13 October 1888
The Leeds Mercury London Correspondent believes that a Metropolitan Member will, after the meeting of the House, give notice of address for the dismissal of Sir Charles Warren.
Kindly forgive any seeming presumption in adding to your correspondence on this subject; but it appears to me a fair case for hearing suggestions from those who have dedicated their lives to the service of the poor. I will try to make my remarks at once trenchant and tender. The difficulties suggested range themselves immediately under two heads - social and moral. Socially, the whole affair points unmistakeably to the regulation and comparative suppression of vice by the State, unflinching and absolute equality being dealt out to both sexes. So called "degraded" women are the result of equally degraded men, and vice versa. But there is not an atom of difference in the guilt of either. The men who morally assert the contrary are not men, whoever they may be, and whatever the position they may occupy. The drink traffic is at the bottom of half this misery and vice. Let it be dealt with as it deserves, and let the blow be struck at the fountain heads, on whom will fall the curse when justice is meted out. The poverty is in the end traceable to the most despicable and common sin, "love of money," on the part of landlords and sweaters, who ought to be heartily ashamed of thus grinding the faces of their poorer brethren. The dismal, unhealthy, overcrowded and underlighted streets, with cul de sacs inviting to evil, should be dealt with by each Vestry separately, and drastic measures, however expensive and apparently stern, should be taken for the eventual good of the community, by means of a rate levied on ground rents throughout the metropolis generally. The burden would thus fall on the proper shoulders. Nothing is more instructive than the difference between the East and the newer parts of South London in this respect. In the latter locality such events as the recent murders could never have occurred without prompt discovery.
It is, however, an absurd thing to throw the blame on the police who, as known to us clergy, are amongst the most hardworking and hardly tried of the populations, and it shows a still grosser lack, both of taste and reason, to cast the slightest innuendoes against Sir Charles Warren or the Home Secretary in this particular. The fault is with the State, and the cause must be looked for at St. Stephen's, where such a question should absorb our legislators in place of this eternal wrangling about Ireland. Morally, the keynote is, "the piecework of individual sacrifice," which is repellent to theorists, of whom the majority is composed. One "Home" is but a drop in the ocean. One "parish" is a cipher, though it gain a spurious notoriety for the moment. So long as men and women are selfish, and so long as they live in luxury, or break the law of purity, they have not the slightest right to cast a stone at the single incident throughout the transaction. In plain language, it means that the rich must confine themselves to necessities, or some day there will be a revolution, which is only a matter of time, and which will have the best hearts in the country on its side. It means that ladies should personally befriend and raise their down trodden because fallen sisters, if not by actual contact at least by money and sympathy. Above all it means that the young men of the present day should themselves abstain from vice, and that our would be statesmen should learn a little more of what they intend to talk about by living for a time on the spot, or else they should be decently silent.
No man can be a saviour without being crucified. This is the whole business in a nutshell, and we must set our faces like flints to live out this truth if we would not be ashamed. "The remedy of all blunders, the cure of blindness, the cure of crime, is love."
I am, Sir, &c.,
Hugh B. Chapman,
Vicar of St. Luke's, Camberwell,
117 Camden grove North, Peckham, S.E.,
A girl of 14, who was said to live with her parents in Camden street, Bethnal green, appeared in the dock at Worship street Police court, today, on a charge of behaving in a disorderly manner and using obscene language.
Police constable Fagan said at about half past nine o'clock last night the prisoner, with others, was in Turin street, Bethnal green, pushing people off the pavement, and shouting out "coarse language." He cautioned her, and she abused him. He saw her knock off a man's hat, and she ran away. He caught her, and took her in charge.
The prisoner said it was not true; but she had no one to contradict the constable's statement, and the Magistrate ordered her to find bail for her good behaviour.
NO ARRESTS IN THE NIGHT.
On a reporter making an inquiry at about four o'clock this morning, at the Leman street, the Commercial street, the Bethnal green, and other police stations, he was informed that no arrests had been made in the district during the night. The force of police and detectives on duty in the district was strengthened somewhat last night. The reason of this is that the murders have generally been committed in the Friday and Saturday nights. The number of amateur policemen on the look out for the murderer was also greater than usual, but up to the hour named their vigilance had not been rewarded with any success. During the evening a number of domiciliary visits were made by the detectives - again with a negative result.
Last week a woman made a statement to the effect that she was accosted in Great Portland street by a man answering the description of the murderer, and that he informed her that he had just then come from the scene of the Whitechapel murders. She noticed he had a knife in his possession. She then ran screaming away. She, yesterday, made another statement to the police. This was to the effect that at half past two, when in Great Portland street, she was again accosted by the man, and, on noticing he was the same man, told him she would communicate with the police. He then ran away.
The City Police received, last night, a postcard, on which the following was written:- "Dear Boss - On Saturday night I will do two more murders, on a man and a boy. I am - Jack the Ripper." The police at Rotherhithe received a letter, which has been found in Anchor street. It contained the following:-
"I'll be over here soon. I'll have you. My knife is a sharp one. Jack the Ripper. I am up in the City and Bermondsey every day. Good old Leather Apron."
It would now appear that the police are absolutely hopeless of any practical result attending their inquiries. No attempt is made to disguise the fact that arrest following upon arrest, and all equally fruitless, have produces in the official minds a felling almost of despair. A corps of detectives left Leman street yesterday morning, and the officer under whose direction they are passing their investigations, had in his possession quite a bulky packet of papers, all relating to information supplied to the police, and all, as the detective remarked, "amounting to nothing." "The difficulty of our work," he said, "is much greater than the general public are aware of. In the first place, there are hundreds of men about the streets answering the vague description of the man who is wanted, and we cannot arrest everybody. The reward offered for the apprehension of the murderer has had one effect - it has inundated us with descriptions of persons into whose movements we are expected to inquire, for the sole reason that they have of late been noticed to keep rather irregular hours, and to take their meals alone. Some of these cases we have sent men to investigate, and the persons who, it has proved, have been unjustly suspected, have been very indignant, and naturally so too. The public would be exceedingly surprised if they were made aware of some of the extraordinary suggestions received by the police from outsiders. Why, in one case (the officer laughingly remarked) it was seriously put to us that we should carefully watch the policeman who happened to be on the particular beat within the radius of which either of the bodies was found. You might as well suspect the Press as suspect the police."
The authorities, however, have by no means abandoned their efforts, and are pursuing their work with relentless pertinacity - their efforts, however, being rewarded by no hope of success. There is a suspicion now that the crime was committed by one of the numerous foreigners by whom the East end is infested. The opinion the authorities deduce from that mysterious writing on the wall at the spot where the Mitre square murderer threw away a portion of the murdered woman's apron. The language of the Jews in the East end is a hybrid dialect known as Yiddish, and their mode of spelling of the word Jews would be "Juwes." It would appear, however, that Sir Charles Warren has finally decided that it would be useless to use bloodhounds - at least, in connection with the present crimes.
The Home Office has again been urged to offer a Government reward. Mr. Lusk has proffered this request on behalf of the inhabitants of Whitechapel. Mr. Lusk calls attention to the fact that the only means left untried for the detection of the murderer has been the offer of a Government reward. Rewards have been offered from other quarters, including the Corporation of the City of London, "but neither the vigilance committees, the Corporation, nor private individuals can offer a pardon to an accomplice, and therefore the value of such offers is considerably less than the proclamation of a reward by Her Majesty's Government, with a pardon for such accomplice." To this an official reply has been received, stating that the matter "shall receive due attention."