Monday, 8 May 2017

FREDERICK GEORGE ABBERLINE - THE EARLY YEARS.


    Frederick George Abberline joined the Metropolitan Police on the 5th January 1863, his first beat would be with N Division, Islington. On the 19th August 1865 Abberline was promoted to sergeant and transferred to Y Division, Highgate. In 1867 he was operating in plain clothes investigating the Fenians, this of course would never be printed in the newspapers. By 1871 Abberline was made a detective sergeant and his reputation was fearsome. It is interesting to see his progression through the ranks and the varied cases he was investigating.


Islington Gazette Monday. Oct 1, 1864.


Clerkenwell.


Throwing Fireworks into a Church and Disturbing a Congregation.

      
  Alfred Edward Calmer, 17, of 76, Bridport place, Hoxton, a greengrocer's assistant; 
Henry Grant, 16, of 18, Great George street, Bermondsey, a tailor; and Frederick Grant, 15, of 5, Rydon street, gold beater, were charged with discharging fireworks in the Almorah road, to the annoyance of the inhabitants. 
St John the Baptist church, Almorah Road.

    They were further charged with willfully disturbing the congregation at the Church of St. John the Baptist, by throwing a cracker into the church in Almorah road. From the evidence of Police constables Wansley, 445 N, and Abberline, 544 N, it appeared that last night they saw the prisoners letting off some fireworks, throwing them down areas and into parlour windows.
    Before they could get to the prisoners Grant threw a squib into the window of the above church, and the sparks went on to the ladies, but fortunately their dresses did not take fire.     The congregation were very much alarmed, but none of them were hurt. The prisoners were taken into custody, and on them were found some other fireworks.
    Mr. James Ferguson, the churchwarden, said that the congregation were frequently annoyed by boys of the same description as the prisoners, not with fireworks, but with stones. The prisoners said that they were sorry for what had occurred, and it was by accident that the squib went into the church. Mr. D'Eyncourt fined Calmer and Grant 5s. each, and Grant 20s. which was instantly paid.



The Standard 5th October 1864.


    John Stroud, 16, and Henry Oxley, 15, two respectable lads, were indicted for stealing a handkerchief, the property of a person unknown, from his person. Frederick Abberline, police constable 544 N, said, between one and two o'clock on Friday, the 23rd, he observed the prisoners with another boy pushing against several gentlemen, and trying their pockets. 
    The boy not in custody took the handkerchief produced and flung it down, and said, "Lookout." The prisoner Oxley picked it up. Both prisoners ran away and were captured by witness. The Jury found them Guilty. Mr. Payne sentenced Stroud to 18 and Oxley to 9 months' hard labour.

  

Pall Mall Gazette 4th December 1866.


    At Clerkenwell, William Anderson, a porter, was charged on remand before Mr. Barker with stealing from his employer, Mr. Prince, of 2, Flora-villas, Hammersmith, the sum of 10/. 12s. The prosecutor formerly carried on business at 288, Pentonville road, and the prisoner was his porter. 
    On the 12th of June last year the prisoner was sent to the London and County Bank, Islington branch, with the above sum to place to his employer's account. Instead of doing so he ran away with the money, and nothing further was heard of him until Sunday week, when police sergeant Abberline 24Y, heard that he was detained at Chelmsford.
    The sergeant went there, and took him into custody, and on telling him the charge the prisoner said he was sorry for what he had done, that he had spent the whole of the money, and had since been in the greatest distress. 
    To get bread, he further said, he had had to deliver bills for a travelling circus, and the thoughts of the robbery, together with his distress, had made him give himself up, and now that he had done so he felt more comfortable than he had since he had committed the robbery. Mr. Barker committed the prisoner, who made no defence, to the Middlesex Sessions for trial.
Inside the Middlesex Sessions House.


Islington Gazette 2nd April 1867.


Gambling is the Cattle Market.


    Charles Irish aged 19, a hawker, of Phipp street, Shoreditch, was charged before Mr. Barker with unlawfully gambling, by playing at a game called Chance, in the Metropolitan Cattle Market.
The Metropolitan Cattle Market, Islington.

    From the evidence of police sergeant Abberline, 24 Y, and police constable Witham, 86 Y, it appeared that yesterday the prisoner was seen in the market, and he was standing at a roulette table, which was covered with a cloth, and was gambling for half-pence. 
    They saw the prisoner pick up several lots of half-pence, and also saw him pass some to his confederates. When the police took the prisoner into custody he threw a quantity of half-pence away. The prisoner was well known to the police as the companion or notorious thieves, and the attendant at races as a skittle sharper.
    The prisoner said he was not playing for half-pence, but only for cocoa-nuts. It was all a mistake to say that he was the companion of thieves. The police said there had been frequent complaints of gambling in the market. The prisoner had been seen in the City road with a roulette table, and was then removed. 
    Mr. Barker said the case was fully made out and sentenced the prisoner to six weeks' hard labour in the House of Correction, and directed that the table, spindle, and the cloth should be destroyed.

    

The Times 8th October 1867.


    At Clerkenwell, John Fleet, aged 23, a labourer, of 59, George's road, Holoway, was charged before Mr. Barker with violently assaulting Henry Sabrams of George's road, costamonger, by stabbing him in the thigh with a knife, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm, at Islington.     Police Sergeant Abberline 24Y, handed in the following medical certificate 
"5, Lowther cottages, Holloway, N, Oct, 7, 1867, This is to certify that Henry Sabrams is suffering from an incised wound of the thigh, an inch and a half long, produced by some sharp instrument -THOS. H. MITCHELL."
   The prosecutor, who could hardly walk, said that he did not wish to prosecute, as he knew the prisoner to be a respectable man. From the evidence of Police constable Brooks 785 A reserve, it appeared that both the parties on Saturday night had been drinking, and had some words outside a beershop; they exchanged some blows, and then the prisoner took out a clasp knife and stabbed the complainant in the thigh. 
    When the constable was called the injured man was very weak from loss of blood. Of the two the prisoner was the more drunk. The prisoner said that he had had a drop of beer and that he had no questions to ask, and the prosecutor again said he did not wish to prosecute. 
    Mr. Barker said it was a case that could not be decided at present, and he should remand it for a week to see how the injured man progressed. He would take bail for the prisoner, himself in 40/. and two sureties in the sum of 10/ each. The prisoner was locked up in default.


The Times 6th September 1870.


At the Highgate Police court yesterday, 


    Edward George, aged 28, a respectably dressed man, who said he was a dealer in French goods, living at 12 1/2, Cecil-court, St. Martin's lane, was charged before Colonel Jeakes and messers. Lermitte and Nicholson, with being concerned with three others not in custody in violently assaulting and beating James Fairweather, with intent to murder him, at a field in Millfield lane, West Highgate.     Willian Callaway, 43 Passage street, Kentish-town, a painter, said between half-past 5 and 6 on Friday he was at Highgate ponds, in Millfield lane, when he saw seven or eight men coming towards the ponds. He was 200 yards off, and thought they were fighting. 
Millfield Lane by John H Mcintyre

    He walked nearer, and saw a man knock the injured man down. It was not the prisoner. When he was down they began to kick him and punch him with their fists. There was hardly one who did not strike him. 
    Witness ran into the road to get a police constable. One of the men, who had a riding-whip, was striking the injured man and he believed broke it over his head. As soon as the men saw him running towards the road they a got into the two cabs that were waiting for them. He saw one of the men strike the injured man on the head with the butt-end of the whip. 
    He ran up to the man, who was bleeding very profusely from the wounds in the face. He at once conveyed him to the Duke of St. Albans public house, and thence he was taken to the Kentish Town police station in a cab. Mr. Peter Rawlings, M.R.C.S., the divisional surgeon of the Y Division, said the man was much injured about the face and head. 
    His right eye was completely closed, his upper lip was cut through on the left side. His chin was cut, and his head was cut and bruised. His elbow was injured, but no bones were broken. He had lost a great quantity of blood, but was sensible. The wounds were very dangerous. 
    Mr. William Henry Hurst, M.R.C.S., of 33, Great Wynard street, said he was called to the injured man on Saturday night, at 20, Glocester grove, Brompton. He described his injuries, and said he was in a very dangerous condition. 
    Police sergeant Frederick Abberline 24Y said he went with Detective Constable Dalton to Northbrook lodge, Lee, Kent, the prisoner's residence, on Sunday morning, and apprehended him. He was conveyed to the injured man's residence at Brompton. 

    The prisoner was placed between three others, and the injured man said, pointing to the prisoner, "That is one of the principals; that is the one who said 'throw him in the water." The Bench remanded the prisoner till Monday next. A solicitor who attended for the prisoner asked that he might be admitted to bail, which was refused.



Illustrated Police News 15th April 1871.


Marylebone. Committal of an old thief for trial. 


    Caroline Davis, aged twenty one, was charged before Mr. D'Eyncourt with stealing, from outside the shop, No. 21, Kentish Town road, 50 yards of cotton print, the property of Messrs. Alfred and Charles Daniels.  
    From the evidence of Detective Sergeant Frederick Abberline, of the Y division, it appeared that the previous night he saw the prisoner, in company with two other women, loitering in at the Kentish Town road. Suspecting them, he watched them, and saw them stop for some minutes looking in the window of Messers. A. and C. Daniels, linen drapers, of 207. Kentish Town road.
Kentish Town Police Station
    They walked from the shop very quick, and he followed them down the Prince of Wales road into the Victoria road, where he saw the prisoner had something bulky under her shawl. He caught hold of her, and her companions ran away. 
    Under her shawl he found 50 yards of cotton print, which had been stolen from outside the prosecutors' shop. She was taken to the Kentish Town Police station and charged, and it was found she had undergone six months' imprisonment from this court for shoplifting. Mr. Mansfield committed the prisoner, who had nothing to say, to the next Middlesex Sessions for trial.


The Times 22nd August 1871.


    John Heddy, 15, and Walter Gold, 17, labourers, were charged with stealing a purse and the sum of 6s, the property and moneys of Mary Ann Walker, from her person. Mr. W. J. Abram prosecuted.
    In the afternoon of the 31st of July both the prisoners, with another lad, who is not in custody, were in the Kentish town road, dodging in and out around the people on the pavement. They then crowded round the prosecutrix, who was carrying a baby on her right arm. 
    She thereupon felt a tug at the pocket of her dress she then felt for her purse, and finding it safe pushed it further down into her pocket and passed on. She was again rustled by the prisoners, 
    Gold being on her right side,when a woman called her attention to her pocket; she then found that her purse had been taken, and that a parcel wrapped in straw paper, which she had also in her pocket, was undone. 
    She immediately observed that Gold had a piece of paper in his hand ; she said, "You have a piece of my paper," when he put it in his month. Detective Abberline, of the Y Division, who had watched the prisoners, pursued and captured Heddy, who had run away; the third boy escaped. 
    Gold, at the police station, spat out the piece of paper which he had in his mouth; this was compared with that in the prosecutrix's pocket and was found to be of the same quality. The jury found both prisoners Guilty, and sentence was deferred.


The Standard 5th September 1871.


Marylebone,


Betting Houses, 



    Thomas Becky Chase, 41, a hair dresser, carrying on business at 17, Ernest street, Regent's Park, and Nathan Levi, 36. a tobacconist and newsagent, of 36, Ernest street, Regent's Park, were charged with using their houses as common betting houses, and betting with persons resorting thereto. 
    Mr. Superintendent Charles O'Louglin, S Division, said that on that morning, about one o'clock, in company with Inspector Charlwood and other officers, he went to the defendant Levi's house. He told the defendant that he would be taken into custody for keeping a betting house. 
    He said, "I admit making bets, but I have only one book." He also went to Chase's house, and took him into custody. No books were found in his house. Detective Sergeant Frederick Abberline, Y division, said, about half past twelve on the 17th of August he entered Levi's shop and made a purchase. 
    He heard the following conversation between two men and Levi. The first man said 'That is two-and-a-half to one," and the defendant nodded. The first man again said, "what are you going to put on?' and the second man said, " He has got my half-crown, but has not booked it yet." 
    He (witness) left the shop, and on Saturday, the 19th, he entered the shop of Mr. Chase. A man was leaving an inner room, and he said to the defendant, " You must not fall out if I get a better price; I shall try." Chase said, "Very well; will you put another on ? " 
    He (witness) then left, and shortly after returned to the shop, and heard Chase say to the same man,'' I booked the bet to him." 'the man said, "My name is White, and I will put another half-crown on ; but I should like you to give me a little more," Chase said, " I can't do it; it's no use of speaking a hundred words about it. Perhaps you will walk outside." 
    They walked to the street-door, and Chase asked for the money. White said it was inside, on the mantel-shelf. At one o'clock that day he went to Levi's house, in company with Superintendent O'Loughlin, and in a drawer in the shop he found a book, with about 100 bets entered. They were all bets on the Doncaster St. Leger, which takes place on Wednesday week.


The Times 29th September 1871.


    HENRY WILLIAM MUGGERIDGE, 27, clerk, who, when apprehended, was lodging at 21, Caledonian crescent, Caledonian road, was brought before Mr. D'Eyncourt, on remand, charged with uttering fictitious cheques. 
    There were three charges against the prisoner. In the first case he had obtained 3/. 12s. 6d. by inducing William Argent, a railway porter, in whose house, 45, Mansfield road, Kentish town, he lodged in June, to change a cheque for him. 
Mansfield road

    The cheque was numbered 27' 125, and purported to be drawn on the Kilburn branch of the London and South-Western Bank, by "M'Kash and Co." It was proved that no such firm had any account at the bank. 
    In the second case, Mr. Charles Drewell, of the Lion and Lamb public house, Margaret street, Clerkenwell, stated that on the 26th of August he gave the prisoner 3L 15s. in change for a cheque, which was returned to him from the bank marked "No account." 
    In the third case, Louisa Murray, who stated that she had been living with the prisoner, said that on the 22nd of August he gave her a cheque for 3L. 10s., and instructed her to get it cashed. She went to Mr. Henley, a baker, who changed it for her. This cheque was also proved to be valueless. 
    F. Abberline, a detective, went to 21, Caledonian crescent, about 2 o'clock in the morning, and found the prisoner concealed in a cupboard. Witness saw him pass a pocketbook to a woman who was in bed, and on examining the book found that it contained two cheques on the London and County Bank, Covent garden. One of the cheques was filled up. The prisoner was committed for trial.


The Standard 13th December 1871.


Marylebone


Robberies from the Midland Railway.



    Henry Watson, 23, pointsman; William Walling, 22 guard: and Thomas Currey, 20, shunter, all in the service of the Midland Railway Company, were charged with stealing a chest of tea. 
    Owing to the numerous complaints made to Detective sergeant George Woodrow, of the company's police, of  robberies having been committed on the railway, he placed Detective constables Underwood and Thurston to watch the goods trains at the Highgate road Junction, which is near the Kentish Town Station. 

Highgate Junction approach

    About six o'clock they saw a goods train stop at the Highgate Junction, and the prisoner Walling was in charge of it. It was his duty to take the Liverpool truck from the train and place it on the main line for the purpose of its being taken to the terminus at St. Pancras, and from there to Liverpool. Directly the train stopped the prisoners Watson and Currey got into the break, and they left and went to the Liverpool truck. Shortly after the detectives saw the prisoner Watson carrying a chest of tea on his shoulders, and Currey was walking by his side. 
    The detectives rushed from their hiding place, and Thurston took hold of the prisoner Watson, who threw the box on to the metals. A struggle ensued, and the metals being slippery the detective slipped, and the prisoner ran down the line as fast as he could. Thurston followed, but finding a train was close on his heels he had to get on the siding and the prisoner consequently escaped. 
Highgate Road Station.

    Underwood followed the prisoner Currey, who ran away and made his escape. The guard Walling went into his break, and it was impossible for him, if be had been attending to his duties, not to have seen the chest taken from the truck. 
    Information was given to Detective sergeant Frederick Abberline of the Y Division, who apprehended the prisoner Watson at his lodgings about one o'clock in the morning. 
    On searching the premises the following articles, which are all new, were found : Ten pairs of socks, eleven pairs of stockings, seven silk handkerchiefs, four new Scotch caps, six shirts, two pairs of flannel trousers, three dozen reels of cotton, five pairs of boots, four pairs of shoes, a quantity of black Italian silk, seven sheepskin mats, pair of trousers and vest, a silk scarf, 15 cigars, a roll of tobacco, a watchstand, corkscrew, two cigar cases, two brushes (hair and clothes) 12 pen holders, a box containing tea — between 701b and 100lb. — a sack containing a quantity of loaf sugar— between 161b and 18lb.— as well as other articles, which were supposed to have been taken from the trucks. 
    Detective sergeant Abberline also apprehended Walling at his lodgings, and when told the charge he said he knew nothing about it. The cord of the sheet that covered the truck that contained the chest that was stolen was found cut, and a piece of cord was found in the waistcoat pocket of the prisoner Walling, He said, in answer to a question, that he did not lose sight of the truck, and the other prisoner was afterwards taken into custody, and he denied the charge. Mr. D'Eyncourt remanded the prisoners till Monday next, for the railway company to bring further evidence against them.



The Daily Telegraph 3rd January 1872.


Middlesex Sessions. (Before the Assistant Judge.)


ROBBERY IN THE CITY.



    Daniel Champion, 21, and George Williams, 20, were indicted for stealing 371bs of antimony, the property of Mr. Frederick Plummer, a stereotyper in the City, and master of the latter prisoner.                 Frederick Abberline, a detective of the Y division, said that on the 13th December he saw the two prisoners outside a public house. Williams was carrying a bundle, which he passed to Champion, and witness then followed them up a court. He asked Champion what he was carrying, and the latter said that he did not know, and that a Frenchman with a large beard had asked him to carry the bundle to Euston square for 1s. 

    Witness took both prisoners into custody, and 371bs of antimony were found upon them. The prisoners said that they had been taken to the wrong court, as the prosecutor's place was in the City. They ought to have been tried at the Mansion House, and it was a got-up thing by the police to get them convicted. 
    The jury found them guilty. Several previous convictions having been proved against both prisoners, and Mr. Plummer having stated that Williams had been in his service for about four years, and had been left a good deal in charge of his premises. 
    The Judge sentenced Williams to seven years' penal servitude, and Champion to two years' penal servitude, and to be under police supervision for three years.   


Lloyds Illustrated Newspaper 7th January 1872.


ALLEGED EXTENSIVE ROBBERIES BY BARMAN.



    Alfred Baston: 22, a barman, was charged, on remand, with stealing two marked half crowns, the property of his employer, Mr. John Copeman, of the Mother Red Cap, Camden town. 
The Mother Red Cap, now The Worlds End,Camden.

     The prisoner had been in the Prosecutor's service for about 16 or 17 months, and during that time the prosecutor had lost from 35/. to 50/. Having reason to suspect the prisoner's honesty he communicated with Sergeant Abberline, Y division, and Kingdon, S division, and on the 24th ult, he marked two half crowns, placing them the next day on the shelf while the change was kept. 
    In the afternoon he missed the half crowns as well as two half sovereigns. He immediately communicated with the police, and, on the prisoner's box being searched, the half crowns were found concealed under some clothes. 
    The prisoner who was present, declared that it was a "plant," and intimated that the police had placed the coins in his box. From the evidence of the detectives it appeared that the prisoner had given a gold watch and chain to a lad named George Gobb and also to another boy. Both of the watches were in the hands of the police. 
    Mr. Wakeling, for the defence, contended that no case or at most only one of suspicion had been made out against the prisoner. Mr. Child remarked that the prisoner had lent one person 10/, and another 6/. 
    Mr. Wakeling replied that the prisoner had lately had some money left him with which he had assisted his friends. Mr. Cooke committed the prisoner for trial, refusing to accept bail.



Reynold's Newspaper 11th February 1872.


IMPORTANT DECISION AS TO PLAYING CARDS IN PUBLIC HOUSES.



    On Monday, at the Edmonton Sessions before J. Abbiss Esq. and W. D. Alexander, Esq. Mr. John Gregory, at the Railway hotel, was charged, on a summons, with unlawfully suffering gaming in his house; by permitting several persons to play at cards. 
    Detective sergeant Abberline, Y division, stated that on the 27th of January, about nine o'clock in the evening, he visited the defendants house, and went into the parlour. Shortly afterwards three gentlemen entered. 
    At that time a pack of cards and a cribbage board were on the table. One of the gentlemen remarked, " We want another to make four," and when a fourth entered he was invited to join in a game. He consented, and they commenced playing at whist. 
    Before beginning, however, one said to another "What's it to be?" and the one spoken to replied, '"Oh, sixpence a game the same as before." Defendant was sitting in the parlour the greater part of the time the play was going on, and when three games had been completed one of the party said to another, "You owe me eighteen pence." 
    Witness then went outside for a constable, who witnessed all four gentlemen at play. In cross examination witness said he visited the house because complaints had been made to the police commissioners at Whitehall place. He did not see any money pass. 
    Undoubtedly the people who played were highly respectable men, but there could be no mistake that they were playing for money. There was no attempt at concealment. Everything occurred in the public parlour, which was open to all comers. 
    Defendant freely admitted that four gentlemen City merchants played at whist on the occasion referred to, and the game had been played in the same room for the last ten years by a few gentlemen who had lived in the neighbourhood. 
    Mr. Abbiss: The mere fact of playing cards in a tavern does not constitute an offence. Playing cards for simple pass time is perfectly legal. A gentleman was sworn, and said he was asked to make the fourth player, and he consented to do so, but he only played for fun. . . . 
    Mr. Abbiss Well, now, although no money passed, was it an understood thing amongst some of the players that they were playing for sixpence a game ? 
    Witness: I believe it was. I can't speak for any one but myself, and I know I did not receive or pay a single penny. In reply to the bench it was stated by the police and others that a better conducted house could not be found. 
    Mr. Abbiss said the bench had carefully considered the matter, and while they thought it right to intimate that card playing was quite legal in taverns if the game was indulged in simply for amusement, yet in the present case they could not doubt that, although money did not pass, there was an understanding, amongst some of the players at least, that money was being played for. 
    Still considering the high character given to the house, and the Class of men who were playing the nominal fine of 10s. only will he inflicted, and that was rather as a caution to others than as a punishment to defendant.



Lloyds Illustrated Newspaper 25th February 1872.


WHOLESALE ROBBERY FROM MESSERS MOSES AND SONS. 



    Isaac Harvey, 18, porter, and John Attwell, 21, baker, were charged, the former with stealing and the latter with receiving six vests and two pairs of trousers, the property of Isaac Moses and others, the well known tailors. 
    The prisoner Harvey was in their employ as a porter and he was in the constant habit of surreptitiously, by means of his apron, taking goods from his masters' establishment in Oxford street. These he put in the hands of the other prisoner, who pawned them at various establishments. 
    They were both found " Guilty." and Mr. Besley then stated that, after the detection of Harvey, who, it was supposed, had been led astray by the inducement of the other prisoner, a deficiency in the stock was discovered, amounting to between 120/. and 130/. 
    The whole of the property, there was reason to believe, had been pledged, and as the tickets had been destroyed, it was only through the persevering inquiries of Sergeant Abberline and Detective Dalton that any part of it had been recovered. 
    Altogether about 26/. worth of property had been so recovered, which comprised 43 waistcoats and three pairs of trowsers, and were pledged at 21 different pawnbrokers. Attwell was sentenced to 18 months', and Harvey to 12 months' hard labour. 


Bucks Herald 13th July 1872.


Discovery of Two Dead Bodies. 

Torraino Avenue, Kentish Town.

    On Monday some excitement was occasioned at Kentish town by the announcement that a working man of the name of Bond had discovered, in an empty house, 77, Torraino avenue, two coffins, each containing the body of an infant in a far advanced state of putrefaction. He communicated with the police, and the matter having been placed in the hands of Detective Sergeant Abberline, Y division, he ascertained that the house had formerly been in the occupation of an undertaker.



Daily News 8th August 1872.


MARYLEBONE.



    Elizabeth Sullivan, 18, Maria Sullivan, 15, and Jane Adams, 13, were charged before Mr. Mansfield with disorderly conduct. 
    The defendants were dressed in sailor costume, and their clothes seemed to fit them nicely. The elder defendant wore a large straw hat, while her sister had a cap with the name of H.M.S Implacable on it. 
    Sergeant Abberline stated that about one 'clock in the morning he was with a constable in the Kentish town road, when he saw the defendants turned out of the Assembly Rooms Tavern. As they made a disturbance he took them into custody. 
Assembly Rooms Tavern c1853

   In answer to the magistrate. 
    The defendants said they were very sorry and if allowed to go home they would not offend gain. Mr Mansfield - Who dressed you? 
    Elizabeth Sullivan - We dressed ourselves, sir, my two brothers are sailors, and we took their clothes for fun. 
    Sergeant Abberline said he had made in inquiries and found they had given their correct addresses, and nothing was known against them. The mother of the Sullivans said they only put the clothing on for a joke, but did not intend to do any harm. 
    Mr Mansfield said it was exceedingly improper, and the defendants might be sent to gaol for some months. If it was repeated, they would be severely dealt  with, but on this occasion they would be discharged.



Morning Post 9th October 1872.


MARYLEBONE.



    Walter James Cochrane, aged 15, an errand boy, living at Jeffrey street, Kentish town, was charged on remand before Mr. D'Eyncourt with cutting and wounding Alfred Carter, agesd 14, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. 
    From the evidence adduced it appeared that the complainant, who resides with his parents at 66, Prince of Wales road Kentish town, was walking with his brother along the Kentish town road on the afternoon of Sunday week. 
    The complainant was wearing a high hat for the first time and the defendant, with some other boys, was standing outside a shop eating apples. As the complainant passed the defendant called out, "Go home and take off your father's hat" but the complainant took no notice of it, and the defendant threw a piece of apple at the hat, but it struck the brother. 
    The defendant and his companions followed them, and the complainant then became excited and struck the defendant in the face, who then rushed at the complainant with a knife and stabbed him above the knee. 
    He bled profusely from the wound and was taken to the surgery of Mr Andrew Brown of 1, Bartholomew road, Kentish town road, who found the complainant was suffering from a wound two inches in length a few inches above the knee-cap. 
    If the wound had been a quarter of an inch lower down it would have been serious, for the doctor stated that the complainant might have had to have his leg taken off. 
    The defendant was taken into custody by Detective sergeant Frederick Abberline of the Y division, and when told the charge he gave the sergeant a pocket knife, which he said he had stabbed the complainant with. 
    The defendant, after receiving the usual caution, said he had nothing to say in answer to the charge Mr. D'Eyncourt committed the prisoner to the next Middlesex Sessions for trial, but he was allowed to go out on his father's recognisances.



Reynold's Newspaper 1st December 1872.


Marylebone. 


WHOLESALE PAWNING OF PETTICOATS THROUGH DISTRESS. 



    Joseph Burrell, aged 40, a respectably dressed man, described on the charge sheet as a commission agent, living at 9, St. Anne's gardens, Haverstock hill, was places in the dock, charged before Mr. Mansfield with illegally pawning seventy three petticoats, value £2, the goods of messrs Stephen Evans, and Co warehousemen, 14, Old Change, City. 
    From the evidence of Mr. Alexander Gibbons, manager to the above firm, it appears that for sometime past the prisoner's wife has been engaged on the firm, and as she had a family, she asked the firm to allow her to do her work at home. 
    As she was an industrious woman, this request was granted, and about a month ago seventy three petticoats were given to her to make up. He applied several times for them, but as he could not get them his suspicions were aroused, and he proceeded on Thursday evening to the defendant's house, where he saw the wife. 
    He asked her for the petticoats and she then said she was very sorry, but she had pawned them at different pawnbrokers in the neighbourhood. 
    Mr. Gibbbons then gave information to the police, and the case was placed in the hands of detective sergeant Abberline of the Y division. 
    On making inquiries at the pawnbrokers, he found that a pawnbroker had taken in no less than three dozen and nine of the petticoats, although they were all marked with the name and address of the firm. The prisoner, in answer to the charge, said he pawned the goods because his children were starving. He was very sorry for doing it, but he was driven to it.
    Mr. Mansfield ordered the defendant to pay a fine of £5, and £7 7s, the amount the goods were pledged for, or, in default of payment, to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour in the House of Correction for two calendar months. 
    Mr. Gibbons asked the magistrate to grant summonses against the pawnbrokers for taking in pledge stolen  articles; the pawnbrokers, if they had liked to have looked at the petticoats, could see the name of the firm upon it. 
    Mr. Mansfield said he thought it sufficient punishment and reprimand to the pawnbrokers to order them to give up the whole of the goods without payment.


The Standard 9th January 1873.


MIDDLESEX SESSIONS, Jan. 8 (Before Sir W. H. Bodkin, Assistant Judge.)


 INGENIOUS FRAUDS BY A  PRETENDED BARMAN.



    Henry Wilson, 24, describing himself as a clerk, but very unlike one in appearance indicted for obtaining by false pretences from Job Johnson, five shirts, value 1/. 16s, property of the said Job Johnson, with intent to defraud. 
    There were two other indictments of a similar description against him. The mode of operation was the same in the respective charge preferred against the prisoner, and were carried out with great success. 
    The prisoner put on a small white apron, such as is commonly worn by barmen at public houses, and having divested himself of his coat, in a hurried manner entered a linendraper's or hosier's shop, and stated that the landlord or landlady of some neighbouring public house required some good shirts for a sudden occasion. Believing the statement to he true, and the deception being favoured by the appearance of the prisoner, in several instances the shirts were handed over to him without hesitation; but he had no sooner obtained possession of them than he walked off to the nearest pawnbrokers and converted them into money. 
    The shopkeepers embraced in the three indictments (selected from several others) were Mary Ann Crane, of 369, Kentish Town road; Job Johnson, 73, Chalk Farm road; and Job Windle, 440, Edgware road. 
    The licensed victualler's he represented as having sent him for the shirts were Henry Riche, of the Tally-ho public house, Cleveland street; Frederick Willis, The Monarch, Chalk Farm road and Joseph Richardson, Portman Arms, Maryland road. Harrow road. 
The Monarch,, Chalk Farm Road now the Barfly.

      The frauds being at last discovered the matter was put into the hands of Frederick Abberline, a detective Sergeant of the Y division, and he on Thursday, the 6th of December, happening to meet the prisoner in Clerkenwell, told him that he should take him into custody on a charge of stealing shirts of several tradesmen by representing if as a potman. 
    On the way to the station house in Kentish Town the prisoner said, "You must be a 'mug' to take me to Kentish Town, stop the cab and I'll show you the man." Abberline told him he would have to go to the station, and he took him there, where he was identified by Mr. Johnson and other persons from whom he had obtained the shirts. 
    After he was charged he wanted to speak to Abberline, and then he said, "It is no use disputing this. I should like the magistrate to settle it tomorrow. I'll tell you where the shirts are that I had on Monday from over the way. They are pledged at All worthy's, in King's cross road, in the name of Lucas."
    The jury found the prisoner guilty.
    Herbert Reeves, warder at Coldbath fields Prison, proved a former conviction of 18 months on the 24th of August 1870, at the sessions of that court for a similar offence; and two months, on the 30th of September, 1871, for a like offence. 
    The Judge sentenced him to be kept in penal servitude for seven years. The grand jury made the following presentment in reference to this case :— " The grand jury desire to record their approval of the conduct and ability of Sergeant Abberline, evinced in the capture of Henry Wilson, accused of obtaining shirts under fake pretences. " Geo. MUNDY, Foreman."

    After this case Abberline was promoted to inspector and transferred to H Division, Whitechapel. His 14 years there were just as fraught and interesting, but that story is for another day.......

Monday, 10 April 2017

Jack the Ripper's old haunts, a return to Murderland 1890.


     MURDERLAND RE-VISITED, PALL MALL GAZETTE.



           A TOUR OF JACK THE RIPPER'S HAUNTS IN WHITECHAPEL.



    It is announced today that "the police are taking extra precautions in Whitechapel this week" For such precautions there is plenty of room. It is now just two years ago since "Jack the Ripper" was busy with his devil's work in Whitechapel, but next to nothing has yet been done in any one instance to prevent another murder taking place tomorrow night, on any one of the selfsame spots on which a mutilated corpse once lay.

    Again, although at the time of and for some weeks after, the murders nearly every other person that one ran against in Whitechapel was either a uniformed or a plain-clothes policeman, their numbers were gradually reduced with the subsidence of the scare, until the force stationed in Whitechapel today is just about the same in point of numbers as when the assassin's knife first commenced its deadly work, and in point of efficiency, probably even worse.

     These are strong and even startling statements to make, but they are supported by a close personal investigation which has been undertaken on behalf of the Pall Mall Gazette throughout the length and breadth of Murderland, the results of this investigation are recorded in the following article.

George Yard.


   I went first to the scene of the very first murder the landing of the common lodging-house in George-yard, where Martha Tabram's dead body, shockingly mutilated, was found on the morning after a Bank Holiday.

   It is true that, on the recommendation of the coroner's jury who investigated the circumstances of her death, a lamp was fixed there, and it is true also that it exists at the present time.     But then, lamps can't be alight all night in common lodging-houses, so the landlords say, and, if what some of the tenants say be true, after eleven or twelve o'clock at night the lamp is turned out, and in every essential respect the landing assumes the appearance it bore when Martha Tabram was done to death there.

  Yet it was between two and three o'clock in the morning when she was murdered. Policemen seldom if ever visit that landing now, it is no part of their beat, and the only contingency to be faced by any would-be murderer who should take his victim there after midnight tomorrow would be the arrival of one of the occupants of the upstairs tenements. And even that contingency is a very improbable one, for the occupants are nearly all of them unskilled labourers, the exigencies of whose work leave them no opportunity for midnight dissipations.

Buck's Row.


  Then, take next, that blank wall in Buck's Row where the next victim was butchered. Nothing whatever in the way of change of any kind has taken place there.
   The wall is just as blank, the light at night is just as indistinct, and the Row at midnight is just as denuded of civilians and policemen as when the unfortunate woman Hyde* was stabbed and mutilated there. It was rare, even before the murder, to find any pedestrians in Buck's Row after midnight; it always had a had name for robberies and assaults; and it was given up by general consent to the"cluster of houseless
unfortunates who were in the habit of sleeping there.

   After the tragedy even the unfortunates fled from it, and its pavements only resounded at night to the measured tread of the temporary police patrol.
   But now the unfortunates have forgotten the fate of their "pal" the police patrol has been withdrawn, and passers-by at night are rarer than ever.
    It might, perhaps, be a slight exaggeration to say that the murderer of Annie Hyde would find it just as easy to repeat his hellish work to-morrow night, for a police "point" has been established a little nearer Buck's Row than formerly, but this at all events can be safely said that the operation would be attended with but the merest fraction of increased difficulty.

    A curious illustration - or rather, proof - of this statement occurred in the course of my investigation. At about one o'clock on one morning I happened to be near Buck's Row, when my attention was attracted by violent screaming, evidently proceeding from that locality. I proceeded there and found, lying on the pavement within twenty yards of the scene of the murder, a woman evidently pretty far gone in drink. She was bleeding from a wound in the temple, sustained, perhaps,in her fall to the ground, and had taken to an hysterical fit of screaming.
    It was actually between four and five minutes before a policeman arrived on the scene to know "what all the row was about."


    He tried, on finding her condition, to "move her on," but the woman violently resisted, and even attacked him. Assistance was evidently necessary then to take her to the police station, and the writer, with hearty goodwill, set about blowing a police-whistle which he had with him. Yet, with all that hullabaloo, another three minutes were required for a second policeman to put in an appearance.
    It was only a drunken woman, you say? True. But it might have been a victim screaming in her last agonies, and eight minutes to get two policemen together on the very scene of a former murder is a big start to give the quick heeled Ripper.

    It would make all the difference between his capture and his getting safely off with another murder added to his long record.

Mitre Square and Berner Street.


    Mitre Square - the scene of probably the worst butchery of all - is undoubtedly better patrolled than it used to be; the beats have been shortened, the policeman's bullseye flashes its light all round the square far too frequently to allow of such a deliberate and cold-blooded butchery as occurred there before. But then the Metropolitan police force can take no credit for that.

    The credit, if any, belongs to the very much better organized and much more adequate City police. The self-same Sunday morn that heralded the discovery of the Mitre Square victim was the one that found another unfortunate lying in the gateway in Berner Street, St. George's East, with her throat cut.


    It is true that since that time the gateway has been religiously closed after the last van has entered it. But then the vans are sometimes very late in arriving, and what is there to prevent a murderer decoying another victim there?

    When you push open the gate it is as dark as Erebus; when the gate is pushed back there is an effectual screen from any prying passer-by, although passers-by, who are constituted very largely of the foreigners who reside in the locality, are far too scared to ever peep inside that gate with its terrible history; and, finally, there is always singing or some other form of entertainment going on
at the International club next door to effectually drown a faint shriek.

    'But what about' the policeman on the beat, you say?

 The police on that beat have got so tired of opening that gate and finding nothing there since the murder that they have long ago despaired of ever finding anything, and consequently pass it now with the most complete indifference.

    And, even should, by the most remote possibility, the murderer be disturbed by anybody opening the gate from the street entrance, he is by no means caught in a trap, for there are plenty of backyards that can he scaled, and a great many courts and passages, leading to Berner and other streets, to be easily reached. On the whole, then, that gateway in Berner Street would form a very safe place for any operations of the Ripper just now.


Hanbury Street.



    Next, there is that mysterious house in Hanbury Street at which the world looked askance when the evidence given at the inquest on the disembowelled body found in its backyard revealed the fact that unfortunates, somehow
or another, seemed to possess a right of way through the passage, and so into the yard.

    One would have thought that after such a revelation as that some steps would at least have been taken to put a stop to such a scandal.
But no.
    After midnight there is nothing whatever to prevent anybody from lifting the
latch of the door and proceeding, by way of the passage, to the very spot where
the Ripper in a paroxysm of fury plucked out the entrails of another victim.

    The reason is obvious. The premises are nothing more than a "doss" house on a small scale; its residents change nearly every day, and nobody would presume to question the right of any one to pass through the passage and so into the fateful yard, where, as before, a murder could be committed now
with 'comparative impunity.

    And yet, what an outburst of popular indignation there would be if another butchery occurred on the self-same spot that reeked before with the blood of a murdered woman!

Dorset Street, Castle Alley and Pinchin Street.


    What is true of the house in Hanbury Street is true also, though in a lesser degree perhaps, of the lodging-house in the court off Dorset Street, where the discovery of another mutilated victim cast a gloom on the Lord Mayor's festivities of two years ago.
Dorset Street

    It was the boldest stroke of all when the Whitechapel fiend decoyed, his victim there. And what boldness - or rather absolute wantonness accomplished before, it can doubtless accomplish again.

    There is some prospect at last of the vile hole known as Castle Alley, where the last murder occurred, being swept off the face of the earth, for the Whitechapel Board of Works have lately decided to.convert it into a public thoroughfare.
Castle Alley

    But the archway in Pinchin Street remains in precisely the same condition in which it appeared when the sackful of human remains was found beneath it.
    That archway, it may be remembered, forms but one of several, some of which are partially boarded up from the street, and which form, at the present time, an acknowledged resort of unfortunates, who ply, almost undisturbed, their degraded trade there.
Pinchin Street

    Even the miserable little shed, with its worm-eaten boards and its utter lack of
any conveniences for post-mortem or other examinations, despite the lashings of humanitarian and sanitarian writers which the local authorities were at one time compelled to undergo, remains just the same now as when
the juries were ushered into the "mortuary," as it is called with the grimmest of humour, to examine the dead bodies of the victims deposited there.
    Or rather, to speak the literal truth, the shed is more mouldy, more foul smelling, more worm-eaten, and more useless for its purpose than ever.

    It is but fair to say, however, that the Board of Works have got so far as the plans and the site of a new mortuary - and not, assuredly, before it was needed.

Conclusion.

    "But are the conditions precisely the same for the perpetration of murders as was the case two years ago - are intended victims to be decoyed as easily as then?" some sceptical reader may ask.

    The personal investigations of the writer have convinced him that, should the Whitechapel Terror appear in our midst again bent on the same murderous mission, he would find the conditions precisely the same as before, and his victims just as easily decoyed and just as numerous.

    The unfortunate class in Whitechapel and St. George's, or rather the lower unfortunate class, from whom. the victims were chiefly recruited - for there are distinctions even in degradation - is just as numerous as ever it was.
    They form the very dregs of humanity. Better conditions. of trade and better conditions of labour affect their numbers not at all.

    They drift down through a life of shame until they become veritable pariahs even among the unfortunates in other parts of London; until the streets of Whitechapel become their only home, and immorality, in its very worst form, their only resource.

    The very worst of disorderly houses will seldom open their doors to them and the practising of their vile trade in the courts and alleys and archways of the district constitutes their only resource against absolute starvation.

    Prowling through this district for the greater part of nearly every night, and sleeping for the rest of the night in one or other of these plague spots, they have the locality of each at their fingers' ends, and long experience has made them equally well acquainted with the exact time at which the policeman, on beat passes each of these places.

    What need of decoying these creatures? The very exigencies of their degraded calling make them accessories to their own murder. God help them when they get in a would-be murderer's hands.

    This article was published in the Pall Mall Gazette on the 2nd October 1890, the authors warnings were quickly verified when on the 13th February 1891 the body of Francis Coles was found in Swallow Gardens, Whitechapel, with her throat cut.

* The writer seems to be suffering from a bout of laziness here, the body was quickly identified as that of Mary Ann "Polly" Nicholls, not Annie Hyde.