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  • #76
    Here's the 1901 Census showing Ben Nichols as the manager of HB's head office in York Road. He was originally the owner of his own yard in Southwark, but when HB took over he transferred to Islington. His son folllowed in his footsteps as a slaughterman (inevitably).

    The Mumford running the pub came from the I.O.W, so it doesn't look as though there is any connection to the Essex Mumfords.

    (apologies if the image is a bit fuzzy)


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    • #77
      This is the marriage cert for Ben Nichols senior below (the one whose son inevitably became a slaughterman). Guess what his father's occupation was.

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      • #78
        I couldn’t find anyone in the 1891 census in London with the word ‘knacker’ associated with their profession.
        There are not that many in the 1881 Census.
        A tiny proportion of people listed as Horseflesh dealers, sellers, vendors or purveyors had the word ‘knacker’ added to their occupational description.
        Only maybe 30 people in London had the word ‘Knacker’ attached to their occupation at all.
        A mall minority were solely slaughterer knackers.
        Few of those seem to have any family history in that trade. The only one I could readily find with a family background in that trade was
        Benjamin Geiss – Horse Slaughterer – knacker.
        He as the son of a horse slaughterer.
        There were two Harding brothers whose father was a horse keeper. A bit like gamekeeper turned poacher.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
          I couldn’t find anyone in the 1891 census in London with the word ‘knacker’ associated with their profession.
          There are not that many in the 1881 Census.
          A tiny proportion of people listed as Horseflesh dealers, sellers, vendors or purveyors had the word ‘knacker’ added to their occupational description.
          Only maybe 30 people in London had the word ‘Knacker’ attached to their occupation at all.
          A mall minority were solely slaughterer knackers.
          Few of those seem to have any family history in that trade. The only one I could readily find with a family background in that trade was
          Benjamin Geiss – Horse Slaughterer – knacker.
          He as the son of a horse slaughterer.
          There were two Harding brothers whose father was a horse keeper. A bit like gamekeeper turned poacher.
          Ed,

          The word knacker does seem to have been one that people tried to avoid. I blame Jack Atcheler who was considered a bit of a joke. My lot alternated between knacker/slaughterer/horse dealer/horse keeper/horse butcher. This link has a marriage cert on which one of them is shown as a knacker (and, inevitably, so was his father). There's a photo of him on the thread too.

          He was married in Wolverhampton, where they were living briefly. (Around the same time as Kate Eddowes was there, I think. Her family lived very near the livestock market).

          It's a bit weird that a few days ago we were looking for Annie Milward's famiy in Ongar/Greenstead and now we are looking at Mumford and Britton fom the same small area.

          Gary


          http://www.jtrforums.com/showthread....ctorian+attire

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          • #80
            This is interesting from the 1901 census. The father, John Vincent, is a horse slaughterer, living in Winthrop Street. His son, William, works for HB as a carman. Next to his occupation of carman is written 'horse slaughterer'. Does that mean he was both or that he was a carman for a horse slaughterer? Either way they were keeping it in the family. (See the Old Bailey case, post 16 below).

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            (HB had their own stables for the horses they used to pull their carts. And in Whitechapel the Barbers had an obligation under the terms of William Monk's will to keep a coach and horses available for the use of his daughter. So they required the services of carmen and horse keepers at their depots.)

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            • #81
              I should have mentioned that HB also employed wheelwrights on their premises, so John Vincent junior below could well have been an HB man.

              I bet if we dug deeply enough we'd find that not only were Britton and Mumford related to each other, they also had connections to the Barbers or some of the other HB workforce.

              Having said that, the OB case of Charles Slowe shows they did employ casuals occasionally. Perhaps that was what Hardiman was. It would make more sense than the suggestion that he was operating as an independent knacker in Hanbury Street.

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              • #82
                Considering the number of horses they dealt with annually, HB's premises were fairly small. This OS map from the 1950s shows the 'head office' in Islington. No. 186, York Road (now Way) was the office and the manager's accommodation. The slaughter yard was at 180. For scale, the pub is the one shown above, post 7.

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                • #83
                  This recent photo shows the former site of the Fortune of War, now occupied by a brightly coloured data store. The rather tatty building glimpsed to the left was the residence of HB's managers. I searched in vain for the wall with the famous inscription.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                    I got distracted into looking at the three slaughtermen of Winthrop Street - Henry Tomkins (for whom I could not find any records) Mumford and Bretton. I wanted to see if they had any history of knackerdom running in their families. Inevitably there was no indication of any hereditary knackering going on but I noticed something curious:

                    James Mumford
                    Born 1853-56
                    Married Emma Reddington 1884
                    1891 – 22 Winthrop Street - Labourer, horse slaughterer (cat) - aged 38 – born in Whitechapel
                    1901 – 22 Winthrop Street - Slaughterman – aged 45 – born Stratford, Essex

                    He is flexible about his birthplace. I think these records also relate to him:

                    1851 – James Mumford Senior – aged 40 - farm labourer in Fyfield with wife Jane
                    1861 – aged 7 in Fyfield (sub registration District of Bobbingworth) – born in Fyfield – son of James Mumford (born in Fyfield c. 1809) and Jane.
                    1871 – Cow boy aged 18 in Fyfield (between Epping and Ongar in Essex) – born in Fyfield.

                    Charles Bretton
                    Brought up in Bobbingworth, Essex (pronounced Bovinger). To place it, Bobbingworth is very close to Greensted, quite near to Ongar.
                    His father, also Charles, had been a farmer but became a licenced victualler.
                    His mother was called Louisa and was from Hatfield Broad Oak (in Essex north of Harlow).

                    9th January 1859 – Baptised in Bobbingworth (son of Charles and Louisa Bretton)

                    12th December 1887 – aged 24, horse slaughterer of 145 Devonshire Street - married Susannah Radcliffe.
                    1891 – 42 Winthrop Street – aged 32 - Slaughterman – butcher – born Bovinger (incorrectly entered as Bolinger) – married to Susannah.
                    Oct-Nov-Dec 1899 - Died at West Ham (buried in the semi derelict Woodgrange Park Cemetery)

                    I am unsure whether these records relate to the same Charles Bretton.

                    Jul-Aug-Sep 1876 - Marriage in Chelmsford between Charles Henry Britton and Annie Groves
                    1881 – 25 Bucks Row – aged 22 – Horsekeeper – Born Essex (Married to Annie)

                    A carman called Charles Britton (aged 33) married to Annie Britton turned up in Maldon in 1891 – but the Bucks Row is a bit of a coincidence. They must have married young – and he must have somehow remarried Susannah.

                    Charles Bretton Senior married Louisa in 1855. Her maiden name was Mumford.
                    In the 1841 census Louisa (aged 10) was living in Hatfield Broad Oak, with her father James Mumford (a butcher, aged 40) a sister and a brother William, aged 7.

                    Is it a coincidence that Charles Mumford’s grandfather was called James Mumford?
                    That Charles Munford was brought up in the small village of Bobbingworth, very close to where a James Mumford of the right age had been a cow boy?
                    Ed,

                    An Ann Britton aged 39 died in Whitechapel in March Q. 1884.

                    Gary

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                    • #85
                      As for the Carman - horse slaughterer - I would suggest he worked for them as a carman delivering hugh hundredweights worths of slaughtered horse meat to people such as old Ma Lechmere - and probably also dd a bit of slaughtering, or assisted in that process as well.

                      The wheelright may or may not have worked for Harrison Barber but he doesn't seem to have had the horse slaughtering trade passed down to him.

                      As for Hardiman, I would not suggest that he slaughtered animals at Hanbury Street although I would not be at all surprised of he did a bit of the processing of the meat ready for sale there.

                      I don't know that the term knacker was one that people tried to avoid. It was a term used in the legislation.

                      I looked at quite a few Horse Slaughterers and only a tiny number seemed to have family connections to that trade and the seemed to be from people at the top end - the management side of it, as one might expect.

                      The Brettons and Mumfords came from rural Essex and moved into the East End as many did (a reverse to the current process). Their families were engaged in 'normal' rural trades - farmers , farm labourers, the village pub - that sort of thing.

                      The point being - from what I can see - and from the evidence you have brought forward - knackering was only kept in the family for the people at the top of that industry.

                      So I see no reason to suppose that Hardiman wasn't actually a knacker and that his knackering gave him easy access to cat's meat for his other line of business.
                      Otherwise I find it strange that only couple of dozen cat's meat men in London had the word knacker added to their occupation.
                      Not that this has any bearing on anything in particular.

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                      • #86
                        That Annie Britton seems much too old.

                        There were definitely two Essex Charles Bretton/Brittons of roughly the same age. No doubt they can be disentangled. I think one was more from the Southend-Rochford-Maldon area - and the other - the horseslaughter from the Ongar area.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                          As for the Carman - horse slaughterer - I would suggest he worked for them as a carman delivering hugh hundredweights worths of slaughtered horse meat to people such as old Ma Lechmere - and probably also dd a bit of slaughtering, or assisted in that process as well.

                          The wheelright may or may not have worked for Harrison Barber but he doesn't seem to have had the horse slaughtering trade passed down to him.

                          As for Hardiman, I would not suggest that he slaughtered animals at Hanbury Street although I would not be at all surprised of he did a bit of the processing of the meat ready for sale there.

                          I don't know that the term knacker was one that people tried to avoid. It was a term used in the legislation.

                          I looked at quite a few Horse Slaughterers and only a tiny number seemed to have family connections to that trade and the seemed to be from people at the top end - the management side of it, as one might expect.

                          The Brettons and Mumfords came from rural Essex and moved into the East End as many did (a reverse to the current process). Their families were engaged in 'normal' rural trades - farmers , farm labourers, the village pub - that sort of thing.

                          The point being - from what I can see - and from the evidence you have brought forward - knackering was only kept in the family for the people at the top of that industry.

                          So I see no reason to suppose that Hardiman wasn't actually a knacker and that his knackering gave him easy access to cat's meat for his other line of business.
                          Otherwise I find it strange that only couple of dozen cat's meat men in London had the word knacker added to their occupation.
                          Not that this has any bearing on anything in particular.
                          If the term wasn't one that was avoided, why was it rarely used? Why did people choose to call themselves horse slaughterers instead? Ancient legal usage should not be used as a guide to everyday usage.

                          The 'industry' was very small. We are not talking of hundreds of men employed in a factory, just a handful at each location. The owner's got their hands dirty and were themselves skilled slaughtermen. Under them were a few skilled men and, I'm sure, a few odd and sods who swept the yard etc.

                          My 4 x great grandfather was a horse butcher in Ducking Pond Lane (now Brady Street) two of his sons were slaughtermen who worked for William Monk and alongside William Barber. One of them moved to Wolverhampton where he continued the trade and brought up two sons who were slaughtermen. One of them, my 2x great grandfather moved back to London to work for HB in Islington. He married the daughter of a horse dealer. Two of his sons became slaughter men as did the son of one of them (my grandfather). These are only the ones I know about. A veritable horse-slaughtering dynasty. They weren't bosses, they were workers.

                          Cutting bits of boiled cats meat into cubes is really quite different from controlling, stunning, killing, bleeding and butchering a large animal such as a horse. Perhaps Hardiman did sweep the yard or do a bit of unskilled bone crushing, I doubt they let him loose with a pole axe or a knife. But as you say, it isn't really important. It only became an issue when Christer tried to use the scribbled 'knacker' next to Hardiman's name to suggest Old Ma Lechmere was also one. Clearly she wasn't. She sold cat's meat, which came ready cooked and off the bone from the knacker's yard - presumably in her case the one in Winthrop Street.

                          One last point (from me at least) on the 'knacker' subject. HB did not produce food for human consumption in their London Yards, but horseflesh could be obtained elsewhere. The word knacker next to Hardiman's occupation has the same effect as the word cat against Ma Lechmere's - it identifies the meat they were selling as not being for human consumption.

                          Incidentally, Alfred Barber, the boss at Winthrop Street was described a slaughterman (cat) on the census (1891, I think). Why 'cat' would you think if his yard was selling raw bone-in joints that could be used for anything?

                          I do have a press report where an HB official states that under their 'charter' his firm are prohibited from producing food for human consumption and another report where a wholesaler has his horseflesh confiscated because it has been dressed in such a way that it could be used as human food. They are a bit later, though, so I haven't posted them. But ALL the evidence leads to the conclusion that Old Ma Lechmere was not disjointing horse carcases in Cable Street. If (and it's a big if) her son helped her out in her business he would have attained no unusal knife skills and no experience with a bone saw, fine-toothed or otherwise, at all.

                          All we can say with any confidence is that he probably carried a small knife with which to cut ropes. I doubt there was a working class man in Whitechapel who hadn't used such a knife at one time or another.

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                          • #88
                            Here's an interesting little factoid. William Monk bequeathed his businesses to his assistant. Why? I would suggest that a knacker's business required a skilled, hands-on owner. The value of the business was in the the skills of its employees. Monk, for example, only leased his yard. He owned some equipment, but there was no real value in the business beyond its reputation.

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                            • #89
                              Gary Barnett: ... Christer tried to use the scribbled 'knacker' next to Hardiman's name to suggest Old Ma Lechmere was also one. Clearly she wasn't. She sold cat's meat, which came ready cooked and off the bone from the knacker's yard - presumably in her case the one in Winthrop Street.

                              Just as it was an open question back then it remains an open question now too. Hardiman was presented in the inquest as a horse flesh dealer (knacker), and not as a cat´s meat man.
                              Maria Louisa was also presented as a horse flesh dealer, and it therefore applies that the possibility is there that she handled horse flesh in other fashions than just by receiving boneless lumps of flesh to cut up and make cubes of.
                              Where she got her horseflesh from is an open question too.


                              All we can say with any confidence is that he probably carried a small knife with which to cut ropes. I doubt there was a working class man in Whitechapel who hadn't used such a knife at one time or another.

                              His primary reason for carrying a knife would have been to enable him to cut the harnesses in the event of an accident. That would take a little bit more than an ordinary pen-knife.
                              Not that we are going to be able to conclude what kind of knife he carried anyway. It is a waste of time.
                              "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
                                Gary Barnett: ... Christer tried to use the scribbled 'knacker' next to Hardiman's name to suggest Old Ma Lechmere was also one. Clearly she wasn't. She sold cat's meat, which came ready cooked and off the bone from the knacker's yard - presumably in her case the one in Winthrop Street.

                                Just as it was an open question back then it remains an open question now too. Hardiman was presented in the inquest as a horse flesh dealer (knacker), and not as a cat´s meat man.
                                Maria Louisa was also presented as a horse flesh dealer, and it therefore applies that the possibility is there that she handled horse flesh in other fashions than just by receiving boneless lumps of flesh to cut up and make cubes of.
                                Where she got her horseflesh from is an open question too.


                                All we can say with any confidence is that he probably carried a small knife with which to cut ropes. I doubt there was a working class man in Whitechapel who hadn't used such a knife at one time or another.

                                His primary reason for carrying a knife would have been to enable him to cut the harnesses in the event of an accident. That would take a little bit more than an ordinary pen-knife.
                                Not that we are going to be able to conclude what kind of knife he carried anyway. It is a waste of time.
                                Christer,

                                I hadn't realised that Hardiman had been presented at an inquest as a knacker. I was aware that his mother had been a witness and had described her occupation as a cats meat retailer. I will have to go back and check that out.

                                We can be reasonably certain where the Hardimans and Ma Lechmere obtained their cat's meat. There was only one firm selling the stuff in London and they had one outlet in the East End. And there are numerous descriptions of how cats meat was made. It was boiled from the bone at the knackers yard.

                                This whole discussion has arisen because you made the following statement:

                                'Cats meat producers would have employed fine-toothed saws and sharp knives for taking apart the horse carcasses they bought to produce the meat cubes from.'

                                All the evidence suggests otherwise. This is what gives your theory a bad name. It's not just unproven, it's extremely unlikely, and yet you state it as a fact. A fact that conveniently matches the methods of the torso killer.

                                What you should have said is something like, 'In the unlikely event that Lechmere's mother sourced her horseflesh from outside London and prepared it herself with a degree of precision only really appropriate to mainstream butchery she may have used a bone saw of some description.'

                                Gary

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