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Harrison Barber—Horse Slaughterers

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  • My knowledge of the geography of Wolverhampton is practically non-existent - which is my excuse for posting this rather pathetic map fragment to demonstrate how close the Leeches' premises in Townwell Fold (just to the right of 'D') was to Bilston Street (just to the left of 'E') where the extended Eddowes family lived. There was a livestock market at the top of Bilston Street, which also contained a 'Horse Repository'.

    I've never been convinced by those who say that certain of the C5 must have known each other because they lived in the same small area and drank in the same pubs, but I'd be very surprised if Jesse Croot, another dealer in glandered horses, living in Bilston Street, was not acquainted with the Leeches.

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    • Townwell Fold -1960s

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      • Regional Accents

        By the time they returned to London, the Tomkins boys had spent 15 years or so in Manchester and had no doubt adopted the local accent.

        This isn't Manc, it's Black Country, where Kate Eddowes hailed from, but it's an example of a strong regional accent that at times sounds like a foreign language (stick with it until you get to Dolly Allen and then Harry Harrison's 'oss' elegy).

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JmP6DyY8pfM

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        • This is a slightly fuller version of the Shippy dog-baiting incident from 1861. It says Nick was no longer working for the Leeches, but later reports suggest he was welcomed back into the (Townwell) fold some time afterwards.

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          • Joseph Leech

            Before we leave the Leeches, here are a couple of press reports from 1861 about Joseph, the eldest of the three brothers and apparently the head of the clan at the time. The first is interesting because it is further support for the idea that Sunday was a knacker-free day. Joseph was fined 2s 6d for simply carrying a horse on his cart on the sabbath.

            The second is even more interesting, involving the death of Joseph's drinking buddy, Benjamin Devey, following an alleged scuffle with an unnamed policeman. The subsequent inquest determined that the cause of death was not related to the alleged scuffle, so no further action was taken.

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            • Joseph Leech 2

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              • I recognise that Harrison Barber logo.

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                • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                  I recognise that Harrison Barber logo.
                  I got a T-shirt with it on for Christmas.

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                  • With a pair of matching boxer shorts?

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                    • Whatever happened to Harrison Barber?
                      Where they taken over by Whiskers? Or did they succumb to a Kray-Hart protection or long firm racket and sell up?

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                      • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                        Whatever happened to Harrison Barber?
                        Where they taken over by Whiskers? Or did they succumb to a Kray-Hart protection or long firm racket and sell up?
                        I think they were ultimately swallowed up by this mob:

                        http://www.zwanfood.com

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                        • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                          With a pair of matching boxer shorts?
                          Boxer? Was than an Animal Farm reference?

                          Here's the right attire for George Orwell fans:

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                          • This thread was supposed to be specifically about HB, but it has developed into a catch-all horse-slaughtering one. However, given that the history of London horse-slaughtering is the history of the HB monopoly, and given that certain of the London horse-slaughtering families ranged far and wide across the country, I don't think it has really gone too far off-topic.

                            It also contains a sort of flat-pack Tomkins theory, though without the instructions (I think I may have thrown them out with the box!). And as always with flat-pack there are a few key components that seem to be missing.

                            I'm pleased that I've found motives for some of the moves the various families made, but one that has so far eluded me is the reason behind the T's move to Whitechapel. They had been settled in Manchester for 15 years, Henry and Thomas had married local women and several children had been born. Why, then, did they feel the need to up sticks and move back to London, seemingly in late 1887/early 1888?

                            The fact that John Harrison, the man who insisted on prosecuting William Tomkins for theft, appears to have bailed out of HB shortly after he created it in 1886 may have been a factor. But I can't help wondering whether, in addition, something happened in Manchester that made life there awkward for them.

                            And if something did happen, it might shed some light on the boy's mind-set during their brief spell in the East End. For example, if the vicious attack on Sarah Tomkins by a woman bearing at least a passing resemblance to Polly Nichols had occurred a few weeks or months, rather than years, before they started work in Winthrop Street, that would at least be very interesting, wouldn't it?

                            Clutching at straws? Yep, but don't you need straw to make bricks?

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                            • Leeches again 1

                              I thought I'd finished with the Leeches of Townwell Fold, but looking through my knackives I have found a further two press reports that I think are worth sharing. The first is a report of the death of William Leach/Leech (the spellings are seemingly interchangeable), a horse-slaughterer of Townwell fold, in 1860. Without sending for the death cert I can't be sure which, but I believe this is either the father or the older brother of the three men we have already looked at.

                              Leech clearly suffered from the same weakness as William Tomkins - they were obviously a hard-drinking lot those old knackermen. Nothing unusual in that, of course, it was quite the norm for Victorian working men.

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                              • Gary:

                                Did you get a chance to see this ?

                                http://www.jtrforums.com/showthread....871#post309871
                                To Join JTR Forums :
                                Contact [email protected]

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