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LONDON. TUESDAY, 20 NOVEMBER, 1888.
The inquest yesterday on the woman Florence Hancock added little or nothing to the facts already made public in The Star. We have an apparently trustworthy description of the man with whom the deceased was last seen as "a tall, fair man, with a heavy moustache;" we have also Mr. Pain's word for it that she had on one or two occasions wished she was dead. This, however, comes to little when taken with the general evidence as to her manner and spirits before her disappearance. Mr. Pain says that he gave her no money when he last met her (though here again there is a contradiction in the evidence), and this coupled with the fact of the gold chain being found on her, throws doubt on robbery as the motive for the crime - if crime there was. We still believe that there was, and that this is probably only one more instance where the helplessness of our detective police will be demonstrated.
"'Tis love that makes the world go round," sings the poet, and so also thinks Fanny Croft, for her swain proving faithless, she determined that the earth was dark and dreary for her, and proceeded to hurry her transfer to a brighter sphere by throwing herself into a pond at Silverhill. It appeared that the prisoner went to the pond, took off some clothing, laid them on the bank, together with her purse, and then threw herself in. A boy who was in a garden close by, seeing the occurrence, fetched assistance, and she was pulled out and taken to the police-station. The following letter had been sent to a man named Rand, with whom the girl used to keep company :- "My dear Jack, you can marry Jessie (an Eastbourne girl). I can never have you, or I wood. I shall be ded by the time you get this note. Good bye, good bye, my love, good bye; live happy; good bye, my love, good bye." Philandering and heartless Jack will no doubt be touched by this attempt at self-sacrifice; and who knows but he will return to his first love, leaving the enticing Jessie to some better fellow?
The Jewish Vote in Whitechapel.
The identification of the Jewish candidate with the Church and Tory party - the Rev. Mr. Jay, Mr. Dellow, and Mr. Montefiore appearing on the same platform - has caused much searching of hearts among the children of Israel in Whitechapel. A very enthusiastic meeting was held in Goulstone Hall last evening in support of Mrs. Besant's candidature, and a large number of Jews were present. A resolution supporting her was unanimously carried, after being supported by, amongst other speakers, Mr. G. Bernard Shaw and the Rev. W. E. Moll. The following letter was read from Mr. Charles Bradlaugh, M.P., and was very loudly applauded :- "I should like to have attended your meeting, but it is quite impossible. I need hardly say that I trust you may be elected to the School Board, on which I feel sure you would do useful work. I think you have some claim on the Jewish voters. Five years ago at Amsterdam I heard you eloquently protest against the persecution of their co-religionists in the resolution we then carried; and this year, I trust, I have been in some degree serviceable to the East-end Jews in checking the cry raised against them by Mr. Arnold White, so I venture to appeal to them in my own name to give you their best support."
Matthews and Warren.
Mr. Pickersgill will ask Mr. Matthews to-night whether he will lay upon the table the correspondence which passed between the late Chief Commissioner of Metropolitan Police and the Home Office, and to which Sir Charles Warren appeals in his letter published in the Times.
Mr. Cuninghame Graham also intends to ask Mr. Matthews if his attention has been directed to the second paragraph of a letter addressed by Sir Charles Warren to the Times, in which he says that, "Whilst in many cases he has received instructions apparently contrary to statute, he has protested and, in protesting, taken legal advice;" and if he will inform the House what those instructions "apparently contrary to statute" were?
Threatened His Wife with a Revolver.
At the Thames Police-court Henry Starke, proprietor of the Pewter Platter public-house, Broad-street, Ratcliff, was charged with presenting a loaded revolver at his wife Mary Ann. The woman called up a policeman by her screams, and he found Starke in the bedroom with a revolver loaded in four chambers. He was bound over to keep the peace.
Thomas Morris, a watchman at the Civil Service Co-operative Stores, Haymarket, stole a parcel of fish and a packet of sweets worth 1s. 6d., and at Marlborough-street was sentenced to 21 days' imprisonment. He had been 11 years in the stores, after 21 years' service in the army. He will now lose his pension of 10d. a day.
William Onion, the old man whom the Thames magistrate yesterday allowed to go free on a charge of drunkenness, went to the Shadwell Police-station last night and broke the window. He told the magistrate this morning that policemen followed him about to lock him up for being drunk, and that he smashed the window to save himself from being locked up. (Laughter.) - Mr. Saunders said: "The Court stinks with your name, and you stand in such bad odor that all policemen look after you, knowing you are a dangerous man." He would be sentenced to one month's hard labor.
John Browning, an Army pensioner and road laborer, living in Robert-street, Commercial-road, Pimlico, was charged at Westminster on a warrant with assaulting his wife. She said on Saturday night her husband forced her against a wall, punched her about the arms and breast, and kicked her. She admitted that she followed the man along Pimlico-road to get money for a new pair of boots. A witness who examined her said she seemed to have exaggerated her injuries. The husband, a respectable-looking man, said the charge against him was utterly false. He positively went in fear of his wife. - The landlord of the house said the man was a hard-working, peaceable, industrious fellow, but the woman was "a regular terror." She was "nagging all day long," and very rarely sober. The other day she threw a lamp at the man in bed. - Another witness said the woman was about the greatest blackguard it was possible to conceive. - Mr. d'Eyncourt said the warrant officer would make a little independent inquiry, and he would remand the accused.
A young man named John Lacey pleaded guilty at the Middlesex Sessions to indecently assaulting Jane Ferry. Mr. Keith Frith said it was a most painful case. For a number of years the prisoner had been a total abstainer up to a couple of days before the offence was committed. He got intoxicated, and attempted the assault while under the influence of drink. - The father was called, and on seeing his son commenced sobbing; and the son cried also. The father stated he had lived in Canrobert-street, Bethnal-green for 20 years, and was a Sunday-school teacher in the same parish. He had been employed by Messrs. Waterlow and Sons for 12 years. The prisoner had expressed his contrition of what he had committed to Mr. Wheatley. Several Sunday-school teachers were called and gave him an excellent character. His employer said he had unbounded faith in the prisoner; he had left him in charge of his shop, where three or four girls were employed, but he had never heard a word of complaint. He was willing to take him back. Mr. Littler said girls of the poorer class must be protected. Prisoner was bound over in £20 to come up for judgement if called upon.
A Constable Allowed to Resign.
The death of Richard Brown, aged 36 years, until recently a constable in the Metropolitan Police, stationed in the E division at Hunter-street, who shot himself in Hyde-park on 16 Nov., was the subject of an inquest at Westminster last night. Mr. L. S. Torre, of 3, Percy-square, King's-cross, said he had known the deceased about 10 years, and last saw him alive on Tuesday, 13 Nov. He said he had resigned his situation in the police force, and added that he was going either to Mexico or to Africa. He was a sober, steady man, and said he had saved about £130. With the exception of witness, who was his second uncle, he had no relations. Witness complained that because one of his cards was found upon the deceased, someone at the hospital informed the news agency that witness himself had committed suicide. Inspector Austin Askew, of Hunter-street Police-station, stated that the deceased was guilty of not going on parade for night duty at a quarter to ten, and he was allowed to resign. Temporary insanity was the verdict.