogether than the mainstream theory whereupon the Ripper approached the victims with the intent of murdering to mutilate.

                            Or perhaps, he didn't go out with any specific intent and it spontaneously transpired that when he was accosted with a beggar....he responded in the manner in which he did.
                            I believe that the Buck's Row, Hanbury Street and Mitre Square murder-sites, in particular, were clearly indicative of the respective victims' willingness to engage in prostitution. However, we must consider the distinct possibility that each of these women held out their hands, to 'Jack the Ripper', as beggars; and that he suggested a more lucrative form of encounter.

                            Comment


                            • Thanks again for the elaborate reply,Colin...allow me to respond. You obviously are more well versed on this subject, but let me try to give some counterpoints just to encourage others to participate:

                              "Whether the likes of Tabram, Nichols, Chapman, Stride and Eddowes were ever able to afford their respective preferred accommodations with any significant degree of regularity, is also … uncertain"--Colin

                              I wouldn't be surprised one iota if you and I could go back in a time machine and had seen Tabram & Nichols attempting to "go rough" when they were murdered. My perception of the situation is that this condition of "vagrancy" could apply to vast numbers of men & women in that particular area and because of the large number of men & women who would fall under that heading, "vagrant" that a Nichols "begging" at 3 A.M. is less likely than a Nichols at 3 A.M. offering sexual favors to a passerby...who already knows what a middle aged woman is doing out and about at that time of morning...and will probably go out of his way to avoid...until she makes the initial move and suggests bartering her body for a few pence. I just feel its more likely, with all due respect, Colin...,that these women....Chapman,Nichols,and Eddowes... did not approach the punter(s) with a request for money, rather inferring sex for cash from the man who killed them. Begging in an area where as you will probably agree large numbers of poor already resided and are in equally tragic circumstances would bring in less money than offering sex first and then pocketing whatever pittance they made.

                              I see little difference...and you may be right that its a matter of semantics...from a woman standing on a corner suggesting sex for cash by her body movements than a woman trawling the side streets....avoiding the arterial routes...and approaching a passerby with a request for cash at ungodly hours of the morning. To me, the initial thought, as a man, would be that a middle aged, beat looking woman at that time of morning, was on the game...and that it was mutually understood that any approach a woman at that time of day would make would mean one thing and one thing alone....sex for cash...not a random dispensing of any available money to a woman with or for nothing in return.

                              Nevertheless; these women were completely destitute and above all else … vagrants! They were not above all else … prostitutes! They were plainly and simply, above all else … vagrants!--Colin

                              I agree with you that their living conditions at the time they were murdered would find them closer to being classified as vagrants than anything else...no argument there...but that the means to their ends usually involved prostitution as opposed to any part time occupations ( which is what I meant by "vocation" before...) they may have picked up to supplement their incomes.

                              I'm not sure, perhaps you are, about any references in the literature to any of the victims being charged or known to have engaged in begging.

                              I certainly agree, and always have, with your observation that the victims were more than 2 dimensional characters...such as society's perception of sharks, which are said to only swim,eat and make baby sharks. There is the perception that the victims only drank,slept and prossed. We both know that these women were more than just " victims due to prostitution".

                              Yet, vagrants have to live and their lives were rough...so rough, that its hard to see them not taking the easiest route to guaranteeing some income the easy way and the easiest way of assuring their daily intake of booze and tobacco, to me...so far...would be by hiking up their skirts.

                              I always enjoy your posts because your passion on this issue is palpable,Colin. Whether you are right or I am right about how they decided to make their ends meet is secondary to the fact that this is a good discussion piece and I appreciate you taking the time to present your views.

                              Would anyone else (please !) care to offer their views on the matter ?
                              To Join JTR Forums :
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                              • "I am suggesting nothing, I am pointing out facts and I am not suggesting that any 'unknown' party was Tumblety and did not say that (what a crass thing for you to say)."

                                Hi SPE, I wasn’t meaning to be crass. However of the leading known suspects, as far as I’m aware, Tumblety is the only one, known to be in the area at the time, who people have suggested may have had Fenian connections (not that I’m familiar with the source of those suggestions but I have heard them made).

                                Macnaughten does refer to Druitt incorrectly as a Doctor.

                                I was therefore speculating the possibility of Macnaughten having knowledge of Tumbelty that we have no source for.

                                I was wondering if that had been a train of thought or consideration? Not trying to say that was what you were or had, said.

                                Pirate

                                PS Just to add to Howard’s and Colin’s ‘baglady’ debate. We do have fairly clear indication that Annie Chapman spent some time wandering the countryside as a tramp, sleeping rough and living in alcoholic stupors. I except that each of the victims must be considered individually. However I must agree with Colin that prostitution was a means to an end, they probably scrapped money together anyway they could rather than what we would consider today being professional.

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